Colbert: Nissan Leaf drivers looking for hand gesture, friends in Houston


Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert took on the Friendly Fracosaurus, which is now slated for extinction.

Now, he has set his eyes on Nissan’s ploy to create a friendly hand gesture for Leaf drivers to acknowledge each other by. However, a Nissan Leaf driver from Houston said it’s tough to acknowledge someone…if nobody drives a Leaf in the city. However, there is at least one in Houston after a Clear Lake family purchased the first Leaf in Texas.

Here’s the clip:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Nissan’s ‘LEAF Wave’ Deadline
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

Colbert didn’t stop there.

He tackled his favorite gas on the periodical table — helium, which is in short supply.

Helium might not have the same ring as carbon or iron in the energy industry, but it’s running out. The Federal Helium Reserve says the helium, which is found in the Texas panhandle, supply will be depleted by 2020, and the gas is not renewable. Once it is gone, it’s gone.

Here’s what Colbert had to say about it.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Helium Runs Out
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

17 Responses

  1. Carl Manaster says:

    Ryan, you asked for data. Here’s mine. We got a Leaf about six weeks ago and dutifully record the hours charged and the cost – based on rates our power company gave us, scheduled for super-offpeak time – every night. Here’s the last couple of weeks:

    odometer hours cost
    1816 — —
    1882 3:50 $1.09
    1912 3:45 1.06
    1957 2:23 .67
    2008 5:34 1.66
    2062 5:02 1.40
    2109 3:51 1.07
    2136 2:10 .60
    2185 2:51 .81

    Our driving is mostly freeway; we are averaging 3.8mi/kWh, 2.5 cents/mile

  2. Ryan says:

    WUC, I won’t do your homework for you. Either put up or shut up, the source, that is.

    I’m a “right winger”? FAIL. Careful, your hateful bias is showing.

  3. West U Coog says:

    Just google it yourself. How hard could that be, or may be you might find that most of your facts are wrong? Or should I say, the right wing radio shows you quote are wrong?

    And do you really think a buyer that had to sign up for a $30K Leaf doesn’t know that electricity doesn’t come from some magic source? Heck yea they know, but they also know that the USA has plenty of coal to burn, but is importing a ton of oil.

    I think right wingers just automatically hate anything even remotely viewed as “environmental” without properly doing research

  4. Ryan says:

    BTW, Coog, please provide source data for your $3/day charging statement.

    I’m not saying it’s not out there, but I like to see the other side of the argument, too.


  5. Ryan says:


    There should be little debate that the addition of electric vehicles en mass will take a toll on the grid. You CANNOT add consumption and NOT add load…..

    The real question is whether the “positive” energy savings or enviro impact are significant enough to offset the additional “negative” impact of increased energy consumption, normally provided by coal, hydro, nuke or NG………

    Personally, I won’t “feel better” about a net loss of energy or efficiency that realistically may occur under an e-car transportation system. So why go blindly down that path?

    Energy isn’t free and generating it isn’t without its impact……. Until someone comes up with an effective, efficient means to create energy out of thin air (windmills are silly and NOT the answer), this is the reality we have to acknowledge and deal with.

    I’m not spouting rhetoric, just facts…….

    BTW, I’m not for “destroying the Earth”, a “hater” or whatever insults the greenies use to attempt to silence debate. Matter of fact, I and my family are probably more “green” than the average enviro-case on these boards……but we’re also not easily-fooled into believing the electric car is a panacea……

  6. West U Coog says:

    Why do people keep throwing out lies about the electric car? Like it will bring down the grid? I only uses as much electricity as a refrigerator, not a central a/c that uses up most of our electricity. It only costs less that $3 to charge up a Leaf! That’s very little electricity. Plus you can program the Leaf to charge up at night when the electricity rate is low and there is an over abundance of wasted electricity supply. From Ryan’s article…

    Charge them around midnight, however, and the nation could see plug-ins replace more than half its 254 million existing cars without adding a single new power plant, according to a study from DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. That’s because lots of 24/7 power generation resources get wasted at night, when everyone goes to bed and power demand peak drops to its minimum level. Again, however, we need technology to help us solve this problem.

