I was glad to see the letter from Jeff Hopkins of Phoenix, published on July 21, pointing out that hydrogen has simply nothing whatever to do with alternative fuels. Hydrogen is just a storage and transport medium. The energy in a tank of it has to come from a primary energy source -- fossil, sunlight or nuclear.
However, with that said, I do not share Mr. Hopkins' enthusiasm for nuclear energy, even though his arguments are well presented. Call me paranoid. I do not care.
The greatest danger of nuclear power plants at this time comes from terrorists and worse, war. The last world war, unfortunately, has not yet been fought. We are clearly in the foothills of it right now. I do not think that relatively cheap energy is worth the price of the real possibility of virtually permanent destruction of parts of our nation owing to stealthy, bargain-basement enemy action.
From that same direction comes another worrisome development. Apparently, our intelligence services and also those of Israel (which have been very effective in the past) did not come even close to realizing the extent to which Hezbollah had armed South Lebanon with thousands upon thousands of Kaytusha rockets from Iran. That tells me that we generally do not know much of what is going on among our enemies.
What is much more, a rapidly growing flock of deliberately deranged teenagers and young men are being recruited by ruthless, power-hungry and themselves deranged "religious" demagogues -- apparently traitors to Islam -- for personal gain. They are being effectively employed to act against us in Iraq. Think of them as the Persian and Arab equivalents of Hitler.
We so far seem to be close to powerless to turn them back, even on the ground.
My opinion is that we should not wait for them to come to us, but rather we should attack militant Islam in its homelands.
And, while it is not likely to happen as long as our nation is under the control of Bush and his oily friends, we also need to get out of the oil business completely.
Here is one step on that road: Did you know that there are deposits of natural gas in a form chemically combined with water (methane clathrate) and frozen on certain limited portions of the seabed?
Estimates of the reserves vary widely, but a conservative one suggests that they exceed all known natural gas (gaseous) deposits. If developed, it could be used to reduce demand for that trouble-mongering Middle Eastern, African and Venezuelan oil. Used as a replacement for oil, it would not add to the present atmospheric carbon dioxide load.
Allen N. Wollscheidt, Payson
Editor's note: This letter was edited to fit within the Payson Roundup's 400-word limit for Letters to the Editor.