Andrew Revkin of The New York Times bringing the Fande!


“Just look at the graph above, which in essence charts half a century of American investment in basic scientific inquiry. (Graph courtesy of Kei Koizumi, formerly of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and now with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.) You can see the space race (yellow) and our passion for medical research (blue), but the green band representing nearly all energy research has the look of a python that swallowed a softball back during the oil crisis. (Click here to see how all of this research relates to  the Pentagon’s research budget.) I’ve posted earlier versions of this graph here periodically as kind of a visual mantra. I’ll probably keep it up.”–Andrew Revkin

The Pentagon’s budget:

basic R&D, defense and everything else
The country’s budgets for basic military research and other research compared. (Credit: American Association for the Advancement of Science)

“Spending on basic R and D for military projects has hit about $80 billion a year, far more than the country spends on all other basic R and D combined. What might happen if a president sought not to shrink the military research pie, but simply devote more of it to transformational technologies related to harvesting, storing, or moving energy (something I put on the recent Dot Earth list of low-budget ways a president might improve the planet)?

After all, the Pentagon has already concluded that improved energy technology and efficiency are prime objectives, along with reducing turmoil in dangerous regions (one way possibly would be to offer cheap, renewable energy choices).”–Andrew Revkin

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