Last weekend, half of the nation of Germany ran on solar power. Half of the country. And they’re not even that sunny.
|Suck it, Spain!|
How did they do it? Read the article, but not now. You’re reading me now, and I’m jealous like that. But since it’s pertinent to my rant, I’ll sum it up: it had to do with subsidies and public support and stuff. Basically, they had their shit together, and they broke a world record for it.
I read the article to my wife. Her response was, “Wow. We’re… not… going… to be the most powerful country in the world for much longer.”
I think that’s a pretty valid argument. Just going off that article it does seem like the United States is being outpaced by Germany pretty quickly, at least in the unlimited energy department. Does it matter if the US is the most powerful country? Not really. Lots of countries thrive outside of the international spotlight.
|Just ask these guys.|
But the United States has taken great pains to establish itself as the leader of the free world in just about every way possible, except for blonde models.
|Above: Sweden's #2 export, after meat balls.|
We were at the forefront of modern democracy, the Industrial Revolution, and the Information Age. The Wright Brothers invented manned flight in the US. Benjamin Franklin harnessed electricity in the US. Al Gore invented the Internet here.
|Pleasepleaseplease believe me this time...|
Americans thrive on being the best, winning the most and coming in first every time. But the United States is ranked 20th on the Education Index. Our children aren’t keeping pace educationally with the rest of the world, but we can’t seem to get a good system in place because our partisan politicians can’t agree on one.
Our Current Account Balance is the lowest in the world. Or the highest negative number, if you want to look at it that way. It’s this number: $ -599,900,000,000.00. That number means the United States’ credit is in the shitter. Right now, Sri Lanka could buy a better car than us. But nothing’s changing because our Congress can’t seem to find a way to stop spending money, or agree on how to cut costs. The wealthiest of Americans can spend a billion dollars for an election, but not on the country itself.
How about energy? We consume more oil than any other country.
It’s no secret that there’s a finite amount of oil on the planet, and the United States uses more oil than the next four countries after it combined, and has to import over half of its oil from elsewhere.
While a marginally sunny country like Germany can power half its populace on solar power for a weekend our country, which is 3900% more sunny than Germany, offers $71 billion more in subsidies to oil than solar power. There are initiatives across the country to harness wind and sun energy, but our lawmakers seem content not to press for more subsidies to encourage these endeavors.
Now, before my goofy over-patriotic readers chime in with your “If yew don’t like awr country yew cayn get owt!”, let me qualify all of this by saying that I love being an American. For all our flaws, I would still rather have been born and raised here than anywhere else. I fought proudly in the US Armed Forces for 8 years.
But we have got to get our shit together. We have become embroiled in partisan-line bickering, even on the local level. We spend more time goofing around with our technological distractions than involving ourselves in the fate of our nation, and when we do involve ourselves it’s usually on a detached headline-only level. Because we aren’t involved, our representatives get elected by only 40% of the population, a good portion of that 40% wrapped up in closed-minded partisanship. So our elected officials are closed-minded partisans because that’s who elected them. So nothing gets done because our lawmakers are arguing along party lines.
But we can't only blame the politicians. We, as the American people, are not interested enough in being the best anymore. We are content with our gadgets and our mostly-low-cost food supply. Sure the bills are higher than they used to be, but we're still getting by. We have become content with "good enough". So while America treads water, whistling at the clouds, every other first-world country is passing us by in one area or another.
Is it only a matter of time before somebody takes us over and makes kuchen the national dessert? Likely not, because one of the few other areas in which the United States is #1 is military power. Any sucka fools tryin to jack our country in for a world ‘o hurt, son!
But if we are outpaced in every other area consistently for a long period of time, military might won’t matter.The US will likely go broke and we’ll just be bought by another country and turned into a theme park.
|I, for one, will welcome our new overlords.|
We don’t need to be the best, kids. But my friend nailed it when he said we need to be better.
This isn’t going to change anyone’s mind. I’m not nearly put-together enough to do something like that. But maybe you’ll click a link and read something and maybe it will get you thinking.
At least, until America’s Got Talent comes on.
|I LOVE that show! So much TALENT!|
Thanks for reading, kids.