The State of the Union just Nuked, Fracked and Clean Coaled Us!

Via on Jan 26, 2011

Tuesday night, the power of special interest money was rather blatantly revealed during President Obama’s State of the Union address. Bowing to compromise and political expediency, at the expense of our clean energy future, we got “clean coaled, fracked and nuked” all in one sentence!  If you didn’t catch it, “Clean Coal”, Natural Gas and Nuclear Power were advocated as part of the solution to our climate crisis and the need for clean renewable energy sources, by our President. If these dirty sources of energy must be part of the energy grid “mix”, during a rapid and radical transition to genuinely clean, renewable energy, please don’t call them clean!  He has to be smarter than that!  This is a direct quote from the President’s transcript:

So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.
Now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they’re selling. So tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: By 2035, 80 percent of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources. (Applause.)
Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all – and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen. (Applause.)

That sounds pretty good, trouble is, most people hear what they want to hear in those words.  The nuclear industry, as you’ll hear below, believe they fit into the “clean energy mix”. Let the Congress and our President know how you feel about being Nuked and Duped!  Here is where you can let them know what you think. It’s easy and only takes a moment!

Here is one more link to 1 Sky – they are urging President Obama to protect the Clean Air Act! Add your own words or just join with awake, aware citizens by signing the 1 SKY letter! Don’t be fooled again, you can count on the climate deniers and the “pragmatist, realists” newly elected to Congress to push back hard on any gains the renewable energy industry has recently made. Don’t forget the Tea Party has placed a number of it’s members in the fray.

Ultimately, all politics are moral, held firmly in the grip of deeply held ideologies and beliefs. These times demand us to evaluate our moral and ethical principles that guide our choices and our behavior. This time in human history also demands that we hold all business and government accountable for their actions and their behavior. They have to hear from us when their actions are inconsistent with sustaining life on a fragile planet.

Transpartisanship is called for, the desire to seek truth across a wide range of political and economic perspectives. As the word suggests, a new public conversation must emerge that moves beyond polarization and finger pointing. What is best for one, must be best for the many, that is the ideal of a democratic republic. Synthesizing the validity of typical political dualities into an inclusive container is our challenge. Freedom, equality and regard for the common good are core values of a vibrant democracy. Personal responsibility is also a core value of a free republic. That responsibility includes being well informed and participating. Even Yogi Berra understood the importance of showing up, when he said: “you’d better attend other peoples funerals, or else they won’t attend yours”!

At least Mr. Obama made an obscure (for anyone younger than 45) reference to Sputnik, the catalyst for the space race. If only he framed our urgent need for totally clean energy solutions in a similar context! If anything we’ve proven, Americans are a competitive people. Heaven forbid you accuse me, (your humble author) of being an extremist, or worse, a “doomsayer”.  The don’t rock the boat “business as usual” crowd want to sidestep the hard reality that we are in a race to preserve life as we know it. If we don’t face this reality and respond with a passionate sense of urgency, we must accept responsibility for the immense suffering of future generations.

Sure it takes courage to change, no one ever said it would be easy, as John Denver used to tell us at his Windstar Foundation. But change we must. If we don’t change our direction, we’re likely to end up where we’re headed! Right now, Even the future scenario planners at Royal Dutch Shell are scared shitless of what they see in the realative near term. They have ceased selling their consulting services, since they could see no positive future on our current course. The good news is, we can change our course!

We’re a “can do” nation! The question is, do we have the guts to do it?  Study how General Motors converted all automobile production to the manufacturing of tanks, practically overnight, when the reality of Hitler and WWII sank in. This case study may bring a glimmer of hope to the equation and our current challenge.

GM claimed it couldn’t be done, they claimed it wasn’t economically feasible, they didn’t wake up until ordered by President Roosevelt to do so. We’re hearing the same resistance from the energy industry today. “It can’t be done”, they cry. “It will ruin our economy”, they cry. “Don’t be a purist, be reasonable, compromise, compromise, compromise”, they cry. We’ve been compromising for more than 30 years while we’ve been treating our ground, our water and the atmosphere as if they were a garbage dump, capable of absorbing and transmuting the by-products and waste of our phenomenal prosperity and consumption.

Ever wonder why there is a Nuclear WARNING symbol?

While most of the American public was consumed by recession fears, this YouTube clip reveals the plan to subsidize the first Nuclear Power Plants to be built in the U.S in 30 years. With clear intention and enough people, it’s not too late to turn things around. Have we forgotten the popular saying: “Power to the People”? Time to step back into the game and educate those who just aren’t paying attention.

This is the current story on nuclear power plants… billions of dollars that won’t be available for true clean / renewable energy!

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Wouldn’t we rather see this image near our energy generating sites instead of skull and cross bones?

Cultivating yin and yang energy in perfect balance

Thomas Jefferson recommended  educating the discretion of voters in the event elected officials couldn’t trust their constituents to make intelligent decisions. Now, it’s up to us to turn the tables around 180 degrees! Let’s educate our law makers!

