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Rick Rae 01-11-2008 04:27 PM

Actor Jack Nicholson on traffic lights and solar power

... the traffic lights at Mulholland Drive... "How do they talk about these small increments of energy conservation when we burn 60 percent of the gas at stop signs and traffic lights?"

There is no momentum for solar electricity, he said, because of the powerful oil industry's ability to set the scientific and political agenda.
Excerpted from Jack's Politics, Star Watch East Edition, January 9th, 2008


Lug_Nut 01-14-2008 08:51 AM

Dear Jack,
Shut the engine off at the lights.

Dear Jack,
Cover your entire estate grounds with photovoltaic panels. You'll be in the shade (or as I prefer to consider, still in the dark), and you'll generate enough electric power in a week to drive an all electric car for two hours.

JanGeo 01-14-2008 09:31 AM

Actually that doesn't solve the problem because you had to stop you loose energy - on a short trip each stop can cost you 1-5 mpg off the trip MPG. Solar panels are manufactured with a large amount of energy and usually do not return that amount of energy back in their lifetime plus they are not cheep yet costing about $10.00 per watt of output.

Rick Rae 01-14-2008 12:25 PM


Originally Posted by Lug_Nut (Post 88470)
Shut the engine off at the lights.

While killing the engine can help, you wouldn't have to do that if you weren't forced to stop. :p JanGeo nailed it: Poorly-timed lights are murder on fuel economy... and not just yours or mine or the next guy's, but pretty much everyone who drives that route. That can total up to a lot of wasted gas.

There's a small city in N.C. with perfectly sequenced lights on its main drag. If you drive the correct speed, once you sync up you can roll completely from one end of the city to the other without stopping, despite there being a traffic light on almost every block. Compare that with almost any stretch in Richmond, VA. :(

What I read Jack saying is that it's silly to push a conservation agenda yet ignore all the fuel drivers are forced to waste because of poorly or non-sequenced traffic signals.

And I included the other quote because of his opinion on big oil's leverage, not the solar power aspect. :)

Bottom line, I just thought they were interesting quotes. And even if you don't agree with his views, it's nice to see "normal" drivers (non-hypermilers) paying attention to such things.

Unless someone happens to know he hypermiles... which would be even cooler. :thumbup::D


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