Saturday, December 08, 2007

Congress: out of touch? or just bought and paid for?

The so-called leadership of 'merica continues to be woefully out of touch with reality, as most recently evidenced in the Senate's stunningly short-sighted opposition to the current draft of the energy bill.

The passed (235-181) House version contains the first U.S. auto fleet efficiency standards increase since 1975. Can you believe that? 1975 was the last time we raised fuel efficiency? Despite the U.S. auto industry's continual decline and unerringly incompetent business practices-- or perhaps because of it?-- they still seem to own the Congress, as one can conclude from this latest bizarre vote. Between the auto and oil industry lobbies, how does U.S. energy policy reform (i.e., ditching the fossils) have a chance to succeed? Also in jeopardy in this singularly ludicrous failure of the Senate: extension and expansion of renewable energy incentives and credits. Folks, I don't know if you've noticed, but we're in some deep doo-doo at home and abroad because of our addiction to the juice; we, uh, kinda need to get off the stuff so we can, um, save our lives and the planet, yo.

Since it is patently absurd to expect actual leadership from the nose-ringed money-grubbers in D.C. (lobbyists are pulling the nose-rings, duh), I guess it's up to the people to lead themselves. Let's skip the whining and just do what needs to be done: consume with a thought to the present (death, maiming and destruction in Iraq, global warming, species loss) and the future (the coming geopolitical destabilization inevitable from peak oil). Consider your consumption and find ways to reduce it. Walk, bike, or carpool to work (what a concept!), tune up your engine, inflate your tires properly, use public transportation if you're lucky enough to have it.

In short, BECOME AWARE of how your actions affect the world around you. Yes, you are one among millions; but if we as individuals accept responsibility for our own actions, and avoid the petulant excuse of "I'm not going to do it if no one else does it", we can move mountains--- including the mountain of human waste occupying the nation's Capitol.


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