The illness shows green

RGJ.COM reports Schwarzenegger: look for 30-40 mpg Hummer from Chinese

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he expects the Chinese company to make improvements to his beloved Hummer brand. He said Wednesday that he thinks the Chinese will probably convert the 15 mpg vehicle to one that gets 30 or 40 mpg in a short time.

This expectation (more than a hope) illustrates two things. One is that the Chinese can whip the pants off US engineers and the other that it is easy to ‘go green’ and increase the efficiency of a vehicle by a factor of three or four. The experience to date puts either as a very small probablility, so small as to be non-existent.

The massive jump in fuel efficiencies is a common fantasy. It is behind the recent CAFE guidelines mandating fleet efficiencies of 40 mpg soon. This is the same kind of thinking that considers ‘alternative’ energy sources such as solar and wind as competitive with coal and oil and nuclear.

As for the US bashing – this is related to the overall bashing of the education system. The fact is, though, that on nearly every scale and field you can measure, US engineering stands well above anywhere else on the planet. These measures run the gamut from number of patents to production line design and management. The Chinese still can’t build their own jet engine for military aircraft.

But, reality be damned. These are not the days of intellectual integrity where one has his opinions and ideas firmly rooted in reality and reason, it seems.

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