Sunday, October 5, 2008

My EV and politics

“This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine…”
Courage came to me when a magazine publisher, Jack Love, in his trade magazine, Internet Retailer, October 4, 2008, wrote, “In 40 years of publishing, I have not supported a candidate in print.”
I have been driving electric vehicles (two) since the year 2000. After 25 years of talking about converting a car to run on electricity I finally did it in the millennial year. My ’81 VW rabbit pickup is my second conversion. It is my daily commuter vehicle that uses only battery power that I plug in to my home electrical power each evening much like you would plug in an outdoor barbeque or space heater.
A few weeks ago I made and attached to the rear bumper three bumper stickers. One states, “Driving better electrically.”
A major motivation for converting a gasoline-burning vehicle to electricity was my miniscule effort toward reducing our dependence on oil from other countries. It is somewhat like choosing to eat locally produced food. Seattle City Light, the source of my EV’s fuel states (2007) our electricity comes from: Hydro—90.6%, Nuclear—4.8%, Wind—3.3%, Coal—0.8%, and Other—0.5%.
We are on the brink of the release of several new electric vehicles. Within the next two or three years you will see several major automakers, and several relatively unknown startup car companies, offering reasonably priced electric vehicles (not hybrids) with the new lithium ion battery technologies.
Since my first EV conversion in 2000 I have learned the dire situation our planet is in due to global warming. Ninety percent of the world’s scientists who have studied global warming agree that human activities are the major cause, hence the reason for my first bumper sticker, “No more dependence on carbon-based fuels.” We must drastically reduce our use of carbon-based fuels in all its forms, for all of its uses in order to assure the continuation of life as we know it on this planet.
Politics: Senator McCain’s energy policy, from what I have learned, includes significant oil drilling, off shore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, major research into creating “clean coal” and building many more nuclear power plants. The first three will do nothing to slow or reverse global warming. And, as for nuclear power, the half-life of uranium is about 4.5 billion years. In order for it to be safe we must absolutely guarantee that wherever we store the spent nuclear material it will be kept away from human beings of at least that long, and best, twice that long. Until we can insure that guarantee, in my humble opinion, we have no right to be using nuclear power.
Senator Obama’s stated energy policy includes a massive effort to increase solar, biomass, and geothermal energy to create electricity and stopping our dependence on foreign oil within ten years. He also has recently given in to accepting some limited national oil drilling as well as increasing the construction of nuclear power plants.
I have deep concerns for the healthy future of our country. I have deeper concerns for the health of life on our planet due to the effects of global warming. From this position you may see that my third bumper sticker on my electric vehicle, my daily commuter car, reads, “Obama, of course!”
Yes, both McCain and Obama tell lies in order to get elected. Who can know for sure what either one of them will do once they are the President. We certainly did not expect what we got from the current President. During his first campaign he was the one who was going to finally bring high morals to the White House.
Certainly the country’s and the world’s economy is the elephant in the living room that we all must deal with. There are many other issues to consider. For the topic of global warming and several others, but not all other issues, I am convinced that Obama might be better for the country and the world in the long run.

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