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Blog Posted in avatar   Alexander Baron's Blog

How To Prevent Another 9/11

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By Alexander Baron
Posted Feb 6, 2013 in Politics
On September 11, 2001, 19 men armed with boxcutters hijacked four planes in the United States and used them as bombs crashing one into The Pentagon and two into the Twin Towers; the fourth plane being brought down before it could hit its target, which was either the Capitol Building or more likely the White House.
The response to these atrocities was the misnamed war on terror and a great deal more, but there is a simple way to prevent this sort of thing happening in the future. The three elements of the September 11 attacks were planes, tall buildings and American Imperialism. Therefore if we address these three issues, the chance of hijackers repeating September 11 will be greatly reduced.
Tall buildings are a fact of life, but do we need anymore skyscrapers, in fact we may ask the question in all seriousness, do we need skyscrapers at all?
Buildings such as the Twin Towers are used primarily as offices; whoever heard of a factory operating on the 97th floor?
Current tenants of the Empire State Building include a number of tourist boards, newspapers and human rights organisations. True, tall buildings of this nature do cater for the sightseer with restaurants and such, but by and large there are only two uses for tall and ultra-tall buildings: office space/administration and accommodation.
In the 21st Century, the global village functions primarily by electronic communication, which begs the question why do we need so much office space at all? With the correct application of electronic communications, including video-links, we could greatly reduce the amount of office space needed by all businesses; probably upwards of 80% of administrators could work from home, something that would also reduce road traffic and the demand for oil (see also below).
The first practical step to avoiding another 9/11 is then a massive downsizing of offices. While every company of any size needs a head office for its archive, data centre and such, the vast majority of company office space is redundant in the Internet age, and could indeed should be converted to residential accommodation. The government can assist with this redeployment by tax breaks and such.
The second factor in 9/11 was aircraft. The big question is do we need so many aircraft in the skies? Obviously not. For the citizens of the US, Canada and Russia, flying is obviously a great deal more convenient for many trips, but again, in the cyber-age, do we really need so much travel? Clearly not. Furthermore, if the US in particular were to invest in proper infrastructure - railways rather than roads - this would greatly reduce the demand for air travel. A high speed train that could average a little over a hundred miles per hour could connect New York City and San Francisco non-stop in around a day in comparison with around the current six and a half hours by plane.
That sounds a massive difference, but after you have allowed for checking in and checking out, it is not so bad. Most long distance travel in even the US involves considerably shorter distances, and again, how many of these trips are really necessary? When it comes to goods and freight, there is little that is now sent by air that could not be sent just as effectively by rail and/or road. And do we really need all these military planes?
The second phase then in the avoidance of another 9/11 is for the US and all other countries to invest heavily in new infrastructure. A trillion dollars spent on upgrading the rail network would be a marvellous investment. Which brings us to oil.
Although there are other factors - in particular the lobby we are all supposed to pretend does not exist, and the stupid geopolitical games played by the great powers such as supporting various governments in and around the region - the main attraction of the Middle East for the US and big business is oil. Take away that, and no one who matters will care about either the Arabs or the Zionists.
It follows therefore that the United States and all other nations should invest massively in alternative energies - with the emphasis on the word massively. We are talking here in tens of trillions of dollars, and we could get really innovative. For example, couldn't most tall buildings utilise windpower as well as solar panels on their rooftops? Would it not be possible to utilise such things as commuters walking down subway tunnels to light them, like their footsteps on the ground - special pressure pads rather than concrete? Think about it: wave, wind, other sources and most of all the Sun, could be used to reduce the need to burn oil, and with a little initiative to use it in any way, manner, shape or form.
Thus, with fewer or no skyscrapers, with fewer planes and most of all no Western interference in the Middle East, the impetus for terrorism, certainly on the scale we saw that dreadful day, will be greatly reduced.

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