Our country and its people are in the very beginnings of that adversity. The good news is that we have an excellent opportunity at this time that we, as a country, may not have otherwise had. With a little planning and foresight, we can come out of this adversity much better off than we were when it all began. That’s not to say that there won’t be people hurt throughout the process. That’s going to happen but the pain could be modified tremendously if we and our leaders act prudently and quickly.
The three largest auto manufacturers are looking bankruptcy directly in the face. Slow sales as a result of high gas prices and job layoffs are spearheading the bankruptcy specter. If, and that’s a big if, the federal government grants them the money to turn themselves around, they should re-tool all their manufacturing to start making hybrid vehicles, specifically hydrogen-powered vehicles. The auto manufacturers are on their knees now anyway so now would be a perfect time to retool to manufacture hybrids. Many of their furloughed workers could be put back to work to help with the retooling process and that would aid curtailing some of the unemployment figures. Once the new hybrids hit the road, our environment and air quality will start to improve almost overnight.
Other people could be put to work manufacturing and constructing windmill farms to produce energy without the use of coal as a key to energy production. Other people could be put to work building small, nuclear power plants around the country which would further generate clean energy. Others still could be put to work to modify service stations to be distribution points for the hydrogen fuel celled vehicles that would soon be hitting the roads of our country.
Pollution of our waterways and a lack of water in general could be addressed by building desalinization plants along our coastlines and building pipelines to pump the fresh water to already existing, dry reservoirs inland all around the country. Israel does this by having desalinization plants in Haifa and the water is piped to the Jordan Valley. If we can build the trans-Alaska pipeline, we can do this project. That project would “regreen” America in a big way. Our desert areas could also be greened up for that matter. Recreational use of waterways would increase and tourism would flourish everywhere.
We need to look to the 21st century and beyond. The United States likes to be the leader of the world. If we as a people tackle this very expensive project, we will be the leaders of the world for centuries. We need only look west to China to see what our future will be if we don’t tackle this problem head on. China will be the world leader and we will have to follow their lead. Currently, China wants to be a consumer nation. We, on the other hand could not only lead the world in conservation, but could control the economic world by our creative infusion of the various components that make our world green once again. All of these projects would be costly, but very feasible. We already are blowing billions to reanimate several dead dinosaurs, why not creating some new, out-of-the-box dinosaurs.
The United States currently is down, but we are not down for the count.
Larry Wilson is a 50-year resident of Sparks and a retired elementary school teacher. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.