Meet 23 real-world leaders building a future where SUVs run on algae, skyscrapers have the carbon footprints of toolsheds, conservation is a religious imperative, and inconvenient truths have very profitable solutions.
How did Arnold Schwarzenegger, a red governor in America's biggest blue state, win reelection? Simple: He mapped out a future in green.
OUTSIDE: You've come a long way since The Terminator. Did you ever imagine you'd be considered a big-time environmentalist?
SCHWARZENEGGER: There are a lot of things I didn't envision five, ten years ago. In those days my plans were to be successful in show business. But when I decided to run for governor, I made it very clear. I asked TerryTamminen [the first secretary of California's Environmental Protection Agency under Schwarzenegger] to come on board, and he is probably the most brilliant guy around when it comes to the environment. I connected to him through Bobby Kennedy. I told him that one of the things I wanted to do as governor, even if it's not something that's expected of me as a Republican, is to include environmental issues in my campaign. I feel very strongly that we have polluted our air and ocean water and our coastline tremendously. I remember we had a big press conference during that campaign talking about improving the carbon-emissions standards and cleaning the air. And all of this is just follow-through.
Some pundits say your recent environmental work saved you in the 2006 election.
That's very hard to judge. Let's not forget that the first year we passed legislation to put aside 25 million acres of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. Of course, in 2006 it was a breakthrough to pass AB32, which will lower the greenhouse-gas emissions in California to 1990 levels by the year 2020. This year, after the election, we followed up and made another aggressive step to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from the transportation sector.
You've called climate change an indisputable threat. Are you satisfied with how your own party has responded to that threat?
I don't look at it as a party issue as much as that we need to have everyone come together on this. We try to form partnerships on the left and the right. Now it's a matter of time. Now you see states jumping on it. Countries are jumping on it. Some people are still back in the Stone Age, saying, "I still question this whole thing about global warming." But anyone dragging their feet on this, we will help them along. Through public pressure we'll make them change. Some people take timeI didn't jump on it right away when I heard about it 20 years ago.
Do you plan to exert much pressure on the 2008 presidential candidates? You'll certainly have an opportunity if California moves its primary schedule up.
We're all very lucky that we have candidates that are already talking about the importance of the environment, Democrats and Republicans. I, myself, have heard it directly. McCain and Giuliani talk about it. So that is incredible. I'm proud of that.
Are you someone who believes industry can drive this movement?
Oh, I'm a huge believer in that, because everything is like walking a tightrope, where you make a step to the right you can fall, you make a step to the left you can fall. You have to really find that line and include as many people from the environmental side and the industry side, so you can figure out how to pass the laws. If we do things the right way, without any doubt it can be much more profitable for our economy and for our industries. So now we're going from industry to industry and trying to inspire them.
Speaking of big industries, what kind of vehicle are you driving these days?
I drive with the California Highway Patrol 99 percent of the time, so all kinds of vehicles, normally SUVs. But before I became governor, I talked to GM about creating a hydrogen-fueled Hummer, and two years ago they delivered one. I changed one of my military Hummers over from regular diesel to biofuel. When I drive it around, it smells like French fries!
Do you think California's strict fuel standards have hurt the big car companies?
One of the greatest victories we've had was this last car show in Los Angeles. I remember three years ago, there were a dozen alternative-fuel vehicles at the show. This year, they had three dozen. We did a big press conference with heads of the various manufacturers. And may I remind you, most of those companies are suing us because of California's fuel standards. They say [the standards] are illegal, that California can't make its own standards, that it has to be a federal decision. But even knowing that, we invited everyone to come here and to be part of that press conference. We wanted to let them know that we want to do business with them, we want them to be successful. But we will never change back our fuel standards. We will never change back our greenhouse-gas-emissions standards. The train has left, and if you are going to march forward, the regulations are only going to get tougher, they are not going to get easier.
