Thomas Friedman has written a wonderful op-ed piece on the need for the next President to focus efforts here at home. Whether it’s Senator John McCain or Senator Barack Obama as the next President they will have to focus on getting America back on the right course. President Bush and this Congress has done more damage to this country then any President that I can recall (I don’t remember the Carter years all that well since I wasn’t old enough to appreciate what was going on around me at the time — yes, I just kind of dated myself there).

We need to refocus on rebuilding this country and recapture our sense of purpose. Instead of building other nations and sending our money (it’s not really our money since we’re borrowing it heavily from foreign investors and putting our children more into debt — but it equates to our future and our children’s future) elsewhere we need to keep the effort here at home. We need to focus on rebuilding our infrastructure, re-constructing our industries, and developing the next technology revolution (a Green Revolution that focuses on energy efficiency, energy independence, renewable energy generation and reducing greenhouse gas emmissions), and inspiring our children to study, explore, learn, and build something more than themselves.

We have to change our attitudes — plant victory gardens, cut our energy use, and build hope for the future. From my own perspective I and my family have begun this journey by embracing these principles by planting a garden (and planning to expand it dramatically — who needs all that grass 🙂 ), starting to conduct an energy audit of our house and replace energy in-efficient appliances, solar power for the house, rain barrel water collection for the garden, expanding and improving our composting and recycling efforts, planting a rain garden to control runoff, and looking to other projects — keeping chickens (for eggs and chicken poop for fertilizer) in a portable chicken coop (see here), amatuer beekeeping (to help rebuild the population of bees that has been devasted by mites and colony collapse disorder and to ensure that we have enough pollinators for the crops in our garden) — as well as others in order to try and set a good example for our neighbors that you can do these things as part of our national effort to become energy independent and resource wise.

What I can only hope is that my effort will inspire my neighbors to see that you don’t need to do all of these things but you can do a few of them in order to contribute in this effort. America has always been a “can-do” country — we need to recapture that spirit and stand up as a nation. What we can’t afford to do is to sit around and wait for someone else to solve our problems. We must solve them ourselves.

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