Renewable energy may be the key to a sustainable planetary future. Yet it is barely a topic for discussion. Fuel economy and energy efficiency are distant memories. With low gas prices, few are thinking about alternatives to fossil fuels. Ford’s new entrant into the booming sport utility vehicle market is the Excursion. It is 19 feet long and gets about 10 miles per gallon. The quest for short term profit comes at the expense of long term harm to the environment.
Ralph Nader has spent a lifetime fighting on behalf of ordinary people. He has run for president four times. Life magazine ranks him as one of the most influential Americans of the twentieth century. Founder of Public Citizen, he is a long-time advocate for consumer safety and workers’ rights. He rose to fame in the 1960s when he took on General Motors and its unsafe Corvair car. His book Unsafe at Any Speed not only created a sensation but was instrumental in the enactment of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. His efforts helped create the Environmental Protection Agency. He has exposed the misdeeds of the corporate sector as well as of the political system. In recent years he has been in the forefront of the struggles around NAFTA, the WTO, corporate welfare and single payer health care.