Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Blogging for Center for Independent Media

I took this picture of NBC weatherman Al Roker taking a "test drive" of a Ford Shelby Mustang at the Detroit Auto Show because, well, why not take a picture of Al Roker? That's all that needs to be said there.

I'm blogging from the North American International Auto Show this year for a publication called the Michigan Messenger. It's online only, and part of a growing family of progressive news sites launched by the nonprofit Center for Independent Media. I first came into contact with them at a conference I attended in Lansing, Mich., more than a year ago.

As my hometown Detroit newspapers slowly become shadows of their former selves, it is great to be freelancing for a publication that still asks tough questions. Last year, I blogged the auto show for WDIV-TV in Detroit, which failed to even promote the blog since it was not very ... um ... cheerleading.

Below are some samples of what I've written about the auto show, but more will be posted in the next few days -- along with longer pieces (yet to be written) about the big focus on lithium ion batteries for the future of the auto industry and the future of many Rust Belt communities. More to come

RIP internal combustion engine

Back when I was a copy editor for The Detroit News a decade ago, our ultraconservative editorial page would go on red-faced tirades against then-Vice President Al Gore for his prediction of the end of the internal combustion engine. Today, The Detroit News is on its way out and, well, so is the internal combustion engine. More here

Who stole the electric car — redux? GM Volt in ‘07 and in ‘09

When General Motors unveiled its electric hybrid Chevy Volt an economic epoch ago — at the 2007 North American International Auto Show, what it gave us (PDF 219k) seemed almost too good to be true. GM appeared to “get it” when it came to the new environmental consciousness sweeping popular culture. For the first time, a major auto company acknowledged the eventual demise of the internal combustion engine. What it gave us was something of a transitory nature, but it was a start. More here

Instant Karma’s going to get you? The Karma and the Tesla -- West Coast invades Motown

At last year’s auto show, I wondered whether Karma could also mean “covering all bases.” A main investor in Fisker Automotive, which makes the all-electric Karma, is Vinod Khosla, an important player in the next phase of the auto industry — whatever form that may take. More here

EcoXperience tiptoes through the dying tulips

Here’s Michigan Economic Development Corporations’s EcoXperience track in the basement of COBO Hall. My initial impression? It smells like rotting vegetation down there. In the picture, though, you can see one of the cool little Jetsons’ cars in the background. More here

U.S. battery makers finally find the 'on' switch
Innovation in Detroit ... yes, Detroit
Where technology meets humanity

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