Does America Need A Big Rethink on Energy Issues?

Many experts believe that the key to America’s economic recovery rests in innovation and invention of clean and affordable energy.
 

In the 1800s, with the invention of the internal combustion engine (one that runs on fossil fuel) and the adaptation of that engine to people moving, the world was forever changed.
 

By 1896, an American inventor and automobile pioneer named Henry Ford had built his first horseless carriage. Thereafter, in 1903 Henry Ford incorporated the Ford Motor Company. He saw that this new invention of moving people by engine had the potential to revolutionize America and the world. He knew that an affordable people-mover that most Americans could afford and could be powered by cheap and abundant fuel would create a new and vast market almost overnight. Henry Ford’s application of the assembly line process of car building was as revolutionary as the invention of the internal combustion engine itself. By 1914, the assembly of a Model-T was so effective that it took a mere 93 minutes to build a car.
 

The irony is that if Henry Ford were alive today and went to any local Ford dealer, or any other car-maker for that matter, and popped the hood of any gasoline-powered car he would be shocked, amazed, and disappointed. He would be shocked and amazed at the computerized advancements and the gizmos and gadgets to enhance the driving experience. But he would be disappointed that little has changed in the 170 years or so since the invention of the internal combustion engine he manufactured.
 

In the past 135 years, it was America that invented 10 of the 13 greatest inventions that changed the world. Inventions like the telephone, light bulb, airplane, assembly line, television, nuclear reactor, personal computer, Internet, Windows Operating System, and cell phone are all attributable to American ingenuity; the great inventions in our lifetime have come in computers.

 

But, where are our other great inventions and inventors? How many gas crises must we endure? How much more beholden to foreign sources of fossil fuel must we be? We should want to be clean and more efficient not because it’s fashionable, but because it makes economic and civic sense.

 

Over the past 135 years, great inventions have come along on average every 7.25 years, however there has not been a world-changing leap in energy in the past 70 years.

 

Why is it that no revolutionary change has come to automobiles operation and efficiency in over 100 years? Does America need a “big think” on energy?

 

Moreover, is clean and affordable energy purely a market driven challenge, or will private/public partnerships work to spur invention? How could the government exercise better leadership on energy issues?


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

Click here to return to the Georgetown homepage.


How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Bradley Blakeman

Bradley A. Blakeman teaches at Georgetown's Semester in Washington DC program. He most recently was the President of Freedom's Watch a right of center conservative advocacy 501 C4. Prior to founding Freedom's Watch, Mr. Blakeman was a member of President George W. Bush's Senior Staff having served from 2001-2004 as Deputy Assistant to the President for Appointments and Scheduling, Vetting and Research, Correspondence and Surrogate Scheduling. Mr. Blakeman can be seen regularly as a Republican Strategist on FOX News, MSNBC, BBC, CNN and Al Jezeera. He also is published regularly in Politico, US News and World Report and Newsmax. Mr. Blakeman played a major role in the 2000 Presidential Election as a Senior Advisor and played a critical role in the Florida Recount a role that landed him a part as a character in the HBO Film "Recount". He has also been an advisor on the ABC TV Drama Series "Commander in Chief". Mr. Blakeman is an Attorney licensed to practice in that State of New York and the District of Columbia and is currently the President & CEO with Kent Strategies LLC, a private corporation dedicated to providing strategic advice as well as crisis management and communications strategies to foreign governments and foreign and domestic corporations. He is also a principal of Manhole Barrier Security Systems Inc., which owns a U.S. Utility Patent on a manhole-locking device that is currently being sold nationwide. Mr. Blakeman has been active in Presidential Politics since 1980. He was appointed to serve as a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council during the George H.W. Bush Administration.

MORE FROM

How will Trump's travel ban be enforced? Here's what the Supreme Court's decision really means.

The Supreme Court's order prevents most of the ban from taking effect before the case is heard, with limited exceptions.

Tick saliva could be the key to fighting a dangerous heart condition

Ticks could hold the secret to treating this heart condition.

CNN retraction and undercover video feeds into pro-Trump media's "fake news" claims

The release of a secretly recorded video of a CNN producer on Tuesday has amplified criticism.

Lockdown lifted at Alabama military post after reports of "possible active shooter"

The Redstone Arsenal was briefly on lockdown Tuesday.

"No religion" is now Australia's most popular religious affiliation

The segment of Australia's population marking "no religion" is growing quickly.

Global ransomware hack hits infrastructure targets across Europe

Targets include Russia's biggest oil company, Ukraine's largest airport and its state power company.

How will Trump's travel ban be enforced? Here's what the Supreme Court's decision really means.

The Supreme Court's order prevents most of the ban from taking effect before the case is heard, with limited exceptions.

Tick saliva could be the key to fighting a dangerous heart condition

Ticks could hold the secret to treating this heart condition.

CNN retraction and undercover video feeds into pro-Trump media's "fake news" claims

The release of a secretly recorded video of a CNN producer on Tuesday has amplified criticism.

Lockdown lifted at Alabama military post after reports of "possible active shooter"

The Redstone Arsenal was briefly on lockdown Tuesday.

"No religion" is now Australia's most popular religious affiliation

The segment of Australia's population marking "no religion" is growing quickly.

Global ransomware hack hits infrastructure targets across Europe

Targets include Russia's biggest oil company, Ukraine's largest airport and its state power company.