Urban Roots, a film about food and Detroit + a project for schools

In a bygone American era, Detroit shone proudly as a center of industry, home to the Model T and other symbols of American progress. The decline of the car industry in recent decades, though, has cut the city’s population in half and left poor neighborhoods in even more derelict condition. Detroit is now home to thousands of acres of vacant land, most of it unmaintained, left to collect weeds and waste. The result? Many of the city’s residents live in what is termed a
“food desert.”

San Francisco Green Film Festival spotlights rising oceans, climate ‘outlaws’ and green awakenings in Detroit and China

San Francisco’s Green Film Festival kicks off this week, with 40 films from around the world and dozens of directors and speakers slated to appear at showings from March 1-7. The second annual festival also will feature US premieres of foreign films, such as Waking the Green Tiger, a chronicle of China’s rising eco-awareness, and Just Do It: A Tale of Modern Day Outlaws, which follows activists in Great Britain on a whirlwind of zany actions to stop polluters. See snapshots of these two films, and two other fascinating works, Urban Roots and Blood in the Mobile, below.

How the US auto industry is creating jobs and cutting pollution while helping Americans save money

Imagine if our nation was offered a choice of how to spend half a trillion dollars of our wealth over the next two decades.
One option would be to send $350 billion overseas to the Middle East and other oil exporting countries, and the remainder on increasing oil industry revenues.
An alternative option would be to take that half a trillion dollars and invest $300 billion directly into the U.S. auto industry, put $200 billion back into consumers’ pockets, and create half a million new jobs while cutting emissions of dangerous carbon pollution.
Is this choice just a pipe dream? Is it too simplistic a way to look at things?
Hardly.

Detroit plugs into EV movement with its first ChargePoint station

Coulomb Technologies unveiled its first electric charging station in the heart of Motor City today, heralding a planned network of hundreds of free electric car charging stations for southern Michigan.
Coulomb’s ChargePoint America stations, made possible through a $37 million grant from the American Recovery Act, will be installed in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Detroit and smaller towns in the region. The stations will serve Ford, General Motors and smartUSA, all of which expect to be selling electric vehicles in Michigan within months.

Detroit auto show…The audacity of hope

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

You’d expect Doug Fox, the cordial co-chair of the North American International Auto Show, which opens to the public on Saturday, to have some good spin on how this event would rise above the stench of economic panic in the Motor City, and the country.

Not only did he have the goods, by the end of the conversation, I was convinced that this is a pivotal, but not hopeless time for the car industry.

Detroit auto show promises to be an ‘electric’ event, highlighting hybrids

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

The North American International Auto Show in Detroit, that perennial display of motor muscle, finds itself in a serious mood this year.

With every top automaker in the U.S. reporting double-digit sales declines for 2008 (and GM still teetering on the precipice) it is a safe bet that the tenor at times will be more matte gray than Corvette red.

More from GRN
Slideshow: Detroit’s green cars for 2009

But for those who seek the light at the end of the tunnel, there is much to celebrate — or at least laud — at this year’s show. And most of it is green, green, green.

“It’s the most important year ever for hybrid vehicles. We’ve had most of our major press conferences completed, and probably 80 percent of the major press conferences all revolved around hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles,” said Doug Fox, co-chair of the 2009 NAIAS, which opens to the public on Saturday.