By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

The Post Carbon Institute wants Congress to get tougher about a new energy policy and push forward on a bill that would embrace renewable energy, reduce carbon emissions, increase green jobs, and improve the nation’s energy security.

Post Carbon Institute wants to help Congress get a "little backbone".

But unlike everyone else who’s imploring Congress to write a strong clean energy/climate change bill, the Post Carbon Institute plans to send Congress exactly what it needs for this task: Some spine.

PCI, in fact, hopes to send many of tiny, symbolic toy (yes plastic) spines to President Obama, VP Joe Biden and each member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives so they can “stand up to Big Oil.”

And the San Francisco non-profit think tank isn’t joking, much.

“The horrific Gulf oil spill disaster has clearly shown that our nation’s leaders need us to show them what it means to have a backbone. So let’s do just that,” writes Asher Miller, communications director Post Carbon Institute, which represents a cadre of well-known environmental authors, activists and thought leaders like Bill McKibben, Majora Carter, Erika Allen, David Orr, Wes Jackson and many more.

So for a donation of $10, Post Carbon Institute will send a bitty (but sturdy) spine with your name, and a statement if you wish, to a Senator or Representative. (It’s not clear if you can designate your own representative.)

Even though Obama acknowledged in his Oval Office address this week that the era of relying on “cheap” fossil fuels is over, he, like most recent presidents, has failed to outline a coherent plan for moving off of fossil fuels, Miller wrote in his spiny appeal.

“Not since Jimmy Carter has one of our nation’s leaders shown the backbone to really take on our addiction to fossil fuels–afraid, perhaps, to suffer the same political fate as Carter–while with each passing day and year we run out of time and resources to avert disaster,” Miller said.

The appeal concluded: ” Our nation’s leaders need 537 backbones. With your help, we’ll drop ship a big box of fortitude on Washington D.C. ”

(A side note, Miller concedes that these little spines will likely be plastic and made in China — but that’s kind of appropriate (my thought) when you consider that that country is moving ahead quickly on wind and solar power, despite its penchant for coal. In weighing this environmental aspect of sending a throwaway item, the group determined that the message was worth it, Miller said.)

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