Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Greening Vampires

"Right now, we are still scurrying about our planet's surface, eking out our living as part of a vulture society--living off the dead. Out of the Earth we suck the liquefied remains of dead organisms. We burn our ancestor's remains in our engines, without ceremony. Then we go back to the Earth, like vampires, to suck out even more oil. Our coal-fired power plants munch daily on the the black bones of the ancients -- and belch out death."

Van Jones,The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems

We do have a big problem and Van Jones's advocacy and ideas are certainly pointing toward viable green solutions. But this statement of the problem reads more like an introduction to the Dark Lord Sauron and Mordor than an inspiring pitch to build a broad coalition for a green economy. All that burning, munching, and sucking of dead things -- and "without ceremony."

It's a tough moment for a new book that argues that escalating oil prices produce stagflation and the ultimate death-spiral of the economy. With oil at $55 a barrel and the economy tanking, I think we need a more complex analysis. But I agree that in the longer term than this summer oil prices will continue to climb.

I believe that Barack Obama has the communication skills to help us see through the present to the need for energy independence. We need a different rhetoric than apocolypse. I read on.

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