Calhoun’s Cannons, The Bay News, Morro Bay, CA For July 5, 006
Hot Air Rising
In a recent TV interview, former vice-president Al Gore expressed optimism that the earth-changing, global-warming events depicted in his new film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” could be mitigated somewhat in order to lessen some of the worst damage because, said he, when governments finally get mobilized, things can happen very quickly.
As he spoke, this government was busy pandering to their bases for political talking points in November as party loyalists in congress spent days pushing for a Constitutional amendment . . . to ban flag burning.
While Rome and the world was actually burning up, this government was busy fiddling to prevent the incredible danger to the environment and to the social fabric of this nation caused by millions and millions of people out in the streets . . . burning Old Glory. You’ve seen them, haven’t you? You can hardly breathe from all the smoke.
Unlike our president, Mr. Gore actually is a worldly traveler, so perhaps some of his optimism comes from seeing other governments around the globe starting to mobilize, other governments who actually “got it” some time ago and who are setting policies that actually support “green” industrial and scientific innovation.
In this country, a few years ago, the Pentagon issued a report outlining the direct threat global warming will have to our own national security and to the stability and security of the world. The Pentagon aligning itself with a bunch of tree-hugging, liberal, hippie-dippy, French-looking Commies? Now that’s an event you would think would rattle this government to the core. But that report has languished while this government spent time in Congress again pandering to their bases for political talking points in November by trying to get a constitutional amendment . . . to ban gay marriage. You’ve seen them also, haven’t you? Millions of gay people getting married in the streets right next to all those flag burners? You can hardly get down the road through all the smoke and thrown rice.
Of course, Al Gore’s optimism may also come from understanding that so long as this government’s loyalty remains with its corporate masters, the only hope We the People have will be . . . We the People. But that will only happen if we wake up, pay attention, and realize that if we love our grandchildren – and I’m sure we do – then we, individually and collectively, will have to get out ahead of the curve and change the world ourselves. After all, if any of us were paying attention in this country, we should have learned one thing from the Katrina disaster: This government is out to lunch and you, dear citizen, are on your own, so good luck to you.
And it may turn out to be the supreme irony that individuals, acting alone together, are the ones who actually can move the quickest to avert disaster. How? Simple.
In a flexible, fast-responding capitalistic global economy, it all comes down to this: What we value is what we spend our money on. And it is that dollar clutched in the palm of our individual hands that has the power to change the world and change the future.
So, what’s it to be? Gas guzzler or gas sipper? Incandescent light bulbs or compact fluorescents? Tax subsidized greenhouse-gas-producing energy or tax subsidized non-polluting renewable energy? The list is only as limited as our imaginations.
Industries and innovation always follow the money; governments and global movements always follow the money; the future always follows the money. And guess who has the money? What we buy today is truly a case of Pay It Forward, a choice each of us can make that may turn out to be the most precious gift we can give ourselves: The difference between life and death for our grandchildren.