Yup. George Bush can re-write his place in history, restore American prestige worldwide, and be remembered as a great president. All he has to do is give this little speech I've written for him.
The speech does not contain the word "Iraq." I'm not a (total) egomaniac, and I'm not holding my breath. But I do mean it. The president who gives this speech can save America.
My fellow Americans: I'm using this Saturday's radio broadcast to begin a "How To" for the purpose of saving energy and cutting our nation's use of oil by 25 percent -- not in 20 years, 10 years, or five years -- but in the next three months. That's right. Every Saturday on this broadcast, I will try to teach the things I've been learning. If every American pulls with me, we'll literally cut our oil use by 25 percent -- three months from today.
I've come to see that the most patriotic act we can commit as Americans is to save energy in our day-to-day lives. I haven't asked the American people to sacrifice in this war on terror. But today I am. Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your co-workers: we're in this together.
The first way to fight terrorism is to deny terrorist-sponsoring nations their most powerful weapon: the high price of oil. The best way we can do this in the short run? Conservation. If every American stops using just the energy that we truly don't need, we will send a message to our enemies -- and friends -- in the Middle East: We don't want to fight; we don't need your oil; we will no longer empower you by being a slave to our own energy consumption.
Sure, we already have alternative technologies that will help: solar, wind, fuel cell cars. But these take time to come into everyday use. We don't have time. So I'm asking you to join this new crusade to change our everyday habits. You don't have to buy a hybrid car or convert your house to solar heating to join us.
See, we're at war with our own habits: habits formed 50 years ago, when oil was cheap and there seemed to be an endless supply.
If every American woman, man, and child joins me, we will not only thwart terrorism at its source, but we'll dramatically lower our carbon emissions. In three months -- and without asking businesses to carry an undue burden -- we'll be in virtual voluntary compliance with the Kyoto Accord. (Now that I see how possible it is, I might even sign it. It'd probably send a good message to the folks in China.)
The things I'll be talking about each week are simple. I won't ask you to buy a new car, I'll teach you how to drive your current one and save 20 percent of your fuel. We can do this today, just by being mindful of little things.
So here's Lesson Number 1: turn off lights you don't need.
Don't worry, we're not going to plunge American homes into darkness. But when you leave a room, ask yourself: "How long will it be before I come back to this part of the house? Can I turn off a couple of lights? Do I need more than one light in the bathroom while I brush my teeth?"
Throughout your day, ask yourself: can I manage without this light? If the answer's yes, get in the habit of turning it off. If you run an office, you have a bigger chance to help. For a while at least, we need to turn off lights in our skyscrapers -- not all of them, but a lot of them. Unnecessary lights waste oil, so they're ultimately a danger to our security.
That's it for this week.
If every American joins me in this crusade -- if today we start to accept conservation as our patriotic duty, experts tell me that we'll save up to 3 percent of our energy consumption, immediately. Tomorrow.
Next week, I'll add a new tool. Over the next three months, if we fight this New Crusade together, we will reinvigorate America with a shared sense of purpose that we haven't experienced since the challenges of World War II.
Americans have always been willing to sacrifice. I now understand the need to ask you to do that. Sorry I come so late to it, but I pray that it's better late than never.