What do wind turbines have to do with world peace? Everything, says Southside resident David Pilbrow. This recent retiree has a mission and a message: Go hydrogen, America. Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, may be the solution to the problems of oil dependency.
Pilbrow is just beginning his hydrogen activism campaign. He collected petitions at Earth Day and delivered them to Sens. Bayh and Lugar. He plans to give talks at public library branches. He’s connecting with other activist groups like the Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center. He wants to identify allies who see hydrogen as a justice issue.
Pilbrow had a hydrogen “a-ha” moment after hearing a radio show featuring scientist Harry Braun, author of The Phoenix Project: Shifting from Oil to Hydrogen (2001). “As I watched the war and the anti-war protests, the more I have been convinced that the oil connection is the key,” Pilbrow says. “Hydrogen power is a realistic way of being energy self-sufficient and reducing terrorism.”
According to Braun, hydrogen is the only zero-emission fuel with drinkable water as its only byproduct. A nation that runs on hydrogen will be cleaner, quieter and healthier. So why hasn’t the United States rushed to embrace it? The cost of making fuel cells is still higher than the cost of making internal combustion engines. And the distribution of hydrogen would require a new infrastructure.
Ricardo Bayon of the New America Foundation suggests that if the federal government invests in hydrogen in the 21st century like it did in cars and highways in the 20th century, both of these obstacles will disappear. Even as engineers maintain that the internal combustion engine will go the way of the horse in two generations, Americans lag far behind the Danes, Japanese and Europeans on hydrogen research and development.
“Right now we’re trying to lower the cost of production of hydrogen,” Pilbrow says. “Wind-generated hydrogen is the most efficient way to go in terns of overall cost. The technology has been there for some time and could be developed rapidly if we have the political will.”
His advice for anyone interested in the hydrogen issue? Educate yourself, communicate with decision makers and join others who care. He offers http://www.phoenixproject.net and http://www.h2pac.org as good starting points.
He offers himself (email@example.com) as a resource and lightning rod. If the laws of physics say it takes energy to create energy, Pilbrow will spend his shaping a hydrogen future.