Doggedly Seeking Energy Savings

Doggedly Seeking Energy Savings

NotionsCapitial proposes this energy-saving idea with some trepidation, as Senator Obama was recently smacked down for suggesting something that would “only” save 800,000 barrels of oil a day. We admit up-front that we do not know how many barrels of oil or tons of coal or bushels of ethanol cornflakes this plan will save, but it will also save the shoe-leather and sweat of millions of Americans and does not involve nuclear fuel dumps, the Outer Continental Shelf, or automobile maintenance.

While walking in Capitol Hill’s Lincoln Park this morning, we observed dozens of citizens walking their canine companions. The doggies were delighted but, truth be told, most dogwalkers were chattering on cell phones. This seems a waste of energy for both pets and owners. Why not harness that wasted energy and put it on the grid? 

There are about 75 million pet dogs in the U.S. of A. They go on potty patrol two or three time daily but each gets a daily walk of 20 to 30 minutes. What if we put the pooches on exercise wheels, urging them forward with the aroma of food, and drive electric generators with the motion of those puppy-powered wheels? That’s a minimum of 25 million dog-hours per day, which could generate enough electricity to clip every poodle in the United States, and most box hedges, too.

Dog owners would also avoid the medical costs incurred when simultaneous dogwalking and cell-talking lead to those nasty stump-and-fall injuries.

Senator McCain?  Senator Obama?

Image by Mike Licht and Consolidated Canine Electric. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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