Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Tuesday 18 November 2008

Exploring new transatlantic leadership

“Obama made everyone in the US feel good about themselves. And in Europe he made people want to like America again. He collected a huge amount of political capital. He now has to invest it in transformational change and make sure people and other nations buy into this change”. This is a quote from Michael Ryan, Defence Advisor of the US Mission to the European Union. He was one of the speakers during the seminar “After the Vote: Implications of the US Elections for Foreign Policy, Climate Change and International Security” in the European Parliament. The following is what I learned from the seminar.

We need a new transatlantic leadership that deals with climate change in the same way it has dealt with the Montreal Protocol in the nineties. In a relatively short period it phased out 96% of the CFCs. We need to learn from Kennedy’s transformation of the US space program: “Man on the Moon”. Maybe we should rally around: “Energy Independence”. Since the financial crisis a larger role of the state is possible: the state could – like in Australia - ban inefficient light bulbs from retailers. Ban inefficient energy use in office buildings. Set standards for military energy procurement. The savings of these measures are enormous: e.g. the average costs of fuel for a military vehicle are now three dollars a gallon; in the field this price increases to forty two dollars. The military seem to be ready – they just published the Environmental Guidebook for Military Operations. It is up to us to make change happen!

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