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Like Gilligan's Island

By       Message David Glenn Cox       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   16 comments

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It was 1958 when President Eisenhower created NASA in response to fears of Russian domination of outer space by Sputnik. The program focused the varied energies of multiple, government agencies into one agency. Eleven years and twenty billion dollars later, Neil Armstrong walks on the surface of moon. It was and is, the greatest technological achievement of humanity. What began as a super power competition created the greatest period of technological development far in excess of the wildest dreams of even the scientists who were participating. The program cost the average American tax payer fifty cents, per person per year.

The investment was huge spending twenty billion dollars over ten years. The investment was small when compared to the one hundred and seventy-three billion spent on the Vietnam war. One gave us cell phones, space stations, laptop computers, satellite communications and the greatest accumulation of scientific knowledge in recorded human history. The other, left us fifty-five thousand American deaths and one million Vietnamese dead.

Humankind claims to be an intelligent species, a questionable claim at best. One with little factual data to back up it's claim. George Washington famously said, "Millions for defense but not a penny for tribute." Which has become billions for fighter planes and weapons systems and pennies for science. It reminds me of Gilligan's Island, the professor could do anything but the obvious, patch the hole in the boat. We must patch the hole in the boat, if we are to survive.

Franklin Roosevelt created the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1933. The country was in the throes of the Great Depression the TVA created jobs by building over two hundred dams in the Tennessee Valley. At that time, the Tennessee Valley was one of the poorest regions in the country. The residents suffered with poverty, malnutrition, scurvy and even malaria. Private power companies ended electrical service at the city limit because it wasn't profitable to go any further. The TVA changed the Southeastern United States in a way undreamed of by its planners. The modern cities of Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, Birmingham could not exist, if not for the TVA. The diseases, floods and calamities which were once commonplace are long forgotten.

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Congressional Democrats are talking about a Green New Deal"something or someone must become the catalyst. This should be the center piece of the 2020 campaign. It has the potential to solve multiple problems while rewarding us with dividends unimagined. The cost of wind power energy has dropped 90% in ten years"what could ten more focused and invested years bring us. It should be simple, for the cost of one major weapons system or two or three aircraft carriers we could solve our energy needs"forever. Putting aside, eliminating greenhouse gases and creating millions of jobs it should be simple.

But you see we have this population" A population committed to building a Twelfth Century wall, a population educated to know nothing. A population trained to sieve all ideas through the lenses of Liberal or Conservative. Obviously, any attempt to solve any of society's problems is a Liberal idea. Conversely, anything which removes nickels and dimes from the pocket of billionaires must be bad.

A few years back, a European consortium came up with the Desertec Initiative. A simple idea with solar plants to be built across the width Sahara Desert. The energy then shipped to Europe the Mediterranean and Middle-East. Building redundant plants along the suns path extending the hours of available of energy.

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The United States is the Saudi Arabia of wind and solar potential. We have the potential, we have the technologies. From North Carolina to California, 100,000 square feet of solar panels would power 1,200 homes. A solar surface area of seventy-seven square miles would generate enough electricity for the power needs of the United States. A one square mile solar array would cost $3.2 billion dollars. For $246 billion our nation could have a clean energy solution. Or for $406 billion, we can have an F-35 fighter program.

The wind potential for this country is 10.8 trillion kWh per year or the equivalent of 20 billion barrels of oil. Wind energy has the potential to supply 35% of our energy needs creating 600,000 jobs. Newer wind turbine designs are taller reaching for a more consistent wind flow. Standing one and a half times as tall as the statue of Liberty at 450 feet. The cost, $100,000 to $150,000 per unit installed. It is estimated that it would take 500,000 turbines to generate 4.082 billion megawatt-hours. Now, add in an additional 500,000 units offshore. Or ten billion dollars per year for ten years.

Yet power generation is only half of the equation, more importantly is the power grid. $346 billion or 35 billion per year for ten years. The figures are huge and all we get is energy independence, price stability, millions of jobs and innovation. But where could we obtain such huge funding? Let's see, is energy independence a matter of national security? I say yes, and for less than five percent of our current military budget the project could be fully funded. In the third quarter of 2018 the United States imported $714 million dollars' worth of petroleum"per day!

