In reference to the post here a few days ago In Case You Missed It -- the Time is Now, Jon Stewart reminded me that every American President since Nixon made a call to arms to end America's dependence on foreign oil. Obviously, nothing was done (although Nixon needs to be credited with signing the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and creating the Environmental Protection Agency).
How is Obama's semi-tough speech this week any different?
Off the cuff, the difference is people are getting it, really getting it, that the US's addiction to petroleum is bad on several levels. Reagrdless of which side of the aisle you sit, pick your issue and petroleum is there. National security, the economy, the environment.
There is nothing to say though that Congress will actually come through. Ideally, those people we elected would initiate a Carbon tax, remove petroleum subsidies, and make the tough decisions, show the political courage, and imagine this -- the leadership -- necessary to move this country to a renewable energy economy. Not by 2025, not starting in 2015, but now. Now is the time.
Yes, we will still need petroleum for quite some time, but there is a difference between continuing our addiction and weaning ourselves of it.
It's not all on the politicians, either. We the people must show our own kind of courage and try everyday to see the big picture. And we must stay focused and not let oursleves get distracted by the naysayers. Naysayers often have their own agendas; there are a lot of people making a lot of money on the status quo of the petroluem economy, and they have no interest in changing. It's time to find new ways to make money in the renewable energy economy, and leave behind those unable or unwilling to evolve.
We certainly can't rely on petroleum companies. Don't listen to them. They're still making billions of dollars giving us what we've always wanted, or what the infrastructure juggernaut has fed us for nearly a century. Automakers, too. Been there, done that. Time to shift our demand and our habits and evolve into a smarter, cleaner, and safer society. Send the message in our buying habits, our votes, and our voices. Let's move on.