2007.05.01

Green Hosting

01.51.23 - Mark

Green Web Hosting! This site hosted by DreamHost. Dreamhost, my hosting company of choice, is now carbon neutral. As nice as carbon credits are, they're not a replacement for renewable/efficient energy sources, but I can't fault them - they are running a hosting company. An interesting side note is they are also taking steps to reduce their resource requirements by buying more energy efficient servers and taking other measures at their offices. Still green hosting - I'm happy.

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2007.02.22

Electric Cars

12.26.08 - Mark

Who Killed the Electric Car? is a pretty strong documentary about the appearance of commercial electric vehicles in the mid 1990s from GM, Ford, and others, and explores why these vehicles were quickly and quietly phased out. It also makes me wish I had the money and mechanical aptitude to do an electric conversion.

The main documentary (there's a second documentary in the DVD's special features) focuses entirely on the life and death of General Motor's EV1 It takes a fair look at the various complaints about electric vehicles, such as the lack of consumer acceptance, the interests of Oil manufacturers, the shortcomings of battery technologies, competing technologies, and various government mandates that affected electric vehicles. While the movie tends to sway off into tangential topics most of the time the subject remains interesting, and only starts to feel long in one or two places.

One of the things that can bother me with, for lack of a better term, activist documentaries like WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price (that post) or An Inconvenient Truth is that they're great on starting conversations, and exposing facts, but can easily come up short on solid suggestions for creating change. Who Killed the Electric Car, almost fails here. The last few minutes of the film make comments about plug-in hybrid electric vehicles as well as DIY conversions, but there's very little about these in the actual movie, and I think that detracts from it a little.

They recover a little ground by adding a 15 minute piece in the special features that explore several potential actions people can take to encourage the industry to start producing more electric vehicles, but when the main film has a running time of around 90 minutes, I don't think it would have hurt them to add the extra footage.

Still, its a solid film, and it makes me wish I had the money to attempt an electric conversion. The technology and infrastructure is here today, there's no reason we don't have commercially available plugin electric vehicles.

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