Since appearing May 18 on youtube, this video has attracted millions of views. Idaho couple Scott and Julie Brusaw came up with an idea – manufacture interlocking hexagonal solar panels, toss in LED lights (programmable to mark lanes and shoulders), set them to maintain a temperature above freezing (eliminate snow and ice – thus the need for salting, sanding and snow plows) make them compatible for running electric cars, and finally – produce three times the energy we have today.
Grant money obtained from the U.S. Highways Administration allowed the couple to make a 4 x 11 meter demonstration lot. Another youtube video shows a John Deere tractor driving across the panels – attesting to durability and claim it can withstand 250,000 lbs. of weight.
They began a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo, their goal – secure a million dollars, hire engineers capable of taking their idea from prototype to production. As of today, over 1.9 million in donations support “solar freakin’ roadways”.
Veins pop at the temples of “big oil” with the slightest whisper of solar energy. Red faced, indignant executives hunker down to plot political palm greasing – infinite resources sew politicians into big oil’s pockets. War masquerades as something other than who sits on the most oil – the rich getting richer as those left behind struggle with increasing energy costs. Mega projects like the Alberta tar sands annihilate the environment – fracking, hazardous waste, polluted water – all acceptable consequences of our oil addiction.
Understanding alternatives exist, demanding those alternatives and standing up to oil bullies is possible. Not just possible – attainable. Last week I wrote about Frank Shuman, the American who built a fully operational solar power plant in 1912 Egypt. A remarkably efficient system using the sun to power pumps drawing water from the Nile. Those pumps turned desert into thriving cotton fields.
We don’t have to wait until oil reserves run dry, the environment is devastated and society collapses. Technology exists today capable of putting an end to antiquated nonsense. This isn’t rocket science – big oil has us over a barrel and laughs all the way to the bank. Big oil manipulates public opinion, puts money in the hands of elected officials or aggressively funds political campaigns deemed favorable to their bottom line.
Watch the video, ponder common sense, then grow a fat backbone. I promise it feels really good to snap out of indifferent mode and care about something.