Civilization has progressed, one-step at a time, from the Stone Age until the present day. True, our steps are coming rapidly now, technology has us moving at breakneck speed. In my lifetime, I have seen overwhelming advancements. I have also witnessed terrible pollution, environmental catastrophes and the onset of rapid global warming. Unless we take dramatic action now, the world we leave for our descendants will not be as hospitable as the one we inherited from our parents.
How could this happen? Actually, it was easy. Our governments have become the servants of big business. Their financial considerations took precedent over environmental considerations. You know that story. Things got out of control. The faster technology advanced, the faster our environment deteriorated. There was no overall plan or oversight; we simply incorporated new technological advancements into our society without question. They were cool. They were neat. They made our lives easier. The byproducts of all these wonderful things were toxins in our food, water and the air we breathe. Global warming is just one of those byproducts.
Now we are facing the onset of many potentially catastrophic changes in our world’s environment; altered weather patterns, rising sea level and temperature changes to name a few. Business and government seem oblivious to the issues. Our protests are largely unheard. Yes, some officials have paid lip service to our cries, but that is all they have contributed… talk. Entrepreneurs from the private sector are making meaningful changes. We need to take the next step; now.
Let us create something that will cause our leaders to do more than talk about change, something that will gain worldwide publicity, something that will show big business and our politicians that going Green will be beneficial. We need to show them that going Green can enable US to become more competitive. We need to show them how to generate profit in a Brave Green World.
I propose we channel some of our efforts and create a model Industrial Community that functions purely on renewable energy. Impossible you say; remember David and Goliath. Here is a potential scenario that could work.
Find a suitable location. Our site will need a lot of sunlight and wind. If it were near the ocean, tide and wave action could also generate electricity. It should be near a Port. It should be in a state with high unemployment and low wages. I live in Southwest Florida; the conditions are perfect here. There are several ports. Port Manatee on Tampa Bay is an excellent candidate, but there are many other great potential sites in the Sunbelt.
Build a large Thermal Solar Electrical generation facility like the ones in California or Seville, Spain. If we use salt water to generate the steam, we obtain two usable byproducts; distilled fresh water and sea salt. We also build a large wind farm for rainy days. I like the helical type because they work in variable winds and winds of very low speed. They are also a little easier on the birds.
We create an enterprise zone within or near the port. This will require State and Local approval.
In that zone, we create a light to heavy manufacturing and assembly operation. We actively solicit other manufacturers to join us. Low cost electricity, low costs of labor, access to a port, railroad and interstate highway will all add to our site’s desirability.
We joint venture with a steel producer. We use a large portion of our electricity to melt scrap metal, which we can offer, inexpensively to our manufacturers or export. Smelting metal electrically requires tremendous power, which is terribly expensive. Using renewable energy will dramatically reduce the costs of a smelting operation. Smelting metal with renewable energy will also gain worldwide publicity.
Our world runs on electrical energy. The methods we use to produce that energy have created many of our ecological problems. Who says we must use oil or coal generated electricity to power our manufacturing facilities. There are 600,000 people in Seville, Spain. They receive their power from a thermal solar plant. The amount of electricity required to light their homes and offices is nearly the same as the amount of electricity required to run an electrical smelting operation. An automobile assembly line runs on a lot less.
By locating our operation in a port, we could receive sub assemblies from around the world and perform the final assembly onsite. We would also have access to outbound shipping and rail for our finished products and excess metals.
This type of operation would provide many jobs, revenue for the Port, the Local Communities and the State. Employees would pay income taxes and pay for their own health care and pensions. Inexpensive power and water along with the lower cost of labor would make our output highly competitive.
A small group of dedicated activists could sell the idea to developers, local governments and manufacturers. Our overall economy is suffering; this type of project will be much easier to sell today than three years ago. It would be a far greater adventure than waving signs in protest. “Can it be done”, is not the question. The question is, “Do we want to see it to get done”.
It would be easy to replicate a successful working model in other locations. I am sure many other business entrepreneurs would follow suit with all sorts of spin offs. After all, that is the long-term goal, to lead big business into a Brave Green World and begin to clean up our planet in the process.
Oh, I never said we should stop protesting polluters.
I have a plan to attract major investors, promote the site, attract products for manufacture and advertise them for consumption. It all fits in a neat achievable package. I will be happy to discuss this with any serious participants.
My name is Patrick M McCormick and I have created this blog as a platform for my political views as well as those of select contributors.
I believe that American Politicians have lost sight of their goal: To uphold the Constitution and protect the rights of the people of the United States. They argue and bicker on the floor of their respective houses, positioning themselves for the next election, while they accomplish very little business for the citizens of this country.
Meanwhile our economy is sliding downward. Millions of our precious jobs have have been exported overseas. Our social safety net and other public services are being cut. Our middle class is rapidly disappearing and the numbers of citizens existing below the poverty line is increasing dramatically.
I plan to examine the causes of these terrible changes to our American way of life. Your comments will help us all arrive at some important conclusions.