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A Check for Osama

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is right this time (via: Andrew Sullivan):

None of us would write a check to Osama bin Laden, slip it in a Hallmark card and send it off to him. But that's what we're doing every time we pull into a gas station.

The same is true for Europe, which is even more dependent on oil from the Middle East than the United States. Related posts in the Atlantic Review: The US-Saudi Relationship: Oil Supply at the Expense of US Security and Moral Values and Chicago Tribune: "Germany says 9/11 hijackers called Syria, Saudi Arabia"

SuperFrenchie presents the picture that says all about President Bush's latest Middle East tour. I am not aware of any European head of government having kissed Saudi princes. Bush does not just kiss the Saudis in their own country as a gesture to cultural customs, but even kisses the Saudis, when they visit him in the US. He also holds hands with them. And yet, Europeans are supposed to be the softy weasels from Venus that do anything to get cheap oil.

Germany's Dirty Cars

International Herald Tribune:

Cars produced by German manufacturers like Daimler and Volkswagen are getting dirtier even as those from French and Italian manufacturers like Peugeot and Fiat are getting cleaner. Of the major car producing countries in Europe, emissions of carbon dioxide from new cars sold by German automakers increased 0.6 percent in 2006, even as French and Italian car makers cut their emissions by an average 1.6 percent, according to the study published by Transport & Environment, a campaign group for sustainable transport based in Brussels. German carmakers "seem to be intent on building ever heavier, larger and more gas-guzzling cars that simply don't belong in the 21st century," said Jos Dings, a director of T&E.

German Solar House Wins Contest Sponsored by US Department of Energy

The Technical University Darmstadt won the first pize in the US Department of Energy's Solar Decathalon, beating out major US universities, writes Dialog International and quotes the jury:
The Architecture Jury said the house pushed the envelope on all levels and is the type of house they came to the Decathlon hoping to see. The Lighting Jury loved the way this house glows at night. The Engineering Jury gave this team an innovation score that was as high as you could go, and said nobody did the integration of the PV system any better.

Earlier this year, the Atlantic Review post Positive US Media Coverage of Environmentalism in Germany quoted the Rocky Mountain News: "Home importer turns to Europe for quality, speed and energy efficiency, not to mention looks."

RELATED: Anglofritz writes about green technology as well:
Germany sells the most climate friendly technology worldwide, thanks to the pioneering EEG law of the Schröder/Fischer government - now adopted by 47 other nations. It's said that the renewable will overtake the automobile industry in the next decade. And sure enough, the United States is in second position and already a strong competitor.

Europe is Caught in America's Culture Wars

Left-wing and right-wing Americans reduce Europe to Amsterdam, Brussels and the Hague and misunderstand Europe, writes Patrick J. Deneen, associate professor of government at Georgetown University:

In America, it is our liberals who praise the liberties of Europe while overlooking the conservative impulse of its self-restraint. Meanwhile, our conservatives condemn the statism of Europe without understanding that efforts to conserve - to be conservative - require the active support and laws of government in order to combat the tendencies of markets to produce waste and undermine thrift. Americans of both the left and right have lost the ability to perceive a form of liberty that is achieved through restraint.

America's culture warriors ignore the small towns and villages, which Prof. Deneen visited in southern Germany, central Switzerland and western Austria:

The Europeans I have seen are light years ahead of us in energy conservation and will weather the storm of rising energy costs better than we in America. Indeed, the combination of local economies, nearby productive farmland outside every town, viable public transportation and widespread use of alternative energies points to a culture that has never abandoned sustainable communities in the way that America willfully and woefully has done over the past 50 years.

You can also get some sense of why there is resentment toward America even here in a nation that generally has positive regard toward the U.S. Europeans pay higher prices for everything in an effort to use less and to create less waste in order to leave a sustainable world for their children, and whatever "give" there is in the worldwide production of resources is a kind of unintended sacrificial gift that many Europeans are making so that America can continue its energy gluttony.

Read his entire article in the Dallas Morning News (via EU Digest), also recommended by Rod Dreher in his blog Beliefnet: "If you read nothing else on this blog today, read the post to which I'm linking here." Maybe better transatlantic understanding is on its way after all. By the way, Prof Deneen also blogs at What I Saw in America.