Flawless is coming soon...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Is America Reaping What it has Sown - Part II

For a nation that sent men to the moon and returned them safely to the earth, one must wonder why the United States still uses fossil fuels to power the country. After a challenge from President Kennedy to land a man on the moon, NASA created, developed and perfected new technologies in less than 10 years that gave America space superiority as its Apollo program conquered the chasm between earth and the moon. And since Neil Armstrong’s “One giant leap for mankind,” America has sent a spacecraft, Voyager 1, more than 5 billion miles further into space. When one considers organ transplants, nuclear powered submarines, maglev trains, the Space Shuttle, super computers, and hundreds of other very sophisticated technologies, one may rightfully be cynical as they contemplate why this country still uses gasoline powered engines that spans three centuries.

To put the Western mind in perspective; 500 years ago, the greatest minds in the Western world argued that the world was flat. Today, those descendants in spirit have made unprecedented leaps in knowledge and technical genius since its days as a backward thinking scholar; yet we are still milking the earth of its natural resources to fuel or lives with crude oil. Although I find the logic difficult to grasp, many would say that the multinational oil companies refuse to invest in alternative energy because there is too much oil in the earth to simply abandon. Consequently, if this is their motive, then it boils down to dollars and cents. Humm, not necessarily a noble motivation, but perhaps it demonstrates our own double standards as a nation of gas guzzling hypocrites who cry foul and demand alternative energy when fuel prices spiral to $5 per gallon, but then we consume petrol to the point of intoxication when prices recede to the 2-3 dollar stratosphere.

Just like President Kennedy inspired the nation to go to the moon, why hasn’t a president pushed for a national project that would produce a replacement for the internal combustion engine? Why? Because it would be a true benefit to the citizen, while reducing the profits of the oil industry. I don’t mean to over-simply the complex nature of developing a new type of motor or an alternative energy, but it would seem to me that it takes a greater level of sophistication to travel safely through space than to create new methods of fueling our lives. Consider the sophistication behind a nuclear weapon. They are so sophisticated that fewer than a dozen nations own a nuclear arsenal.

Certainly, it takes greater sophistication to create a hydrogen bomb than it does to create a motor that runs on water. And if we look at the “mother” of all fuel powered vehicles, the nuclear powered submarine must be one of the most sophisticated vehicles ever developed, but we are drowning, literally as you look at the Gulf Coast, in a sea of crude, instead of pushing for new, efficient ways to power our world. Hydrogen is by far the most abundant element on the planet, and could virtually provide an inexhaustible supply of energy for pennies per hundred miles.

Hydrogen based fuels would not be the only candidate to replace the internal combustion engine. We could theoretically create a motor that ran on static electricity; also a very abundant source of energy. But why are we as a nation not focused on other forms of energy that could literally save our planet and provide an inestimable benefit to the working class? The answer lies in our government’s misplaced priorities. They would prefer to wage a war that has very little national interest, but preserves the siphoning of fossil fuels from the earth, than to spend the money on research and development of an alternative fuel source.

Sure, there are research departments around the world that are exploring the possibilities of new forms of energy; however, these research teams lack the funding that is necessary to offer a source of energy to the public in five years or 10. It took less than 10 years for the Apollo program to land on the moon, and it took about four years to develop the first atomic bombs, but both of these projects had funding priorities from the Federal Government. If it was an American priority, this country could wean itself from oil in less than five years; however, do you see the problem with this urgent, national call to action? ExxonMobil and British Petroleum would no longer be able to boast of $300 billion in annual revenue and $30 billion in profits. The balance of power would significantly shift in this country away from the oil industry.

If we view the world of oil through the lens of September 11th, then we see something very ominous. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia; yet President George W. Bush launched an attack against Iraq and Afghanistan in response. And after more than seven years in Iraq and nine years in Afghanistan, the U.S. Government has all but conceded that its initial motivations for invading these countries were, at best, based on faulty intelligence and at worst were illegal. But how does a country with the type of intelligence sophistication that America has, make a decision to go to war on faulty intelligence?

They don’t!

Could America be occupying Iraq because of the $30 trillion in oil deposits that are in that country? And for those who are drunk on petrol, this may be a valid motivation considering the fact that American oil consumption is strategically controlled by OPEC, a predominately Middle Eastern organization. As a social planner or a leader at the top level of our government and military, understanding the risk that we face, albeit slight, in our dependence on Middle Eastern oil, it may make sense to some to create a diversion that gives this Country an apparently noble purpose for occupying the country with the second largest oil reserve on earth. But God, my friend, has a different standard.

...to be continued

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