So, I was excited to receive an email from The We Campaign. They are making the same connections (not too surprising to me since it seems so blatantly obvious). I decided to honor their call to write a letter to the editor. Here’s what I wrote – hopefully we’ll be able to read it in the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday:
With the economy in trouble, some people are claiming that we cannot also deal with other issues we’re facing, especially global warming. This is a dangerous and short-sighted approach. Al Gore is proposing an approach to Repower America that would provide 100% clean electricity within 10 years (see the plan at repoweramerica.org). In addition to addressing global warming and our dependency on oil, this plan creates new jobs, reduces energy costs, and eliminates our need for fossil fuels while injecting our economy with much needed new projects. We not only can address more than the economy by working toward a sustainable future, we have to. Any other approach will simply continue our path along the vicious cycle of greed and destruction.
If you agree, please add your letter to the hopefully continuously growing pile of letter to the editors!
You can also read Al Gore’s op ed piece in the New York Times in which he outlines his Repower America Plan.
There is also an interesting guest post at the Wall Street Journal blog from the authors of the Baseline Scenario, all highly trained & experienced economists. They suggest that it’s time to reinvest in the “real” economy:
This [reality of the current economic] situation, while unfortunate in the aggregate and a tragedy for many vulnerable individuals, actually presents a major opportunity for the United States.
The opportunity is to transform the economy by moving resources (capital and people) out of financial services and into manufacturing, technology, and other activities based on “real” (i.e., non-financial) innovation. This switch plays to a number of strengths in the United States: people (and capital) move relatively easily compared to other countries; we have great depth in the development of technology (our engineering schools lead the world); we are very good at creating new companies (many have tried to replicate Silicon Valley; few have even come close); and, if managed well, we will continue to have the deepest and most flexible capital markets in the world.
Of course, this also requires a new emphasis on science education, something they don’t mention although they call for renewed emphasis “on spreading technology-related skills through the population.”