Episode 67: Jay Inslee – Apollo’s Fire and Duncan’s New Energy for a New World
In this episode of our Engaged Elder series, I dialogue with Jay Inslee, U.S. Congressman from Seattle, who for a number of years has been the leading voice in the U.S. Congress for what I term New Energy and a New Energy economy. Since I began writing about my vision of it more than four years ago, I have called it New Energy for a New World, New Energy for a New Century, etc. Jay is the co-author of the excellent recent book Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy, written with Brandon Hendricks, one of the original co-founders of the Apollo Alliance. Together with Worldwatch Institute founder and current Earth Enterprise Institute president Lester Brown’s Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Apollo’s Fire is one of two of the key truly up-to-date educational and informational resources for personal and public policy choices that meet the ineluctable evolutionary imperative for us to consciously move from the Old Oil Elite Fossil Fuel economy to a New Energy economy for a New World. Such a New Energy economy will provide the foundation for self-reliant prosperity, real security and abundance, and generosity of collaboration for all in this New Century.
Recorded during the Democratic National Convention in Denver on August 25, 2008, our dialogue highlights the reality of the technological options already available for us that we can quickly, efficiently, and economically bring to scale, capable of moving us to the kind of New Energy economy and policy proposals I first put forth in 2004 and which the times are now catching up to: to empower and reward all citizens, not just the already wealthy, and to salvage and repair our broken economy in the only sustainable ways possible. And in the process our dialogue also identifies where the blockages are occurring in our political system, and which individuals and interests are opposing, stalling and undermining that necessary evolution.
Next week, on Program 68 in dialogues with Jay Inslee and co-author Bracken Hendricks, and with Bob Gough of InterTribal COUP wind energy and Van Jones, author of The Green Collar Economy, I go into detail regarding my proposals for New Energy Bonds and the establishment of a O.N.E. AMERICA Corps.
For a summary of the practical proposals I have made in this time of required change, you can see my additional website www.newenergycentury.com or contact me at www.livingdialogues.com. Visit my blog at Duncan.personallifemedia.com.
After you listen to this Dialogue, I invite you to both explore and make possible further interesting material on Living Dialogues by taking less than 5 minutes to click on and fill out the Listener Survey.
“I’m Jay Inslee, a Congressman from Seattle, and co-author of Apollo’s Fire. And I got a great opportunity to be on Living Dialogues. I’ve been involved in discussions about Apollo’s Fire all across the country, and I have to tell you this one with Duncan Campbell on Living Dialogues was the most stimulating one we’ve had. Duncan hit the nail on the head about how a New Energy Economy is going to unify the country; and what I really enjoyed about this discussion is it brought a little unity. You know we’ve been a divided country living under fear for the last few years, and talking to Duncan and I know from folks listening it’s time to start living our hopes instead of our fears and start living together instead of separately. And when we do that, the kinds of things we each have envisioned are going to happen. It’s a great show, and I’m most excited to have been here.” – Jay Inslee
“Duncan Campbell, I heard about your podcast a few months ago, and have been deeply listening to all the dialogues with your fantastic friends/guests. Your words, ideas, and wisdom are truly inspirational. You have evoked a new appetite for knowledge in me that I hope to share with a starving younger generation. Thank you for doing what you do, and creating a unique space, void of boundaries and classification. A breath of fresh air! Much love and respect.” – Amit Kapadiya
In furtherance of creating and maintaining the planetary dialogues now required in the 21st century, I am featuring a special series of dialogues on this site with myself and other elders in the weeks leading up to and including the 2008 Olympics hosted by China and the U.S. election season. These dialogues address various specific political aspects of our planetary crisis, with its dangers and opportunities for a visionary and evolutionary shift. (We remember that the Chinese character for “crisis” is often described as meaning both “danger” when visioned from a fear perspective, and “opportunity” when visioned from a wisdom perspective.)
In my preceding dialogues I have talked in various ways about the need to generate dialogues across generational, ethnic, gender, and national boundaries -- building bridges of understanding and wisdom in the cooperative spirit and reaching out required by our 21st century realities, and the essential roles that we all are called to play in our evolution for it to take place.
