This is the message that Republicans tell you all the time. We are too weak to maintain our traditional freedoms in the face of terrorism. We are too weak to condemn and eschew torture. We are too weak to maintain our levees. We are too weak to handle the truth from our politicians. We are too weak to run our own ports. We even appear too weak to keep up technologically with Osama bin Laden's media men, according to Rumsfeld!
But where we hear this message the most is when it comes with facing the impending crisis known as Global Warming. Although a handful of deniers remain loudly vocal, more than 95% of climate scientists agree that global warming is in full swing, that our energy policies are primarily to blame, and that we had better get busy DOING SOMETHING about it if we don't want the consequences to be beyond our control. Though many details are still debated, Global Warming is so solidly supported as a scientific theory that even Bush eventually had to publicly admit its truth. And our addiction to oil is so clearly a major contributing factor to Global Warming that even Bush has had to publicly admit it. If you want to read more about the overwhelming evidence for Global Warming (as well as some discussion of the foolishness of its deniers), please read this and this as well as the information on the Union of Concerned Scientists website. And for one of the most authoritative and respected discussion boards on Global Warming, including the latest science and controversies, please go to Real Climate, which is put together by Dr. Gavin Schmidt, a climate modeller at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York who was cited by Scientific American as one of the 50 Research Leaders of 2004.
But, the Republicans tell us that we are too weak to do anything about Global Warming and we just have to sit back and hope for the best. We just are victims who can't do anything to avert disaster. That is the message given to America by the Republicans.
BULL! I say the Republicans are WRONG. America is fully capable of facing the crisis of Global Warming. All we need is LEADERSHIP, which is one thing the Republicans are completely unable to give us.
Here is what we know: Global Warming is happening and our energy policies are contributing to the problem. Our cities are polluted and our energy policies are contributing to the problem. Our trade deficit is growing rapidly and our energy policies are a large part of this deficit. Terrorism is in large part funded by oil profits and the major oil producing nations of the Middle East are also the major sources of support for al Qaeda. And our energy policies are contributing to the problem of terrorism.
A REAL leader would come right out and say we can and will change our energy policies to in one broad stroke help address ALL of these problems. What does alternative energy mean? It means STRENGTH for America. What does energy independence mean? It means STRENGTH for America.
Other nations are doing it. Australia looks to solar. Patagonia (Argentina) looks to wind. Brazil looks to biofuels from sugar. Sweden looks to biofuels from its forests. What about America? What ever happened to our technological edge, our American ingenuity? Instead of acting, our leaders are denying that we have the strength to do anything.
It takes strength and leadership to get the ball rolling, but the rewards of making the change are highly encouraging. Alternative energy means LOCAL and AMERICAN solutions to these problems. Alternative energy means each region of the US discovers its own best energy source--solar, geothermal, wind, biofuels, etc. America has the diversity of climate and resources to take advantage of pretty much EVERY alternative energy source. This would mean AMERICAN jobs, stronger communities, energy independence, cleaner air, a MUCH smaller or eliminated trade deficit, and a direct and real response to global warming. It is so obviously advantageous that it seems the height of insanity that it isn't being done! What we face now is so inferior to what we would face if we made the change that I do not understand why we cling to our current energy policies. Companies already exist that are invested in every single alternative energy resource in America. Companies like US Energy Systems, Inc., focused on geothermal, and Native Energy, which is a Native American owned and operated business that builds wind generation projects. Other companies (publicly traded ones) can be found HERE. Distribution companies, like Green Mountain Energy are offering alternative energy choices that you can use as YOUR energy source for YOUR home. In New York, even ConEd has a Green Energy option for powering your home that Joy and I have opted into. Hybrid cars that get 50 mpg are already available (I have experienced this in a Prius). So the solutions already exist and you and I can individually choose them. What is lacking is the national leadership to lead our entire nation on a saner, better path.
Energy Independence for a STRONG America, a STRONG economy and a STRONG environment. Alternative energy for our future and our children's future. Alternative energy for a BETTER future. Don't listen to the Republicans. America is strong and America can do what it takes to assure our children's future. Challenge your politicians, local, state and Federal, to become LEADERS in the fight to keep America strong for our children.
KEYWORDS: Global Warming, Greenhouse Gas, Energy Policy, Alternative Energy
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