Neil Young, automobiles, and the environment

I just read a very interesting article by Neil Young on the automobile industry, bailouts, and reducing emissions. While I do not know enough to validate the feasibility of the strategy suggested in the article, I still believe it is an intelligent discussion. There should be no money to bail out the automobile industry without very clear, very specific, very enforceable requirements to retool the industry to produce vehicles which are relevant to the current economic, political, and environmental situations.

(not that I expect any of our leaders to have the guts to follow that path).

Another interesting article on an Electric Vehicle

Zero Motorcycles cranks out whisper quiet electric bike – Engadget

 This is another interesting concept. Unfortunately, I have a problem with the whole concept of electric cars – at least with ones with batteries which need to be charged from the electric power grid. In terms of a solution to our energy problems, or to global warming, these really make no sense whatsoever. All they are doing is moving the problem from one place (vehicles) to another place (the power grid), where the environmental impact is potentially as bad or worse. If even a small percentage of our vehicles were switched to electric, the impact on the power grid would be enormous.

While I admire the idea behind this effort, I believe the environmental advantages are largely illusory.