A Failure of Imagination

2010 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT Coupe Shown 2010 Chevy Camaro

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make me have to write. “What, no green? What happened to the green cars?” Fox News’ Bill Hemmer chided GM on Friday, July 10, 2009, for rolling out their 2010 Chevy Camaro, instead of the green cars they had trotted out the previous day. GM is now emerging from bankruptcy, don’t cha know, putting their best foot forward.

I don’t get it? Why can’t the company design a green Camaro? People like the package, the styling. The challenge could be to also design for green performance. Give the people what they like. ABC’s 20/20 excellent special showed that GM is now designing hot cars for future production. As I’ve written previously, we’ve been talking about this as a nation for forty years.

Why haven’t they done it? The new Camaro gets 19-23 mpg. Why? They would ruin the name of the brand without the powerful engine? So make a Camaro G for “green” or sumpin’!

Every major American car company turned down Tesla Motors who manufactures a car that runs on computer batteries. Daimler picked them up. The S roadster sells for $49,000, and there’s a waiting list. I imagine the price will come down over time. The S boasts: “pure electric, up to 300-mile range, 45 minute quick charge, more cargo space than sedans, 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds.” It looks pretty, too.

I became a vegetarian then a vegan in my twenties. My cooking style morphed through various cultures, adding Indian and Asian dishes to my culinary repertoire. However, my friends and I began cooking for our young families in a style that incorporated the dishes we each grew up with. I was testing recipes for a collective cookbook and made gluten cacciatore, tofu lasagna, my tofu version of grandma’s cheese danish, tofu sour cream, delicacies from my year in Puerto Rico. I cooked to the tastes we were used to, but I made them with vegetarian ingredients.

However, until now, the management and/or designers at US car giants decided the model for green cars had to be [fill in the blank—something different, bulkier, unfamiliar, uglier]. Or take ladies’ shoes, for example. I’m a fashionista of sorts, but walking in NYC and at my fabulous age, want comfort, too. Why should even the most stylish company’s comfort line of shoes be bulkier and nerdier looking than their standard line? Why not design, create, and manufacture the products that people know, love, and enjoy, but make them green and/or comfortable? Of course, we always want innovation in design, too . . .

Americans! Please! Can we as a nation begin to imagine again? Can we cook up some really great ideas about how to solve the many problems that ail us? Yes, it’s the economy, estupido. More than that, though, our country’s moral fiber has wilted. Don’t feel beaten down and in a slump. It’s time for us all to put on our thinking caps.

What are your brightest ideas in any domain that will contribute positively to the world? —Of course, without harming others or infringing on their rights.

If you believe in it, you must do it!

IMG_9198Manhattan Island, July 4, 2009 — Photo: Lady Boomer NYC

4 thoughts on “A Failure of Imagination

  1. Hi LB,

    Love your post. Any call to the imagination gets my attention. The imagination has got a lot to do with “soul” in my book.

    The photo is great, too!

  2. ladyboomer, many of the solutions are so simple. Take cars for example. Electric cars are not the answer: we will end up with an increasing amount of nuclear power plants.

    We need gas-efficient cars or something like Stan Meyers water powered car. I BEGGED GM to bring back the Geo Metro (in reality a Suzuki Swift), first sold around 1989. 50 mpg, engine lives forever, tires are so tiny they cost about $30/each. Needed very little repair. Never failed an emissions test.

    Also did not earn GM much money because it was cheap, needed barely any repairs, lived forever. Was issued as a 2-seater convertible. 4/5 seater hatchback and even small station wagen. They phased it out.

    What about those carnivores? If Americans consumed meat only 2x/week imagine the rain forests we’d save, the cow flatulence not emitted, the grain we could feed people with instead of animals.

    What about living in modest quarters like Europeans do? What about teeny tiny houses instead of monstrous ones? What about sharing appliances? Does every single household really need its own washing machine & dryer?

    There are a million solutions. Work less, own less, enjoy life more. Only thing…most can’t do anything they perceive as “sacrifice”.

  3. Add in Credit Card Debt. The one trillion dollars in consumer credit card debt creates approximately 15-30 BILLION DOLLARS of interest rate charges every month.

    While I think it is reasonable to charge some interest, why should older credit card debt have interest rate charges at all?

    The profit was made in the first three years on the interest rate charges, after that period of time, just let the debt be paid off interest free.

    That means people have to work less, which means they use less resources to pay down debt.

    Yes, Credit Card Debt causes global whatever, whatever.


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