Vision Matters

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

your carbon footprint is insignificant- your vote matters

Posted as a comment to Doc Searls 'can life keep up with death'

It doesn't matter if there is an infinite amount of fossil fuel. Burning ancient sunshine for the last 160 years has released sufficient 'sequestered' CO2 to add 15% more than has been in circulation in the air and oceans during the 10,000 years that encompass the 'civilized' era, meaning since agriculture really started.

The move to current sunshine ( including wind and other natural sources) of energy will occur whenever economics make it cheaper than the current version of coal and oil. The 'will' question is will we engage this process to our advantage by shifting the game of subsidies ( including military support of importing oil- a $300 billion a year game without the current wars)?

The opportunity is to make fossil fuel like salt- a cheap commodity we used to go to war over. Will the Henry Ford of clean personal transportation be American? Or more importantly, will he/she headquarter the company in the US? Cheap clean energy solves most of our foreign policy problems in the near term while increasing national security. It will also guarantee economic vitality and leadership for the next century, while being the right thing to do environmentally and set up the world to adapt to the climate changes already committed to.

This November, we will elect a Congress that will answer these questions. The results will be whether we adapt fast and avoid the kind of die back previous civilizations experienced, and the vast suffering related. Will we let those who are rich under the current model, but clearly don't feel rich enough continue to keep their interests above the common good?

Each of the current candidates could be the leader to call for a national program for clean domestically created energy. McCain has been on the Global Warming wagon with Hillary for years. Getting all of them to commit to a thirty year federally funded program to produce the result ( not the technology- let the private sector fight for the federal prize money by producing the result however they might) will promise that the next Congress passes spending bills that will guarantee demand for reinvention of energy building and transportation sectors.

So go make it an issue this election. Make your local, state and national candidates commit to smart aggressive use of the government's power as a consumer, as well as setting the rules for investment and energy.