Monday, June 07, 2010

Learning

The oil spill in the Gulf is an unmitigated disaster -- unless it can be turned into a teachable moment.

Where are the politicians who can channel the anger and dismay into a program for national energy independence, something as massive and forward looking as Eisenhower's interstate highway system or Johnson's Medicare? Where are the politicians with the courage to significantly raise taxes on gasoline and petroleum products, and use the money to subsidize development of alternate energy resources? Not only do we reduce our dependence on foreign oil and the likelihood of another catastrophic spill, we also do our part to reduce anthropogenic global warming.

Wait, you say. There is not an airtight consensus on either the reality or deleterious impact of anthropogenic warming. Well, ok, if you say so, but another learning moment from the Gulf: When the stakes are big, prudence dictates we prepare for the worst case scenario.