May 28, 2009

I'm sorry for being American

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was speaking in China’s Tsinghua University today about global warming. In responding to a student questioning how she was going to get Americans to lower their carbon footprint she responded that education was important and also that “We have so much room for improvement. Every aspect of our lives must be subjected to an inventory ... of how we are taking responsibility."

Wow, what a missed opportunity! A child in a communist country asked one of the most powerful leaders in America how she is going to make fellow Americans do what she wants. How about a response like this:
“Well, as an American, I believe in freedom. My country has succeeded because of the freedoms we have. So I am not going to make my fellow countrymen and women do anything. We have extremely bright, innovative people working everyday to invent new, better ways to live. We have reduced greatly the amount of pollution we make compared to the amount of products we produce. We have wonderful companies that innovate and come up with ways to make their products while recycling and eliminating waste. I have full faith that America will continue to find ways to create what we need while driving down the environmental impact and cost. We must”.

But, sadly, no… as usual we apologize for our way of life; say we have so much improvement to do, then say every aspect of our lives must be subjected to an inventory! Well I say we start with you Mrs. Pelosi:
Please provide us with an account of exactly what temperature your house was last night while you were sleeping?, how many appliances do you have?, did you leave the water on while brushing your teeth?, what temperature is your water heater set at?, how long of a shower did you take?, what kind of soap do you use?, is it natural?, are your clothes natural fibers or synthetics?, how much fuel was burned getting you and all your bodyguards to work today?, how much fuel was burned going over to China to give a speech?, how many homes do you have back in America right now with lights on and air conditioning on while you are in China?, Do you use one-ply or two-ply toilet paper?, what is your electricity bill?, how much of your electricity is from solar and wind?, do you drive an electric car?, did you fly an electric plane?, do you eat beef?, do you drink soda?, how much of your trash do you recycle and reuse?, what do you do with your table scrapes, do you compost?, on a hot summer day do you turn on the air conditioning or do you just sweat all day?

These are all very important questions for leaders of our country to answer, after all, every aspect of our lives must be subjected to an inventory. Sounds like she is right at home in China.

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