THERE is a lot of debate about how we are going to power our beloved country as traditional forms of energy either run out or become prohibitively expensive.
This has led a number of free-thinkers in the Examiner circulation area to consider ideas that at best can be described as on the fringes of probability in terms of energy production.
To take just one example, we have heard in recent weeks about solar-powered traffic bollards.
Given that in this sunshine-challenged land you need an array the size of a basketball pitch to power an electric toothbrush, some people pointed out that this might provide only fitful illumination to the bollards.
Now you see me, now you don’t in terms of road furniture is not, I would have thought, conducive to road safety.
This is especially true since the road-spatter is cleaned off them once in a blue moon – and, once hit by traffic, bollards tend to lie about in bits for a few months until someone thinks to repair or replace them.
So what will keep these bollards glowing after the Stygian gloom of a British daytime passes into inky and interminable night?
Another adept has suggested wind-power. Each bollard could be fitted with a small turbine that would revolve in the back-draught from passing cars.
It’s a fine idea, but with the speed cameras, humps, chicanes, potholes, bus and cycle lanes that clog Kirklees’ roads, it’s unlikely traffic will ever get up enough speed to waft a butterfly off a twig, never mind turn a bollard turbine.
Given the turgid state of traffic movement on our roads, perhaps the best idea would be to fit the bollards with electricity meters and barriers.
The barrier’s down. You draw to a halt. You throw a 5p coin into a trough. The barrier goes up, the meter’s fed, the lights go on.
Keep Left, says a voice from the bollard.
Woah there, Kirklees Highways. I’m only joking.