Manhattan project for energy independence

Tom Friedman nails it in today's op-ed. The problem isn't that we can't think like the bad guys, it's that we're not thinking like good guys.

I don't blame President Bush at all for his failure to imagine evil. I blame him for something much worse: his failure to imagine good.

I blame him for squandering all the positive feeling in America after 9/11, particularly among young Americans who wanted to be drafted for a great project that would strengthen America in some lasting way — a Manhattan project for energy independence. [New York Times]

Amidst new reminders that we are not out of the woods, in terms of security -- as, of course, we can never be -- Friedman's essay should ring a lot of bells. Some of the best minds of our generation are idling right now, waiting for the economic engine to start turning over again. I ran into quite a few of them last week at the ETECH conference. Some are working on 9/11-inspired security projects, but with no real sense of satisfaction or hope.

A "Manhattan project for energy independence" is one example of the kind of initiative that could raise hopes, enhance security, and put idle minds, CPU cycles, and bandwidth to work again.


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