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Saturday, January 10, 2009

SAVING PLANET EARTH AND HUMANITY

My blog of December 31 on "Simple Solutions for 2009," also published in The Huffington Post that day, initiated a series of virtual discussions on Saving Planet Earth and Humanity. The focus was initially on what Hawaii can do about Peak Oil and Global Warming.
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It seems that renewable electricity should in time develop. We're currently heading down the wrong path on ground transport with ethanol and biodiesel. We're in deep %#@&# regarding aviation, as in five to ten years jet fuel prices will make travel to Hawaii only for the rich. So, there have been discussions heading in twenty directions on subjects like, "does hydrogen have a fatal flaw," "will the direct methanol fuel cell replace the plug-in electric vehicle?," "how to survive the coming doom," "we blew it after the second energy crisis in 1979," "what about biomethanol?," "will jet fuel from algae ever become competitive?," "the Hawaiian Hydrogen Clipper," "vital decisions will not be made because there is no present crisis" and more.
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Continuing this discussion, some of you, but only a few, I think, feel that it is already too late, so why even try to find solutions. There are those who wish to minimize general and personal pain during the coming doom. Others philosophize and pontificate that we can't give up. Mostly for the latter group, I wonder if we can begin to catalogue a list of activities worthy of pursuit? Let me start by repeating my frequent call to re-direct defense expenditures toward combating Peak Oil and Global Warming.

Did you watch the festivities today celebrating the commissioning of the USS George H. W. Bush? What pomp with 21,000 dignitaries and observers. On this note, I summarize my previous posting:
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1. The average U.S. Department of Energy annual budget for renewable energy research over the past decade was under $1 billion. By the way, that floating golf ball which returned to Pearl Harbor, having protected us from North Korean missiles, alone, cost about a billion dollars.
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2. The USS Bush, a brand new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier,* will cost taxpayers $4.5 billion (nope, the price is now listed at $6.2 billion). This will be our tenth Nimitz-class carrier, and the last.
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3. However, on the horizon are the Gerald R. Ford class nuclear carriers, the first to cost $8 billion, not including the $5 billion R&D being expended to insure for producing the finest. It's a toss-up if the initial version will be called the Gerald R. Ford or America. The second has already been reserved as the USS Arizona. We're now up to $21 billion to scare the Russians and Chinese into they, likewise, investing in their future.
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4. Also, 30 new Virginia-class submarines will be built at $2.5 billion apiece, or $75 billion.
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5. The program cost of the F-22 Raptor stealth fighters is $65 billion.
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With Senator Inouye heading both the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and full Committee, certainly some of the above will end up in Hawaii. As a beginning, our Hawaii Air National Guard is scheduled to receive 18 F-22s worth $2.6 billion. Certainly, it would be sacrilegious to even hint that these expenditures might not today be necessary, especially when the people of Hawaii, and Nation, mostly support all the above. For the same, but different, reasons, there is also strong support for all those ridiculous airport security precautions. But there is no cold war anymore and we annually outspend China on defense by a factor of six (28 to 1 on a per capita basis).
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Just think, if that sum of money mentioned above (and, there is a lot more, for Joseph Stiglitz in his book of this sum, remarked that the cost of the current Middle East wars will cost $3 trillion, recently updated to $5 trillion) can, instead, be applied to sustainable resource development? Where would Hawaii and our Nation be in 2025 if that were possible? Is there any hope for a shift in priorities? The reality is, of course, no, but I refer you, again, to my very first Huffington Post article published on May 29 entitled, Well, Barack, We have a Problem. Just about everything of any importance I've accomplished in my life started as a one-in-a-million adventure, so why break with tradition.
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1 comment:

gutter cleaning in nj said...

Yes this type of seminars should keep organize for the saving of Earth and humanity too.