Fuel cells can trap Saddam

by Staff

Saddam Hussein has been a threat to national security for too long. There has been much debate about how to defeat the menace of Saddam and his secret weapons programs once and for all.

As world leaders try to get a handle on how to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of this mad dictator, U.S. industry has discovered a clever invention that holds the power to turn this tyrant into nothing more than a beggar. Fuel cell technology heralds the ultimate defeat of this troublesome adversary.

What is a fuel cell? What could this great weapon be? Well, friends, it’s not a weapon at all; it’s an electric generator.

The hydrogen fuel cell is the latest innovation to be accepted by major U.S. auto-makers, as well as their European and Asian competition. The CEOs of our major auto manufacturers have announced their intention to move forward with the production of these revolutionary power plants. The days of the internal combustion engine are numbered.

These cells run on a variety of fuels. Gasoline, alcohol and natural gas, as well as pure hydrogen, can all be used in this type of power plant. Remarkably, these cells do not require their fuels to burn. As if by magic, large amounts of electricity are produced, leaving only pure water as exhaust. As an added bonus, fuel cells generate no noise.

The University of Washington reports that these cells are about 40 percent more efficient than internal combustion engines. That means more power from less fuel. Because we will be able to generate all the power we need from domestic oil, domestic natural gas and alcohol made from domestic corn, we will have no reliance on Middle Eastern oil.

According to U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the United States sends $1 billion to foreign nations every week to purchase oil. Guess where Saddam got all his money to buy and build his army?

By eliminating this cash flow, we will ensure that no crude oil despots will have the power to menace the world ever again.

Prototypes have already been built. Pilot programs are already in operation. By the beginning of the next millennium you may start to see these vehicles gliding around.

If you’re an owner of a fuel cell vehicle, you will be enjoying all of the benefits that you received from old-style gasoline engines. These cars will have all the performance you are used to, but with the new technology, it will be cheaper to operate your vehicle. Less fuel spent means keeping money in your pocket. Also, because the fuel cell has no moving parts, maintenance costs will be extremely low. There won’t even be any oil to change.

The biggest and best benefit you will receive will be peace of mind. Because the whole world is bound to jump on the fuel cell bandwagon, there won’t be anyone buying oil from Saddam. Poor Saddam will have to go back to peddling camels to buy his supper, and therefore, will have little money with which to build bombs.

In just a few short years you could be cruising down the freeway, laughing to yourself and thinking, “We finally beat that guy for good.”

Of course, I haven’t even scratched the surface of the benefits of having pollution-free automobiles, but that, my friends, is another column.

James Holter is a journalism senior and writes a weekly column for The Daily Aztec. His e-mail address is jamesh@aznet.net.