Have you ever bought a lottery ticket? Everybody loves a good contest. Let's have a national contest to devise a solution for our energy problem. If this plan is launched there will be innumerable business plans being word processed before the next dawn. Can you imagine having the patent on the replacement for oil? How valuable would that be, tax free? As a spin off value of this contest, can you imagine having the patent to create a new source of water, and be able to sell it to the drought stricken Mid East and Africa, and have the profits being tax free for ten years? How valuable would that be? How many people / companies would be lining up to participate?
THE ROAD TO ENERGY SELF SUFFICIENCY
|Have you ever bought a lottery ticket? Everybody loves a good contest. Let’s have a national contest to devise a solution for our energy problem. If this plan is launched there will be innumerable business plans being word processed before the next dawn. Can you imagine having the patent on the replacement for oil? How valuable would that be, tax free? As a spin off value of this contest, can you imagine having the patent to create a new source of water, and be able to sell it to the drought stricken Mid East and Africa, and have the profits being tax free for ten years? How valuable would that be? How many people / companies would be lining up to participate?|
With this Proposal we can –
Many presidents have called for energy independence. On November 7th, 1973, Richard Nixon delivered a televised Project Independence speech. In it he called for programs to “return this country to a largely self-sufficient energy supply posture.” His vision of a better future:
“Let us set as our national goal, in spirit of Apollo and with the determination of the Manhattan Project, that by the end of the decade, we will have developed the potential to meet our own energy needs without depending on any foreign sources. Let us pledge that by 1980, under Project Independence, we shall be able to meet America’s energy needs from America’s own energy resources.”
Here we are 35 years later and we are in much worse shape than ever before. We are now importing almost 70% of our oil from foreign sources. None of the plans put forth by our leaders have come to fruition. A goal without a plan to implement it is not a goal at all.
This Proposal outlines in clear and specific terms exactly what we can do today to achieve energy-self-sufficiency for our country. It is more important now than ever. We can no longer be beholden to anyone else for our energy needs. The way to do this is to take oil off the table. The strategy to do this is in your hands.
There are really only two questions:
There are two major issues facing our country right now:
This document specifically answers both of those issues, and creates a straight forward strategy for implementation.
Well, almost zero because there will be some minute amount of administrative expenses.
The plan itself taps directly into the creativity of the brightest minds that we have and utilizes this resource in a totally novel approach - bootstrapping and self funding.
However, there will be one non-financial cost – GUTS. The fortitude to take a proactive stand.
There is always a price to pay, and in this case President Obama needs to make a speech unmistakably committing to a new national Goal. That is – we need change from the current way we have been lurching from issue to issue without an explicit road map.
The road map is in your hands, read on…
If you were to project the trajectories of the world’s energy issue and that of the world’s water and drought issue, there is one spot where they intersect.
This juncture creates an unprecedented opportunity to solve both of these problems and create an entirely new economy based on solving the world’s two most pressing problems.
As they say - “In one fell swoop.”
There is a simple key that will unlock the solution, providing low cost and non-polluting energy, and potentially providing fresh water to the driest areas of the world.
War, drought, famine and pollution all can be resolved.
A New National GOAL / Contest
Without goals you are doomed forever to work for people who do.
- Brian Tracy
Goal-setting ideally involves establishing specific, measurable and time-targeted objectives.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, in his Message to the Congress on Urgent National Needs, May 25, 1961, set a specific and measurable goal for our Nation.
He said - “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”
This statement triggered an entire cultural shift and coalesced our society for a new focus to achieve this lofty goal. We need to replicate this process now.
Our new National goal should be –
“To become completely Energy Self-Sufficient within ten years.”
Self-sufficiency – To be able to supply one's own or its own needs without external assistance
I use the term Self-Sufficient for a very specific reason. There is much current conversation about energy independence. We will never again be independent from energy. What we do need is to become is Self-Sufficient with regard to our energy needs.
President Obama needs to give a major speech outlining a new plan to achieve total Energy Self-Sufficiency within 10 years.
In this plan he should talk about tapping into the inventiveness of the American people to resolve our common energy predicament, and that we should reward productivity.
