Bush Unveils New Initiative; Some Scientists Skeptical
President Bush flew to Golden, Colorado today, where he unveiled initiatives to decrease dependence on oil from unstable foreign governments who don't even like us and would hold us hostage because of our addiction and their hatred of our freedom.
The president 'talked turkey' to the crowd, telling them "I know it came as a shock to some to hear a Texan stand up there in front of the country and say, 'We got a real problem'. Well, it's meant to be shocking. I'm the shocking president, and I tell it like it is, I calls em like I sees em, I'm not afraid to lay my cards on the table and say read em and weep. Here's the straight talk. America is addicted to oil. There, I said it. Shocking. Course it's not as shocking as the first time I said it at the State of the Union. Woo-hoo, that was shock city, I'm telling you. But I meant it because it's a true fact, as opposed to the somewhat suspect facts that roll off of the presidential lips from time to time."
"And I believe the words I used on that momentous night were 'we've got to do something about it now'. And my friends in the oil energy said, 'What do you mean, George? Oil is our life blood. What about our families?'. And I said 'You're not in the oil business, hoss, you're in the energy business,' and that's an important distinction. The I told these great American companies, we will never abandon our friends in the energy business who built this great country, and you will be vital partners in the great leap forward out of our current crisis. And that is why I am here today to talk about my plan for atomic cars."
Bush outlined a bold new initiative to begin mass production of nuclear powered automobiles by 2011, pledging government assistance of up to five million dollars as seed money. "The atomic car is not an illusion," he declared. "It is not some sort of cockamamie fever dream. A country that can send a rocket all the way to Pluto is surely capable of creating the automobile of the future, and that's just what we intend to do."
The idea was greeted with immediate skepticism by many physicists, typified by Dr. Nancy Hartworth at liberal MIT. "Atomic cars? Honestly. My gosh, those cars would have to be reinforced with about ten tons of concrete just to prevent them from killing the drivers with radiation. They would have to be enormous, even bigger than Hummers. And the weight would just be murder on the tires, not to mention the wear and tear on the roads. And the expense. Small nuclear reactors, the kind that would fit into a car, cost thirty to forty thousand dollars a piece. That's just the reactor. Fuel rods are expensive, too. Then there's the rest of the car, including radios that won't lose their signal due to radiation. Although I suppose you could get by with just CD players. Oh, there's so much to consider. The cooling system, you'd have to have a great cooling system because reactors get very, very hot. And, oh gosh, I wish the president wouldn't spring these things on us physicists like this. I'm kind of unprepared. I... I just wonder - what would happen if two atomic cars had a head-on collision? You might take out a whole city block. No. No, I just do not think that we will be driving atomic cars in the near future."
"This is your typical lack of imagination from academia," responded presidential spokesman Scott McClellan. "I don't think American industry would have a hard time coming up with heavy duty tires and better cooling systems. That's highly disrespectful to our can-do spirit. Ms. Hartworth cites the high cost of such a car, but she doesn't mention the offset savings you get by only having to refuel once every ten years or so. It's easy to say nay, as the president's critics are so eager to do, but I've just got to ask, do we really want to be dependent on oil from unstable foreign governments who don't even like us and would hold us hostage because of our addiction to oil and their hatred of our freedom? I say no. Atomic cars are key to our economic growth as a nation. Let's give them a fair shot."
©2006, Mark Hoback