Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Maryland, my Maryland - Allegro

"As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country."
- (Abraham Lincoln)

"Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world."
- (Archimedes)


Politics and
Ethos. Probably the most political animals in Washington work at the Pentagon. Nobody else in the government has had such success in getting the things they want like the military has. After all, the argument goes, to shortchange the military is to put our national security at risk, and the cost of failure is unacceptable. Unfortunately, it is now beginning to dawn on certain factions in the Pentagon that the cost of success is also unacceptable. Recently, the Pentagon issued two reports:


1. The first, Climate Change and National Security, published in June of 2004, warns of the dire consequences of increased regional conflicts over diminishing resources, particularly water, and displaced populations due to rapid climate change. In the report, the Pentagon actually recommends the building of a 40ft high wall around the entire land boundaries of the United States to deter mass migrations.

2. In the second report, "
Transforming the Way the DoD Looks at Energy," the Pentagon has discovered that they are the single largest organization contributing to global warming through their heavy reliance upon oil to power trucks, tanks, planes, ships, missiles, etc., and to implement the Bush Administration's policy of security readiness by ensuring access to Oil (hence, the invasion of Iraq). Fully 80% of the cargo the military moves around the planet is fuel. And it takes fuel to move that fuel around, doesn't it? The report concludes, that in order to fulfill the Bush Doctrine, the Pentagon will have to continually fight wars in order to protect the Oil reserves necessary to power the machinery to fight those same wars. This, as they say, is circular logic. Fortunately, there are a growing number of people in the Pentagon and Congress who recognize this global absurdity for what it is: Accelerated Mass Suicide. The Pentagon has begun to propose changes in armaments to reflect the growing scarcity of Oil and make them more energy efficient. For that, of course, requires that technological innovation be speeded up. Hence, the Pentagon's interest in Witricity, as one example. And their interest in biofuels as an alternative to petroleum for flying their planes around the world might give a boost to the dictum, "waste not."

The good news surrounding these absurdities is that the Pentagon, that bastion of hard-headed realism and heroism, is running scared on the notion that the true enemy to America's National Security may be America's National Security. Consequently, the best way to protect America, they may conclude, is to quit trying so hard to protect it and get back to the more practical business of maintaining the Peace by foregoing more War.

"You must unlearn what you have learned."
- Yoda
The shift in the Pentagon's collective consciousness has provided nice political cover to Congress to finally do something about Global Warming. Recently, they did just that. New energy bills have passed both House and Senate and are in conference now. Any reasonalbe compromise will likely be signed by Mr. Bush. Although, it doesn't go far enough in developing clean and safe alternative energy sources and is too heavy in reliance upon nuclear power, it lays down the
foundation for pivoting this nation away from burning fossil fuels.

I suggest, people, it is now time to pile on. When urging your representatives to do something about global warming remind them of these Pentagon reports and the implications for National Security. It's patriotic and it will give them convenient political cover. This works especially well with Republicans.

But politicians are only half the audience. What about their sponsors, their benefactors, their masters of the universe - corporate capitalism? There are three options for US:

1. Write to corporations that have interests in the energy and defense industries: Exxon-Mobile, Chevron, BP and Defense Contractors like GE, Boeing, Honeywell, etc., as consumers and demand a change in their business practices before we ALL go out of business. Urge them to consider the creation and issuance of
Climate Stability Bonds as a way to increase their investment in sequestering carbon emmissions from their business and production practices.

2. If you are a shareholder in any sort of company that deals in energy ,infrastructure, and defense make sure you read the Prospectus you get every year and write personal letters to the Board members demanding action and accountability for the corporate mission they are supposed to oversee. And it doesn't hurt to mention how many shares you own, if you own a lot, or what mutual fund you invest in that holds securities in their companies.

3. Finally, there are several investment funds that invest in
socially responsible companies If you're fortunate enough to be able to invest in the markets take a look around to see which companies are trying to do something positive about energy and the environment.

And one more thing: War is not the extension of Politics by other means; Politics is the extension of War by any means.

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