Friday, October 10, 2008

The Unspoken Word

America is "at war" we are constantly told. John McPain says this nation is locked in the struggle that defines generations. For all the rhetoric though, we don't act like we're at war. Unless you are a family member of a service member or live in a small town adjacent to a large Army or Marine base, it's hardly visible. More importantly, the nation has not been asked to sacrifice anything for this all so very important national mission.

That's why I wanted to scream at both candidates during Tuesday night's "debate". Each talked about plans and investments for energy independence--drilling offshore, nuclear power and alternative sources--but never once used the word conservation. I was appalled. Conservation is the most readily available source of energy available. Had an intelligent leader after September 11, 2001 included conservation as a one weapon against those petro states that candidates now excoriate as financiers of terrorism, Americans would have embraced the idea wholeheartedly. Instead we were told to "go shopping".

Conservation is hardly in the American ethic, certainly not for a people that grew fat and happy on the abundance of an entire continent for the taking. There's always been enough and leaders who ask the public to conserve seem so limited, so...unAmerican. But these days, the prospect of dramatically reducing our expenditures for oil has a great deal of merit.

Too bad that idea is not part of the national discussion.




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