I have suggested our country needs a special energy initiative, much like the space program, to focus on a national effort to become both more energy efficient and energy independent. An intensive research and development program is exactly the type of thing our government should be doing to help protect our long-term interests… especially given the fact that the private sector has not been able to address this area adequately on its own. NOW is the time to stop “pork barrel” programs and ridiculous earmarks that waste our tax dollars and put them toward a national program that we could all get behind. While it wouldn’t help today, I suspect we could have some very positive results within a decade. We might have to suffer in the meantime, but it would be reassuring to know that the problem was being worked on in a concerted manner.
It took less than 10 years to put a man on the moon… surely, we can discover viable sources of alternative energy in that timeframe, too.
Not everyone has been a supporter of our space program, claiming it to be a waste of time and money. While the value of having a man walk on the moon is little return on the huge investment of dollars spent to accomplish that goal, there were MANY positive benefits of technology developed during the process… some of which we take for granted today and arguably would not exist if it weren’t for our space program.
A good portion of the credit for the technological leadership of the U.S. is a result of our space program and there have been a huge number of “spinoffs” from it in a variety of areas, such as computers, cameras, satellites, and software. The same effect could come from a similar national energy program.