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Angry Over Rising Gas Prices? It's Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

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Right now, fully knowing those facts, the U.S. Congress, which grovels at the feet of the oil industry, refuses to get involved. To solve this problem this government should immediately launch a massive program to develop alternate sources of energy; solar power, in particular, wind turbines, and geothermal power to name a few. We need a program so large and so innovative that it would make the Apollo Program that sent a man to the moon look like an ordinary achievement.


This is not to say that America can in any way immediately reduce its large imports of oil; that cannot and must not be done. America needs to do two things at the same time to solve one problem. Continue to import oil at current rates and implement an aggressive energy program designed to supplement it in the near term and replace it in the long term.   Even if, after 10 to 20 years, we could arrive at a point where we were using 50% of oil and 50% of solar power, together with other new sources of energy, a catastrophe could be avoided.


Without a doubt, solar power has the greatest potential to become America's and the world's primary source of energy. There is nothing to match it. It is there for the taking, it is an infinite source of energy, it simply needs to be captured and stored, and it doesn't need to be forcefully extracted. Sure it would be a very difficult and expensive process, that's the case with the development of any complex product, but it is something that is achievable. It is more than that, it is absolutely critical to the future of this country.


Let's think about what life might be like if America continues on its present course, refusing to take action to prevent this approaching crisis. For starters we can look forward to more military confrontations and actions, possibly full-blown wars, in the Middle East, Central Asia and other regions as nations aggressively compete for a declining oil supply. This will make it impossible to ever reduce our monumental military budgets and our escalating national deficit will trigger a financial crisis like no other.


The problems that we are experiencing domestically with our national infrastructure, our education system, our lack of jobs, unemployment, and home foreclosures will be greatly magnified. These are problems that we cannot allow to continue to fester as they go unattended. To solve them will take hundreds of billions of dollars that will not be available, and so our nation and this society will pay a very painful price.


One of these days, if nothing is done, almost 250 million vehicles, autos, trucks and buses are going to be running on fumes; and this country and its commerce will be thrown into complete chaos. And if Israel and America launch an unjustified attack on Iran the effect on the world supply and shipment of oil will create a disastrous situation.


America is on a road to nowhere and the people know it. In poll after poll the majority, 70% or more, of Americans say that this country is headed in the wrong direction. The Congress whose approval rating is no more than about 10% knows it; the president knows it as well. And as conditions continue to rapidly deteriorate, nothing is ever done. Where are this country's best and brightest minds when we need them? They are certainly not to be found in Washington D.C.


So, what is the greatest impediment to the initiation of making energy development this nation's #1 priority? It is the powerful opposition of the oil industry and its corporations, the most profitable in America. They want no part of new energy development, even if they occasionally make commercials claiming that they do. They fully intend to stifle the development of any new energy sources that they feel would threaten or diminish their massive, obscene profits. And so they are using their power and money to make certain that "their" senators and representatives in the Congress remain under their control.


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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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