David Morris, Vice-President of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, wrote in the Santa Fe New Mexican that an aggressive pursuit of a hydrogen economy is wrongheaded and shortsighted. Hes right, but only if you look toward our government to make it all happen. Alan Caruba, a columnist for The Sierra Times, recently stated that over the last twenty-five years, the government has spent $1.2 billion on fuel cell research and development. Automakers have already spent millions to no avail, Caruba wrote. The simple fact is that it still costs far more money to extract hydrogen, breaking its molecule away from others in order to use it to create energy. This is a bad idea.
Carubas right. Having government spend any more money IS the wrong idea. But for some reason, America has resigned itself to letting the government handle the whole projectthe same government that believes sending used cars into space is a good idea.
Lets talk about the Green Jihad for a moment. If hydrogen was made into a viable product, suitable for mass production, the Green Jihad would hate the idea anyway. It would generate new capitalism and we know how they feel about that in general.
Now for the positives.
I have heard every president since the Johnson administration say we need to get off our foreign dependence for oil. Hence, the constant justification to stick our noses into that Middle East quagmire. Am I the only Conservative really wanting to end this sick rela- tionship?
Heres what's worse: Check the news wires every time some kind of civil unrest hap- pens. The first thing local governments do: Suspend gasoline sales. Maybe someone out there can come up with a good reason for this, but it tells me that, if I want to drive my family away from the chaos and my needle is on E, Im just plum out of luck.
Reality Check: It only takes an interruption of diesel fuel for one day in this country, and the effect is felt for the next month. No diesel, the trucks dont roll, and we dont even want to go therefrom that point. As of today, for any and all industrialized nations to prosper, that black juice has to keep flowingperiod. Since we dont make the stuff in our own backyards (oh if we all could only have our own refineries), its like having a needle in our arms. Were addicted.
Think about that the next time you fill up.
I, for one, am not willing to continue having generation after generation attached to that gas pump just to stick it to the environmental extremists, or to back the Conservative in power. Getting away from hydrocarbons is a major step on the road to freedom.
In a previous article, I wrote, What if the government said: First company that produces a car that runs on hydrogen gets the federal fleet contract? Answer: youd be driving hydrogen-powered cars within 4 years.
Morris stated that "everyone has a dog in this fight." The atom splitters think theyd have a corner on the market of producing the stuff, while the oil kings think theyll have their share. Both know that energy will be needed to separate the hydrogen from the water. The race will be to determone wholl supply that energy?
The utopian version of a Real American energy policy means that hydrogen (coming from water) could be generated at each persons home. Of course, theres magnetic en- ergy, but thats a topic for another day. Solar power is available to everyone, along with gravity itself. There's even the possibility of allowing the hydrogen to produce enough power to electrolyze more water itself. (Electrolysis is the process of separating hydro- gen from water molecules).
This can be developed within the private sector. Asking government to foot the bill will only slow the process down, and allow special interest groups from both sides to merely make the whole thing a political issuesomething thats been happening too much in this county for lack of common sense.
There are more than enough people who would not like to see hydrogen power available to everyone. I suspect a few refinery workers and oil-rig drillers would have their rea- sons not to see this technology come of age.
But its here, and if we seek to become a free people, we,as Americans, should take the lead in its development. The key to success is not depending on government to make it happen. We tried that with space exploration. How many private companies (or citizens) do you see making an impact in that market?
Letting the government be the sole developer will mean that, even once it becomes reality, we'd never know about it for years for national security reasons or whatever. Later, it might be released to the public, but heavily regulated, and of course, taxed.
Morris also stated: There is another energy-related problem with hydrogen. It is the lightest element, about eight times lighter than methane. Compacting it for storage or transport is expensive and energy intensive. A recent study by two Swiss engineers concludes, "We have to accept that [hydrogen's] physical properties are incompatible with the requirements of the energy market. Production, packaging, storage, transfer, and delivery of the gas ... are so energy consuming that alternatives should be consid- ered. "
He then went on to talk about natural gas (methane). I submit that methane can be a go between from liquid to hydrogen. But having to look at the whole market place before coming up with a good idea will only stifle technology.
Look people, did we envision the power of the Internet 20 years ago? Did we even know it was possible? Look at where we are today. Americans need to stop thinking about what cant be done for economic reasons, and start thinking about what needs to be done for our longterm survivaland freedom.
So I say, let those hydro cars roll. But I say to George Bush: Thanks, but no thanks. Well do it ourselves.
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