7.25.2007

The Greenneck: Airborne Again


And so the GN finds himself airbound again, with all the complications and contradictions it brings: The dash to the airport (first riding the bike to pick up the truck at the shop; the truck needed rather suddenly and immediately to jumpstart the old Subaru, the one set of presentable travel clothes already grease-stained before the airport hoves into view, the strategic parking of the Subie on the uppermost deck to allow for the inevitable push start upon the GN’s return and on and on and on), the wondering if it is even worth it: Detroit, of all places, to drive VW’s 2008 clean diesel Jetta and talk to the car maker’s engineers about the future of diesel in the US. Interesting stuff (to the GN, at least), and it pays ok, but still… cars? Flying to drive? It is unseemly, like playing witness to the latter part of Axl Rose’s singing career.

And next week: Back to Detroit, this time for a sit down with GM’s Bob Lutz (a man who owns a Russian MIG fighter jet and subscribes to the “so-called theory of global warming”) to talk about GM’s plans for plug-in hybrids.

The Greenneck likes his work, and the recent turn it has taken from vapid adventure travel to issues of energy and how it is used. But there are times – and this is one of them; how could it not be? – when he feels like little more than a cog in the consumer machine, preaching the gospel of green tech, promising a reprieve with no more hardship than it takes to mosey on down to your local car dealer and trade the Explorer for something newer and better.

So let it be said here and now: It ain’t gonna be that easy.

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