Enough with the Moon, Already
In his speech last night, President Obama said:
The one answer I will not settle for is the idea that this challenge is somehow too big and too difficult to meet. You know, the same thing was said about our ability to produce enough planes and tanks in World War II. The same thing was said about our ability to harness the science and technology to land a man safely on the surface of the moon.
Ok, I understand that the point is to show that we have done remarkable things in the past and can do so again. However, the analogy is tired,clichéd, and arguably out of date. .
Given that we haven’t been back to the moon since the 1970s and we are about to retire the space shuttle fleet, the moon landing references ring a bit hollow.
Indeed, I would like to retire references to the moon landing along with Manhattan Project analogies (e.g., a Manhattan Project to do X, Y or Z) from the political lexicon.
Sure, as soon as we can get politicians to stop trying to ride on the coattails of others’ success.
Good luck with that.
You’d think that a country that could put a man on the moon could come up with better cliches.
And James wins the thread.
“I am sure that if we devoted similar resources and time to the question of how to cap a leaking deep water oil well that we could develop the requisite technologies. ”
Uh, wasn’t he talking about energy independence, “this challenge”, not capping a runaway well? Here’s the text:
You are correct as to the application of the moon reference to the spill cleanup (or, indeed, the fact that he wasn’t applying it to that). I got a bit carried away and have removed the reference. My basic point, however, remains intact–enough with the moon!
Allow me to add “Marshall Plan” to the list of outdated analogies beginning with M.
@Boz: an excellent suggestion.
As somebody else once said “We already had a Manhattan Project that made fossil fuels obsolete. It was called the Manhattan Project.” ( http://tjic.com/?p=10301&cpage=1#comment-171478 ).
Novelist Arthur Hailey called it: In his 1970 novel “Wheels”, an executive bemoans the fact that ‘now anyone can say, ‘we went to the moon, why can’t we make a zero-emmissions car?’