The hydrogen economy

When the old is new – and doable

Featured in

  • Published 20190428
  • ISBN: 9781925773620
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

BEFORE THERE WAS Matt Damon in the film adaptation of The Martian, there was Cyrus Harding in Jules Verne’s novel The Mysterious Island: a hero in the guise of an engineer. Stranded on a rocky outcrop in the ocean off the east coast of Australia, a century before Matt Damon was even born, Harding immediately sets out to ensure survival by putting into practice Damon’s later commitment to ‘science the shit out of this’. Once the beer is brewed, the gunpowder manufactured, the hydraulic sawmill in operation and an electric telegraph installed, there remains only one thing for Harding to do: lecture his companions in scientific principles and deliver TED-worthy talks on the future of humanity and its burgeoning energy needs.

Challenged to suggest an alternative to the coal that will ‘someday…be entirely consumed’, Harding’s suggestion is water.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

About the author

Alan Finkel

Alan Finkel AO is Australia’s eighth Chief Scientist. He founded the ASX-listed biomedical company Axon Instruments, and served as chancellor of Monash University and...

More from this edition

Clean sweep

EssayIT IS SUPPOSED to be test of character. An A+ student sits down to the final exam of his degree, and is surprised to...

When big tech met books

MemoirTHE FIRST TIME I went to the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2008, I had an appointment with Google. Its stand in Hall Eight was...

The search for ET

EssayOUR WORLD WAS made by a million geniuses. Just switching on a light invokes a chain of historical brilliance going back centuries: from the...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.