We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Electric Evasion

by Michael Dawson from CounterPunch

The author does a good job of punching holes in all the hype about electric cars. 

Also, I can never get over the implied assumption in all this hype that somehow electricity is free of pollution, that is, the implication that electricity is a source of energy rather than a means to distribute energy whose source continues to be mostly fossil fuels. 

I presume that concentrating the burning of fossil fuels at certain plants, converting the fuels to electricity, and distributing the electricity to various outlets is less polluting than burning the fuels in vehicles--but how much is never discussed. Then, of course, this process results in the inevitable loss of energy through the various steps of conversion and distribution.

Clearly all the hype is designed to give capitalists another big opportunity to pursue profits while reassuring everyone that this is the "green" thing to do, that it will save the planet.