Because it requires such hearty fortitude, reading Kunstler doesn’t seem to be for everybody. Which, of course, says more about everybody than it does about him. His noteworthy digressions on suburbia and the long, slow car wreck (sorry) that is the American economy are entertaining in that gallows humor sort of way, but enlightening for purposes of seeing into the green, as well. We are all pu**ies in the way in which we need the worst of our worst to be elided from us with dense statistics, acronyms and otherwise artificial routes to happiness, whether they come in the form of adjustable rate mortgages or doctor-prescribed pills. Even honest grappling with this situation would at least put us on the sidewalk to lifestyle changes that would begin to improve some of the worsts (planetary, transportation, communications). But, no; we must continually place ourselves at the mercy of the corporate fantasists who promise us Sweet Baby All in exchange for keeping things humming along, even if, as JHK fears, we’re humming right along into a buzz saw.
For example, take Kunstler’s Happy Motoring non-metaphor. This new battery technology – why is it problematic?
As a part of IBM’s 2-year-old Big Green Innovations program, the Battery 500 Project aims to boost the range of rechargeable batteries for all-electric cars from less than 100 miles today to as far as 500 miles. The consortium’s efforts are being led by the Almaden Lab in collaboration with several U.S. universities and the Department of Energy’s national labs.
“Batteries technology has improved, but is still far inferior to gasoline in terms of how much energy they hold,” said Spike Narayan, a key IBM researcher. “The energy density—which is the amount of energy a lithium-ion battery stores per unit weight—is really not enough to produce a family-sized sedan with a 300- to 500-mile range.”
Being able to continue rely on automobiles similarly to the way we do now… is that really a green innovation? There are four big reasons why plug-ins won’t be better than petrol-fueled cars, but lowly number five is the inference that plug-ins will largely allow most of what we now see/do to stay the same. This is the major plug-in FAIL.
Exhibit Dos: Download the new Visa Black Card commercial to your hairbrush, here.