Saturday, July 19, 2008

For the Times, They are a Changin'

by Pa Rock

The need for change in this country, and indeed in the world, is so pervasive and obvious as to be almost maddening. The inequities of energy consumption around the world and the effects of the world's continued reliance on carbon based energy sources are two cases in point. We have been trapped into a dependence on oil for over a century. The auto companies and oil companies have openly conspired for the past four or five generations to limit our transportation options, and to make sure that those options relied on regularly tithing at the gas pumps. When some daring soul speaks up about the need for more public transportation or alternative forms of energy, corporate America roars back about the impracticality or expense of that option, and often tries to paint the person making the proposal as being some sort of socialist. Speech, of course, has never been free, and the big boys who had the money to control the media, controlled the message.

But the Internet has changed all that. Now anyone with an idea or a cause can generate or join a world-wide audience. The Internet has changed politics, it has exposed the ills of society and promoted unique solutions, and it has brought together activists who no longer are consigned to suffer in silence.

The following are three examples of people organizing over the Internet to promote activist policies and challenge the status quo.

1. This group has been previously mentioned in this blog. It was organized by oilman T. Boone Pickens to promote wind and solar energy - heresy to his oil buddies in Texas - and to the oilmen currently running the White House.

2. This is an endeavor by activist Laurie David to build a coalition that will promote alternatives to carbon consumption in an effort to save the planet from the worst effects of global warming.

3. This is Al Gore's group that is promoting renewable energy alternatives - primarily wind and solar. Mr. Gore, of course, also maintains a strong commitment to stop global warming.

Each of the above organizations build political muscle through membership. Congress listens to groups that can generate long petitions and massive amounts of mail. Politics is about numbers and power, and greater numbers equate to greater power. Just ask the clowns at the NRA.

The Internet is the greatest source of democratic power in the history of the world. Take advantage of it. Get out there and join a group or start a group. Find those people who think like you and make your agenda happen. It's time to lace up those Doc Martins and kick some cyber butt!

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