Saturday :: Nov 29, 2008

Something We Can All Do

by paradox

We know from consumer confidence, spending trends and wrong track polling records that the current condition of the United States is very widely perceived to be in the mother of all ditches, everyone knows the place has gone to hell.

Yet all the current policy choices out there always seem to involve a tiny amount of citizens: the political and financial elites in DC and New York, approximately 10 million military citizens and their families, and perhaps another 10 million American soils toiling in government or emerging industry slots will have a direct input into the massively needed changed to be initiated next February.

From a leadership perspective it’s foolish to attempt change with only 15-20% of Americans as active agents while everybody else just sits there and watches, anxious and fearful. That inactivity carries absolutely no judgment at all, the whole point is that it’s the duty of leadership to recruit everyone as change agents, something the Obama team magnificently employed for the election, but policy implementation in DC is not the same as running for president.

Before a goal is chosen for national unified citizen action it’s very important to see this necessity in a perspective as mental welfare for our citizens. We know we’re in the grand canyon of ditches, we’re worried sick about our military people—when not reeling at the death and wounds—we’re ashamed about being loathed by the rest of the planet, and fearful for what the future holds for our families and children. Waiting and watching in fear for hundreds of millions of souls is a terrible sentence, causing a lot of damage and suffering that did not have to be.

It’s also asking for serious trouble, everyone also remembers the fresh horrific wounds of leadership exploiting fear with terror alerts and no fly list one can’t ever get off. This country got into Iraq with exploited fear, when we were unified by tragedy and outrage just a few years ago we were told to go shopping and get ready to kill. This issue simply cannot be ignored by the Obama administration, the country is fearful and must be shown a positive unified way out of the ditch, political, strategic, moral and human factors of urgent magnitude and opportunity scream for a national unity goal in 2009.

Well, is there a national unity goal that everyone can tangibly get their hands on, feel better about helping us get out of the ditch, and have a busy mind focused away from fear? Of course there is, energy.

Conserving energy, actually. I’m at a nice hotel in Morro Bay, Ca, and I’m appalled and outraged at the wanton waste of electricity, the place is stuffed with incandescent bulbs everywhere, there’s even an incredible heat lamp for chicken skin out of the shower, good God.1 The zombie bill for hot tubs and televisions in this wing is horrifying, all the hundreds of refrigeration units in the place outdated and grossly inefficient.

Given our strategic dependence on energy, the urgent issue of global warming and just the self-interest of the hotel owner (another rational market actor, oh yeah) this glut of waste running out of the place is stupefying. Really, we cannot go on like this for another day, every American can be recruited to help conserve and alleviate so many national and planetary problems.

Conservation is a deep well of long-term commitment with immensely gratifying instant small steps to get started. Incandescent bulbs? Not one is sold after 2009, by next Christmas every house in the country is at 100% florescent. Insulate the attic, then insulate the walls, replace or fix the windows, fix any problem doors, slay the zombies.

It’s a creeper, soon the most efficient car is looked for, then solar cells on the roof and a wind turbine on the back fence, with every amp fed back into the grid more money is saved, the Middle East don’t get a dime of it, and Al Gore is a little more at peace.

Happy optimism and ironclad faith in accomplishment has never been an overriding worldview of mine, I’m sorry to say, but in energy conservation I am a vibrant white angel of human goodness, baby, I so know we can do this. For those who always scoff and sneer that America could never just be free of imported oil, a childishly easy goal to reach, well, for ecological moral reasons alone I wish they could see how incredibly damaging and foolish that pessimism is, there is no other option but success here.

The Obama Administration can keep the puzzling almost-do-nothing 30 year energy goals from the campaign, or choose to unite the country in conservation. I hope with all my soul I don’t have to watch this opportunity wasted.

[1] Morro Bay, I’ve found, has a disproportionate number of wtf! elements for a town of 10,000. This first is the amazing power plant with triple foreboding Orwellian cooling towers right next to Morro Rock. Discussions are underway to take the horrendous eyesores down, but the issue is how they ever got here in the first place—out of all possible locations in California for a power plant this had to be chosen? What on earth is the matter with us?

The second is the presence of duck hunters right at the border of the bird sanctuary, yesterday morning a righteous mellow contemplation with a vista of moored boats, sand dunes and a glorious dawn was utterly, instantly immolated by multiple shattering shotgun blasts, concussions making my ears ring as hapless mallards tumbled out of the sky. People must have the right to hunt in this world, okay, but right next to the sanctuary in front of hotel guests? Jesus. I love Morro Bay but these wtf! elements will sully my memory of the place, I’m afraid.

paradox :: 6:05 AM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!