A Journal of America's Political Soul Heaven & Earth: Where Politics and Spirituality Meet
June 30, 2022  
Home Receive G&G for free... SPROUTS - Reader comments, discussion, and feedback... Contribute your writings to G&G future issues... More information on the current topic... Previous topics covered... Why Garlic? Why Grass? Why now? Contact G&G...

Issue No. 4 - 
C O N T E N T S :

A New Progress, A New Evolution

Creating A World In Balance Instead of an Empire of Oil

A Green Deal For America, From President McCain

For Real Progress, America Needs Democracy

Economic Development Is Progress - Sometimes

Keep Your Mind Balanced And Your Eyes On The Prize

You Might Hate 'Em, But Those Hippies Are Right

G&G Wellness #1
Progress and Technology Begin in the Heart

G&G Wellness #2
Progress Is Awareness Of Our Own Inner Power

A Green Deal For America, From President John McCain

Below is the text of an Oval Office address, delivered on August 4, 2007, by President John M. McCain. The speech came five years after the administration of George W. Bush advised Americans to adapt to, rather than resist, global warming. In 2004, Bush lost the Republican presidential nomination after popular anger about a prolonged economic downturn left him vulnerable to challenge from McCain.

Good evening.

My fellow Americans, this is the third time this summer I've spoken to you from the Oval Office. Our national emergency continues, and it's urgent that you know how we are responding and how you can help.

As you know, much of our beloved homeland has been literally on fire this summer. Many of you have watched on television these past days as firefighters have bravely fought the blazes engulfing Yellowstone national park. Unfortunately, I received word this afternoon from the commander on the scene that, despite his best efforts, most of Yellowstone will have burned to the ground within 48 hours.

This tragedy will bring to 12 million the number of acres lost to fire nationwide this summer, and August has barely begun. Therefore, tonight I am issuing an executive order, closing all national parks in fire-prone areas until further notice. I apologize for disrupting any vacation plans, but we simply must do all we can to deter additional fires.

The fires stem from the brutal heat and drought that have made all of us so miserable this summer. Here in Washington temperatures have topped 90 degrees on fifty of the last sixty days. On twenty-five days, it has been over 100. I am profoundly grieved to report that the number of heat-related deaths across the nation has reached 3,147. Most victims have been elderly city dwellers who lacked air conditioning. Mrs. McCain and I extend our deep sympathies to the families, and I ask you to hold them in your prayers.

The heat has brought a new affliction as well. The Center for Disease Control has confirmed an outbreak of dengue fever in southern Florida and is investigating two more potential cases in New Orleans. Quarantines have been established, and vaccinations will soon be available. Please, cooperate with authorities to limit the spread of this deadly disease.

I am sorry to impose this sacrifice, but our nation has entered a new era.

Our farmers have suffered as cruelly as anyone. Much of the Midwest is a parched dust bowl, the year's harvest is projected to be down 40 percent. To save farmers from bankruptcy, I urge Congress to expand the emergency farm supports proposed in my last speech. To deter a doubling or worse of global food prices, and the political unrest they can bring, I authorize tonight the release of 80 percent of our remaining grain reserves. I also appeal to other large producing nations to help us stabilize the markets.

As you know, the drought has forced us to ration water in 38 of the 50 states. I know this has been difficult. I know that not being able to bathe or shower every day is unpleasant in this heat. Unfortunately, the drought persists, so we have no choice but to tighten the rationing still further. No one gets exempted except hospitals and other emergency facilities. Starting next week, industrial, agricultural, and residential users alike will experience an additional one-third reduction in water supply. So, if you now bathe or shower every second day, next week it will be every third.

I am sorry to impose this sacrifice. But our nation has entered a new era: each of us must get used to managing with much less water than before.

Ironically, at the same time we're rationing water, we are expecting drenching rains on parts of the East and Gulf coasts as hurricane season gets underway. Our meteorologists warn me that this year's storms may be even more ferocious than last year's. So please understand: many coastal areas may be declared off limits in the coming weeks. Please respect any traffic blockades. They are not meant to ruin your vacation but to keep you and your family safe.

My fellow Americans, this summer has been difficult for all of us. But I bring you a message of hope tonight--a vision for how we can move beyond this crisis and reclaim the bountiful future that is America's promise.

As an old military man, I believe the first rule of combat is, "Know your enemy." After extensive consultations with my staff and with top specialists from around the world, I am now convinced that our real enemy is not the heat, the drought, or the fires. They are mere symptoms. Our real enemy is global warming. Humanity has pumped enormous amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouses gases into the atmosphere, and we are beginning to pay the price.