David De Rothschild
David De Rothschild at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
DAVID DE ROTHSCHILD
Founder of Adventure Ecology
"I am a strong believer in the Native American proverb 'We don't inherit the earth; we are merely borrowing it from our children.' With Adventure Ecology, I wanted to give children a way to learn about, discuss, and act on environmental issues. The idea came about after a 2004 Antarctica expedition. I spent three months surrounded by one of the most astonishing and fragile ecosystems in the world, and it had a profound effect on my outlook and on those back home I shared my experience with. I realized that I could either take the 'me big adventurer' mentality and talk about myself, or tap that power of captivation to create a deeper understanding of our natural world. So in 2005 I launched Adventure Ecology. The plan was simple: Combine the seduction of adventure with an interactive Web site that would post live expedition video, blogs, and games to create a global community and inspire action. The environment is an area that requires a great deal of energy and optimism, and, to my mind, kids have these features in abundance. A 14-year-old girl in Australia named Ellie has just become one of our student ambassadors, and she got her entire school to create a sustainability program. AE's next mission is called Adventures in Waste. We plan to launch a series of field missions to some of the world's most troubled areas, from the site of an oil spill in Ecuador to pollution in China's Henan province, culminating in a trip to the Pacific Ocean's eastern 'garbage patch' in 2008. I've asked kids around the world to start recycling bottles. We'll sail a boat made entirely from recycled bottles to the garbage patch to document the massive problem of ocean trash. My hope for the world? That we will be able to look back and say we made the right choices when we had the chance."
"A lot of athletes pick up a cause," says pro freeskier Alison Gannett, 42. "I would say I'm an environmentalist who picked up skiing." Although the former world extreme-freeskiing champ will tackle two first descents in Pakistan this year, her primary goal on the trip is to photograph receding glaciers. In 1991, while ski-racing around the world, Gannett founded Sunseekers Design, a green construction-and-design firm in Crested Butte, Colorado, then built her own straw-bale home there. In 2004, she launched the Office for Resource Efficiency, a nonprofit offering locals free consultations to help reduce carbon emissions. This winter, Gannett cruised western mountain towns in a veggie-oil-fueled RV for her Global Cooling Tour, an Al Gorestyle slide show that mixed skiing with global warming. "I've been told a lot of things over the years: You can't build a straw house; you can't make a living in extreme skiing," she says. "My whole life I've been out to prove the naysayers wrong."
Despite his flock's strained relationship with modern science, this 56-year-old Book of Revelation*quoting reverend and VP for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals is using his pulpit to preach about "creation care"the idea that being good Christians means being good stewards of God's bounty.
*11:18 [God will] destroy those who destroy the earth."
Corporate boards rarely choose profits over environmentally sound practices when Shapiro is in the room. That's because the 38-year-old founder and CEO of GreenOrder Inc., a Manhattan-based firm specializing in environmental business strategy, enlightens companies on how to go green, meaning stockholders make money and do the right thing. Sha-piro's eco-wizardry at multinationals like General Electric, Office Depot, and General Motors is impressive. He estimates that if every American who didn't already own an energy-saving washing machine were to buy a GE Profile Harmony washer, we'd save enough water to fill 400,000 Olympic-size swimmingpools annually.
SIR RICHARD BRANSON
Who can top Richard Branson? Maybe only Richard Branson. After declaring last year that he'd commit $3 billion from his Virgin empire to the development of alternative-energy sources, the iconoclastic Brit, 56, was back in February announcing a $25 million prize for anyone who can devise a way to clear existing greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. What are you waiting for?
VC with Vision
"Green used to be for sissies; now it's a tough-nosed, profitable way to make your way through life," says John Doerr, 55, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. This billionaire should know. Since 2002, Doerr has steered $200 million into 12 eco-ventures that produce fuel-cell generators, ethanol factories, clean coal-gasification plants, and solar cells. "Green could be the largest economic opportunity of the 21st century," he says. "We'll get a clean environment because entrepreneurs will make it happen."
Whole Foods Guru
Few businessmen deserve as much credit for popularizing organic food and sustainable agriculture as John Mackey, 53, one of Whole Foods Market's founders and company CEO since the first store opened its doors in Austin, Texas, in 1980. Here's Mackey's label:
Whole Foods Nutrition Facts
$5.6 billion company
191 stores in the U.S. and U.K.; 41,500 employees; eight distribution centers; seven regional bake houses; four subsidiaries (like Allegro Coffee Company); and a number-five slot in Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For.
