The Wishful Environmentalism of Cars 2

Cars 2 opened to lukewarm reviews and a smash box office, taking in $66 million domestically and another $42 million internationally during its opening weekend. The film’s ability to transcend unusually tepid reviews is clearly a testament to the power of the Pixar brand (another gift of Steve Jobs), which has generated a remarkable series of animated hits stemming from the Toy Story franchise that began in 1995 and continuing through gems like Wall-E and The Incredibles, as well as the first Cars. But this film also carries a loud and unmistakable message about alternative energy, automobiles and their shared future.

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Environmental concern is suddenly all the rage, all around the world. Unless you've been buried in a coal mine for the past year, you've been inundated with articles about this hot new trend. In early July, China lifted gasoline subsidies, in part to force consumers and businesses to confront the costs of using more of that ever-more costly resource.

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The Greening of America?

When the zeitgeist shifts, it really shifts.

The beginning of 2007 saw one of the warmest Januaries on record, and instead of snow, we were treated to a flurry of articles, announcements, conferences, and high level public speeches that demanded action on the part of countries, individuals and companies to begin to address the issue of global warming.

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