Dear Mr. President,
I watched you this morning on tv strolling the beaches of the Gulf, wiping away a trickle of sweat…hot down there isn’t it? I mean, seriously…it gets really blazing hot down there. The Gulf also has the world’s most beautiful beaches, in my humble opinion, though I admit to being a bit biased in this area.
Here’s what I want to say to you Mr. President. None of us can undo what’s happened down south….oh, if we could only open the delicate glass door to time and turn back the clock a couple of months, but alas, technology hasn’t gotten that far. But what we can do…what YOU can do, is first of all, make sure that big oily mess is made right down there. I have family who live in Gulf Shores, and word on the street is that the cleanup effort is kind of what you might expect when a whole bunch of beaurecratic agencies get together and jostle for who’s boss….the impolite term is a cluster %*#. But since you and I are both civilized and well brought up, let’s just call it a boondoggle. Bottom line, get more resources down there and tell your chiefs to forget their turf wars and just get it done.
But the bigger thing I want to ask of you is to use this BP bad for global good. I need to hear from you in your national address that things are going to change in this country, whether we’re ready or not. That it’s time..no past time…for a real ,toothy howling energy policy in this country. No more…ok, you knuckleheads, you got another 20 years to change your ways. The profligate way we all use energy in this country has got to stop. Our wasteful, who-gives-a crap-there’s more where-that-comes from….has to end. Now, Mr. President…I should tell you there will be lots of us who don’t want to do that. (Don’t tell anyone but I walk around in the building where I work and while we have recycling bins for paper around the newsroom, lots of paper still hits the trashcan.) It’s easier you know, than just making a recycling stack and taking it over at the end of the day. Soooooo much easier. That’s just a tiny example of the attitude I’m talking about. And it isn’t always that we don’t care….old habits die hard. And we need to have it hurt to continue our ways. If you make us pay, so that it hurts to live this way, oh, Mr. President, we’ll change in a hurry. And for many people, sadly, it will be the ONLY thing that changes them.
It’s bully pulpit time, Mr. President. This is your chance for a game changer, time to craft your legacy. Oh I know, I know…President Jimmy Carter tried it back in the 70s and look where it got him. Here’s what he said on national tv on April 18th, 1977. “Tonight I want to have an unpleasant talk with you about a problem unprecedented in our history. With the exception of preventing war, this is the greatest challenge our country will face during our lifetimes. The energy crisis has not yet overwhelmed us, but it will if we do not act quickly.” (If you’d like to read the entire text, here’s a link.)
Wow, you could just recycle that opening paragraph! I know some will cry plagiarism, but I think President Carter would be honored if you opened your talk just that way….and then give the good man credit, naturally. But it is time for an unpleasant talk Mr. Obama….that our way of life, as much as I hate to say it, has to change, should have changed 40 years ago. No one loves cranking the ac more than me…hey, I’m a southern girl and I remember when we first got AC at my house in ‘bama. It was like a icy gift from the gods, but we probably stopped playing outside as much…the yin and yang of cool air. But if we don’t change, like yesterday, our children and grandchildren will hit a wall like a subcompact hitting a concrete barrier at 90 miles an hour when the oil runs out. Bad, bad things could happen as the world fights over what’s left. Time for alternative energy Mr. President. Past time. It’s your job to step up to the plate, and many people from both sides of the aisle will stand behind you. You don’t have the votes? Get them. OH yeah, I don’t care that it’s too close to an election. It’s go time, Mr. President.