In my DWT episode that I will be posting later today, I am talking about my “Kennedy Question”. Earlier in the year I interviewed all candidates running for Olympia City Council and my final question to all was what became known in the studio, the Kennedy Question. Inspired by President JFK’s bold challenge to the country to put a man on the moon by the end of his decade. A task that wasn’t clear how to accomplish, but something that rallied the country together, at great expense that is, and gave the country a goal to strive towards, to look up to and too forget the little annoyances of every day life. Well, how the council candidates responded you can find out by watching You Make Olympia, our interview series. But of course, there is a greater challenge. One that goes beyond local politics and reaches to every person as well as to the leadership of this country.
Which brings me to my bold suggestion for President Obama.
The current CO2-reduction agreements expire at the end of 2012, and there is enormous resistance to new targets. The environment ministers and negotiators from roughly 200 countries, who will travel to Durban, South Africa at the end of November for the latest global climate conference, are a long way from breathing new life into the Kyoto process.
The Kyoto Protocol was never ratified in the United States, and the country remains unwilling to submit to international commitments on energy consumption out of a concern that doing so could cost jobs. “Clean energy has become a dirty word in the United States,” a close advisor to US President Barack Obama said during a recent visit to Berlin.
Of course, it’s campaign season for Obama too, and here in the US anything that only has the slightest suggestion of being unpopular with big business will fail in the polls and in the fundraising goals.
Europe may soon find itself alone in the fight against global warming.
And Europe seems to be the only place in the world right now where any plans are being made on how to move the world into the 21st century. The last person presenting any kind of vision in the US, just passed away a couple of weeks ago.