May 22, 2013
Written by Jim Cameron
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 11:04
From fellow transportation activist Bob J., “That’s a cheerful piece this week!”
Thanks Bob. We both know I’m really not as cynical as I sometimes sound.
Frank A. captured the thoughts of many when he wrote: “Your letter this time is full of doom and gloom. It is OK to be realistic, but you need to offer folks some hope and some positive outlooks, or at least some suggestions. Who knows, your ideas and comments might be useful to the powerbrokers in Washington.”
That wasn’t my goal, Frank. I’d rather get readers thinking than to preach solutions, of which there are many, and none of them easy.
SHL posted a few thoughts on my blog site: “Hi Jim, I really enjoyed your piece today. All the points are very plausible and very practical. Two observations I have are:
•“On the environment, instead of re-emphasis on coal (which would be a more immediate yet finite solution), perhaps other forms of alternative energy will be preferred instead. The one area I never understood is why our country shies away from nuclear energy. I mean I understand why. I just think in terms of risk/reward as well as know-how. That’s the most logical choice.
•“A lot of what you summarized points to a possible decentralization from ‘metropolis.’ What I mean is instead of having concentrations of populations in/near cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, people may be more spread out. This can be good and bad — good because people’s lives may become more local, bad because local municipalities are ill equipped for population rises and infrastructural strains.”
Gary L. said I’d really missed the point: Technology will evolve to meet the energy challenge.
He wrote: “By (the time gas hits $10 a gallon) I will be in my third-generation Chevy Volt with its 650-mile electric range, charging it for free with my quick-charge solar panels. Most other folks will be in electric and fuel-cell vehicles, and another large segment will be using E85 from cheap cellulosic ethanol production … all by a reinvented, highly profitable GM. GM’s fuel cell, Equinox, now has logged more than 1.3 million miles; and the next-generation hydrogen fuel stacks now being placed in 2010 Chevy Equinoxs to continue ‘Project Driveway’ are 220 pounds lighter than generation 1, and use just one third of the platinum.”
“This is not wishing. These are very real conditions converging in the automotive market today. I think people are going to be surprised at what we will be driving by the end of this decade.”
Points well taken, Gary.
If you have a comment about any of my “Talking Transportation” columns, share them on the blog edition of the wood-based media (print) version. Or reach me by e-mail from the addresses below.
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