Vitamins and Minerals:
Employees pick their own benefits packages through a companywide vote every three years. Whole Foods covers 100 percent of the health-insurance premiums for workers who have already logged 800 hours and put in at least 30 hours per week.
Whole Foods purchases more wind-energy credits than any other Fortune 500 companyenough to run all U.S. and Canada stores.
Recently spent $26 million for organic beef raised and slaughtered by Country Natural Beef, a co-op in the Pacific Northwest. The purchase helped preserve four million acres of open space.
Whole Foods Market Private Label Organic Milk comes from (and supports) 533 midsize farms (66 cattle per herd) in the Midwest.
Stock is up more than 1,971 percent since the company went public in January 1992.
Mackey's annual salary: $1.Starting in 2007, in lieu of a paycheck that he no longer needs, Mackey will contribute $100,000 annually to an emergency-relief fund.
One Bryant Park
Mountain Resort Maverick
When it comes to resort makeovers, all roads lead to Auden Schendler. The 36-year-old managing director of community and environmental responsibility for Aspen Skiing Company was the first to convert a major resort to 100 percent wind power; installed the industry's largest solar array; and tested water-free urinals (which flopped due to, er, sanitation issues). But his vision goes beyond Aspen: Last fall, on behalf of ASC, he filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting 12 states in the Supreme Court case Massachusetts v. EPA, to force the federal government to regulate greenhouse gases as a pollutant.
Air conditioning from giant vats of melting ice! Lights that turn on and off with the sun! Countertops of recycled glass! Such are the futuristic ingredients in Manhattan's One Bryant Park, a 54-story glass-and-steel monolith on track to become the country's greenest skyscraper. Designed by Richard Cook, 46, and his New York firm, Cook + FoxArchitects, to comply with LEED's platinum standards (the U.S. Green Building Council's highest benchmark for sustainable buildings), OBP is outfitted with an on-site power plant, water tanks that catch and recycle rain, and a filtration system that strips 95 percent of lung-clogging particulates from interior air. When it's finished, in 2008, the 2.2-million-square-foot spire-topped tower will house Bank of America's New York headquarters, retail shops and restaurants, and a 1,000-seat Broadway theater. "I want people to feel in their bones that this is a fundamentally different building that's designed not just to sit there," Cook says, "but to interact with themto remind them that they're part of the building and the building is part of the environment."
Summer Rayne Oakes
Summer Rayne Oakes at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
SUMMER RAYNE OAKES
Oakes, 22, has a knack for leveraging her natural assets into environmental activism. The savvy Cornell grad wears several hatssustainability consultant, sewage-sludge researcher, editor, lecturer, TV hostbut her biggest impact has been as a fashion model for sustainable textiles, using her good looks to get people thinking about the eco-implications of their daily decisions: "I try to make sure the substance of what I'm saying isn't too far behind the image," she says.
Timberland President and CEO
Timberland, a $1.6 billion Fortune 1000 company, wasn't in need of a makeover, but 47-year-old Jeff Swartz, whose father started the brand in 1973, thought otherwise. Last year, as part of his plan to make the entire company carbon neutral, he installed one of the world's largest solar panels at its California distribution center. Then he introduced "nutrition labels" on shoeboxes, detailing where and how the footwear was manufactured and how much energy was used in the process. Within the next few years, Swartz also aims to eliminate the harmful chemical polyvinyl chloride from all products that can be made with available alternatives. Though all this is great for the company's image, Swartz's motivation lies elsewhere: the future. "Timberland needs to find a way to exist in a sustainable fashionnot by going carbon neutral via offsets purchased externally but by reimagining every aspect of our business process," he says. "If we don't do it right here and now, our children will be confronted with irreversible damage."
Founder of Patagonia
As TOM BROKAW says of longtime friend Chouinard, 68: "Yvon is the personification of the Buddhist belief that we should all live lightly on the land. For him, it's a way of life, as I have come to know firsthand in our travels to the Russian Far East, the Trans-Tibetan Plateau, and Patagonia. He is at once my muse and a pain in the assfor his aversion to comfort and his embrace of the wildest possible elements."
A producer of An Inconvenient Truthas well as global-warming specials on HBO, TBS, and Fox NewsDavid is the energetic driving force behind the environmental movement's Hollywood wing. The wife of Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David also organized 2005's Stop Global Warming Virtual March on Washington and wrote Stop Global Warming: The Solution Is You!
