Following up here . . . can we do it out there?

Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy  policy        April 30, 2001

Snow and cold feed each other in a kind of a loop. White surfaces reflect heat back into space making the ground cooler and cold weather attracts more snow to reflect more heat. That’s why white roofs make sense. I posted about this earlier and it has me remembering that we weren’t always so blind to the world we live in.

Take the white roofs: there was a time when this was part of a vibrant national conversation about the environment; hell, there was a time when there was a conversation. In the seventies Nixon created the EPA, congress started looking at global warming and peak oil, Earth Day was born, we banned CFC’s to protect the ozone layer, Detroit discovered MPG mattered, people faced up to the effects of pollution and did something about it. Carter came into office and put energy efficiency and research into alternative fuels front and center. Things began happening.

And then Ronald Reagan came into office, ripped the solar panels off the roof of the White House and it was Morning in America.

There’s really no reason not to return to this conversation right now and there’s no reason not to start acting again. When I wonder whatever happened to our good sense, I’m reminded of the quote above.

That was our very own once-upon-a-time Vice President, Dick Cheney, a few months before that attack which had nothing to do with how much middle eastern oil we waste so WalMart can keep their parking lots all lit up all the time. And he said it with utter scorn. He’s always liked war better. Like Afghanistan, where it is the 292nd day of the ninth year of the war.

UPDATE: Here’s a link to an article at Popular Science. They’ve got some statistical candy.

8 responses to “Following up here . . . can we do it out there?

  1. Cheney also claimed that “deficits don’t matter,” and now right-wingers are outraged over the deficits. Apparently, they only matter when Democrats are in power.


    • But of course they only matter when Dems are in power!

      Lately I’m hearing the Republicans construct the most Orwellian lie of all time – they’re changing tense when talking about the upcoming elections.
      As in, “if we let the Democrats get into power”. Easy – just pretend they’re not already in power and you have a whole new conversation about protecting Americans from the spectre of Dems in power.


  2. The Center Square

    Somewhere along the line, the conservation and energy discussion shifted from one about policy to one about ideology. My view is liberals have been as complicit in this as conservatives. There could and should be serious policy discussions about legitimate policy options such as nuclear energy, drilling in ANWR, even, dare I say it, global climate change. Those conversations are made much harder as much because of entrenched liberal orthodoxies as conservative ones.

    P.S.: Bush’s book comes out soon, in November I believe. That should be interesting.


    • I agree TCS, ideology has gotten in the way of progress in the nation’s business. And now we get new legislatures upending the work of the previous legislature . It’s awful. And both sides do it. Of course, as a liberal, I want the goals of my guys to triumph.

      Interestingly the GOP has been trying for all these years to get revenge for Nixon’s almost-impeachment. Clinton’s actual impeachment however didn’t satisfy that; the attitude was so ingrained that Dems had become the permanent enemy. And we gave it right back. (although let’s remember that on Day One, Speaker Pelosi publicly took a Bush impeachment off the table, and said ‘let’s move on’.)


  3. ” “deficits don’t matter,” ”

    Context, context, context!!!


    Fortune Magazine.

    ” So do they? “They do,” Cheney answers with his trademark terseness. “The [deficit] conversation, as I recall, was in a political context. But deficits, if you’re going to look at deficits – and you should – you’ve got to evaluate them relative to other priorities. Another priority, for example, would be defending the nation in wartime. And you need to look at deficits relative to the total size of the economy, which oftentimes we don’t do.” ”

    What are Bush’s deficits in relation to total size of the economy, compared to Barak Jimmy Carter Obama’s deficits as a % of his economy ?

    Context and facts matter.


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