Can We Talk?

About this?

P.S.: Don’t miss the link to the trailer at the bottom.


  1. Wow.

    Sure makes good ol’ boy Bush out to be a money-mongering moron……

    Done any research into the authenticity of these claims?

    I have to say, that at the outset here, I’m all for these electric cars, but doesn’t electricity need fuel to be produced?

    It all sounds a bit too “conspiracy-theory” to me….

  2. AnotherCoward says

    The thing in question here that has always puzzled me is the alleged link between Car Manufacturers and the Oil Companies.

    If a Car Manufacturer can produce a car that is cheaper to the consumer, then in a free market he would/should do so unless he was also benefiting in some way with his relationship with the oil companies. This would amount to some kind of collusion and oligopolic control and manipulation by the auto manufacturing industry with the oil industry.

    The cost of manufacturing (let alone entering that particular market) is so high, that I could believe the auto manufacturing industry is an oligopoly.

    The thing I’ve not ever seen is an exhaustive, detailed, and dispassionate look into the relationships between auto manufacturing and oil companies. Anything I’ve ever seen amounts to conspiracy theories. I’m not afraid to believe that perhaps a conspiracy theory is in play; however, such a documentary needs to be methodical, dispassionate, and reasonable.

    I don’t need to be told oil is evil (whatever) and that various industries only care about their bottom lines (is anyone surprised?). I just want a reasonable presentation of what the different industries are doing, how it could be viewed as a good thing, and how it could be viewed as a bad thing. I’m smart enough to make my own decision from there.

    For now, I’m left to believe that oil is just cheaper – maybe not environmentally better, but fiscally cheaper.

    The movie is obviously pro-electric car, but I do seem to remember there was a lot of concern over battery weight, battery life, high-end performance and efficiency, and battery polution (they do wear out, are difficult to recycle, and are toxic). And all of that is just from some tech/science literature I can remember reading about 5 to 10 years ago. I didn’t see any of that mentioned or addressed in the idle browsing I did through the site.

    SpaceShipOne used something roughly equivalent to laughing gas and rubber to produce a non-toxic, clean-burn fuel. Aramdillo space uses a fuel mixture that is roughly equivalent to chemicals you can buy from a grocery store (in fact, their prototype fuel I believe they did produce from grocery store bought chemicals). I think there’s still a lot of alternatives out there. The government and private individuals (if not industry) should be rewarding folks for doing research into creating clean fuels – call it the I-Prize (I for Interstate).

    Personally, I’m still enamored with Hydrogen – but end-to-end production costs are still a concern there, though if I’m not mistaken the DOE did submit a patent recently related to Hydrogen fueling a la gas pumps.

  3. Notrelatedtoted says

    10 years ago everyone but the environmentalists would laugh at you for buying an electric car. Gas was cheap. Gas is still cheap (just look at the price of milk). It was a readily available fuel source and the infrastructure was already there. Why spend a bunch of money on R&D for a car that no one will buy? The risk is just too great. Hell, up until a few months ago, big-ass SUV’s were all the rage. Then the price of gas went up and now there is market demand for something that doesn’t cost 15 bucks to take you to work….

  4. Mark Lickona says

    I’ll admit, I’m inclined to give credence to suggestions of government and corporate collusion. I understand it’s happened before, even before W, even on the other side of the aisle.

    And yeah, I don’t think electric cars are necessarily a boon (the car in and of itself, whatever kind it is, is problematic). But again, I have to admit that it seems to me to be the lesser of two evils.

    Hm, fast becoming bored with this.

    Watch this space…

  5. Notrelatedtoted says

    Mark – I think your tin foil hat could use some more duct tape. Just kidding.

    Seriously though, perhaps the “conspiracy” has been out in the open all along….the auto industy has a lot of lobbying dollars, I’ll bet. That’s the way it works. Enron had a massive database of every (or most) politician at the Federal AND state level tracking what they voted for, who they listened to, etc. etc. And they could care less if they were democrat or republican. So I wouldn’t be too surprised to hear that the auto industry swayed public policy in their own favor.

    But the charge is collusion between the oil companies the government and the auto industry. That’s a little more complicated. Two industries and the government…I might have to think on that a bit. Sometimes the simplest explanation is best.

    And how does this fit in with the International Jewish Financiers backed by the Masonic Communists? I thought they were the ones running the show?

  6. AnotherCoward says

    It’s the last paragraph that makes me think you are on to something, NRTT.

    Yeah, I’m inclined to believe that if there is a massive conspiracy of collusion and deliberate harm to the consumer market between the govies, the auto execs, and the oil barons … well, it’s so old and so well kept we should never really expect to learn about it unless someone involved in the Illuminati of oil for cars programs (1) confesses to the world and (2) is subsequently assassinated.

    But, then again, they did stage the moon landing, so I guess anything can be fake.

  7. Mark Lickona says

    Actually, all these filmmakers claim is that pressure was brought to bear and lawmakers caved in. What I mean by “collusion” is the sort of fudging on principle, i.e., non-avoidance of conflict of interest, that occurs every day. (Hey, if it can happen at Ave Maria, it can happen anywhere, right?) In other words, someone like the head of CARB begins working with fuel-cell automakers, a public official who used to work with oil companies/automakers fails to recuse himself from policy-making concerning oil companies/automakers, etc.

    Would it not be a strong tempation to cut old corporate friends (e.g., former co-workers, those who paid for your campaigns) a break? To resist such a temptation, to turn a deaf ear to requests of favors from friends (and I think it’s likely that the corporations made their desires known, considering they were crying bloody murder about the ZEV thing), out of pure principle, would take something like heroic virtue, which is a lot less common than mediocrity/fudging/favoring/etc.

    Don’t you think it’s a little strange that GM actually impounded EVs from owners’ driveways? How many recalls proceed this way (there wasn’t a safety concern, doesn’t look like)? Looks like GM wanted the whole thing to just go away…but why? If there were continuing word-of-mouth demand, wouldn’t that mean money? Maybe, but not as much, given the higher costs of making them…isn’t that where the greed (and the exercise of undue influence over conflicted public officials) would come in?

  8. AnotherCoward says

    I can buy collusion between auto and gov. I can buy collusion between oil and gov. I can buy some coincident scratch my back, scratch your back govie work. What I can’t buy is notion of all three actively working in concert.

    It seems like the filmmakers are asking some fair questions – namely, why? – but speculation beyond that won’t get you very far.

    If they could produce affordable electric cars today, car makers would be insane not to produce them. They wouldn’t be able to make them fast enough. That benefit would far outweigh any kind of benefit the government or oil could give them.

    As it is, I’m giving some serious thought to buying a scooter … $1600, and 75 miles to the gallon. Tempting. I wonder if any come with a Mr. Fusion.

Speak Your Mind