Monday, August 13, 2007

Twister 2

This is an incredible idea from Canada. The Freakonomics blog mentions that an engineer from The Great White North thinks that we can harness the power of tornadoes to create energy. It's an amazing thought actually, and it's certainly possible. The more pressing question is while it's possible to do so, is it smart. The source article actually has a nice little joke about it, but it's a legitimate concern. If you have it remote enough, say the Outback or northern Canada, I suppose it would run out of steam before hitting anything, but it just seems dangerous. It's like all of the nanoengineering we're doing. Sure, bacteria and viruses are tiny and we can engineer them to, say, eat 1 million times their weight in feces, but who's to say that they won't take on a life of their own and mutate into some sort of horrific disease?
Nevertheless, it's certainly an idea worth looking into. I'm all for these cleaner energy sources, like the turbines that use tides and/or waves to generate electricity or the splitting/fusing of atoms to power cars, it's just a matter of giving it the old college try. Of course, just like every other "clean" power source, you can bet that someone, somewhere will complain about it. Be it the environmentoniks in Massachusetts complaining about wind farms off Cape Cod or people whingeing about the salmon in the Columbia, it's a case of NIMBY. We'll see what people say when we start running those giant tornadoes over the equator.

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