April 2, 2009

Mediabistro on April Fools Pitches

Mediabistro features the Clean Green Vermont Alliance's April Fools prank in their April Fools round-up. Cheers to all involved!

April 1, 2009

April Fools Day 2009 Nuclear Power Spoof: 1972 and Good as New?

Burlington, VT — Drawing a parallel between a Pontiac LeMans and Vermont’s only nuclear power plant may seem like a bit of a stretch to some, but not to David Blittersdorf, the leader of a new organization called Clean Green Vermont Alliance. The Pontiac LeMans parked on Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace this afternoon and Vermont Yankee were both originally unveiled in 1972.

Billed as “The Car of the Future,” the glow yellow-green LeMans features much of its original equipment – including the engine, seating, dashboard, and “optional” lap belts—in addition to new accessories such as a 1972-appropriate music track, flashing lights, detailing, and a smoke machine. David Blittersdorf and “Rad Man” were on hand to conduct a mock-press conference, demo of the car, and a “trip down 1972 memory lane” as a means of showing that technologies, engineering, and even culture have come a very long way since then.

“There are many products we use today that date back to 1972 – calculators were invented that year, for example. But most of those products have evolved, become much more efficient, safer. I use calculators all the time – there’s one on my cell phone – but it didn’t cost me $795.00, like it would have in 1972. My Toyota Prius is a hybrid, and its seat belts are not “optional” safety features, as they once were in the LeMans. So it begs the question, do we really want something designed and constructed in 1972 to run until 2032?”

The reference to the year 2032 is no accident, as Vermont Yankee was first placed on line in 1972, and its owners have requested permission to operate the plant until 2032, twenty years beyond its intended life span. “Look, this 72 LeMans still runs, and it passed the State’s inspection – but it only gets 12 miles to the gallon, on a good day. As a long-time resident of Vermont, I prefer our roads carry vehicles that can run on a minimum of 20 miles a gallon, and have drivers benefit from all of the advances in safety engineering of the last 37 years. It’s just common sense. When it comes to a nuclear power plant, I feel very passionately that 40 years is long enough and extending the life-span for another 20 years is a risk we Vermonters can’t afford to take.”

The 1972 retrospective and spoof of nuclear power occurred during the busy Burlington lunch hour, with Rad Man offering satiric comments on being “green” and providing members of the crowd with green glow sticks (spent “nuclear fuel rods”). Blittersdorf briefly addressed the assembly and pointedly remarked that he believed recent nuclear energy advertisements billing nuclear power as “green” had to be a “joke.”

Clean Green Vermont Alliance is an organization dedicated to increasing Vermonters’ awareness of the environmental, health and safety hazards posed by fossil and nuclear-fueled energy sources, at a time when the environmental, health and safety advantages of renewable energy power sources are now widely accepted.

The organization’s April Fools campaign features video segments from the event and encourages visitors to post pictures of other 1972 products since replaced by better alternatives at: Towns and not-for-profit supporters will also be able to sign up online to request use of the “72 Car of the Future” for community events.

Event photos and video available after 3pm at:

Car of the Future