This is the time for renewed dialogue, for visionary and inspiring discourse producing practical and innovative solutions together, to engage our own elder wisdom and youthful inspiration, and in so doing to experience and exemplify that “Dialogue is the Language of Evolutionary Transformation”.
And that is what we all do, in our mutual roles as host, deep listeners, and guests, when we gather together here from all parts of the globe in Living Dialogues.
Other programs you will find of immediate interest on these themes are the Dialogues Programs 35-36 with Paul Hawken regarding the emergence of collaborative citizen movements worldwide, Program 37 with sociologist Paul Ray on the creation of a new wisdom culture and political paradigm, Program 58 with Ted Sorensen, counselor to John F. Kennedy, Program 59 with Robert Thurman on the Dalai Lama and China, Program 61 with David Boren on the need for new energy and transpartisanship, Programs 62-64 with George Lakoff on understanding the 21st century Political Mind, and Programs 65-66 with Tom Hayden on the Youth-Elder Dialogue from the Sixties through the present. Also of directly related interest in terms of the founding and traditions of the U.S. during its tipping point 2008 election season, with its implications for global shifts, are my dialogues with historian Joseph Ellis, honored as “the Founders’ historian” by The New York Review of Books (see Programs 38 and 39).
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The best way to reach me is through my website: www.livingdialogues.com. Many thanks again for your attentive deep listening in helping co-create this program.
All the best, Duncan.
P.S. As a way of further acknowledging and appreciating your part in these dialogues, and since I cannot personally answer all of them, I have begun to publish from time to time in these pages some of the numerous (unsolicited) appreciations received from you.
Duncan Campbell: From time immemorial, beginning with indigenous counsels and ancient wisdom traditions through the work of Western visionaries such as Plato, Galileo and quantum physicist David [??Boehm] mutually participatory dialogue has been seen as the key to evolving and transforming consciousness. Evoking a flow of meaning, a dia, flow of logos, meaning. Beyond what any one individual can bring through alone. So join us now as, together with you the active deep listener, we evoke and engage in Living Dialogues.
Welcome to Living Dialogues. I’m your host, Duncan Campbell and with me for this particular dialogue I’m truly delighted to have as my guest, Seattle Congressman Jay Inslee whom I’m speaking with here as he’s attending the Democratic Convention in Denver, Colorado. Together with Bracken Hendrix, co-founder of the Apollo Alliance, Jay Inslee is the co-author of a very informative book, Apollo’s Fire, subtitled Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy. And that’s a very excellent lead in I think now to what we’re going to talk about with Jay Inslee because part of what renewable energy is all about is the limitless abundance of making a new and renewed relationship with the sun, with wind, with bio-fuels, the energy that’s provided by the earth itself with thermal energy from the earth, with ocean thermal and so on, all of which have been written about quite brilliantly by Jay Inslee, Congressman from Seattle, for a number of years and his co-author Bracken Hendrix who was co-founder of the Apollo Alliance five years ago. And I can highly recommend that book, Apollo’s Fire. It was published just a few months ago and has, in my view, the most comprehensive and the most interesting overviews and details both of what’s happening in the field of new energy. Things that are far beyond anything you’re ever going to hear on CNN or MSNBC much less the three major networks and you’re not going to read about them in the New York Times even because they just simply don’t cover this in a way that is comprehensive. But this is our opportunity for the next 45 minutes with Jay Inslee the leading proponent of new energy for many years in the Congress to tell us what’s happening with our government, what’s happening with the Congress, what kind of legislation is pending, why is it blocked, who’s blocking it, what’s real, what’s not real. So Jay Inslee what a great pleasure to have you here.
Jay Inslee: Appreciate the subject matter.
