Sputniki and Metaphor Management

By December 7, 2010Energy, Innovation

President Obama on Monday, remarks at Forsyth Technical Community College, Winston-Salem, N.C.:

If this is truly going to be our Sputnik moment, we need a commitment to innovation that we haven’t seen since President Kennedy challenged us to go to the moon.  And we’re directing a lot of that research into one of the most promising areas for economic growth and job creation –- and that’s clean energy technology.  (Applause.)  I don’t want to see new solar panels or electric cars or advanced batteries manufactured in Europe or in Asia.  I want to see them made right here in America, by American businesses and American workers.  (Applause.)

From ExecutiveGov.com, “Will China Win Clean-Energy Race? Chu Ponders ‘Sputnik Moment’ for US

In a speech this week, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the United States risked falling behind in the race to develop clean-energy sources.

The United States faces a “Sputnik moment,” in terms of clean energy, he said, referencing the launch of the Soviet satellite in 1957 that shocked American scientists and spurred the beginnings of the space race between the two rival nations.

“America still has the opportunity to lead in a world that will need a new industrial revolution to give us the energy we want inexpensively but also carbon-free,” Chu said in the speech Nov. 29 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. “It’s a way to secure our future prosperity

Is our Sputnik challenge innovation in general, education and research, or clean energy? All of the above?

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