25% = Three Quarters Short of Leadership
By Mark Nolte
Imagine how the course of the world would be different if, standing at the podium at Rice Stadium, John F. Kennedy would have announced that by the end of the 60’s, we would build a rocket that would put a man… in Canada?
Had our young President proclaimed such a visionless and tepid mission we may well have lost the cold war and would have not allowed Ronald Reagan to dream of his Stars Wars ICBM system. (You remember, the Dr. Evil “Laser” system)
But JFK didn’t. He stood on that podium and proclaimed that we would get there. Not because he necessarily thought that we could, but he knew that if he made the challenge and offered the government’s full resources, we would.
I had seen what Jim Nussle thought of Iowa’s renewable energy future from his (9/26/2005) press release when he stated: “I envision an Iowa where by the year 2020, 20 percent of Iowa's energy consumption will come from renewable sources of energy. With the right leadership, Iowa will be known as an energy state,”
Naturally I assumed that Democrats, as they had in JFK’s day, would take a more ambitions position on the matter. So, when I read that Governor Vilsack signed a bill this week that pledged 25% of Iowa’s energy would come from renewables by 2020 I was noticeably less than impressed.
This is the mission to Canada. This is what we have come to accept, lack of vision, lack our courage and (forgive me if you will) lack of cahones.
We can do better, we can be 100% renewable by 2012 if we commit to it. Maybe sooner but I like even numbers like that.
The bill that was signed this week is a waste of ink. The only positive purpose this bill serves is of reminding voters that we need to elect people who are unafraid to have a bold vision. Who have the courage to make a claim that challenges and who are not beholden to the corporations that would be negatively affected if Iowan’s owned their own renewable energy production.
I think we all know who that person is. The question is, do we have the courage to vote for him?