Moving Forward: Technological Innovation

The B-Man gave a speech about how we need ourselves more inventiveness to help the climate crisis along - and it's a good speech, too. I'd recommend the full transcript (scroll down a little to their update).

In all the furor of the economic crisis, though, I feel like there's a key component missing from the new Democratic environmental rhetoric. Yes, renewables. Yes, innovation. Yes, weatherization and efficiency. But it's all based around this idea that America can become a leader in the field of renewable energy, save Californian agriculture, or stop rising seas from taking out our coasts.

Those are good reasons, but it's a global problem - so let's take a moment to put this all in perspective.

We are an enlightened people, and environmentalism seems to be spreading through the young population fairly quickly. More than that, we're going to take more damage from drought and hurricanes as the weather shifts. We've got the communication structure for a movement to get off the ground quickly, and right now we've got a president who gets the seriousness of the problem.

In short, if the situation were the same and Americans were the only people in the world, I would think that it's more likely that we'd be able to reinvent ourselves.

But China, India, and a dozen other countries. There are literally billions (thousands of millions!) of people who want to live like we do - and there's no plan to make that happen without stressing the environment the same way the United States and Europe did.

So yeah, Barack. I agree with you - we need inventiveness. But we can't hold on to it - for all the damage we've done for the world - for all the damage we're starting to understand how to stop - we have an ethical duty to give that to the rest of the world.

What we truly need is an expansion of one of the volunteer international Corps, dedicated to building clean, effective systems in the world and educating people on sustainability. With the technology that we can bring to the table, we can give people the ability to live better and sustainably.

...or that's the hope, anyway. It may be too early to say that when we're still the least sustainable nation on Earth.

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