The Return of the Trabant


To force radical societal change, American greens from Thomas Friedman to Kleiner Perkins executives are increasingly embracing the green example of Communist China with its windmill quotas and state-financed electric-car development. “They have a different system,” sighed an envious David Gard to the Detroit News recently. Gard is an activist with the Michigan Environmental Council.

One can almost sense a nostalgia for the East German Trabant, that two stroke-engine symbol of socialist state manufacturing.

Well, greens of the world unite! Life reports that, just in time for the green revolution, the Trabant has been “reborn as an electric car.”

“Auto body maker IndiKar hopes to resurrect the Trabi using a modern design and an electric engine,” writes Life. As the only auto choice for captive citizens under “the glorious people’s revolution,” the sluggish, boxy Trabi got a bad name (if you were a member of the party elite, however, you got to drive a Mercedes). But now a new revolution is at hand — a glorious green revolution to save the planet!

Safe Climate Campaign director Dan Becker ridicules the notion that a return to $4 a gallon gas is adequate to force a green auto revolution. “High gasoline prices won’t be enough to put cleaner cars on the roads,” warns Becker. “They do not force industry to change its wasteful and polluting ways. Strict laws do. The Obama administration must repeatedly ratchet up mileage and tailpipe standards.”

Can a state-mandated green car be far behind? We can’t wait for the 2025 Trabant Electric, the green vehicle for the masses (planet-savers like Al Gore, no doubt, will still get to drive the Mercedes).


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