Thursday, January 3, 2008

orangutan plan, cool truck, dangerous advice

"Orangutan Plan to Curb Carbon Emissions" - i didn't even know orangutans emitted carbon, much less that they were seeking ways to reduce their emissions. other than the oddly phrased title, it is a pretty boring article. essentially, it tells us that not cutting down forests produces less CO2 than cutting them down.

the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is coming up in 11 days and Toyota is bringing a cute small truck for environmentalists. i'm not entirely convinced of the benefits of hybrids economically, ecologically, or in terms of general pleasantness to use. we use priuses at work and i pretty much hate them. they're too small for me to drive comfortably, too floaty on the highway, their traction control is extremely heavy handed, they beep unnecessarily while backing up, the throttle is unresponsive, and the brakes are grabby. they are altogether unpleasant cars to drive. and i'm not convinced of their environmental benfits

so, hopefully, Toyota will do the right thing and build this truck, but give it the nice compact diesel engine from the everywhere-but-the-US version of the Tacoma. give it the same efficiency as the hybrid, but at a lower price and infinitely better driving experience.

a bunch of coalitive scientists want us to teach kids critical thinking, specifically in the area of the evolution vs creation debatacle (debate/debacle). encouraging critical thinking within a consumer-led economy based largely on unreason can only be a catastrophically bad idea. what would happen if the next generation thought critically, understood that their actions had consequences, and believed that they lived in a rational world where they need to be responsible to a reasonable system rather than an arbitrary dogma? for me, the debate here is between reason and unreason. and promoting acceptance of ideas based on unreason is absolutely essential for our future. otherwise, people will act reasonably, wanton credit-fed consumption of obviously superfluous items will collapse and take the US economy with it and i'll never get my social security benefits. keep the crazies in our schools. do it for our future. do it for the economy.

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