Think you know everything about America's most influential environmentalist? Here's a quick quiz to see how core Gore you really are.
1. In the family living room, Tipper Gore keeps:
(A) portraits of Al from age one to 19 (B) a full drum kit and congas (C) a 42-inch plasma TV, constantly playing An Inconvenient Truth
2. Gore held the first congressional hearing on climate change in:
(A) 1979 (B) 1986 (C) 1996
3. Gore is the only vice president to have:
(A) visited Antarctica and the North Pole (B) summited Mount Rainier (C) run a marathon (D) all of the above
4. What animated show has Gore lent his voice to?
(A) The Simpsons (B) Futurama (C) SpongeBob SquarePants
5. Gore was:
(A) Tommy Lee Jones's Harvard roommate (B) nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize (C) No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller List for three weeks (D) all of the above
6. Gore's next big adventure is:
(A) The Assault on Reason,a book due out in May, about society's need to pay attention to facts (B) You CanCall Me Al, a memoir to be released in July (C) bullsGore is restoring his Black Angus cattle farm outside Carthage, Tennessee (D) An Even More Inconvenient Truth, a critique of the Bush administration's disregard for science
Answers: 1. B; 2. A; 3. D; 4. B; 5. D; 6. A
Governor of New York
Spitzer, 47, won a whopping 69 percent of the vote last November, thanks in large part to his reputation as a fearless attorney general who's gone after sloppy power plants and noxious chemical factories that have failed to curb pollution. Here are some of his prizefights, past and present:
1. In 2000, Spitzer helped force coal-burning Virginia Electric Power Company to cut by about 70 percent its production of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxideinfamous toxins that float hundreds of miles north and cause acid rain. The utility also coughed up a staggering $1.2 billion in fines and pollution control.
2. In 2003, Spitzer busted Dow AgroSciences for claiming its pesticide line Dursban was safe, despite repeated warnings from the EPA that an ingredient, chlorpyrifos, caused brain defects in kids. Spitzer sued Dow, which was dinged with a $2 million fine, at the time the largest for such a crime in U.S. history.
3. Last June, Spitzer joined a coalition of 15 other state governments to go after the EPA itselffor at least the third time. The goal was to stop electric companies from producing the 48 tons of mercury that poison waterways and fish and sicken up to 600,000 children each year. The suit is still pending, but given Spitzer's record, the EPA has reason to be nervous.
As chairman of the National Wildlife Federation, 52-year-old Jerome Ringothe first African-American to hold the top spot at a major conservation organizationwent on a mission to make green more inclusive. "Poor people and people of color are the most adversely affected by bad environmental practices, but we are the least involved," says the Louisiana native, who grew up hunting and fishing on the bayous near his hometown of Lake Charles. He spent the past two years preaching his message to inner-city kids, Native Americans, Beltway politicos, and residents of New Orleans's hurricane-devastated Ninth Ward. Ringo's two-year term at the NWF ended last month, but he's still spreading the word as president of the Washington, D.C.-based alt-energy think tank Apollo Alliance. Their goal: to drum up three million new clean-energy jobs and eliminate America's foreign-oil dependence by 2017.
CAPTAIN PAUL WATSON
Watson, 56, cofounded Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and has spent the past 35 years fighting the whalers, sealers, and poachers decimating marine ecosystems. "We save whales for whales," he says. "We don't protect them for people."
Alternative Energy Wizard
When biotechnology engineer Isaac Berzin devised a process for turning algae into alternative fuel in the late nineties, many of his fellow scientists dismissed the idea as bizarre; after all, the Department of Energy had rejected the plan as economically unfeasible. But the Israeli inventor knew the science was sound: The single-cell microorganisms are the world's fastest-growing plantsphotosynthetic dynamos that ingest carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide and emit oxygen, producing oil, sugar, and protein as by-products. He just had to refine the process. Nearly eight years later, Berzin, 39, and his Cambridge, Massachusetts-based GreenFuel Technologies Corporation have come up with more than $20 million in seed money and a plan: to install several algae farms on unwanted land adjacent to CO2-spewing power and industrial plants. They'll trap the CO2, extract the algae's oil, process it into biodiesel, and ferment the remaining sugar-rich liquid into ethanol (see recipe, right). Its largest algae incubator to date, a one-third-acre plot 55 miles west of Phoenix, was launched in February, and GreenFuel already has clients in Australia, India, and South Africa who will use Berzin's technology to process their own algae. (The company also now has 20 competitors worldwide.) The projected cost of algae-based biofuel per gallon is still to be determined, but Berzin hopes to have it at the pump by 2008. Does this mean our roads will stink like neglected fish tanks? "Oh, no!" he says. "Freshwater algae smells kind of sweet!"
