Daily Topics - Monday - February 22 2010

made in the usa imagesHour Three: Can "Made in the USA" make a comeback? Thom speaks with UAW Vice President Bob King www.uaw.org


Mark K (not verified) 12 years 13 weeks ago

Joe Stack’s daughter has called him a “hero” for “standing up” against “injustice.” Pathetic. The only “injustice” Stack was against, as made clear in his rambling, incomprehensible internet statement, was that which he conceived was perpetrated against himself. The bottom line was that he was a domestic terrorist, motivated by an extremist's self-pitying egocentrism. Given the fact that the far-right fringe “Patriot” movement is also calling Stack a “hero” should tell remind what these people are capable of. Janet Napolitano received fierce criticism from the right for calling out domestic terrorism, but here we are now, with terrorists being called “heroes” by the right.

Mark K (not verified) 12 years 13 weeks ago

Just because a man pitches from the right politically doesn’t mean he can’t throw a strike once in awhile. I know a guy who I have many ideological differences with, but one thing we do agree on is the need to invest in green energy. Since 2002 he’s been developing an entirely battery run, zero-emission vehicle for commercial taxi purposes. Last year I was permitted to observe him in a low-tech garage-environment (along with one of those long-haired, high-energy techie-types), working on a rapid recharger that can fully charge an array of battery packs in an hour, and has run a van 142 miles in “real world” conditions—including at highway speeds—on one charge; the hope is that with even more efficient rapid recharge capabilities, a five-passenger vehicle can turn in 700-800 miles a day. Obviously, the business angle can’t be ignored; the first production has been in operation in (Sacramento) California since 2003, which has strict new guidelines on emission standards—thus the state is ground zero for acceptance of this type of technology. To learn more about how one man is doing his part to turn vision to reality, you can check out the website http://www.electricabtaxi.com.

This is less a shameless plug than pointing out that when it comes to green energy, turning vision into reality seems much easier said than done for most people. Often innovation comes from lone individuals who spend their own time and money (and go into debt) and have initiatives that the corporate world wants to stifle, or offer half-assed solutions like hybrids. The Obama administration has talked big about green and clean energy, but most of the talk is about nuclear and coal-based “solutions,” neither which is particularly “clean,” or every will be. But the public must also be indicted for expecting green energy solutions, but behaving in a NIMBY-like fashion when it comes to actually implementing them. Take for example wind-generated energy. Wind power is great—that is unless you live near a wind farm and the humming annoys you, or you are an environmentalist worried about their effect on birds; others claim they cause cancer, or interfere with the functioning of their cell phones (not such a bad thing, in my view). Or they might “spoil” the view, such as in some locales in New England; offshore fields have been opposed for this reason, although one suspects that property values are their real concern. Why I don’t know; when the oil runs out, everybody will want to live near something like a wind farm.

Everyone knows that oil will run out eventually, and sooner than people think; OPEC nations are notorious for deliberately over-estimating their “proven” oil reserves, because bloated estimates allows a country to export more oil under the OPEC quota system. The fact is we really do need to be serious about alternative and renewable energy now. “Inspiring” speeches are not enough, nor is patting yourself on the back merely because you think “green.”

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