This I Believe

Cathy - Plymouth, Michigan
Entered on October 18, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: environment

Last week, I was listening to radio coverage of a press conference with President Bush, and I noticed the President often began sentences with the words, “I believe.” Now, that may be just a convention, to avoid saying “I think” or “I feel,” but it struck me that what the President believes matters a great deal. He has a huge sphere of influence. On the other hand, as a stay-at-home mom, what I believe doesn’t matter all that much.

Except that there’s an issue that does matter to me. It matters a lot. And I want it to matter to everyone, including people in positions of power.

So, yesterday, in my personal campaign to recruit others to my cause, I ordered a bumper sticker for my minivan. When it arrives, it will mark the first time I’ve ever put a bumper sticker on a vehicle. Never before have I felt compelled to preach to the world from the back of my van.

I’ve been sending urgent letters to heads of corporations and congressional representatives and newspaper editors and President Bush. I’ve been calling in to talk shows and joining coalitions and subscribing to newsletters. I’m increasingly seeing the world as divided into two camps: those who understand and support my belief and those who don’t.

What do I believe? I believe that our petroleum dependency is the reason for the wars we are involved in and that the desire to control oil revenues is the real power behind terrorist attacks and insurgencies.

I believe that, since transportation accounts for two-thirds of this country’s oil and gas use, the solution is to create overwhelming demand for renewable fuels like ethanol.

I believe that by putting a bumper sticker on my car I can help spur others to believe this, too.

What does my new bumper sticker say? It features an American flag and the words, “Ethanol Guzzler” in royal blue lettering. Beneath that, in smaller red lettering is the phrase, “Where do your fuel dollars go?”

As the owner of a flex-fuel vehicle, I’m no longer helpless in the face of world events. Every time I fill my fuel tank with ethanol, I’m part of the solution, instead of actively contributing to the problem.

I’m voting my beliefs with my vehicle and fuel purchases. I can and will vote my beliefs in the upcoming election. As a consumer and as a voter, I can make a difference.

What I believe does matter.