If American car companies really wanted to revitalize their businesses and not just pay lip service to the American people, they would start...

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Retrofitting the gas-guzzlers: now that’s green

If American car companies really wanted to revitalize their businesses and not just pay lip service to the American people, they would start supplemental companies that produced retrofit technologies for cars already produced (“A New Industrial Revolution,” March 9).

There has been no attempt to make any of the millions of existing production engines “green.” The truth is, producing retrofit kits would not be that difficult. This would create jobs, revitalize our sluggish economy and possibly make a now-derelict and undervalued part of our nation, due to outsourcing, a once-again thriving community with a sense of pride.

I, for one, am tired of the so-called “green movement” by car makers who are building in countries that have no strict EPA requirements. Where toxic wastes are discharged into streams, plastics and heavy metals get burned and released into the atmosphere, and where no one even pretends to care. All so we “Americans” can have our “green cars.”

Because a lot of these parts are built mostly in third-world countries — Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, China — we here in the States forget to care. But the reality is (and I often wonder why the media never brings this up, because it is so obvious) the new “green cars” being built today have a larger carbon footprint and are more detrimental to the earth and the environment than the gas guzzlers built during the 1960s through 1990s.

It’s the world we are supposed to be worried about, not just the USA. Their air is our air eventually (that’s why our sunsets are so pretty — it’s called air pollution), their water becomes our water.

Yet for some reason we clap our hands like children with a new toy and look at these “green cars” and say, “Oh goody, aren’t we ever so ecologically neat and forward thinking?”

The hard truth, though, is, no, we’re not.

— Whyle McConnell, Seattle

President, CEO LYT-F/X Corporation, energy conservation consultants

Let us dig deep for the next big idea

I enjoyed the article “Building the Big Ideas” (Jan. 27). And I would like to suggest another big idea for Seattle: Build a new Highway 520 as a tunnel under Lake Washington.

They are not making any new land in Seattle, so a tunnel could be as wide as necessary to accommodate cars and light rail with minimal impact in the existing surface properties and structures.

A tunnel could be built under the existing Highway 520 so the existing infrastructure could stay in place while the tunnel was being built. This was accomplished during Boston’s Big Dig.

Boston, New York, San Francisco, etc. all have tunnels under their harbors as part of their transportation infrastructure. And, there is a tunnel under the English Channel.

Here are a couple videos from the Discovery Channel (on sale!) that you might find interesting: “Boston’s Big Dig”; http://shopping.discovery.com/product-41253.html. And “Tunnelling Under the Alps”; http://shopping.discovery.com/product-39753.html.

— Kelly Charlton, Seattle

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