Everyperson’s Environmental E-Car

Roman sun god from the temple at Aqua Sulis (Bath)

Roman sun god from the temple at Aqua Sulis (Bath)

The news has just come in that Tesla, the electronic car company that received $452 million in federal stimulus dollars, is doing so well that it can pay its government loan back, with interest, nine years early. My father wrote a poem 35 years ago cheering for electric cars, and solar power generally, so it’s great to be able to celebrate a success after Solyndra and Fisker. Here’s the poem:

E Is for Everyperson’s Environmental E-Car

By Scott Bates

give me an E
give me an L
give me a Photovoltaic Cell

give me an E
give me a   C

give me a Cosmic Battery
give me a   T
give me an R
give me a Ride on Rainbow Power

give me an  I
give me a    C
give me a Sky full of Energy

give me an  S
give me an  O
give me an Ozone way to go
give me an  L
give me an  A
give me an Aerial Chevrolet

give me an   R
give me a    CAR
give me a CAR that runs on a STAR

give me the Three
give me the Two
give me the One
that runs on the Sun

From An ABC of Radical Ecology (New Market, Tennessee: Highlander Research and Education Center, 1982)

Of course, the nation is far from producing a significant portion of its electricity from the sun, although here also progress is being made. Last year Julia and I installed solar panels and a solar water heater on the top of our house. We had to take out a second mortgage to cover the $48,000 it involved (the price also covered the cost of a new roof, which we needed), but what with low interest rates and favorable tax incentives at the local, state, and federal levels, we figure that it will pay for itself in seven years. This past year we found ourselves paying for electricity only in the coldest months, which is no small thing given the number of students we have living with us. If we owned an electronic car, it would help with that as well.

This in itself won’t stop climate change. But every little bit helps. Think globally, act locally.

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