of the National Center for Atmospheric Research estimated that "the
world must generate half of its power from wind, sun and other non-carbon
sources by the year 2018 to avoid quadrupling of traditional atmospheric
carbon levels which would most certainly trigger catastrophic consequences."
His team suggested "researching, developing and commercializing carbon-free
primary power technologies...with the urgency of the Manhattan Project
or the Apollo Space Program." (Sierra, May June 2001)
Foerster, husband of a Principia Trustee, Maggie Foerster, is on
the board of Alternative Energy Institute. You can check them out
on their website, www.altenergy.org. They have worked to encourage,
disseminate, facilitate and connect inventors, scientists, and investors
interested in all kinds of alternative energy. The best ideas get
shared faster and more widely through Alternative Energy Institute
and made practical. That is an angel message.
example of an alternative energy that a Principia graduate is engaged
in is UEK Technologies: Green Clean Power. Wayne Hawkins is Vice
President of Finance and Operations of UEK which produces a device
that can take free-running river or tidal flows and, without a dam
or other obstruction, use these flows to drive a turbine and generator
to make electricity. Imagine no dam. No flooded habitat. No displaced
people. No sacred sites lost. No warm water killing fish below the
dam. The turbine blades revolve slowly so fish passage is not an
issue, but with great torque to produce the power. California is
short of electricity. Many developing nations are in need of power.
This system can deliver power from the day it is installed, no pollution,
no emissions; no blocking of the river for transportation or fishing
and for much less cost than building a dam. There is tremendous
power in flowing waters. Why not harness it? They have. That is
another angel message.
energy transition will require a great deal of money, but not nearly
as much as ignoring the problem. Building and maintaining the necessary
new energy facilities will take an army of skilled workers that
organized labor can provide. More jobs, not less. That old Global
Climate Coalition made up of oil companies and auto manufacturers
who hired scientists to say that global warming wasn't real has
collapsed. Texaco and Mobil Exxon were the last holdouts. But the
world is waking up and so must we.
have an impact on the planet. Everyone does. There is a way to measure
impact; a formula that helps put things in perspective. It is I=PAT.
That is impact equals population times affluence times technology.
In other words one nation's impact might be less even though their
population was large, if they were not affluent or didn't have much
technology. On the other hand you might not have a very big population,
but if you were an affluent nation with lots of technology, you
could have a huge impact. Guess where we in the US stand? Our impact
leaves massive footprints since we love gadgets and convenience,
have plenty of money to buy them, and we waste a lot.
question remains what are we doing individually to help, to wake
up, to change our old bad energy habits? Dr. Jane Goodall, who will
be visiting this campus in a few weeks, believes that the individual
is important. Instead of thinking, "What can just one person do?"
and not doing anything, she asks what if all 6 billion of us did
a little something in the right direction? That would be a lot!
We can purchase simple technologies that will lighten our stomp,
or our step, maybe even help us tiptoe on the planet. For instance
do you have low flow shower heads on your shower? Do you use compact
fluorescent bulbs in your light fixtures? Does your family's water
heater have an insulated jacket? Do you have your own tire gauge
to check inflation pressure regularly for maximum efficiency while
driving? Do you have timers on your thermostats that can be set
to automatically lower the heat during the night and turn it back
up just a little in the morning? Timers that turn on and off hot
water heaters and air conditioners only at the hours you need them?
Do you recycle everything you possibly can? Do you know that in
the phrase "throw it away" there is no away? Do you "close the loop"
by buying recycled products whenever possible? We help create the
demand. Are you purchasing the most energy efficient appliances?
Is good gas mileage a priority when you buy a car? Do you consistently
do all the things your teacher told you to in grade school about
turning off the water while you brush your teeth, taking a 3 minute
shower, deciding what you want in the fridge before you open the
door and shutting it as soon as you are through, and turning off
lights and TV when leaving the room, and writing on both sides of
the paper, and only printing from the computer when essential? Do
we carry our own bags to the grocery store? Are we willing to ask
store managers if they could please carry recycled products? Do
we ask ourselves "How much is enough?" Do we weigh mere convenience
with true needs? Are we willing to break some of our wasteful habits?
Can we eat lower on the food chain? Remember "a penny saved is a
penny earned?" How about a gallon saved is a gallon not drilled.
So many things we can do to help!
forests play such a big part in regulating climate I have a bit
of good news. Over the last 3 decades a huge experiment has been
taking place in the tropical dry forest of Costa Rica. Dr. Dan Jansen
and many others have been working to restore the forest, and they
have done it! Where forests were routinely burned to clear the land
for cattle ranching and agriculture, once again lush green native
vegetation covers the northwest portion of Costa Rica called Guanacaste.
William Allen, the award winning environmental writer for the St.
Louis Post-Dispatch, has just come out with a book "Green Phoenix:
Restoring the Tropical Forests of Guanacaste, Costa Rica".
will be speaking May 5 in St. Louis at the Missouri Botanical Garden
at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night. The evening is free, the slides will
be beautiful, the information amazing, and the company inspiring.
You can purchase his book and get it signed then, or you can do
it today at the table marked St. Louis Rainforest Advocates right
over there. The hardback is $35 and worth every penny. We need success
stories like the one Bill tells. Everyone is invited on May 5th.
You might even want to arrange carpools and cut down on your CO2