To get the ball rolling on "what's next?" when it comes to our addiction to fossil fuels:
We favor a $1.00/gallon "Patriot Tax" (we believe that Tom Friedman had this idea before we did). The federal government would use the new revenue only to develop a clean, cheap and renewable energy source.
It will take the better part of 10 years and a couple of trillion dollars. The project would be organized by the military and managed by - guessing - 5,000 to 10,000 "best and brightest" scientists at the top.
Publicly ask the Indians and the Chinese (and anyone else who wanted in) to join us.
Make the entire project wholly transparent and involve America's schools through the use of the Internet (think the ISS).
Throw a ticker tape parade in NYC (and all over the world) when the project is successful and then gift the new energy source to every country in the world.
Stand back and let the free market take over. The Golden Age of Humanity has officially begun.
That's how you do it.
In the beginning, voters would scream bloody murder over the new tax. So would the unions. The grocery stores. The retailers. Just about everyone.
But so would the Saudis. The Russians. The Iranians. And the Venezuelans.
And the voters would adapt. They would learn to walk again, carpool and ride public transportation. And, for the things they really, truly needed a internal combustion engine for, they would fill up their gas tanks as before.
Hey, no pain no gain.
The only question is, is there anyone left in Washington with the raw ability to get this done?
We think yes.
But we sometimes wonder. Hard.