Solar Power isn't Feasible!

Solar Power isn't Feasible!
This cartoon was on the cover of the book "SolarGas" by David Hoye. It echoes the Sharp Solar slogan "Last time I checked nobody owned the sun!"

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Let the Sunshine In: Al Gore's landmark speech at the Democratic Convention

This moving 15 minute speech deserves to be listened to in its entirety by all who care about a promising future for our children. Al Gore passionately describes the differing agendas of the two presidential candidates and makes explicit his experience with big oil and coal hi-jacking American (and Global) politics (taking out a 50 year lease on our Republican party and other politicians, left right and center, and controlling our politics).

As a patriot and conservative who believes in free market enterprise, I have been deeply troubled by the oligopolistic nature of our business practices, particularly over the last 8 embarrassing years. I ask myself, "in order to be considered a good republican or conservative is it really necessary to constantly vote for politicians and policies that constantly hurt people? Do I have to be branded a "knee jerk liberal" in order to see sensible practices put on the political agenda? Is that what our choices have come down to -- do the right thing for our country and be insulted or do the wrong thing in order to be accepted my peers?

How did we let being a good Patriot who believes in freedom and democracy and family values and the right to get ahead through hard work get equated with voting for men whose policies constantly cause damage to the dignity, freedom, security and health of families at home and abroad and to the ecologic services that make life worth living and which preserve God's Creation? How did we let our patriotic call to "serve God and Country" get equated with sacrificing our future to preserve the current wealth of a few callous and greedy men? How did we let the Republican party get hijacked into turning into a party people increasingly see as "the party of the rich"? And how did we let the hope of becoming rich, which is something most aspire to be, and something our intelligence can provide, get turned into a zero sum game that involves hurting somebody else? We must ask our self labeled "neo-con" friends and colleagues, and our religious colleagues, Is this the bounty that the Bible promises us?

Listen as Gore talks about the many great people in our Republican party who have been marginalized by the vicious myopic men currently controlling the White House, turning it from a beacon that could lead us all to prosperity into a fortress protecting only that minority we can differentiate as "the greedy rich" (as opposed to the philanthropic rich, who don't squander wealth on buying multiple luxury homes and unnecessary consumption goods, but who pool capital in order to make needed investments in infrastructure and enterprise and shared dreams), and consider that by casting a resistance vote against McCain's continuance of the Bush/Cheney agenda you will actually help re-empower the true conservatives of our Nation -- the many many many of us who want to conserve our freedoms and our environment and our civilized way of life so that we can all enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I agree with Thomas L. Friedmann of the New York Times who writes,
"Green is the new Red, White and Blue".

Some disparagingly called Vice President/Presidential Candidate Al Gore "wooden" in the past, but he never has failed to move me with his words. When I attended a support rally for him and watched him up close campaigning live in Westwood, when I took a small class that he taught at UCLA on community participation years later and he so warmly shook my hand and encouraged me to continue in my work on behalf of the poor and our environment, and when I saw his film "An Inconvenient Truth" I have always come away emotionally charged. Intelligent words are more important than theatrical postures and expressions (though I think he is a marvelous speaker on all fronts). We need thinking men and women in the White House. In this video clip from the convention for Barack Obama his words moved me to tears (don't be surprised -- when Lyndon B. Johnson made his speech declaring new civil rights legislation Martin Luther King was moved to tears -- when you hear people in power say the right things after so many decades of hearing only lies from politicians it is a moving experience!) . These are important times with massive challenges. We are blessed to have the Obamas and Bidens and the Clintons and Gores working with us to "take back American" and restore our social and ecological harmony. It is up to us, the electorate, to turn the rhetoric into reality -- politicians can only signal the direction and pass the bills that we lobby for. All good leadership really consists of is inspiring people to do their best and being steadfast when we discover "inconvenient truths" that must be addressed.  We the people have to do the hard and real work of rolling up our sleeves and making the change.

1 comment:

Andy said...

T.H., I once again feel proud to be an American. Last Thursday night was magical. First Gore's speech, and then Obama's speech, and 40 million people in the U.S. watched the even on television. For the first time in a long time, Americans are more interested in politics than football, more excited about great challenges than who will win American idol. If Obama wins great things will happen in this country, my friend. I join you and many others in the nation and the world in our excitement that the world's most powerful country appears to be coming to its senses.