this is one of the most brilliant ideas I have run into yet. This guy in Idaho, Scott Brusaw, is proposing that we get rid of all of our paved roads and parking lots and replace their asphalt and macadam with solar panels. The panels would provide three times as much energy as the entire U.S. consumed in 2003. They would also have signs warning you to slow down you’re coming to an interesection, etc., and you could power and heat the houses on the solar panel-paved grid and provide them with internet, phone, and other modern services, and maybe even power the vehicles that are running on them. Son Andre tells me there are already battery-powered buses in Utah with charging stations on their routes that recharge their batteries in ten minutes. The conversion to solar would create 2.2 million jobs and get us out of the recession. It would cost $34 trillion at the current cost of a solar panel, $7000, which would presumably get way lower with such a large-scale order and the improvements in their construction that would undoubtedly be precipitated. (For one thing, they would need to be made a lot less brittle than the ones being manufactured today, with all the 40-ton semis rolling over them.) The cost would be offset by the huge savings from not using oil and natural gas and coal, and by– while we’re at it, why not get rid of all the horrible forces in our lives– turning off the faucet on the military-industrial complex. How much have Iraq and Afganistan cost us ? What have we accomplished in those countries in comparison to the good that adopting this out-of-the-box but eminently sensible and logical and obvious idea would do ? No one seems to have pointed out it out, surprisingly, but think of all the heat that would not be reflected back into the atmosphere by all the pavement that’s covering the earth’s surface today ? There are 57 million miles of paved road in the U.S. alone. Think how much their becoming energy absorbers and non-polluting or emitting producers instead of reflectors would reduce global warming ? How much of the earth’s surface is currently paved, I wonder, and how much is its absorption and reflection of solar heat contributing to global warming ? I bet in 30 or 50 years, this will be the reality of our highway systems. Google solar roadways and it will get you to the company’s Web site and YouTube and numerous articles and assessments. This is an idea that DVW enthusiastically endorses.
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