Friday, March 04, 2011

Ugh... Cars... Man.. Why???

In case you haven't seen Portlandia yet, this is a skit from it. The show is good satire. I think it might be like Chris Rock's comedy stand-up. Everybody laughs, but if you are not a part of the group at the butt of the joke, that group will probably get sensitive if you repeat it.

Anyway, this was on NPR yesterday:
Interview with William Clay Ford Jr. It is worth listening to. He is trying to sell hybrids to their target audience (basically npr listeners). Electric hybrids are becoming the rage, and we need to change infrastructure to accommodate them.
Solution: electric plug ins at home and work and shopping centers. This involves radical infrastructure change and changing the whole grid.

Also the problem with too many cars:
- 800,000,000 cars on the road today. 3-4 BILLION (3 - 4 thousand million) in our lifetime.
Solution: cars talking to eachother to avoid traffic. Cars knowing where to park in advance. He says, "the majority of fuel spent is looking for parking places." (Is this remotely possible? Does reverse take like thirty times as much gas?)

Seriously are people nuts? Electric power is so gnarly. Short of nuclear plants becoming mainstream, this is going to require so much more power. "Yeah man, I just plug it in and the wind turbines on the Turnpike by Somerset charge it." No, wrong dude. There is some kid in some valley somewhere in a crappy house stuck between a coal plant and all the power lines going to the mall so people can charge their cars while they buy a bunch of shit that they dont need. Super crazy nutso idea: Live close enough to shopping and work so you can walk or bicycle there.

Also, to solve the problem of "too many cars" with "smarter cars" is fairly nuts. Ideally, cars are going to communicate to avoid slow downs. They are going to move in a uniform line at a uniform speed in uniform direction. Parking will not be an issue. Wait... This sounds like A FUCKING TRAIN. Yeah, lets spend a cajillion dollars redoing all infrastructure so people can basically be on trains, but having it cost like 10,000 times more than actually just building trains. Great.

Is the unabomber's cabin still on ebay?

Full disclosure: I own a Honda Fit and drive it probably 5/7 days per week.


bmj said...

If you haven't already, read JH Kunstler's thoughts on "alternative energy." Cars running on different fuels doesn't solve the basic cultural problem--namely that we've built our society around the idea of cheap energy.

bmj said...

Also, speaking of "trains":

Jason said...

Do you feel better now? Breathe in, breathe out.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you drive an SUV...the steevo myth is shattered for me.

TerribleTerry said...

I don't see why everyone is suddenly bashing Nuclear. I mean...I once planned out an entire day. At work sometimes I can even plan an entire week. Brilliant guys almost as smrt as me get to work at Nuclear plants and plan how to store something for 27,000 years. I don't see what could possibly go wrong....

As for all this biking bologna...It's all part of your communist manifesto to take away American'ts rights to spend 3 hours each day swearing at others in traffic. Commi skum!