Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Engineer-Poet said…
It doesn't look very different from the Scion xB or Honda Element.

Popular posts from this blog

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

New Home for Our Blog: Join Us on NEI.org

On February 27, NEI launched the new NEI.org. We overhauled the public site, framing all of our content around the National Nuclear Energy Strategy.

So, what's changed?

Our top priority was to put you, the user, first. Now you can quickly get the information you need. You'll enjoy visiting the site with its intuitive navigation, social media integration and compelling and shareable visuals. We've added a feature called Nuclear Now, which showcases the latest industry news and resources like fact sheets and reports. It's one of the first sections you'll see on our home page and it can be accessed anywhere throughout the site by clicking on the atom symbol in the top right corner of the page.
Most importantly for you, our loyal NEI Nuclear Notes readers, is that we've migrated the blog to the new site. Moving forward, all blog posts will be published in the News section, along with our press releases, Nuclear Energy Overview stories and more. Just look for the &qu…