Thanks to Stephen Jordan of the U.S. Chamber BCLC for his recent Memorial Day post (http://tinyurl.com/24wgseo) – a fantastic reflection on the gear up of the “Arsenal of Democracy” as the U.S. entered World War II. It has always amazed me how in the time of national and global crisis the full resources of this country and those of global allies were mustered to confront a common enemy.
This message applies as much, or even more so, today. Once again, we find ourselves as a nation and a planet in need of an arsenal. Rather than an “Arsenal of Democracy” we need an “Arsenal of Sustainability.”
Once again, our nation and the world face a common enemy. That enemy does not dive in from the air with guns blazing, float up from beneath the sea in steel bubbles, or roll across the field of battle in mighty panzers. This enemy that we face today is more insidious as the enemy is us. It is us and our general acquiescence to policies and business practices that cause polluted environments, crumbling national infrastructures, and digital and financial chasms amongst global populations. A focus on short-term profit and a lack of foresight, preparation, and care for potential devastating consequences has led us to a place where thousands and thousands of gallons of petroleum are able to find themselves in the waters of my native New Orleans and world citizens lack access to clean water, sustenance, and resources.
President Obama reminded us just yesterday that this recent accident in the gulf should signal the siren’s song for carbon-based energy, highlighting the imperative for an oil independent future. And, Stephen reminds us of the power of the cross-sector citizenry to rise and forge systemic productive change for the common good.
To meet this vision of a sustainable future that American spirit must be raised and focused towards one singluar goal – to create an Arsenal of Sustainability to advance energy technology and efficiency, rebuild the power and transportation grids, and create physical environments to support sustainable development and low impact co-habitation. That is best be accomplished by rallying resources from all sectors, setting aside perceived adversarial relationships, and engaging in cooperative collaboration to meet the next great challenge to global resilience.
We did it to meet a great evil in the middle of the century past? Are we bold enough, brave enough, and strong enough to meet the challenge again at the beginning of the century present?