16 Acres And A Fuel

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16 Acres And A Fuel

Fires burned amidst the 16 acres of rubble of the World Trade Center for weeks after the attack. (wikipedia)

It was "cheap" aviation fuel and an emotion that brought down the World Trade Center. To be sure, the towers themselves were also an emotion that yielded ten million square feet of office space - erected with the industrious heat of ambition and an Ayn Rand sense of manifest destiny. Whether the hit on the towers was organized rage or cold-blooded orchestration it was the mother lode of fossil fuel that sustained the flames that melted the integrity of the building and returned 16 acres to pure possibility.

All things that have grown out of the hunger for cheap fuel fed the impulse that hit the towers. And the fuel itself fed the fire that turned the buildings to ash and vaporized the human bodies.

The 16 acres at ground zero should become a monument to a future free of this literal and figurative fuel. The 16 acres should be the foundation and launch pad for non-combustible energy that will now move and light the world. Any building or vehicle on those 16 acres should run from energy created by wind, solar, tidal and renewable biomass - or any and all new forms of energy that do not require fuel sucked and privatized from beneath the ground on which other citizens live - energy which does not pollute both environment and bodies - energy which does not tempt the urge to colonize, oppress, occupy or explode.

No fossil fuel should ever pollute that ground again and from that ground should radiate a new era of energy, technology and economy. Fossil fuels are combustible on every level. If the need for cheap fuel caused operatives in the U.S. government to use our military in an oppressive and aggressive way, a price may have been paid for that.

As has been quoted widely yesterday on the national media one of the terrorists spoke to us in his final newly released video statement. "Keep your fat hands out of our land." Clearly, as presidents have told our high school students, violence is not the way to resolve grievances. But the ashes of ten men who believed that it is, are now imbedded in those 16 acres. The fact they used violence does not make the grievance any less real for millions of other non-violent people. For the sake of those millions and as a monument to the victims, ground zero should be dedicated to the development and implementation of new, revolutionary forms of energy.

Not only for the distant millions but for the millions right here this monument should emerge. Anyone hoping to make a political point by deploying weapons of mass destruction simply has to look at what we are sitting on. We are sitting on our own weapons of mass destruction. On 9/11 the weaponized fuel may have been bought from Iraq or Saudi Arabia but it was ours. Iraq's development of weapons is pointless - the weapons are here. The enemy has only to figure out how to detonate the ones that sit perilously contained all around us and beneath us.

Even without being detonated, our steady burn of fossil fuel and our spread of chemicals and our proliferation of nuclear are destructive to the masses. The weapons can either seep slowly into our tissue or more fanatics who want our fat hands off their land can explode them.

Our defense is not more military build up. Our best defense and our greatest monument will be the dismantling of the incendiary medium of our forward motion. Ground zero should be the site on which the world will find only energy that surfs the wave of natural givens and does not impose a volatile, toxic and flammable will on the planet. Ground zero should now mean the beginning. The America of ingenuity and genius should begin its monument to those lost and take what are now their 16 acres and the country into a new and peacefully power filled future.

Bill C. Davis

Bill C. Davis

Bill C. Davis is a playwright.  Archive of his Common Dreams' articles here. His personal website here.

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