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RFK, Jr: Go Green For Gold – Like Iceland

We have been meaning to mention this editorial from the solon Robert Kennedy, Jr, via CNN:

A protestor waves an Icelandic flag outside the Central Bank of Iceland during a demonstration demanding the resignation of the Chairman of the Centrdal bank David Oddsson, in Reykjavik Friday Oct. 10, 2008. Iceland suspended trading on its stock exchange for two days and took control of the country’s largest bank the third to be placed under its protective umbrella as it struggles to bring its economy back from the brink.

Commentary: Obama’s energy plan would create green gold rush

By Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Special to CNN

Mon August 25, 2008

(CNN) — Barack Obama is a transformational figure in American history who’s been able to excite the same intensity of feeling among Americans as I saw during my father’s 1968 campaign and my uncle John F. Kennedy’s 1960 campaign.

As a six-year-old, I attended the Democratic Convention in 1960 and traveled across the country in the Caroline K [the Kennedy campaign plane].

The excitement I saw then is echoed today as Barack Obama outlines his plans to get the nation moving in the right direction, to restore America’s role as an exemplary nation.

America’s dependence on carbon to produce energy has eroded our economic power, destroyed our moral authority, diminished our international influence and prestige, endangered our national security, and marred our health and landscapes. It is subverting everything we value.

A sophisticated, well-crafted energy policy designed to de-carbonize America is the centerpiece of Sen. Barack Obama’s domestic economic package.

It will sharpen our competitiveness by reducing our energy costs, dramatically reduce our national debt, stimulate our economy far more effectively than tax cuts by putting conservation savings in the hands of every American, and be the engine for creating millions of green-collar jobs that cannot be outsourced.

Obama understands, as John McCain does not, that an intelligent energy policy is also the natural fulcrum for U.S. foreign policy and national security. As Obama has warned, “One of the most dangerous weapons in the world today is the price of oil. We ship nearly $700 million a day to unstable or hostile nations for their oil. It pays for terrorist bombs going off from Baghdad to Beirut.”

Obama’s policy, which anticipates eliminating imports by 2012 or earlier, is feasible and desirable. Respected economists and energy industry entrepreneurs, high-level business representatives from Fortune 500 companies and large investors are already enlisting to invest in the infrastructure to facilitate the transition.

Every nation that has taken serious steps to de-carbonize its energy portfolio has reaped immediate economic growth. Sweden announced in 2006 the phase-out of all fossil fuels (and nuclear energy) by 2020. In 1991, the Swedes enacted a carbon tax — now up to $150 a ton — closed two nuclear reactors, and still dropped greenhouse emissions to 5 tons per person, compared with the U.S. per-capita rate of 20 tons.

Thousands of entrepreneurs rushed to develop new ways of generating energy from wind, the sun and the tides, and from wood chips, agricultural waste and garbage. Growth rates climbed and the heavily taxed Swedish economy is now the world’s eighth richest by gross domestic product.

Iceland was 80 percent dependent on imported coal and oil in the 1970s and was among the poorest economies in Europe. Today, Iceland is 100 percent energy independent, and according to the International Monetary Fund is now the fourth most affluent nation on Earth.

There are many other examples: Brazil’s efforts to de-carbonize its transportation system has resulted in the largest and most robust economic expansion in its history.

The United States has far greater domestic energy resources than Iceland or Sweden. We sit atop the second-largest geothermal resources in the world. The American Midwest is the Saudi Arabia of wind. Solar installations across just 19 percent of the most barren desert land in the Southwest could supply nearly all of our nation’s electricity needs even if every American owned an electric car.

Obama’s vision of de-carbonizing our economy begins with a market-based carbon cap-and-trade system designed to put downward pressure on carbon emissions. He will invest billions to revamp the nation’s antiquated high-voltage power transmission system and press for cost-saving building and appliance standards that would cut our energy demand by half.

For a tiny fraction of the projected cost of the Iraq war, we could completely wean the country from carbon. Homes and businesses will become power plants as people cash in by installing solar panels and wind turbines on their buildings, and selling the stored energy in their plug-in hybrids back to the grid at peak hours. By kicking its carbon addiction, America will increase its national wealth. Everyone will profit from the green gold rush.

We will create a decentralized and highly distributable grid that is far more resilient and safe for our country; a terrorist might knock out a power plant, but never a million homes. And for the first time in half a century, we will live free from Middle Eastern wars and entanglements with petty tyrants who despise democracy and are hated by their own people.

