“It’s The Environment, Stupid” September 2012

Audio for “It’s the Environment, Stupid”

Maybe I am just getting grumpy as I move deeper into my sixth decade but frankly I am really tired of people complaining about all the extreme risk taking that took place on wall street before the 2008 crash. Let’s face it — even if Wall Street’s wonder boys had not gambled with our futures, throwing our economy into the doldrums it is only now starting to recover from we’d probably be in bad shape anyway.

Because the simple fact is that we have not absorbed the realty of this new century, a century when most of the really big time industrial and commercial advantages America and much of Europe monopolized during the last century have become available throughout the new world. Yes, readily available through the miracle of the internet empowered new world of globalization. Sure, back in the last century we may have kept everyone employed building cars and planes or whatever for the world because in truth we were ever so often the only sellers in town. As Henry Ford once said folks could have his cars in any color they wanted as long as it was black.

But America’s advantage as one of the world’s early industrial adapters has long fallen away while so many of the jobs those advantages sustained are being lost to other countries or the computer empowered industrial automation of our new century jobs that are just not coming back.

And that is a significantly bigger problem then the trauma Wall Street’s short sightedness brought us, a challenge that is only going to get worse unless we take on the challenges of this new century, the 21st century — not the long gone 20th.

And while we are on the subject of what really bugs me a lately., it really drives me crazy is that we are not talking more about our catastrophically threatened environment. Sure, I understand that everyone is concerned about jobs, graduating students worried about paying off their college loans breadwinners concerned about paying off their mortgages.

Obviously people thinking this is not the time to worry about esoteric topics like the environment. Well, excuse me but talking about jobs is, whether people realize it or not, is talking about the environment. I mean just where does everyone think jobs come from. They come from a stable climate – the relatively stable environment that we built civilization within a relatively recent stable environment that determined where we put our farms and are sea ports.

Both elements of our core economy whose existence we are currently putting into flux especially so this season as the artic spent most of the summer melting at new record while most of the US was in a drought that ruined hopes and severely damaged food crops. And excuse me but just how do folks think we actually live. Operating within an economy that sees us using natural resources, you know the wood, fish, minerals, water, that flows from the environment, with sadly diminishing returns, there are after all now seven billion of us in a world that only had a bit over two and a half when this commentator showed up.

No there are plenty of vital jobs out there to ensure our security, Jobs building a new economy built on sustainable resources. Jobs built on converting to the green energy sources that will ensure our future. No the only thing we need is a government that gets it. A government that understands that the 20th century is over and that fixing the American economy means understanding the new challenges of the 21st century. Fixing the globalized and dramatically threatened planetary environment. And right now is when we need to support those candidates for high office who really get it. Support them in early November with our electoral votes at the ballot box

And financially, right now with our monetary votes so they can get their own message out. And drown out all those still trapped in the obsolete thinking of a century now 12 years gone

About Steven Leibo

This entry was posted in American Politics, Energy, The Climate Crisis, Uncategorized, WAMC Northeast Public Radio Commentaries and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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