No preconceived government mandates will be involved, we will be forging into new territory.
As we create a new economy based on new energy technologies these products will be manufactured in the United States. We will be creating new companies that have a very strong tax incentive to produce self-sustaining technologies here and in the process creating whole new categories of jobs for Americans.
The byproducts of this contest will help resolve the global energy issue, help to eliminate war and help to eliminate drought on the planet.
To implement this goal, I propose that as a Nation we institute a contest, the object of which is to develop technology to empower America to become energy Self-Sufficient within 10 years. Anyone can enter this contest, from corporate giants like Exxon-Mobile to Bob in his basement. We have a lot of very smart people in this country, who can be mobilized with an intense focus on this specific goal. The high gasoline prices of this summer certainly were instrumental in driving home the necessity of alternative energy.
Types of energy include – Hydrogen, Biofuels, Biomass, Geothermal, Solar energy, Tidal power, Wind energy, Wave Power, Hydroelectric, Nuclear, and anything else that heretofore has not been even considered or conceived.
Whoever develops and patents new technology to enable us to reach our goal, gets a Free Pass from the IRS to take their technology to market TAX FREE for 10 years. Concurrently, if a contestant is successful in isolating the way to desalinate ocean water, they also are eligible to be tax free for 10 years. If one party invents one solution for BOTH problems, they are eligible for 20 years of tax free revenue.
The idea of having the Patent and Trademark Office involved is important, as they are the arbitrator of what constitutes new technology to be patentable. What we need is a breakthrough idea that will propel us to achieve energy self-sufficiency. Because the PTO is by its nature democratic (with a small d) in nature anyone can apply for a patent and be treated equally on its basis of originality and merit regardless of size. It may be that large companies make many applications, but it equally may be true that a private individual might well be the one to devise a truly original technology.
Any application to the contest shall be given “Fast Track” status to facilitate the rapid processing through the PTO. Traditionally a patent application takes a very long time from its submission until the point that it is either rejected or granted. Submissions for this contest will be given highest priority, and be evaluated by the best examiners that PTO can assign to this project.
WINNER Determination –
Government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. The free market should be the final judge of the competition. The way this can be implemented is very simple.
The winner shall be determined by the free market. However, in the beginning, there may be several competing products / ideas entering the marketplace. Eventually, one will emerge as the de-facto standard. After the first FIVE years of this contest, a winner will be declared after competing in the marketplace. Winning will be determined by a formula (to be determined) including gross revenue, installed base and perhaps other criteria.
Whatever taxes that company has paid up till this time will be refunded by the IRS, and will also pay no taxes for the next FIVE years, for a total of TEN years tax free. The idea of having the benchmark hurdles at being five years apart is to separate this process from our quadrennial Presidential elections, insulating it from the political process.
This carrot on a stick may well be the Holy Grail that motivates and mobilizes people and companies to participate. There will many business plans being typed into computers before the sun sets on the day this speech is presented.
There is precedent for the model of a contest to inspire and create new technology. (Section 18)
We need to become Energy Self-Sufficient as quickly as possible. All types of energies should be included in the contest – Hydrogen, Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Fuel Cells, Coal, and Oil. Although I personally believe there is a special case for hydrogen in our plans for the future.
We need to look at everything possible to get us away from foreign imported oil. Yes, that means that we need to start drilling in as many places as possible and as fast as possible. We know this proven product and the processes to take it to market. The entire infrastructure is already in existence.
However, if at all
possible, our long term goal should also be to eliminate fossil
fuels. Global warming, carbon footprint considerations, and long
term stability must be considered in planning. Because as a nation
we do not have a concise plan for our strategy, even some of our best
intentions of today may be off the mark. It would be like trying to
build a new house without an architect’s blueprint. The
various contractors would all be doing their own thing, and the doors
and the windows and the walls and the roof would not fit properly.
We need an overriding plan.
According to Chevy – “The Volt is designed to move more than 75 percent of America's daily commuters without a single drop of gas. That means for someone who drives less than 40 miles a day, Chevy Volt will use zero gasoline and produce zero emissions.
