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

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…

Innovation Fuels the Nuclear Legacy: Southern Nuclear Employees Share Their Stories

Blake Bolt and Sharimar Colon are excited about nuclear energy. Each works at Southern Nuclear Co. and sees firsthand how their ingenuity powers the nation’s largest supply of clean energy. For Powered by Our People, they shared their stories of advocacy, innovation in the workplace and efforts to promote efficiency. Their passion for nuclear energy casts a bright future for the industry.

Blake Bolt has worked in the nuclear industry for six years and is currently the work week manager at Hatch Nuclear Plant in Georgia. He takes pride in an industry he might one day pass on to his children.

What is your job and why do you enjoy doing it?
As a Work Week Manager at Plant Hatch, my primary responsibility is to ensure nuclear safety and manage the risk associated with work by planning, scheduling, preparing and executing work to maximize the availability and reliability of station equipment and systems. I love my job because it enables me to work directly with every department on the plant…