The Democrat’s proposed spending bill has a lot in it, and it is way off target. First of all we should not be spending 3.5 trillion dollars…period. This is a ridiculous amount of debt to take on and is going to cause serious problems with our economy, but that is not what I want to talk about. I am also not going to talk about the real need to spend this money as it is obviously a power grab by the democrats rather than something that is actually needed. If we are going to spend it I want to talk about spending this money in a smart way that that offers long term gains.
Since we are going to spend a comparable amount to the amount we did for World War II we should make sure we get real, long term gains from this money. The current plan has major give always, but lacks items which attack real problems we are calling existential threats…like global warming. If we believe the end of mankind is in 12 years like AOC said, well lets just spend the money and have a big party. If however we think the world may go on longer than that we should ENGINEER a solution to this problem. Assuring we are spending a good portion of this money to solve the global climate problem seems like a much better use of those funds than what they are currently planning.
We should form a program like the Manhattan project did during World War II to create the atom bomb, or like we did to go to the moon with Apollo. We need to engage and unleash our Engineers and Scientists and give them the resources to solve the issues related to energy, pollution and global warming. We do NOT need politicians or former bartenders with economic degrees designing these solutions, we need real engineers and scientists. Can you imagine of we applied the logic and methods used by the current administration to going to the moon in the 60s? We would still be blowing up rockets on the launch pad and blaming the other party. In point of fact NASA Engineers stopped designing our rockets starting with the Space Shuttle. Politicians mandated the Shuttle design and got in the way. The result was a rocket that could not do he job, was over budget, and late.
There are several emerging technologies that have great promise but could be developed and rolled out decades earlier if we injected real resources into them, and got the politics out of the way. The government should research and develop these new technologies so that industry can implement then them. These technologies should be given royalty free to the world. Global warming is not an American problem it is a world problem. If we put trillions into this effort we would be helping the world, and ourselves in a real and substantial way.
Here are some examples.
Storage Technology, Solid State Batteries – One of the biggest problems with green energy is that it is not constant. Wind and Solar are not always available. When they are available we need ways to store the energy we overproduced when it was available to assure constant supply. The solid state battery technology has great promise. These batteries can be charged much more rapidly than current batteries, can be cycled many more times, have greater capacity and are much safer than what we have today. There are some car manufactures that are going to introduce them into cars later this decade but they are just getting started. Storage technology is one of the most important factors in solving global warming.
Safe Nuclear power – There are several technologies on the horizon that will allow nuclear power to be produced eliminating the possibility of another Chernobyl or Three Mile Island. These technologies include some in development by the likes of MIT, using several new and promising methods you can read about here. The bottom line is we could develop reactors that are fail-safe and do not contribute to climate change. These could be implemented in short order if we applied resources to the development of them.
Improve Solar, and Wind power efficiency – I will not delve to deep into technology that is already here but safe to say we could make significant gains in efficiency of solar cells, lower production cost as well as wider implementation. For example the shingles on your roof could all be producing energy, roofs of all commercial buildings for that matter. Solar power is a fairly easy target for rapid implementation and improvement in the short term. Wind energy as well with some small push could be used much more widely. These two items along with the improvements in storage such as solid state batteries could significantly impact our carbon footprint.
More efficient computing – A huge amount of resources is being used to power server farms all over the world as well as the individual computers. By 2025 the IT industry could use 20% of all electricity. The Internet is not going away and is extremely useful, but there is a real cost in terms of energy use. The amount of energy used has significant impact. We could develop lower power consuming computing which would have a dramatic impact on our energy use and thus production need.
There are more examples but you get the point. There is an old saying, “Give a man a fish he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. The current proposed plan fixes some short term problems but does not solve the larger long term issues. Can you imagine if we developed the technology for cheap, clean energy, to not only stop but reverse global warming? That seems to me like it would be a MUCH better use of our money, and a much larger benefit to America and the world. Unfortunately it will not immediate buy votes so our leadership is not as interested in these real solutions. They just posture and come up with less functional incomplete proposals to assure re-election.
If we spent the amount of resources we did to win WW II we could solve the largest problem facing mankind, as well as improving the quality of life for everyone. Once implemented this technology would free up resources for many of the items that are in the current wish list like free child care, college etc. We need to teach the world to fish, and not just feed them for a day.