“Cutting Out the Election’s Middlemen” Oct. 2012

Audio for “Cutting Out the Election’s Middle Men” 10-12 2012

Frankly, I don’t really understand all this talk about polls and debates. We all know that what really matters is money, that our society is as much plutocracy as democracy. Even more so since the Supreme Court unleashed the power of the really big money folks with its infamously anti-democratic Citizen’s United ruling.

Exactly the sort of judgment one would expect from a court dominated by people led by a political party whose leader think corporations are “people?” And while the power of money is always an issue, in this cycle it is especially important given that the core consequence of this election is our energy future, an election, whether our mindless media understands it or not.

Yes, an election that will play a decisive role on the question of whether America leads or follows the global movement toward safer green energy. An election on whether America is led by a man who proclaims his enthusiasm for atmospherically dangerous coal. Hell, for the kind of money the fossil fuel folks are anti-ing up this election cycle– currently at four times the rate of those supporting green energy, it’s not surprising that good old Mitt suddenly burst out in the debate with an “I Like Coal” slogan.” For that kind of money I’d spontaneously sing … “the Easter Parade”

Or President Obama who pushed through the funding for the biggest leap in green energy technology in American history. No, the stakes don’t get any bigger in this election which we pretty much all agree is about jobs. Yes, an election about whether we are going to have the climate stability required to nurture a healthy economy and the jobs that flow from it or one ruined by the same drought forces that destroyed food crops all across America this last summer —farm economies deeply wounded by the climatic changes occurring ever more commonly around the world.

That is of course, unless one wants to get all excited about the jobs that come out of disaster relief rather than the real long term jobs that come from converting to the new green energy economy even as we weatherize homes and offices to use less of the old dirty stuff.

Which brings us to the real problem, an election being driven by those with especially deep fossil fuel empowered wallets. Oh sure, a lot of us are trying to outspend the fossil fuel companies, a sad industry trying to save a dying fuel source that will be outlawed sooner or later anyway. Outlawed just as soon as more people come to understand the link between the devastatingly common occurrences of “extreme weather” and the fossil fuels that are making those disasters more and more likely. But how much headwind can we make when most of us end up sending the fossil fuel companies more money than we can afford to send those advocating for a new green energy economy.

Now, I know that a lot of us are trying to compete. But it’s really hard knowing that the money we contribute is only what’s left over after spending so much on fossil fuel. So maybe we should just cut out the middle men and vow each and every one of us — that for the next three weeks we will drive less, turn the thermostat down a bit and take the savings and send it to the candidates who understand our need to convert to greener energy. Frankly I can’t think of a better way to leverage our current fossil fuel debts toward a safer greener 21st century energy economy

About Steven Leibo

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

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