It's not just a bad environmental policy, it is a bad economic policy as well. The money leaves our shores funding despots who we must protect with our bloated military budget. Currently, clean energy subsidies must be reauthorized by Congress every year while petroleum subsidies go in in perpetuity. The ensconced petroleum industry won't go quietly into the good night. They will fight and spend their largesse convincing their minions, what you need is a border wall! Solar power won't work, Rush Limbaugh said so. Wind turbines kill birds, ask Tucker Carlson, while ignoring that petroleum is poison and will render the earth uninhabitable, if its use isn't discontinued.

Our domestic economy is in a shamble, most families living paycheck to paycheck. Is that a surprise in a country that ships $700 million from its economy daily? An MIT study estimates as many as 200,000 premature deaths each year in the US are due primarily from two sources, power generation and motor vehicle emissions"hello?

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It has been sixty years since the United States has taken the initiative to do something anything, for its people. As a child of the 1960's I grew up with the fear of a sudden nuclear holocaust. All that was needed was one mistake or one miscalculation and the civilized world would end in a flash. This crisis however is different, the errors and miscalculations have already been made. If we don't correct them humanity will end retching on its own vomit, the world can't wait!

 

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I who am I? Born at the pinnacle of American prosperity to parents raised during the last great depression. I was the youngest child of the youngest children born almost between the generations and that in fact clouds and obscures who it is that I (more...)
 

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7 people are discussing this page, with 16 comments  Post Comment


David Glenn Cox

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  New Content

What are the alternatives?


Submitted on Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 6:25:58 PM

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Reply to David Glenn Cox:   New Content

To David Glenn Cox, John Rachel is right, you laid things out brilliantly.

"Humankind claims to be an intelligent species."

In some ways, some of humankind is very intelligent. But I know of a way to show with irrefutable proof that humankind, as a whole, is just plain dumb. It will not happen but if it were possible, all that would need be done is to make it mandatory for all of humankind to read and think about your article. Then, sit back and watch as nothing is done. Watch as nothing is done when all of humankind would then know that we humans are about to be no more while we continue to do nothing.

... I think that is kind of a bottom line way to say it.

I know a number of people here at OpEd that I hope to run into on the other side. It won't be all that long before we are all over there. Let us make it an open invitation to all of us here at OEN and let's plan on it being BYO. I will bring the wine and liquor and the rest of you sort out who brings what else. Should be fun ... at least more fun than over here. :)

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 4:46:10 AM

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Janet Supriano

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Reply to David Watts:   New Content

I will bring a friendly little dog, a giant smile, lots of hugs, a big salad, and a bunch of Portuguese rooster knickknacks. (of which I presently have none) :)

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 5:53:25 AM

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Reply to Janet Supriano:   New Content

It sounds like you are up for meeting up on the other side. You already have a plan for what you plan to bring and all of it makes me smile. Mostly the friendly little dog, a giant smile, lots of hugs, and a big salad. And thank you so much for considering bringing Portuguese rooster knickknacks even though you have none. I do not know if I will miss them or not as I have no idea what they are. Unless of course, you might be one... :)

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 9:36:12 AM

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John Rachel

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This analysis offering hopeful prospects for the future lacks only one critical component: An effective method for toppling the current regime -- i.e. rule by a ruthless, selfish, anti-democratic, oligarchic elite -- and getting on with a rational approach to solving the described challenges and implementing the outlined solutions.

I've been following OpEdNews and other forward-thinking sites for years now. There's always a rich bounty of intellectual exercises, meaning looking at problems and solutions. I'm still waiting for some "political exercises", meaning decisive ways of removing from power those who are the obstacles to progress.

This is not a criticism of David or this article. I'm frankly baffled why there aren't at least a hundred comments here. He lays it out brilliantly. This should ready us for the next step, the political solution. Where is everyone?

Oh ... I see the flaw. He didn't mention impeaching Trump even once, which we all know will solve everything so a reign of peace and prosperity can float down from Heaven like snowflakes at Vail.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 11:00:32 PM

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Reply to John Rachel:   New Content

John, I have told you this. Many articles here at OEN say we the people need to do this or do that. But nobody can come up with a way to get people or at least enough people, up off their backsides to make things happen. Your candidate contract is the exception. Your candidate contract is one way, and I think only way, I have seen to offer a way to get something in the right direction done. I give you lots of credit.

