Alternate Energy

WORLD MEMORIAL “Tribute of Light” incorporates sustainable energy products: Solar Photovoltaic (PV), passive solar, fuel cells, wind turbines, on or offsite.  The technology exists today to build a robust energy production center coupled with low energy components. We only need the will and the desire to create the symbol for the world.  This could be the legacy of those perished. It would be a generate freedom from the dependence on fossil fuels,  reduction in pollution, and development of sustainable energy for mankind’s future.
According to
Paul Marantz, the original Tribute in Light designer, the power consumption of each light towers containing 44 Xenon bulbs, requires 7,000 watts.   At 616,000 watts for the Two Towers per hour, a 4 hour presentation from dusk to 11:00 PM daily, adds up to a whopping 73.9 Megawatts.  That’s upwards of 4,435 US dollars per month.

WORLD MEMORIAL propose an array of 24 low-powered lasers for the overall projection, approximately 1000 watts each, totaling 24,000 watts/hour, only 3.6 Megawatts per month.  A standard off-the-shelf, one square-meter PV panel produces 120 watts.  Roughly, 200 PV panels would be required to power the entire “Tribute in Light.”     Viking Controls

This could create a new industry standard and thousands of jobs.
Set the example and let it start at Ground Zero.

It's time to end the Oil Age

Special feature to the Star-Telegram, February 9, 2003; reprinted with permission
By Ed WallaceIn 1916, in-house genius Charles Kettering was trying to solve General Motors' engine knock problem. Kettering, best known for creating the self-starter, always attacked problems from many different angles; he approached his current problem by assigning a group of geologists to study the world's oil supply. Their conclusions, not at all what Kettering had hoped for, caused him to dash to the office of GM's head, William Durant, with bad news: General Motors would cease to exist within 25 years unless they immediately started looking for an alternative fuel. The study he'd commissioned found that the world's oil supply would last only until 1940.

Having listened as his panicked head of research related his theory that the internal combustion engine would become extinct, Durant told Kettering that in his experience, the so-called experts were usually wrong. Geologists, he suggested, would find more oil long before Kettering could find an alternative fuel.

Events have proven Durant right. One doubts, however, that even he could have foreseen that Detroit's success in altering our society would make us vulnerable to foreign sources of oil - or that this liquid gold would become America's most strategic concern a mere 60 years later. Cheap gasoline demonstrably powers this nation.

Eighty-seven years after Kettering raced into Durant's office, a line in President Bush's State of the Union address committed the nation to spending $1.2 billion for research into hydrogen-fuel-celled automobiles. While the President made it sound like a strictly environmental concern, I think he could have taken it farther: He could have made using something besides oil to power our automobiles the nation's top priority.

Detroit Already In Default
Realistically, $1.2 billion isn't squat to alter our perceptions about gas. Moreover, it's nothing short of corporate welfare: Al Gore promised Detroit $480 million to design a hybrid electric automobile capable of getting 80 mpg in 1994. Since then, Gore's promise has drained the treasury of $1.5 billion, and we've yet to see Detroit's first hybrid electric car, much less one that gets 80 miles to a gallon of gas. Worse than that, when Detroit's first hybrids do finally show up, designers are forecasting a 1.5-mpg improvement at most.

So Detroit must have been perturbed in late 1997, when Toyota announced that it had already perfected a 45-mpg hybrid electric car, the Prius, out of its own corporate pocket. In that same year, the Big Three collectively took in almost $17 billion profit with one hand - and with the other, unashamedly accepted the government's handout to create a vehicle that, under the original design standards, would never see the light of day.

Now you understand why I rolled my eyes when Bush committed a mere $1.2 billion to insure the future of hydrogen power: Detroit hasn't met its last obligations to consumers and taxpayers yet.