It will use a lithium-ion battery with a variety of range-extending onboard power sources, including gas and, in some vehicles, E85 ethanol to recharge the battery while you drive beyond the 40-mile battery range. Chevy Volt will be designed to use a common household plug.”
Salem Harbor Station power plant in Salem, Massachusetts generates 750 megawatts of power.
For fuel it burns a mixture of coal and oil. In just one year it burns 850,000 tons of coal and 6.3 million barrels of oil. This ship is unloading coal imported from Colombia. The black pile is coal and large green oil tanks can be seen at the left.
Unfortunately, after all the effort that General Motors has put into this electric car project, it still misses the boat (so to speak). The electricity to power it still has to be generated. In this case we are still importing oil, importing coal, and burning carbon fuels that pollute.
According to T. Boone Pickens and his Pickens Plan, we are now importing 70% of our oil.
This is a national tragedy.
Over this past summer we were importing about $700 billion dollars of oil for transportation purposes.
Although the price of oil has recently dropped and today gasoline is less than $2.00, there are no guarantees that it will not shoot up again dramatically, perhaps higher than ever before.
Much of the political friction in the world is related to oil, either directly or indirectly.
In the Presidential debate on September 26th, 2008, John McCain pointed out that “Russia has now become a nation fueled by petro-dollars and has committed serious aggression against Georgia. And that wasn’t just about a problem between Georgia and Russia. It had everything to do with energy. There’s a pipeline that runs from the Caspian through Georgia through Turkey. And, of course, we know that the Russians control other sources of energy into Europe, which they have used from time to time.”
It is possible to “Take oil off of the table” and eliminate much of the world’s tension.
Keep Our Money Here
If most American people knew where our hard earned dollars went after we pulled away from the pump, they would be outraged! And quite frankly, outrage perhaps is what we need right now.
Without a doubt, it is a great motivator.
If we could stop buying foreign oil and keep all of that money here, we would be much better off.
Just think of how $700
billion dollars a year could be better spent in our country.
This is the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai. It is the only 7 stars hotel in the world.
You can stay in a
luxury suite for $7,500 to as much as $15,000 for one night!
This is some guy’s HOUSE.
Our economy is in shambles, and this is one of the reasons why. Our families here are having their houses foreclosed and heating oil is so expensive that people shiver, but we are paying for this.
Where is the outrage?
Our cities are falling apart. But every time we fill up our tanks to drive to work, we fund projects like this.
Only after Americans become familiar with images like these will we have the will and incentive to change our ways.
Self-Enlightenment, when we see the benefits for ourselves, will provide the motivation for change.
Case for Hydrogen
Directly or indirectly, all of our energy comes from the sun.
Hydrogen is the perfect fuel, it is the gas that lights the sun.
Fossil fuels that come from the age of dinosaurs and dense jungles millions of years ago captured the latent energy from our sun through photosynthesis.
Hydrogen is the fuel that NASA uses to launch rockets. It is more that 2 ½ times more powerful than gasoline by weight.
There is much talk about an innovative “Hydrogen Economy” but it often perceived to be way off into the future. It is a Cart and a Horse scenario. There are no vehicles that use hydrogen, so there is no infrastructure to support them. Conversely, there is no infrastructure to provide fuel, so there are no vehicles to take advantage of this fuel.
This proposal shows the way to shortcut this process and brings hydrogen to fruition immediately.
Quite frankly, OIL is OLD in terms of technology.
What we need now are new and inventive answers to power our society into the future.
Fuel of the Future
Fossil fuel was originally energy captured millions of years ago that came from the hydrogen fueled sun. Let’s just bypass the oil and go directly to hydrogen.
If we can focus and motivate the most creative and entrepreneurial minds in our country on one specific goal we will be able to find new and ingenious ways to accomplish our goal.
In my opinion, that goal should be to find new ways and processes to convert and utilize hydrogen as the “Fuel of the Future”.
Hydrogen is presently produced by using fossil fuels. In practice this is usually methane, though hydrogen can also be produced via steam reforming or partial oxidation of coal. These are all mature technologies.
