the illusion of a techno-fix
"the right analogy for U.S. survival is no longer Apollo 11; it's Apollo 13. They had their emergency dropped in their laps with no foreknowledge; we wasted ours when we politically killed President Carter. Now we're all in that busted spaceship, improvising."
-- Jamey Hecht, From the Wilderness
written March 2006
The Apollo Alliance is a Democratic Party linked group advocating alliances between environmentalists, labor unions and pro-war neo-conservatives.
Both Apollo Alliance and George W. Bush claim that the solutions to oil addiction are primarily technological. While larger investments in renewable energy would be good, focusing on techno-fixes is dangerously inadequate.
Rhetoric about “energy independence from Middle Eastern oil” is popular, but it is not going to be effective without major changes to the sacred "American way of life.” Sincere energy independence goals prioritize reducing overconsumption. We are not going to be flying in biodiesel powered jet planes. Solar panels cannot power the shipment of food from Mexico and Chile to grocery stores in the United States.
Apollo Alliance is part of "Set America Free," a group that includes warmongers partly responsible for the political collapse that has kept renewable energy initiatives from being enacted. While it is nice to see militarists embrace the need for energy efficiency and solar power, militarism is the main obstacle toward these goals. The current efforts to control the remaining oil fields divert resources needed to build a renewable energy future.
One participant is former CIA director James Woolsey, a member of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). In September 2000, PNAC published a report "Rebuilding America's Defenses," which predicted that a "new Pearl Harbor" would be needed to enact the neo-con plans for global empire. PNAC includes Cheney, Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush and the rest of the gang that brought us World War IV (WW III was the “Cold War”). On September 10, 2001, PNAC member Donald Rumsfeld admitted $2.3 trillion was “missing” from the Pentagon budget -- that money would be enough to fund needed energy shifts.
Shifting the military budget toward peaceful purposes, ending what is euphemistically called growth, and relocalizing production are needed to mitigate Peak Oil. Will we use the remaining oil for solar panels or fighter planes?
The Demise of Business as Usual
An Apollo Project For Energy Can Succeed, But Not In A Market Economy
Thomas L. Wayburn
PhD in Chemical Engineering
|the illusion of the techno-fix|
The article about energy independence by political strategist Dan Carol (1/26) refers to a nice concept, but how we go about achieving it deserves much more attention than "some no-brainer steps."
From the Oregon Apollo website: "Take action now to ensure that Oregon stays ahead in the economic race to create clean energy jobs from Portland to Pendleton." This 200-mile stretch of high-speed freeway leaves most of us excluded from this race, but it does describe what Oregon Apollo is about.
I don't want to "imagine a world where SUVs emit harmless water vapor instead of dangerous toxins." I want to imagine a world without SUVs. Nowhere does Oregon Apollo talk about lessening our need for more cars, roads and parking lots. Nowhere is there a mention about conserving or reducing our energy use.
Resource depletion is cited, but only in reference to fossil fuels. We should "reduce our dependence on foreign oil by investing in biofuel production." What about the drawbacks to biofuels and ethanol production (www.freewebz.com/centralcoast/biodiesel.htm)? Oregon Apollo sounds to me like a greenwash campaign sponsored by the Oregon Chamber of Commerce. It's certainly not "down the right path we need to go."
Robert Simms, Waldport
|Apollo Alliance and the neo-cons|
Apollo has connections to the neo-cons. The best way to reach a renewable energy future would be to shift the military budget for peaceful purposes.
Apollo is part of "Set America Free," a group that includes fascists responsible in large part for the political collapse that has kept renewable energy initiatives from being enacted. While it is nice to see these militarists finally embrace the need for energy efficiency and solar power, they are also promoting massive militarism that is the chief obstacle to these goals.
Set America Free includes the following participants - source www.iags.org/safn.pdf
Gary L. Bauer, President, American Values
Gary Bauer served in the Reagan White House, and is a key player in efforts to promote fundamentalist Christian theocracy.
