08 April 2012

SHORT CIRCUIT

UPDATED: 07/19/12
"This is a significant achievement in the auto industry." 
This is an excerpt from an interesting op-ed by Joe Nocera in the New York Times (April 6, 2012). The piece, which exposes some of the smoke-and-mirrors at play, illustrates just how difficult the road ahead is going to be for the advocates of new and sustainable energy solutions.
What is the connection between President Obama and the Volt? There is none. The car was the brainchild of Bob Lutz, a legendary auto executive who is about as liberal as the Koch brothers. The tax credit — which is part of the reason conservatives hate the car — became law during the Bush administration.  
It’s nuts,” said Lutz, when I spoke to him earlier in the week. “This is a significant achievement in the auto industry. There are so many legitimate things to criticize Obama about. It is inexplicable that the right would feel the need to tell lies about the Volt to attack the president.” The Right Flames the Volt, New York Times, April 6, 2012.
"Inexplicable?" It is actually quite explicable. As stated in our post, "Too Cheap to Dream Big" (February 4, 2011):
Because we can't live without them, [old energy is] finding politicians who have a price - not all of them do - to do their bidding. Not only are these politicians making it impossible to pass spending bills that we need to jump-start the economy; they are also standing in the way of bills that would bolster innovation to find cheaper, sustainable sources of energy. In the name of fiscal conservatism smoke and mirrors, the next century remains at stake.
That's why, Mr. Lutz. 
This New York Times op-ed is a must-read.

UPDATED: 06/26/12 - "White House Touts Auto Industry Success as New Fuel Economy Standards Loom" (The Huffington Post)

UPDATED: 07/19/12 - New York Times' Mark Bittman calls out the supporters of the status quo as obstacles to progress - in his Opinionator piece, "The Endless Summer" (07/18/12). Good read.


UPDATED: 03/15/15 - A new documentary was just released, "The Merchants of Doubt," that captures the 'smoke-and-mirrors' sentiment of this post. It's a must see. Here is the trailer:


UPDATED: 03/16/2015 - The Washington Post just released a piece about "Merchants of Doubt." Worth reading. This excerpt from the article is so very true.
"According to Kenner, change will come, but not from those shouting at the edges of the argument. Rather, it will grow out of the confused middle, where films such as “Food, Inc.” and “Merchants of Doubt” shine light on hidden, and uncomfortable, truths."



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