I know some of my Republican friends may find this analysis hard to hear. For years, some in our party have insisted global warming is nothing more than liberal claptrap intended to reduce America's standard of living. I wish it were that simple. But there is nothing liberal or conservative about global warming. It is basic science, and the events of this summer illustrate how it is already making a mockery of our standard of living.

No one would wish for the kind of summer we are now enduring, but perhaps it will wake us up to the truth about global warming. This year has been the hardest, but the fact is that killer droughts, heat waves, forest fires, and super-storms have afflicted us in six of the last seven summers. That is exactly what scientists have said global warming would look like.

It just seems to have arrived more quickly than expected. Five years ago, the snows on Mount Kilimanjaro were projected to melt by 2017. Now, the target date has been advanced to 2010. If global sea levels rise as fast as Kilimanjaro's snow melts, some of our most precious coastal areas--Cape Cod, New Orleans, the Florida Keys, and parts of the National Mall here in Washington--could be underwater within our lifetimes. And of course the brutal droughts, storms, and heat waves will only get worse.

So what do we do?


The Green Deal

Tonight I appeal to the Congress and the nation to launch what I call a Green Deal for America. Joining me in this appeal, I'm happy to say, is my old friend, Senate Majority Leader John Kerry. Senator Kerry and I have fought many environmental battles together but none so critical as this.

The Green Deal for America is a government-led but market based program to shift our nation away from carbon-based fuels like oil and coal and replace them with solar, wind, and hydrogen. To begin, the government will entirely stop subsidizing the carbon-based fuels that only make global warming worse. Instead, those billions will be converted into subsidies for green energy, such as consumer tax credits to help solarize your house.

To further help tip the markets in a green direction, the government will redirect its own purchasing power. For example, Washington will tell Detroit that from now on the 60,000 vehicles we buy every year for official use must be hydrogen-fueled. We will ask state and local governments to do the same. The economies of scale that flow from those orders should enable the car manufacturers to bring down the price of hydrogen vehicles to where average consumers can afford them.

The second part of the Green Deal for America attacks the trickiest part of the global warming problem: its long lag time. The trouble is, carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for approximately 100 years. That means that even if we switched to a non-carbon energy system overnight, the planet would keep warming for decades. So, it's not enough to stop adding carbon to the atmosphere. We must also extract as much of what's already there as possible. The fastest, easiest way to do that is to plant trees. By the miracle of photosynthesis, trees inhale carbon dioxide like we inhale oxygen.

In the Green Deal for America, the government will stop subsidizing the carbon-based fuels that make global warming worse.

So, the Green Deal will aim to plant 300 million trees, one for each American, within the next five years. The government will pay for the trees and equipment. Volunteers, organized in Green Brigades, will do the actual planting. I hope young people in particular will consider signing up.

With a Green Deal for America, our nation can kick the carbon habit within ten years and perhaps escape the worst effects of global warming. Be careful: in the coming weeks, you may hear scare talk claiming that a Green Deal will hurt our economy. Don't be fooled. The truth is, investing in green energy sources produces more jobs and higher profits, not less. This program is good for workers, it's good for business, and it's essential to our future.

My fellow Americans, we face one of the greatest tests in the history of our nation. But I have no doubt we can meet this challenge. I hope you will join me, Senator Kerry, and numerous business, community, and labor leaders in working to pass a Green Deal for America. It's no silver bullet, but it will be a great help as we fight to restore our homeland and secure the future our children and grandchildren deserve.

Good night, God bless you, and God bless America.

Mark Hertsgaard is the author of numerous books, including Earth Odyssey: Around the World In Search of Our Environmental Future, and, most recently, The Eagle's Shadow: Why America Fascinates and Infuriates the World. His website is www.markhertsgaard.com.

comment on this article >
back to top ^

Latest at G&G
03.13 - I have very extensively researched the Twin Tower Collapses
more >
03.06 - Your article makes a hell of a lot of sense, I must say.
more >

Green Party
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Libertarian Party

IPS International

New York Times
Washington Post
   other US dailies

Common Dreams
Democracy Now
Labor Start
Mother Jones
The Nation
Tom Paine.com
The Progressive
Truth Out

9-11 Blogger


Front Page | Contact | Subscribe
most content © 2022 garlic & grass
some fair use content