Monday, June 16, 2008

If it can happen in Gaza...

it can happen here.

And no, I'm not talking about a terrorist attack. I'm talking about ingenuity; a creative response to an economic and environmental problem.

The Christian Science Monitor's Bright Green Blog (aside: is something a blog if its run by a traditional media outlet? Heather, feel free to answer that rhetorical question, as you are uniquely situated, blogging for a newspaper and all) has a wonderful story (which they in turn borrowed from The Independent) about Fayez Annan and Wasseem Al Khazendar, two businessmen in Gaza who have successfully "converted a Peugeot into plug-in electric car."

Performance is an issue, as the car has a top speed of 62 mph, and a range of 110 miles. But if a couple of guys in a garage in Gaza can come up with this, I wonder what the best minds in the world, funded by transnational behemoths and charged with delivering a safe, efficient, affordable electric car could do. I suspect, however, that until the auto industry as a whole decides to wake up and smell the shrinking profit margins and lack of sustainability (not to mention the pollution), they'll continue to invest just enough in alternative ways to power cars to be able to wring their hands and cry "Well, at least we tried."

As anyone who has seen the powerful documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? can attest, they haven't yet tried hard enough. Not nearly hard enough.

(And, let the record reflect, I didn't link to an AP article, so please don't have me arrested or anything!)


Update: 6-17-08, 8:15 am

My evil twin Tom v. the AP.

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