Get our heads out of nuclear, fossil sand

Between the Chilean coal miners, the Gulf oil spill and the Japanese nuclear reactor fiasco, a perceptive society would realize that it is time to stop playing roulette with nature when it comes to energy.
I drove a hybrid car for the first time last month and it was a real joy not to contend with high gas prices.
Between danger and cost, what is the barrier to a clean, low-cost energy future?
It looks like the unwillingness to recognize talent, particularly when packaged in an unprepossessing African-American engineer, Dr. Lonnie Johnson.
His 80 patents and 20 applications merely run the gamut from the Space Shuttle and stealth bomber to the Super Soaker.
However, Atlantic magazine wrote in November about the difficulties Dr. Johnson, who works from a factory in inner-city Atlanta, has faced gaining government contracts and investment for two transformational energy ideas.
We were blessed to meet Dr. Johnson during INNOVATION & EQUITY: Spurring Manufacturing Through Innovation in Black Communities on Jan. 15, 2011 at the 11th annual 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology Symposium.
He was soft-spoken, but supremely confident of the ability to create batteries which can power cars more than 1,000 miles on a charge.
And he also has an engine which converts the sun’s heat into energy, which could allow shutting down all the world’s nuclear reactors.
A Tuskegee Institute graduate, Dr. Johnson offers hope in the same way that George Washington Carver extracted American agriculture from a similar natural dilemma 100 years ago.
It’s long past time our policy leaders took their heads out of the sand and realized that a diverse viewpoint can provide dynamic new solutions.