Mitsubishi: Welcome to the New Normal

An ad, featuring Normal, Illinois (where I teach and where my students live) has appeared on the web.  This ad features both the Mitsubishi I-car and the town’s plan to become EV Town USA.  Here are some reactions:

Me: Hey!  I know some of the people in that video.  They sure are trying hard to keep the Mitsubishi plant from moving south.

My colleagues:  They portray the town as a ghost town empty of all save I-Cars, not a fair representation of Normal.

My students:  Hey!  This is just shunting us from oil to coal to make all that electricity.  That’s not legitimately sustainable.  Green wash!!!

(Image courtesy of Greenpeace).

As usual, a bunch of professors has been pulled into line by a room full of undergraduates.

How can we tell if we are making the best energy choices?  Certainly, we know we can’t trust the media.  The corporations will tell us what they want us to hear – as will the big environmental groups.

Pull out two pieces of paper (really).

Fold them in half vertically.

At the top of each write the two options (electric cars or no electric cars).

On each column write pro and con for each.

Now get three of your best buddies together and start brainstorming.  Coffee (and coffee shops) help with this one.  Think broadly on the no electric cars category – include both regular cars and something different (mass transportation, bikes, other fuels).

Let me know what you come up with.  I don’t know the answer to the problem, but I do know how to start creating room for a solution – and that is to get different ideas onto the plate.

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