Who Killed the Electric Car — A movie review

Who cares???

That was my gut response to the documentary movie Who Killed the Electric Car.  I expressed my skepticism as we sat down to watch it last night.  I don’t care about cars.  I care about bicycling and walking.

Who cares if a car is electric, it still requires ENERGY to run.  Most of the electricity in the U.S. comes from coal (the movie stated that 55% of electricity comes from coal, but I’m fairly certain we’re higher than that in Missouri), which is hardly a clean and green alternative to petroleum.

Despite approaching the movie with a fairly closed mind, I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it.  It contains lots of dirty little secrets that the car companies and the government don’t want us to know.  I mentally rallied with the electric car supporters, and shed a few tears of anger and disgust at one point (watch the movie and then guess when).

Though my passion will continue to be active transportation, the movie makes a convincing case for electric vehicles being a viable and superior solution for many mid-range trips.  However, about half of the trips made in urban areas are less than three miles (with about a quarter of total trips under a mile)  — a distance that most people should be able to travel under their OWN power.  While electric cars might be PART of the solution for reducing our energy use and carbon emissions, working toward and promoting communities that support walking and biking is an equally (if not more) important part of the equation.

Conclusion: informative and entertaining, though not exactly uplifting.  A well-done documentary — I give it five stars.

In which I encourage you to watch t.v.

Uncharacteristic, I know, but every once in awhile, someone broadcasts something worth watching.

Case in point: next Wednesday (April 21st), many PBS stations will air Food, Inc. as part of their “P.O.V.” (which stands for Point of View) documentary series.  Check your local listings for times.  TVGuide.com simply listed it as “P.O.V.,” which threw me for a moment, but don’t be fooled!

If my sources are correct, it’s airing in St. Louis at 9:00pm and Burlington, IA at 8:00pm.  Personally, I prefer 8:00pm — less chance of interfering with my bed time and all, but I’ve been curious about Food, Inc. for awhile.  Now I can watch it at my favorite price (FREE), while sitting comfortably on my couch, wearing what I want (i.e., sans pants).

Tune in and celebrate Earth Day Eve by learning about the connection between farming and food systems, our health, and the health of our planet — just remember to unplug the t.v. or flip the switch on the power strip when it’s over!

Image from the Food, Inc. website