Energy Independence Update

I just added the following to my page calling for energy independence.  This table and the accompanying paragraphs explains what makes people work on major projects like this.  Quote:

Neil Tyson, an astronomer and director of the Hayden Planetarium, looked at what would encourage our country to explore space. Learning abstract knowledge is not enough; we launched astronauts and space probes for that reason in the 1960s, but once we reached the moon, the public got bored with the space program, and called it a waste of money. Tyson concluded that only three motivations are strong enough to keep people working on a major project until they finish it: the need for defense, a promise that the project will make money, and what he called "praise of power," which means the project will pump up the ego of the builder. Here are eleven great projects or "wonders" of the past, with the motivations behind them:

Funding Challenges

Motivations for Major Projects — Three Drivers

Project Why It was Built
Great Wall of China Defense
Manhattan Project Defense
Interstate Highway System Defense
Apollo Program Defense
Voyages of Columbus Promise of Economic Return
Magellan’s Expedition Promise of Economic Return
Tennessee Valley Authority Promise of Economic Return
Pyramids Praise of Power
Vatican Praise of Power
Versailles Praise of Power
Taj Mahal Praise of Power



The "praise of power" motivator may have worked for pharaohs and popes, but nowadays only totalitarian dictators can get away with it. Therefore an energy independence project will have to be driven by defense concerns, or the promise of riches for those that do it–preferably both.

Unquote:  You can read the whole essay at

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