Here’s how brain-dead President Obama and much of the environmental movement can be. The Middle East, still a key to affordable energy for America and the rest of the world economy, is literally falling apart in front of our eyes. Realistic ideas for preventing the spread of chaos and/or Islamic extremism are in conspicuously short supply. And reportedly a new push by the White House and its climate change allies for stronger action is completely ignoring the issue of energy security.
I’m pretty skeptical about even mainstream climate change warnings and recognize the difficulties of rapidly transitioning to a renewable fuels-based economy even if the scariest global warming predictions are true. (So, evidently, do most avid climate change policy advocates, given the modesty of the near- and even medium-term goals, and the third world-friendly selectivity, of the UN-sponsored Kyoto Protocol.)
But the potential of renewables over time to reduce the world’s dependence on all fossil fuels – and therefore on energy from the deeply unstable and generally hostile Middle East – can’t reasonably be denied. Imagine what America’s record and position in the region would be like had the nation seriously fostered renewables research and use starting with the first OPEC oil embargo and steep price hikes – which occurred 40 years ago?
So if the President really wants to give some oomph to his climate change proposals, he’ll give a nationally televised speech pounding the table for faster renewables adoption to hasten the day when the Middle East’s endless turmoil can be safely ignored – and conversely, when Americans and others can act forcefully against its bad guys, if they wish, without fear of excessive economic costs or deliberate retaliation.
Chances are even voters in fossil fuel-rich swing states would respond to a chief executive who looked them straight in the eye, maybe jabbed his finger in the air a bit, and declared, “Nothing will help our nation – and especially future generations – stick it to the fat cat sheikhs and the jihadis and the terrorists and the women-kidnappers and torturers and all the Middle East’s America-haters like speeding up the changeover to renewables.”
Granted this approach won’t come naturally to the emotionally cool and politically correct Mr. Obama. But whether he rises to the challenge or not, something like it – along with measures to step up exploitation of America’s enormous new available fossil fuel reserves safely and responsibly – will surely be a winning message in upcoming election cycles.