Letter to editor : Port fiber optic project
Resilient communities… What are the ingredients?
Subject: Letter to the editor (Port fiber optic project...) Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2011 16:58:19 -0800 From: Charles Petras <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sir, Congratulations on the Port of Whitman moving forward with its project to run fiber optic cable through the length of the county. This provides one of the ingredients (communications) necessary to permit resilient communities to grow. The others are transportation, food, energy, and security. Transportation: Rail in our case for the movement of materials. When (not if) gas hits $25/gallon we'll see how truly blessed we are to have our rail infrastructure (or at least what remains). Food: We could ensure our food security by embracing the technology developed by Verdant Earth Technologies of Tucson, Arizona, which is essentially a greenhouse in a shipping container (using LEDs for lighting). The claim is that 90 days of growing can be accomplished in 30 days using 24 hour a day illumination. Local production would result in more jobs plus quality fresher products. Energy: Its unfortunate that our one great source of renewable (24 hours a day / 7 days a week) energy -- hydroelectric -- is contracted to consumers a thousand miles away. The efforts to harness the wind, while admirable, have selected the wrong technology. The solution being implemented is political (tax incentive driven) and one that can only provide intermittent energy, not the 24/7 delivery a technology driven base would require. A sustainable solution would be using 'solar updraft towers.' Security: In this instance we'll limit this to opportunity. Opportunity for us and future generations to have prosperous lives. Here's some videos of what the introduction of a new technology can accomplish <http://bit.ly/hERAK8>. Conversely these are our future competitors (for jobs and raw materials). Vision: This is what we need. One future that I really like would be to make the region the home to world class 'rapid prototyping' and 'rapid manufacturing.' Manufacturing could be accomplished using the concept of a 'mobile parts hospital' (MPH) which is essentially a computer-controlled machine shop in a shipping container (specifications are downloaded over the internet and parts made to order). The new fiber optic highway is an enabling technology. How it can/will be used to change our world is a question each of us has to answer. Regards, Chuck