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How Would You Use U.S. Resources to Save the World?

On its opinion page “The Wall Street Journal” has sparked debate among top political and business leaders on how to allocate our diminishing resources to solve the world’s growing problems. Their challenge: “How would you spend $10 billion of American resources (either directly or through regulation) over the next four years to help improve the state of the world?”

California Attorney General Jerry Brown warns that America must act to curb its energy appetite now, before it’s too late:

“The world is facing a triple threat of unprecedented dimensions,” says Brown. “First, the loss of cheap and easily discovered oil; second, explosive energy demand from China, India and other emerging countries as they rapidly improve their standard of living; and third, the climate disruptions caused by CO2 and other greenhouse gases. None of the three will go away. In fact, each will get progressively worse unless we take decisive action, without delay.” 

“The cost of energy in the United States, on an annual basis, has now soared beyond $1 trillion,” Brown warns. “Our massive purchases of foreign oil represent perhaps the greatest transfer of wealth from one people to another in all human history. And, paradoxically, this wealth transfer is from a far more technologically advanced nation to poorer countries — some unstable and hostile . . . Wake up America! We must stop the hemorrhaging of our national treasure, and we need to do it now.”

Next time: Jerry Brown’s Solution