Sunday, February 27, 2011

Genetically Modified Crops in China

China faces unique challenges in regulating genetically modified (GM) crops for commercial agriculture. China has world-class biotechnology research and development capacity and has made several important advancements in the field. At the same time, China faces mounting challenges in the implementation and enforcement of biosafety regulations. Market economy pressures, administrative fragmentation, and lack of transparency in policymaking contribute to China’s difficulties. Recent changes in China’s biotechnology policies4 will broaden the commercial use of GM food crops, but will likely cause little improvement in China’s biotechnology governance capacity.

Several key biotechnology achievements have been made by Chinese researchers, but China lags behind the world in large-scale commercial distribution of GM food crops2. Cotton engineered with the natural insecticide gene from the bacterium Bacillus thuringensis (Bt) has been widely distributed in China since its approval in 19981, along with limited use of five other GM crops2. However, GM corn and rice were only approved in 20093, despite development of these strains in state institutions, extensive field trials, and pressure from key proponents in the 863 and 973 committees that fund and regulate GM research1.

China has closed networks of people responsible for the funding, research, promotion, and regulation of GM crops in government-organized groups which James Kelley calls the biotechnology discourse coalition1. This network is notorious for its lack of transparency and certainly has the appearance of a conflict of interest in the decision making process1. Nonetheless, decisions coming out of this network show disparate results depending on the GM crop. Factors in China’s caution toward Bt rice include economic worries about global trade bans and labeling requirements, scientific uncertainty towards potential genetic drift into diverse traditional rice strains, increased public interest in potential changes to their staple food, as well as regulatory concern for illegal planting of GM seeds.

China’s National People’s Congress is ready to install a new set of rules governing the “production, development, and research of GM grains”4. But despite tough biosafety rules requiring field testing for at least three growing seasons before certification5, doubt remains about the enforceability of GM crop regulations in China. Administrative fragmentation continues to tangle China’s governance of biosafety issues as numerous Ministries vie for influence.

The fact that China has dealt with commercialization of GM food crops more cautiously than many western countries emphasizes the delicate balance China is trying to strike in its approach to regulating GM crops. Despite China’s attempts to further regulate the growing biotechnology industry, it is now opening up GM food crops to widespread cultivation and will be unlikely to effectively assert regulatory control over them.

~Mark Bremer, Green Explored Contributor


[1] Keeley, James (2006) 'Balancing technological innovation and environmental regulation: an analysis of Chinese agricultural biotechnology governance', Environmental Politics, 15: 2, 293 — 309

[2] GMO Compass 3/29/10 “Genetically modified plants: Global cultivation on 134 million hectares”

[3] Reuters 11/27/09China gives safety approval to GMO rice”

[4] Reuters 12/27/10 “China mulls GMO food law, grain law ready in 2011”

[5] Robert F. Durant, Daniel J Fiorino, and Rosemary O’Leary (eds.) Environmental governance reconsidered: challenges, choices, and opportunities. 2004. MIT Press. (pg.121)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spain Lowers Speed Limit

The Spanish government has announced plans to reduce the speed limit on motorways from 120 kilometers per hour to 110 kilometers per hour. The reduced speed is being implemented not for safety reasons but to reduce fuel consumption in this nation that imports all of its oil. The Green Machine applauds the Spanish government for their understanding of physics. The power needed to break through air resistance is proportional to the cube of the velocity at which the vehicle travels. The power to overcome rolling resistance is proportional to the velocity. On the freeway air resistance is the dominant consumer of a vehicle’s engine power. Performing the tedious math one can concur with the Spanish government’s analysis that by invoking the new speed limit on the motorways owners of gasoline powered cars will save 15% and owners of diesel powered cars will save 10% of their historic fuel consumption. The reason why the savings are larger at this reduced speed for gasoline powered cars than diesel cars is that gasoline cars at the lower speed will operate at a more optimum point in their efficiency versus power curve. Diesel engines have almost a constant efficiency rating at most points in their power curve.

