Editor's blog

picture of a messy desk and computer screenFew things are more satisfying and rewarding than writing about something about which you are passionate. For me, the environment is one of the things for which I have the greatest passion. As a father of two young girls, and, more generally, as a member of global humanity, I believe there is nothing more important than ensuring that our planet is a livable place for its incredible array of organisms for as long as possible. Few things are more crucial to making sure this occurs than a truly massive shift from fossil -- and finite -- fuels to renewable, clean forms of energy like solar.

Why everything is political--electric cars included

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I'm positively gleeful that oil companies haven't received a penny from me for 14 months. But does my in-your-face activism turn people off? If so -- and I'm not sure it does -- as far as I'm concernded the only people who are going to be turned off are the very last people on earth likely to go electric anyway. So screw 'em!

editors-blog-entry3I'm a political activist at heart. Have been since the age of 11, and always will be for better and/or for worse -- depending on your perspective.

I'm literally incapable of being a follower or of swiming with the mainstream -- though I might be a happier person if I had this capacity.

I don't mean that I'll show up at work one day in a pink dress and tights, although I think it's radically silly and dumb that if I wanted to do this, that I would be "forbidden" from doing so by larger social norms.

Pink dresses for men aren't important to my personal identity, but I acknowledge they are for other men - good for them!

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Does using solar offset to 'fuel' an electric car make it a zero air pollution car - or is that lying?

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Is it misleading for me to put a bumper sticker on my 2014 Nissan LEAF, which is primarily charged via solar-offset electricity, that states the car is a Zero Air Pollution vehicle? [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]

editors-blog-entry3Yes, I know, the headline for this entry is pretty charged, and, I will say, right up front, I don't think solar-charged driving is a lie.

However I do concede that after more than five years of promoting solar-charged driving on this web site and more than one year of doing EV + PV myself, I still feel uncomfortable with the fact that most of my "solar-charged" driving is in fact, technically speaking, "solar-offset-charged" driving.

That is, I charge my 2014 Nissan LEAF mostly at night, when the sun isn't shining, though, on weekends I try to make a point of plugging my EV in as much as I can during the day.

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I'm driving an electric car nearly for free

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Driving a solar-charged electric car means you save money -- and it's also patriotic. After all, you're fueling your car with 100 percent domestic solar sunshine generated electricity.

editors-blog-entry3Would you like to drive for free?

I bet you would. And I bet you're not coming anywhere close, unless you don't drive but walk, bike, or take public transportation, or a combination thereof, and/or you subscribe to some sort of car sharing plan -- all of which I strongly support.

I'm not driving my 2014 Nissan LEAF SV for free, but I'm coming pretty close by taking advantage of what I will call the EV + PV Free Ride.

Across my two-year lease (which includes 12,000 miles per year), I will pay a total of $10,000 to Nissan to drive my LEAF. But that's not what my out-of-pocket costs will actually amount to. They will be half that.

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10 things Nissan should change about LEAF

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My 2014 Nissan LEAF has 14,000 miles on it, all of them Sun Miles :-)

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I've driven my 2014 LEAF SV 14,000 miles in Colorado, USA, all of these miles solar-charged :-) via my home's 5.6 kW solar system. Generally, I'm quite happy with my LEAF.

That noted, here are 10 things I'd change/add for the next generation LEAF -->

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Getting conservatives to support EV + PV

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[ABOVE] The link and picture from a story about how national parks are adding EV charging stations posted by the Colorado Renewable Energy Society that came through my Facebook feed recently.

editors-blog-entry3First, I want to say I know there are quite a few conservatives and right-leaning libertarians who drive electric cars and many who power/fuel their EVs with home solar. They are tapping into the great joy and independence and freedom of solar-charged driving, with independence and freedom being values often associated with political conservativism.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of conservatives who are downright anti-electric vehicle and downright anti-solar. And the sad thing is, I think too many, maybe most of these people, are anti-EV and anti-solar simply because they view electric cars and solar as being somehow "liberal".

In other words, they're not against electric vehicles and solar, and solar-charged driving because they're inherently against EVs, PV and the independence that EV + PV delivers. They're against them simply because "liberals" are for these things.

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