WOW! I Got To Ride In A Tesla.
A fantastic experience certainly made me think about both past and present.
I was fortunate enough to go for a ride in a Tesla a few days ago. To say I was impressed is an understatement. This certainly is a car worthy of all the raving that it gets.
Before I go on, I better make it clear that I’m not a car enthusiast by any stretch of the imagination. Sure I had a classic MGBGT twenty years ago, but that was more nostalgia than practicality. And because I’m no mechanic, (although for you petrol-heads out there I do know how to check the fluids and change tyres), it became practical that I move to a more modern vehicle.
I’d love to say that I drive electric, but they are still cost-prohibitive in my country (well, for me), so I’m still reliant on the fossil fuel industry which I’m not happy about.
Getting back to the Tesla. Love or hate Elon Musk you have to hand it to him that he’s a bit of a whizz when it comes to producing such a beautiful car. I mean, all the gadgets in it — WOW, it’s like we’re on the brink of stepping into the Jetsons’ world — and if you’re too young to know who they are, Google it.
For all its wizardry, the fact that the Tesla car is environmentally friendly is what does it for me. However, this has been done before. An environmental vehicle was made by Henry Ford, who was developing bio-fuel back in the 1930s.
Henry Ford made a car from hemp plastic which also was fuelled by hemp.
So why didn’t the hemp car survive? The main troublemaker was a chemical company called DuPont.
DuPont (who had a lot to lose with hemp as competition) was making chemicals for the wood pulp paper mills as well as nylon, chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, all in direct competition to hemp. Along comes William Randolph Hearst (owner of the largest newspaper chain) backed by the Mellon Bank who had invested in DuPont. See where this is going?
The magazine, Popular Mechanics, in February 1937, predicted hemp would be the world’s first “Billion Dollar Crop” that would support thousands of jobs and provide a vast array of consumer products from dynamite to plastics.
No, no, no, can’t have that! So began the slander of cannabis. Although the emphasis was on marijuana, the prime target was hemp, and so the lobbyists pushed the entire plant family of Cannabaceae which, of course, included hemp. Unfortunately, the hemp industry didn’t catch on soon enough, so it was goodnight to all the excellent, sustainable, eco-friendly hemp products.
Now I can’t find why Ford (who never intended cars to use gasoline) made the switch to petroleum, but I’m assuming that it was because growing hemp became illegal. Also, the many bills proposing a National energy program that made use of the vast agricultural resource (for fuel production) were wiped out by smear campaigns by guess who — yup, petrol companies.
The book ‘The Emperor Wears No Clothes’ should be a mandatory read regardless of your views on cannabis. I wish N.Z. had legal cannabis; even the hemp industry is still heavily controlled. But now that the USA is much more open maybe the hemp fuel will make a comeback?
Ford was just way ahead of his time with his hemp car, but he certainly had the environmental vision.
It seems to me that Musk has picked up the baton only this time there is an extraordinary future for environmentally sustainable transport systems.
“Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?” — Henry Ford
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