But to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives. And that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country. It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development. It means continued investment in advanced biofuels and clean coal technologies. And, yes, it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America.
So this is one of the things that Obama said in his State of the Union address the other night. I've been trying to find some comment on this passage among the progressive and green blogs I frequent, and have been disturbed to read nary a peep on this. (If anyone has a link to such a blog commenting on this, please post it in the comments.)
People like to talk about Obama as a visionary, as someone who wants to change the way we do things in this country. I point them to this.
This is not visionary. This is not change. This is more of the unsustainable growth-at-any-cost nonsense that caused the very problems he alludes to when he mentions the climate bill.
At a time where he touts fiscal conservation, where he advocates spending freezes on social programs (but not on war, oh, no, never that!) and talks about how awful it is to saddle our children with debt and a giant deficit... he says nothing about the environmental costs of our "profitable" attitudes toward energy production, and energy consumption, nor the effects of those things on future generations.
How about a freeze on fossil fuel use? How about exploring new ways to reduce our energy consumption and to increase efficiency? How about building a new generation of buildings that don't require so much fuel to heat and which can contribute positively to the energy grid through rooftop solar? How about investing in waste reduction, and in educating people on the real world costs of mindless consumption?
Oh, yeah, right. If we don't consume consume consume the nation dies.
There are reasons that this passage got thunderous applause and cheers from both sides of the aisle. Those are the reasons why we are in trouble, and will fail to do what needs to be done. They are in part the reasons why corporations have won the right to participate in our political process, part of the reason why political rhetoric is always about getting more for less, rather than learning to live with less so we can have more.
Obama may be many things, but when it comes to energy and the environment, he is neither Hope nor Change, but rather a smiling version of Business As Usual, Full Speed Ahead.