Citizens around America can clearly see the effects of global warming around our country. Hurricane Katrina, diminishing reefs, huge wild fires, and the situation that landing right in my backyard; flooding in the Midwest and particularly in Iowa. Many of us look around and say “Why?”. Why are our leaders not seeing what we are seeing and taking some initiative towards rectifying the situation? Does the Bush administration just not care about the environment and the future of their own children and grand children? The EPA is part of the government and has been releasing report after report of the dangers of our release of greenhouse gasses into the environment. Shouldn’t we be listening to the scientists and researchers that spend every day studying our problems and working to fix them? I think there are a number of reasons to explain the slow response by our government.
First, lets not give the current administration more credit than they are due. Whatever your opinions are on our current foreign policy and actions, they are not the reason for the state of our environment. We are in this situation, because ALL of us consume massive amounts of energy and resources every day we drive to work, head to the grocery store, and buy our favorite electronics. We created our problems, and all of us need to fix them. This is not something that can just be fixed by creating laws and hoping that industry and businesses follow what has been laid out. We need to have industry that benefits from helping keep the earth clean. Many people make the decisions in this country, and we all have a voice. We can’t expect our leaders to listen when all they hear is the lobbyists for big industry yelling their “opinions” that global warming is not real. We need to make our voice heard.
Why would certain industries try to suppress the research of the EPA and other environmental groups? Well, the simple answer is greed. How can companies continue to post huge profits during a recession when they now are being penalized for greenhouse emissions? Regulating emissions will be extremely costly and will take a commitment from every single person in this country. If the U.S. government acknowledges that our current practices are contributing to the rapid increase in global warming, they will be forced to spend countless dollars remedying the situation and passing regulations for greenhouse emissions. This is clearly not something the richest country in the world can take lightly. This is extremely sensitive and a new territory for companies that will be effected the most by these “green” policies. So what is the solution?
Corporate diversity in the energy sector is one answer. Companies need not be afraid they will lose money, instead they have a major opportunity to make MORE money by bringing their past innovations to solve our current environmental problems. The sooner they realize this is something that is going to happen, the better off the pocket books will be. Americans love this country because of the opportunities to do almost anything they can dream up. We now have the biggest chance of all to make a difference AND fix our economy.
T. Boone Pickens is one person trying to do just that. This self proclaimed “Oil Man” is working towards reducing our dependence on foreign oil and building a system of renewable energy to save Americans money and rebuild our environment. I highly recommend checking out the Pickens’ Plan website. This network of people is determined to press our Congress into actually working towards the ideas and innovations of the public. At the time of this article, over 35,000 people have signed up to learn more information about this plan. Though, Pickens clearly has money at stake, environmentalism is another area that will benefit from the American economics. If anything at all you will leave the Pickens’ Plan site with more green knowledge than you had 5 minutes ago. This is how we begin at home. Spend a few minutes each day reading about alternative energy, living a green lifestyle, or learning why nature is so important to preserve.