Is conservation a matter of personal virtue? |

Is conservation a matter of personal virtue?

Rachel RosenfeldKeystone

There is no consensus in both the U.S. and Iraq. In the US, the fiercely debated issue at stake is: Should the U.S. “go long,” “go big,” or “go home?” Similarly, in Iraq sentiments mirror those of the US; an Iraqi man says that “it’s a disaster if the American forces stay in Iraq but it’s also a disaster if they go.” This hot dispute persists as innocent lives on both sides are shortened, and all solutions appear untenable.A crisis, yes, but rooted in a more fundamental quandary. The U.S. must tackle its long term problem of oil dependency. It all boils down to oil, U.S. greed (preserving the ” U.S. way of life”), and environmental crises. If VP Cheney can state that “conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy,” then a mandatory governmental policy shift is necessary. Hopefully, as a result of Congressional leadership’s recent alteration, the US will realize what former Vice President Al Gore identified so long ago: The U.S. must redefine a comprehensive energy policy that incorporates conservation-a personal virtue or not. Improved environmental initiatives, such as alternative energy sources and heightened pollution restrictions, will allow the U.S. to look at Iraq from a purely humanitarian aid perspective without relying on its oil resources. If the U.S. stops worrying about preserving its way of “oil-dependent” life, then perhaps a brighter future can be seen to end fighting and the loss of life, while promoting a greener planet.

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