Green and clean used to be scarce commodities in the South Bronx, a New York City neighborhood saddled with 15 waste-transfer stations, a 39-acre sewage treatment plant, and one of the country's highest incidences of youth asthma (almost one in four kids is afflicted). Majora Carter, 40, a native of the Bronx's Hunts Point neighborhood, founded the nonprofit Sustainable South Bronx in 2001 to reverse these dismal stats. Four years later, she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation genius grant for launching an environmental stewardship training program, developing a green-roofing business to reduce cooling costs and conserve water, and creating the South Bronx Greenway, a $330 million, ten-mile cycling-and-walking path linking eight acres of parkland. Katie Arnold spoke with Carter about the environmental movement's urban landscape.
OUTSIDE: When did you realize the situation in the South Bronx had to change?
I was moving back to the neighborhood after college and heard about a proposal to bring 5,200 tons per day of municipal waste to our waterfront. The South Bronx was already carrying two dozen waste facilitiesabout 30 percent of the city's garbage. I thought, How did this happen? And why would they think they could do both?
So what exactly is environmental justice?
It's about creating opportunities for people to enjoy the environment around them, which means the environment needs to be something that can be enjoyed. It needs to be supportive of people's health and their economic quality of life. It's about making sure that environmental benefits and burdens are equally distributed among all people, and are not determined by race or class.
How does the South Bronx fit into the larger movement?
The South Bronx is not the Adirondacks or the Appalachian Trail, but we know that environmental-justice communities are sources for the greenhouse gases causing global warming. By helping our communities, not only are you supporting our public health; you're also doing a real service to other communities.
How badly does the inner city need green spaces?
Parks are at the core of any community. If you don't give people opportunities to be together in free public spaces, you lose out on building a community. You have to make that investment, especially in poor neighborhoods, because it will pay us back tenfold.
Are your neighbors catching on?
In my own community, most of us are no longer thinking, This is the South Bronx; of course we get the garbage. Now we say, "No. Why do I have to live like this?" Just asking that question is incredibly important.
Musician on a Mission
With his BioWillie biodieselsold at truck stops in eight statesthe redheaded stranger, 73, has brought a Birkenstock sensibility to the land of cowboy boots by target=ing the biggest diesel users in the country.
Ecolebritiesstars who champion green causes (you heard it here first)tend to attract more than their share of criticism. They are, the argument goes, mostly naive and incapable of being meaningfully involved with anything but themselves, making them ineffective advocates for anything more serious than a Japanese energy drink. For the cynics, we have but one word: Leo.The hybrid-driving, commercial-air-flying, solar-powered DiCaprio, 32, has been using his fame toilluminate environmental causes ever since achieving the star wattage to do so. After founding the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 1998 to raise awareness of sustainability issues, he chaired the Earth Day 2000 gathering in Washington, became a board member of the environmental nonprofit Global Green USA and a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and launched LeonardoDiCaprio.org to spread the conservation gospel. More recently, he co-wrote and narrated the short films Global Warning and Water Planet and signed on with Survivor producer Craig Piligian to create a reality show called E-topia, which will chronicle the green rebuilding of an entire American town.
His biggest project at the moment is a feature-length documentary that he's been working on for three years. The film, 11th Hour, which is due out later this year, chronicles the state of the planet and its ecosystems, outlining how we arrived here and what we can do to change things. "Thisis his passion," says co-director Leila Conners Petersen. "He's spent hours and hours in front of the camera, writing, in the edit room. He has ideas he wants to put out there, and he's doing it."
