Beach Sand and the Bloom Box ~ Here come the conspiracy theorists

Allow Rapidsea to be the first to predict the ecological uproar over the Bloom Box by Bloom Energy, a power-generating fuel cell stack that was revealed to the television world on 60 Minutes on February 21, 2010. The technological and economic doubters have already had their say, even before the product is fully revealed, but various groups of people will soon be running around in fear of losing their precious beaches to energy consumption. Why? Because “beach sand” is an ingredient in the fuel cells. Here it is in Petri dish:

Bloom-Energy-Fuel-Cell-Sand-60-Minutes

That’s reporter Lesley Stahl’s hand and Bloom Energy CEO K.R. Sridhar’s purple shirt. Stahl started out the conversation by comparing the process of making the Bloom Box cell to cooking. Sridhar handed her this sand and referred to it as flour after graciously accepting her comparing him to Martha Stewart. He claimed that ocean beaches on every continent have the material “in abundance.” Stahl goes on to say that the sand is turned “magically” into ceramic.

If the Bloom Box proves to be the most important improvement in electricity in decades, we may finally get to see if people value paradise more than energy. It could be a magnificent battle. At least that’s the story that the conspiracy theorists will soon be forwarding to your crazy uncle. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that they’re not going to steal your beaches in the night.

Of course, if they decide to use sand from a source other than beaches, then maybe the Bloomy meadow of the future will be bright. We still have to be honest with ourselves that we’re still going to need to find a different source of energy other than fossil fuels like natural gas to meet our consumption demands no matter how efficient the device is.

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Posted on February 21, 2010
Filed Under Beaches, Meadow, Technology | Leave a Comment

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