Sunday, December 21, 2014

Fuel-efficient cars: A 'chick magnet'?

Setting aside the nomenclature or the question of whether such cars would be an asset for women seeking women, there's a whole back-and-forth on this issue as society gradually trends from the standard view of eco-geeks to one where environmentalism is becoming the mainstream.

Fuel-efficient cars: A 'chick magnet'?

Rep. Jim Ryan checks out a GM fuel-cell vehicle before test-driving it and declaring it ´a chick magnet.´
Rep. Jim Ryan checks out a GM fuel-cell vehicle before test-driving it and declaring it 'a chick magnet.'

A story out yesterday that is almost indistinguishable from a top Onion article chronicles how members of Congress are "spamming" YouTube with videos trying to show young people how hip and "with it" they are. The result is"cringe worthy" video messages, according to the Daily Telegraph, including one from Nancy Pelosi showing life at the Capitol through the eyes of her cats.

It's funny enough imagining that the inanity of a couple hundred politicians' videos could in any way outpace that of millions of amateur navel-gazers worldwide. But the part that caught our notice here at Earth to Philly was Rep. Tim Ryan's video claim, apparently sardonic, that electric cars are "a chick magnet."

Setting aside the nomenclature or the question of whether such cars would be an asset for women seeking women, there's a whole back-and-forth on this issue as society gradually trends from the standard view of eco-geeks to one where environmentalism is becoming the mainstream. Last summer a survey actually found that 88% of women did indeed respond that they would prefer talking to a man with a fuel-efficient car over a guy with a new sports car. Picking up on this, the Wall Street Journal last fall reported on the ZAP Xebra Xero sedan, an electric car that "looks like a Tic-Tac," and nonetheless branded it, with seemingly no irony, "a chick magnet."

So what's the state of things today? Is Ryan's tongue-in-cheek jibe in danger of really being true? We welcome any fuel-efficient car owners, especially male and especially single, to weigh in with a reality check.

For my part, having owned a Prius for two years now, I have to say in all candor that I haven't noticed this effect. You could ascribe it to the wedding ring on my finger, but I heard that was supposed to be a chick magnet too! So I'll recuse myself from this as a lost cause and throw the question out to more knowledgeable guys and gals. Is eco-conscious driving still equated with pocket-protector geeks, or is the time ripe for "electro"-magnetism?

About this blog
Earth to Philly is a weblog focusing on earth-conscious technology, trends and ideas, from a Daily News perspective. We look at the "green" aspects of your home, business, food, transportation, style, policy, gadgets and artwork. If you have a Philly-related story, Click here to let us know about it!

The experts at Philadelphia's Energy Coordinating Agency answer your energy questions in our regular feature Stay Warm, Stay Green. Send in your question or questions to energy@phillynews.com.


Look for Jenice Armstrong to supply tips on green living as well as occasional columns on the subject of Green. She also blogs at Hey Jen.


Becky Batcha stays tuned for the here-and-now practical side of conservation, alternative energy, organic foods, etc. - stuff you can do at home now. Plus odds and ends.


Laurie Conrad recycles from her ever-growing e-mailbag to pass along the latest travel deals, fashion statements, household strategies, gadgets, cool local events and other nuggets of interest to those who appreciate a clean, green world.


Vance Lehmkuhl looks at topics like eco-conscious eating, public transportation and fuel-efficient driving from his perspective as a vegetarian, a daily SEPTA bus rider and a hybrid driver, as well as noting the occasional wacky trend or product. Contact Vance with your 'green' news.


Ronnie Polaneczky sees the green movement through the eyes of her 12-year-old daughter, who calls her on every scrap of paper or glass bottle that Ronnie neglects to toss into the house recycling bins. Ronnie will blog about new or unexpected ways to go green. She also blogs at So, What Happened Was...


Sandra Shea and the DN editorial board opine on any green-related legislation or policy. And we'll pass along some of the opeds on the subject that people send us.


Jonathan Takiff will be blogging mainly about consumer electronics - those things that we love to use and that suck too much energy. He'll spotlight green-conscious gizmos made in a responsible fashion, both in terms of materials used and the energy it takes to run them.


Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic-wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.


In addition to these updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia's original "green" community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You'll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out.

  • Dispatch #1: Margaret Giancola's rugs from plastic bags
  • Dispatch #2: Dumpster Divers in City Hall (Art in City Hall series)
  • Dispatch #3: Wild wood, New Jersey
  • Dispatch #4: Dumpster Divers award winners announced
  • Dispatch #5: From sweaters to colorful cuddling
  • Dispatch #6: Green artists retake South Street Sunday
  • Dispatch #7: Isaiah Zagar: He's a Magic (Gardens) Man





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