Picture a gargantuan shopping complex in upstate New York -- a so-called "retail city" big enough to make Mall of America look like a five-and-dime -- with thousands of shops plus restaurants, theaters, hotels, a high-tech research park for commercial R&D, and a sprawling, climate-controlled biosphere for recreation. Yet another environmental abomination, you say?
Not so fast.
Shopping-mall titan Robert Congel, one of the world's biggest commercial real-estate developers, is about to begin building a multi-billion-dollar, 800-acre shopping and entertainment complex with all of the above-mentioned amenities, but without -- and here comes the part that strains belief -- so much as a barrel of oil or a kilowatt of fossil-fuel-generated power. That's right, folks, a 100 percent clean-energy mega-mall. He vows that it will be the closest thing to an "Apollo Project" for renewable energy that America has ever seen -- one that grows the economy, strengthens national security by encouraging energy independence, and protects the environment.