Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Sunday NY Times Magazine - The Green Issue

For those coming late to the party, pick up a copy of last Sunday's (April 19) New York Times. Pull out the magazine and you'll find what's being called the Green Issue. For those who prefer investigating online: The Green Mind. (May be behind a subscription wall... but I believe registration is free).

Of greatest note here at Metro Green is the Times' focus study of Shai Agassi and his visionary efforts to promote electric cars with interchangeable batteries. Batteries Not Included is an in-depth look at the progress Agassi has been making with his Better Place concept for the operating mechanisms of viable all-electric car transportation. Metro Green readers will remember Agassi from our March 23rd post entitled "E=MC2 for E value "Electric" (as in car)..." Central to the topic of electric cars is this puzzling conundrum:
"The most advanced electric car currently for sale, the Tesla Roadster, runs for no more than 250 miles on a charge, and others can do only 50 miles or so; then they require two or more hours of plug-in time to recharge. The problem of refueling is so significant that fans of electric cars have a phrase for it: range anxiety, the nagging fear that you’ll run out of juice before you can find a charge spot and be stranded at the side of the road. It is the major reason that most Americans, even as they cheer on the development of low- or no-emissions vehicles, are leery of actually buying one. And if people won’t buy them, carmakers won’t make them."
It is the single question best answered thus far by Agassi's Better Place battery changing stations. Author Clive Thompson also updates our original essay touting in summation the recently-committed Obama stimulus plan's $2.4B in development grants for electric cars and plug-in electric hybrids.

Jon Gertner also has a worthwhile psycho-social inquiry into the nature of our struggle to get 100% behind sustainability efforts and the green lifestyle in his essay "Why Isn't The Brain Green?"

All in all a very worthwhile read and what better way to ring in April 22nd: Earth Day 2009?

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