Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Gas Guzzler & The Meat Guzzler

As gasoline prices near $4 per gallon, most people are finding it difficult to keep up with the mounting costs associated with car ownership. For people who live in the city, public transportation is an option and walking or biking is also a viable means to get where we are going. But what about those living in the suburbs or more rural communities? A car is most definitely a necessity.

For anyone who is troubled (or outraged) about the current trend in oil prices (which will likely only continue to increase), I have a recommendation. Although it won't immediately solve the oil gouging crisis, it will serve to educate people and will hopefully bring about some change, as more and more people refuse to tolerate this situation. You need to see the film "Who Killed the Electric Car?". I watched this documentary back in 2006 when it was playing in independent movie theaters. This excellent film is available on DVD; you can rent in via Netflix or Blockbuster and you can also purchase it for only $10 from Forget what you think you know and approach this film with an open mind. You will likely be shocked at what you see.

Electric cars are quieter, cleaner and cheaper to run than gas-powered cars. As to why they haven't been fully adopted yet - watch “Who Killed the Electric Car?” for the whole story.

Here, in a nutshell, are a few key benefits of electric cars:

1. Electricity is cheaper than gas, and can come from renewable resources such as solar and wind power.

2. Electric cars pollute less than gas-powered cars (especially when renewable energy sources are used to generate the electricity).

3. Electric cars are much more reliable and require less maintenance than gas-powered cars. You don't even need to get your quarterly oil change!

4. By using domestically-generated electricity rather than relying on foreign oil, we can achieve energy independence and will no longer need to engage in costly wars in the Middle East to secure an energy supply.

5. Electric cars can utilize the existing electric grid rather than require the development of a new, expensive energy infrastructure (as would be the case with hydrogen).

For more information on electric cars, including answers to those skeptical questions, please see Plug In America's Frequently Asked Questions

For the film's official website, CLICK HERE.

Back in January, Mark Bittman wrote an excellent piece for the New York Times. The name of the article was "Rethinking the Meat Guzzler". This popular piece quickly made the rounds. If you are concerned about global climate change, food safety, healthy eating or sustainability, I encourage you to read this fascinating article. Here is a glimpse:

"A sea change in the consumption of a resource that Americans take for granted may be in store — something cheap, plentiful, widely enjoyed and a part of daily life. And it isn’t oil.

It’s meat.

The two commodities share a great deal: Like oil, meat is subsidized by the federal government. Like oil, meat is subject to accelerating demand as nations become wealthier, and this, in turn, sends prices higher. Finally — like oil — meat is something people are encouraged to consume less of, as the toll exacted by industrial production increases, and becomes increasingly visible."

To continue reading this excellent and thought-provoking article, please CLICK HERE.

1 comment:

Kuan Gung said...

"Who killed the electric car" an amazing film...with an amazing statement...where is that car?