German engineers have come up with a new technique for moving ships through the high seas in a way which they hope will not only reduce shipping costs, but will also dramatically reduce the emission of dangerous greenhouses gases, as well. The new device, called a “sail”, is kind of like this big sheet thingy with ropes attached to the ends of it which harnesses invisible ocean winds and tugs the ship it is attached to through the water as if where moving all by itself and everything.

“This marks the beginning of a revolution in the way that ships will be powered,” said one spokesman for SkySails, the company behind the revolutionary new idea. “We believe that sails like this will be able to reduce fuel consumption up to 50 per cent, depending upon the wind conditions, of course. We even believe that one day, with a small enough boat, you won’t even need to have an engine at all.”

In light of the tremendous amounts of CO2 which were blown into the earth’s atmosphere by the participants of last week’s climate change conference in Bali, many think that these new-fangled “sails” might provide the basis for a more appropriate form of travel when they flock off to the next such conference, which they invariably will, and which will be held in Switzerland the next time, I think.

Other companies, encouraged by SkySails daring innovation, have begun developing revolutionary new green products of their own for other undiscovered and lucrative market niches. The RoundRock company of Fresno, California, for instance, has come up with an ingenious way to transport heavy objects without having to carry or drag them around all the time. They call it the “wheel”. And CaveFire, a small high-tech startup in Canada’s Northern Territories, has come up with a clever way of not freezing to death by using flint stones to produce this really hot thing they call “fire”.

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