Hey, at least I tried to figure it out


Prepare to be awed.

Once again, I’m putting my mind-blowing powers to good. Earlier this year I offered you faithful readers my brilliant idea of putting prisoners on giant treadmills to harness enough alternative energy for all of us. Oh, a few scoffed, and I’m sure I’m not on the Christmas card list for many presently incarcerated in our state’s correction system, but the idea was strong, practical and visionary.

And I think I’ve topped it.

See, all this talk about windmill farms and methane-powered alternative fuel has me thinking again lately of how to effectively and efficiently put an end to our energy woes. Hey, what can I say? I have a gift.

So, as a reward for your loyalty to the Coastal Point, I’ll offer this landmark idea to you first. Remember where you were sitting when you heard it. We’re talking history here.

Instead of putting windmills out in the sea and harnessing that energy — while also apparently hurting the view for some of our beach residents — why don’t we just dot the entire beach with windmills? Plus (and this is where my idea really takes off into the realm of inspired genius), we could build said windmills in the form of giant beach umbrellas.

See where I’m going here?

We’d insure good business for Ron Steen to recoup the drastic losses he suffered during the Labor Day storm, rescue beachfront property owners from that horrifying spectacle of windmills in the middle of the sea and offer swirling, functioning umbrellas on the sand that will not only help rescue us from our energy shortfalls, but also be just flat-out fun to look at. Hey, we can even put swirling colors on them so small children will be too hypnotized to disturb beach-goers with all that laughter and having fun that they’re known to do from time to time.

See, that’s one of the things that keeps holding me back in the big-idea game. I get a good idea, but then I take the sarcasm a little too far and the whole notion gets pushed aside. It’s like the time I thought it would be a good idea to disband Sussex County Council and have a team of trained monkeys hurl bananas at a board with “Yes” or “No” written on it to alleviate concerns of conflicts of interests. See? Good thought. But the idea got away from me when I opined that the monkeys would probably be more willing to listen to the county’s Planning & Zoning commission than the current county council. Of course, that opinion is probably accurate, but the fact of the matter is that ...

But I digress.

What I’m talking about is sheer brilliance, if I don’t say so myself. We can even target proceeds from the revenues. Think about it.

The first priority is to produce enough energy for this community to thrive. Then, we sell off whatever excess we’re able to accumulate to some of these power brokers that serve as middlemen for consumers. Forty percent of the money from those sales go to beach replenishment needs for the shore, 20 percent goes to Steen for managing the hardware part of the operation, 20 percent goes schools and, well, that other 20 percent should probably go to the inspired mind that formulated this entire plot in the first place.

I know. I even amaze myself with this stuff.

Actually, the entire idea is ridiculous, but that’s why I work at a newspaper. It’s part of my job to gather information, disseminate said data and put it out there for readers to reach their own conclusions.

However, there are people out there who’s entire job is to come up with plans for producing energy. Yet nothing’s getting done. We have soyfields for days around here, it’s been proven that soy can theoretically produce alternative energy, but it’s sitting on the back burner so the powers that be can milk more money out of their current industries.

Well, here’s some food for thought: If we continue to rely on limited forms of energy, then we set ourselves up for big-time problems. We’ve seen shortages in electricity (not to mention price hikes), questions about the cleanliness of coal and numerous issues with gasoline and oil.

I’m not a tree-hugger. In fact, I don’t really care all that much about global warming or environmental damages we might be doing to the ozone layer.

But I do care about finding other means of energy that don’t force us to rely on terrorist-protecting countries, or that leave us open for shortages or price-gouging.

Can’t somebody much smarter than myself come up with an idea for that?