I don’t know why, although I think I know how, as a society we became afraid of the future. We seem afraid to try anything new in case it might have a problem. Yet, the secret to our survival is exactly that, reaching for the future.
We have been afraid to build any new nuclear power plants. Yet, Europe and other countries have, and are much less dependent on foreign sources than we are. They have advanced their knowledge of safety and use of nuclear power, where as we, have not. With nuclear power, we would need less oil and coal than we do know. We know both coal and oil are limited sources, and are often dangerous to those who are mining or producing the oil. We have been told that nuclear power is dangerous, and it is, but it can be handled. Major accidents have not destroyed the planet, and if other nations are going to use this source, we are exposed to it anyway. Nuclear energy is virtually limitless, and has been used successfully by the military for many years. It is time to catch up with the rest of the world. Our refineries are years old, and all need to be updated. Going to nuclear energy would reduce this cost, and the cost of our energy. But we continue afraid. Wind can be a good source of power as well, and solar energy has its place. But we cannot generate enough of this kind of power to fill all of our needs. Nuclear power can. If you watch older television shows about the future, the authors of these shows had no doubt we would drive cars powered by nuclear engines. They would laugh at our fears. We do not stop flying or driving cars even though people are killed every year in accidents.
We have become afraid to reach out to the other planets in our solar system, which overall do not seem to be inhabited. Why not? We may need the resources from these planets sometime. It really is not different being on the moon than being in a spaceship in space. We work in buildings every day that are essentially a closed off oxygen source. As a group, I think man was designed to explore and reach out. Granted, we have been and continue to poor stewards of our planet, but that does not mean we can improve. In addition, the space program led to many improvements of things in our daily lives that still help us today. And if we really ever need to leave this planet, we have the means to do so.
We do not seem to have the desire to do simple things any more. We seem to think that taking care of basic needs such as eating, shelter and learning survival skills are silly and a waste of our time. Yet, we have more than enough capacity to feed those we have living with us. If we took all of the people in the world, and put them in groups of three into 1200 square foot houses, we would not even fill up the state of Texas. That leaves the rest of the planet to feed us. Of course, demanding that all people be treated with dignity and care is the hard road; it is easier to ignore them or say I am okay, so the world is a good place. Yet the world has more than enough capability to take care of the people we have. We have long passed the point where we need soil to grow food plants. We are able to build a house almost anywhere in the environment. Yet we are afraid to try these things so we can move forward.
It is time to stop fearing the future and start looking at ways to improve it for all people. People have the same needs and these need to be respected and looked out for. But we need to reduce our fear of the new and untried and go with it. After all, where would the United States be if our ancestors hadn’t been willing to try something knew?