KBB Green Cars - 2009

KBB Green Offers Alternative-Fuel Car Guide, Car-Finding Tools, Forums, Blogs

IRVINE, Calif., April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book,, the leading provider of new car and used car information, today announces the expert editors of Kelley Blue Book's name their 2009 picks for the Top 10 Green Cars. In an all-new story posted to KBB(R) Green, the editors list a variety of fuel-efficient vehicles worthy of buyers' consideration. The coverage includes detailed EPA-estimated fuel economy numbers and editorial commentary on why each particular model made this year's list.

On last year's inaugural Top 10 Green Cars list, the editors cited skyrocketing gas prices, a weak economy and growing environmental consciousness as the major reasons more car buyers were focusing on fuel economy. As we approach Earth Day 2009, gas prices have come back to Earth but the shaky economy is trumping most other concerns and causes, resulting in far fewer car buyers.

The current sales slump is unfortunate for many reasons, one of which is that 2009 is shaping up to be a banner year for fuel efficiency. The year's arrivals include an all-new Toyota Prius that is even more fuel-efficient than its world-beating predecessor, a new Prius alternative in the Honda Insight, and a range of new 50-state clean-diesel cars, among others. In addition to these newcomers, this year's Top 10 Green Cars list highlights some familiar faces, and the editors again included a variety of vehicle shapes and sizes, because they recognize that not everyone who wants to get greener can go smaller. Just as buyers would, the editors considered characteristics like comfort, performance, utility and technology - not just fuel economy and price - in picking the winners.

"Despite the decline in auto sales and the stabilization of gas prices in recent months, we still think many new-car shoppers are interested in buying vehicles that are more fuel-efficient and better for the environment," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book and "More than ever, we're seeing a variety of environmentally friendly vehicles for the 2009 and 2010 model-years that offer intriguing technology. No matter what you or your family's vehicle needs may be, we're confident there is a 'Green' option available to suit your preferences and lifestyle."

                 's 2009 Top 10 Green Cars
(In order of combined EPA-estimated fuel economy)

Vehicle City MPG Highway MPG Combined MPG
2010 Toyota Prius 51 48 50
2010 Honda Insight 40 43 41
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid 41 36 39
2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI 30 41 34
2009 MINI Cooper 28 37 32
2009 Ford Escape Hybrid 34 31 32
2009 Honda Fit 28 34 31
2009 BMW 335d 23 36 27
2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 27 25 26
2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid 21 22 21's Editorial Commentary on the 2009 Top 10 Green Cars

(In order of combined EPA-estimated fuel economy)

2010 Toyota Prius

The third-generation Prius has arrived with sleeker looks, added creature comforts, upgraded performance and even-better fuel economy. Despite a larger engine, 24 additional horsepower and quicker acceleration, the new Prius manages to deliver four more miles per gallon than its predecessor. The coolest new option is a glass moonroof with a solar-powered ventilation system, but the list also includes voice-activated navigation and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Lane Keep Assist.

2010 Honda Insight

With a starting sticker price of $20,470, the all-new Honda Insight is the least expensive full-production hybrid available in the United States. Even the top-level Insight EX with Navigation that includes features like a voice-activated navigation system, Bluetooth phone connectivity, upgraded audio system and electronic stability control is just $23,770. These figures should give the Insight a clear price advantage compared to the newest Prius, for which pricing has yet to be announced. But why does Honda's fuel-miser look so much like Toyota's? Is it because the consumer thinks that's what a hybrid looks like or for the same reason an Airbus looks so much like a Boeing?

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

The Ford Fusion is getting better with age, and perhaps the best addition is the hybrid version. For the 2010 model year, the lineup benefits from new exterior styling and an interior redesign, which grace the new hybrid version that handily out-economizes both the Toyota Camry Hybrid (33 city/34 hwy mpg) and the Chevy Malibu (26 city/34 hwy mpg). We were fans of the Fusion before, but even bigger believers after seeing and driving the latest iterations.

