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Hope for Hydrogen

I believe your article on hydrogen ("Hotbed," April) missed half the story. Hydrogen will replace oil and coal. It can be generated anywhere, can be stored, and when burned simply goes back to water with zero carbon emissions. However, as the article says, the situation in Iceland, with its abundant geothermal energy, cannot be applied globally since the vast majority of the earth does not have abundant geothermal, hydroelectric, or solar power to produce the hydrogen. Burning fossil fuels to generate electricity and making hydrogen from that electricity would not be beneficial. The required complement for a hydrogen economy is controlled nuclear fusion, which does not yield any long-term radioactive waste. Unfortunately, we do not know how to build a controlled fusion plant (yet). We should focus on that research, which will eventually provide a realistic solution to future energy needs while contributing zero emissions to global warming.

John Krawczyk
Miramar, Florida

A version of this article appeared in the June 2008 issue of Fast Company magazine.