Sometimes writing is a very frustrating thing to do. Especially when you hear people whining about something and show them an answer and nobody responds. Over the last four years I have sent President Obama and several of his department henchmen ideas to not only create jobs. Also ideas to save energy and balance the budget all in one stroke of the pen. Of course that was too much common sense for them to swallow. What I wonder is how many other Americans are doing the same thing and being ignored. Members of Congress do not listen any better. They say they know that we need jobs, but when you offer them a sensible way to provide them they ignore it. Maybe it is because it will not line their pockets with money that they are not interested. The secret solution is K.I.S.S. __ Keep It Simple, Stupid
So where did I come up with all this knowledge. Serving my country, driving cross country and hanging around for 60+ years. Oh and having been self employed most of my life. I survived my last years in trucking simply by learning to conserve energy, cut costs and get the most out of every mile my truck moved.
Those simple guidelines helped me see the solutions to America's problems. Being honest I did not figure all this out by myself. Several trucking friends steered me in the right direction. Applying what they said and combining the best ideas to get the maximum savings was the key.
So what is this wonderful idea? Stop wasting energy and get the absolute maximum use out of every energy dollar spent. If you drive much and go past power plants you will see tons of energy going up into the sky. Many plants have cooling ponds or lakes where they recycle the water they use to get rid of the heat. These are usually really good fishing lakes. So what does all this have to do with creating jobs and balancing the budget? It is really pretty simple. Power plants generate immense amounts of heat. They have to get rid of that heat whether it is sent up the smoke stack or into the cooling pond.
Here is a crazy idea, what if we create a way to use that heat to save energy. How do you use the heat. You utilize it in industries that need that heat. In Evansville, Indiana the Mead Johnson Company created a project that will save tons of carbon and greenhouse gases from being emitted into the air. They started the project by switching from coal to natural gas. That move ended the need to get rid of 2500 tons of coal ash. Which means it also eliminated many jobs hauling coal. The down side is the lost trucking jobs. The up side is all the emissions from the trucks are also being eliminated. Living in coal mining country I can see there is a price to being paid for switching to natural gas. That was not the end of the Mead-Johnson project. Natural gas went so well they built a pipeline from the local landfill to their plant. They started using the methane gas from the landfill which means they reduced pollution considerably. A professor I talked to at Pennsylvania State University said that burning methane for energy emits far less carbon into the atmosphere than letting it just release itself into the atmosphere.
The next step is figuring out what to use all that lost heat energy for. How about to heat greenhouses. Most of the produce consumed in America comes from the California, Mexico or Florida at least for about six months out of the year it does. That means that hundreds if not thousands of trucks cross the country burning fuel at the rate of five to six miles per gallon. Hundreds of trucks show up at the Hunts Point Market several days a week. That is just one market. Multiply that times hundreds of cities and hundreds of markets that must be serviced and you start to see the picture. Millions and millions of gallons of fuel hauling food to the markets. Well what if large greenhouses were built near all the power plants around the country. It would create a use and demand for all that wasted energy that is going up the smoke stacks. It would also create jobs building, maintaining and running the lines to the greenhouses, not to mention the greenhouses and the laborers to plant the crops. Yes it will hurt the people in all those distant regions that ship the crops and haul them, but it will save money and energy on the other end.
What would it take to get it going. It would not take much conversion. The main thing would be to give the power plants an incentive to invest the time and energy in making the changes. The government could give a tax break to the power companies for each job created. Notice that no government money was spent. Once the program gets under way it will create jobs (tax income) hauling the materials to build the plants. It will create jobs providing materials (tax income) to run the greenhouses and it will create jobs hauling the produce to local markets (tax income). Notice that it indirectly generates lots of tax money to pay down the deficit, not to wastefully spend.
Yes some jobs would be eliminated but others would be created. The nice thing is that these are jobs that can not be outsourced to foreign countries. How good the jobs pay will depend on how the government promotes the development through positive legislation. This is just one of several energy saving ideas that I have. I will be posting others as the year goes along. I invite and encourage you to share this with others. Especially your local legislators.
There is always a price for progress. If Henry Ford had weighted what would happen to the horse and buggy businesses would he have not built his cars. His invention eliminated as many jobs as it created. That is the same thing happening with the technology being developed in this day and age. Robotics and computers make it much simpler and cheaper to make manufactured goods. However neither one will replace the need for labor in a greenhouse and people will always need to eat. They may make it easier, but they will not eliminate the need for manual labor to do the work. It is time for America to say how can we do, what we do better. Efficiency can create jobs as well as eliminate them. That was proven by Henry Ford. He went against the tide in his day and provided the laborers in his factories with salaries which would enable them to buy the cars they were making. What a genius he was. He not only created a product, he created a demand for the product.
Ford sold part of the stock in his company to get started. Later in his career he paid an astronomical price to get those shares of stock back and have total control of his company. He then built his own parts plants and did everything "in house." That decision was reversed somewhere down the road and when the 2008 market collapse happened Ford was on shaky ground even thought they never borrowed any money from the government. If the other companies failed so would Ford because they were dependent on outside sources for parts. Hopefully America can learn something from that before it is to late. All the out sourcing may have a price down the road. America better wake up. The above ideas are a step to get us headed in that direction.
If you would like to read some additional incentive, read my 4/25/2012 blog. America May Be Facing A Disaster Worse Than Katrina. It lays out a couple of scenarios that inspired me to see the need for what I am writing about in this blog. Soon to come articles. Renewable Energy Powered Cars, yes a car that uses no fossil fuels, not even electricity. Updating the American Trucking Laws and Industry to help us become energy independent. While I have been read in 62 countries, the best way to get the word out that there are solutions to America's problems is if you share with friends. I encourage you to get involved in helping save America from itself. Our politicians certainly are not going to do it, without being pushed into it.