A new face for America

As we speak, Barack Obama, 44th president of the United-States and first Afro-American ever elected as the head of the country is preparing his governement that will take over Bush’s on the 20th of January.

For those of you of understand french, i came across a nice statement reading the news on the net : «A l’heure où nous célébrons la victoire, nous savons que les défis de demain sont les plus importants de notre existence – deux guerres, une planète en péril, la plus grave crise financière depuis un siècle». It basically says that we are facing the greatess challenges of our existance, two wars, a planet in peril and an economic crisis.

Many obstacles are in lines for Obama. The economic recession is almost inevitable now and the Americans are asking for social changes in health care and education. If we look at the dominating issues of the last campain, economy ranks in first. With an unemployment rate around 6% and the annonced recession, jobs are needed and money needs to be put back in circulation. Yesterday, worldwide economy indicated that investors were not that trusting of Obama rise to presidency; Europeen, Canadian and American stock market taking a plunge. Only on the Asian market did we see a rise in the stocks. To reverse this tendency, a lot of work is to be done, knowing that most government welcomed warmly Obama as United-State next president. Obama might have won the confidence of his fellow countrymen and worldwide leaders, he still need to gain the support of the industries.

Obama promises to removes troops in Irak with a 16 month plan of action. A social movement for the good of his troops and the improvement in the political situation of that area of the globe? Maybe it is part of the answer. But I firmly believe that the real reason lies elsewhere. With a social deficit of 500 000 000 000$ (men, that’s a lot of zeros), the money to pay for that debt won’t come in waging war in some foreign country were victory seem virtually unachievable. Obama need that money to operate the social changes in health care (4th main concern in the campaign, after economy, Irak and terrorism) and education that he promised.

As for environment, no need to say that he can’t do worst than the business as usual enforced by the actual President. It’s hard to say if Obama will have either the time or the means to actually improve United-States standard in environment since he will be very busy elsewhere. Let’s hope that the slogan of his campaign «Yes we can» goes further than simply reorganising his own country. Let’s hope that it’s a new era were politic with United-States will be more fluent and that they assume their role as leader, especially in environment, and negotiate with the rising China for measures to mitigate their environment future impacts.

To the future President, all my wishes of good luck


One Response to “A new face for America”

  1. patagonia says:

    Nice comment! My concerns for Obama’s ability to have a positive environmental impact within he United States is definitely selfish in that I this that will indirectly positively influence Canadian environment. An example is that of the pipelines being built from the Alberta oil sands to the United States. Not only are th tar sands the worst environmental pollutant in Canada today, but we are also giving up potential profits; we will be shipping unrefined oil to the United States, where it will be processed just over the border and re-sold to Canada as the higher, finished product, cost. In his second one-on-one debate with McCain, the question of energy and environment was raised. Obama had a strong answer, a realistic answer economically, that gave me some hope. He said the the future will rely on alternative green energy sources and green technology, but that in the transition phase oil and ‘clean coal’ technology will be needed. So, oil exploration will continue, but as Obama describes it, as means to a greener end. It is my hope that this idea of a energy efficient future will not only benefit the environment, but also peace and international relations; if the major consumers decrease oil use and turn to alternative energies, the threat of conflict over oil will decrease. Also, greener technologies will be less polluting, indirectly positively influencing water quantity and quality, which could decrease the threat of conflict over water (which I would argue is not the ‘next’ war to be fought, but one that is already coinciding with the war over oil). These are my optimistic thoughts on Obama’s energy and environmental policies; I believe the way he talks about the future shows that he understands the complexity and magnitude of environmental systems and the ominous environmental crisis.