This I Believe
By Peter VanderKley
I remember my first take-apart, it was of our old washing machine. As we took it apart, I would ask my dad, “How does this work? What does this do? What’s that?” and six years later I’m still asking him those things. “Hey dad, how does a fuel cell work? How do electric generators work?” It’s something I’ve always been curious about, how things work. Because that’s what I am, a science hungry kid, I have been all my life.
I recently read an article in TIME magazine about a woman who developed a new kind of battery that was made out of organic material, and hold more charge pound for pound than today’s batteries. When I read this I was ecstatic. It was so exciting that someone had made a battery that could spawn a whole new kind of transportation. That’s what I was crazed about. I wanted to develop an electric car that would replace all fossil-burning, air polluting, ozone killing vehicles.
Even more recently, I was on the internet looking up fuel cell cars. I clicked on a link to Honda’s web site about the FCX concept car. It was amazing. All it ran on was hydrogen and the bi-products were electricity, water and oxygen. And this thing wasn’t slow! Its top speed was 100 mph. It was three times more energy efficient than regular gas-powered cars. It was so cool that someone had made a car that was practical, with zero emissions and ran on a renewable energy source. Honda says that they are trying to get the price down so they can put them in the showroom for sale in the near future.
I’ve always wanted to help mankind advance so that we all could live a little better. When you’re driving down the road, and you smell the exhaust from the person’s car in front of you, do you enjoy that? I sure don’t! Imagine a world where cars are quiet, free of emissions, and have renewable energy sources that don’t include burning fossil fuels! That’s something I’m good at, imagining.
That’s, what I believe, drives advancement. The imagination. The imagining of the future, and how we can improve on how we’re living it already. The imagining of a world where no one has to fight over every measly drop of oil. The imagining of a world where we don’t have to ruin the habitats of ours and others by littering the landscapes with oil rigs. I believe in the imagination, and how it shapes our future.
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