P.s., I have meant to get a comment posted on your interview article. But I guess I am just like everybody else. I need to get up off my backside. That being said, just like the words in a song, I like to think I'm Not Like Everybody Else...

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 9:24:19 AM

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End the war machine which is the protection arm of dirty energy. The rest will follow.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 12:01:31 AM

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Reply to Lois Gagnon:   New Content

But how? How the hell do we end the war machine? Tax revolt? They don't need our dollars.

I thought the action outlined in this short video presented one opportunity. Not a safe one, I'm sure. We could swiftly arrive on a hit list.

But I'd value your opinion.

It's the 8 min. opening video on the Crowhouse Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/thecrowhouse

I'd be glad to compose the letter and post.

I also proposed wearing a yellow vest on ordinary outings and errands. Along with a preparing a one-page handout for anyone who asked the reason for the vest. Also displaying a yellow vest in your car's front window, as the French supporters are doing.

Amazon (the evil shop) sells 10 vests for $23. Of course, the purchase will be duly noted and shared with the PTB.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 12:19:24 AM

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Reply to Janet Supriano:   New Content

The argument I am using is that we can't mitigate climate change and continue to wage wars all over the planet at the same time. The reason being that the US military is the biggest user of fossil fuels and the biggest emitter of Co2 on Earth. Most people are on board with understanding that climate change is an existential threat to life on the planet. Once they are made to understand that the US military is the biggest contributor to the problem, they will understand the necessity of shrinking the war machine.

The logical place to start with pressuring politicians on this is at the state level. Especially states like mine (Massachusetts) that relies heavily on weapons contractors for employment and revenue. The governor and legislators make happy sounding noises about reducing the state's Co2 footprint, but fail to address the state's huge carbon footprint due to military contracts. They need to be called out loudly and often on their hypocrisy.

We can also stop investing in the war machine through our 401ks. Find out where your money is being invested and tell your adviser you want to divest from anything connected to the war machine.

That video makes a very good point. I would not hesitate to point out to my so called representatives that their support for Israel's illegal occupation of Gaza puts them personally in violation of Article 33 of the 4th Geneva Convention. If that doesn't give them pause about what they're advocating, they're either not very bright or criminally insane.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 1:57:33 AM

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Reply to Lois Gagnon:   New Content

Thank you, and of course, we agree on the war machine and its murder of the environment and everything in it. Actually, I have minimal hope.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 2:26:14 AM

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Reply to Janet Supriano:   New Content

It is hard for a realist to have anything but minimal hope. But we have to try.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 3:41:11 AM

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Reply to Lois Gagnon:   New Content

We need to remember that the Paper Tiger is indeed made of paper. (Papers on which are written tantalizing numbers.)

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 12:25:53 AM

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David Glenn Cox

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I guess I didn't mention Trump because I thought it a foregone conclusion. The ballot box is the answer.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 12:23:01 AM

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Reply to David Glenn Cox:   New Content

I'm proud of you and heartened that someone can present a cogent and thorough analysis without bashing the most easily bashed bashee in American history. Vilifying the orange maggot is about as profound as announcing to the world that bird poop spoils the taste of lemonade on a hot summer day. If all the time and energy spent so far on Trump had been dedicated to identifying and electing a Congress that would fully support the recommendations which you catalog so perfectly in this article, the entire agenda would be law by March, we'd be getting to work on it by May, and the transformation would nearly be complete by the 2020 election.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 8:38:27 AM

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Reply to David Glenn Cox:   New Content

Thank you for saying this . . .

"The ballot box is the answer."

Yes it is. It could be if there were some focus and organization to our progressive activism. Unfortunately, the same myopia you describe in your article about public awareness applies in spades to the movements of the left.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 8:41:21 AM

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Meet me at the North Bridge (am tired of sleeping under it.) for rekindled group w bench movement, demanding all troops come home and we get out of the Federal Reserve profiting from that & the trash is causes. This time, we get what ever we want from there. This article and plenty of others here offer worthy solutions.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 2:02:51 AM

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