Case in point: By simply posting a question about global warming on the Web site Yahoo! Answers"What are some simple steps or creative ideas that people can take at home and work to combat global warming?"DiCaprio elicited more than 10,000 responses and hundreds of news stories. "Leo's job, as he's described it," says Global Green president and CEO Matt Petersen, "is to use his position to shine a light on the experts, the science, and the solutions."
Global Green CEO
Global Green CEO & President
Since taking the reins of Santa Monica, California-based Global Green USAthe U.S. branch of Gorbachev's Green Cross Internationalin 1994, Matt Petersen, 40, has brought together corporations, scientists, and L.A.'s greatest natural resourcecelebritiesto advocate for a sustainable future. Here's how.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Edward Norton sit on GG's board, and Petersen has also convinced Orlando Bloom, Salma Hayek, and Jake Gyllenhaal to get involved with various projects. "We've found a way to get Entertainment Tonight to cover an issue they never would otherwise," he says.
Global Green partnered with Starbucks on a series of ads in The New York Times highlighting the need for action on climate change (the coffee giant is one of the largest purchasers of green power in the country). "We need more corporate voices taking proactive stances," Petersen says.
In an effort to green up the reconstruction of New Orleans, Global Green purchased land in the city and invited architects to submit sustainable-housing designs. The jury, chaired by architecture buff Brad Pitt, selected a plan that promises to cut household energy consumption by more than half.
Petersen has made building sustainable schools a priority. "It's a great way to connect people, given that everyone cares about kids," he says. Bonus: Studies show that students in environmentally healthy schools have better attendance rates and higher test scores.
RED CARPET, GREEN CARS
Global Green launched this annual initiative at the 2003 Oscars as a way, Petersen says, "to make the hybrid car sexy and cool." Mission accomplished: Dozens of celebs, including Natalie Portman, Morgan Freeman, and Scarlett Johansson, have since traded their limos for hybrids.
Walk the Walk
Ten simple, painless ways to help save the planet now
1. Let the sun recharge your iPod. The pocket-size Soldius1 Universal Solar Charger does the job in two to three hours and works on other gadgets, from cell phones to gps units. $110; mysoldius.com
2. Light up with LED bulbs. While they cost a bit more (a six-LED, equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent, runs about $45), they use 90 percent less energy than incandescents and 57 percent less than efficient (but ghostly) cfl's. productdose.com
3. Take your next vacation with REI Adventure Travel. The company offers 135 trips on seven continents, and offsets your carbon at no extra cost. rei.com/adventures
4. Join a car-share networkthey're up and running in 65 cities, from Washington, D.C., to Seattle. In San Francisco, members of the city carshare network reduced their driving by 47 percent, while their biking and walking increased. For more information, go to carsharing.net.
5. Support companies that embrace sustainable practices: Ibex powers its Vermont headquarters with methane gas from local farms, Black Diamond manufactures with wind and solar power, and footwear maker Mion aims to go completely carbon neutral in 2007. Other smart operators include Chaco, Clif Bar, Dansko, Indigenous Designs, Keen, Kelty, Nau, Patagonia, Prana, REI, Simple, Teko, Timberland, and W.L. Gore.
6. Eat sustainably at one of these acclaimed restaurants: Acme Chophouse, San Francisco; Farm255, Athens, Georgia; Flatbush Farm, Brooklyn; Hell's Backbone Grill, Boulder, Utah; Spoonriver, Minneapolis. For more options near you, visit eatwellguide.org.
7. Start a bike-share program in your community or donate your neglected ten-speed to one that's established. Find a local program at sopobikes.org/community or visit ibike.org/encouragement for tips on how to start your own.
8. Rewaterproof a jacket. Eco-friendly wash-in and spray-on products from Nikwax make it easy and affordable. $12$14; nikwax.co.uk
9. Kick the bottled-water habit. Disposable plastic water bottles (made from petroleum) are dumped into landfills at the rate of three million per day in California alone, and an NRDC study found that 25 percent of brands are just selling you glorified tap water. For more lifestyle tips, delivered to your inbox daily, go to idealbite.com.
10. Check and inflate your tires regularly. If Americans kept their tires properly pumped, says the Department of Energy, they'd be in for a 3.3 percent improvement in fuel economy.