by Joyce Marcel
American Reporter Correspondent
April 22, 2010
BRADENTON, April 27, 2010 -- As the oil seeps from the capsized carcass of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig 52 miles off Venice, La., and the bdies of 11 workers remain undiscovered in the Gulf of Mexico, the incredible stupidity of recent White House approval for drilling off the coast of Florida is dramatized in a way nothing else can.
Hey, can we get a burning, sinking, polluting and deadly oil rig right off Florida? What a great tourist attraction that would be! And you get free oil, too - 1,000 barrels a day is leaking from the wellhead and liming across the Gulf, headed for Florida today.
The ramifications of the disaster off Louisiana will be far-reaching. One can only imagine the embarrassing silence surrounding President Barack Obama's okay of future drilling projects in the Gulf. Many, many people have warned that his decision could create a tourism disaster of the greatest magnitude.
Here's an excerpt from this morning's Sarasota Herald Tribune, A New York Times Co. regional newspaper:
Whales have been spotted near the spill but officials say they didn't appear to be in stress. Oil leaking from a sunken drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico oozed slowly toward the coast Monday, endangering hundreds of miles of marshes, barrier islands and white sand beaches in four states from Louisiana to Florida.
The rig that just capsized and sank has spread a sheen of oil across the Gulf said to be from one to five miles long, and officials are profoundly afraid that oil at the wellhead may have sprung a leak underwater, or soon will, and spread a thick coating of black, tarry goo acrss a wide area of the Gulf of Mexico and its white-sand beaches.
The aftermath will undoubtedly kill even more fish and other wildlife in a vast watery region already suffering from serious reductions of marine species that have brought grief to many in Florida's fishing industry. Marine laboratories will be busy for years doing the costly job of research and repair associated with this disaster.
But why have we undertaken this foolish course in the first place? Both the President, in N. Carolina three weeks ago, and Vice President Joe Biden Wednesday night, have asked for citizens to propose energy solutions that can replace fossil fuels. The problem is that there's no indication this is anythng more than rhetoric, and that the President's choice of Dr. Steven Chu as Secretary of Energy puts a man in charge of our energy future who has already gone firmly on the record against the most far-reaching and promising alternative technologies, cold fusion and hydrino reactors.
One of those is cold fusion, the tabletop energy generation technology recently vetted once again by "60 Minutes," a very careful and deliberate CBS program that examines important topics in the news. The "60 Minutes" crew did yeaoman research and found that the once-dismissed and derided work of Dr. Stanley B. Pons and Henry Fleischmann has been replicated in dozens of laboratories, and even brought a leading critic to a cold fusion lab where the results in the form of excess heat managed to convince him something important was happening.
At this month's annual meeting og the American Chemical Society, Dr, Michael McKubre, director of the energy research labs of SRI International, told NPR that at least one cold fusion developer, the American-owned, Israel-based Energistic Technologies, has yielded amazing results in excess energy that with some conditions are "immediately commercializable." Dr. Chu was one of the many physicists who jumped fields from physics to chemistry to condemn the work of Pons and Fleischmann.
But another American-born energy solution is even more compelling, and it has an enormous volume of peer-reviewed journal articles supporting both the theory and the hardware results of reactors that draw excess energy from breakdown processes using hydroge atoms. The potential of this "hydrino" process created by Cranbury, N.J.-based BlackLight Power Co. is world-shaking.
A car that can go 1,500 miles on a liter of water (which is electrolyzed on demand to produce hydrogen) is a year or so from a working prototype, and big reactors that can power entire cities at a fraction fo the cost of the nuclear plants that the President and Chu are also backing have been ordered by at least eight firms, including six utilities and one Italian industrial giant. Dr. Chu, in a statement in 1999, said the technology would never work and that h "felt sorry for the investors."
At the EarthFest 2010 at the new State College of Florida in Bradenton, a dozen proponents of hydrogen-on-demand electrolysis technology - another long-suffering process that was invented by Alessandro Volta and perfected in 1805 by English chemist William Nicholson and Thomas Carlisle - gathered to demonstrate so-called HHO kits that provide a low-cost way to supplement gasoline with hydrogen. The technology has had rocky progress, but some inventors at the Earth Day anniversary festival say they can consistently achieve a 100 percent improvement in gasoline mileage using their relatively simple and inexpensive technology.
The potential for environmental catastrophe may mask another one: the financial catastrophe that could undo our fragile economic recovery if oil-production issues generate a gasoline price hike, as they often do. Our economy will grnd to a dead halt if we see $4 and $5 gallons of gasoline again, which in 2008 were one catalyst for the recession then ahead.
Florida, and indeed America, can do better.
Joe Shea, editor of The American Reporter, heads the HHO Games & Exposition, a non-profit organization aimed at stimulating use of hydrogen-on-demand technology.