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Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012

READERS IN COUNCIL

More important than fast cars


By STEPHEN PAIN
Odense, Denmark

Regarding Stewart Tennyson's Aug. 16 letter, "Why give geothermal short shrift?": I totally agree that industries would prefer to focus on bigger networks and generators rather than on alternative energy.

A decade ago I proposed to the Paris city government that it tap the "energy of the city" — all of those vortices generated by wind, traffic, etc. These could provide localized energy that could be stored and used for lights. A Russian friend with knowledge of wind-turbine technology and blades told me it would be very difficult to tap energy from multidirectional sources, but she did not say it was impossible. So why don't they have a go at it? They could also design wind roof tiles with minimum noise. There are other possibilities, but no one wants to take risks with green ventures.

It's the same with bicycles. Why don't they use the same technology used in cars to create family bikes that can easily reach an average speed of 25 kph. This would increase the commuting range and reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. What of bike trains? All of this seems fanciful, but from my perspective, it's more important to our future than fast cars.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.


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