Opinion: Captain Ozone Promotes Renewable Hydrogen With Public Service Announcements
February 8, 2005 --
Why didn't 9/11 serve as a wake up call to all Americans that it is our dangerous dependence on foreign oil and the need to secure it militaristically that is largely the impetus for past and present terrorist aggressions against us. In light of such a realization, if you agree, I would think we would be demanding that our government immediately launch a Manhattan project for the development of a pollution-free, renewable hydrogen economy. Yet we're not. At least not from a majority standpoint. Apparently, the average citizen: A.) Has not come to such a realization. B.) Disagrees with the terrorist link, or C.) Agrees, but is content to maintain the status quo and suppress terrorism by force.
The United States is in a unique position to take the initiative to build a hydrogen economy now. I foresee a hydrogen economy that can be realistically built over a period of a decade, costing $1 trillion dollars. This might seem like a gargantuan expense over a 10-year period, but People's Weekly World News online reports that the Bush administration's 10-year defense plans are projected to total $5.8 trillion dollars over the course of fiscal years 2005-2014!! This is no doubt to finance present and future military operations aimed at securing access to oil in the Middle East. In monetary terms, the Bush administration is willing to spend nearly six times the cost of building the kind of hydrogen economy I foresee, on the continued development of a fossil-fuel economy over the next decade.
Factor in the cost in human lives of maintaining a fossil-fuel economy through wars, not to mention global warming, and it would seem that a calculated decision to stay on the present course in the face of a clear and much more viable alternative energy source would be downright immoral.
The U.S. is an economy of scale currently worth over $11 trillion dollars. On a cost benefit analysis, $1 trillion dollars over a period of a decade would be a small investment considering the huge benefits a hydrogen economy would bring--not just to the US, but to the entire world. That is why I can't understand the following:
Bush has allocated a meager $1.2 billion to hydrogen fuel cell research and development over a period of 4 years. However, according to Fox News, the current war efforts to secure oil in Iraq alone are exceeding $1 billion /per week. Based on actions, continuing dependency on oil is more important to Bush than pursuing alternative energies.
John Kerry was willing to vamp up the Federal research budget on hydrogen fuel cells to $5.5 billion over a period of 4 years (more, but still not enough) and in addition set a goal that by 2020, the U.S. would get 20% of its energy needs from pollution-free, renewable sources. He earned my support with this one issue. And yet he was voted out, which tells me that the issue of hydrogen energy is not all that important to the average American citizen.
Many Americans are ignorant about or content with oil dependency and the military/corporate powers that be (i.e. Bush, Cheney...) are all too eager to foster and cultivate their confusion and cash it in for profit.
To pull the plug on all their confusion, the hydrogen industry needs to build public support and a wide constituency, including elected officials, corporate leaders and investors. We can start by teaching the general public that: A.) Hydrogen fuel is Pollution-Free. B.) Hydrogen fuel is Renewable. C.) Hydrogen fuel will not cause acid rain, ozone depletion, or global warming. D.) Hydrogen fuel can be made from endless supplies of water using solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and tide power.
These simple, reassuring facts are the first message to bring to the general public to generate excitement and support for the hydrogen fuel industry.
In 1999, I starred in America’s first television commercial which touted the benefits of hydrogen fuel, reaching millions of viewers. Environmental Media Northwest, the U.S. Department of Energy, and McClure Middle School together produced this commercial. (To view it, go to www.4Hydrogen.com/psa.html and click Streaming Video under ‘Hydrogen Girls’)
I plan to help produce more pro-hydrogen fuel commercials for television broadcast. My point is that more hydrogen-advocate organizations need to make more hydrogen fuel commercials reaching hundreds of millions of American and Canadian citizens, not only on television, but through radio and on the World Wide Web. If we hydrogen advocates pool our resources together and create pro-hydrogen multi-media commercials, the majority of American and Canadian citizens might no longer be ignorant and content with oil dependency and the war on terrorism.