Sunday, November 16, 2008

Speaking of Neil

Only a day or so ago, I mentioned Neil Young, and lo, this appears in the Huffington Post. I'm genuinely surprised. Neil is reclusive, and I've never known him to write anything but songs. Had I not read just recently in an excellent article in the New Yorker, that Ariana Huffington has invited a whole host of disparate people to contribute to her blog, I would have been more surprised.

Bascially Neil says if we're going to bail out the auto industry, they should be forced to turn out nothing but what he calls "Transition Rollers." The idea is to build a standard line of vehicles with existing tooling but without engines. Then put electric engines in all of these frames to produce nothing but SCEVs--self-charging electric vehicles. This is gross oversimplification, but that's the general idea.

One of the commenters, who seems to know what he's talking about, says this idea is not feasible (retooling is necessary no matter what). Another suggests that Detroit start working on reconstructing the rail network in the U.S.

Whatever. The point is if we're going to shovel millions of dollars to the auto industry, let's make these damn guys do what they should have been doing for the past ten years at least. Start thinking about the planet.
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