Posted by: beansai | July 14, 2007

The inconvenient truth of who killed the electric car…

I will be the first to admit that when it comes to areas of knowledge regarding the environment, politics, and conservation, I am ignorant. Lacking ambition all my life and being raised in a household where things were glazed over, I never learned the knack for researching the circumstances of how everything comes into my life. Perhaps it is the curse of a spoilt child, believing that everything is handed to me with minimal effort: not that I don’t believe in hard work or that there are people performing that difficult task of making my day to day life function, but I just never realized the scope of it all.

Lucky for me, my best buds Skunkie and Polyvector, have the initiative to dig into these matters and educate themselves. Then they are more than willing to share their education with my ignoramus self and even discuss the points and cross-points.

Today’s education binge has resulted in the watching first of Al Gore’s documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth”, followed by the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car”. If you haven’t seen either I recommend both of them strongly.

An Inconvenient Truth:

I felt that this documentary was extremely well done. Personal political conflicts were kept to the bare minimum and were only brought up regarding the issue of global warming and there were even times when I wished Gore had gone more into the issues of our current administration considering the circumstances of our planet. I think that it was proper to bring personal aspects of Gore and his life into this documentary, because it shares with the viewer how much of a passion the preservation of our world really is for him. I never felt that the personal touches were overdone or conflicted in any manner at the point that Gore was trying to make throughout this documentary.

I have never been a science-minded person and too easily I get lost in the minute details that some people find fascinating. I suppose I am a fair representation of a typical U.S. citizen that wants to leave the details of our failures and our cures up to someone else. Just tell me what to do and I MIGHT make the effort to do it. I am just as guilty, if not more, than the next person. This documentary did an amazing job of bringing the issues and current circumstances down to a level and language I could easily comprehend and was genuinely moving. Frustration at my own negligence and stupidity was bound to happen, but I’m used to feeling that way, so the humiliation is second to the motivation that was inspired.

The evidence presented in this film was more than enough to confirm my vague suspicions that I could never define in solid terms before. Has there been evidence before this? OF COURSE! We deal with it everyday in the drastic changes of weather that our planet has been experiencing. But the planet is a large concept and without the proper visuals and information, it is difficult to see beyond our local climates. The problem with a local climate view is that we don’t know what is happening in the world around us and therefore having nothing to compare or confirm our situation to. This documentary does a fantastic job of presenting compelling visuals on a global range and making it easily accessible to the viewer as well as understandable.

My hope from here on out is to make more of an effort to contribute to the conservation of our planet. I have feasible thoughts already in process and can only hope that I will have the self-respect and determination to follow through on them.

Who Killed The Electric Car:

This documentary is unbelievably frustrating and depressing! Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t the manner in which it was filmed or what points of view are provided, but the disturbing evidence that our country is so willing to sabotage itself and add to the failure of the world’s climate just to secure abominable profits for a limited period of time.

Am I ranting too quickly and too soon without making any sense? Let me explain. This documentary covers the make and destruction of the Electric Vehicle in the United States. Back in ’99 General Motors developed an all electric car that gained more popularity than expected. Other big companies like Ford, Honda and Toyota also joined the electric vehicle race with their own models. Not surprisingly, but rather frustratingly, big corporations, including the automobile corporations themselves, became threatened by the electric car.

Why, you ask? Simply because a cleaner, cheaper, more efficient mode of transportation meant that the big oil companies would not make their astronomical profits from the consumers (that would be you and me, who pay over 3 dollars a gallon for gasoline) and that the dealerships then had to admit that their previous models were not as high of standard and that would mean their major market would decrease. This resulted in the automobile companies confiscating those electric cars they leased out (drivers were never given an opportunity to buy the vehicles) and taking them in to be smashed and ground into bits. BRAND new vehicles, with parts that at least could have been recycled were completely demolished.

This was a pill to swallow after having just finished watching the destruction we’ve caused to our own planet. And these cars were made back in 1999! That is almost ten years worth of pollution from petroleum dependent vehicles that could have been reduced. The thought that our government allows big corporations to rule our country and backs them up makes me sick and despondent. This film was an eye opener to the reality of the people that I’ve entrusted the mundane details of my life to and all of a sudden, those mundane details, are not so boring.



  1. I am really glad you got something out of these movies. I just hope so did all the others who have given them a chance. Now we just need to get you to watch Control Room (about the Iraq war) and Super Size Me. 😉

  2. I can’t help it, but every time I see that movie (documentary I mean…) in your movie collection, I just think of the Control Room movie with Jodie Foster because that was just awful. Isn’t that one of your movies that has never been removed from the wrapper? I think it is… and I know…I want to see super size me, but haven’t been able to bring myself to watch it yet.

  3. Yeah “Control Room” is one of those movie that has never been removed from the wrapper, but we saw it in the theater.

  4. […] Inconvenient Truth” or “Who Killed the Electric Car”, which you can read about in my review “The Inconvenient Truth of Who Killed the Electric Car” from a while […]

  5. Watched “Who Killed the Electric Car” recently (great documentary), then i heard that GM and Tesla are making another run at the electric car (yay for progress!) hopefully development of this technology can go on unhindered by the corporations that depend on oil consumption.

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