My very first posting, on May 29th 2008, was written during the heat of the Obama-Clinton race for the Democratic nomination, and was entitled "Well, Barack, We have a Problem." I suggested that he was the only individual capable of ameliorating the economic cataclysm to come. Well, two for two, as he did become President and seems to be making the right moves.
I further intimated that the best way to secure funds would be to reduce the defense budget. He did, sort of, but nothing close to the 10% cut I recommended, to be followed by 10% each year if all other countries did the same. Soon, then, his legacy would be: Peace on Earth forever. Ridiculous, perhaps, but something to consider.
The thought of posting an article a week for the entire year was way beyond my wildest dreams, but here I am, in mid-May, with this, my 52nd article. A couple got no comments, but one went beyond a hundred.
In general, as traditional columnists report on the obvious, I thought I would focus on the unobvious. Yes, except for the Farm Lobby, we all know that ethanol is bad, but my answer is the direct methanol fuel cell. There was very little support, especially none from the U.S. Department of Energy. I even went so far as to express caution regarding the plug-in electric car and the hydrogen economy. I got heartburn from the responses. Just wait, though, for I predict that the biomethanol economy will be just around the corner (okay, at least ten to twenty years away).
No one writes about ocean opportunities. Former President George W. Bush, for example, took pride in closing down portions to development, as historically has the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A former chief scientist waxed about her fishy friends and their only ocean technologist was fired more than decade ago. As NOAA reports to the Department of Commerce, you would think that at least one office would promote intelligent commercial development of the seas. Nope.
I cheer Patri Friedman and his Seasteading, Inc., and provide encouragement to Ted Johnson and his OTEC crew from Lockheed Martin and Makai Ocean Engineering, but there seems to be no real interest in something I have termed, the Blue Revolution, to develop the seas for humanity in harmony with the marine environment. There is almost a unanimity of world opinion that we screwed up our lands and atmosphere, so, let's not destroy our ocean. Nonsense, for sustainable resources, green materials, exciting new habitats and more can become our future if we do it right.
One of my recent tactics is the use of doomsday, for if sound logic does not work, maybe fear might. I have a few friends who are preparing for the end, and even an active internet forum on the general subject. My Daily Blog covers these activities, including serializing those two books on Simple Solutions I recently wrote shown in one of the boxes to the right. As of today, 73 countries have visited that site.
Anyway, one of those chapters is entitled The Venus Syndrome, hinting that the vast deposit (said to be twice as much more than the known amount of oil, coal and natural gas) of marine methane hydrates at the sea bottom could well reach the surface and turn Planet Earth into Planet Venus at 900 degrees F. Methane, as most don't know, compared to carbon dioxide, is more than 20 times worse for inducing global warming. A novel on the subject is in the works.
I carped on why we have no national energy policy (this most prosaic of postings drew more than 100 comments), why Republicans like fossil fuels and not care that much for the environment, the amount we spend on national security, and our more recent tendency to copy rather than build something better. On the more positive front, I explained why renewable electricity is our only viable option, identified the ideal biofuel for development and provided a solution for our domestic auto industry. You will be stunned about how Americans view "Evolution, Global Warming, Doomday and the Afterlife" and might still be confused about the ethnicity of Barack Obama.
As miserable as the world has been over the past year, we now have no Cold War and will soon exit Iraq, do not worry much about the population bomb and, by the way, what happened to acid rain? The economy is now rising, there is change in D.C. and the Sun will continue to shine. Thank you for a wonderful year with HuffPo.