Monday, August 15, 2005

Looking like you're doing something...

...when you lack the courage to do what really needs to be done is stock in trade for politicians the world over. The recently passed Energy Bill in the US is a classic example.

I posted on some practical issues with the effect on clocks of the recently enacted extension of daylight saving in the US. These are trivial when compared to the fact that extending daylight saving amounts to shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Given the price the US is paying in Iraq for its dependence on oil it ought to be relatively easy to sell tough measures to the public, measures that will actually reduce energy consumption. That extending daylight saving is the best that Congress could do in this positive environment is shameful and a testament to how truly broken American democracy really is.

But as detestable as our politicians are, ultimately it is the voters who are to blame. We actually want politicians who will lie to us, to tell us what we want to hear, that we can have our cake and eat it too, so we don't have to face up to the need for change. But just like the ostrich with it's head in the sand we forget that because we can't see the problem doesn't mean it doesn't exist. And most of the big challenges our society is facing will get harder to solve the longer we leave them. So what we're really doing is trading of some pain now for a lot of pain for our children. Pathetic really.

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