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|October 27, 2008|
An extraordinary and turning-point summit convened in the northern Chicago suburbs on October 24-25, 2008, under the auspices of Set America Free and its coalition of left, right, liberal, conservative, Democratic, Republican, Independent, green and otherwise concerned American citizens. Packed into one large conference room were scores of the nation's most informed and clear-thinking experts on the economic, scientific, commercial, industrial, and political ramifications of America's perilous addiction to oil. There was so much energy intellect concentrated in that one room, the expertise and the sheer shock value of the dioverse revelations was literally palpable. It was all there: the fine points of our growing economic disaster, details on viable technologies new and old, the roadmap to alternative fuels, the stunningpolitical malaise, land use issues, the chemistry and chicanery, the terorrist implications, the petropolitics and pyrotechnics of what is ahead.
Speaker after speaker--from former CIA director James Woolsey to Set America Free co-directors Gal Luft and Annie Korin to EV World editor Bill Moore to investigative journalist Edwin Black to former national security advisor Bud McFarlane amid a talented cavalcade of others--laid out the case against oil and what needs to be done now. It's not rocket science and, in many cases, the technology, ideas and infrastructure are either well-entrenched, overlooked, subverted or trivialized by a nation asleep at the switch, asleep at the wheel and asleep as the collapse nears.
Quickly it became apparent during the many sessions that the nation's leadership, mass media and citizenry are sleepwalking through a gauntlet of passionate, informed experts shouting from the sidelines for them to wake up and implement real change now. Now does not mean years from now. It does not mean decades from now. It means immediately. During one interview, Edwin Black was asked why America has not yet reacted with any real plan for either energy independence or a response to an oil interruption. His answer was this: "While the knife is at the throat, it has not yet pierced the skin. Only when the wound is felt will the body politic react. But, by that time, it may be too late."
With an eye toward converting the campaign from a mere coalition of experts to a mass movement of mobilized citizens, Set America Free will be convening a national convention of key politicians, energy experts and advocates and ordinary Americans, to create a mass movement with genuine political power. This mass movement would activate to counteract the deleterious lobbying of commercial and political interests that seek to keep the nation prone and addicted to oil even as they lull the electorate in an ongoing trance. This new organization, Citizens for Energy Freedom, will be established with its founding convention January 17 and 18, 2009, at Florida Atlantic University in Jupiter, Florida. The public can discover more day by day at the emerging website, www.citizensforenergyfreedom.org.
No one even knows if our country will be called to arms in a petrowar before the next inauguration. But as the clock ticks, real action is coming together. Be there in January. Before the presidential inauguration, a political inauguration will take place to help set America free.