Thursday, April 28, 2005

A Dark Green Future

Defense Tech reports that our world-renowned detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has gone green, thanks to the addition of wind turbines:

Together, the four turbines will generate 3,800 kw [kilowatts], and in years of typical weather the wind turbines will produce almost 8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. They will reduce the consumption of 650,000 gallons of diesel fuel, reduce air pollution by 26 tons of sulfur dioxide and 15 tons of nitrous oxide, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 13 million pounds each year.

The new wind turbines will provide as much as 25% of the base's power generation during the high-wind months of late summer, and are expected to save taxpayers $1.2 million in annual energy costs.
This is wonderful news in itself. But what I find most exciting is that it suggests lots of world-changing possibilities for eco-torture. For instance, it's entirely possible that a redesigned water-torture system could produce a terrifying sensation of drowning for one prisoner, while generating enough microhydropower to shock the genitalia of another. With a few modifications, the Sunpipe could provide an ideal blinding light for interrogations, or produce varying degrees of diffuse or highly localized heat. And of course, replacing plastic-based restraints with hemp could do a lot to clean up Guantanamo's waste stream.

Another thing we should certainly do is increase the torture options legally available to us, in order to end the energy-intensive practice of flying prisoners to client states for "rendering." As we approach a peak-oil scenario, local torture and detention centers will become essential. It simply won't be feasible to ship "persons of interest" from one end of the country to another, let alone to Cuba. As in everything else, our guiding principle for torture and detention facilities should be "small, local, and green."

As usual, California leads the way. Alameda County's new solar prison provides a dazzling glimpse at the future of sustainable eco-incarceration.

As the Midas Touch of eco-design transforms processes and products at every level of society, it becomes more and more obvious that we really can have it all: We can tread lightly on Mother Earth, and keep our boots planted firmly on the necks of evildoers.

It brings a whole new meaning to the term "renewable power."


Anonymous said...

Phila, if I didn't know better, I'd say you were becoming a tad cynical. The possibilities here are absolutely breathtaking.

Phila said...

I'm glad you know better! I was just trying to imagine a world in which everything changed, while staying exactly the same. I'm definitely not suggesting this is how things'll turn out, by any means. I couldn't get up in the morning if I believed that! Mostly I was just trying to write something horrific, with the same cheerful tone that WorldChanging uses, 'cause I thought it'd be funny. Oddly enough, it really wasn't!

But as Shakespeare (or was it Bacon?) said, "Since the affairs of men remain uncertain, let's reason with the worst that may befall."