Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Things done changed

Remember back in the days, when niggaz had waves
Gazelle shades, and corn braids
Pitchin pennies, honies had the high top jellies
Shootin skelly, motherfuckers was all friendly

I watched the State of the Union address last night. The President said the following:

Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions. Let us increase the use of renewable power and emissions-free nuclear power. Let us continue investing in advanced battery technology and renewable fuels to power the cars and trucks of the future. Let us create a new international clean technology fund, which will help developing nations like India and China make greater use of clean energy sources. And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases....The United States is committed to strengthening our energy security and confronting global climate change.
Full text of speech here

Granted, there is a huge gulf between this type of rhetoric and actual policy on this issue- the United States has failed to participate in many international collective actions designed to reduce emissions, stalling and wasting precious time- almost a decade of lateral policy movement. Frankly, I don't have the time or energy to even get into it.

However, this stands in marked contrast to Dick Cheney's remarks (and the stance of the administration and Republican party) in 2001 when he rolled out the utterly absurd "National Energy Policy." He said "conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy."

Granted, the President's speech was that of an extremely lame duck. He spoke in oblique generalities and trumpeted easily cheered ideas. The speech was designed to keep Bush from hurting his party any worse than he already has. It was really nice to finally see over the mountain to a country without such a man who would roll out an energy policy characterized by Cheney's quote above, not to mention any number of the administrations absurd affronts to good environmental policy.

But one thing about highly conservative politicians, is that when they've finally changed their tune, you know that the winds of opinion have already changed. Apparently, it's political suicide for them to speculate in the oilmen's camp, at least publicly. Finally, they've acknowledged what people who have been paying attention have known with some certainty for quite a long time.

Climate Change has gone from political issue to political fact.

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