In yesterday's Sunday paper, Parade magazine asked celebrities and citizens what they would do if they were president. Tom Hanks would create a cutting-edge national rail line and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would make Constitution Day a national holiday with public readings. (http://parade.com/506213/parade/celebrities-and-citizens-finish-the-sentence-if-i-were-president/)
What would you do if you were president?
I’d build a national pipeline, but for water instead of oil. Why?
Economically – it’s simple supply and demand. Let’s expend the Middle East resources now and hold our resources for later. I’d rather North Americans be in the driver’s seat when supply shrinks. Plus, water is a significant economic driver, critical to the infrastructure of cities, playing to American strengths in innovation and technology, and driving job growth and industries.
Environmentally – by waiting to tap into North America’s oil & gas, we’ll see a higher ROI as technology improves extraction. Today, producing crude from oil sands is estimated to emit more greenhouse gases than other US oil drilling processes (www.npr.org) and the significant increase in US earthquake activity may be linked to fracking shale for natural gas (www.thinkprogress.org, www.usgs.gov, www.energyfromshale.org, www.nationalgeographic.com, www.weather.com).
Morally – if we look generations out, as many faith traditions call us to, the greatest threat and opportunity for our Great Great Grandchildren is access to clean water. We need water to survive – to drink andfor food production and industries that support the growing global population (www.imf.org, www.un.org, www.sciencedaily.org, www.scientificamerican.com, www.populationinstitute.org).
If Mike Ditka were president he’d be a leader instead of a reactor. So let’s lead here just as America has done in commerce, higher education, technology, etc.