In 2011, why doesn't the White House hire 3 thoughtful and experienced journalists to hold a joint press conference each Tuesday morning to improve how the White House communicates with the American public, the press, and the rest of the world about its policies that impact energy, climate, and sustainability?
For example, here are my personal favorites for this new initiative: Anna Quindlen can be hired to begin by explaining how the policies are designed to help families and improve the climate, Thomas Freidman can be hired to go next and explain how the policies are designed to spur business innovation, create jobs, improve our competitiveness, and reduce our dependence on non-sustainable energy sources, and James Fallows can be hired to explain how the policies are designed to benefit our balance of trade and strengthen our relations with the citizens in other nations throughout each region of the world.
Each of these three gifted observers of national and international affairs should be given a budget to bring their own visual aids, as needed, with the help of other creative people from such players as Disney and Lucasfilms.
The White House should also acquire a YouTube channel and/or co-op air time from C-SPAN as platforms for broadcasting these weekly press conferences. They should be accessible to every person in the world who has a computer, a smart phone, or a cable TV connection. The press conferences can be in a location where existing domestic and foreign news channels can cover them and send correspondents to ask questions or not. The general public, on the other hand, should be given the same opportunity to submit questions for possible use on-air prior to each press conference or as follow-ups online.
I really believe that the planet can no longer afford to have the American White House communicate its efforts in behalf of energy, climate, and sustainability filtered through this country's often bizarre, fragmented, and ultimately self-promoting mainstream television, radio, and print news media. I also believe that the White House cannot afford to have one person, the President, responsible for delivering all the details of the White House's policies in these complex areas each week. The planet is already depending on the American President to oversee the conduct of two wars, build consensus on hundreds of issues with 535 members of Congress and his cabinet, broker a long overdue Mid-East peace agreement, and respond to any other domestic or foreign crises that requires American Presidential leadership each day.
Will the American people reach their potential in the 21st century in the areas of energy, climate, and sustainability, or be left behind? Can the world afford the latter consequence? Extraordinary times require this young democracy to set an extraordinary example. Isn’t it time for the generally accepted leader of the free world to decisively and creatively lead the planet into a bolder era of energy, climate, and sustainability thinking?