Time magazine's Joe Klein has a lengthy interview with Barack Obama, covering a variety of subjects. One section that leapt out at me, of course, was Obama's observations about energy, the environment, and the bigger picture:
The biggest problem with our energy policy has been to lurch from crisis to trance. And what we need is a sustained, serious effort. [...] I was just reading an article in the New York Times by Michael Pollen about food and the fact that our entire agricultural system is built on cheap oil. As a consequence, our agriculture sector actually is contributing more greenhouse gases than our transportation sector. And in the mean time, it's creating monocultures that are vulnerable to national security threats, are now vulnerable to sky-high food prices or crashes in food prices, huge swings in commodity prices, and are partly responsible for the explosion in our healthcare costs because they're contributing to type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease, obesity, all the things that are driving our huge explosion in healthcare costs. That's just one sector of the economy. You think about the same thing is true on transportation. The same thing is true on how we construct our buildings. The same is true across the board.
For us to say we are just going to completely revamp how we use energy in a way that deals with climate change, deals with national security and drives our economy, that's going to be my number one priority when I get into office, assuming, obviously, that we have done enough to just stabilize the immediate economic situation.
A (potential/likely) president who can talk about monocultures and complex systems? Swoon. And that opening line about lurching from crisis to trance -- a perfect encapsulation of our broader response to a variety of long-term problems.