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September 29, 2008

It’s a bird -- it’s a plane -- no, it’s Fusion Man!

Fusion_man Maybe you've had one of those dreams where you are flying, gliding high above the earth, looking down at the world below as if it were an anthill. For forty-nine-year-old Swiss Aviator Yves Rossy, it's no dream. Rossy used a simple jetpack strapped to his back to fly across the English Channel. Jumping from a plane more than 8,000 feet off the ground, Rossy ignited his own kerosene-powered jet pack to make the 22-mile journey.

Who knows? Maybe soon we won't be arguing over SUVs vs.hybrids. Maybe we'll be debating the fuel-efficiency benefits of one jet pack vs. another.

It reminds me of something I read recently in Environmental Stewardship, a new book put out by the Acton Institute, which has been an incredibly insightful read. In the section called "A Comprehensive Torah-Based Approach to the Environment," the author writes about two extremes in approaching the population panic. One extreme is

to regard no sacrifice today as too much to impose upon ourselves to protect all future generations until the end of time. Had earlier generations followed this perverted logic, they might well have restricted the use of whale oil. One can imagine the decrees emanating from zealous eighteenth-century environmental activists, banning the use of oil lamps past nine o'clock at night to ensure that sufficient whale oil would remain to light the homes of the twenty-first century. In so doing, what they may well have effected is limiting the educational possibilities of the early scientists who studied and experimented late into the night to discover petroleum and its many uses. The paradox revealed by the Torah is that far from solving any problem, following either extreme actually aggravates the underlying situation.

Of course, the other extreme is to ignore the problem and say there is no problem.

The Torah, suggests the Acton Institute, offers a middle way between the extremes. That middle path hinges on our understanding of man as consumer or creator.

No matter where you fall on these issues, this little book is an intriguing read that will force you to examine issues of environmental stewardship in a whole new light. Check it out.

While you are waiting for your copy of the book, though, go watch the video of Fusion Man. I have to admit, he makes me think of one of my favorite (though not well-known) Disney movies, Condorman. Enjoy a remake of the trailer for that one below.

(Image © The Telegraph)

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Comments

Steve (SBK)

Yep, you're danged if you do and you're danged if you don't.
Either our jet streams will be a-pollutin' (http://thepoint.breakpoint.org/2008/05/why-do-i-find-m.html )
or our back-to-the-earth farm animals (http://thepoint.breakpoint.org/2007/10/the-tipping-poi.html )

Loved Condorman growing up! Always wondered why that movie wasn't more popular.

Gina Dalfonzo

As a Michael Crawford fan, I have fond memories of that movie as well. Hard to believe that geeky little guy is the Phantom of the Opera, isn't it? :-)

Catherine

That is hard to believe, Gina.

Do you know it's impossible to rent that movie? Netflix doesn't have it. Neither does Blockbuster. I was going to force my husband to relive a piece of my childhood this weekend, but he didn't have to endure it. They sell it on Amazon for over $100. Sheesh. Too bad I think I gave Goodwill my VHS copy when I gave them my no-longer working VHS player.

Gina Dalfonzo

Wow, I'm surprised. I thought Netflix had everything. Let me know if you want to borrow my videotape sometime. Tell your husband it's an experience no one should miss. :-)

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