Now that the Spaniards have realized the velocity of vehicle affects the fuel consumption perhaps we will deal with the three other major variables that also affect fuel efficiency. The first variable is the mass of the vehicle, the second the frontal area of the vehicle and the third is the coefficient of drag of the vehicle. Most cars and trucks now all look the same as companies have been able to wind tunnel test their vehicles to develop shapes that minimize the coefficient of drag. The Hummer was a design that simply did not even attempt to lessen the coefficient of drag and resembled the shape of a brick. The Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight can easily be mistaken as the other as these two vehicles have striven to minimize their coefficient of drag. Also smaller vehicles will have smaller frontal area and therefore have improved fuel efficiency. Auto companies are striving to minimize the mass of their vehicles. Alas a Prius still is quite heavy and weighs in at over 3,100 pounds. The Toyota Corolla is perhaps 400 pounds lighter than a Prius but as it is not hybrid powered it is not as fuel efficient as the Prius. The small hybrid system on the Prius allows the engine to operate most of the time at close to its peak efficiency on the power curve.

I have opined many times that lithium ion batteries are best suited in transportation for electric bicycles. The reason this is the case is that the bike has a low frontal area, a very low mass, and a low average velocity. The battery therefore only has to provide 200 watts of peak power and 60 watts of average power to keep a cyclist moving with a velocity of 10 miles an hour on a road that is flat. The electric cycle needs about 6 watt hours of energy per mile. By comparison a Tesla Roadster needs about 360 watt hours per mile on a flat road at velocity of 50 miles per hour. On the surface this sounds good. The Tesla only needs 60 times the energy of an electric cycle to travel a mile. The problem is not with the number of watt hours per mile, but with the power in watts needed to accelerate the vehicle. The Tesla needs a battery capable of providing 185,000 watts of peak power. This is 9,000 times as much instantaneous power as the 200 watts of peak power needed for the electric bike. The cost of a battery depends on both the energy stored (watt hours) and the instantaneous power delivered (watts). This is why the Tesla battery costs $55,000 and the bicycle battery only costs $150. If Spain can only get their speed limit down to 16 kilometers per hour (10 miles per hour) we will see a bunch of Spaniards on electric bikes.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

China National Model Cities for Environmental Protection

China has conducted some interesting experiments in environmental policy initiatives and innovations. In 1989, the Urban Environmental Quality Examination System (UEQES) began providing annual assessments of the environmental performance of major Chinese cities. Then, in 1997, the National Model City (NMC) for Environmental Protection program was initiated. While the ability to acquire foreign investment in environmentally-friendly technologies has contributed to the naming of cities as NMCs, relocation of heavily-polluting industries outside of coastal cities to gain NMC points has merely displaced many environmental problems elsewhere. China’s overall environmental protection capacity will not be solely determined by NMC awards and its credibility will continue to be hurt by technical weaknesses.

To attain status as a NMC, a set of specific environmental and development targets must be met. Among these are metrics of how the city handles energy supply, manages waste, preserves green space, funds environmental protection, and rates among surveys of its citizens1. To date, dozens of Chinese cities and several urban districts have achieved NMC status2, demonstrating Chinese local officals’ capacity to develop their economies while protecting their cities’ environments.

Shenyang is an example of an impressive success in the NMC program. It was one of China’s most polluted cities in 19841. In a dramatic turnaround, officials began upgrading or relocating downtown factories and building wastewater treatment plants starting in 2001. By 2003, Shenyang had increased its good air quality days by 84% and by 2004 it had achieved NMC status1. With the prestige of the award, the local mayor was then able to attract the International Horticultural Exposition in 2006 and entice further foreign investment1.

International cooperation is a key part of the success of China’s NMC program. Japanese banks provided some funding for three initial test cities and Japanese government agencies gave technical assistance1. Partnership with the European Union has helped Nanjing develop low-carbon industries3. Singapore’s Surbana Urban Planning Group is developing plans for the striking new Tianjin Eco-City to be completed by 20204. The UK’s Arup Group is designing the proposed Dongtan Eco-City outside of Shanghai5.

Serious problems with the NMC system, however, have been identified. Zhongshan was able to win NMC status, in part, because officials moved environmentally-polluting industries outside of the city’s evaluation area1. Furthermore, it seems China’s air pollution emissions are not even measured, but rather estimated, and have the potential for compromised data1. General lack of transparency and few opportunities for citizen participation in the decision-making process contribute to the weakness of China’s environmental policies.

China’s NMC system is a progressive environmental policy idea utilizing strong international assistance to improve urban environments, but technical weaknesses bring China’s overall environmental protection capacity into question.

