I was struck by a strong sense of irony last night as my wife and I watched portions of "Who Killed the Electric Car" on CBC Newsworld. At the top of the hour there was a news break and beside everything else a story about GM re-structuring nearly made me laugh out loud. The synchronicity wasn't lost on either of us, actually. And that was in addition to the growing sense of outrage in Yet One More direction at the extent to which the "Captains of Industry" are messing with our future.
In their defense, their actions also protect, in the short term, a bunch of jobs. Electric cars are disruptive in enough ways that it's hard to imagine how their widespread adoption would affect wide swaths of society: oil and its products no longer distributed so widely, dropping demand for service, increased demand for electricity (a very labour-unintensive commodity) and increased reasons for individuals to pursue generate-your-own hobby projects.
Maybe there'd be a growing market for things like "pebble bed" nuclear reactors that would power clusters of neighbourhoods reducing the need for cross-country transmission? How about that polywell fusion reactor Dr. Bussard talked about on Google? Apparently the US Navy is funding that work again but I wish Canada would put some money on that square, too. The probability of a pay-off certainly exceeds the likelihood of winning consistently on an honest roulette wheel.