The Phoenix Project: Shifting from Oil to Hydrogen Hardcover – Apr 2001
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Anyway, I bought this book three years ago, and unfortunately, the ever increasing costs associated with the war in Iraq and the failure to roll back the pre-9/11 tax cuts the president campaigned on and brought to fruition have only made Harry Braun's proposal an even more unlikely scenario to happen. This is not to confuse his plan with an unfeasible one; it is a great plan, but it is a plan nonetheless that would only gain the support of Americans in another era, such as in the late 18th Century, mid-19th Century, and World War II, where people had the moxie to do what was right for themselves and their posterity.
The six trillion dollar plan proposed in this book would have been tenable if the now projected two trillion dollar cost of the war in Iraq had been averted. As Harry Braun so adequately stated, a switch from an oil based economy to a hydrogen one would have made us the "Saudi Arabia" exports of the world in regards to hydrogen fuel.
Everything in this book, aside from finding the people with the fortitude and insight to make it happen, is completely doable. OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion) systems, off-shore wind systems, and the like, not only make it possible to produce the only pollution free solution to our energy problems (the previous critique forgot to mention that Nuclear waste which has no safe form of disposal is its pollution), they are also technologies that can aid us in replenishing life in our oceans that are in grave danger of extinction. As the book points out at the time of its publishing (if I remember correctly from three years ago), large predatory fish have been reduced to 5% of their previous populations. Hydrogen producing systems would create a safe haven in our oceans for these animals and their food supply to replenish these populations which have been devastated by ocean trawlers and the fishing industry.
With that said, this book is a fantastic read if you want to get some incredible insight into ridding our country from its dependence on foreign oil. If every American read this book, it would not be a question of whether we should implement the ideas crafted in this book; it would be a question of `how fast can we do it in?' Harry's answer is in as little as 5 to 6 years. Every mode of transportation can be converted to run off of hydrogen. Germany had trucks running off of hydrogen in WWII. Harry Braun explains how it is safe (hence NASA's use of it) and dispels the myth of the Hindenburg's fire which had nothing to do with its hydrogen gas. Just run electricity made from wind and solar power generated predominately in our oceans (which has the ecological benefit I mentioned) through water (plenty of it in our oceans) and now you have an unlimited supply of the world's only non-polluting energy source; one that plants have been using for billions of years! So why not? Buy this book and see for yourself what we could have had in the near future!
He has brilliantly included all existing energy cohorts: Big Oil would produce and ship the liquid hydrogen using existing ocean liners, The Big 3 Auto Co. would build the million+ windmills using existing plants, and USA Banks would fund the 5 year project.
Using pollution free liquid hydrogen to replace filthy oil, nuclear, coal and hydroelectric energy generation would not only secure a cleaner environment but equip our country's economy with new, profitable business for generations. Picture a tanker ship filled with liquid hydrogen crashing off the USA coast. The hydrogen would seamlessly assimilate into the biosphere and the only pollution would be the ship itself.
If we are hell-bent on using thermodynamics to produce energy we may as well use pollution free hydrogen. The windmills used to produce electricity to separate out the hydrogen would be a beautiful site in the rural south west; a monument to a cleaner and smarter world. The Phoenix Project is a must read!
condemnation of all things that don't fit into the idiotic utopian view of how the left-wing, liberal, tree-hugging wackos
think the world should be run. (By THEM, of course.) His position on nuclear power is most disturbing. He categorically condemns an industry that has an impeccable safety record in the United States, Western Europe, Japan, etc. (No one has EVER been fatally injured in a nuclear accident at any civilian reactor in these countries, PERIOD! Nor was anyone injured at Three Mile Island!) Harry would have us believe that nuclear power plants cause us to glow in the dark, mutate our genes, and pollute the environment. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nuclear energy is the ONLY form of energy that is COMPLETELY non-polluting. On the other hand, burning hydrogen in an automobile engine, for instance, will result in the emission of pollutants caused by small amounts of lubricating oil passing the pistons and being burned in the combustion area. These pollutants leave the engine through its exhaust. There has been a great deal of speculation recently about the problems involved with the leakage of hydrogen gas into the environment if it were to be stored and transported around the country in the quantities required to fuel the nation's fleet of trucks and autos.
Harry loves windmills. What hew doesn't tell you in his book is just how much pollution windmills cause. Windmills cause VISUAL pollution. He envisions about 2 MILLION windmills spread all over the country. Personally, I find a hill or a mountaintop covered with a windmill farm of 10 to 20 windmills (that's how they are sited!) to be an eyesore of extreme proportions! If you don't like cellphone towers, wait until you have 2 million windmills, twice the size, littering the countryside.
I found this book to be a vehicle to promote a political agenda. It is not technically and scientifically accurate. If you read it, remember that it is misinformation for a political purpose; nothing more. Seek alternative MAINSTREAM information resources for the arguments against Mr. Braun's position and then make up your own mind. Most well respected scientists with advanced degrees, I believe, will find that most of Mr. Braun's ideas fall into the 'fruitcake' category.
While we all see a need to develop alternatives to our current energy reliance on foreign oil, this fellow doesn't have the answers.