~Mark Bremer, Green Explored Contributor


[1] Economy, Elizabeth(2006) 'Environmental governance: the emerging economic dimension', Environmental Politics, 15: 2, 171 — 18

[2] China State Environmental Protection Administration, National Model Cities for Environmental Protection

[3] “Nanjing: Host city is investors’ favorite”

[4] “Tianjin Eco City is a Futuristic Green Landscape for 350,000 Residents”

[5] “Dongtan: the world’s first large-scale eco-city?”

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The President and His CEO Meeting

The President visited the San Francisco Bay Area this week to meet with CEOs and VCs. The meetings had the purpose of assuring the citizens of these United States that the President and his administration are pro business, pro technology, and has a vision for an energy secure future with full employment. The venue for the dinner where the President also invited selected CEOs was at the home of John Doerr. John is a partner in the VC firm Kleiner Perkins. John is ably assisted at Kleiner Perkins by his partner Al Gore. John is also a member of the board of directors of Bloom Energy where he co directs this company with Colin Powell. Simply put John is well connected. Steve Jobs attended the dinner together with Carol Bartz, John Chambers, Dick Costolo, Larry Ellison, Reed Hastings, John Hennessy, Art Levinson, Eric Schmidt, Steve Westly, and Mark Zuckerberg. Very impressive guests and I am sure the food was good. The White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that “the President specifically discussed his proposals to invest in research and development and expand incentives for companies to grow and hire.”

The Green Machine can only guess at what the guests at John’s home asked of the President but I am pretty sure that John hosted the event to thank the President for his fine energy policy that has supported many of John’s startups. John certainly did not invite any professors of thermodynamics over to his house so the President could actually be told his energy policy is a disaster. I am sure that John’s house is off the grid and power is supplied by a Bloom Box. The Kleiner Perkins portfolio of gangrene companies is quite vast and I am sure they have a high market value. None of the companies are companies that the Green Machine would invest a cent in. In a single word they are all thermodynamic junk. The biggest junk is Bloom, followed by Fisker, Siverspring and Amyris.

Back in China where real things are happening and companies are growing and hiring, President Hu probably had dinner with some engineers who actually build things. He thanked his engineers for building out almost 100,000,000,000 watts of power generation in 2010. He thanked them for building three hydroelectric dams in 2010 that are each twice as large as the Hoover Dam. He thanked them for building nuclear power plants. He thanked them that China now eclipses the US in power generation by more than 25%. Old Long John and his overpriced Bloom Box did not contribute an iota to the 100 billion watt addition to the Chinese grid. Old Long John and his partner Al Gore are the Visigores who are sacking Washington just as the Visigoths sacked Rome 1,600 years ago. They are the epitome of the parasitic leeches that suck this nation dry. This thermodynamic moron has the audacity to hype a company he owns called Lilliputian Systems that makes miniature fuel cells for portable electronic devices. Lilliputian Systems business model is that lithium ion batteries are too weak and too expensive to power a cell phone. John’s other company Fisker believes that lithium ion batteries are powerful and inexpensive and can be used to propel a 5,000 pound automobile for miles. Perhaps John is Gulliver and the Lilliputians just captured him and tied him down. Obama is not Gulliver he is just Gullible. Jonathan Swift could write a whole novel on VCs and politicians who speak the exact opposite from both sides of their mouths.

This is from the Lilliputian Systems Website
“Current battery technology is not expected to satisfy the growing power needs of CE devices. Today’s most advanced research and development efforts targeted at improving battery chemistry, (e.g. Lithium–ion batteries) are expected to only provide incremental performance gains.
When compared to Lithium-Ion battery alternatives, Lilliputian’s solution provides a 5—10x improvement in volumetric energy density (energy density by volume) and 20—40x improvement in gravimetric energy density (energy density by weight) at a fraction of the cost.
Lilliputian Systems’ product platform enables three distinct classes of Personal Power™ solutions – Mobile Power Systems (“MPS”), Integrated Power Systems (“IPS”) and Embedded Power Systems (“EPS”) for use with various consumer electronics devices ranging from mobile phones to laptops. Lilliputian will supply key components, notably the Generator Chip and a reference design, to system integrators who will manufacture the Power Systems.
Lilliputian will make formal product announcements soon.”

This from John Doerr’s mouth in a Senate Committee hearing in January 2009 on how greentech investing can spur the economy:
Doerr mentioned a new “stealth mode” lithium-ion battery maker. He says the unnamed startup “creates stable, durable lithium ion batteries with higher effective storage capacity” that can power electric vehicles “twice as far, and eventually three times as far, to over 100 miles before recharging.”

