Night and Day
This is not a column about Cole Porter, the great Broadway composer who wrote the wonderful song “Night and Day”. This column is about climate change and the urgent need for humanity to dramatically alter its’ energy equation.
At a recent global climate change summit in Poland, John Kerry, the ranking U.S. representative told the world community that the difference on the issue of climate change between the incoming Obama administration and the soon to be history Bush administration will be like “night and day”. He emphasized the commitment that Obama will have for facing global warming, creating alternative and renewable energy businesses and working closing with nations of the world in this area. He compared that to the horrendous, head in the sand, petroleum loyal and anti science Bush administration and promised the world that America is ready to again join the rest of the world in facing these key issues.
There is no doubt that Kerry’s words will be proven to be true. It is hard to imagine a less committed administration in the area of alternative energy, and all the complexities of the climate change issue than the Bush administration. History will not be kind to the Bush administration in the area of energy and climate change. In the next 15 years the global transportation, construction, production and land use market sectors will undergo incredible transformation. There is more change in front of us for the next 15-20 years in these areas than in the last 50 years.
Historians in 2025 will look back to the preceding 20 years and marvel how much has changed in the fields of energy and humanity’s relationship to Earth. They will write about how humanity came back from the brink of extinction. How more wealth has been created in renewable energy and alternative energy in this 20 year period than was created in the first 50 years of the computer age.
They will write their histories starting with the first photo of planet Earth from space, followed by the first Earth Day and the two decades of environmentalism. They will write about the emerging promise of alternative energy sources in the 1990s. They will write about the incredible amount of transformation and wealth creation that occurred between 2010 and 2025. They will look at the years 2001-2008 as the dark and dangerous pause in this historical trend line. They will write about how the leadership of America lost its way and put the entire planet at risk due to its devotion to special interests created in the 20th century. They will in fact call it the dark times. They will call it the eight year night that gave way to the dawn of a new day. Kerry’s metaphor will prove to be true.
Cole Porter’s “Night and Day” was a beautiful song. The coming dawn of the new energy day will be beautiful, glorious, and just in time.