I was just reading Thomas Friedman’s column in the NY Times. (He’s the author of “The World is Flat – A Brief History of the 21st Century”.) He referring to Rudy Giuliani’s speech at the Republican National Convention, where at one point, Giuliani led the assembly in a chant of “Drill, baby, drill!” when referring to the question of offshore drilling as a solution to the nation’s energy challenges.
As a person in recovery, I find it nonsensical to suggest that we combat our addiction to oil by feeding it. As an engineer, I recall while in industry that managers were saying we needed to kill the “SOW” (same old way). A couple of popular sayings come to mind… “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.” “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
Why would Republicans, the party of business, want to focus our country on breathing life into a 19th-century technology — fossil fuels — rather than giving birth to a 21st-century technology — renewable energy? As I have argued before, it reminds me of someone who, on the eve of the I.T. revolution — on the eve of PCs and the Internet — is pounding the table for America to make more I.B.M. typewriters and carbon paper. “Typewriters, baby, typewriters.”
Of course, we’re going to need oil for many years, but instead of exalting that — with “drill, baby, drill” — why not throw all our energy into innovating a whole new industry of clean power with the mantra “invent, baby, invent?” That is what a party committed to “change” would really be doing.
As one deeply moved by the crisis gripping the planet, I find the lack of leadership in government disheartening. What ever happened to our leaders asking us to make sacrifices to advance the common good? Why is conversation about conservation drowned out by the voices calling for more, always more, let’s satisfy the appetite for energy, let’s continue to increase our consumption, etc? Of course, I realize that in an election year, politicians are hesitant to ask their constituents to think in terms of sacrifice. I love that quote by JFK, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” And I realize that this quote was from his inauguration address…perhaps he would not have been elected had he said it on the campaign trail…but I’d like to think that we could come together as a nation and as a global community to face together the reality that the planet faces a crisis it has not faced since humans first entered the scene.
Well, I suppose I can always pray that after the election has taken place, the kind of public discourse I find so utterly lacking among many of our leaders will begin to happen.