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It’s not easy being greener

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POSTED August 15, 2011 12:08 a.m.

No doubt most of you recall the hit song “It’s Not Easy Being Green”, by that famous star, Kermit the Frog. Believe it or not, the very first Earth Day took place 41 years ago in 1970.  A lot of water has flowed over the dams since then and hundreds of millions of people all over the world are now more conscious of our environment. O.K. you might ask? What that got to do with me?  In the decades since 1970, being green took on an entirely new and different meaning than simply being the color of a frog. Being green has come to mean an entire panoply of things. If you enjoy the outdoors in almost any fashion from the old traditional hunting & fishing pursuits, to recycling, or insulating your home or driving more fuel efficient vehicles, then chances are you care about having a clean unpolluted environment, including our air, our waters, and our forests.

If you stop & think about it, I don’t think anyone consciously wants to breathe polluted air, or drink contaminated water, or hike through forests of dead trees. Like most things in life, there is a price to be paid for everything. If we shut down the steel mills and coal mines, then Joe Lunchbucket becomes unemployed and can’t feed his family. If we stop drilling for oil, our transportation costs skyrocket and everyone pays higher prices for almost everything.  All sane people want a cleaner environment, but most people don’t want to pay more to have it. Whats the answer? What are we to do? While these are tough choices, there are some things we can do. Some steps to a greener world are easy & some are more painful. Recycling is pretty much a no brainer. By recycling our metals, glass & plastics, we need fewer mines, & glass plants & oil wells. By adding solar panels to our rooftops, we can have fewer new dams and more free flowing rivers.

I recall one Fathers Day in the late 70s my neighbor’s wife asked him what he wanted for his Fathers Day present. His response was that he’d like $20 so that he could fill his truck with gas & load up his icebox with food & drinks & go fishing.  Today that same $20 won’t even get you half way to the lake, let alone feed you or get you home. At $3.50 a gallon, it takes over $100 to fill the tank on my pickup. That sure makes getting out to the streams and forests a lot more expensive than it used to be. Buying a new, smaller, gas saving truck would cost thousands of additional dollars I really can’t afford. Again, how do we get a greener environment without spending a fortune?

Some time ago I began to look seriously at retro-fitting my pickup with a hydrogen generator that breaks down water and burns hydrogen instead of gasoline. After considerable research, I finally decided to take the leap & give it a try.  My new unit breaks down water by electrolysis into hydrogen & oxygen which is then mixed with the traditional gas/air mist & injected into the engine. Ideally you burn about ½ hydrogen & half traditional fuel which cuts your effective fuel cost by 50%. My $3.50 fuel cost drops to $1.75 per gallon, & now it only costs me half as much to drive from here to where the big ones are. I figure I’m saving about $100 a month on fuel alone. In addition, my exhaust emissions are reduced by 50%, so I feel like I’m making a real contribution toward cleaner air. The performance of my engine seems to be the same as before, with acceleration and torque unaffected.

What the heck, I think I’m going fishing. Until Next Week, Tight Lines.

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