July 24, 2010

Finally! Obama Announces His Green Energy Plan. (Well, I wish.)

Re-Energize. A 10-point Plan.

I keep waiting for President Obama to present some pomped-up prime-time announcement a la An Inconvenient Truth, complete with PowerPoint slide show, emphatic arm gestures and impassioned syllable-stressing (“exTINCTion”  – “CRIsis” – “GREENwash” – “alTERNative FUELS!”). The announcement’s purpose will be to unveil the US’s new energy plan, called simply RE-ENERGIZE.

During the talk, which will be aired on every major network, he’ll succinctly but persuasively outline ten powerful new initiatives designed to simultaneously create jobs AND save the effing planet from our own rapacious ways. The ten initiatives will combine to create a cohesive message that says loud and clear: THE TIME HAS COME TO FIND A BETTER WAY.

The plan will kick-start a new chapter in US history, marking the 2010s as the decade the US finally mobilized to save its own ass and the planet’s. It’ll mark a new national ethos—one that embraces community, sustainability and the well-being of all creatures. The new culture that emerges will act to shun bottom-line ethics, uncool extravagant wealth, end finite-resource extraction and punish labor abuses.

I know. I know. I have watched too many movies. But I’ve also been sadly underwhelmed by Obama’s not having pounced on what seems to be such a pivotal moment. So since our president is—so far—content to appear monotone and defeated when it comes to environmental policy, I’ve come up with a ten-point plan myself.

If you find these woefully incomplete and staggeringly radical/naive (and they are), do forgive me. I’m just an English teacher.


Mission: RE-ENERGIZE (to save the effing planet)

The funding will be outrageous. It’s got to be. No more half-assed plans to “green” the planet, whatever that means. What we need is a paradigm shift. Presented here is a brazen, energetic and unyielding blueprint for a livable earth.

  1. The New Ag Army – Troops will be redeployed to continue the good work of folks who’ve begun Community Sustained Agriculture projects (CSAs), urban farms and edible schoolyards. M-4s will be exchanged for gardeners’ munitions: hoe, hand-shovel, apron, manual seeder and knee-pads.
  2. Independent Journalism & Media Literacy Education – These will become part of the core curriculum at every public elementary school in the nation. Keywords taught in kindergarten: objectivity, bias, punditry, collusion, pathos and quack.
  3. Bicycles, Bicycles, Bicycles – Major funding will go to: building and maintaining safe bicycle lanes on every road in the US; city planning that imagines the bicycle as the primary mode of transportation; independent bicycle makers, repair-people and parts suppliers.
  4. Re-Energized Rappers – The Grammy committee will add “lyrical content” to their award’s criteria. Blackalicious will soon rise to Kanye stardom.
  5. The Commons – The newly employed will: build or rebuild an accessible and centralized green space in every community. Activities carried out in the commons will include: poetry readings, meditation, yoga, tai chi, drum circles, legal pot deals and childrens’ talent shows.
  6. Re-Energized Trust Bust – Objectives: prevent monopoly (again); put the kibosh on unlimited-growth economics; award “citizen soldiers” who whistle-blow and/or arrest monopolistic execs.
  7. Closed-Circuit Businesses Boost – The plan: re-allocate all subsidies, withdrawing corporate welfare and placing monies in the hands of individuals who’ve drafted closed-circuit business proposals that incorporate a plan for product-lifecycle responsibility and the well-being of all employees.
  8. The Invisible Hand Has Warts – This is another part of the public-school curriculum which teaches the wonders of the free market AND ITS LIMITATIONS. Teachers will facilitate discussions about the magic of markets and will ask fundamental questions like, “If there is consumer demand for a weapon that will destroy all life, does the market have a responsibility to supply that demand?”
  9. General Schmelectric – The circadian rhythm will enjoy record popularity thanks to a campaign that sings the praises of candle-lit evenings, fire-powered heating & cooking and a starrier sky.
  10. Nobel Peace Prize for Communities – … And this most prestigious award in the land goes to… Portland! or Boulder! or—imagine it—the Jersey Shore, for instituting RE-ENERGIZE initiatives and for being the first US community to achieve zero emissions!

C’mon, Mr. President… The moment is ripe. All we’re waiting for is you.

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Leigha Butler  |  Contribution: 1,100