I pray that the US gets a president in the next election that will show Doerr the door.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Green Consumer Flaws

In chapter 8 of The Politics of the Environment1, author Neil Carter discusses benefits and drawbacks to the ecological modernization concept. He identifies its lack of concern for consumption as a serious limit to its potential success as an environmental policy. While ‘green consumerism’ aims to push businesses toward implementing ecological modernization, it falls short of its sustainable ideal because it encourages higher levels of consumption that offset gains in productive efficiency.

Ecological modernization is a strategic approach to greening industry. It seeks to transform the production process so that progressively fewer natural resources are used to make goods. Costs of production can be reduced by improving productive efficiency and employing technological methods to reduce waste (p.227). The concept also encourages “a more fundamental rethinking of manufacturing process so that large-scale production systems… are gradually phased out”(p.227). The result should be a “decoupling” of economic growth and resource use so that continued increases in living standards will cause progressively less environmental impact (p.227).

‘Green consumerism’ is the practice of knowledgeable shoppers making purchasing choices based on environmental criteria. This practice has “stimulated demand for goods that minimize environmental damage in the way they are made… and in their impact when used”(p.228). Recently, Walmart, the world’s largest corporation, announced a green labeling initiative that will supposedly allow customers to “consume in a more sustainable way”2. The green labels will rate products on several aspects of their environmental impact3. Theoretically, this transparency will encourage Walmart’s suppliers to undergo ecological modernization in order to increase the environmental friendliness of their products and compete in the green marketplace.

Carter points out several problems with ‘green consumerism’ that clearly limit its impact. ‘Green consumerism’ requires knowledgeable consumers, but shoppers are often misled by marketing tricks. Increasingly, corporations are guilty of “greenwashing” their image to appear more environmentally friendly than their record indicates4. So ‘green consumers’ may not actually be making environmentally beneficial choices.

But having made their green purchases, consumers’ sense of environmental guilt is overcome and they continue to maintain high levels of consumption. Ecological modernization is only superficially ‘ecological’ because it “recognizes no limits to growth” and assumes green production allows limitless consumption (p.232). Ecological modernization implicitly encourages greater consumption of green products, which tends to offset any environmental benefit of an increase in productive efficiency or waste reduction. So the effect of ‘green consumerism’ seems to contradict the decoupling theory of ecological modernization.

Demand for green products remains strong, indicating green purchasing may be a core lifestyle element for many consumers5. But, while ‘green consumerism’ is an increasing market force that encourages business’ ecological modernization, its key weakness is that it just alters the type of consumption, not the level of consumption needed for a sustainable future.

~Mark Bremer, Green Explored Contributor


[1] Carter, Neil. 2007. The Politics of the Environment: Ideas, Activism, Policy. 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press.

[2] Walmart Sustainability Index

[3] NY Times 7/16/2009 “At Wal-Mart, Labeling to Reflect Green Intent”

[4] Business Ethics: “What is greenwashing and why is it a problem?”

[5] PR Newswire Asia: “Soaring demand for green products in China”

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Unplugged at Any Speed

In 1965, a then 31 year old Ralph Nader took on General Motors with the publication of his book titled “Unsafe at any speed”. General Motors was at it zenith and it was quite amazing that a young audacious lawyer had the guts to take on this company that in its essence then represented America. A popular saying of the time was “what is good for General Motors is good for America”. This saying was coined in 1955 by Charlie Wilson the Chairman and CEO of General Motors. In the end Charlie is forgotten and Ralph is remembered. Ralph had truth on his side. It is time for a new American with guts and brains to arise and put our house in order. We had hoped this American was Barak Obama but alas he is just another Charlie Wilson.

The next folk hero who takes on the establishment should write a book titled “Unplugged at any speed”. I have opined that plug in hybrids and full electric plug in vehicles are unplugged at any speed. The problem is not just with lithium ion batteries, the entire system is unplugged! The US EPA distorts gas mileage data to convince us that plug in hybrids achieve 100 miles per gallon. Wall Street and the VCs lie about green companies that are in fact gangrene and ready to shed their limbs. University professors are at the pig trough of funding for junk science and play along with the government agencies and companies so that their worthless research can be funded for a few more years. The press is asleep and helps hype the junk science. The old forms of the press are on their last legs as advertising revenue is hard to come.

