And radical? Actually civil disobedience is no more radical than our belief that extreme energy changes are possible now -- not just in far-off China or liberal Oregon, but in the city of Washington, D.C. itself. Like a growing number of Metro D.C. residents, my home in Takoma Park is completely solarized. I heat my home with locally grown, organically fertilized corn that saves me money. And beginning this summer in much of Maryland, energy from wind farms will be cheaper than coal-fired electricity from Pepco, the state's mega-utility. Meanwhile, as a region, the D.C. area uses twice as much electricity per capita as California or New York State. Clearly, there is low-hanging "efficiency fruit" everywhere you look in the nation's capital. Washington could cut its power use in half and still have every comfort and abundance: bright lights for the Kennedy Center, heating and cooling for the museums, fast computers for every hall of Congress. No trade-offs.
We just need national legislation to move things along as fast as the climate is changing, which is to say right now! Congress must pass -- in 2009 -- a cap on carbon pollution that matches the goals of Japan and the European nations under the current international climate talks. Then Obama must go to Copenhagen in December to negotiate a strong successor to the Kyoto protocol.