Moore City and Failed Aircraft

Our unstable climate sends another string of deadly tornadoes across the Midwest. The cost, in lives and property, made all the more poignant by knowing it’s not over yet, staggers the mind. Sea levels inch up in concert with the increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, and coastal cities across the world prepare to spend multi-billions in an effort to hold back the deluge for a few more years.

Burning coal, oil and gas costs us far more than its per-unit price. But as much of that price and suffering will be passed on to our children, we accept the lies of the energy conglomerates and the shiny-toothed politicians they own. When will this generation accept its responsibility for protecting the next?

Our apathy can’t be attributed to financial constraints; the country has more than enough money to end Global Warming and the energy crisis. Corporate profits have risen to an all-time high. Companies now make more than they ever have before. Yet Wages, as a percent of the economy, have hit an all-time low. Mega billionaires like the Wal-Mart heirs rely on taxpayers to provide their employees with food stamps and healthcare to make up for the wages they’re not paying them. Our current political overseers see no problem with that.

We’re blundering into an economic and climate crisis and expect the shallowest among us to display some backbone.

So what does climate change and devastated towns have to do with a non-functional aircraft from World War Two?

The Spruce Goose, Howard Hughes giant wooden aircraft with a wingspan greater than a football field, was only one of many ‘didn’t pan-out’ ideas the country’s leaders invested money in when they were desperate to save democracy.

Even from the plane’s first conception, few thought it would fly or help the war effort. But, with so much at stake, the go-ahead was given and the money allocated. Only seven decades ago, politicians and scientists cared enough about the country to put time and money into even the most questionable ideas.

The ferromagnetic generator is today’s high risk concept. It might work, or it might totally flop. Only money and effort will reveal the answer. But if it does work, solar energy could be converted into hydrogen cheaply enough to compete with oil and gas. Burning hydrogen doesn’t add greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere.  In time, the current unstable climate might mitigate, making events like the Moore City disaster more rare. Just a small percentage of the recovery costs of this year’s tornadoes, devoted to some of these less obvious alternative energy concepts might save billions and countless lives.

But today, this country seems unwilling to put money and effort into risky projects with no track record. Without any guarantee of success, off-the-wall concepts can’t find backers or even politicians willing to respond to letters.  Especially for an idea that threatens the incomes of the powerful coal and oil oligarchy.

Gone are the days of risking money on many ideas hoping to find one that might pay-off. This is the era of the quarterly bottom line and golden parachutes.

Maybe next year’s spate of hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and floods will be the ones that trigger serious research—instead of our current assumption that the one mile per gallon increase provided by developing a ten-speed automatic transmission for future cars will save the planet.

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