The events in Egypt and the Arab world have me thinking that perhaps in these super corrupt places the younger folks understand that the system is unplugged for them. The young Egyptians have seen how China, India, and South Korea have risen as industrial and commercial powers based on unleashing free enterprise. The also know that the US and the UK are relics of past centuries and that soon Asia will eclipse the West in economic power. For most of human history Asia eclipsed the West. In 1820 prior to the industrial revolution, Asia accounted for 80% of global GDP. For just 200 years the West has led the world through mechanical, chemical, civil, and electrical engineering marvels. We do not educate our best and our brightest to become engineers. Our smart kids study law or become MBAs. They have learned that parasites prosper in a decaying body.

The body of American life is unplugged from its life support and citizens are deprived of proper representation. My Congresswoman deprived me of my ability to voice my opinion to her committee on science and technology. Her scientific IQ is three below that of plankton yet she blocked my efforts to point out that the energy policy she so ardently supports violates all the laws of physics. Of course she voted over 90% of the time with her party. Yes she knows that the world can only be correct according to one political ideology. That she is an energy idiot is the understatement of the century. That 71% of folks who live in my congressional district vote for her election after election is testimony to how unplugged America has become.

My nephew sent me a link about a recent show that PBS TV Nova did on “Making Stuff Cleaner” February 2, 2011 The program touted the Bloom Box that old Al Gore and his VCs have hyped. I then realized that the program on PBS is produced in cooperation with the Materials Research Society (MRS). Cooperation usually means funding. PBS discloses that “MRS is an international organization of nearly 16,000 materials researchers from academia, industry, and government, and a recognized leader in promoting the advancement of interdisciplinary materials research to improve the quality of life.” Well of course these researchers need DOE and other sources of funding and of course they will show how great the Bloom Box is in order to continue the funding. I doubt that in 2011 that if a scientific genius like Isaac Newton is among us, he or she could get an audience with the House Committee on Science and Technology. Their docket is full of the researchers who are lying through their teeth to get their junk research funded.

It is time to plug into the electrical socket of reality. Egypt and the Arab States have a food crisis as well as a political crisis. The price of wheat, sugar, meat, and energy will drain countries like Egypt and Jordan. China and India will lead Asia forward while Obama and Chu fund junk and dream of Sputnik moments. The VCs will make money out of IPOs that stand for I’m Ponzying Out. The so called academics are collectively on the gravy train to thermodynamic nowhere. Sarah Palin is not that person who will write “Unplugged at Any Speed” she is plain unplugged. Right now I don’t see any young Ralph Nader who has the brains and the courage to take on the establishment but I know some young person in their early thirties is needed to wake us up from this mess.

Facebook is great and Zuckerberg is our new Gates but we need a Nader that will expose rather than exploit. Advertising revenues for Google and Facebook are high. There is tons of connectivity through the new social media but in truth the message that matters has not yet been posted. The message that needs posting is the message to the world that we are unplugged. Old Tim Leary said back in the sixties that we should “turn on, tune in, drop out”. I say “get on, plug in, and speak out”. My hero from the sixties is Alfred E Newman who said “what me worry?” I wish I could do the same. Incidentally the image for Alfred E and the saying predates Mad by some 50 years. In the early 20th century a Dentist named Romine in Topeka Kansas advertised with post cards using a kid with a missing tooth. The Dentist advertised himself as “The Painless Romine” and used a slogan “It didn’t hurt a bit, of course not because I went to the Painless Romine”. Well now Romine is burning, we can no longer fiddle around, and boy it is going to hurt to fix this mess.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Do environmental impact assessments help protect the environment?

Does the environmental impact assessment (EIA) administrative tool help protect the environment? EIA is a systematic process of evaluating environmental consequences of a proposed development project or management plan. In concept, EIA provides the information necessary to minimize environmental problems of proposed actions and encourages collaboration among the stakeholders in environmentally controversial decisions. Author Neil Carter, in The Politics of the Environment, explains that while EIA brings environmental concerns into the decision-making process in a rational way and encourages policymakers to preemptively address environmental impacts of their proposals more routinely, it “contains fundamental conceptual and technical weaknesses that render it vulnerable to charges of bias, unreliability, and imprecision”(p.302). I believe EIA is an important process for policymakers to engage in and will often, but not always, lead to some environmental benefit.

