Our Karl Rove weighs in on clean energy

Well, apparently there’s a Karl Rove for folks who think like me now too. Our Karl Rove has a little advice for Barack Obama about political messaging regarding his energy plan. He says that Obama’s New Energy ad leave him flat, and suggests Obama may have come down with (horrors) Democratitis and that:

Ultimately, the Obama campaign should define 3-4 pillars that completely encompass your brand, your priorities, and your values. These pillars should be labeled aspirationally, and should act as sub-brands that people can use as linguistic shortcuts to easily and readily discuss the ideas.

To help make the point, which conversation can you imagine happening at the water cooler or over the dinner table?

“So, what do you think of Obama’s energy plan, where he is going to make energy independence an urgent priority, raise mileage standards, fast-track technology for alternative fuels, and give us a $1000 tax rebate?”


“So, what do you think of Obama’s energy plan, you know, that ‘Free, Clean and Green Country’ thing where we become free from foreign oil while also cleaning up the pollution by investing in green technologies to help make America beautiful again?”

See the difference? People are much more likely to discuss and share your plans when they’re wrapped in a compelling brand than if they are just a list of policies.

I’ll take “b” please … and hold the Democratitis please. The doctor says I have to watch my partisanship. (though I will say that the next person who says “Drill! Drill! Drill” to me just might get what they’re asking for)

The photo is starfish hill by the inhabitant (be sure to view bigger), who asks the philosophical question of the day: Is there such a thing as ‘clean’ energy? I’d say that in the sense of “Is that scene or any other with manmade windmills or solar panels pristine”, no. However, if you look at it as us being a part of creation like a turtle warming itself on a rock, then yes.

the inhabitant is also known as Richard Baxter, and he’s one heck of an artist with camera, computer or brush. Check out studiobaxter.

Be warned, however, for it appears that there is no richard baxter.

One thought on “Our Karl Rove weighs in on clean energy

  1. Thanks for the cross-post and the commentary. Exactly what the blogosphere/blognet should be about… picking ideas, and building on them organically.

    To your philosophical question/point… I don’t think there is such a thing as “clean” energy per se, but I think “clean” is more of a concept than a description when it comes to energy. The concept of “clean” to me more means more ‘in-line’ with nature’s process. I see it as a continuum (listed from worst to best, but understanding that I do not claim to be an energy expert)…

    * Oil works furiously against nature’s default approach to managing the ecology. We pay for this in an unnaturally-timed alteration of the global climate.

    * Natural gas works a bit less against nature’s approach than oil, but it still leaves nasty residue (and it’s not sustainable)

    * Coal works against nature in the worst case, but can be processed more cleanly with improved technologies.

    * Nuclear energy works against nature by splitting atoms that nature did not intend to have split. So, it certainly unleashes new energy, but it does so by breaking nature’s core components (i.e., the atom). Nature gets upset (over the long term) when you work against her ways. The China Syndrome is probably just one blow-back problem. Waste management is another issue where there’s blow back. Splitting atoms is very cool, and very type-a human (we sure love tinkering!), but I have this deep-seated feeling that we’re going to get our hands slapped for playing in the cookie jar.

    * Wind energy works with nature’s default approach to managing the ecology (wind is created when there is a delta between low and high pressure — something that nature provides us for free every day). Dead birds and bats may be collateral damage until we decide to put a reverse-bird-cage around each mill. That will come.

    * Wave-driven energy works with nature’s default approach to managing the ecology (thanks moon!).

    * Solar energy works right along with nature’s default approach to managing the ecology (thanks sun!). And I think this is the more obvious and best solution of all. The sun is as reliable, obvious (it already provides us with free heat!), and tappable. And there are many ways to collect and use the sun’s energy beyond solar cells. For instance, a stratospheric collector/beemer might be a fantastic approach to optimizing energy collection and storage. The only problem with this technology would possibly be the creation of a new weapon from space that could zap anything it was pointed to. Huh – now that I think about….kinda makes nuclear bombs sound awfully quaint.

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