Imagine, for a minute, that you're the president of the United States and you have to deliver a barn burner of a speech about...electrical meters. It certainly helps if you can mention the $3.4 billion dollars in Stimulus Funding headed to the creation of a Smart Grid (and Whoo! Thank goodness for a snazzy term like Smart Grid, without which the president would be stuck with phrases like "real time electrical pricing" and "demand response"). We're lucky President Obama is willing to throw his oratory skills at a subject as pragmatically important and rhetorically blah as the Smart Grid. But the twin energy speeches Obama has given in the past week reveal the crushing lack of a "vision thing" in the administration's energy and climate proposals.
In last week's speech at MIT, Obama relieved many by finally coming out fighting on the topic of energy and climate change. His speech was one truism after another: The system of energy that powers our economy also undermines our security and endangers our planet." Sharing opportunities around the world means that we also share crisis.The world is in a peaceful competition for new sources of energy. For younger people, this is the challenge of a generation--a clash between innovative futurism and pessimism. Lisa Simpson, the cartoon goddess of wonky types, couldn't have written a better, smarter analysis of our energy issues herself.