Tonight’s program is entitled “Hail to the Chief,” as we take a look at the promises and prospects of the Obama administration in bringing us closer to Ecotopia.

After a brief survey of media opinions on Obama’s prospects, we  talk with Barbara Vlamis of the Butte Environmental Council to find out what she thinks about environmental issues under Obama. We then go live to Washington D.C., where Sue Hilderbrand, Director of the Chico Peace and Justice Center, fills us in on the tone and feeling of the capital and tell us what she thinks are the hopes for a social Ecotopia under the new president.

Listen to Ecotopia 16 Online Now!
To download, right click [control click Mac users] and select “Download File”.

Opinions about Obama’s Prospects

From Mother Jones: The dimension of the problems the new President inherits is almost unfathomable, but  Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz gives a concise rundown of what he calls “The Seven Deadly Deficits”  Stiglitz writes:  “When George W. Bush assumed office, most of those disgruntled about the stolen election contented themselves with this thought: Given our system of checks and balances, given the gridlock in Washington, how much damage could be done? Now we know: far more than the worst pessimists could have imagined. From the war in Iraq to the collapse of the credit markets, the financial losses are difficult to fathom. And behind those losses lie even greater missed opportunities.”  Stiglitz writes of seven major shortfalls the Bush administration leaves behind: Deficits in Values, the Climate, Equality, Accountability, Trade, the Budget, Investment in the Infrastructure.  http://www.motherjones.com/

From the Washington Times:  Christina Bellantoni writes:   “President-elect Barack Obama said Americans will have to sacrifice to lift the nation from recession and acknowledged that some of his campaign promises may not be fulfilled because of what he described as a dire economic situation. In a wide-ranging interview on ABC’s ‘This Week’, Mr. Obama continued to sell his proposed economic stimulus package as ‘bold’ and insisted Congress must pass it by mid-February. Mr. Obama also used a form of the word ‘tough’ three times to describe prospects for the package, then conceded: ‘I want to be realistic here — not everything that we talked about during the campaign are we going to be able to do on the pace that we had hoped’.” http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/11/obama-sees-campaign-promises-fade/

From the Scripps-Howard News Service: JOEL MATHIS comments:  “…[I]t’s perversely refreshing to hear Obama say that harder times are ahead. ‘Recovery won’t happen overnight, and it’s likely that things will get worse before they get better,’ he said in a recent radio address. Americans have often been asked to choose between an unjustly optimistic president or their own lying eyes. Obama’s grim realism is thus bracing, but welcome.”  But BEN BOYCHUCK in a counterpoint says: “Americans had better hope and pray that Barack Obama can put America on the right track — or at the very least insist that his policies do not make matters any worse than they already are. But when the new president promises $1 trillion deficits for ‘years to come,’ it’s tough not to experience a certain sinking feeling. Truth is, there isn’t much a president can do to help the U.S. economy. But he can do much to hurt it. He can encourage the Treasury to print more money, which spurs inflation and kills American savings and investment. He can cajole ever more reluctant foreign governments, such as China, to buy more American debt. He could raise taxes and call it ‘investment in the public good,’ even as the recession drags on for a year or two. He can also promote regulations and mandates that eliminate jobs, destroy industries and drive up the cost of living for all Americans. Obama’s enthusiasm for tax-subsidized ‘green jobs’ is a prescription for all of that, and more. Or he could keep the tax-and-regulate-and-spend impulses of a Democratic-controlled Congress in check. Seriously.” http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/40023

Our Conversation with Barbara Vlamis, Executive Director, Butte Environmental Council.

  • We thought you might want to spend a little time talking about the key national/global priorities,  e.g., What of environmentalism under Obama. What about alternative energy?  “clean” coal?  signing international treaties? 
  • Please  talk about BEC’s priorities and how the new administration might affect them. water? mining? watersheds? greenhouse gases? farm subsidies and supports? 
  • Do you have grants in progress that might be affected by either the financial meltdown or prospective Obama programs?
  • We’ve had several guests on the show say that California is a great market for private enterprise working on environmental projects: solar, clean water, clean air. Do you see reason for optimism here?

 Check out the Butte Environmental Council website to get a fuller sense of their important work for our community.  http://becnet.org

Our Conversation with Sue Hilderbrand, Director of the Peace and Justice Center, from the Inaugural Celebration

  • Hi Sue. Where are you and what’s happening?
  • Have you seen any beautiful people?  What are they wearing?
  • Impressions of the day.
  • Your take on prospects under Obama.

Check out the Chico Peace and Justice Center at www.chico-peace.org

Do-It-Yourself

We want to encourage you to point your browser to <Politifact.com>. This is sponsored by the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times and includes “The Obameter: Tracking Obama’s Campaign Promises.” PolitiFact has compiled a list of over 500 promises that Barack Obama made during the campaign and is tracking their progress on our Obameter. They rate their status as No Action, In the Works or Stalled. Once they  find action is completed, they rate them Promise Kept, Compromise or Promise Broken. As of inauguration day, the track record shows: 3 promises kept, 8 in the works, and 499 with no action. http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/

Play List

1. Obama Song (feat. SoliLLaquists of Sound, Cherine Anderson & Anthony B) 4:09   Michael Franti         

2. Four Ruffles & Flourishes / Hail To the Chief  0:55    US Coast Guard Band

3. Revolution 1     4:16   The Beatles   The Beatles (White Album)                      

4. Take Care of This House     A White House Cantata  4:27  June Anderson    

5. Star Spangled Banner         3:47   Jimi Hendrix        Experience Hendrix: The Best Of Jimi Hendrix     

6. Being At War With Each Other     4:05   Carole King   The Living Room Tour

7. Weave Me the Sunshine      4:28   Peter, Paul And Mary