Feb 05

I am very much an advocate of ocean-based energy. As I indicated in March, 2007, in An Open Letter to the President and Congress: Ocean Energy is Vital in Our Battle Against Global Warming, a letter I hand-delivered to Washington, D.C.,

More than any other program America could implement, more than anything else America could do, ocean energy represents a tipping point in the full-scale frontal assault against global warming. By turning to clean ocean power, it is possible to freeze CO2 emissions, to curtail and eventually put a stop to the current exploitation of fossil fuels, to eliminate our country’s dependence on foreign oil, to scale down America’s gas and coal-fired electrical plants–and to eventually see these 19th century-based facilities razed. But, most importantly, in doing these things, it’s entirely possible to help turn the tide on climate change. It will not be easy–nothing worthwhile is easy–but transforming the energy matrix is something we can, and should, do. The most practical way to accomplish all these things is to turn to the ocean. [p. 6]

The ocean makes up 73% of the surface of the planet. At this critical moment in the evolution of our country, and our world, I absolutely know in my heart that ocean energy is precisely the correct path our nation should follow.

The one major problem I see, however, is this: It’s been only 10,000 years since man (sic) abandoned the cave, the arrival of the liquid propane gas grill and the tailgate party each assuredly contributing to its sad demise. Are the American people – and their elected representatives in particular – sufficiently prepared for anything other than combustion?  Honestly now, are we?

Combustion has played an absolutely huge and pivotal role in the development of the United States of America. From the very moment the first caveperson gazed longingly into a campfire to the present, ours has been one amazing, and lengthy love affair with combustion. People love burning things down and, perhaps even more, combusting things up…into the atmosphere. More than anyone else on the face of the planet—the Chinese in recent years the solitary exception—we Americans are absolutely enthralled with burning anything and everything we can get our hands on.

Do you honestly believe Americans are ready for a form of energy the production of which will not require us to combust gasoline, combust coal, combust oil, combust natural gas, combust ethanol, combust biofuel, combust vegetable oil or combust uranium to produce? C’mon now, do you?
Are we in United States prepared for alternative energy technologies that are non-combustible? I doubt it. And yet, reliable sources affirm that energy from the ocean is achieved, generated, produced, harvested (pick your verb) without having to combust anything. Without spewing ton after ton of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Without leaking poisonous lead, sulfur or mercury into our rivers and streams. Without creating lethal pools of toxic coal ash.

For the most part, it is combustion of fossil fuels (gasoline, oil, etc.) that fuels American transportation (autos, planes, trains, trucks) and combustion of fossil fuels that fuels the massive power plants that generate the electricity that then is supplied, via the electric grid, to our business establishments and our homes. How exactly, absent all the present combustion, can we hope as a people to survive? Our very way of life is in jeopardy.

Here we have all these upstart, smart aleck scientists and engineers telling us that all the energy we need can be generated without any manner of combustion. Shoot. Like my old friend, Vern says, “It just don’t seem right.”
No combustion? I’m sorry, but. . . it just don’t seem right.

Alternative energy? Ocean-based energy? Forget it. Does anyone seriously expect Americans to embrace an energy future that is so patently barren of combustion, and, um, so…bleak?

Frank Trujillo
(Tongue firmly in cheek.)

Copyright © 2009 Frank Trujillo

* Until very recently in our history, until 2005 or so, 
the United States led the world in fossil fuel emissions. 
Today, that distinction belongs to China.

written by Frank Trujillo

Jan 20
President Obama

President Obama

Today, Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009, as millions of Americans and others throughout the world celebrate the inauguration of our Nation’s first African American president, I come away with a renewed sense of optimism, and hope.

There is a renewed excitement today on a great variety of fronts, not the least of which relates to energy and the environment. Ocean-based energy has a better chance than ever to ignite and inspire the collective imagination of our people. The 110th Congress may well have failed to take action, but the 111th just might! Our country’s 43rd President may have done nothing, but this new 44th President of the United States—this upstart “Yes We Can!” President, President Barack Obama—might just take a swing at it. He might just knock it right out of the ballpark! Continue reading »

written by Frank Trujillo