I wrote this four years ago today. It is still relevant.
I must say, in hind sight, my enthusiasm for Obama’s energy policy has waned. I am completely shocked by his support for TPP. And I am not happy with his continued infringement on civil liberties.
It is a season of endorsements. So, here is mine.
If you are like me you’ve already voted and last minute platitudes won’t change your vote. Nevertheless, as a registered Republican, I endorse and have voted for President Obama and Democrat candidates at every level of government.
At the age of 72, I have come to realize that the dreams and accomplishments of my parents and their generation tempered by the Great Depression and World War II have been systematically dismantled. Class warfare has been festering unnoticed for decades. Accumulated wealth and increasing annual income has shifted from poor and middle class to the top one percent of Americans.
This shift began with Ronald Regan whom I voted for and loved but the long term implications of his polices I did not understand at the time. The first thing President Reagan did was begin the program of Starve the Beast”, the beast being Federal Government, by cutting taxes from 70% to 40%. Today we have all we can do to get back to the 39% of the Clinton years.
Under President Reagan we saw the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act, a principle benefit of my parents generation, and part of the throttle that makes Capitalism viable. The complete dismantling of the reforms of my parents generation are not yet finished. Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United have paved the way for the One Percent to gain the majorities needed in the House and the Senate and take over the White House so they can create unfettered capitalism and eliminate taxes on the rich and further pack the Supreme Court.
Class war started in the mid 19th Century and came crashing to an end in 1929 where it languished in silence until 1980 when it grew to what it became in December of 2008. President Obama’s opposition says he is waging class warfare on the rich by wanting to let temporary tax cuts on the wealthy expire and extending them for everyone else. The purpose of these cuts was to improve the economy. They were first instituted under President G. W. Bush and culminated in the Great Recession which started in late 2008. Why would anyone believe extending these tax cuts for the rich or increasing them would help the economy. This policy is well tested. It resulted in taking a robust Clinton economy and returning it into the Great Recession.
It has been said that “What’s good for General Motors is good for the U.S.A.” It may depend on which General Motors you’re talking about. Clearly what was good for the old General Motors was not good even for General Motors. After all they went bankrupt.
It seems to me Corporations are not people, they are mindless institutions run by an ever changing array of people with an a mindless quest for ever increasing profit. Because their objectives are short term, they fail to take into account the long term consequences of their quest for quarterly profits. The tenure of any individual corporate executive is such the those consequences will be dealt with by a more ruthless successor. It seems that corporations, in their blind pursuit for profits can ignore even unintended consequences that lead to their own financial failure.
I believe that there is a direct relationship between economic growth and growth in energy consumption. I believe that global warming is a consequence of excessive and increasing fossil fuel consumption. I believe that melting of glaciers and polar ice caps, sea level rise, ocean desalination, and ocean acidification are a result of global warming and cause climate change and combine to accelerate atmospheric and ocean warming. I believe that the jet stream, and the Gulf stream are affected by climate change in that they produce adverse weather patterns. I believe that the number, frequency and cost to insurance companies of climate related disasters is rising rapidly. I believe it is in the corporate profit interest of the fossil fuel industry to cast doubt on climate science. I believe you can ignore climate science but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring climate science. I believe the insurance industry, municipalities, counties and states along with FEMA are becoming increasingly aware that the cost of recovery from climate events must be balanced with the cost of protective infrastructure such sea walls in the face of increased climate event frequency and intensity. Further, these same entities are increasingly motivated to mitigate global warming by reducing carbon emissions.
I believe President Obama has always had a consistent and vigorous position on energy and climate. I believe his opposition, corporate fossil fuel interests and their candidates for president and congress will undo any progress that has been made, such as fuel economy standards, wind and solar subsidies, and electric car subsidies. They will ignore climate science and leave the rest of us to pay for the consequences of their ignorance.
So , I encourage you to vote for the reelection of President Obama and for every candidate in every Democrat on the ballot.
Just one more thing. Our future depends on the decisions of individuals as much as government. Walk, ride a bike, use public transit, drive an electric car. Current electric car lease prices are very attractive at times of promotions. Install solar panels. Costs of these investments can save money over time. Do the math and see if they work for you. Sustainable energy saves you money and leads to a sustainable economy if enough of us participate. You can reduce foreign oil dependence by driving electric. You can reduce fossil fuel consumption for electricity generation by using your own solar electricity.
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