Although calling Americans energy gluttons doesn't suggest the same sense of crisis as addiction, it better captures how we should treat the problem. We don't need a detox program; we need a healthier relationship with energy consumption.
We are indeed an exceptional country, and we should celebrate that. But patriotism also means calling our nation out for its problems and troubles. Here are my top four patriotic criticisms of Americans that I wish a politician would articulate.
Americans on average are the biggest consumers of energy on the planet, and keeping the power that we need flowing is a monumental undertaking. Despite our increasing demand for energy, Americans waste a staggering amount of it.
The carbon bubble, quite simply, is the constantly increasing consumption of fossil fuels. I call it the master bubble because it drives the growth of every economic indicator, from GDP to corn harvests.
Twenty years ago, Elton B. Sherwin, Jr. plugged a rechargeable flashlight into an outlet. And within a few hours, it was ready to use as soon as the situation called for it. Only somehow, the situation never called for it.
With the challenges we're facing in the new economy, Mr. Copeland's photographs in Antarctica remind us that the state of the planet and our climate is as important as the changing course of the stock market and the unemployment rates.