Insight on the new Honda Insight (hybrid automobile) from a climate change skeptic, whose cruel sense of humor almost circles back around to making sense. Sample.
The nickel for the battery has to come from somewhere. Canada, usually. It has to be shipped to Japan, not on a sailing boat, I presume. And then it must be converted, not in a tree house, into a battery, and then that battery must be transported, not on an ox cart, to the Insight production plant in Suzuka. And then the finished car has to be shipped, not by Thor Heyerdahl, to Britain, where it can be transported, not by wind, to the home of a man with a beard who thinks he’s doing the world a favour.
Why doesn’t he just buy a Range Rover, which is made from local components, just down the road? No, really — weird-beards buy locally produced meat and vegetables for eco-reasons. So why not apply the same logic to cars?
Reminds me of L.F. Celine’s Bardamu in Journey to the End of the Night, when the doctor-cum-mal vivant spends some time working at a Ford Plant near Detroit.
When we’d put on our clothes again, we were sent off in slow-moving single files and hesitant groups towards the places where the vast crashing sound of the machines came from. The whole building shook, and oneself from one’s soles to one’s ears was possessed by this shaking, which vibrated from the ground, the glass panes and all this metal, a series of shocks from floor to ceiling. One was turned by force into a machine oneself, the whole of one’s carcass quivering in this vast frenzy of noise, which filled you within and all around the inside of your skull, and lower down rattled your bowels, and climbed to your eyes in infinite, little, quick unending strokes. As you went along, you lost your companions. You gave them a little smile when they fell away, as if it was all the greatest fun in the world. You couldn’t speak to them any longer or hear them. Each time, three or four stayed behind around a machine…. The little bucking trolley car loaded with metal bits and pieces strives to make headway through the workmen. Out of the light! They jump aside to let the hysterical little thing pass along. And hop! There it goes like mad thing, clinking on its way amid belts and flywheels, taking the men their ration of shackles.
Since we cannot but ask for more, seconds all around.
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