Since my blogging buddy Harry Fuller is on vacation this week, I need to pick up the gauntlet and ensure that we've got some good political fodder for those of you who want to debate the existence of global warming and the necessity of reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
I'm here on the West Coast right now, where I met yesterday with the mayor of San Jose, Chuck Reed, about the green business activity and investment here in Silicon Valley (a conversation that I'll update readers about over the weekend).
So that means I wasn't in Washington yesterday where former Vice President Al Gore made a very impassioned speech yesterday at a function for the Daughters of the American Revolution. During the roughly half-hour talk, he challenged the United States to set a pretty amazing goal for itself: 100 percent of electricity from alternative, clean sources by 2018. That's right, just 10 years from now.
This blog entry from AlterNet does a particular good job of synthesizing Mr. Gore's speech.
Mr. Former Vice President, I sure wish you had been this vocal about this topic when you were in office. I have to thank you, though, for getting this topic out in the open in the slow news months leading into the election. Whomever we pick MUST be a leader on environmental policy and, none too soon to repair the damage of the last eight years. By the end of December, the current incentives encouraging investment in alternative energy research, development and deployment will expire mainly because our political leaders are too afraid to take a real stand in this election year. Our federal legislature needs to make this a priority NOW.
One thing I CAN tell you about my visit in San Jose yesterday: Mayor Reed says there have already been layoffs and production slowdowns here for local solar companies, because many businesses and utilities are reluctant to move forward until they see what happens. Hello, do we REALLY need any MORE reasons to put economic investments on hold? Financial services companies seem to be handling this just fine by themselves, thank you. Wouldn't it be nice to hear some positive economic news?
I, for one, really don't want to spend $5/gallon on gasoline, although that's our next millstone, isn't it?
OK readers, have at it.