Please allow me to extend a warm welcome to you onto the International Stage … and an even warmer welcome for the United States of America back into the International Fold of Nations.
The last 8 Years have been a nightmare for concerned observers outside your country. I should immediately add that a large branch of my extended family has been living in New York City and State since the mid-1950s. And that you are now affectionately known in Ireland, because some of your roots are based here, as President O’Bama !
Being a pragmatic person, however, you will want me to come quickly to the point … and be direct.
You will shortly be signing into law a 787.2 Billion Dollar Economic Stimulus Package of spending increases and tax relief, which is intended to encourage an economic recovery in your country and to create jobs. It is surprising that you have permitted significant funds earmarked for school construction, and for colleges and universities, to be removed from the Package during the ‘Compromise’ Negotiations. Funding to provide health insurance for the unemployed has been sharply reduced, while funds for the ‘Greening’ (?) of Federal Buildings have also been scaled back.
The political imperative of successfully steering this Stimulus Package through Congress, at this time, is understood … but the final shape of the Package does not augur well for the future of your Presidency.
Taken together with the outcome from another recent event in my country, Ireland … and my surprise is turning to worry …
In Dublin, towards the end of January 2009, I attended a Round Table Discussion with a key individual who works in the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) – Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP).
Having posed 2 Questions after his presentation with regard to US Federal Policy on the ‘Green’ (i.e. environmental & energy) Performance of Federal Buildings, I discovered the following …
– The individual concerned was completely unaware that there is a considerable difference between the ‘Green’ Agenda, i.e. a limitation of considerations to environmental aspects of Sustainable Human & Social Development alone (an outdated concept belonging more properly to the 1990s) … and the ‘Sustainability’ Agenda, which is far broader in scope and absolutely essential if we are to meet the great challenges being posed since the beginning of this 21st Century … for example, the World Trade Center Incident (9-11) in New York ;
– There would appear to be no independent technical controls monitoring the ‘real’ environmental and energy performance in US Federal Buildings, no penalties for failure to meet performance targets, no horizontal integration between Federal Institutions dealing with procurement and building/system/product operation, and a systemic lack of proper accountability.
If it is your wish that the USA takes up a position of global leadership on some or all of the above issues, we – at Sustainable Design International – would like some information and assurances concerning the following matters …
– When will you, and your Administration, begin to properly appreciate the considerable difference between a ‘Green’ Agenda and a ‘Sustainability’ Agenda … and the significant Institutional Re-Engineering required to implement US Federal, State and City Policies geared towards Sustainable Human & Social Development ? How would you then intend to dramatically raise awareness … and mobilize all of the people in your country for action … at Federal, State and City Levels ?
– If your Administration enters into negotiations on an International Kyoto II (post 2012) Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) … will US National Performance be open and transparent … and be seen to be ‘reliable’ by other countries, particularly Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa ?
– When, precisely, will the US Senate ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, with its Optional Protocol ? When will you arrange to fund the implementation of this Convention, with its Optional Protocol … and then arrange that a coherent and comprehensive programme of implementation, which must have a short timescale, be initiated ? How long will that implementation timescale be ?
Effective International Law and Lasting Peace are 2 Prerequisite Essential Requirements for Sustainable Human & Social Development. In order to free up current ‘process’ log-jams and bring lasting peace to the regions of the Caribbean and the Middle East … it is you who must make the first substantive moves …
– When will you arrange for the immediate cessation of all aggressive and hostile activities against one of your close neighbours – the small island of Cuba – and a complete end to the economic, social & political choke-hold on its small population ? When will your Administration finally arrange for the termination of the illegal occupation of Guantánamo Bay – an international act of piracy facilitated by the 1901 Platt Amendment ? When will you finally ‘curtail’ the rabid behaviour of some of the more fanatical Cuban Exile Elements in Florida … and release the Miami 5 ?
– When will you, and your Administration, bring your considerable authority and power to bear on the Criminal State of Israel … and force it to comply with International Law and Universal Human & Social Rights ?
We patiently await your considered response.
Many thanks for your attention.
Signed: C. J. Walsh, Managing Director, Sustainable Design International Ltd. – Ireland, Italy & Turkey.
Dear Barack … Apologies are Meaningless … and who these Individual Soldiers are is not important. This recent image from Afghanistan betrays an in-grained national mindset !
The Guantánamo Bay Detention Centre, in illegally occupied Cuba, is still operating … the Criminal Blockade of this small Caribbean Island continues with full bullying force … and The Miami 5 are still rotting in U.S. Jails, with access for family members made particularly difficult, if not impossible.
Your Administration is still aggressively frustrating the widespread International Consensus on Climate Change … Your Offspring, the Apartheid State of Israel has now replaced South Africa as the No.1 Maverick Rogue in the International Community … etc., etc., etc.
The United States of America continues to urinate on International Law !!