From his letter to Co-evolution Quarterly, printed in Fall 1979 under the heading OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion)
(In the late 70’s Shamcher often said that there would be war over oil in 20 years unless something was done to implement the ten ready technologies of alternative energy)
….Years ago the fallacy was clear and open – except that those who had worked so hard and now actually saw a think that worked, mechanically at least – were conned into lying, cheating and roaring to utilize their monsters. Three bold engineers of General Electric quit in protest – this should have aroused the nation – later 2,600 of our 10,000 nuclear technicians demanded a “moratorium” on all nuclear plants until research had been “completed.” Even this did not rouse the nation. What does it take? A football hero? Or an earthquake? Or ten more Three Mile Islands? The latter apart, the waste products alone should have made us stop.
Of the ten ready technologies wind, OTEC and Space satellites are ready now. OTEC alone could be built in five years. In fifteen we would have enough of these plants to stop all oil import. US OIL would still be used – no reason for the oil companies to panic about the “competition.” Although this is as far as most of them can see, or not see. Biomass, from land and sea, photovoltaic, tidal power, waves are also ready and some of these much cheaper than either oil, coal or nuclear. to produce 1,000 BTU of energy or heat, you need to spend over 3,000 BTU for either coal or oil energy, but only from 125 (says Lockheed) to 500 (says Richard Arlen Meyer of OTEC Liason) to produce your 1,000 BTU. OTEC can be built for half the cost of nukes – plus free fuel (the ocean) while nuke fuel rises all the time – say New Orleans Shipyards. “Competitive” says OTEC builder TRW. (My colleague here, Dr. Cal Herrmann, is deep into salinity research along with being an enthusiastic OTEC Man.
I trust you see – and will express – the dark side of this scenario: the government is geared for research – not implementation – by nature as well as by co-interest with narrow corporate views – that may kill us all in 20 years or so. Are we crazy? Yes, and dancers around the Golden Calf – dancing so crazily that we don’t even build the half-as-costly OTEC-Space-Wind-Biomass plants in half the time it takes to erect nuke monsters. Can you get these facts into the heads of your readers?
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