Linking centralized production to a fleet of light-duty vehicles in this traditional scenario would require the location of sites and construction of a distribution infrastructure with large investment of capital.
Further, the technological challenge of providing safe, energy-dense storage of hydrogen on-board the vehicle must be overcome to provide sufficient range between fillups.
This may be thought of as the model that we currently use for centralized refining of oil and distribution to local corner gas stations
We can tap into the most abundant element in the universe and use it to fuel a new generation of Zero-Emission cars.
According to Ford’s Chief Technical Officer – “Ford has extensive experience with hydrogen internal combustion engines (HICEs), and has conducted a very successful development of HICEs. However in our development, we discovered that a number of vehicle systems do need to be changed or upgraded to go from gasoline to hydrogen.”
We know conclusively that current internal combustion engine that powers our fleet of vehicles will run on hydrogen with some minor modifications. Computer programming and oxygen sensor settings are among them.
It is a short step from burning gasoline to burning hydrogen for fuel. The primary stumbling block in this cart / horse relationship is the manufacturing and distribution of our new fuel.
Traditionally oil is purchased from the Middle East and shipped to refineries. It is then trucked to local distribution sites where we fill our cars.
Because the source for oil is tightly controlled, only large companies and countries are involved.
The filling station of the future will be entirely different.
Because water is ubiquitous on our planet it is not tightly controlled. However it is the raw material containing the most powerful form of energy.
Hydrogen can be extracted from water by simply inducing an electrical current that separates the
H2 molecules from the O molecules. We call this process ELECTROLYSIS.
Envision the next generation of filling station to be totally self-contained as a manufacturing facility and as a distribution facility.
The electricity needed for this process can be obtained from two readily available and renewable sources – the sun and the wind. There can be solar panels on the roof and a wind turbine tower providing power for electrolysis. All we need is a water pipe.
Because the raw materials necessary are already here and readily available, these stations will not have to be mega corporations. Exxon may well indeed be one of the vendors, but there may also be independent franchises or even independent operators. There may be Ford stations too.
Several issues that still need to be resolved are storage tanks and technologies for conversion.
This is where the contest will provide new solutions that we need to overcome these hurdles.
There is a gap between where we are now using gasoline in our internal combustion engines and the future when we will be able to burn hydrogen in the new generation of internal combustion powered cars.
That bridge over that gap is already here. We can burn hydrogen as a supplemental fuel concurrently with our gasoline. The electrolysis technology is here now, and a lot of people are already doing it.
Personally I am one of them.
There are numerous independent companies today producing aftermarket kits for existing cars. These kits typically contain a tank a tank to hold a water and electrolyte solution. There are electrodes inside the tank that are connected to the car’s power supply.
Because water is normally does not conduct electricity, sodium citrate is added to make a solution of
SALT WATER (the most prevalent thing on earth) that enables the electrolysis process to work.
This is a photograph of the hydrogen generator in my Ford Explorer. There are two tubes connected to it. Water is broken into its two components and the oxygen bubbles out into a tube that simply spills into the atmosphere. The hydrogen gas bubbles out a tube that is plugged into the air filter intake housing.
Hydrogen gas then enters the airstream being drawn into the engine and acts as supplemental fuel in addition to the gasoline that it normally burns.
This process tricks the computer. The oxygen sensor in the exhaust pipe senses that the mixture is richer than it should be, and tells the computer to dial back on the amount of gasoline that is sending to the fuel injectors, cutting back gasoline consumption.
My car has been using this system since June. Since then gasoline mileage has increased from 10% to 30% depending on type of driving. In my case I have found that it works better on highway driving than city driving. If we could eliminate that percentage of imported oil with a small change to our cars, that would be great.
Automobile manufactures should offer these kits through their dealers for added revenue.
Importantly, the general population will become familiar and comfortable with hydrogen as fuel.
“Where can I get one?”
Without exception, every time I’ve explained this to someone, this has been their reaction. The answer is normally found through Google. I found the unit that I purchased for $299.00 online.