Campbell: One of the things I thought we might start with, let you just educate the public here in a way that, sadly, does not happen in our major media, in our cable TV or in our print media. Let’s start with that fact that when a Democratic congress was elected with just a very narrow tie-breaker kind of situation in the Senate, so it’s not filibuster-proof, it really is not a Democratic majority in any functional way and we have a Republican President who uses the veto power now against the Democrats in a way that he did not when he had a Republican Congress and vetoed nothing, including all the irresponsible legislations that occurred during that administration in and now we have a situation in the House that because there’s a Democratic majority in the house, people say “Well, gee . It’s the fault of the Democrats that we’re not having any new energy.” John McCain has put out attack ads on television calling Obama “Dr. No”, he is the man who does not want new energy. And then the most outrageous thing I’ve seen is television ads where John McCain is standing in front of wind turbines as if somehow this is his new energy plan. And so why don’t you deconstruct for us what’s real and what’s phony in all of this media blitz and help us get an insider’s view as to what is going on in the Congress. I just saw Ted Turner two days ago up in Aspen and he said, “when I resigned from the board of Time-Warner I said, my advice is simple: you’ve got to stop doing the dumb things and start doing the smart things.” It’s the same with our politics; we’ve got to stop doing the dumb things and start doing the smart things. So tell us, what are the smart things and how come the dumb things are what’s happening.
Inslee: I appreciate that set up. I would like to say that when Democrats were in the small majority that all ills will be fixed but with the filibuster and the veto we’ve still got some mountains to climb. I’ll tell you what’s going on. What’s going on is the country, I believe, is just about to really turn over a new leaf and put a president in the White House who’s going to stop living our fears and start living our dreams again and add a few more voices in the Senate that will overcome that rancid filibuster that has really been the stopper, that has been the fly in the ointment and has been the reason that we have not been able to advance this clean energy agenda. We have in the House but other than a café standard improvement which we did force through over Republican objections we haven’t been able to surmount that filibuster. But with Mark Udall and about three or four other friends in the U.S. Senate we’re going to be able to do that. So I am actually very optimistic that when we have a president who really understands the economic virtue and potential of clean energy for creating new jobs in this country, who sees it as an opportunity rather than just a crisis, we’re really going to be able to rock ‘n roll in clean energy. Now that will not be the case, unfortunately, if we make some wrong decisions coming up on Election Day. Elections do have consequences. I’ll just give you one example of a consequence. We have made a very, very strong and stalwart attempt to roll back the ill-gotten subsidies that have been given to the oil and gas industry over the last hundred years. And several months ago we had, on several occasions, a bill that would roll back about $20 billion of ill-gotten subsidies of your tax money that’s sprinkled out to the oil and gas industries which are the last corporations in the world that need help from Uncle Sam right now, and would have reeled those back in and redistributed those benefits to the solar energy companies, to the wind energy companies, to the photovoltaic companies, to the lithium ion battery companies, all of these new entrepreneurs who are doing such great jobs creating this new energy future for us. And we went to the Senate, we passed it in the House but we overcame that because we have a majority in the House, went to the Senate and the Republicans filibustered it. They got their marching orders from the oil and gas industry and they almost, not all of them, but about 90% of them voted for a filibuster and we got 59 votes to break that filibuster. We came within…we needed one more vote to break that filibuster, to have a fundamental turn of the tide in American history on whether we’re going to have clean energy or not. And there was one Senator who was in Washington D.C. that day I’m told, who did not vote and we didn’t get that one vote that really would have started the revolution and I’m sad to say that one vote was Senator McCain who was the pivotal vote that allowed the oil and gas industry to continue their dominance in Washington D.C. and their ill-gotten grabbing onto these tax breaks that are not necessary when we could have really started this clean energy revolution. So elections have consequences. If we’ve got a Barak Obama in there we’re going to have a President who is going to support this change in our tax code to drive these small businesses that are developing these new clean technologies, he’s going to support the calls for 15% of our energy from clean renewable sources, he’s going to support the R&D we need and frankly, his opponent, Senator McCain has been AWOL on those subjects in the Senate and has joined these filibusters, in fact, in voting against these measures. But I believe the country is now ready to move forward and I can’t think of a better way to do it. So I’m looking forward to this November.
For full transcript, please contact Duncan Campbell