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I'm Ducking and Covering Already...

08 June 2012, 12:13
As I logged in to write this, I realized that it's going to have a barrage of commentary, and that I will probably be called all sorts of names.

Still, what the hell.

This post addresses two issues: unemployment, and power generation.

How could those possibly go together you ask? Well, I am about to tell you.

At the moment, South Africa is still using the outdated power generation method of coal. There's a lot of noise about nuclear (possibly because Chancellor House has a stake in Hitachi, but maybe not.)

Still, as the comments on the article about that issue proved, many SAns are somewhat nervous about the idea, for several reasons. Safety, environmental and corruption all came up.

We also can't keep using coal, because it's costly, dirty and not terribly efficient.

There's one resource everyone seems to be overlooking here though: humans.

If there's one thing we have an oversupply of in SA, it's people. We don't have enough jobs for them, we can't feed all of them, and we can't house them.

What if we could harness people power?

I'm thinking of a device something like a giant hamster wheel - or actually, a lot of them.

Could we not, in theory, employ people who are looking for jobs to walk in a hamster wheel for an hourly wage? It's safe, it doesn't require education to accomplish, and it's honest work. Heck, I am pretty sure that students would go for that rather than pizza delivery if it paid decently!

The 'hamster' wheels in question would work along the lines of a modified, scaled down turbine, with the energy generated by the motion turned into power... the specifics are of course up to the clever science / engineering types, but even with my basic understanding of the way energy works, it should be possible.

Before you accuse me of racism here too, let me ask you - is coming up with an idea that serves two purposes, and solves two problems, AND that allows people to work for an honest wage racist? If it is, could we have a little more of that flavour of racism?

We have a very high unemployment rate. We have an unacceptably high number of people living on welfare, and we have a power crisis.

Why not solve more than one problem at the same time?

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