Nuggets of Wisdom

Saturday, April 22, 2017

5 Steps To (Really) Make America Great Again And Defeat ISIS


You’re a proud American. You love America. You think it’s the greatest country on Earth. That’s why you voted for Donald Trump. You want him to Make America Great Again. You want him to bring back American jobs. And you especially want him to kick ISIS in the taint.

So you were probably singing “Proud to be an American” when you saw him drop the “Mother of all Bombs” right onto ISIS’s front doorstep and send those terrorists straight up to their 72 virgins. Finally, you get to see a president get “tough” on foreign policy.

But hold on there! What if I told you there was a better way to defeat ISIS that didn’t involve launching a single missile, the cost of which exceeds what most people make in a lifetime? What if there was a way to not only defeat ISIS, but also create American jobs and produce more energy?

Well, my fellow Americans, there is such a way, and it doesn’t involve dropping a single bomb. Here’s five steps towards defeating ISIS and Making America Great Again:


Step #1: Ban Fossil Fuel Cars

"Now wait just a gosh-darned minute there," I hear you say. "Just how in the hell are we going to stop them cave-dwelling, goat-humping Muslamic terrorists by getting rid of my pickup truck?"

I'm glad you asked that question, and allow me to answer it with another question: where do you think the gas in your car comes from?

Chances are, your gas comes from an oil reserve in Saudi Arabia, the world’s second largest oil producer. Clearly, providing the world with most of its oil has allowed the Saudis to become quite awash in cash, what with the combined wealth of the top seven Saudi billionaires being an estimated $49 billion.

And do you know what some of their money is spent on? Terrorism!

You see, aside from being the second largest source of oil, Saudi Arabia has also become the second largest provider of funding towards terrorist organizations such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban.

You remember the Taliban, right? The organization responsible for September 11? Turns out 15 of the 19 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. Also turns out, according to a report from the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, that "the hijackers received active support and guidance from rich Saudis, Saudi charities and top members of the Saudi government."

So yes, every time you fill up your gas-guzzling behemoth of an SUV like the proud American you are, most of the money you spend at the pump gets into the hands of an unnamed terrorist, who in turn uses that money to buy a suicide vest, strap it across his chest, and walk into a crowded marketplace before shouting "Allah Akhbar!"

So clearly the best way for Americans to stop terrorism is for them to give up their cars. No more cars mean no more gas. No more gas means no more trade with Saudi Arabia. No more trade with Saudi Arabia means less money for them to fund ISIS. And no more funding for ISIS means no more Islamic terrorism.

This isn’t that radical of an idea. Many other countries are considering it. Norway plans to get rid of their cars by 2025, and Germany plans to ban the internal combustion engine altogether. If those wimpy European countries can kick their fossil fuel addiction, why can't we?

"But wait," I hear you ask. "If we get rid of fossil fuels, how are we going to get around?"

Well, that leads us to our second step:


Step #2: Buy More Electric Cars

"You want me to drive around in some pinko commie electric car?" I hear you ask. "But they don't go fast, they don't go far, and if you drive them, everyone will think you're gay. That's what The Simpsons told me anyway!"

And you would've been correct about all that back when that Simpsons episode first aired, back when electric cars were more expensive and less efficient than their gas-powered counterparts.

But times have changed since then. Now electric cars are becoming more affordable and efficient than fossil-fueled cars. In fact, they’re expected to become cheaper by 2022. Such affordable prices will lead to higher demand, which could in turn halt worldwide fossil fuel growth two years earlier.

Electric cars have quickly become more affordable due to the technological innovations made by companies such as Tesla, who in recent years, have transformed electric cars from toys of the rich to vehicles even middle class families can afford.

Such innovations include more efficient batteries, the cost of which have dropped by 80 percent in the past six years to the affordable price of $227/kWh—with Tesla offering an even greater bargain below $190/kWh, according to a study published by McKinsey & Company.

With electric cars and their parts becoming more affordable, more of them are expected to be sold in coming years. Approximately 11 million cars are expected to be on the road by 2025, and they're anticipated, according to one study, "to represent 35 percent of new car sales globally by 2040."

Most "big government" environmentalist types would uses these figures to argue for federal subsidies. Does that necessarily mean that we should be funding Tesla the same way we fund Big Oil? Not really. But it would help if the government weren't punishing electric cars by banning their direct sales and imposing extra fees and taxes on them.

"But if we're all acting gay now by driving around in electric cars, how are we going to power them all?" I hear you ask.

That leads us to step three:


Step #3: Invest In Renewable Energy

The biggest criticism against electric cars is that they're not really "green." There's some truth to that. Electric cars are only as "clean" as the energy used to power them. If you're driving a car whose electricity was generated by a coal plant, you're not helping the environment any more than if you were driving a gas guzzler.

However, that's not really an argument against electric cars, per say, as it is an argument against dirty energy sources. Therefore, the real solution is to provide more sources of renewable energy, which, like electric cars, are fast becoming more affordable.

Both solar and wind energy costs have rapidly dropped in recent years, with solar panel costs falling by 80 percent and wind turbine costs falling by 40 percent, as Reuters reports. These costs are only expected to continue dropping even further into the future — up to 59 percent by 2025!

