Thursday, September 06, 2012

A Daft Car, Pope Benedict XVI and Nuclear Energy Present and Urgent

Kangoo
The Renault Kangoo Z.E. Ridiculous? You decide
No comment (it speaks for itself):
Pope Benedict XVI is now a bit greener.
The 85-year-old pontiff was presented with his first electric car Wednesday, a customized white Renault Kangoo for jaunts around the gardens of the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo.
The story mentions other green initiatives taken at the Vatican City-State.
Benedict has been dubbed the "green pope" for his environmental concerns, which have been a hallmark of his papacy. He has written of the need to protect God's creation in his encyclicals, and raised the issue on his foreign trips and in his annual peace messages.
Under his watch, the Vatican has installed photovoltaic cells on its main auditorium and joined a reforestation project to offset its carbon dioxide emissions.
The Vatican City-State is 800 or so people strong and sits on 110 acres in the middle of Rome. How much influence could it have?
---
I like electric cars because they reduce carbon emissions and because nuclear energy is a plausible source for powering them. But it wouldn’t be fair if I ignored Pope Benedict’s view of nuclear energy. Here’s what he said in 2007 marking the 50th anniversary of the International Atomic Energy Agency:
The Holy See, fully approving the goals of this Organization [IAEA], is a member of it since its founding and continues to support its activity. The epochal changes that have occurred in the last 50 years demonstrate how, in the difficult crossroads in which humanity finds itself, the commitment to encourage non-proliferation of nuclear arms, to promote a progressive and agreed upon nuclear disarmament and to support the use of peaceful and safe nuclear technology for authentic development, respecting the environment and ever mindful of the most disadvantaged populations, is always more present and urgent.
---
I’d never hear of the Kangoo before. Over at Top Gear is this opinion:
The ridiculous-looking Renault Kangoo is actually an inspired choice for families on a budget. It’s huge inside, can cope with all the clobber a couple of kids bring with them and really is cheap.
And:
It looks daft, isn't luxurious, has zero status and yet does its job brilliantly.
And this is a positive review. I think Top Gear may have hit on the reason Renault called it Kangoo. The review seems to be of a gas-powered Kangoo (the electric one is called Kangoo Z.E.), but let’s assume the electric and gas versions are equally daft.

I couldn’t find the origin of the name Kangoo -  a toddler’s attempt at kangaroo, maybe? In French, it’s kangourou. Kangou would probably not be easily grasped outside France. Here's Renault's page for the car. Try not to laugh.

1 comment:

Engineer-Poet said...

It doesn't look very different from the Scion xB or Honda Element.