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[GreenYes] Fwd: Flagwaving vs. concrete patriotism

>Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 18:32:34 EST
>Subject: Flagwaving vs. concrete patriotism

Concrete Patriotism

Recent developments of the last several weeks have left me wondering about 

We are spending massive sums of money to fight terrorism, which I am all 
for, but some of the terrorism's roots are in the hatred of America's 
involvement in the politics of oil-producing regions.  We support a regime 
in Saudi Arabia that is not elected, nor popular with its people.  We 
fought to protect a non-elected government in Kuwait.  Oil has driven our 
political decision making to such a degree that lives are lost and huge, 
unproductive sums of money are spent.    Right now, many of our political 
leaders have urged us to show our patriotism by spending.  I think the kind 
of spending we all need to do is buy a vehicle that uses less fuel. That's 
what I did.  I gave up my beloved Lexus LS400 to buy a Toyota Prius, a 
gas/electric hybrid.  For $20,000 I bought a car that can haul 5 people and 
a huge trunk full of stuff at 48 miles per gallon instead of 18, almost 
three times my former mileage.  (I really wanted the Honda Insight, which 
gets 65 miles per gallon, but it only seats 2.)   As far as I'm concerned, 
that's concrete patriotism.  (An American car company has yet to produce 
such a vehicle. Not patriotic.)

Hat's off to the city of San Francisco, which recently decided to put solar 
panels on many of its public buildings, and make money available for 
private homes and businesses to add solar to their rooftops.  Once 
implemented, San Franciscans will have doubled the entire solar energy 
production in the United States.  That's concrete patriotism.

Boeing just invented the world's most efficient solar cell.  Boeing is also 
one of the largest defense contractors in the country.  Perhaps their 
corporate thinking went something like this:  "A lot of our military 
hardware is sold to protect our country's ability to get oil.  This costs 
the country a lot of money, and a lot of lives to defend unpopular 
regimes.  What if we just get the country off oil in the first 
place?  Let's invent a much better solar cell and help wean the country off 
of why they need so much of our military hardware in the first place."  Who 
knows if that was their thinking - but that would be concrete patriotism.

As a society, I feel we are like crack cocaine addicts.  Instead of 
protecting our sources of crack cocaine (oil), let's get off the damned 
stuff.  Our leaders should act like responsible doctors and refuse to keep 
writing prescriptions for our addiction, and practice preventive medicine 
for a change.  That would be concrete patriotism.
Ron Schweitzer
209 Glendora Ave.
Long Beach, California 90803
Ron started and was President of a recycling company from 1987 until 
selling it in 1999.

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

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