Friday, 28 January 2011

Oil Spill, Tea Party Unites With Green Party For Carbon Free Future

What have we done? While I do not live in the area affected by the Gulf Spill, I am depressed, full of rage and deeply frightened. What future are we leaving our children?
I am so tired of the political bickering. It is time to stop the finger pointing and start taking responsibility. We need to end our reliance on oil, coal and nuclear energy. Yet no politician seems to be talking this way. The politicians are stuck in a system of special-interest money, gotcha politics and biased media.
If people do not begin to act we will have only more of the same from our leaders. Tea partiers - your "drill baby drill" cue card came from the oil industry. But the greedy forces who owned the media, control our food supply, dominate the banking sector and drive America's politicians awoke a sleeping giant in genuine tea partiers. At America's core is a self-reliant, can-do spirit to make things better for the next generation.
Why do we need to end our reliance oil, coal and nuclear? Climate change is real. The fact that there is so much confusion on climate change is a sad commentary on the way we currently share information. The clear scientific consensus that the Earth is warming and humans are the primary cause.
Nuclear energy is seen by some as a savior because nuclear energy does not add to climate change. But the lesson glaring to be learned from the gulf oil spill is humility. There is no such thing as a fail safe. It is morally wrong to use nuclear energy when it has hazardous waste lasts for tens of thousands of years.
How do we end our reliance on oil, coal and nuclear? A few oddballs have been lighting the way. A resident on the Minnesota/Canada border uses geothermal to heat his home. It works even on the coldest days. A young farmer family lives off the grid and totally sustainable. Vibrant Amish communities enjoy a simpler, more certain and morally responsible life.
Maybe the transition to a post carbon future can be fun and easy! This does not eliminate hard work. My hands are blistered from digging up a community garden on land owned by a local church. As individuals we need to become hyper-aware of where we are getting our food. Factory farming is wrong.
Politically, I've joined the Citizen Climate lobby, which advocates a direct, steadily increasing fee on CO2 with all the revenue returned to every household. Dr. James Hansen calls it the "People's Climate Stewardship Act." The fee would start at $15 per ton of CO2 and increase $10-15 a year. Within a decade, green energy would be competitive with coal and oil. At that point, the fee would produce a "carbon dividend" of $1,500 for each person and shield households from the impact of rising energy costs. During a committee hearing last year, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said, "I wish we would just talk about a carbon tax, 100 percent of which would be returned to the American people. So there's no net dollars that would come out of the American people's pockets."
There are answers we can agree upon. As we bear witness to the destruction in the gulf, we need the courage to face our pain. Instead of anger, choose action. Grow your own food and buy it from people you know. Conserve energy. Support the People' Climate Stewardship Act.