The only reason I can see why anyone would want to see that pack of lies called Who Killed the Electric Car? would be to study the techniques that are successful in conning a gullible and EV-ignorant public [SFR Talk, Oct. 10: "Digging on Design."]
The film actually turns out to be an indictment of the clueless media, whose reviewers applauded the film. Beforehand, they couldn't spell EV-1; afterward they thought they actually knew something about the car, recently named by The New York Times' auto analyst as one of the 50 worst cars ever built.
Amazing how a Hollywood film can con the rubes into believing that the EV-1 was some wonder car-the only real wonder was why on earth GM ever got conned into building an electric car without having a practical battery in their hands.
Thus, we find GM's product very similar to the Detroit Electric in terms of driving range (somewhere between 75 and 110, which varied considerably) and recharge times (with a 24-kilowatt-hour, 1200-pound battery (!!) pack, about 14 hours for a full recharge on 110-volt standard outlet) and high-build cost ($43,000, or three times more expensive than a far more reliable Honda Civic). Battery costs? About $21,000 every five years, making the per mile cost the most expensive of any car ever built.
The Detroit Electric was built in 1907! The lowly Model T easily did it in. Thus, in 90 years the electric car had progressed technologically not one iota in its crucial characteristics of driving range and recharge times.
Why crush the EVs? No spare parts, liability concerns about selling a car that can electrocute its owner mechanic, inability to meet federal safety guidelines, proprietary engineering in several components that GM didn't want to give to any potential competitors. Toyota, it must be added, was ready to crush their Rav4 electrics as well, until they knuckled under to Chris Paine's threat to paint them as villains in his upcoming film. Ah, whatever became of those Japanese who would willingly die for an ideal during WWII?
Readers will naively believe the fairy tales implicit in Laura Paskus' thorough and detailed article on the Environmental Improvement Board [Outtakes, Oct. 3: "Gas Out"]. After all, according to the statutes that created it in 1978 and 1981, the EIB is SUPPOSED to ensure food protection.
But from my personal experience as the only New Mexican who has ever brought a food protection administrative appeal to them, to ask them to use their statutory power to prevent further sale and consumption of the artificial sweetener, Aspartame/Methanol/Formaldehyde/Diketopiperazine, the EIB has ludicrously failed to exercise their responsibilities here, in their ghastly capitulation to corporate lobbyists/lawyers hired by Ajinomoto (the world's largest Aspartame and Monosodium Glutamate manufacturer) and by Coca-Cola and Pepsi (the world's largest users of Aspartame) and Altria/Kraft.
Even after Coke switches to Stevia, as it is doing, the neurodegenerative harm has been done and won't go away. EIB and food protection? What a cruel and absurd joke! The only real solution is for the Legislature to take these easily usurped powers from the EIB and give real powers to challenge FDA approval to a new New Mexico Nutrition Council, which the very same corporate lobbyists will fight tooth and nail, once again.
This letter voices valid arguments on troop support. I am a visitor here and read the letter [Oct. 3: "Illogical Column"] but not the "War is Illogical" column [Sept. 19].
I have found that the very same vitriolic Republican voices carping about the Democrats politicizing the war is absolutely what the Republicans do at every turn. It really is amazing that the Republicans do exactly what they accuse the other side of doing: Politics. And they get away with it, until now.
Let me make one point very clear: Support for the troops has little to do with agreement over their mission. I expect and surely hope that every American supports the troops with loyalty and praise. They really are our heroes. Their bosses, however, are not and have put so many in harm's way to serve political agendas. (How anyone could support the bumbling Rumsfeld for SO long, amazes.) That puts personal loyalty above the cause for war as well as support for the troops.
Regarding the "Down and Dirty" battle over ATVs and dirt bikes on Forest Service land [Outtakes, Sept. 26]: I would like to know what horrible experiences these people have had who have such virulent hatred of ATVs and dirt bikes that your magazine published? It seems these people have taken the extremist view of prohibitionists and Nazis. Rather than putting in place reasonable rules to protect one group from another, they want to ban all vehicles from Forest Service land-unless they're driving a 4 x 4 to their favorite hiking or camping spot. I agree there should be areas, with no ATVs and dirt bikes, reserved for hiking, horseback and wilderness. There are also thousands of miles of existing Forest Service and ranch roads originally made by bulldozers or heavy 4 x 4s, where no one in there right mind would want to hike up and down.
Why do you extremists object to ATVs and dirt bikes on existing roads? You don't seem to object to 5,000-pound 4 x 4 trucks getting 12 mpg going up and down these roads. If some ATV and dirt bike riders are going up and down trails where hikers are found, they should stay off them. There should be designated areas for "No Motorized Vehicles." Other than this kind of a problem, where's the great damage to the environment? Do the extremists want to ban all trucks as well?
I've gone out on Glorietta Mesa on a dirt bike, staying on the roads. I've hardly ever seen anyone out there-a few pick-up trucks and mountain bikers. I've always had a spark arrestor, as every ATV and motorcycle should have. I've always slowed down for mountain bikers or cows on these roads. I don't leave any trash behind. I give to Arbor Day and other environmental causes. I'm not hurting anything or anyone. And I need to get the hell out of the office from time to time, before my mind goes numb watching a computer screen all day. So how dare you extremists tell me I can't get out and ride responsibly!
Mary Jane Straw Cook is the author of Doña Tules. A listing in the Oct. 3 Performing Arts Calendar stated otherwise.
SFR regrets the error.
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