  7. Ann says:

    And to Ryan, clean electricity sources are always needed; no one denies it. The good news is that there’s absolutely zero shortage of electricity–it’s just a question of how best to harness it. Oil, on the other hand, is finite. Maybe it’ll be decades yet, maybe centuries, but it’s finite. I’d rather we explored these other approaches now than waited until we were down to the last drop.

  8. Ann says:

    ntangle, I think it’s because it’s new and different…and because green=hippie and hippie=ruining everyone’s good time.

    Prii have been on the road for 15 years and sell well, and people still rip on them, usually on the basis of gross misinformation. I just got one a week ago, and it’s a lovely car. I don’t personally want to drive a huge SUV, but some do, and that’s fine by me. It’s their vehicle, their money.

    If EVs are going to be a disaster, they’ll be one. If not, they won’t. Let it play itself out, sheesh.

  9. ntangle says:

    Why do some folks see EV’s as such a serious threat that they never miss an opportunity to dis them? Although it would be fine with me if EV’s dominated tomorrow, it’s not going to happen quickly. It will indeed require substantial build-out of the grid if they really catch on in earnest. But if they (someday) allow this country to stop importing oil, and to stop exporting hundreds of billions of dollars we don’t have, it would be a very positive development for our Country’s economic future.

  10. Jonathan says:

    There is also someone driving a Leaf in the Allen Center parking garage – there is a charging station in the garage right as you pull in and I see that Leaf plugged in everyday.

  11. Ryan says:

    Dave, it’s already happening:

    “Electric Car Boom Could Deliver a Surge in Grid Power – Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:00am EDT

    Here’s the bad news about electric vehicles: They’re going to be hell on the grid.

    The Utilities Telecom Council trade group reports that electric vehicles will require a 16-fold increase in power usage in the next decade, putting pressure on utilities to find out how to handle car charging as quickly as possible.”

    And then there’s still that pesky problem of where you’re going to GET that additional energy………

  12. Ryan says:


    Adding a plug-in car to the grid is equal to about a third of a house. And because early adopters are likely to spring up in geographic concentrations, that could mean overloaded transformers at the distribution level or plug-in cars potentially causing power outages.

    One-third of a house……..

    So, for every three adopters, that’s equivalent to adding a house to the grid.

    So, an electric-car utopia would consume energy roughly equivalent to a 30% increase over current. Where do you get that electricity (today)? Why, from nuke, coal, LP, etc……….

    All to feel good about one’s self while driving an electric EARTH-MURDERING car. LOL.

    Keep squeezing the balloon, greenies…….

  13. Ryan says:

    Peter, I could WALK to work faster, all 40 miles, one-way. :)

    Maybe we should all buy a Leaf and “modify” it to PRODUCE electricity, doubling as our generators when another Ike pays us a visit….

  14. Dave says:

    The strain on the grid will be minimal Ryan. If we coulp get people to turn off their televisions and computers, wow, think of the energy we could save.

  15. Peter says:

    Helium will not be “gone”, it will just go from being undergound to being in our upper atmosphere.
    Don’t worry Ryan, you can buy one of those little solar chargers that plug into your cigarrette lighter from Walmart for $12.99. And after 10 years of charging, you can drive to work.

  16. Ryan says:

    Oh, FYI, greenies, it’s going to take a LOT of coal-, nuclear-, LP- and other-sourced energy increases to cope with the energy demands of these earth-saving toys…..likely more than offsetting the “green” benefits of driving a plug-in……..

  17. Ryan says:

    No one’s going to be laughing when the power grid starts to fail due to the incresed evening load needed to charge up their glorified golf cart…….