Saturday, February 01, 2003

Quoted from this Joe Conason Article

Bush's sudden enthusiasm for hydrogen fuel-cell technology is laudable, of course. His proposal of $1.2 billion for additional research is also very nice. (Evidently the "free market" alone doesn't invariably produce what society needs.) He even offered a vision of a better future: "With a new national commitment, our scientists and engineers will overcome obstacles to taking these cars from laboratory to showroom, so that the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen, and pollution-free."

So someone should ask Bush if he remembers who wrote this:

"We have a partnership with the American auto industry ... to develop cars that achieve three times today's mileage with the same pricing, comfort and safety; the companies and research scientists are making remarkable progress toward revolutionary change in the design and development of fuel cell vehicles.

"I was criticized for suggesting ... that we should move away from the internal combustion engine over the next quarter-century. The attack was never more than smoke-and-fumes; I was calling not for an end to the car industry but for new types of cars."

That's Al "Ozone Man" Gore, in the revised foreword to the 2000 reissue of his 1992 book, "Earth in the Balance." Back then the Republican Party apparatchiks and all the conservative pundits ridiculed Gore's kooky ideas about replacing the internal combustion engine. (See the Daily Howler for copious details.) The moronic Jim Nicholson, then chairman of the Republican National Committee, used to stand at the fax machine all day, sending out messages that attacked Gore for wanting to do away with the internal "combustible" engine, which were duly repeated by all the right-wing hacks. They used Gore's farsighted ideas against him in places like Michigan and Tennessee, where lots of cars are built.

Now they will all tell you that Bush is simply brilliant for supporting this visionary technology. Do the math, as my friend Jack Gillis did, and it turns out that Gore's notion of replacing the internal combustion within 25 years, as he suggested in 1992, is within a year of the date now proposed by Bush for the same goal.


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