Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Teasers versus the real thing

Another mysterious story about a new energy system appeared in today's Guardian. Unlike the first, which appears to have died quietly in the foggy no-mans land of cyber news, this one may have legs.

A secretive Silicon Valley start-up firm will unveil a new fuel cell system on Wednesday. This story, which stands up to shallow verification attempts, seems kosher. I guess we'll see. Here's the link to the most detailed coverage I found.

Don't bother watching the company's video. It's just the kind of supposedly inspirational media BS that firms come up with nowadays, especially when the IPO looms.

Have none of these communications majors read Orwell? Don't they realize that this kind of mind-junk just backfires with truly independently-minded people?

So I have grave doubts as to whether this wonderful new fuel cell will come up to specs, mostly because any company that resorted to this kind of vacuous self-promotion must be at least partly composed of spivs, flim-flam men, and get-rich-quick manipulators.

The willingness that the liberal media shows for helping these types of folks succeed in promoting energy start-ups is interesting. It shows how desperate we are for the quick fix. The Guardian, once the bastion of northern British Fabianism, is one of the worst. Even my Sheffield uncle that used to work for HMG in the good old bad old days of old Labour, who has probably read this paper since 1949, has given up on it at this point.

Want a quick energy fix? Sorry. Can't help you. I don't sell drugs.

Want a medium-quick, cost effective fix, I've got one for you.

Start by weatherizing and insulating your home.

Start this weekend. Why not? You've been talking about how important energy and climate change are for years. Why not actually do something. Start small, if you have to. One roll of R 19, one can of spray foam.

Total cost forty bucks. Marginal personal and intellectual integrity, priceless.

If you don't have any manual skills of any kind, like you can't hit a nail with a hammer even one time in two (if you're another Orwellian new-speaking, mind-numbing communications major), you'll have to hire someone, and it will cost three times as much, but it will still significantly reduce climate emissions, and it will still pay for itself.

Go on! What are you waiting for? The second coming?

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