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photo by Sheri Dixon

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sustainable Sleight of Hand

It's one of the Great Buzzwords of this (and part of the previous) century.

Sustainable.

As in Sustainable Energy Source.

Whether or not there's an actual shortage of oil, most people are coming to realize that maybe we SHOULDN'T have all our energy eggs in one basket- since lots of things can happen in addition to merely running out of something. There could be a natural disaster that drives up the price (Hey- it could happen. Oh. No. Wait. It just did), or the people overseas who get in the way of harvesting OUR oil could become finally and completely fed up with us blowing the shit out of the dirt on top of it- dirt they happen to own, live on, and love- and kick our asses out of there.

So everyone on all sides of the political and environmental arguments agree- something needs to change.

Here's where it gets weird.

The Need More Fossil Fuels Crowd says "Drilling Offshore and Clean Coal Technology-
THIS is what we need to sustain the American Way of Life".

The Tree Hugging Owl Kissing Crowd says "Solar, Wind and Hydroelectric is our Future-
THIS is what we need to sustain the American Way of Life".

Factions on both sides promote nuclear energy, and factions don't, but the ending statement in every case is
"This is what we need to sustain the American Way of Life".

What I can't understand is why a nation supposedly filled with adults can't look at our recent history of use/abuse, waste and appalling requirement for our own ultimate creature comfort at all times and at any cost with objectivity and realize

"Damn. What a country of whiny selfish bastards we are".

Why isn't anyone saying what really needs saying, which is to follow the above revelation with

"We need to change our definition of the American Way of Life to include things like respect for our planet, respect for others who LIVE on our planet, and to live our lives in a way that proves we care about more than just what WE think WE need RIGHT NOW- that we care about crazy things like what kind of planet we're leaving to our children, and their children, and THEIR children- that we're NOT different from our parents and grandparents who did WITHOUT stuff to ensure a better future for those they loved, and that they would be very very disappointed in our refusal to grow up and do the same for our children. That we're very sorry and promise to put away our gas guzzling toys and to do better, to make them and our children proud of us".

But that wouldn't fit on a T-shirt.

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