Despite the fact I was somewhat impressed with Bush’s speech tonight (he actually mentioned Darfur, AIDS in Africa even if his idea is abstinence preaching (be realistic), the staggering deficit, alternative fuels, and the fact that global climate change is a problem even if he stopped short of drawing the connection between our excessive use of fossil fuels and that change) it wasn't enough. I don't have time to get into the economic smoke and mirrors show or that Iraq disaster. Another day, another post.
But, given the occasion, here is a little speech I would have given. Most importantly, they’d have never seen it coming. Or Barack Obama could give it. I like that guy alot.
[Pause for the no doubt extensive applause as I arrive]
Thank you so much.
Way back in 1630, long before these United States of America, as the Plymouth Bay Colony was struggling for survival, a man named William Bradford said, “All great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage.”
Fortunately for every one of us here today, the people of that young Plymouth Bay Colony rose up to meet that challenge. If not for them, none of us today would be here—not in this way, not in this place and certainly not without their courage and countless sacrifices.
Today, history is calling our generation to rise up and meet a new challenge.
This challenge is not a matter of pride. It is not a matter of contention. It is not a matter of life and death.
In fact, it is far more important.
The generations who came before us made certain that this country rode the first waves of the industrial revolution, the first waves of modern invention, the first wave of nuclear power, the first wave of space exploration, the continuing wave of computer and wireless technology, and this generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of energy exploration. We don’t mean to merely be a part of it. We mean to lead it.
For that reason we, as Americans and as stewards of this Earth, choose to find a clean, carbon emissions-free, portable and renewable energy source. To power our cars, our buses, our trucks, our trains, our lives.
And we choose to do so within the next ten years. And yes, it will come at oil's expense. Because time, my friends, is no longer on our side.
We can no longer afford to support those whose aim it is to destroy us by buying fuel that when burned will do just that. It is unconscionable to continue doing so. And so we will solve it.
No longer can we afford to transport our children in oversized vehicles in the name of safety while those very same vehicles poison the air they breathe. And so we will solve it.
No longer can we afford to sit idly by as our planet continues a precipitous decline into imbalance. Its rhythms, its seasons, its health in turmoil. And so we will solve it.
No longer can we continue to convince ourselves that our actions do not have ramifications or that someone else is causing the problem. We are causing the problem. And so we will solve it.
No longer can we afford to borrow against the lives of our children, their children, and all future generations. There can be no stronger act of love than leaving them this Earth better than when it was left to us.
Therefore, we choose to find a viable, renewable, clean energy source. And so we will.
To quote the great John F. Kennedy, we choose to do so not because it is easy, but because it is hard. Because that goal will serve to organize and to measure the best of our energies and skills. Because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win. Our very lives depend on it.
No single project in our lifetimes will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range survival of not only our species, but all species great and small. And none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.
History, my fellow Americans, is calling. History, my fellow Americans, will judge us. And history, my friends, will not look kindly on us should we fail.
This is the same nation that defeated the forces of global tyranny in just four short years. This is the same nation that put a man on the moon in under ten. This is the nation that gave the world jazz, blues and rock and roll.
There is nothing we cannot do.
History is calling us. Let our generation answer it.
Thank you. And God Bless America.
[hold for the incessant raucous applause/curtain calls, etc. as the chamber and country goes totally ape]