President Bill Clinton doesn't deserve to be in the same honorable rank with our greatest American Presidents and statesmen like Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt until he can tell the truth about the ecological price , a very heavy price we pay today for our infinite planet economics growth .

"Jefferson knew there was a limit to economic growth. But he wanted that limit to be met with the virtues of a democratic republic. It was left to future statesmen to adapt the constitutional democracy to a full-world economy.

Thomas Jefferson, with whatever personal weakness, was a brilliant, studied man of immense civic virtue. Now can you imagine Jefferson uttering nonsense like, "There is no conflict between growing the economy and protecting the environment."?

How about Abraham Lincoln on the stump? Can you imagine him tarnishing his legacy with, "There is no conflict between growing the economy and protecting the environment!"? Of course not. He wasn't called Honest Abe for nothing.

But Clinton... who doesn't remember the old win-win rhetoric that permeated his presidential oratory as well as that of his Cabinet (probably at his beckoning). No one on earth, with the possible exception of Hillary Clinton, is more associated with the slippery salesmanship, "There is no conflict between growing the economy and protecting the environment!"

For Jefferson or Lincoln, limits to growth and environmental protection weren't yet major, pressing issues. That's why you won't find clear quotes about the relationship between economic growth and environmental protection in their transcripts. But Roosevelt, half a century before Clinton, saw the writing on the wall and was already calling for a steady state economy:

Our last frontier has long since been reached, and there is practically no more free land... Clearly, all this calls for a re-appraisal of values. A mere builder of more industrial plants, a creator of more railroad systems, an organizer of more corporations, is as likely to be a danger as a help... Our task now is not discovery or exploitation of natural resources, or necessarily producing more goods. It is the soberer, less dramatic business of administering resources and plants already in hand.(1)"