Earlier, "primitive" cultures used man or animal power to run their machines (Roman boats had benches filled with human rowers) and some countries still have donkeys or dogs walking in a circle, bringing up water from the well. With concern about emissions from cars and power plants, should we return to that today? Some gyms are actually giving it a try.

Dozens of gyms are adopting a new kind of exercise machine. The equipment may look much the same as the kind you plug into an electrical socket, but they’re actually different in a major way. Rather than consuming power, they’re generating electricity as people sweat, feeding it to the electrical grid and offsetting some of the gym’s energy use. These exercise machines have displays with flashing lights and use electricity to power internal systems that provide resistance, so you can vary the difficulty of your workout.

By adopting power-producing exercise machines in this way, gyms can promote themselves as environmentally friendly and also reduce their electric bills (Hey, if they’re saving on electricity, maybe they should give members a discount for the amount of energy they produce!) Something nobody has figured out yet: How many gym-goers would it take to power a home or even the entire country? (It would certainly make us healthier!)

In 1998, Whitley Strieber had never heard of greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change, but the Master of the Key burst into his hotel room in Toronto and told him all about it. The new edition of The Key, with a foreword that talks about how many of his statements later turned out to be true, is in bookstores NOW. You can also get it from the Whitley Strieber Collection (and if you do, a beautifuly autographed bookplate–designed by Whitley–comes with it!)

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