Monday, October 24, 2005

Mystic River and energy dependence on oil

I pay quite a few kronor every month for having a couple of extra TV-channels, mainly because I am a weekend-football- junkie (when I have time, which is way too seldom. But I saw my dear Liverpool lose to Fulham on Saturday). This gives me a feeling of guilt sometimes, since I never have time to see all the great movies I pay for. So last night a conflict appeared; I really wanted to see the movie “Mystic River” since my favorite actor Sean Penn plays a leading part, but due to that I missed part of Sweden’s Sunday night political show: Agenda.

To watch a movie was of course the right choice, and it was quite a good one, and Sean Penn was really cool as usual. But today I read on Helle Klein’s blog that Agenda featured an energy debate between Mona Sahlin (Minister in the social democratic government) and a spokesperson for the Conservatives (a.k.a. Swedish Tories), Mr. Mikael Odenberg. I had to watch the debate on Agenda’s website today and Helle Klein was right: Mona Sahlin was great with lines like “I would like to discuss your environmental policy but you don’t have one”. Odenberg criticized Sahlin for stating a vision saying that Sweden should not be totally dependent on oil in the year 2020 (meaning that all cars should get at least part of their fuel from something different than oil). I think Odenberg is way off target here.

I like visions and statements like Sahlin's "no oil in 2020". In an episode of the West Wing (“100,000 airplanes”) president Bartlet demands to include a passage about “a crusade to cure cancer within 10 years” in his State of the Union address (often called SOTU in American political jargon). Good policies, like already now stating a plan how to get off oil-dependence, is great. But clear visions and goals are needed as well. When it comes to the environment, the social democrats have both policy and a vision, and the Conservatives (a.k.a. Swedish Tories) have neither. To me, that mix is as almost as good as Sean Penn’s acting.


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