Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Far Left and Cars 2

The far left just doesn't seem to get it. I found out yesterday that in Pixar's "Cars 2," the director decided to make "big oil" the enemy. Kevin Glass at Townhall made some great points, but there's more to explore.

First, the director shouldn't advocate for alternative energy when he doesn't know what he's talking about. "Why isn’t alternative fuel more… Why isn’t everybody jumping on that bandwagon? It makes so much sense: Electricity, solar, whatever. There’s ethanol," he explained.

Really? Ethanol? Okay, let's start there. What we make in the U.S., and what lefties are pushing is biomass ethanol. We've known ethanol made this way is a terrible idea from an energy standpoint for many years. Worse yet, by making it from food crops, we're contributing to world hunger and high food prices, so we're starving people in poor countries by burning food for fuel. That's right, under-informed director John Lasseter ignorantly advocates killing poor people in Cars 2.

"Electricity" isn't an alternative fuel, by the way. Electric cars will be great for commuting as technology makes them increasingly viable in the free market, but where we get that electricity matters. When you run the numbers, we can't generate enough power using alternative sources. Cecil Adams works through the numbers on several alternative power generation methods here. They aren't enough to meet our needs. Lasseter suggest solar power. Great idea! Depending on whose figures you review, powering the U.S. using solar would only require paneling over several states, but you couldn't do that because environmentalists block new solar projects.

This is why I'm a proponent of nuclear energy, and now that I know about them, liquid fluoride thorium reactors. Yes, the environmentalists will still squeal about it. We have to ignore them and build the reactors before the need becomes crippling.

Moving to the entertainment aspect of this movie, it strikes me that Lasseter has taken a very poor approach. When you produce a cartoon, broad appeal is a must. Lasseter has chosen to immediately alienate more than half his potential audience with his message. When you're making a movie filled with characters based on NASCAR racing, you'll probably want to make sure you create a story such an audience will find fun and inoffensive. As the far left generally portrays them, NASCAR fans aren't exactly anti big oil people. They aren't liberals at all. It would seem Lasseter isn't just ignorant about the realities of energy alternatives, but also not very informed about marketing. The result is a movie my family won't just skip in the theater, we won't buy it or rent it, either.


Jean said...

I recently read "The Rational Optimist," which has a lot to say about the viability (or lack thereof) of various fuel sources. You'd probably enjoy reading it; I got a lot out of it.

Andrew said...

I'd love to read it! If you have interest, you should watch that energy from thorium video I posted. I'm amazed we're not building test reactors now. It sounds like China already is.

Jean said...

Well, it should be at your library. Check my blog for my review (which is very short and I'd already returned the book, so kind of useless really). I absolutely loved it, and kept badgering Mark to listen to me reading bits aloud.

Sure, I'll watch the video. After I prep this RS lesson for tomorrow...

tom said...

Actually, the best part of Cars 2 is how it implies that there's a conspiracy made up of old people (lemons) to screw over young people (race cars). I thought that part was awesome.

msouth said...

If you want a good reality check on whether Lasseter ought to be commenting on alternative energy sources, just think about the movie Wall-E for a second. The little robot wakes up in the morning, opens a maybe 3x2 foot solar panel for ten minutes, and then spends all day running around rough terrain, compacting trash into rigid cubes and carrying it up the sides of trash skyscrapers.

Now, pretend that in the future when this movie is set, a solar panel is infinitely efficient--it can collect every single scrap of energy at all frequencies that the sun is radiating through that 3x2 surface for ten minutes. Do you think there is enough sunlight coming through a 3x2 foot section of space in ten minutes to even compact one cube of trash? I guess maybe one cube. Then he would have to stop and charge again.

"Why isn't everyone jumping on that bandwagon?" well, maybe because IT"S EXACTLY THAT--BANDWAGON JUMPING. It's not connected to reality. Just like the liberal left.