Friday, October 9, 2009

A NOBLE TO THE CHIEF: Humility at it’s best!

For full-disclosure purposes, everyone who know me can attest to my unflinching loyalty to the success of Obama’s Presidency. Next to my marriage and children, my dedication to the Presidency of Obama is probably the only other thing that has taken the better part of my life since January 8, 2009. It is not just a question of voting for him last November, it is even more of a ritual of all the wrongs that I have heard all my life about black men not amounting to nothing. For me, Obama is a gem of a man and President. I intend to call him out if he is wrong, but I am as loyal to him as one can get to another human being. He is not only our President, he is that type of leader that I believe this country deserves and any well meaning and reflective leader will appreciate.

Today, the Noble Peace Prize Committee saw the same qualities in this Black man and awarded him the 2009 Noble Peace Prize. The committee not only appreciated this man, they saw the hope and aspiration that his Presidency generates and say: This is a man worthy of appreciation. To them I say thank you. To Barack Obama, I say: Bro’ its all for good!

To those guys who sent the body of the following email to me on-behalf of the President, I say hail to the chief! The humility in the content of the email is appreciated.

A call to action
Friday, October 9, 2009 2:22 PM
"President Barack Obama"
Add sender to Contacts
"Christopher Adekoya"

Christopher --

This morning, Michelle and I awoke to some surprising and humbling news. At 6 a.m., we received word that I'd been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009.

To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by this prize -- men and women who've inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

But I also know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it's also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes.

That is why I've said that I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations and all peoples to confront the common challenges of the 21st century. These challenges won't all be met during my presidency, or even my lifetime. But I know these challenges can be met so long as it's recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone.

This award -- and the call to action that comes with it -- does not belong simply to me or my administration; it belongs to all people around the world who have fought for justice and for peace. And most of all, it belongs to you, the men and women of America, who have dared to hope and have worked so hard to make our world a little better.

So today we humbly recommit to the important work that we've begun together. I'm grateful that you've stood with me thus far, and I'm honored to continue our vital work in the years to come.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Now, Mr. President, it is time we work harder to make sure that we can get this health care reform bill through Congress. It is perhaps time we call the Democratic Party members together and remind them of what is at stake. It is not a question of a needed reform, it is a matter of commitment to what will eradicate health care poverty in America. We cannot allow this opportunity to pass us by again.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hysteria over the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act

We live in a winner-take-all society, where the object of aspiration of everyone, is how to make extra money, grab more power and prestige, and stay close to an exit strategy with a golden parachute if the bottom falls out of the cash cows. The news that companies as Nike, Pacific Gas and Electric and others are resigning from the US Chamber of Commerce because of their opposition to the Clean Energy Jobs and America Power Act, introduced by Senator Kerry and Boxer today, should not come as a surprise to anyone. These companies depend on the burning of coal and carbon to oil the engine of their money maker.To introduce a bill in Congress that will restrict this opportunity, in any form or shape, or curtail the ability of these companies to continue to reap the benefit of burning more carbon, is obviously an affront. These companies will not sit back and watch their cash cows brutalized by mere men in Congress. They have taken their stand, with respect to the burning of carbon, whether the world likes it of not: They do not want to cut down on the green-house effect of carbon burning, and one of the ways to loose in the cut-throat competitive business market, is to adopt new business models or strategies that can cut into their profit. The companies believe, adopting new strategies to cut down on carbon burning , can only lead to them loosing money. If they loose money, they loose power and prestige, and if they loose these basic accolades of a winner-take-all society, they become relatively irrelevant. Knowing this fact is very discomforting to the Chief Executives at many of these Fortune 500 American Companies. They will pick their marbles and go home rather than share any of their profit in any shape or form with the public, even if it has to do with taking the initiative to reduce carbon emission in their vast industries spread over the globe.

To the multinational Corporations, the issue is not curbing the green-house effects of their operations or practices; rather, the issue is the requirement of being made responsible for the status of the environment, when similar corporations in nations as China and India are least required of this obligation. Corporations in the developing countries that flaunt the rules regarding green-house gas emission limits probably do not suffer financially as much as the American Multinationals. No amount of education or persuasion in the works in Copenhagen or Washington DC would encourage these die-hard corporations to buy into the clean energy job and power act. Adopting practices that will cut green-house emissions or create greener jobs, would not only greatly increase overhead cost of operations, it would probably not lead to a competitive edge in the process of manufacturing and delivering goods and services at a reasonable profit for these corporations. And, to the American Corporations’ Chief Executives in time of recession like ours, who wants to listen to the epistle of the green-house nuts? The endorsement by Congress of policies to encourage reduction in green house gas emission through the introduction of the Clean Energy Jobs and America Power Act is not looked upon very favorably. If you ask some of the multinational Corporations’ Chief Executives, their response probably will be: “Just not right now!”

So what exactly are these corporations disagreeable with? Senators Kerry and Boxer introduced the bill with a caveat that, the legislation will create clean energy jobs, reduce pollution and protect America security by enhancing domestic energy production and combating global climate change. They justify the essence of the bill with the following quotations:
• "This is a security bill that puts Americans back in charge of our energy future and makes it clear that we will combat global climate change with American ingenuity. It is our country's defense against the harms of pollution and the security risks of global climate change" - Senator Kerry
• "Our health, our security, our economy, our environment, all demands we reinvent the way America uses energy. Our addiction to foreign oil hurts our economy, helps our enemies and risks our security. By taking decisive action, we can and will stop climate change from becoming a ‘threat multiplier' that makes an already dangerous world staggeringly more so.” - Senator Kerry.
• "We know clean energy is the ticket to strong, stable economic growth -- it's right here in front of us, in the ingenuity of our workers and the vision of our entrepreneurs. We must seize this opportunity, or others will move ahead. This is our time. Global warming is our challenge. Economic recovery is our challenge. American leadership is our challenge. Let's step up right now. Let's not quit until we have fulfilled our responsibility to our children and our grandchildren.” – Senator Boxer

Here are the major highlights of the Clean Energy Jobs and America Power Act:
• Reduction in emission limits: reduction in greenhouse pollution limit is jerked up by 20% below the 2005 limits advanced previously in Waxman-Markey’s bill before congress;
• Green Transportation: push for green transportation, devoting a guaranteed share of revenues from carbon regulation to transit, bike paths, and other green modes of transport;
• Coal Plant Greenhouse Gas Regulation: environmental protection agency must be given the authority to regulate coal plants under the Clean Air Act.
• Ensuring National Security: there is need to redirect our oil expenditures, as much of our expenditures on gas goes to countries that do not like us. We also need to consider that carbon pollution threatens our children’s health and radically and irreversibly alter our climate for the worse.

Probably like other Multinational American Corporations who may not want to be identified yet, Nike believes US businesses must advocate for aggressive climate change legislation and that the United States needs to move rapidly into a sustainable economy to remain competitive and ensure continued economic growth. Be that as it may, these corporations are not ready to buy into the currency that climate change is an issue that needs urgent actions, in light of the economic condition we now have. Whether this is true or not, we shall explore this angle of argument this month in our succeeding blogs, barring any new development with the American Health Care Reform Bill.