Right To Ask Why

In the recent primaries, Hillary Clinton garnered 18 million and, despite some strategic flaws, she hung in there–all the way into June. All the press talked about was her “loss.” But what a fighter she was. For weeks after the last primary, people analyzed where it all “unraveled” for her. She was not my favorite candidate, but I think it was a good fight. Does blame always have to be assigned? I don’t think so. She did very well.

In another example, is a 20-year marriage that ends in divorce a total mistake? What if the divorce was amicable, the children were young adults before it happened, and everyone was provided for? It is sad, but you can’t call all 20 years a mistake. Good people were created and educated. Real estate was bought and sold. Life lessons were learned. Was it a total victory? Perhaps not. Was it a total loss? I don’t think so. Our willingness to accept this black and white labeling is a terrible habit that we must change.

A Voice Of Reason

Think of all you’ve been told about energy and oil and how Americans are under the thumb of other countries. This is right. This is wrong. This is too expensive. This is too complicated. It’s all we hear. How about listening to this statement from Jack Fisher, Executive Vice President of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation?. In the July/August issue of “Our Ohio,” Mr. Fisher notes:

“Today, 10.4 billion barrels of oil sit untapped in a tiny piece of the Artic National Wildlife Refuge. Eighty-six billion barrels lie untouched off our coasts. One trillion barrels of shale oil go unused in our western states. Our reserves are three times those of Saudia Arabia, yet we are content spending $500 billion a year to import foreign supplies.

“American coal, of which we have a 200-year supply, can be liquefied into fuel that’s competitive with $54 oil. When burned to make electricity, coal is 70 percent cleaner than it was 30 years ago. Still we’re happy to obstruct mining and combustion.

“Nuclear, arguably the most efficient and green source of energy, is held captive to needless fears. Even Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore says we’ve mistakenly lumped energy with weapons, ’as if all things nuclear were evil.’ Safety concerns were answered when Hurricane Katrina plowed through three reactors, causing no harm. But despite its economic, environmental and safety attributes, nuclear accounts for only about 25 percent of our electricity because we won’t build new generation plants.

“Even our newest power sources aren’t immune to impediments. Next-generation energy–which can help wean us from fossil fuels–isn’t maximized because grain-based fuels wrongly receive the brunt of the blame for rising food prices, or wind turbines are stymied because they might bother someone’s view.

“Remarkable isn’t it, that these vast energy supplies are in our grasp, yet go unused. More remarkable is that these resources are rendered useless because we said it’s OK to squander them.

“We don’t drill, we don’t mine, we don’t build, and we don’t develop because of laws and regulations that keep our immense energy stockpiles and promising new sources on the shelf. In other words, our energy afflictions are largely self-inflicted.

“We are strangely tolerant of what I believe is poor public policy. While other nations exploit every BTU they can lay their hands on, we handcuff ourselves. America, in my thinking the nation most capable of conscientious capitalism, refuses to adopt policies that bring balance to the energy-environment equation. Somehow it’s become popular to believe that using something equates to destroying it. That line of thinking may have been affordable at two bucks a gallon, but not anymore. Today’s world requires a commitment to stewardship–where we manage resources in a wise, sustainable fashion, but also use them for our benefit. We have the knowledge, skills and technology to cope with energy challenges without ruining the planet. And we have responsibilities to demand policies that act on this truth.”

Be A Leader

That is pretty good stuff. So what are you going to do? Are you just going to shake your head and say it’s all too bad, and we’re too far down the line to change or fix anything? I have an idea. What if we demand more from the people we elect to represent us in these key areas? What if we get involved to the point where we write, e-mail, and call them and ask where they stand on these issues? What if they begin to feel the pressure of an informed constituency? You make sure that insurance and mortgages are paid to have something to hand your children when you die, so how about handing off a self-sustainable, stalwart nation, whose stewardship is unparalleled? Isn’t it time we identified what is in the way and what can move us forward?

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