Eisenhower's Secret Project Takes a Strange Twist 60 Years Later

Written by Adam English
Posted December 23, 2021

Just shy of 61 years ago, President Dwight Eisenhower, former five-star General of the Army and mastermind of the Western Front against the Nazis, warned the American public of the risk of the growing military-industrial complex in his farewell speech.

Just shy of 63 years ago, President Eisenhower authorized the creation of what has been at the heart of the military-industrial complex. It has whispered in the ears of government and business alike ever since.

Reconciling this is a stretch by any means. Even if it was hypocritical, Ike started something that has been at the cutting edge of technology for most of a century.

What's that secretive federal agency up to now? It's worried about trash.

President Eisenhower authorized the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in 1958. It grew into the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 1972, and it has been up to some wild stuff from day one.

Name something sinister, wildly expensive, and ahead of its time. Spy planes and satellites? Lasers and stealth and ripping data off devices? Shoving a wingless plane into space and skipping it off the atmosphere like a pebble on water so fast the thing nearly melts from the friction?

How about the wildest thing that has ever happened in all human history — internet and GPS combined, so you can get all knowledge sent to any square meter in the world?

"Yes" across the board.

So what is one of its latest projects? A thing that will redefine the future? What should it care about today for tomorrow?

It's worried about trash.

To be specific, we're talking about DARPA's ReSource project. I hope whoever capitalized that "S" for a lil' bit of extra pizzazz isn't proud of it.

DARPA would love to swap plastics for something with all the same properties, but with one more use. Any use. Just one more.

It's floated the idea to create something that can also be a fuel, building materials, even food — which seems like the worst kind of tamale ever — or just about anything, really.

Anything to stop making one-use trash a liability.

Burn pits have been our best and worst solution to this day. In an effort to do something — anything — to just get rid of the damn stuff, we poisoned our own soldiers in the Middle East wars with the fumes.

It isn't just a case-by-case, localized issue, though. It is universally cataclysmic.

Six times more plastic waste is burned in the U.S. than is recycled. The energy and material used produces 200 million tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Plastic is expected to account for 56 gigatons of carbon between today and 2050 — about 50 times the annual emissions of all of the coal power plants in the U.S.

DARPA is far from alone in this push to get away. The United Nations is getting involved, and who can really blame them?

This isn't a climate thing or a partisan agenda. There is literally plastic piling up all over. There is a patch the size of Texas in the Pacific.

More importantly the private market is involved as well. It is already producing a solution, and the question is how much of a $2.5 trillion global market it stands to capture.

Working with the University of British Columbia, a company has developed a 100% biological plastic alternative.

In as little as 35 days, it's gone.

Plus it isn't made with any fossil fuels, unlike what DARPA and the U.N. are working against.

This is a stock play that will only amplify next year and the year after as it all piles up. Quite literally.

Take care,

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Adam English
Editor, Outsider Club

follow basic @AdamEnglishOC on Twitter

Adam's editorial talents and analysis drew the attention of senior editors at Outsider Club, which he joined in mid-2012. While he has acquired years of hands-on experience in the editorial room by working side by side with ex-brokers, options floor traders, and financial advisors, he is acutely aware of the challenges faced by retail investors after starting at the ground floor in the financial publishing field. For more on Adam, check out his editor's page

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