09.08.2005 || 01:58

Hydrogen, eh?

I just don't get it: moving to a largely hydrogen-based system for future vehicles and energy needs would solve three problems with one tech. By which I mean that a) taking our society off of the fossil-fuel umbilical would reduce our dependance on Saudi Arabia and other nations that are unfriendly to our (by which I actually mean our American friends') national systems and symbols; b) moving to such a system would greatly reduce CO2 emissions, as well as those of other pollutants. As time went on and fossil fuel vehicles slowly disappeared, we'd have cleaner air; and c) Hydrogen creates, as a by-product, pure water. Collected properly, this 'exhaust' could solve that other, way less publicised problem: that of the growing water crisis in the USA. There are only so many more times that Ottawa can refuse Washington's pleas for a water pipeline before things get ugly -- but not so if every new vehicle in the US were creating drinking water as it ran. Same up here. Same in Mexico and everywhere else.

I know: gotta make sure not to use coal or oil to *make* the hydrogen, but come on; there are all sorts of other ways, like wind, solar, even the existing hydro infrastructure. I also know that this only reduces vehicle emissions, not those of factories and such. This is why I think it should be part of a greater cocktail of alternative energy production methods for various uses. Wind power makes sense for coastal areas, whereas photovoltaic seems about right for the areas around Montréal, Québec City and Toronto, for instance... There's a slight glimmer coming from California -- they've got six hydrogen fuel stations and their roadmap targets 100 by 2010, and they've got stricter vehicle emissions targets than does the Federal Government. Some US states are adopting, or looking at adopting the California standard instead of the federal one. I hope this can grow and become something real.

Hell, it's a start. It's also a real stretch for a society where Big Oil's got their man in office. One can hope, though. It's still not surprising that the bigger players in the alternative fuel industry are not American though, or that the ENV came from the other side of the ocean (and before anyone gets on my arse about the Hypercar, I'm not saying that Yanks don't come up with brilliant stuff; I'm saying that the system in place at this time stiffles the proper development of anything that irritates the Oilpatch). It's too bad though. I mean, American ingenuity and all... But hey, California, eh?

||Gods save the Queen,

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