On Monday, I said we would begin to tackle the serious issues we are facing. I’m not going to write here about the benefits of hybrid cars. I’m going to take it as given that most of the Left Coast Voices readership believe in the threat of global warming and understand the environmental benefits of hybrid cars. If you disagree with me, feel free to state your case in the comments section. I plan to write about alternative energy at a later date.
What I want to ask is: if we already have the technology to create the hybrid car, then why are we still producing non-hybrid cars? While every other car in the Bay Area is a Prius, did you know that Porsche are producing a hybrid sports car? Also Jaguar are busy producing their own hybrid line, and both cars should be ready to coincide with my fiftieth birthday (to help this come true, please contact your local top fiction publisher or blockbuster movie company!).
The Chinese, I believe, use the same word to mean disaster and opportunity. With the collapse of the American car industry, there was an opportunity that was only partially grasped. The American public seemed willing to bail out the US car industry but insisted that it become relevant in today’s economy. I had the opportunity to hold this discussion with about a dozen patriotic, forward-thinking Americans, almost all of whom are loyal Toyota, Honda and Lexus drivers.
In restructuring the American car industry, why didn’t we insist that only cars with a minimum mpg be produced? Why not decide now that no car with a fuel consumption of less than 35 mpg will be made on American soil by 2013 – the technology is there, so why wait for a few more icebergs to melt?
Can we go further and not import cars that fail to adhere to such standards? Instead of fearing repercussions from our fellow business partners abroad, why not build consensus by bringing them on board to adopt the same standards? The country that manufactures Toyota, Honda and Lexus, fully understands what happens when the natural world goes out of sync.
What’s holding us back from taking this simple, but bold step? We’ll discuss that on Friday.
Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).