The comes a time in every generation when a great crisis meets with great leadership.
Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan. All of them stepped up to be bigger than the problem presented to them. We remember them all for making decisions that rose above the problem that confronted them and defeated it.
The last time I heard greatness come out of the White House was when Ronald Reagan proclaimed, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
For some reason, that message today would be diluted to “We’re going to bring the greatest minds together to come up with a solution to the edifice that separates Berlin.”
The company that changed it’s name from British Petroleum to BP, with designs of changing it to Beyond Petroleum, with the sun logo, with green as a prominent element, that spent hundreds of millions of dollars carefully crafting it’s message, transforming it from an oil company to an environmentally friendly energy company, now has eleven dead workers and an entire eco system awash in black goo.
The problem is not the disaster in the Gulf. It’s a symptom. The problem is our dependence on oil, some will say foreign oil. We know how to make energy out of water, out of sunlight, out of the atom, out of pipes in the ground.
We know how to reduce demand for energy though technology. We know how to make a car run on less fuel. We know how to make a house run on less fuel. We know how to reclaim energy that used to be wasted.
It’s easy to villainize BP and the oil industry for what’s going on in the Gulf; they only supply what we demand.
We all need to take responsibility for our role. We need to look in the mirror. That’s where leadership begins.