[Paleopsych] Geo-Greening by Example

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Sun Mar 27 16:02:15 UTC 2005


Published: March 27, 2005

How will future historians explain it? How will they possibly explain why 
President George W. Bush decided to ignore the energy crisis staring us in 
the face and chose instead to spend all his electoral capital on a futile 
effort to undo the New Deal, by partially privatizing Social Security? We 
are, quite simply, witnessing one of the greatest examples of misplaced 
priorities in the history of the U.S. presidency.

"Ah, Friedman, but you overstate the case." No, I understate it. Look at 
the opportunities our country is missing - and the risks we are assuming - 
by having a president and vice president who refuse to lift a finger to put 
together a "geo-green" strategy that would marry geopolitics, energy policy 
and environmentalism.

By doing nothing to lower U.S. oil consumption, we are financing both sides 
in the war on terrorism and strengthening the worst governments in the 
world. That is, we are financing the U.S. military with our tax dollars and 
we are financing the jihadists - and the Saudi, Sudanese and Iranian 
mosques and charities that support them - through our gasoline purchases. 
The oil boom is also entrenching the autocrats in Russia and Venezuela, 
which is becoming Castro's Cuba with oil. By doing nothing to reduce U.S. 
oil consumption we are also setting up a global competition with China for 
energy resources, including right on our doorstep in Canada and Venezuela. 
Don't kid yourself: China's foreign policy today is very simple - holding 
on to Taiwan and looking for oil.

Finally, by doing nothing to reduce U.S. oil consumption we are only 
hastening the climate change crisis, and the Bush officials who scoff at 
the science around this should hang their heads in shame. And it is only 
going to get worse the longer we do nothing. Wired magazine did an 
excellent piece in its April issue about hybrid cars, which get 40 to 50 
miles to the gallon with very low emissions. One paragraph jumped out at 
me: "Right now, there are about 800 million cars in active use. By 2050, as 
cars become ubiquitous in China and India, it'll be 3.25 billion. That 
increase represents ... an almost unimaginable threat to our environment. 
Quadruple the cars means quadruple the carbon dioxide emissions - unless 
cleaner, less gas-hungry vehicles become the norm."

All the elements of what I like to call a geo-green strategy are known:

We need a gasoline tax that would keep pump prices fixed at $4 a gallon, 
even if crude oil prices go down. At $4 a gallon (premium gasoline averages 
about $6 a gallon in Europe), we could change the car-buying habits of a 
large segment of the U.S. public, which would make it profitable for the 
car companies to convert more of their fleets to hybrid or ethanol engines, 
which over time could sharply reduce our oil consumption.

We need to start building nuclear power plants again. The new nuclear 
technology is safer and cleaner than ever. "The risks of climate change by 
continuing to rely on hydrocarbons are much greater than the risks of 
nuclear power," said Peter Schwartz, chairman of Global Business Network, a 
leading energy and strategy consulting firm. "Climate change is real and it 
poses a civilizational threat that [could] transform the carrying capacity 
of the entire planet."

And we need some kind of carbon tax that would move more industries from 
coal to wind, hydro and solar power, or other, cleaner fuels. The revenue 
from these taxes would go to pay down the deficit and the reduction in oil 
imports would help to strengthen the dollar and defuse competition for 
energy with China.

It's smart geopolitics. It's smart fiscal policy. It is smart climate 
policy. Most of all - it's smart politics! Even evangelicals are speaking 
out about our need to protect God's green earth. "The Republican Party is 
much greener than George Bush or Dick Cheney," remarked Mr. Schwartz. 
"There is now a near convergence of support on the environmental issue. 
Look at how popular [Arnold] Schwarzenegger, a green Republican, is 
becoming because of what he has done on the environment in California."

Imagine if George Bush declared that he was getting rid of his limousine 
for an armor-plated Ford Escape hybrid, adopting a geo-green strategy and 
building an alliance of neocons, evangelicals and greens to sustain it. His 
popularity at home - and abroad - would soar. The country is dying to be 
led on this. Instead, he prefers to squander his personal energy trying to 
take apart the New Deal and throwing red meat to right-to-life fanatics. 
What a waste of a presidency. How will future historians explain it?

My response:

Subj: The Bush crime family doesn't care about real problems

They only care about stealing as much as
they can for as long as they can.

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