I was over at a friend’s house and I saw an episode of “Inspector America“. One portion of the show dealt with the new straw that is being built into Lake Mead in Las Vegas. I don’t know if you’re aware, but Lake Mead has lost more than 150 feet in the last ten or so years. Las Vegas is running out of water. Then, in a later segment, Host Timothy Galarnky visited the Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility. This facility is taking sewer waste and turning it into drinkable water. Really. Mr. Galarnky didn’t believe it himself, but he ran some tests and the water that came out the other end was safer to drink than the bottle water we purchase in the store.
Then, I was watching “In Wisconsin” on PBS and there was a segment about Barron County, WI. They’re turning trash into energy. First, the plant recycles what can be recycled. Then, it uses magnets to remove the medal from trash. Then, it burns the trash and turns that trash into energy. The facility is called a Waste to Energy. Whatever energy is not being used by the plant goes out onto the grid. Think about that. The people in Barron County pay less for energy because 25 years ago someone had the good sense to build a waste to energy plant.
So, here’s what I got from watching both of these shows, where we fail in this country is that we don’t see a good idea and expand on it. If a politician wants to get MY vote in the next election, then she (or he) will support creating facilities like the Water Recycling and the waste to energy closer to my home. We could use these ideas all over the country. Why aren’t we doing more?
Oh, yeah, making these changes cost money and we’re out of money. But, we’re finding money to finance two wars and we’re finding the ability to discuss tax breaks for the rich. Granted these facilities aren’t going to pay for themselves overnight, but they are good investments in our future.