Saturday, July 31, 2010
THE COST OF THE IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WARS TO HAWAII HAS THUS FAR BEEN $3.3 BILLION
My chapter 1 of SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity reports on wars. Today, the final day of the month, I noticed that in July America will suffer our worst loss of lives we have ever experienced in Afghanistan.
There is a web page called National Priorities. Remember, yesterday, Nicholas Kristof criticized President Barack Obama for having misplaced priorities, spending more on the military, at inflation adjusted rates, compared to the worst years of the Korean, Vietnam and Cold Wars? And, of course, I have been first beseeching our President since my first Huffington Post article, and a more recent one on The 10% Simple Solution for Peace, to shift his spending from war to clean energy, the environment, education and the like as we have no life or death enemies anymore. Then he goes out and caves in to the military-industrial complex.
Anyway, returning to National Priorities, this is really a cost of war portal showing that we recently exceeded a trillion dollars on Iraq and Afghanistan. Mind you, Joseph Stiglitz already has published a book entitled The Three Trillion Dollar War, referring only to the Iraq conflict. But what particularly stunned me about this somewhat conservative $1 trillion figure was that Hawaii's share of this cost stands at $3.3 billion, or $2,750/person. For that sum we could already have in development the deep sea cable to feed 400 MW of wind power electricity to Oahu, Molokai, Lanai and Maui, plus a 100 MW OTEC plant tossed in to provide baseload electricity and freshwater to Honolulu. Perhaps of greater significance to diversify our economy, this could have been the beginning of the Blue Revolution, as the plantship would also host an array of at-sea enterprises linked to marine biomass plantations, next generation fisheries...perhaps a Disney at Sea resort...green materials production...I can go on and on.
By the way, Thursday night, August 5 at 6:30PM, I will be presenting a talk on The Blue Revolution in the theater of the Hanauma Bay Education Center as part of the University of Hawaii Sea Grant lectures. I encourage you to come and learn more about this pathway to Hawaii's future.
That Atlantic storm dissipated, but there are now two in the Pacific. In addition to the one further east, a new one appeared today closer to Hawaii. These disturbances come and go and I wouldn't get too excited at this point, but it is there today.