Saturday, September 13, 2014

National service proposal for 18-28 emerges again from McChrystal: some info about "carbon intensity"

There is a term called "carbon intensity", "the amount of carbon we emit into the atmosphere to generate a dollar of economic activity".  To stop global warming, we would have to reduce it by 6% a year until 2050.  The world is reducing it by 0.9% a year.  Australia is doing the best but has eliminated its carbon tax.  The US is actually not reducing at all.  Here’s the “carbon intensity” chart according to Vox Media,  here   , 

Not completely unrelated to all this is a reinteration by Stanley McChrystal on CNN, on Erin Burnett’s program (Sept. 12), that American’s should be expected to do a “service year”, link here.  I see that I had discussed an earlier similar proposal here Jan. 30, 2011.  There is a group called the Aspen Institute with a subordinated Franklin Project, which calls “a service year” to be “a cultural expectation, a common opportunity, an a civic rite of passage for every young American”, link here . One important question (and a big debate in some circles around me) is, does this become a personal experience of living other people’s lives (around the world), more than just “paying your dues”?  Anderson Cooper did that as a reporter in Southeast Asia as a young man, however privileged his background.  And so to journalists now who do conflict reporting.  They are definitely “serving”.   

McChrystal emphasizes ages 18-28 (the old draft expired at 26-1/2).  In my own experience, I find that most young adults have little grasp of what the “draft”, with the deferment issue, was like for my generation.  

Another question about his proposal would be: does he think young adults should offer themselves to serve as "civilians" (if they don't want to join the military) in dangerous areas of the world, whether because of terrorism, radical Islam, drug gangs, kidnappings, and the like, or disease (Ebola), and then face the life of a "victim" when returning if they come back.  That's my immediate reaction now. I wonder about this as churches often send youth group on summer missions in Central America where teens and college students learn to mix with people in more earthy cultures.  

Update: Oct. 30, 2014

Picture below, of posters available at a US Post Office, remind us that Selective Service is still male-only, even given the fight for gender and sexual orientation equality.  

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