In the US, when a proposed Federal action could affect the environment, the National Environmental Policy Act of 19691 requires an investigation into the potential environmental, human health, and socio-cultural effects of the proposed action, as well as alternative actions. EIA is designed to provide information about how to avert or reduce negative environmental impacts of actions such as construction of public work projects, changes to public lands management plans, or permits for development2. Countries of the European Union have also enacted EIA legislation3.

When carried out appropriately, EIA is good because it involves a wide array of stakeholders in policy discussions. It allows environmental groups and the general public to get involved in the decision making process for proposals that affect them. If done sufficiently in advance, the EIA gives them access to information in agency draft reports, and the power to comment and apply for judicial review. This type of democratic inclusion does not usually stop a project from proceeding, especially when backed by powerful economic interests. In practice, only a well-organized and informed public interest or environmental group can intelligently comment due to the typically highly technical nature of the draft reports. However, this transparency in the process increases the chances that the proposal will attempt to minimize environmental damage.

Whereas risk assessment considers often inconclusive scientific data and cost-benefit analysis evaluates only economic issues, EIA takes into account wider concerns, such as potential social and cultural impacts of a project. EIA is the most likely of these administrative tools to capture environmental justice issues. However, the authority of an EIA can be hurt by this non-quantitative approach, potentially biased source material (EIAs are often outsourced), and ambiguity in its findings (p.302).

EIA doesn’t guarantee environmentally favorable outcomes. Entities captured by powerful economic interests can manipulate EIA to deliver on their own political ends. Policymakers could and do use an EIA to give the mere appearance of rationality to their decision making (p.303) or ignore the alternatives and enact a proposal with negative environmental impacts.

Done properly, an EIA is basically an informational tool to force policymakers to think about environmental concerns. It should increase the likelihood developers will anticipate environmental objections and subsequently modify their proposals. EIA can slowly creep environmental concerns into the social radar of planners and some environmental protection, however small, may result from their participation in the process.

~Mark Bremer, Green Explored Contributor


1 (accessed 1/30/11)

2 (accessed 1/31/11)

3 (accessed 1/31/11)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Sputnik Story

I blogged last week that comparing the sputnik moment and the green imperative was thermodynamically dumb. I did a little checking and found that the Saturn V rocket that got man to the moon burned about a million gallons of liquid propellant. I would assume the boys at NASA used a propellant with at least as many BTUs per pound as gasoline so let’s assume the rocket needed one million gallons of gasoline equivalent to get to the moon. The average Yank uses about 600 gallons of gasoline a year tanking up their vehicles. Now we know the energy needed in the liquid propellant to get to the moon could have powered 1,660 cars for a year. There was also a lot of energy used to liquefy oxygen, produce the liquid propellant, and produce the hydrogen and solid propellant in the rocket. Also needed was fuel for the lunar decent, blasting off the moon and firing on the way back to earth. For argument sake let's say each mission required the energy to propel 2,500 vehicles for a year. One can find simulations of the launch of Apollo 11 on the web here is one link

No doubt even those among us who are not rocket scientists know that getting to the moon required brute force from rocket fuel. There were 13 launches between 1967 and 1973 of Saturn Vs for the Apollo program, thus we can say approximately 30,000 cars could have been propelled for a year by the energy expended in these launches. This is not that massive a number in comparison to the 243 million private vehicles now registered in the good old USA.

Perhaps President Obama was correct in making the comparison for a very different reason he never thought about. My hunch is only 30,000 plug in vehicles will sell in a year even with the massive tax credit given to these thermodynamically impaired vehicles. Fisker the plug in hybrid behemoth that is a Volt on steroids is again delayed in their launch and the expected price of their vehicle is now well over $80,000. Their oft delayed launch was supposed to be this month. If I remember correctly old Alaric la Deux was behind the wheel at Fisker. Fisker sound like a name of a cat food not an expensive car. How about they change their name to Doggie as the whole thing is a dog of an idea? Of course Fisker got $529 million of government loan guarantees thanks to Alfalfa being behind the wheel. Talk about Muburak having his hands in the till, old Al can tell his buddie Hosni who needs to be in the presidential palace to take the public for a ride.

Putting the bad news aside the Green Machine sees some light at the end of the tunnel. The next generation who are electronically connected will be a generation that uses far less fuel. Statistics from the Federal Highway Administration show that one in every three teens now has a license at 16. It used to be one of every two. Go teens you know the times are a changing! We need electronic connection not electrical connection. As a parting shot, Fisker named their model the Karma I think is should be renamed the Dogma.