However, there are also three follow-up questions, perhaps much more important than the first.
There are two things that Ford can do right now.
FIRST - They can start selling retrofit kits for the existing fleet of Ford vehicles allowing them to start burning Hydrogen as a supplemental fuel reducing their existing gasoline consumption.
Who better than Ford’s own engineers to design model specific Hydrogen kits?
Who better than Ford’s own dealer network to sell and install these kits?
This fixes all of the problems in one spot.
Envision the PR bonanza that Ford will reap after a press conference introducing the end to our dependence on gasoline as we shift to utilizing Hydrogen. Partially at first, and the totally into the future. This will create not only jobs, but an entirely new and profitable retrofit industry while we are waiting for the next generation of vehicles.
Fear is a byproduct of the unknown. As people become familiar with the benefits of hydrogen their concern will vanish, and they will be primed for the newer generation of cars.
SECOND – They can integrate the concept of having an on-board hydrogen generator into all new cars. In the future as Supplemental Fuel will help reduce the consumption of gasoline and reduce emissions while aiding in the compliance of CAFE standards. This way both older cars can be retrofitted (at a profit) and new cars can be integrated into the future.
There are several facts that we know:
Consider this version of a futuristic automobile that runs on ocean water…
The car has a tank of salt water for fuel, and the HICE (Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine) is configured for this application.
Get into the car and turn the key on. This starts a high power electrolysis generator to begin creating hydrogen; the power is being drawn from the car’s battery. Because at this time there is not enough hydrogen to run the car it is fed into a “Buffer” storage tank until there is enough to start and run the car.
Older diesel powered vehicles had to wait until the glow plugs heated up enough to run the motor, so there is precedent for a lag time.
Once there is enough hydrogen in the buffer tank, a light will illuminate on the dashboard. Push the Start button and the engine draws hydrogen that was just created from the tank and starts and runs the car. The hydrogen generator will continue creating enough fuel to run the car.
When you get to your
destination, turn the car off and stop generating hydrogen.
BONUS – Fresh Water
As a Contest byproduct of having the most creative and inventive minds looking very closely at the water molecule because it is the source ingredient for hydrogen, there may be something else that we discover – perhaps even more important.
If you have a glass of water and shake salt into it, you have created salt water. This is a very simple process. However, it is complicated to reverse this process and remove that salt. Reverse Osmosis (RO) is really the only option at this time and is extremely energy inefficient.
The basic water molecule contains hydrogen and oxygen that are bonded together. We know that with a simple process that was discovered many years ago, those two components can be separated through the process of electrolysis by simply adding electricity.
If we add salt to that water, now we have three components – hydrogen, oxygen and sodium.
WHAT IF we were to discover an analogous process that could simply break out the sodium?
It may be a simple process that no one has thought to look for yet, but with the intense motivation of competing in a contest empowering a company to bring new technology to market for a period ten years, we may well find it.
The process of creating a new technology to desalt ocean water simply and inexpensively will fundamentally change the world that we live in.
Many of the world’s problems, war and strife can be linked in some way to water and drought.
Water is the most fundamental component for human life on our planet.
Without it there is no
life, with it life flourishes.
And the Albatross begins to be avenged.
water, every where,
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
First version published 1798
If you can envision a photograph of the earth taken from space, it looks like it is blue with water. However, of all the water on the planet, 97% is salt water. Of the available 3% that is fresh water, 1% is locked at the North Pole as the polar ice cap. Another 1% of the fresh water is locked as the South Pole ice cap. That means of all the water on the planet, only 1% of it is available for consumption by the earth's population, which continues to grow. (1)
It took all of recorded history until 1830 for world population to reach one billion; by 1930 we were at two billion; by 1960, three billion; 1975, four billion; 1986, five billion; and in 1999 we crossed the six billion mark. (2) As of October 2008, the world’s population is 6,700,000,000.
In other words, as the population increases, we increase the relative shortage of water.
There are two possible solutions:
(1) World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
(2) The Population Institute, Washington, DC
(There is ALWAYS a downside)
Exxon will be unhappy to loose its market for oil.
