by Richard T. Stuebi
Over the years, I’ve been exposed to many cleantech concepts that are just, well, wacky. I’ve seen articles on tethered airborne windturbines and mile-high thermal generation towers, heard from entrepreneurs touting cold fusion devices and floating solar collectors for thermal electricity generation, and even witnessed what seemed to be a demonstration of a gizmo that purportedly harnesses the ambient magnetic flux in the universe. (Against the accepted laws of physics, mind you.)
Last week, I was sent a link to a story on MSNBC of a Canadian gentleman who is working on man-made tornadoes for electricity generation. This one might take the cake. To quote Bob Uecker from Wild Thing, “Juuuuust a bit outside.” See what you think.
Most mad-scientists are oblivious to the fact that, just because something theoretically is doable, doesn’t mean it should be done or is economic to do.
In the end, though, I gotta give these folks their due. If it weren’t for oddballs pushing the species, humans would probably still be sitting around in caves saying “Ugh”. It’s probably going to be a couple of what are initially considered wacky ideas that produce the necessary breakthroughs to truly solve our energy and environmental dilemmas. So, for that reason, I try to be somewhat open-minded in looking at the crazy stuff that sometimes comes across my transom.