As such, both energy sources have seen greater growth, with more than half of all added power capacity consisting of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power as of last year, according to an International Energy Agency (IRENA) report.

Leading this energy transition is the good old U.S.A itself. America is currently the second largest producer of renewable energy overall and the number one producer of wind energy. This production will only continue to grow, as more than 80 percent of the country’s electricity is expected to be generated from renewable energy, according to the Department of Energy.

With their energy becoming more affordable and in higher demand, both the solar and wind industries are creating jobs 12 times faster than the rest of the American economy. So it seems as though renewable energy is already "Making America Great Again!" by creating more American jobs than any oil pipeline!

Again, does this mean the government should give more handouts to "green" energy companies? If Solyndra is any indicator, the answer is no. However, while the government shouldn't subsidize these energy sources, it also shouldn't hinder them with restrictions against solar panels or even renewable sources themselves.

Of course, with all of this energy being generated through renewable energy, what's to become of less-than-clean energy sources such as coal?

That, of course, leads to the very next point:


Step #4: Shut Down Coal Plants

"Are you plum crazy?!" I hear you exclaim. "That's the exact opposite reason why we voted for Trump! We want him to save coal plants, not shut them down!"

Here's the thing: no matter how much Trump promised he was going to save the coal industry, no matter how many coal workers voted for him hoping that he would save their jobs, no matter how many executive orders Trump signs promising to create more coal jobs, the harsh reality is that there's nothing he can do. At all. Period.

That's not even my opinion. That's the opinion of many coal industry experts, most of whom also doubt Trump’s ability to save their industry. Even the chief executive of the nation's largest privately-held coal operation claims that Trump “can't bring [them] back.”

And no, coal isn't dying because Obama killed it with his "evil" regulations. The industry had been on the decline long before Obama came into office, with production having plummeted to its lowest levels in 35 years. At this point, the industry employs less people than Arby's. That’s not Obama’s fault.

You want to know why coal is dying? It's because of what I had explained in the previous step: renewable energy costs. Both solar and wind, along with natural gas, are becoming more affordable, and thus more competitive with fossil fuels and coal; and as demand for renewable energy increases, demand for dirtier forms of energy such as coal will only decrease. It isn't government killing coal. It's the free market!

As for more proof that this isn't Obama's fault, coal has been in sharp decline worldwide, with pre-construction activity worldwide down by 48 percent, and coal plant construction projects down 19 percent. Most European countries have agreed to stop building new plants after 2020. Even China has canceled 104 new plants. When the world's biggest contributor to carbon emissions promises to shut down its plants, perhaps it's time for the "greatest country on Earth" to do likewise.

"But if we shut down all the coal plants, what are we going to put in their place, and what will become of the coal workers?"

That finally brings us to our last step:


Step #5: Replace Them With Nuclear Power Plants

Chances are, when you hear the term "nuclear", you're mind conjures up nightmare scenarios of Hiroshima or Chernobyl or Three Mile Island. And your fears might be justified if it were still the 1980s. However, as was the case with electric cars, times have changed, technology has progressed, and nuclear energy is safer than ever before.

Replacing coal plants with nuclear power plants may seem like replacing one form of "dirty" energy with another, but the truth is that nuclear power is much safer and cleaner than coal. Not only does nuclear release less greenhouse-gas emissions, but it also releases less radiation.

Let me repeat that last part: coal releases more radiation that actual nuclear energy! In fact, the same amount of energy produced by coal releases 100 times more radioactive material than nuclear energy, and as such, has been responsible for more deaths, Scientific American explains.

But chances are, if you're a Trump supporter, you don't really care about something "gay" like the environment. You care about job creation. If that's the case, you ought to support nuclear over coal.

Aside from being cleaner and safer, nuclear power also produces more energy, more than coal or any other form of energy. According to the Institute of Physics (IOP), "the amount of energy released from uranium per gram is much more than that of fuels such as oil or coal; approximately 8,000 times more efficient in fact."

By replacing coal plants with nuclear power plants, not only would more power be generated, but more jobs would be created as a result. After all, you need people to man those cooling towers—though hopefully they won’t be as incompetent as Homer Simpson!

As of 2015, there were approximately 427 coal plants in America. The average 300 MW coal-fired power plant employs 54 people. That's approximately 23,058 coal workers nationwide. In contrast, the average nuclear power plant employs anywhere between 400 to 700 people. Replacing coal with nuclear would thus increase employment to anywhere between 170,800 to 298,900 jobs. Add the fact that, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, "wages paid to nuclear power plant workers average 36 percent higher than for other local jobs", and you not only have more jobs, but more high-paying jobs!

In short, if you want to stimulate the economy and create more American jobs, you're better off going nuclear rather than building an oil pipeline and or keeping the dying coal-industry on life support.

And there you have it! Not only did you manage to defeat ISIS without dropping a single bomb, but you also stimulated the economy, created jobs and tax revenue, made the country more energy independent, and all while protecting the environment. Give yourself a salute. You Made America Great Again!