One of the issues involved in removing salt from ocean water to make it useful for humans is what to do with the remaining salt?
It cannot be pumped directly back to the shore of the ocean, because that would drastically increase the salinity of near shore water, which is home to much aquatic life. Resolving this question will have to be built into the contest.
But there is some good news. Chlorine is used for water purification and sewage treatment plants.
There is at least one company who has technology that allows water treatment facilities to produce a liquid chlorine based solution on-site, using only water, salt and electricity. Perhaps we can use some of the salt this way.
BENEFITS / War
Here is my take on the war: I do wish that politicians would be honest about the Iraq war.
After living through a summer of having gasoline at $4.00 a gallon, it seems to me that fuel has finally moved into a position of being important in most American’s lives.
Envision this scenario –
The bad guys completely take over in the Middle East, and the price of gasoline goes up ten times to $40.00 a gallon. I remember gasoline when it was 40 cents a gallon so this is possible. If someone had said that sometime in the future gas would cost $4 dollars, they would be considered crazy. But here it is now at ten times that cost.
How would people feel if their cost for fuel to drive to work was more money than their mortgage? Everything in our country would grind to a halt, and quickly. People would be clamoring for our government to do something. Well folks, that is exactly what has been happening, only proactively, but our government never explains it quite like this. Unfortunately most people don’t understand how their individual interests are intertwined.
We need to have a presence in that part of the world to help stabilize our (and everybody else’s) supply of oil. Sorry, but that is just the way that it is.
If politicians were honest and actually told the truth about why we are there, we would have popular support because people would now understand how their vested interests are being protected.
If we don’t need oil, then we no longer need to have a presence there. The people in Iraq can have their country back and do anything that they want with it.
Under this plan, we don’t need oil, we don’t want oil, and we certainly don’t need to be wagging a war in the Middle East to protect the supply of oil.
However, the reality is that we are there now, and this plan provides an exit strategy.
As we become Energy Self-Sufficient we proportionately remove our presence.
This strategy provides a rational understanding for everyone, and everyone becomes a stakeholder in the process. Everything is clear. Everything is aboveboard.
BENEFITS / Terror
Al Qaida violently opposes the United States. Osama bin Laden has urged and incited his followers to kill American citizens, in the most unequivocal terms.
On 12 October 1996 he issued a declaration of jihad as follows: “The people of Islam have suffered from aggression, iniquity and injustice imposed by the Zionist-Crusader alliance and their collaborators.
It is the duty now on every tribe in the Arabian Peninsula to fight jihad and cleanse the land from these Crusader occupiers. Their wealth is booty to those who kill them.”
On September 11, 2001
their plan came to fruition.
Osama bin Laden wants us out of his native Saudi Arabia. Most of the accomplices in the attacks were also Saudi. He wants to go back to living in the 7th century and eating goats. He lives in a tent in the mountains and wants to turn the clock back to that time.
OK, that is fine with me, go for it guy.
But there is a problem. Oil. Saudi Arabia is the world's most important oil producer. Given its relatively high production levels, accounting for nearly 13 percent of world output and 35 percent of total OPEC output, the kingdom's dominance of international crude oil markets is obvious.
We have been “Friends” with the Saudis since the 1930’s when oil was first discovered.
Their land is desert, and originally they were looking for water when they discovered what we now know as Black Gold. It is still desert, but at least they are much more wealthy today.
We can resolve several issues at once.
BENEFITS / Environmental
If clean and non-polluting hydrogen were to fuel LA’s vast fleet of automobiles, the sky would be clear, and the history books of the future will make note of a bad chapter in the past.
Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10, 2007.
Whether or not you agree with him, one thing is certain: he has created controversy and forced people to THINK. It doesn’t matter if global warming is science fact or a hoax. Public perception has made it a de facto reality.
Anything that we can do
to help our precious ecosystem, we need to do.
If we can stop utilizing carbon-based fuels can we possibly start to reverse the cycle of global warming?
