Monday, January 29, 2007

The root of all evil

Last night's movie was "Who Killed the Electric Car?" Serge doesn't usually go much for documentaries, but he was slowly but surely outraged as the tale of the demise of the zero-emissions Electric vehicle was detailed. From the beginning of the film, I kept muttering, "It's the oil companies". The film doesn't target any one particular party for murdering the car, but this following point was most telling. And it rankled Serge the most.

This guy developed this battery that let you drive for 300 miles per charge. This was a great breakthrough because the consumer was nervous about buying a car that only let you go 100 miles per charge. General Motors bought the patent. And then sold it. To whom? Texaco. The batteries ceased being made. (Surprise, surprise!)

Serge kept saying, "why, why?" And the sad truth is that the oil companies will do anything to protect their profit stream. Including destroying the planet and destroying any emerging technology that would ween our dependence from oil. They are no better than heroin dealers.

(Another interesting nugget was how, 50 years ago, the oil companies quietly bought municipal trolley systems that ran on electricity. Then they switched this form of public transportation to fuel based vehicles.)

But the consumer is bad too, an oil junkie, and you know how hard it is to break an addiction.


Snooze said...

I didn't know that story about the battery. Disgusting. I was going to say, "I can't believe it", but nothing about corporate greed surprises me anymore.

Joy said...

Well written. I am going to rent this and I'm sure I will feel the same - if not worse - than I did after seeing "An Inconvenient Truth"...

Lemuel said...

I did not see the documentary, but I am not at all surprised from what I know from other sources.

Now, do we want to talk about the real reason we invaded Iraq?

St. Dickeybird said...

No surprise.

Jason said...

Doesn't help that Bush comes from an oil family.

GayProf said...

I am a terrible oil-junkie. Not that I drive some giant gas-guzzling truck or anything, but I do like having a car.

That is why I left it behind in Texas while in Boston this year. I am considering it a year of environmental penance, made easier by a city that actually has functioning public transport. If more U.S. cities invested in public transport (particularly light-rail), I think people would use them. Instead, I see that Houston is building an 18-lane highway. Sigh

Rebekah said...

What is it? What keeps most of us, day to day, unable to see past our own noses?

The big oil companies are doing it on a much grander scale, but still.

It's back to the "But it's me!" syndrome. You know, when rules or even common sense doesn't have to be followed, because those little things get in the way.


Patricia said...

i'm gonna look for this movie. but i'll have to medicate myself first. this kind of stuff gets me worked up into a lather.

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

Add to the mix the fact that the U.S. government is the poodle of the giant corporations, and it becomes a lethal, planet killing cocktail, indeed.

The Book of the Revelation in the Bible is fascinating. I think the "Beast" is greed, and the whore is the power structures that feed that greed. It's easy to see it being enacted today.
Oh dear me, have I turned into a bible thumper?

Em said...

Oh Daniel, you are brave to even read Revelation. It makes me anxious.

I love the way you compare the oil companies to heroin dealers. That is a distinction we don't make here. We demonize the one and support the other. Hypocrits.

I know we all have a choice but it is crazy to say we have much of one. Most people have to drive to get to work. Our choice is to put our leaders' feet to the fire. And we don't understand where our power is so that is nearly impossible to do.

Hopefully we are learning, but we are like a child being raised by parents who willfully teach us wrong words for everything. And then we go out and speak unintelligibly and can't seem to effect a change.

Plus, we aren't destroying the planet, we are wrecking our position on her. She will be fine.

madamerouge said...

Who keeps back the electric car?
Who makes Steve Guttenberg a star?
We do, we do.

the Stonecutter's anthem from The Simpsons

So, you see, clearly, it's the Stonecutters.


Adam said...

I've been wanting to see that movie for a while, I must rent it.

Sunshine said...

How selfish. Don't these oil company execs have kids? It never ceases to amaze me how these people choose present wealth over a sustainable future for their future generations. *sigh*

Ed said...

The book of Revelation is hard to understand. Just know that in the end good will triumph over evil.
The greedy bastards will get theirs. Then peace will over all the earth its Ancient splendor fling.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I don't know if I buy those documentaries. If that were the case, how did hybrids make it past the conspiracy.

Internal combustion engines are a necesity.

If there were money to be made in electric cars, somebody would be making them.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Oh, tell me more about the beaver tails. They sound delightful! I want in on the Snow Festival.

dawn said...

the whole thing is so frustrating. i'm glad there is a documentary out there about it. there are some people still trying to get electric cars made, hopefully they'll succeed before they get run out of town.

knottyboy said...

This battle is coming again. You can almost feel the noose slipping around the neck of the oil eaters. We're ready for a change and have been for quite some time. I think we've just about hit critical mass for them to loose their hold on us. Almost.