Monday, April 23, 2007

Arnie "4 Hummers" Schwarzenegger Pimps his Ride

In the UK we have the labour politician John "2 Jags" Prescott with whom the national press have a love-hate relationship where the word Jag is often replaced with "Jab" following a little altercation with an egg thrower a couple of years ago.

US politicians of course tend to "have it large". In contrast JP is a fully paid up treehugger.

Today's news that Arnold Schwarzenegger has decided to have an 1965 Chevy Impala converted to run on bio-diesel as part of Earth Day on the excellently named "hit" show PIMP MY RIDE.

However, the article concludes that, in the face of public uproar Arnie has reduced his Hummer fleet to 4 (2 of which run on green energy). This still begs the question of why any individual needs four cars whether they are gas guzzling or not.

This quote from one of the articles at the end of this post is telling:
Despite this however, in March 2003 he bought an Austrian six-wheeled tank called a Pinskower, and modified to render it legal to drive on city streets.

I wonder how many mpgs one gets from that little run about.

Schwarzenegger to promote biofuel on 'Pimp My Ride'
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is headed to MTV to promote Earth Day with an 800-horsepower car that runs on renewable biodiesel fuel.

The governor's appearance on a special Earth Day episode of the popular show "Pimp My Ride" set for Sunday is the latest environmentally themed event for Schwarzenegger, who drew international attention for signing a global warming law last year.

For the show, videotaped earlier, mechanics installed the powerful engine in a converted 1965 Chevy Impala, producing a vehicle that accelerates from zero to 60 mph in three seconds.

The governor said the converted car's emissions of greenhouse gases will be 50 percent lower than a comparable gas-powered car. And biodiesel fuel can be made from recycled products such as vegetable oil.

"We take this cool show and they did something, and added something that was environmentally hip," Schwarzenegger recently told a student crowd at Georgetown University.

When Schwarzenegger ran for governor in 2003, he was criticized for popularizing gas-guzzling Hummers. He has since reduced his personal Hummer fleet to four, two of which he says have since been converted to run on alternative fuels.

For those interested here are a couple of other links to Arnie and his cars.

Stars & their Cars:Arnold Schwarzenegger
Impressed by the military jeep’s performance in the first Gulf War in 1991, he got hold of a couple shortly afterwards, and certainly the vast bulk of the car seems to match his tough-guy image. He spent many months persuading AM General (now part of General Motors) to make a civilian version, which they eventually did with the H1. Later the company produced the somewhat more practical, but still gigantic, H2. Striving to soften and widen his image, Schwarzenegger talked to Hummer owner GM about making a model that was, ahem, somewhat less environmentally uncompromising. In response GM has come up with a hydrogen powered version, the H2H.

Schwarzenegger's guiltless green
"For too long the environmental movement has been powered by guilt," Schwarzenegger said in a keynote speech Wednesday at a global warming conference at Georgetown University.

"You know the kind of guilt I'm talking about: Smokestacks belching pollution and powering our Jacuzzis and our big-screen TVs and, in my case, powering my private airplanes. It's too bad for us that we can't live the lives of Buddhist monks in Tibet, but you know something, it doesn't happen."

Private airplanes - one suspects that converting a Hummer or two will be a proverbial drop in the acidic ocean compared with a flight in a private airplane.

In a link to the first "Pimp my Ride" article:
He boasted to the crowd of mostly Georgetown students that he'd recently been a guest on the MTV show "Pimp My Ride," where he helped put an 800-horsepower engine into a '65 Chevy Impala that could now reach 60 miles an hour in three seconds. But the muscle car was outfitted to run on biodiesel, which he said could cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half.

Only in America.

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