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Photo via YouTube
Photo via YouTube

If you grew up in Tornado Alley, you know the terrifying destruction that comes with tornado season. It’s hardly a natural event that elicits positive connotations.

But one Canadian engineer wants to change that. Louis Michaud, a retired engineer who has worked in the oil and petrochemical industries, is “obsessed” with developing a vortex engine that basically creates a tornado to produce power. Called the Atmospheric Vortex Engine, he’s convinced this model could be a viable renewable energy source.

“A large hurricane produces more energy than all the electricity we produce in a year,” he says. “So if you could produce a number of small tornadoes, then effectively we could produce our electricity without producing any greenhouse gases.”

Naysayers shouldn’t laugh. Michaud’s project has already been funded with $300,000 by Peter Thiel’s Breakout Labs to build the prototype.

Watch this excellent video by The Atlantic‘s Adaptors series. Not only is it a potentially wonderful idea, but you will be inspired by Michaud’s optimism, ability to dream and good ol’ Canadian pragmatism.

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