It hasn’t been in the news much in the last few days, but it is still out there. Our current sad excuse for a president, and many candidates vying for the position for the 2008 race, from both of the “major” parties ,have made statements indicating that attacking Iran could be an option as a means of preventing that nation from getting nuclear weapons. Even saying such things at this stage is premature and irresponsible, especially when nobody has made any serious or creative efforts at alternative strategies. So, here’s my idea.
Let’s begin by trying to imagine the cost, strictly in financial terms, of such an attack. While some of the talk has been of “strategic strikes,” anyone capable of rational thought should realize that it cannot end there. While the ultimate strategy may fall far short of the efforts in Iraq, it would still cost many billions of dollars. How many? I don’t know.
Now, let’s try to predict the cost of fitting every house of sufficient construction in Iran with a photovoltaic solar roof. Probably very expensive… probably in the billions.
Iran’s government claims that it wants nuclear energy only for “peaceful” purposes. However, even “peaceful” nuclear energy creates nuclear waste and other environmental damage, and is more harmful to the people than going without power. Solar power, on the other hand, is renewable and causes no noticeable adverse environmental hazards. Having a solar roof usually will entirely take care of a household’s energy needs (even here in America, and we are one of the most energy wasteful societies on the planet), and puts surplus energy back into the grid. Having every household in Iran outfitted with such a roof would probably handle all of the country’s domestic energy needs, and would certainly obviate any need for nuclear energy.
If the Iranian government should turn down such an offer, it would make their intentions plain, and give the world community a new place from which to negotiate.
While we’re at it, why not outfit all the houses in the US as well? We could all drive electric cars, and save billions every year in energy consumption, and break our dependence on foreign oil.