Sunday, July 20, 2008

An EcoChallenge We Can Believe In

By John Kubicek

Our favorite hysterical comedian Al Gore gave a speech the other day in Washington, D.C., and the big news came when he said, "Today I challenge our nation to commit to producing 100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within 10 years." Does it sound even close to being sane?

Even Hank Green, writing for EcoGeek, mentioned how Barack Obama didn't show a lot of enthusiasm for the 10-year challenge. Barack didn't endorse, let alone mention, the 10-year deadline. Why? Well, as Hank wrote, "That is probably because the 10-year deadline seems a little insane. Gore's insistence on it's practicality is somewhat puzzling to me. But I certainly don't mind crazy goals..."

Now, let me tweak your mind just a little bit: I believe it IS possible! Your first thought, of course, is that John is losing it. But allow me to reassure you, I haven't. No, I haven't gone over to the dark side. I still disagree with the "Global Warming" hysteria, especially the way Al Gore makes us want to believe that mankind will not survive a coming apocalypse of massive climate changes. I don't believe in his desires for carbon taxes, global socialism, and bringing the American dream of freedom to an end. No, I haven't been converted to environmentalism.

In fact, as I've mentioned before, "I'm Seeing Red Whenever I See Green," and I stand by that still to this day.

However, it wasn't long after writing that piece that we began to see the price of oil increase at a quick pace, raising the prices we paid at the pump to keep our cars running, and of course, raising prices in many other places, because of the rising cost of transportation. Recent inflation figures came out that verified the huge increases in our expenditures for groceries.

Much of what I am saying can be summarized by the way Al Gore started his speech in D.C.:

There are times in the history of our nation when our very way of life depends upon dispelling illusions and awakening to the challenge of a present danger. In such moments, we are called upon to move quickly and boldly to shake off complacency, throw aside old habits and rise, clear-eyed and alert, to the necessity of big changes. Those who, for whatever reason, refuse to do their part must either be persuaded to join the effort or asked to step aside. This is such a moment. The survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk. And even more – if more should be required – the future of human civilization is at stake.

I don’t remember a time in our country when so many things seemed to be going so wrong simultaneously. Our economy is in terrible shape and getting worse, gasoline prices are increasing dramatically, and so are electricity rates. Jobs are being outsourced. Home mortgages are in trouble. Banks, automobile companies and other institutions we depend upon are under growing pressure. Distinguished senior business leaders are telling us that this is just the beginning unless we find the courage to make some major changes quickly.

I really do not believe that many of us could argue with those points. We really do have to find the courage to make some big changes. However, those changes don't have to be by higher taxes and deflating our "lavish" lifestyles. In fact, it is this author's opinion that the challenges we face can not only be solved, but that it can result in a better WORLD, a more peaceful world, with much less poverty and better health. What may happen is that even the countries that do not enjoy the benefits we have in America can become much better off.

Despite the ongoing debate that higher amounts of carbon in the atmosphere leads to catastrophic global warming, or possibly climate changes, I can see the great benefits to all of us by replacing hydro-carbon fuels with other sources of energy! Having a cleaner environment will help us all. Yes, I said, "having a cleaner environment," and I will go out on a limb to state that increased oil production won't help us reach that goal. There is a better way.

Let me repeat that: There is a better way. This is another mind tweaker for you to contemplate. Al Gore's 10-year challenge can be done; not for the same purpose and not in the same way as he would have it be accomplished. There's a much better way, with a much greater purpose, with by far better results.

There is a way. The challenges we face can be overcome. For the sake of our imagination, for a minute let me pretend that I was writing our President's next speech, where he says the following:

Ladies and gentleman, our country is facing a great challenge. The security of the United States of America is threatened. And what many people of this great nation are wondering, is if there is the leadership available to overcome the obstacles we face. As your President, I know there are people out there that still believe we can persevere. I would agree with those that know that the liberty we have been given, along with the God-given talents and ingenuity that will continue to sustain the freedom we enjoy, regardless of all that has come upon us in new and great challenges.

The focus of our newest concerns is whether or not America will be able to have the continued prosperity that we have enjoyed in the last few centuries. I do, with all my heart, believe that we can, and we will, continue to be the shining light on the hill. But, how can that be accomplished considering the great impact on our economy and our lifestyles, should this great nation not have the energy to keep fueling the amazing growth that we've seen over the last decade, or for that matter, the last few centuries?

It is simple, but it will take the massive amount of ingenuity and the freedom to allow us to put our newest innovations into place. Our form of government need not to be a deterrant to finding better ways to fuel our economy. No, it is just the opposite of that; our leadership, the people you vote for, should be finding ways to give you all exciting new incentives to find ways to replace our dependence on foreign oil. Yes, you may be surprised to hear that from this administration, but we have a belief that we can find alternatives to our energy needs. With capitalism and free enterprise, new solutions can be found.

And today, I announce that new solutions have been found. All it needs is the leadership and reduction of the amount of government regulations that can instill the great amount of fortitude and hope this country has in it's normal prosperity; this can be done. I am telling you today, that in place of oil - fossil fuels, if you want to call it that - that one of the ways to harness the power of solar energy will be in developing the production of energy from alcohol, a source of energy that does not produce those hydro-carbons that some say have resulted in catastrophic climate change.

In conclusion, I believe that there is hope for this country, and for the world as we know it. You know, America wasn't just an accident. There should not be a fear of what can happen, but a hope and the will to get through what faces us in the future. We can do it. And the many generations of Americans, and in many places on this planet, will thank us for it. What I believe is that fear can be replaced with faith and hope. God bless you, and God bless America! I believe in you, and I believe that God isn't done with this country.

Related stories:
I'm Seeing Red Whenever I See Green
Better Living Through "Chemergy"

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