July 26, 2007

Orr for President

David W. Orr, who lives in a mechanical world of good-sighted watchmakers and visible hands, has outlined his agenda for the U.S. Presidency in - where else? - Conservation Biology. He focuses on climate change. His energy policy will:
(1) reduce our dependence on imported fuels; (2) minimize our vulnerability to political conflicts in unstable parts of the world; (3) reduce our balance of payments deficit and money going to fund terrorist groups; (4) lower the total costs of energy, notably those costs that are now externalized; (5) generate better technology and a better economy; (6) create good and stable jobs; (7) improve air and water quality; (8) protect public health; (9) lower health costs; and (10) reduce the influence of entrenched energy industries on U.S. politics.

The right energy policy, in other words, should solve many different problems including that of climate change and national security while providing other collateral benefits.
And he will accomplish this not through a five-year plan, as his forebears would attempt to do, but in 100 days that will change the world.
[P]residential leadership of the most extraordinary sort will be essential to lead the country and the world in other and better directions. Before taking office the next president will need to have mastered the science of climate change sufficiently to understand the stakes involved and have summoned the clarity of mind and depth of will to act decisively and boldly. The president will need a long list of qualities found in our greatest presidents: judgment, fortitude, wisdom, eloquence, vigor, courage, political skill, honesty, wit, perspective, and maybe even a sense of humor. The time for denial, half measures, and political expediency has been spent. The time to act is now.
[On a personal note, let me say that only one, if any, of those qualities may remotely apply to me. If I were President of the U.S. my time in office would be remembered as one of denial and half measures.]

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