I read Mr. Obama’s speech with great interest this morning curious to see if the word “sustainable” would show up anywhere. It did not. He pointed out that we have a problem with oil:
“For decades, we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered. For decades, we’ve talked and talked about the need to end America’s century-long addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires. Time and again, the path forward has been blocked — not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor.”
But his solution is the techno one of shifting from oil to wind and solar. His implied message was that “happy motoring” must continue some way or another. Continued growth is the only solution. That continued growth might be able to evolve from a new, clean, green, energy industry.
“Each of us has a part to play in a new future that will benefit all of us. As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs -– but only if we accelerate that transition.”
Unfortunately, wind turbines, solar panels and energy efficient windows will not power the fleet of cars and trucks we currently have in service; certainly not in the way that petroleum does.
We’ll have a commission and a study and a new manager for the Minerals Management Service and a battle and a challenge and we’ll “fight for the America we want for our children. Even if we’re unsure exactly what that looks like. Even if we don’t yet know precisely how we’re going to get there. We know we’ll get there.” This is pretty stern stuff, isn’t it?
Obama’s speech ends with a call to prayer—a faith-based solution. I’m starting to feel sorry for this guy.
But I guess we won’t talk about how to create a sustainable future because that probably wouldn’t be too good for business. Apparently, we’ll just wait for the oily deja vu that is certain to come again. Oh wait, this Gulf story is the deja vu.