A friend of mine, for his environmental studies class, was given the following assignment:
So, my ENSC160 homework this week is to write a “”
explaining why has an excellent energy policy. Have you
ever tried completing an unpleasant assignment by just writing down
the most bizzare, offensive, (or in this case true) thing you can
think of that’s still on topic, just to get words on pages, then going
back and editing appropriately? Well, this is the result. In looking
at it, though, I’m tempted to just hand it in as is.
Needless to say, this assignment violates the basic dictum of the higher educator that Max Weber laid out a hundred years ago: namely, that the educator’s role is to provide his or her students with the ability to make wise political decisions, not to make those decisions for them. Thusly, I present to you, dear ASR readership , the full, unedited response of my friend (who wishes to remain anonymous) to this absurd assignment:
I am writing to inform you that our lord and savior Barack Obama has an excellent energy policy. Woe betide the skeptic who does not bow down at the altar of Change You Can Believe In. The reasons that Obama’s policies are exemplary can be shown in four official policies published by the campaign: cap and trade emissions reduction, green jobs creation, implementing higher transportation efficiency, and promoting alternative energy.
The first of these policies, green jobs creation, is central both economically and environmentally to the plan. By throwing money into the infallible Market, Obama plans to create five million jobs, in a wide variety of sectors. By investing 150 billion dollars over the course of ten years, the administration will promote the growth of technologies that increase efficiency in energy production and consumption. These new avenues of economic activity will rejuvenate the American manufacturing sector, providing 5 million jobs that cannot be outsourced.
The second policy is to create a cap and trade policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Because Barack Obama recognizes that the demographic on which he depends has finally gotten a fucking clue, he promises to promote legislation that will reduce America’s greenhouse emissions 80% by 2050. The hideous ghost of Ronald Reagan haunts the once peaceful dreams of Barack Obama, compelling him to pursue only market-based solutions to America’s problems. The cap and trade system places an absolute limit on nationwide output of CO2 equivalent gases. The limits will be based on a credit system: a company may only legally emit as much GHG as it has credit for. Credits which the company has not used up in its rape of our green earth can be sold to other emitters, thus creating a financial incentive to reduce emissions.
The third policy is to increase vehicle efficiency nationwide. Imagine a filthy, grinning Saudi Sheik wrapping his ring-encrusted hand around your balls and crushing them like tender grapes. This is the current state of America’s transportation system. In addition to being an ecodisaster, this situation creates unnecessary weaknesses in our holy gospel of the American Way. Barack Obama intends to lead by example, and will convert the entire White House fleet of automobiles to plug-in hybrid vehicles. Air Force One? Fuggetaboutit! On the policy front, the administration will provide 4 billion dollars in tax credits to domestic automakers, on the condition that they use these savings to develop efficient, low impact cars and trucks. Have no fear, gentle reader, you will never in your life be required to walk a single mile on foot or sit next to a crazy guy on the bus. Secondly, new standards of fuel efficiency and usage will be put in place. All vehicles made in this country will be required to have “flex fuel” capabilities; that is, they will be able to switch from today’s petrol to tomorrow’s biofuels at little or no cost to the owner. As part and parcel of this, generous subsidies will be put out to encourage the construction of the necessary infrastructure to support this changeover.
The final, and most long-term, policy is to increase……. oh shit, I can’t even do this one. Really, it’s just a fucking joke. Sure, there’s a nod to increasing renewable energy generation, but for the most part it’s no different from that “drill, baby, drill” travesty. Develop the Alaska pipeline? Maximize oilfield productivity? Force federal leaseholders to develop their petroleum resources on pain of forfeiture? Just how the fuck does this guy expect us to reduce our GHG emissions? Using CO2 to purge old oilfields works in theory, but how is it actually different from robbing Peter to pay Paul? Nuclear energy is the dumbest bet this country has made in the last fifty years (G. Dub included!), because it all boils down to, “This energy source generates large quantities radioactive waste that will render any land it’s stored on uninhabitable for longer than human civilization has yet existed, but don’t worry, technology will fix this somehow!” Give me a fucking break.
So you see, my friend, Barack Obama has an excellent energy policy. By providing strong financial incentives to develop green jobs, efficiency in all sectors, reduced emissions, and clean energy, this policy will reshape the American economy into a world leader of environmental reform.
Source: New Energy for America factsheet, published by Obama for America, http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/factsheet_energy_speech_080308.pdf