29 August, 2008
I sincerely hope Barack Obama will become the next US President but his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention last night did not convince me that he will be the One solving our global climate and energy crisis.
Obama’s keynote address was big on changing the political culture in Washington and rescuing the American Dream (topics which might have big electoral appeal with the American voters), but had little or nothing to say about the huge sustainability challenges our world is facing. Compared to Al Gore earlier in the evening, Obama does not seem aware of the global crises facing him once in power.
Paraphrasing what he said about John McCain, Obama might care about climate change, but does he really get it? Does he understand that “energy independence” is just a pipedream and that in this globalised “one-planet economy” the only real solution will come from the awareness of “energy interdependence” and a new international governance of sustainability? Clearly, Obama’s belief in “clean coal” and second-generation biofuels does not bode well for his future actions on climate change. For a more detailed critique of Obama’s climate and energy positions, read the excellent article “Is Obama’s energy plan change we can believe in?” published recently on the Gristmill blog.
45 years after Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream”, it is time for a new dream, one Barack Obama is still not ready for: the dream of a global new energy-economy which has learned to live within the physical and ecological boundaries set by this unique Blue Planet Earth. Let’s hope a future President Barack Obama will learn quickly that saving the American Dream will mean starting to dream the One Planet Dream.Author : Willy De Backer