I was going to go class by class here and I may get back to that. Tomorrow. Today, though, I'm going to talk about why, as is pointed out on The Yellow Fringe today, http://yellowfringe.blogspot.com/2011/05/poor-bangladesh-astonishing-number-of.html America is lagging behind China and Denmark and even, apparently, Bangladesh at moving to "green" energy.
In Politeia (we read all or part in three different classes), poorly translated as The Republic, Plato tries to describe the "perfect city" and how it would be governed. He uses the character Socrates, his then deceased teacher, to critique Athenian democracy and to muse about some other possibilities.
Democracy, according to Plato/Socrates, is hampered by one fatal flaw: the People are not fit rulers. They are, by and large, not that smart. They are easily led astray. They can be pandered to. They think only of their own, narrow interests, individually, or they become factions and vote based again on self-interest. Never do they think about the greater good.
Fast forward to America, today. Why can't we switch to a green energy platform? See above. We are, somewhat, at least, a nation of not very well-educated, selfish morons, easily led astray by pandering politicians. We believe what we want to believe, someone's always there to tell us we're "right."
"Don't listen to those lefty liberal commie tree-huggers promoted by the lamestream media. Do whatever you want! Consume! Pollute! Live for today!"
Because really, why should I sacrifice one iota for the next generation? What have they ever done for me?
Democracy: can't live with it, can't live without it.