At least I hope President Obama’s speech on Tuesday is “big,” in the sense that it seriously addresses this crisis – arguably the greatest threat mankind has ever faced, with the possible exception of the nuclear arms race of the 20th century. On the flip side, of course, climate change offers humanity the opportunity to rise to the occasion, to show that we’re better than the rape-the-planet-for-profit fossil fuel companies (and their paid and “useful idiot” lackeys in the general public.
Those “useful idiots,” first and foremost, include all the climate science deniers and “skeptics” out there. Frankly, folks like Ken Cuccinelli/EW Jackson/Mark Obenshain should be looked at no differently than we look at people who claim the earth is flat or deny evolution (or the moon landing or whatever). They should be looked at, in other words, as cranks and fools, people who certainly shouldn’t be elected to anything (that should go without saying) or paid any serious attention in the media or anywhere else.
Finally, here’s our chance to correct a massive market failure by internalizing the true costs of fossil fuels into their price. Once we do that, a rapid transition to clean energy will not just be inevitable, but astoundingly rapid. How do I know this? Because, right now, even WITH the massively unfair/unlevel playing field tilted overwhelmingly in favor of fossil fuels, we’re still seeing spectacular growth in solar, wind, and energy efficiency. Now, just imagine if we actually had a level playing field…bye bye fossil fuels, hello sun and wind power!
Even better, with clean energy, we also get the added “bonus” of keeping our planet healthy, beautiful, and inhabitable. What a concept, huh? Now, we just have to defeat the entrenched fossil fuel companies and their soulless lackeys in Congress, state legislatures, the right-wing blogosphere, etc. I’m looking forward to hearing what President Obama has to say about all this on Tuesday, and I’m urging him not to pull any punches!
P.S. Climate Progress has the Top Ten Things The President Should Announce In His Highly-Anticipated Climate Speech (e.g., “Move forward swiftly to regulate carbon pollution from new power plants;” “Tell the country that the Keystone XL Pipeline is not in America’s national interest;” “Commit to push for Congressional action on many overdue energy and climate goals”).