Where is the “change?”

“Where is the change in the promise of ‘change’?”

Heard it before?

Perhaps from a little voice occasionally gnawing at you?

Let’s zero in on one aspect of the many-sided, all-important jobs question.

I realize the future of my now-adult children and my grandchildren depends on the future of all children in the human family.

Nothing worries me more and, at the same time, fills me with more hope than what the future on earth holds for them.

The conflicted musings of grandpa gone nuts? I don’t think so.

But you decide.

Consider what congressional candidate David Harmer told his Tea Party admirers: “Nowhere [in the Constitution] will you see the power to regulate carbon dioxide, what we exhale.”

After the laughs and giggles subsided, the Republican candidate in California’s 11th Congressional District declared he did not “believe” in global warming.

Let’s match this up with the observations of James Hansen, a preeminent scientist on global warming.

“Climate is nearing dangerous tipping points,” James Hansen warned two years ago. “Elements of a ‘perfect storm,’ a global cataclysm, are assembled.”

More recently, Hansen said, “Our fossil fuel addiction, if unabated, threatens our children and grandchildren, and most species on the planet.”

Nineteen of 20 Republican Senate candidates in contested races, along with a large majority of House Republican candidates backed by the Tea Party, question the science of global warming and oppose legislation to deal with it, a National Journal survey found.

Since the beginning of 2009, the oil, coal and utility industries have spent $500 million to lobby against legislation to deal with climate change and to defeat Democratic candidates who support it, the Center for American Progress Action Fund revealed.

With the aid of Republicans and a few conservative Democrats in Congress, these corporations earlier this year killed legislative efforts to address the global warming issue.

While remedies they propose vary from cosmetic to fundamental, Democrats do accept the widely-held scientific estimates about the dangers of global warming.

President Obama and Democrats generally subscribe to solutions that will result in creating “green” jobs – which leads us back to the “jobs” question.

Parroting oil company arguments, Republicans claim moving to a green economy during this time of high unemployment will make a bad situation worse.

But again, scientific studies show this is precisely the time to move aggressively from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources, as a main way to revive the economy and create millions of jobs.

The Apollo Alliance, a coalition of union, environmental and business groups, recently released a new national study showing that a $40 billion investment in clean transit and vehicle manufacturing will create 3.7 million direct and indirect jobs – 600,000 alone in the manufacturing sector in six years.

If Democrats increase their majorities in both houses of Congress, this issue will be very much in play, as will the fight over superficial versus more basic solutions.

But, if Republicans take control of the House and increase their Senate numbers, the issue of global warming and green energy jobs will be dead in Congress, period!

Which brings us back to the question: What’s in store for us and our loved ones, and future generations?

The billions of years that it took earth to generate life, eventually human life and then civilization could be blown away in less than a person’s lifetime.

Perhaps that’s too terrifying to contemplate, no matter how likely it is to unfold IF the Republicans win in November and in the 2012 presidential elections.

With a few days left until Nov. 2, that IF depends on each one of us taking the time to cast our vote and making sure everyone around us does the same!

This painful stage in our nation’s life is also pregnant with new hope born of struggle by working people in our country and all over the globe.

Just a few years ago, I would never have imagined I would see our nation’s first African American president brought into office by a grand multiracial coalition including millions of our white compatriots.

Make no mistake, the racist attacks on our president by Republican candidates and Tea party activists are a desperate move orchestrated by a tiny far-right minority – the magnates of the oil, banking, insurance and military industries, among others – intent on turning back the clock of history.

It nearly brought tears to my eyes to see a magnificently diverse and united coalition unfolding under the banner of “One Nation, Working Together,” as nearly 200,000 followers gathered in our nation’s capital Oct. 2.

The change we all seek is not vested on one individual or political party – it is vested in every single one of us doing our part, no matter how insignificant it might appear at first sight.

Let us recall the remarks of the noted scientist Hansen on the eve of the 2008 presidential elections.

“The election is critical for the planet.

“If Americans turn out to pasture the most brontosaurian [dinosaur-like] congressmen, if Washington adapts to address climate change, our children and grandchildren can still hold great expectations.

“Solution of the climate problem requires that we move to carbon-free energy promptly!”

Photo by Takver, courtesy Flickr, cc by 2.0


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  • Who is asking the U.S. to sacrifice and when has the U.S. gone green?

    China and India are developing countries that are trying to get out of poverty. The U.S. has contributed much more to Global Warming. If the U.S. took serious measures to combat global warming other nations would follow their lead. The U.S. would also gain millions of green jobs.

    Obama needs to make global warming more of a priority.

  • The charge that regulations on carbon emissions in the US are pointless because of the large carbon output of the developing world don’t make sense because pollution in those countries doesn’t somehow nullify our pollution and because the developed world has a much greater capability to invest in expanding green technology. Now we’re seeing a role reversal in which China is more focused developing a clean energy market anyway.

  • I guess I just don’t get it. Seems to me that the US has cleaned up its “carbon output” through higher pollution standards and clean air acts as well as “going green”. I don’t understand why we are continually asked to sacrifice when countries like China, India, Russia are spewing more crap into the hemisphere than us. What bothers me Juan is your lame belief that any thought that conflicts with Obama is due to racism – what a scape goat excuse. Did you ever think that perhaps Obama is just plain wrong – seems to me if you have to continually do back door deals and arm twisting to get your agenda passed – it mustn’t be in the best interest for the majority. That isn’t a case of racism, it is a case of thuggery. I think the main thing we need to worry for our children is saddling them with impossible debt as well as maintaining the ecological balance within the world. Problem is Juan – it isn’t about Obama’s race which is half white, it is about wrong policies.

  • Yeah…we’d hate to start building up green energy at a time when thousands of oilfield hands are already laid off. That would be terrible to find something new to put those folks to work in!

    I’m sure if it were the other way around, and business were booming, the story would be, “we just put all these guys back to work and now you want to kill their jobs!”

  • For the last 24 years of crisis warnings, the IPCC climate scientists have continued their unified consensus that the consequence of Climate Change are still estimated to be anything from “catastrophic” and “unstoppable” warming, to negligible consequences if any, and may or may not include more extreme weather events. Meanwhile, the UN had allowed carbon trading to trump 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education for just over 24 years of climate control instead of population control.
    When dealing with deniers, you deal with conservative evil. That’s the whole point of climate change, to bring liberals together and defeat conservatism. Fighting evil means no rules and therefore justifies issuing CO2 death threats to billions of children all over the world. We must continue to demonize the non believing conservative deniers and fight for peace.


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