Furthermore, I personally believe that the President had the perfect chance to alter the world, and he didn't take it. What Bush should have said, forcefully, was that the government would fully fund any and all research into hydrogen-fuel-celled automobiles. Just as Kennedy promised in the early sixties that we'd put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, Bush should have promised, "This nation will sell nothing but hydrogen-fuel-celled automobiles by 2010."

Think that's crazy? Remember: When Kennedy promised we'd go to the moon, this nation was just two years past seeing our Redstone missiles blow up on virtually every launch attempt. And does anyone remember who helped perfect our missile program? Chrysler and its engineers.

Make Air And Water: It's Cheaper Than War
Additionally, I would almost bet money that researching and perfecting hydrogen-fuel-celled automobiles, creating the fuel and inventing the delivery systems would end up costing less than Desert Storm, the sequel. (Although creating this automobile is far more difficult than one would expect, both Toyota and Honda have already delivered theirs for testing in California.)

While I'm speechwriting for the President, I'll add that Bush should have said that he would welcome an international group of engineers to work on this project. I'd bet that the world's very best automotive people would sign up for this historic project. Finally, Bush should have said that once we perfect this new energy source, we will give it away to the entire planet for free and show others how to build the cells and how to manufacture hydrogen cheaply. That's right. I think Bush should have announced the coming end of the Oil Age: It would have shifted the balance of power in the world forever, permanently into America's corner.

Keep Your Dirty Old Oil
Keep in mind that the world has been furious with us for refusing to sign the Kyoto Treaty. Under my plan, that anger would go away. We'd be going beyond Kyoto, with the intention of saving the entire planet; who could be mad at us for that? In fact, for the first time since World War II, we'd be seen as liberators, freeing everyone on earth from dependence on a scarce and costly resource, in a positive fashion.

Of course, this announcement would have caused more panic in the Middle East than any concerns about our possible invasion of Iraq. Because they would have been put on notice that in a mere seven years American dollars would no longer be enriching their countries. Whether or not anyone cares to admit it, the one and only reason we consider the Middle East of strategic importance is that so much of what fuels this nation comes from there. So, instead of meddling in their internal affairs or replacing one dictator after another, the smart move would be to take oil out of the equation.

Of course, the morning after the President made this commitment to the 21st century, Colin Powell would be getting calls from nervous Middle Eastern leaders just realizing what an oil-free world would do to their bank accounts. However, instead of browbeating them into helping us fix whatever problem needs to be corrected in the Middle East, Powell could now recline in his easy chair. I can imagine the phone call.

"Hey, Princey, we love you. Nothing but love. But America has decided to save the planet. Now, tell me you're not upset about that? And frankly, as much as we cherish our relationship, really cherish it, you know there have been a few rough spots lately. After all, we're having to clear up a few messes there that you should have taken care of yourself. The world is a little upset with us, and we will no longer accept all the blame. Or play the bad guy. But that's not what this is about; it's just we've decided that oil isn't going to be the most important thing in this country or on this planet, any more."

Think about it. The ultimate power plan: Any good negotiator knows it's easier to get the deal you want when others come to you.

The world would again love the USA's idealism and cheer us on. The Middle East, realizing that their cash cow would shortly be moribund, would suddenly find ways to stop terrorism and isolate the despots. And with this new energy source suddenly free to the entire world: Checkmate. No place else to sell the oil. Not China, not anywhere else.

We'd get to take the high road; and, by declaring the Middle East irrelevant by 2010, we could change the foreign policy that seems to upset so many fanatics in that region. No foreign policy to become upset with means no more terrorists. They would be free to be mad at someone else.

Radio Talk Show Personality and Automotive Expert Ed Wallace promotes:  It's Time to End the Oil Age
Ed Wallace is an automotive historian, analyst, broadcaster and contributor to Car & Driver, RPM, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, American Way and Auto World. He is the recipient of the 2001 Gerald R. Loeb Award for outstanding business journalism, awarded by the Anderson School of Business at UCLA. You can e-mail Ed at ed-wallace@charter.net.



© Sep 2001, ver-04/27/04

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