Wish list for 2015: Simple solutions for complex problems

Five steps for making the world a better place

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Being a religion major and a pundit, I know a lot about geology, physics and neuroscience, as you would assume. It is precisely that depth of knowledge and devotion to learning that allows me to make the following holiday wish list of inventions that would make the world a better place in 2015.

Trust me, everything on this list is doable with only a little elbow grease and ingenuity.

1. Truth serum. Why are we even talking about torture in the 21st century? Tell me that the greatest scientists can't make a reliable truth serum? Of course they can. If they invent Snapchat and Botox, they can invent truth serum. I'm thinking of domestic and global usage.

2. An ozone-hole-filler-cannon. As I understand it, the planet is heating up because the ozone layer is too thin because of a giant hole somewhere above Poughkeepsie.  International cooperation to reduce carbon emissions, poison gas and tree genocide is impossible because of human nature. So let's fill the hole with man-made ozone. Duh?  There also is talk among geoengineers about filling the outer atmosphere with tiny mirrors to reflect away earth-heating sunrays. I like the global concept matter.

3. Nerve-gas darts. Again, why are cops using bullets in the 21st century? They need instant acting nerve-gas darts that will paralyze or otherwise render impotent evildoers without killing them -- especially the innocent ones. If necessary they could come in bullet-like capsules that would knock down the perps, too, in case they were about to shoot in the nanosecond before the nerve gas. Maybe a ray gun or a jumbo-Taser would work better, I'll leave that to the specialists for now. But bullets? In the 21st century? Ridiculous.

4. Parachutes for airplanes. Need I say more? It is such an obvious solution to plane crashes. The only reason we don't already have them is because Big Airlines don't want to pay for the extra gas heavy parachutes require, so they claim this is impossible. They also think Obama was born in America.

5. Mass desalinization. Even if what is frequently referred to as the Meyerian Ozone Cannon is deployed soon, there still will be rising ocean levels all over the planet. The solution is too obvious to mention, but here it is: Build massive desalination plants on coasts everywhere, pump the water to deserts and grow huge forests that will pump clean, fresh air into the atmosphere and feeds the earth's billion with coconuts, oranges, pistachios, apples and other tree goods. Gates, Branson and Bloomberg could do this in two years.

Those are my helpful hints for the New Year.

[Also by Dick Meyer: Decoding the “Torture Report”]

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