PIRATE JOE’S SOLAR
APRIL 2009, Pirate Joe.
O.K. I have a dream. Little old lowly moi. At the risk of seeming
egotistical and grandiose far beyond my station (double entendre pun
intended), I have an idea that could change the world. It could start
right here in Dutchess County, N.Y.
I’ll get to the point: I want to build the world’s
first (as far as I know) solar-powered railroad. It’s a small, cheap
demonstrator railroad in fact, designed to show that this idea could
work as a practical public transportation alternative (that) would be
totally independent of imported oil and nuclear power plants (and for
you anti-coal folks, no tie-in to coal-fired plants, either).
Yea, I know, “what about hybrids?” y’all ask. You
may not want to hear it, but, truth be told, hybrids are in fact, junk
technology. Yes, they use less gasoline. But you tell me: how is
running a vehicle that was charged up by Indian Point (nuclear power
plant) any sort of a “green” alternative? We need to do a lot better
Building a small, demonstration solar-powered
railroad could, and I believe would,
provide the genesis of a nationwide network of 100% off the grid
transportation. Because railroads (steel wheels on steel rails) are so
intrinsically efficient, it is the best way by far to get to the goal
of 100% renewable-energy powered transportation. Yes, I said 100 per cent.
Here in Dutchess County, N.Y., we have a
semi-abandoned railroad right-of-way part of which could serve as an
ideal demonstrator project. Running between Buckingham Place in the
Town of Poughkeepsie, it takes a course that leads to a spot right
behind the shopping plaza on Burnett Boulevard. This route would allow
folks who live in the Buckingham Place vicinity to access that shopping
plaza (with its resident supermarket) without using their cars. This
choice is ideal for many reasons:
1. It was a railroad, the
right-of-way exists and would be ready to receive track with very
little (read cheap) work. I have personally verified this by walking
the entire route.
2. Its short: just 4 Km. This would keep construction costs low.
3. It could provide, fast reliable service to the people in the
Buckingham Place vicinity and along the way.
4. It could attract a variety of grants, costing local government nothing.
5. It might, or has the potential to, attract tourists and other
6. Since it is based on an existing right-of-way, the most expensive
(by far) part of the project (land acquisition and grading) has already been done.
7. It would provide jobs in one of the most important fields for the
future of our nation.
8. It would create reams of positive publicity for Dutchess County.
So what do you say, folks? Are you with me? Do you
want to say no to nukes and OPEC? Goodbye to smog and traffic jams?
Stop Ross Perot’s “great sucking sound” of jobs being “outsourced”?
Know some folks who can help? Call, write or e-mail, all the info is on
the front page.