28 January 2010


It’s hard not to love Obama. He’s handsome, smart, thoughtful, and seems to say the right things. And that smile when he’s waiting for the audience to get his joke is so cute.

But, when one listens to what is said (on the environment, anyway), shock should be the reaction. As a solution to our energy needs, he advocates: offshore drilling, “clean” coal, untapped natural gas deposits and nuclear. Those same words emanated from the mouth of his predecessor and we hated it. Offshore drilling will quickly despoil those marine habitats, overwhelming the already threatened fish populations. And of course more oil spills will be the norm. Clean coal doesn’t exist when one examines the life-cycle of the fuel, period. Carbon capture and sequestration don’t exist at present, and tests indicate that they will consume 25% of the energy produced by the fuel they're supposed to clean. And who’s to say that the carbon will stay buried in the old mine shafts they want to use for the purpose? Nothing else does.

"Untapped natural gas" means deposits like the Marcellus Shale formation, the extraction of which has been an environmental disaster from the first drilling. And nuclear, even if we could do it without the releases and accidents, is highly dangerous to plant neighbors. The answer is ruthless conservation and low-impact technologies. Now.

His appeal to bipartisanism is well and good, but government won’t do squat unless we, the people demand it. Stick your head out the window and shout it.

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