The Whole World's Watching: Decarbonizing the Economy and Saving the World

By Martyn Turner; Brian O'connell | Go to book overview
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8
FUEL CELLS

As a wide-eyed environmentalist told us before we began this book, if we wanted to know all about global warming all we had to do was “follow the money”. He, of course, thought we would follow a money trail to the end of the rainbow, where the whirring of windmills filled the air. What he failed to realize is that there are two types of money being spent on this problem: soft money and hard money. There is a huge difference between subsidizing the cost of a few watts of wind-powered electricity and a $500 million investment by Daimler Benz. There is also a big difference between governments throwing a few million dollars into research grants to explore the potential of biomass power, and the US Department of Defense underwriting a $ 100 million strategic investment. If you are interested in “following the money” in the global warming game, the trail is fairly well marked. It will lead you right to the western coast of Canada, and to the offices of Ballard Power Systems in Vancouver. Ballard is the firm that is sitting on the technology that could solve a major portion of this problem immediately. As opposed to the dot-com miracles of the past few years, Ballard is an industrial company that actually makes something that is fairly unique, and most of the world

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