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A Lot Can Happen During Seven Years of a Good Presidency November 19, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in News and politics.
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President Gore will keynote the Bali Protocol meetings set for two weeks from today, and word is trickling in that he will attempt to bring the expanding Asian powers into fuller compliance with the environmental standards set in Kyoto. To accomplish this, Gore is said to be keen on promoting heavy incentives for India and China to participate more fully in the process.

In the complicated world of the Kyoto Protocol, China and India are largely absolved from making major attempts to promote a green industrial policy (all of this stuff is regulated by an almost impossible to understand “protocol” involving things like Annex I and Annex II nations and a complicated set of bizarre stock market-like brokerages on environmental policy — google it if you’re doing a thesis on international law).

Greenhouse trendsIt’s unclear what Gore has in mind with regards to these incentives, but with the American dollar at an all time high it’s expected that he’ll offer some U.S. assistance on R&D.

At the same time, Gore has long answered his Republican critics, who correctly point out that China has probably overtaken the U.S. as the world’s epicenter of greenhouse gases and should bear some responsibility, by emphasizing that the U.S. needs to, if necessary, “go it alone”.

As he famously said during his inaugural address, “the earth is not waiting for nations to agree on a protocol. It may be that she’ll wheeze her last breath before all of us decide on a unifying strategy for defeating global warming. With that in mind, my colleagues here in Congress all know my record and my opinion on the environment. I will make the environment the number one issue we discuss in these hallways, because it is.”

So, as we all know now, the U.S. went alone and breezed past even the most ambitious hopes of the most strident European greens. This happened in spite of, or maybe because of, the events of 9/11 (there’s no debate that the environment was NOT the number one issue discussed in congressional hallways in the days immediately after 9/11).

Since then, the U.S. economy has boomed as thousands of start ups, supported in no small part by an expanded S.B.A. (Small Business Administration), have capitalized on Green Fervor.

One estimate by the National Association of Realtors claims that 15% of all American homes are now equipped with solar panels, thanks partly to the continued housing boom and the green home equity incentives passed by the Democratic Congress.

A lot can happen during seven years of a good presidency.

The American auto industry, once on the verge of collapse, has been strengthened by the Gore Administration’s industrial policy, which provided insane incentives for the research and development of greener cars. Detroit has undergone a renaissance under Al GoreToday, 87% of all new cars sold in the American market are either hybrid (electric and combustion engine), hydrogen, or all-electric. That figure is 93% in California. Remember, this was an industrial policy criticized fervently by progressives as corporate welfare. That same corporate welfare has given new meaning to the term “renaissance”, especially in Detroit.

A lot can happen during seven years of a good presidency.

There are no fewer than 37 solar power farms in Arizona and California that have sprouted up in just the last six years or so. Each generate at least 500 megawatts of electricity, with the massive Stirling Energy complex south of Phoenix, expected to go online early next year, expected to generate 1500 megawatts. This range, 500 to 1500 megawatts, is the general range for the coal and gas fired power plants that dot the Chinese landscape, and it is here where maybe American companies, with a little help from correct industrial policy, can help tip the trade imbalance between the U.S. and China more towards the U.S. This new energy infrastructure has happened without any effort from the Gore Administration other than Gore’s use of the bully pulpit.

A lot can happen during seven years of a good presidency.

Even the price of oil is under control, despite the voracious appetites of the biggest carbon eaters, India and China. Iraq has resumed its role as a huge exporter, even though it is still a nation in conflict after the fall of Saddam. Venezuelan President Chavez and American President Al Gore are huge friends, despite the fact that Chavez has nationalized almost half of his nation’s industry and professes a fondness for Fidel Castro (yet, ironically, he is said to have such a strong bond with Al Gore that he is reported to have told Gore personally he would never let America “go dry” with oil, to which Gore is said to have said, “we need to go dry.”).

A Lot Can Happen During Seven Years of a Good Presidency.

Most amazingly, the attacks of September 11 are becoming a footnote to history. It was an awful day for Americans. It was an awful day for the world, too, as the outpouring of support showed. Many people, from many countries, died on that day. But the American president didn’t panic or fall into the trap of jingoism. Instead, he showed the way in a sane, rational way.

A lot of bad can happen, too, during seven years of a presidency. We who live in America are fortunate, on this Thanksgiving eve, that things did, under Al Gore, turn out okay, not only after 9/11, but, more importantly, on a much more important day, December 28, 2000, when Al Gore officially was named the winner of the November elections.

Nobody can know what terrible things might have happened to our country if December 28th had not happened.

Maybe George W. Bush would have been the moderate Republican he claimed to be, and everything would have been fine.

I suspect, though, if we were allowed a quantum leap into a different, Harry Turtledove-like scenario, that things would have turned out much differently than they did.

I suspect that seven years of a good presidency could have gone horribly bad. And so, this Thanksgiving eve, I am thankful for a world in peace, a world that seems to be collectivizing into a broad hope, under the knowledge it all could be a very different world.

Image Sources: Wired (http://www.wired.com/news/images/full/solardish1_f.jpg), see http://www.wired.com/science/planetearth/news/2005/11/69528

Michigan Business Directory (http://image.pegs.com/images/MC/DTWDT/dtwdt_b1.jpg), see http://www.michiganbusiness.us

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