Milton Copulos, President, National Defense Council Foundation
Congressman Eliot Engel
conservative Democrat, member, Board of Advisors of Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
Frank Gaffney, President, Center for Security Policy
Frank Gaffney was in the Pentagon during the Reagan administration, part of the massive increase in military spending that could have been used to mitigate the impacts of Peak Oil and climate change when there was still time to shift course.
Bracken Hendricks, Executive director, Apollo Alliance
Bill Holmberg, American Council on Renewable Energy
Anne Korin, Co-Director, Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS)
Deron Lovaas, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
The Natural Resources Defense Council is one of the few environmental groups that endorsed the NAFTA treaty and has numerous other ethical conflicts of interest. They do some good work, but they have a legacy of compromising away the environment, too. Did their promotion of the 1998 transportation bill full of NAFTA superhighways overwhelm the good work that they do?
Gal Luft, Co-Director, Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS)
Cliff May, President, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
May was Director of Communications for the Republican National Committee (RNC) from 1997 to 2001.
Robert C. McFarlane, Former National Security Advisor
Robert McFarlane was Reagan's National Security Advisor and a co-conspirator in the Iran-Contra scandal.
Daniel Pipes, Director, Middle East Forum
Daniel Pipes is a neo-conservative affiliated with the Project for a New American Century agenda.
Professor Richard Smalley, Nobel Laureate Chemistry
R. James Woolsey, Co-Chairman, Committee on the Present Danger
Woolsey was a co-signer of the September 2000 Project for a New American Century report "Rebuilding America's Defenses," which notoriously predicted that a "new Pearl Harbor" would be needed to enact the neo-con plans for global empire. The original "Commitee on the Present Danger" was an effort to destablize the Carter administration by exaggerating the Soviet military threat. This sabotage of Carter's policies, which culminated in the treasonous deal between the Reagan-Bush campaign and the Iranian government to delay the release of the US hostages (which ensured Carter's defeat), is a key reason why our society has not made the needed investments in the energy goals of the Apollo Alliance.
Meyrav Wurmser, Hudson Institute
The Hudson Institute is an extremely conservative think tank promoting militarism.
|JFK's effort to internationalize the Apollo program|
DRAFT OF NATIONAL SECURITY ACTION MEMORANDUM NO. 271
November 12, 1963
NATIONAL SECURITY ACTION MEMORANDUM NO. 271
The Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
SUBJECT: Cooperation with the USSR on Outer Space Matters
I would like you to assume personally the initiative and central responsibility within the Government for the development of a program of substantive cooperation with the Soviet Union in the field of outer space, including the development of specific technical proposals. I assume that you will work closely with the Department of State and other agencies as appropriate.
These proposals should be developed with a view of their possible discussion with the Soviet Union as a direct outcome of my September 20 proposal for broader cooperation between the United States and the USSR in outer space, including cooperation in lunar landing programs. All proposals or suggestions originating within the Government relating to this general subject will be referred to you for your consideration and evaluation.
In addition to developing substantive proposals, I expect that you will assist the Secretary of State in exploring problems of procedure and timing connected with holding discussions with the Soviet Union and in proposing for my consideration the channels which would be most desirable from our point of view. In this connection the channel of contact developed by Dr. Dryden between NASA and the Soviet Academy of Sciences has been quite effective, and I believe that we should continue to utilize it as appropriate as a means of continuing the dialogue between the scientists of both counties.
I would like an interim report on the progress of our planning by December 15.
Information copies to: Chairman, National Aeronautics and Space Council
Secretary of State
Secretary of Defense
Director of Central Intelligence
Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission
Director, National Science Foundation
Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology
Director, Bureau of the Budget
Director, U.S. Information Agency
Commentary on NSAM #271 and NASA by Nathan Gant
From The New York Times, 29 Sept 1963, pg. L22:
SOVIET AIDE BACKS JOINT MOON PLAN
But Astronaut Chief Says It Would 'Take Time'