Thursday, June 17, 2010

Recommended Reading

President Obama's Oval Office address Tuesday night was intended by his handlers to tackle the BP oil spill head-on, with many preemptively comparing it to JFK's "We will land on the moon" exhortation from '61 in its ability to galvanize the public in charting a course away from fossil fuel dependance.  And yet, most of the reaction has been muted at best.  Andrew Wood examines  Obama's Tuesday speech in terms of what was said and -- more tellingly -- what wasn't.  A highlight:
...our war is not against this particular spill, dreadful as it is. Nor is the problem solely with British Petroleum. In fact, protestors who take pride in picketing their neighborhood BP gas stations, only to fuel their SUVs at another station down the street, are pointing their weapons in the wrong direction.

Our struggle is with a notion that American horizons must never be constrained by reality, that we can have our cars and lawns, and certainly our extravagant houses, without considering the price we pay by maintaining a society with so little regard for efficiency or sustainability.

Our ongoing economic recession, where we first heard the term "Jingle Mail" to represent the growing clammer of homeowners mailing their keys to the bank to stop drowning in underwater mortgages, is merely the first shock to a system that has endured longer than we deserve. Since World War II, when we promised ourselves an endless cornucopia of suburban houses and bulging refrigerators, our war has been against reality. And now reality has the upper hand.
Much more at the link.

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