Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dead Dinosours Are Nearly Gone

A Camel is a Horse Designed by a Committee

From American Camels to Solar Power: What is a camel? If you are of ”a certain age” you might remember the cigarette ad that boasted, “I’d walk a mile for a Camel.” If you are a fan of the late poet Ogden Nash you might remember his poem about a dromedary (an Arabian camel). If you are a U.S. history buff you might remember that for several years before the Civil War the U.S. Army experimented with the camel as a beast of burden in the desert southwest. A pyramid-shaped gravestone in Quartzite, AZ marks the grave of Syrian camel tender Hadji Ali (given the American name Hi Jolly). Or you might have read a recent Tom Friedman column in which he remarked that a certain Agassi fellow could “…sell camels to Saudi Arabia.”

An Agassi who is not the Famous Tennis Star: When most Americans hear the name Agassi they think of perhaps the greatest tennis player in the world. Some know Andre Agassi as an entrepreneur and community servant who has underwritten Boys and Girls Clubs and the Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas. But recently another Agassi has come on the scene who knows a thing or two about the desert and entrepreneurship. Shai Agassi writes a blog about alternative energy called, “The Long Tailpipe – Shai Agassi’s Blog.” http://shaiagassi.typepad.com. This Agassi is an Israeli whiz kid and software exec who is keenly interested in alternative energy. In particular, he has a plan to free his country, and by extrapolation the world, from its addiction to cars driven by oil.

America the Bedraggled: Our president has been lampooned, been the butt of jokes, and mumbled, jumbled, and stumbled over words. But he made one comment that is profound and true – “we are a nation addicted to oil.” And regarding oil, like beachfront property, “they ain’t making it anymore.” Still, we sit in our addictive stupor. Like so many winos lying on a cold concrete sidewalk hoping that some passerby will be kind and generous enough to drop a bit of change into our upturned hat, we anxiously await our next fix. Our politicians take millions in PAC money from the record profit oil companies and figuratively inject the dollar-filled syringes into their needle-track arms. Oil company hopefuls dig like miners in a played-out mine hoping to find that next mother lode of oil. But sooner or later, unlike the sun-drenched poppy fields that supply renewable energy for heroin, oil reserves are finite in supply because our dinosaurs of today are not dying to create more tar pits.

A Young Man With a Dream: If Shai Agassi is successful with his dream he will provide the American beasts of burden the ability to survive on renewable energy as do their four-legged cousins of the Middle Eastern deserts. An irony is that if successful, Israel might well become the major energy producer in the Middles East and the world. Agassi’s plan is to provide cars that run on renewable energy – battery powered by electricity from sun, wind, or water sources. All electric and hybrid electric cars are not new. Toyota offers the Prius. Most other automakers offer some sort of electric hybrid. The Tesla is an electric sportscar that has caused many heads to turn. But to the product, Agassi has offered a networking idea. Can’t imagine such an animal? Think electric cars on a cell phone format – an AT&T cellular/Hertz Rent-a-car hybrid model if you will. Buy or lease a phone (electric car) from a provider, recharge the battery at home, and pay the provider for the minutes (miles) used. Drop by a neighborhood garage or call AAA to replace the battery if it dies. Not quite a seamless analogy? Of course not! If it were, it would already be in place. But it takes visionaries like Tom Freidman to recognize possibilities and geniuses like Shai Agassi make it happen. Still too Star Wars for you? It is a good thing William Hewlett and David Packard (founders of Hewlett Packard), Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, and Eli Whitney, didn’t feel that way.

Earth, Wind, and Fire: For the past 100 years or so the civilized world has sucked resources out of the earth to advance technology. Black gold has sustained not only the internal combustion engine but hundreds of other items such as plastics which are also petroleum based. Other resources that are renewable such as wind and fire (solar energy) have not yet been developed by man’s ingenuity. One hundred years ago it was not necessary to develop other resources. Today it is a good idea to do so. Tomorrow it will be a necessity.

A little blogging music Maestro... “Rearview Mirror” by Pearl Jam

Dr. Forgot
See me also at http://vegasbuzznews.com/

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