Unfortunately, this being a big election year, little is likely to happen on either front.
Consumers are doing their part... trying to stay employed in a job-cutting world, attempting to reduce their expenses in order to pay gas bills that have doubled in size, selecting environmentally friendly behavior over churn and burn habits, trying to stay healthy since they have no insurance.
But really, without some direction and cooperation at the global, federal, state and local levels, how much can consumers do? More than you might expect. And with the support of the private sector, they may just have a fighting chance.
Mark Twain said that the secret of getting ahead is getting started. My dad always told me that the secret to success is having a set of "balls" so big that you need a wheelbarrow to carry them around. Put the two together and you have the beginning of something plausible.
Be confident. Be bold. Be proactive.
If we wait for government - at any level - to solve the environmental and economic woes of the world, we will be sadly disappointed. I believe John Kennedy said it best (I did not know John Kennedy, John Kennedy was not a friend of mine, I am not John Kennedy... but that doesn't mean I can't admire his philosophy): "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." You must know that it takes a pretty big wheelbarrow to make a statement like that.
So, times are hard. What are we going to do about it? I suggest we roll up our sleeves, wipe away our tears and get to work. There's no point - no gain - in sitting around complaining and waiting. Go get a job, conserve resources, help your neighbors, register and vote wisely, protest bad behavior, fight for what's right, never give up and never give in. Be strong. Be fierce. Be brave.
As JFK continued: "with a good conscience our only sure reward... let us go forth and lead the land we love..."