Ever since Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” came out in 2006, the movement to get us off of fossil fuels has been rapidly gaining momentum. In just two short years, and despite an administration that is obviously and decidedly interested in keeping us burning gasoline, we’ve seen solar technologies take off, wind turbine farms explode, and a plethora of other alternative resources and technologies coming forth. Some are future science at best, while others are very well grounded, sensible solutions that we can implement today.
The Pickens Plan, instituted by a former oil baron billionaire who sees the need for the United States to free itself from dependence upon foreign oil, has garnered some attention by suggesting that we burn our own nation’s natural gas instead of sending out 700 billion dollars a year to foreign countries. It’s likely that a good share of his intention was to get a grass-roots movement behind switching to natural gas, but he also has investments in wind farms. What’s more important, though, is that his website, which was set up to be an open forum for exploring ideas, has brought a wealth of alternative energy technologies to light, and inspired scores of other ideas as well. Some are admittedly tin-foil cap, but other possibilities, such as functional electric and compressed-air cars, have stepped to the forefront because of the site.
The general public is developing a Green consciousness. This is happening so rapidly in some areas that it seems to support the 99th Monkey theory. Of a sudden, large numbers of people speak in terms of electric cars as a foregone conclusion. Most include them in any possibility of a bailout program for the ailing auto manufacturing industry. New ideas are being met with curiosity rather than pessimistic suspicion… and all of this is happening while it seems our nation and the entire world may be on a swift downhill slide towards another great depression.
Read Part 2, “To Make An Omelette” in the Wheels section