Saturday, December 10, 2005


When President Kennedy addressed Congress on May 25, 1961, he said the following:

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind ... and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.

I believe we possess all the resources and talents necessary. But the facts of the matter are that we have never made the national decisions or marshalled the national resources required for such leadership. We have never specified long-range goals on an urgent time schedule, or managed our resources and our time so as to insure their fulfillment.

This decision demands a major national commitment of scientific and technical manpower, material and facilities, and the possibility of their diversion from other important activities where they are already thinly spread. It means a degree of dedication, organization and discipline which have not always characterized our research and development efforts. It means we cannot afford undue work stoppages, inflated costs of material or talent, wasteful interagency rivalries, or a high turnover of key personnel.

New objectives and new money cannot solve these problems. They could in fact, aggravate them further — unless every scientist, every engineer, every serviceman, every technician, contractor, and civil servant gives his personal pledge that this nation will move forward, with the full speed of freedom, in the exciting adventure of space."

For the last five years, President Bush and Congress have missed the opportunity to do something truly meaningful and historical with regard to our nation's energy policy. But there are still three years remaining in the President's second term, and it's not too late too act.

Following the example of President Kennedy's Apollo Moon Mission, the current President and Congress should make a pledge to dedicate all national resources — funding, research, technology, and manpower — toward the goal of developing viable, cost-efficient, renewable energy sources for the US.

These alternatives to oil and other fossil fuels would keep the US from remaining dependent on Middle East oil, and held hostage to the demands and whims of OPEC.

The rewards could be enormous in manifold ways.

Alternatives fuels would also be kinder to our environment and could potentially create millions of jobs and whole new industries. But it will require the same national will that drove the space program in the '60s.

Only the President has the pulpit, power and prestige to marshall this requisite will, as well as the necessary commitment of resources, toward the realization of this goal.

It may not be realized in his term, or even by the end of this decade, but it should be pursued with all determination and vigor nonetheless.

Copyright © 2005 The Independent Report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the author's consent.

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