Little Tart loves it all…most of the time

Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category

A lot of not so smart cars

What sort of fucked up, out of touch, country do we live in where the “Fortwo” is seen as a huge eco-advancement?

From AP:  “Daimler’s “Fortwo” Smart car, which goes on sale in the US next year.

Retailing at 11,600 dollars, Smart cars are cheap, easy to maneuver, and fuel-efficient, running at around 40-45 miles (65-72 kilometers) to the gallon.

But will they catch on with American motorists? Smart USA spokesman Ken Kettenbeil is convinced they will…”

 Since when is $11,600 cheap (since you can get a full sized car for that much) and in what world is 40-45 miles a gallon a marked improvement (a full sized Prius gets better millage)? Shouldn’t a tiny car for two run on electricty ?  If it must run on gas, shouldn’t it be a hybrid with 100 miles per gallon?  Why isn’t it?

I personally am very interested in alternative transportation and more green options, but don’t piss on my head and tell me its raining (as my favorite person is fond of saying) – the “Fortwo” is not an eco-option, it is a novelty disguised as an environmentally responsible solution.


    Via techyum via Sierra Club via Atlantic Monthly comes this Greenpeace commercial in which a 13 year old declares his generation’s war on adults who do not actively seek to correct global warming/climate change.

    Watch the video and then follow the various links to read the comments; there are interesting opinions on Atlantic Monthly especially.

    The problem as I see it is the commercial is so aggressive and in the viewer’s face that even believers in the cause are turned off. One commentator on Atlantic Monthly even said:

“I’m also a big environmentalist, but if I were exposed to that ad for any extended period of time, I’m sure I would end up wanting to fuck up the environment on purpose just to spite this kid: send him to bed without his polar ice caps until he unknits his brow and stops throwing a tantrum.”

    Are veiled threats and petulance really the way for the environmental movement (or any movement) to activate people? How fair is it for Greenpeace to declare war on anyone over the age of 15 when many of us are powerless to enact the sweeping policy changes that are necessary to re-stabilize the climate? Or are we all responsible? Is what the mini-unabomber said true? If we aren’t for him, we are against him? I can see both sides, but in the mean time I worry that commercials such as this can become tools for anti-environmentalists and conservative media.

    After all, is it such a far step for FOX NEWS (which as we all know is “Fair and Balanced”) to start touting environmentalists as terrorists when they have footage like this they can air? And when Greenpeace starts advocating a “green war” would Fox News actually be wrong?

Oh, by the way, so far mainstream media hasn’t mentioned this commercial, but keep your eyes open. My guess is that in the next few days it show up everywhere.

Update 9/10/07:

I am in no way attempting to diminish the rights to anger that all future generations have towards our current shepherding of the globe. The world is screwed up and we all are to be blamed. My point in selecting this commercial was to point at the use of terror as a technique and how easily we legitimize the use of terrorizing language when it involves issues we believe in vs. issues we disagree with, or don’t understand.

Think about it this way:

What if the face were brown and topped by a black turban and framed just as tightly by the camera while he coldly explained why the West is responsible for all the problems in the world, and if you the viewer did not stand with him then by default you are against him, and he can’t be held responsible if you get caught in the cross fire of his war.

Would you have a different response?

Why is the threat of violence acceptable in the context of an environmental crisis but not the Pan-Arab crisis? Arab extremists believe in the righteousness of their cause as devoutly as Eco-Extremists believes in ending global warming. Perhaps our comfortablity with one extreme over the other stems from the perceived hallowness of Greenpeace’s threat. Muslim extremists have actually backed up their threats with action while the Eco-Extremists are simply talking hard to facilitate ideas and action in the population. I would argue that social extremists from all ideological walks of life (Socialist, Islamic, Christian, Capitalist, Environmental, Feminist, Anti-War, and more) release writings and recordings in which they “talk hard” right up until they take violent action. Greenpeace its self has a long history of direct action that some would argue is the precursor of violent action and active terrorism.

I’m not trying to give what ultimately is a high concept advertisement by Greenpeace more weight than it actually merits. This commercial will not be the straw that breaks the back of our national inaction on global climate change, nor do I believe that a band of science fiction inspired, hoodie wearing, pasty skinned children of the corn will rise up to punish us all when action fails to happen. (BUT, if it does, don’t say I didn’t warn you.) What will happen in response to this commercial is that legitimate discussions about solving the problem will be mudded by hyperbole and rhetoric, accusations and threats, leaving us in the same boat we are in currently. Greenpeace might have been better served setting aside its vitriol and spending their advertising money on a commercial that discussed how we as individuals can take action, rather then simply threatening us for our inaction.