After many years of celebrating wasteful consumption and wonton excess, we seem to be coming around once again to an ethic of conservation. At least it seems like it. I mean, we had the big Vanity Fair green issue, the Wired Green issue with Al Gore’s blue-eyed mug on the cover, and lots of stories about hybrid cars and new energy-saving buildings. Now I for one salute this stuff and it doesn’t come a minute to late. We should always be so green-minded. But such is not the way of human nature, which seems able to react only to crises, like monstrous hurricanes and $3 gallons of gas. It makes some sense. It is one of Newton’s laws, after all, that an object does not move unless it is acted upon by an outside force.
So where was I? Oh yeah. Greenness. Well, some good folks in San Francisco, always at the forefront of what is new and green and hip and liberal, have started a company that rents electric cars that you can use to tootle around the city. And in a perfect twist that is also so California, so Silicon valley, the company, called Electric Time Car Rentals also provides GPS guided tours. Of course, you’ll want to keep your eyes on the road and not get distracted by the GPS unit in the car. And you’ll want to take in all the city has to offer because it sure is a pretty city. But I thought this was pretty damn cool. I could see doing this in New York except that you’d probably get crushed by a cab or mocked by passers-by.