Even though I am a UK citizen (or as I prefer to call myself a citizen of the world!), I, like millions of other people around the world, take an interest in US politics. The reason is pretty obvious, as Bush has shown with his devastating foreign policies, America is the only country in the world that can have such a huge impact on the rest of us. Even though we like to feel important in the UK, there’s no way our small country, or any other, could have declared war on Iraq, and unfortunately America could go it alone without U.N. or E.U. support because of its immense resources. As outsiders, we sit and watch helpless as American politics essentially screws up the rest of the world, and wish we could have vote too!
Right now I’m in the thick of things, working for an NGO in Baltimore, so I’ve been watching the primaries on TV and hearing all about it from my American friends and colleagues, and nearly everyone I know seems to think Obama is great and has a good chance of being the next President. I just went to his website and I have to say, I am impressed, this guy might actually have a chance of doing some good in the world. He’s definitely smarter (although that’s not too hard) and his opinion on issues are really in line with what us outsiders have been looking for the past 10 years since Clinton left and was replaced by, without argument, the WORST world leader in history (and as I constantly remind my American friends, you made a mistake the first time, but how the hell did you make it TWICE!!!!! Wink)
So I guess right now I’m rooting for Obama, and if the polls mean anything, I’m glad that this guy seems likely to be the next US president! If he is going to be the next US president, apart from clearing up the mess America has created around the world with its foreign policies, I want to propose an idea that could benefit everyone around the world, but would also greatly benefit America. I cannot claim credit for this idea, its actually an idea I read in Thomas L. Friedman’s excellent book, “The World is Flat”, about globalisation and its effect on the world and America, but the idea is so good I can only hope the next president will become the next JFK and do it! So here it is:
A program to make the US Energy Independent in the next 10 years
Like the Apollo space program (to put a man on the moon in 10 years) this program will give America a vision, what used to make the rest of the world actually admire America. It would be nice if it was done collaboratively with America’s allies like the EU, but I think even a simple plan just for the US would benefit the rest of the world, particularly with the new technologies that would be developed through the program, just like the Apollo program jump-started the whole IT industry! The benefits would cut across all areas of American society and the world:
First and foremost, America HAS to take leadership on global warming, its not going to come from large polluting developing countries like China and India. America’s complaint that it will affect the US economy, making it less competitive is ridiculous, this is an opportunity for America to invest and create new markets and a bigger, more innovative economy while also fighting a worthy cause and showing other countries like China the way!
America’s foreign policy won’t be tied to energy, a big factor that has had devastating results in the Middle East and around the world and will only get worse as resources become more scarce.
America has a shortage of scientists/engineers and risks losing its competitive edge to countries like India/China and the program will inspire children to study these disciplines and give resources to create more in its schools. Nearly all the engineering the US workforce right now were from the “Apollo” generation, and are soon going to retire. America has to replace them in large numbers or it will simply lose out to the millions of new scientists and engineers created every year in the China and India.
It will put America as a leader in alternative energy technology, a place it is currently lagging in compared to Europe.
Create jobs and build wealth through the massive investment the program would bring, just like the Apollo moon program did.
America is currently the only country in the world with the resources to take leadership on this. The program will give America a vision and hope for the future, leadership in the fight against global warming, and inspire millions of children to enter the science/engineering field while also creating new markets and building the economy. If Obama ever stumbles across this, if he really does care about global warming, creating more scientists and engineers, and even wants to leave a legacy like JFK, this plan has it all! Read the book, speak to the original scientists that came up with this idea and DO IT! Oh yeah, and if you do because of this blog, I expect an invitation to the white house!! ;)