/ Israel & Palestine
Palestinians’ consumption for domestic use is less than 30 cubic meters (mcm) per year. (8,000 gallons)
Israeli settlers in the Occupied Territories are consuming water at the rate of more than 75 mcm per year. (20,000 gallons)
On an annual, per capita basis, Israelis consume more than four times as much water as Palestinians.
You can see how access to fresh water is a fundamental bone of contention.
By comparison, average U.S. daily household use is about 480 mcm per year. (127,000 gallons)
Imagine if the technology from this contest existed to be able to take salt water from the Mediterranean Sea and desalinate it utilizing power provided by banks of solar cells and abundant sunshine.
Much of the hostility between these two adversaries would certainly be eliminated. Both peoples would have abundant water for industrial use, agricultural use, and for domestic use.
BENEFITS / Africa - Darfur
If the technological fruits of this contest were able to turn ocean water into drinking water, and at the same time provide fuel that can be turned into power, imagine the changes that can happen in Africa.
UN warns world on Africa drought. The world is in danger of allowing a drought in East Africa to become a humanitarian catastrophe.
The UN special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Kjell Bondevik, says a disaster can be avoided if funding comes "in a matter of weeks... not months".
Around 11 million people are in serious danger in Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Djibouti, the UN estimates.
Drought exacerbates the crisis in Darfur.
The combination of decades of drought, desertification, and overpopulation are among the causes of the Darfur conflict, because the Baggara nomads searching for water have to take their livestock further south, to land mainly occupied by Black African farming communities.
Mu Elnaso lives in a camp for people forced to flee their homes in Darfur. It takes her six hours to fetch water.
"The blunt truth is that the lack of water and agricultural land is a significant contributory factor. We should see this as a warning sign."
“It is, without a doubt, the largest mass poisoning in history. More than 150,000 people living in the developing nation of Bangladesh are expected to die from skin, bladder, liver, and lung cancers because of exposure to naturally occurring arsenic.
The source of the arsenic and other toxic metals found in groundwater in Bangladesh is the Himalaya mountains. The same geological processes that created the world’s highest mountain range also pushed these metals closer to the earth’s surface.
In Bangladesh, having your own well is a status symbol. It’s as significant to the average citizen as owning a new car or house is in the United States.”
~ Seth H. Frisbie
BENEFITS / Historical contests
The Power of the Prize
By ANYA KAMENETZ
Contests has always spurred innovation. Many great inventions have been made due to such contests, dating as for back as the 1500's.
Prize for: Developing a method of finding longitude at sea
Offered by: Spain's King Philip II
Amount: 6,000 gold ducats, plus an annual pension of 2,000 ducats for life
Winner: Marine chronometer, by James Harrison, in 1773
1795 – Canning
Prize for: Preserving food for an army on the move
Offered by: Napoleon
Amount: 12,000 francs
Winner: Canning, by Nicolas Appert, in 1809
1869 – Margarine
Prize for: Butter substitute
Offered by: Napoleon III
Amount: A patent grant in Britain, France, and the United States
Winner: Margarine, by
Hippolyte Mège-Mouriés, in 1869
1919 - Transatlantic Flight
Prize for: The first nonstop flight between New York and Paris
Offered by: Raymond Orteig
Winner: The Spirit of
St. Louis, by Charles Lindbergh, in 1927
1959 - Human Powered Flying Machine
Prize for: Human-powered flying machine
Offered by: Industrialist Henry Kremer
Amount: 50,000 British pounds
Winner: Gossamer Condor, by Dr. Paul MacCready, in 1977
1996 - Commercial Space Flight
Prize for: Commercial space flight
Offered by: X Prize Foundation
Amount: $10 million
Winner: SpaceShipOne, by Burt Rutan, in 2004
Prize for: The first robotic vehicle to complete a course from California to Nevada in under 10 hours
Offered by: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
Amount: $2 millionWinner: "Stanley," by the Stanford Racing Team, in 2005
2007 - Hydrogen Powered Cars
Prize for: Progress in hydrogen-powered cars
Offered by: U.S. Department of Energy
Amount: $50 million
Winners: To be announced between 2008 and 2017
I have identified the
one common denominator between all of these issues,
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