Tuesday, October 21, 2008

On the Spot

Yes, it’s important that “regular folks” like Ingrid Jackson of Tennessee put Presidential candidates on the spot (debate #2). Would they boost green jobs? Would they avert climate change in time?

But putting THEM on the spot is nowhere near enough. No President will fund eco-friendly employment if 51% of voters refuse to foot the bill. No President will aggressively fight global warming if 51% of us aren’t willing to cut our own emissions without being compelled by government decree. No candidate has forgotten President Carter’s crushing defeat after he warned us to tighten our belts and live within our means – economic and ecological.

Tragically, we-the-people are still far more concerned about holding our leaders to account than demanding accountability from ourselves. Just look at the incredible discrepancy between media treatment of politicians and corporate executives versus the man on the street. Back when "pain at the pump" was headline news, did any reporter ask an ordinary citizen, "Excuse me, sir, but did America invade and occupy the Mideast for your oil?" Have you ever asked that question yourself? Great lies and greater evils flourish when such candor is taboo.

You and I need to stop waiting for Washington! Let’s create green jobs for ourselves and our neighbors – and pay for them ourselves. Let’s start a transportation revolution – beginning with 100% renewable self-locomotion via our own legs. Let’s decide how we’ll slash our CO2 emissions to safe levels by 2020 – and get down to it. And let’s stop wars for energy which are being waged on our behalf against humanity and nature – petroleum from the strife-torn Mideast, oil sands from Canada's vast forests, and coal from beneath the pristine mountaintops of Appalachia.

Because if we don’t make this stuff happen from the grassroots up, it ain't gonna happen at all.