The word that causes smirks and snorts and results in its user being declared unfit to speak in serious company.
Yes, that word– conservation.
New York Times columnist Bob Herbert takes the Obama administration, among others, to task in language so passionate and eloquent it’s almost a sermon.
Then he dares to point out the obvious. The truth that helped sink President Carter, because he thought the American people were tough enough to hear it. And we are tough enough, when not misled by such as Ronald Reagan’s wishful thinking.
The first thing we can do is conserve more. That’s the low-hanging fruit in any clean-energy strategy.
It’s fast, cheap and easy. It’s something that all Americans, young and old, can be asked to participate in immediately. In that sense, it’s a way of combating the pervasive feelings of helplessness that have become so demoralizing and so destructive to our long-term interests.
That sentence about helplessness really stands out. When did we stop being citizens and slide into being consumers? Are we good for anything but to ‘go shopping’?
People who lived through WWII remember when conservation was a communal act of patriotism. There are some who say that the ‘American way of life’ is cheap fuel and recklessness. That way of life is not worth one of our soldiers, never mind thousands. Energy independence is worth working for.
It will require change, but Americans have never been afraid of change. It will require smart science and new ideas. But we’re the nation that put a man on the moon. We can do it.