Transcript of radio commentary that aired in July 2004 on KUNM public radio 89.9 fm in Albuquerque

By Arjun Makhijani

Transcript of radio commentary that aired in July 2004 on KUNM public radio 89.9 fm in Albuquerque.

On February 13, 2003, thousands of Iraqi and U.S. lifetimes ago, I sent a letter to all the members of the United Nations Security Council on behalf of signatories of an open letter. It said in part:

…your decisions in the near future could unleash a time of chaos and more violence or point the world towards a non-violent path of ending the era of weapons of mass destruction.
…we urge you to take inspiration from the lives of Mahatma Gandhi and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who were never browbeaten by threats of military force.

The governments of the most powerful countries have failed us. Violence and chaos are spreading.

It is time to actively remember Gandhi and King, whose struggles for justice and universal freedom were based on the courageous example of their personal lives. Two Santa Fe residents, Greg Swift and Sharon Dogruel, who have heard some of my radio commentaries, reminded me of that and suggested action to address a vital question: what can we do to spark our liberation from our greatest and most violent addiction – consumption of too much oil?

Here are some of Greg and Sharon suggestions combined with those of others, including my own. If we don’t know what Gandhi or King would do or find it, at least let us begin with modest actions, but let’s do it now:

  • Keep thermostats no lower than 80 F in the summer and no higher than 60 F in the winter, unless there is a health reason to do otherwise. I’ve tried it. It’s fine if you dress right.
  • Wear a locally made sweater in the winter.
  • Let’s have a march on every state capitol on October 2, Gandhi’s birthday, with an emphasis on what can actually be done at a state level to affect global affairs. How about a Middle Eastern sister cities program in every state? And a 50/50 program – 50 percent electricity from renewables and a 50 percent reduction in energy use in 20 years time? Let us press the state governments to demand of Washington that we stop the bleeding the U.S. Treasury for war. 150 billion dollars would buy enough wind power plants to replace all the U.S. oil imports from the Persian Gulf for decades.
  • Let’s wear something blue each month to remind us of our personal commitment to solve the energy/environment problem. Blue to celebrate the great sky and pure water. Blue to encourage conversation and remind us of the need for it.

For myself, I intend to try to eliminate three-fourths of my home and automobile carbon dioxide emissions compared to the year before the start of the Iraq war. I’ll present a personal energy update on this commentary every few months. Take a look at what Greg and Sharon wrote me and take a look at the open letter. They are on the website of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, And act.

This is Arjun Makhijani.

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