What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

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Saturday, 21 March 2009

Yes We Must!

As scientists warn that we are fast running out of time to prevent runaway climate change (a global challenge that dwarfs this financial crisis both in size and importance, literally and singularly too big to fail), naysayers claim that the Obama administration is trying to do too much, talking heads and pundits on corporate media are saying we need to slow down on developing a smart grid, and the politicians that are owned by the lobbyists and corporate interests that have created the multipronged mess we are in do everything in their power to remain firmly stuck in the toxic coal waste mud oozing through the towns of Appalachia, President Obama is forging ahead with plans to rebuild the economy on the technologies of the future and put the world on a path towards sustainability. I may not agree with everything he is doing but I am willing to give him leeway to put a plan in place and will continue to try to influence the process through contact with my states' politicians and petitions to the Congress, Senate, and White House. In the meantime is incumbent upon us all to personally reduce wasteful consumerism, increase energy efficiency, invest in sustainability, fight dirty coal and reduce driving (the chief culprits in global warming), and further reduce our carbon footprint by eating local and organic. This isn't about Can Do it is about Must Do.

Here's excerpts from Obama's speech at the SCE Electric Vehicle Technical Center in California as reported on Climate Progress,

"... our greatest discoveries are born not in a flash of brilliance, but in the crucible of a deliberate effort over time. And often, they take something more than imagination and dedication alone — often they take an investment from government. That’s how we sent a man to the moon. That’s how we were able to launch a world wide web. And it’s how we’ll build the clean energy economy that’s the key to our competitiveness in the 21st century.

We’ll do this because we know that the nation that leads on energy will be the nation that leads the world in the 21st century. That’s why, around the world, nations are racing to lead in these industries of the future. Germany is leading the world in solar power. Spain generates almost 30 percent of its power by harnessing the wind, while we manage less than one percent. And Japan is producing the batteries that currently power American hybrid cars.

So the problem isn’t a lack of technology. You’re producing the technology right here. The problem is that, for decades, we have avoided doing what must be done as a nation to turn challenge into opportunity. As a consequence, we import more oil today than we did on 9/11. The 1908 Model T earned better gas mileage than a typical SUV sold in 2008. And even as our economy has been transformed by new forms of technology, our electric grid looks largely the same as it did half a century ago.

So we have a choice to make. We can remain one of the world’s leading importers of foreign oil, or we can make the investments that will allow us to become the world’s leading exporter of renewable energy. We can let climate change continue to go unchecked, or we can help stem it. We can let the jobs of tomorrow be created abroad, or we can create those jobs right here in America and lay the foundation for our lasting prosperity.

... In the next three years, we will double this nation’s supply of renewable energy. We have also made the largest investment in basic research funding in American history — an investment that will spur not only new discoveries in energy, but breakthroughs in science and technology."

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