In case you haven’t noticed, and Mr. Kennedy surely has not, Iceland is currently one of the world’s worst economic crisis.

It is on the point of bankruptcy.

From RTTNews:

Iceland Teeters On Edge Of Economic Collapse; Banking Woes Spread Across Europe


Despite efforts to keep its largest national bank private, the embattled country of Iceland was forced Thursday to nationalize Kaupthing. The small, Nordic nation has been one of the countries hardest hit by the credit crunch, and its government has cautioned that it is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

Adding to the menace of the banking crisis is the decision by the country’s stock exchange, the OMX Nordic Exchange Iceland, to remain closed until Monday due to “unusual market conditions.”

The country is caught in the grip of the credit crunch following years of heavily leveraging itself during the credit boom. The de-leveraging that is currently taking place has placed the entire country on the verge of financial collapse, with Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde warning that the banking turmoil has placed his country at risk of “national bankruptcy.”

Tuesday, Iceland nationalized its second largest bank, Landsbanki. Last week, the nation’s third largest bank, Glitnir bank, was nationalized. The nationalization of Kaupthing comes despite a 500 million euro loan to the bank earlier in the week

Iceland’s Financial Services Authority has control of all three of the country’s major banks, calling the trio of nationalizations necessary in order to ensure “continued orderly operation of domestic banking and the safety of domestic deposits.”

And this from the Associated Press:

Isolated Iceland wonders who to turn to for help

Friday, October 10, 2008

REYKJAVIK, Iceland: As this tiny, volcanic nation in the middle of the North Atlantic finds itself cut off from the outside world, Icelanders are wondering who, if anyone, will sail to their rescue.

Their island country has never felt so alone. Its major banks have failed, its currency has collapsed, its stock market is suspended — and its leaders seem uncertain where to turn for help.

“Nobody is helping us,” said Kolbeinn Blandon, a car dealer whose European autos were gathering dust on his lot on the edge of Reykjavik.

Iceland’s economic turmoil just kept on churning Friday. It’s Straumur-Burdaras financial group canceled its planned purchase of the overseas corporate finance and brokerage businesses of the failed Landsbanki bank, which was taken over by the government this week

Icelandic officials have held talks with a visiting International Monetary Fund delegation, but Haarde has been reluctant to commit to receiving funding from the world body.

“The IMF are our friends, they want to help, but we still haven’t made up our minds whether or not we want to enter a program” with the conditions they might set, Haarde said Thursday…

None is struggling more than Iceland, whose economic fall has been even more rapid than its spectacular rise. Deregulation and a 1990s stock market boom fueled the rapid growth of Iceland’s banking sector, which came to dwarf the rest of the economy and provided financing for deals that snapped up businesses around the world. When global liquidity markets dried up, the banks struggled to refinance their heavy debts.

Now Icelanders are watching helplessly as their economy implodes. The government has seized control of the country’s top three banks; it started then abandoned an attempt to fix the value of Iceland’s currency, the krona; and it closed the stock market until next week

Haarde has instead turned to Russia, from whom Iceland is seeking a 4 billion euro ($5.4 billion) loan — a move that has raised eyebrows in some quarters. Many are wondering what Russia will seek in return from NATO member Iceland.

“I have no indication they are asking for anything unusual or unnatural in return,” said Haarde, who pointed out that other European countries have not exactly rushed to Iceland’s help.

On the contrary, Britain, one of Iceland’s nearest neighbors, has frozen Icelandic bank assets and threatened legal action to recoup Britons’ savings in subsidiaries of the failed banks…

Russia’s newfound role as national savior is bringing out the black humor in many Icelanders.

A viral e-mail going round Reykjavik proudly displays the country’s “new” currency — a krona note, worth 1 million, with a picture of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in place of an Icelandic dignitary…

They have to beg the Soviet Union Russia for an emergency $5.4 billion dollar loan?

Gee, why can’t we be more like them?

Somehow Mr. Kennedy always seems to be on the wrong end of the stick.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, October 10th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

19 Responses to “RFK, Jr: Go Green For Gold – Like Iceland”

  1. RightWinger says:

    Of course Bobby and his ilk will be given free passes so they do not have to participate in the non-carbon society. After all, can’t have those windmills ruining the good view from Martha’s Vineyard now can we?

    I’m also sick and tired of libs pointing to socialist countries that have a population the size of Delaware and saying how great they are doing. Give those countries an equal percentage of illegals and an equal percentage of bums looking for the next handout and see how fast that tune changes. Oh yeah, France comes to mind.

