Energy Secretary Steven Chu used the movie The Avengers, which I saw last weekend, to segue into another pitch to keep dumping taxpayer dollars down the “clean energy” money incinerator.
I can rarely find the time to make it to the movies, but my staff is buzzing about The Avengers, which focuses on a new, limitless clean energy source called “The Tesseract.” In the film, there is evidently an intergalactic struggle to claim this new resource – one we can only win by relying on heroes like Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, and the Incredible Hulk. Naturally, the group includes a couple scientists!
While the “Tesseract” may be fictional, the real-life global competition over clean energy is growing increasingly intense, as countries around the world sense a huge economic opportunity AND the opportunity for cleaner air, water, and a healthier planet. This is now a $260 billion global market, a sum that would impress even Tony Stark. According to the International Energy Agency, last year — for the first time — more money was invested worldwide in clean, renewable power plants than in fossil fuel power plants.
Given how big the opportunity is, and how fast it is growing, it is no surprise that 80 countries have adopted policies or incentives to capture a share of the clean energy market. The good news is that we have an advantage every bit as powerful as the Incredible Hulk: Americans’ talent for entrepreneurship and innovation is unrivalled [sic] by any other country in the world. We have world-leading scientific facilities that would make Bruce Banner green with envy, and the investments we’re making today in groundbreaking new technologies can help American businesses stay ahead of the curve.
Ultimately, however, the clean energy prize is still up for grabs and countries like China are competing aggressively. It’s not enough for us to simply invent the technologies of the future, we need to actually build and deploy them here as well. As President Obama noted recently, one step Congress should take immediately is to renew the expiring tax credits for clean energy – a step that will create jobs and help American companies compete. When it comes to clean energy, our motto should be: “Invented in America, Made in America, Sold Around the World.”
When I saw The Avengers, I just knew when they got to the part about the the “Tesseract” — the limitless clean energy source — that it would make greenies with plenty of access to other people’s money harder than Chris Matthews stuck in an elevator with Obama.
Here’s the catch though, and it’s sort of fits metaphorically:
The villain in the movie is Loki — an Asgardian god who is also the archenemy (and adoptive brother) of Thor.
Loki seeks the Tesseract because it will open a portal in space through which the aliens from Chitauri will travel to earth in order to enslave mankind. Loki believes that freedom is an illusion and that it is the destiny of humans to be subservient to those who are their intellectual superiors (“Freedom is a disease and servitude is the cure”). As his only concern was with increasing his own power, Loki wanted this magical “clean energy” source as a way to take control of rubes, not for any altruistic reason — to save people from “global warming” or anything like that. Gee, the only thing missing was Loki telling people they should let him control the Tesseract because of all the jobs that would be “saved or created.”
I’m told that in the sequel Loki will come to earth in search of algae fuel.
Oh, and to top it off, The Avengers — Iron Man specifically — ended up destroying the Chitaurian army and closing the Tesseract portal with an atomic bomb. I don’t know if Chu and his fellow greenies saw that part. Chu must think they plugged the hole with unused Solyndra solar panels or something.