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Recession Is Hurting More Than Our Bank Accounts

Image source: http://www.tages.biz/index.php?module=news&page=readmore&news_id=311

Image source: Tages

It can be easy to lose focus on other things when we’re fighting to pay our light bill, even things as large as the planet… but if I’ve learned one thing from the Presidential elections this year it’s that younger people in our country are engaged and passionate about the future.

The upside to that is that these are the people who know best how to do what we need at this time — multitask!

While we need to address our financial problems, we also need to remain focused on foreign affairs, the war on terror, energy, health care and a wide range of additional, important issues.

If we do need to shift focus anywhere, I suggest we abandon the war on drugs. It’s un-winnable and the fight itself oppressive to our economic growth; so see the abandonment as a positive move towards fixing the economy if you must.

One place we can’t lose focus though, is the environment. In the past few weeks I’ve read several disturbing news reports which suggest that our global economic challenges are now threatening much of the encouraging progress it looked like we were making towards cleaner and renewable energy sources.

Several weeks ago the New York Times reported that European leaders were demanding the trade bloc backpedal on the pledge to cut greenhouse emissions by 20% as well as generate at-least 20% of their power through renewable sources by 2020.

Now I’m hearing that oil man, T. Boone Pickens, is backing off his mega wind project in Texas due to cheaper natural gas options as prices have fallen.

Apparently as long as burning fossil fuels is cheap enough Mr. Pickens doesn’t really care about the planet or future of our children and grandchildren.

While I usually agree with conservatives that a free marketplace and competition will drive innovation and advances, there are areas and times where industry simply needs to be dragged, kicking and screaming, onto the right path. That’s an essential role of a government that’s “for the people” in my opinion.

Shifting energy from fossil fuels to renewables is one of those areas, and this is one of those times.

Unfortunately, as the European leaders displayed it doesn’t look as though there’s enough backbone and will among governments to do the heavy lifting against big energy. And despite the rhetoric, I have serious doubts our President-Elect Obama will be able to do this here in America either once he takes office.

So, what do we do? If people really want to make a change, to protect our future and the future of our children, are we capable of forcing our leaders and corporations to bend to our needs and do the right thing?

I only hope so, because it looks like real progress in fighting climate change is only going to come from we the people.

Technorati Tags: climate change, renewable energy, t. boone pickens

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Posted by Scott Bannon on November 13, 2008.

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