  2. gipper says:

    Iceland simply didn’t try hard enough. They didn’t employ enough people in “green” jobs. We have been told by the Obamessiah that green jobs are needed to stimulate the economy.

  3. take_no_prisoners says:

    Iceland is a small country that is literally sitting on a volcano. It’s much easier to develop geothermal energy when you can literally drill a steam well anywhere you want all over the country. Electric cars limited range isn’t as big a deal in a small country and the population density being more dense makes public transportation a more efficient solution. Electric Cars and public transportation just aren’t workable in the wide open spaces of fly-over country in the U.S. What the libs just can’t seem to understand is that people will naturally buy the cheapest solution that works. They might be willing to pay a little more for a more flexible solution and a lot more for a luxurious solution; but won’t pay more for a less flexible, less luxurious solution to save the planet. Even the libs that are squawking the loudest behave this way (think Al Gore and his Gulfstream jet, etc.).

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    I was a US Marine stationed in Keflevik,Iceland in 1974. Iceland has 2 markets; Fishing and Sheep. It is a rock of a volcano void of any trees. Thanks to the Vikings. Being a active volcano of an island, they have plenty of geo-thermo heat. Hence no need for carbon credits. It too is a Socialist nation with not much going for it but that is the most stragic Island in the world. Russia must float her submarines on either side of Iceland to get into the Atlantic Ocean. If I remember correctly…. their economy sucked then too!! Bless! ( Goodbye)

  5. Liberals Demise says:

    I meant to say “Strategic Island”. The Obama I stepped in won’t scrape off the bottom of my left shoe!

  6. wardmama4 says:

    RFK and Obama are prime examples (not to mention most inner cities) as to the serious harm done to young boys when their fathers are taken from them or simply don’t give a damn.

    They believe that they are entitled to spew their anger and pain on everyone else around them. My brother I thought had found a ground in his wife and children – but alas it wasn’t enough for him to overcome that intense pain and guilt that he has felt all of his life – and his life ended suddenly in 2000.

    I was able to overcome – mostly because the females do tend to talk it to death with those around them – they don’t bottle it up and then let it destroy them (although some women do let it eat them alive and some men (like my hubby) do recover).

    These losers are a prime example why a stable family should be encouraged in this country – to allow it to recover and have a safe haven and a stable platform to launch the future of the world.

    Instead we get angry petty little man-child attempting to control everyone not them while blithly stealing, lying and cheating to get a much power and money as they can obtain.

  7. A Mad Pole says:

    Has it occured to anyone that Iceland’s crisis has nothing to do with their economy going green but more to do with the U.S banks and investments houses unloading the crappy mortgage-backed securities everywhere they could? Sure, Iceland made a stupid decision “investing” in that worthless p.o.s but it has nothing to do with their energy policies.

  8. U NO HOO says:

    “Instead we get angry petty little man-child attempting to control everyone not them while (William Jefferson BLYTHEly Clinton) stealing, lying and cheating to get a much power and money as they can obtain.”

  9. A Mad Pole says:

    “Gee, why can’t we be more like them? ”

    Yes, why exactly can’t we? Not everything that comes out of the “socialist countries with the population size of Delaware” is rubbish.

    And has as not U.S. turned into a socialist country itself some time ago, with the recent bailouts and rescue packages being the prime example? Is not the education system infested with leftist radicals who brainwash the young into socialism and moral relativism? Is not half of the U.S. voters ready to choose a Marxist from hell as the president?

  10. Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

    Mad Pole,

    Unfortunately, there are socialist elements making important decisions in this country right now. However, if you think that the US is now, or ever will be, a socialist country while the Second Amendment still exists, you are sorely mistaken.

  11. sheehanjihad says:

    Trust me Mad Pole….what LMGS said, and then some.

  12. brazilian says:

    RFK said:”There are many other examples: Brazil’s efforts to de-carbonize its transportation system has resulted in the largest and most robust economic expansion in its history”

    Well… It’s a blatant lie. What gave Brazil a chance for the future wasn’t the communist-like government of Lula da Silva, nor it was the enviro-bolchevism he endorses.
    It was urban capitalism and agrobusiness that made it possible, along with a steady economic stabilization that was made back in 1994, not the left-wing policies that came in the aftermath.

    You americans should send those left-wing-clowns (democratic party and whosoever are to their left) to where they belong: Jail or Asylum.
    I`m very sorry that Brazil has fallen under this evil named socialism, and sad because America doesn`t seem to notice that.

    a concerned brazilian.

  13. Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:


    “You americans should send those left-wing-clowns (democratic party and whosoever are to their left) to where they belong: Jail or Asylum.”