Do you want this guy, Alex Flint, to be the only one telling your representatives in Congress what to think and how to vote? Time for Elephant Journal readers to apply skillful means, to match how clever the green washing is that comes from advocates who would trash our planet for the sake of money. Activate compassion, cut through our obscurations and attachments, find our true nature and wake up to the liberated beings we are and can become! There is a sacred dimension to all of this. Honoring all the sacred elements and the great mystery of the life force that pulses through everything in the universe is not something to take lightly.

Listen to how Mr. Flint spins the “wisdom” our President embodied by sidestepping the issue of Carbon! He congratulates our President for avoiding the most pressing issue of our generation… the pollution of our environment. The degradation of our biosphere is the focus of concern among the vast majority of all living Nobel Laureates in the sciences, dating back to the Union of Concerned Scientists “Urgent Warning to Humanity” released in 1992. I yearn for the day that transparency, full disclosure and honesty will saturate the consciousness, hearts and minds of our business, industrial and government leaders. Better yet, yours truly and the citizens of the world could wake up and take personal responsibility for our individual daily choices! Individually and cumulatively, we can change the direction of our modern civilization.

It defies the imagination how skillfully the phoney “clean energy advocates” redefine the narrative! Doncha wanna just hug him? Such a dispassionate, eloquent delivery, after all, he’s the “expert” you can trust! Go back and click on the link about Mr. Flint and you’ll understand what I’m saying. No hidden agenda or conflict of interest for Mr. Flint, eh? Remember the definition of an expert?  “X” is an unknown quantity and “spert” is a “drip under pressure”!  If they tell you it’s not about money, you can bet it’s all about money. If they tell you it’s not about sex, you can bet it’s all about sex.

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By 2035, at the current rate, (we are adding 2 parts per million per year of CO2 to our atmosphere) we will reach 440 ppm in our atmosphere. It is probable that rate of pollution will increase, not decrease. Stay with me a moment longer – for the past 15 million years of climate history, the Earth has not surpassed 350 parts per million. The current level is approximately 392 ppm.  Life as we know it will be hard pressed to adapt.

Oh yes, in case you think natural gas is the answer, here’s your 3 minute tutorial on “Fracking”! Yes, it’s true, burning natural gas emits about 1/2 the CO2 of coal. That’s a big deal for some folks. Not enough for the rest of us.

Maybe we could get click and clack on NPR to do a skit on frickn fracking! For the sake of our children and all life, let’s hope GasLand wins the Academy Award. Of course, it’s not a perfect, unbiased film, however, it will add valuable insights and information to the climate change stalemate and most definitely stimulate much needed public discussion. If we’re lucky it might inspire the protection of our western landscape and water, that is, if you want your quality of life to be maintained.

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Onward with courage

About Bud Wilson

As a student-athlete-activist during the tumultuous era at Harvard University Bud emerged with an interdisciplinary degree combining, child development, innovative education and urban social policy. To recover from academia, he moved to the mountains of Colorado and devoted his energy to hosting professional conferences and seminars in Snowmass Village, followed by a few years working with John Denver's Windstar Foundation. He has lots of stories to share about those formative years living in the Roaring Fork Valley. Bud continues to consult with many organizations including Newfield Network, Environmental Communications, Inc. and The Living Green Foundation, Next Culture Network, The Unified Field Corporation, Regenerative Community Development of Colorado and The Agora Projects. Bud has 25 years of experience as an awareness instructor and wilderness guide for Sacred Passage and the Way of Nature. As Global Director of Eco-Regional Leadership for The Way of Nature, in May 2011, he co-created and coordinated the first World Nature Quest. More than 35 groups in 17 countries on 5 continents simultaneously communed with the Earth for healing and renewal. His articles have been read by more than 70,000 Elephant Journal Readers His adult son, daughter and son-in-law are the source of great joy in his life.

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5 Responses to “The State of the Union just Nuked, Fracked and Clean Coaled Us!”

  1. Great post, Bud!! UGH! I cringed when Obama said 'clean coal' … cleanER possibly? Why is he putting that into Americans' heads? And no, I don't want to hug that Mr. Flint dude. I think he may bumped his head on a tree.

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  3. Bud Wilson Bud Wilson says:

    Mr. Flint is part of the revolving door crowd in Washington – did you see the expose on his money grubbing? I'm pretty sure I embedded the link to that article about his past. It began back in 2006 – so, he's been spewing his venom since then!

  4. Chelsea says:

    Bud, you and I are not the only ones feeling disappointed about how the President acknowledged our clean energy future. You summed up my same thoughts about it. Although, some analysts say Obama was purposefully being vague and compromising in the State of the Union address to win both sides over. I think what will be most proving about the president is what actions he actually takes (although I was unaware he was planning to open up new Nuclear plants…not cool).

    And ditto to Lynn….everyone I was watching the address with ALL cringed and yelled in frustration about the "clean coal" remark…what an oxymoron.

  5. Bud Wilson Bud Wilson says:

    Chelsea, We must turn our disappointments into deeper commitments to speak out and take action. The world of politics is filled with ugly compromises – too often accommodating the selfish interests of corporations that have one goal, profits! It may be that our President is walking a fine line in order to get re-elected at the expense of our climate future. It’s time to tell the truth about dirty energy!

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