Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Dragon Below

"Perseus and Andromeda" by JoachimWtewael, 1611,
Musée du Louvre, Paris

I haven't had much use for "my brain is flat" Tom Freidman lately,

but, this column is worth a look I think.

Seeds for a Geo-Green party
by Thomas L. Friedman

The recent focus of the Republican-led Congress on divisive diversions, like gay marriage and flag burning, coupled with the unveiling of Unity '08, an Internet-based third party that plans to select its presidential candidate through online voting, has intensified the chatter that a third party, and maybe even a fourth, will emerge in the 2008 election.

Up to now, though, most of that talk has been about how a third party might galvanize voters, using the Web, rather than what it would actually galvanize them to do. I'd like to toss out an idea in the hopes that some enterprising politician or group of citizens — or Unity '08 — will develop it.

It's the concept I call "Geo-Green."What might a Geo-Green third party platform look like?

Its centerpiece would be a $1 a gallon gasoline tax, called "The Patriot Tax," which would be phased in over a year. People earning less than $50,000 a year, and those with unusual driving needs, would get a reduction on their payroll taxes as an offset.

The billions of dollars raised by the Patriot Tax would go first to shore up Social Security, second to subsidize clean mass transit in and between every major American city, third to reduce the deficit, and fourth to massively increase energy research by the National Science Foundation and the Energy and Defense Departments' research arms.

Most important, though, the Patriot Tax would increase the price of gasoline to a level that would ensure that many of the most promising alternatives — ethanol, biodiesel, coal gasification, solar energy, nuclear energy and wind — would all be economically competitive with oil and thereby reduce both our dependence on crude and our emissions of greenhouse gases.

In short: the Geo-Green party could claim that it has a plan for shoring up America's energy security, environmental security, economic security and Social Security with one move.


This carbon idea is also called the Lincoln Plan over at Climate Ark

The Lincoln Plan

"Climate change is a complex issue, but it can be summarized rather simply: the consensus of science is that global warming is a threat

(1); the consensus of economics is that a carbon tax would be a cost-effective remedy

(2). A carbon tax is a charge for emitting CO2, the main heat-trapping culprit.

What we propose here is a small federal charge of $5 per ton of carbon emitted as CO2, which for gasoline is about 1 cent per gallon. Since Lincoln's portrait appears on both the penny and the $5 bill, the plan goes under his name - the "Lincoln Plan".

Most of the revenue from the tax would be used to pay for measures to reduce CO2 emissions such as conserving forests, increasing energy efficiency, and adopting cleaner energy supplies.

The cost would typically be $5 or less per ton of carbon saved (3). Residual funds could be used to lower other taxes.

Using most of the tax revenue to reduce emissions would make the plan exceptionally effective and allow the tax rate to be set at the low level just indicated--a political plus. "

Now, I would like to think that the people in this geographic state,

and that those of us who consider ourselves "sailors on the spaceship"

would be able to do something to avoid the giant mountain of ice,

that is right in front of our present heading.

But, we may not.

Later this week, I'm supposed to meet with a bunch of renewable energy

folks to develop a long ranging strategy,

and let me assure you, they will not endorse a carbon tax.

They, like the poor who vote R because of gun control lies,

baby killing pandering, or plain old racist hate mongering,

will not act in their best interests.

Not because they are stupid,

but because they are hypnotyzed.

They believe the capital myth they have been fed.

They don't see what they see.

They don't hear what they hear.

They just fear.

And subconscious fear makes good folks do really weird things.

It is the dragon below.

And it will drag us all down there with it,

Until Hope and the Love of Peace

rises through the mist of our collective consciousness,

and that dark dragon of fear,

is transmuted by the

light of our being.

"St. George and the Dragon" by Sodoma,c.1518,
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

oz, so true so true. keep it up.

6:09 PM  

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