    Believe me it would be done tomorrow if I had a magic wand!

  14. DW says:

    A Mad Pole:

    SG’s “Why can’t we be more like them” comment was (probably) a sarcastic reference to the never-ending attempts by liberals in North America to force European policies down our throats.
    The problem with “being more like them” is that –we are not Europe.
    While various European countries do occasionally come up with good ideas, not all of them would have any practical application here in North America.
    Think of the sheer size and geographical diversity of countries like the US and Canada. The low population density. The varying extremes of weather. No one European country -or even Europe as a whole- has to contend with some of the problems we face here. Just as we don’t have some of the problems that Europe faces.
    Again: We are not Europe.

    Unfortunately, what liberals here see is European countries that allow legal drugs, legal prostitutes, reduced work weeks, cradle-to-grave entitlements – – all paid for by somebody else – which sounds great to people who grew up in the “me generation”.
    Practical considerations simply do not apply in the face of gratutious pleasure.

  15. Anonymoose says:

    This is getting kind of fun in a sad way.

    Kennedy Jr. Jr. believes Iceland did well because it went green……..but the story I’ve been hearing is some flexible regulation helped turn Iceland into the banking house of Europe. Now of course it’s going bankrupt.

    Decarbonizing is the answer……never mind that wood chips and garbage don’t give the energy of oil, and *shock* if it’s organic based and burns it make carbon.

    I’m in the Midwest…it’s not that windy.

    19 percent of the American Southwest is an enormous area…..and what about the liberals screaming over (insert here) being endangered because of solar power installations?

    Nuclear power is part of “decarbonizing”……just it doesn’t output carbon.

    Sweden made it’s fortune by going green…..but hardly anyone else mentions it, and most put the good fortune at close cooperation between the government and labor unions. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Sweden)

    Wind and geothermal power make electricity, and oil isn’t going to last forever. But it’s ludicrous to assume that just saying “we’re going off carbon” is going to bring in hordes of investors to save the day by endless little energy production nooks. It’s about as silly as the people in the 1990’s assuming the Internet would generate such endless demand that anything could be sold on it…..and we know how that turned out.

    Has anyone considered the recycling and environmental costs from all the batteries electric cars will be using? And what magic thing will replace our power distribution grid?

    What we really need is science—real science with math and numbers, not political motivation. Look at how much energy we’ll need and what can make it. What’ll get us to that goal, and make a plan. A real plan, not some cockamamie “let’s tax people who make carbon, that’ll force them to come up with something else, and meanwhile I’ll have plenty of money for pork projects.”

    If the Obama Plan ™ is to make entrepreneurs or energy producers solve his energy crisis for him, then what do we need him for in the first place?

  16. JohnMG says:

    The Kennedy’s never quite understand that the rest of this country couldn’t care less about them and their opinions. And I’m almost certain that in 1960, RFK Jr’s biggest concern was not politics, but was rather not soiling his underwear. Yet he would have us believe he was a politically astute campaign asset at the tender age of six. I’ve known, and know, lots of people named Kennedy, and they all initially suffer my disdain for the unfortunate coincidence of sharing the same sir-name as the slug who authored this propaganda piece. RFK Jr, and all the rest of his relation would do themselves and all of us a favor if they would drift off into oblivion, post haste. They are all too full of themselves!

  17. brazilian says:

    Liberals Make Great Speedbumps:

    I know that :) But, alas, evil grassroots can`t be so easily ripped off. I witnessed the 18 years it took Brazil to become prostrated before an asinine man, to the point of get him made president of what was left of our republic.

    Now we live under fascism. our MSM journalists write (few brave exceptions, of course) about the “owed love” to the president…

    Even Stalin didn’t think anyone owed him any love. But brazilian journalists do believe everybody must love the füehrer Da Silva or die…

    anyway, I think Obama could be president, actually… think about it: Obama for president… of Europe (of course), and Johnnie Mac for president of USA. Everybody would be happy: America would elect a real patriot (not to mention a REAL AMERICAN), and Europe would be led by a real Marxist!

    Greetings, and hoping the best for America.

    Concerned brazilian.

  18. Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:


    Personally I’d be happier with Duncan Hunter or Fred Thompson as President of the USA in this happy little fantasy world we’re proposing here, but I’ll settle for what you propose. : ) Thanks for your “hoping for the best” for us here in the US, we may need it.

  19. Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

    “Nobody is helping us,” said Kolbeinn Blandon, a car dealer….. formerly of the 9th Ward in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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