Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Sunday, December 08, 2013

We Could Have Built A Sustainable Civilization Instead of the Ten Trillion Dollar War Machine We Built for Oil

Juan Cole:
It has cost the United States $8 trillion to provide military security in the Gulf since 1976… A tiny fraction of the $8 trillion we spent through 2010 (surely it is up near $10 trillion now) on Gulf security would, if invested in research and development in solar energy and other renewables, and in reformulating our urban transportation systems, save the world. We are told we don’t have money for that effort. But we had plenty of money for aircraft carriers and wars in the Gulf.
This isn't just a matter of woulda coulda shoulda: Let's do this in the next thirty years with the next ten trillion dollars instead, howzabout? This is doable, quite apart from what R&D might make possible after a generation of effort. Even with the technologies and governance available right now sustainability is a matter of mandating and subsidizing solar rooftops for homes and public installations, investing in vast wind and tidal turbine collectives, criss-crossing the continent with high speed rail, engaging in reforestation projects, relocalizing agriculture and encouraging permaculture practices to save topsoil and freshwater, installing soot filters, regulating coal and nuclear out of existence forever, rezoning cities for walkability and bikeability, and subsidizing home insulation and energy efficient appliances, front porches, attic fans, geothermal pumps, home gardens instead of lawns.

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