Friday, June 4, 2010

Walking on Sunshine

Continuing the trend of good environmental news stories today, here's one about an invention from the UK.  24-year-old Laurence Kemball-Cook has created Pavegen, a walking surface that gathers some of the kinetic energy released by a person's footsteps and transfers it to a battery to be used for attached lighting.

Now, I know you may be thinking, "So what?" or "big deal".  If so, I would ask you to imagine all the other applications and what-ifs.  For instance, what if this technology were employed on a large scale - say the entire network of New York City sidewalks?  And instead of storing the energy hyper-locally, what if it were harvested through a network and added to the entire energy grid, thereby reducing need for other energy sources in blanket fashion?  What if stadiums used it on their walkways, stairs, and even in seated areas.  Stadium lights could actually flash noticeably brighter with every "We will rock you" boom-boom-clap.

Or what-if the floor of every new house built in the world sent this energy to a power station in the home?

Leave it to the young to save our collective global ass.  God bless 'em.  Unfortunately, innovation and ingenuity of this sort is at best not encouraged and at worst flat-out discouraged in the United States, where it used to be our proudest export.  Unless we can match and surpass the world-changing thinking of other industrialized countries, we will continue our descent into obsolescence.  And maybe that's best for the world since the only exports we're known for lately are war machinery and counterproductive fear-based isolationism. 

Here's the biggest what-if:  What if instead of throwing untold trillion$ at private (read corporate) defense contractors in the military-industrial complex to find a better way to kill the brown people of the planet, we divert ALL the money to enhancing and perfecting technologies like this one to harvest as much energy as possible from 100% clean sources? 

If we can imagine it, we can do it.

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
-Albert Einstein

1 comment:

Anonymous comments ARE NOT PERMITTED!

If you will not stand behind your words, your words will not stand on this blog and you should go troll somewhere else..