Green-News: Friday 8.29.08
- America’s obsession with fuel-guzzling trucks may be coming to an end. Ford is spending $75 million to retool its Michigan truck plant for producing small cars. Michael Graham Richard of TreeHugger reports:
The plant will begin converting its body shop in November when the tooling and equipment specific to the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator will be disassembled and transferred to Kentucky Truck Plant [...] in the interim, 1,000 employees will be transferred next door to Wayne Assembly Plant where a third crew will be added in January to accommodate increased production of the hot-selling Ford Focus."
Small Vehicles at Michigan Plant: Only in 2010
Retooling a manufacturing plant of that size isn't easy or quick, so the C-class vehicles will only start production in 2010. If Ford had been a bit faster to react and had make the change a few years ago, it would already have these vehicles now that demand is higher than supply in many areas.
- Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean floats a TEXAS-SIZED island of plastic—indecomposable plastics containing the toxin Bisphenol A. For more, check out this video documentary on VBS.TV:
Before this trip, I was never all that crazy about the ocean. I’ve always appreciated the fact that it generates the majority of the world’s oxygen and keeps us nice and far from places like Britain, but in terms of any sort of awe or “respect” it just never happened. I would say I looked at it less as the primeval womb of all terrestrial life than as an excessive amount of water you sometimes have to fly over.
Part and parcel with this was my attitude toward the Pacific Garbage Patch, or as we willfully misidentified it for the duration of our journey, the elusive Garbage Island. All the journalism I’d read about the patch had carefully danced around physical descriptions of the trash, leading myself and the rest of the shooting crew to fanciful visions of a solid, Texas-size barge of discarded Coke bottles and sporting goods. The idea that people had managed to f**k up a part of the world that nobody even visits, much less inhabits, and on such a monumental scale struck me as interesting and, to be honest, slightly awesome-sounding, but at the end of the day the impact of the mess on the rest of the world failed to register. I mean, sure, sea birds choking to death on deflated balloons and sea turtles whose shells have been completely deformed by soda can rings—all this definitely sucks, but so do a lot of things, you know?
- The Sierra Club has released its energy scorecard for presidential hopefuls John McCain and Barack Obama. How will each of them address America’s green energy needs? See for yourself:
Both candidates are talking about energy, high prices and global warming, so it's important to look past the rhetoric and see what is at the heart of their plans," said Cathy Duvall, Sierra Club Political Director. "As this scorecard illustrates, the contrast in this election could not be starker. Barack Obama wants to give tax relief and $1,000 energy rebates to working families, while John McCain wants billions more in tax breaks for oil companies making more than $1,000 a second in profits."
Taking on Big Oil-The scorecard contrasts Obama’s pro-consumer plan for middle class tax relief and $1,000 emergency energy rebates paid for by taxing Big Oil’s billions in record profits with McCain’s plan for another $4 billion in tax breaks for Big Oil.
Investing in the Clean Energy Economy-Obama’s $150 billion plan for 5 million new clean energy jobs is contrasted with McCain’s unblemished record of opposition to pro-clean energy policies and refusal to show up and vote for clean energy incentives necessary to save 116,000 existing jobs and $19 billion in new investments and lay the foundation for the clean energy future that will rid us of our dangerous dependence on fossil fuels.
Fixing Global Warming-Barack Obama will do what scientists tell us is necessary and make polluters pay in order to give back hundreds of billions of dollars to consumers in order to bring energy costs back under control. Meanwhile, McCain has proposed an outdated plan that gives away hundreds of billions to polluters.