2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI

In some circles, TDI is the sexiest acronym in all the automotosphere. Some months ago, Volkswagen's familiar diesel moniker disappeared from the automaker's top-selling Jetta, but it has made a triumphant return for the 2009 model year. This time, the Jetta TDI and Jetta Sportwagen TDI (and soon, Golf TDI) will be available in all 50 states, a development that surely helped the Jetta TDI take home the 2009 Green Car of the Year award. Returning fuel economy that's roughly 40 percent better than its gas-powered counterpart, the Jetta Sportwagen TDI combines utility on par with a small SUV, world-class fuel economy and European driving dynamics in one well-rounded green machine.

2009 MINI Cooper

The MINI Cooper balances fun and efficiency like nothing else on the road. Responsive steering, a sport-tuned suspension and diminutive dimensions combine to deliver a driving experience that instantly evokes allusions to the proverbial go kart. Combine that kind of athleticism with highway fuel economy up to 37 miles per gallon - and a personality bigger than the car itself - and you've got a unique brand of feel-good fun.

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

We like compact crossovers for their smart mix of utility and efficiency, and the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient SUV in the country. After undergoing a major overhaul for the 2008 model year, the Ford Escape Hybrid is improved again for 2009 with smoother braking and electric-to-gas transitions, plus a one-mile-per-gallon improvement in highway fuel economy.

2009 Honda Fit

The Toyota Yaris remains the category's mileage champ, but the Honda Fit so handily outshines its competitors in our eyes that it's making the list again this year. We're especially fond of the Sport model and its performance-tuned suspension and paddle shifters, but even base models are fun. If you're more interested in pure practicality than driving pleasure, be sure to check out the Fit's flexible back seat and impressive cargo-carrying abilities. The Honda Fit may be a little car, but it's a lot of car.

2009 BMW 335d

BMW's new diesel-powered 3 Series is one of those cars you really do have to drive to believe. First off, its zero-to-60 mph time of 6.0 seconds is only four tenths slower than that of the category's gas-powered gold standard, BMW's own 335i. For most buyers, that's a small performance price to pay for an increase in fuel economy of about 35 percent (the 335i is rated at 17 city/26 highway mpg). Throw in all the driving feel and cornering ability that have made the 3 Series a living legend, and you've got the greatest diesel car America's ever seen.

2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

The Highlander Hybrid remains the most fuel-efficient three-row vehicle available today, earning it an automatic bid at the top of many families' shopping lists. On top of room for seven and exceptional fuel economy, the Highlander Hybrid offers proven reliability and the added all-weather confidence of standard all-wheel drive.

2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid

If maximum fuel economy is your primary concern, then buying a pickup truck doesn't make much sense. But what if you need the utility of a pickup truck? Shouldn't you, too, be able to enjoy the benefits of modern hybrid technology? General Motors thinks so. That's why GM's Two-Mode hybrid system is now available in the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Despite delivering up to a 50-percent improvement in city fuel economy, GM's hybrid pickup retains its essential truckness by offering nearly 1,500 pounds of payload capacity, a 6,100-pound tow rating and a big full size bed. For those with more people to haul than cargo, the same gas-electric powertrain is available in the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid SUV.

For more information on all of the 2009 Top 10 Green Cars, visit

About KBB Green

Kelley Blue Book's Green section allows new-car shoppers to obtain information about alternative-fuel technologies, such as hydrogen cars, diesel cars, hybrid cars, natural gas cars, electric cars and flex fuel/ethanol vehicles, as well as fuel-sipping gasoline cars.'s vehicle experts also keep consumers up-to-date on the latest Green news and information from around the automotive world. The video section of KBB Green offers an in-depth, inside look at the latest eco-friendly vehicles on the market from both the Kelley Blue Book perspective and the carmakers' themselves. KBB Green also features helpful tools such as the Perfect Car Finder(R) and the Fuel Efficiency Challenge.

About Kelley Blue Book (

Since 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource(R), has provided vehicle buyers and sellers with the new and used vehicle information they need to accomplish their goals with confidence. The company's top-rated Web site,, provides the most up-to-date pricing and values, including the New Car Blue Book(R) Value, which reveals what people actually are paying for new cars. The company also reports vehicle pricing and values via products and services, including software products and the famous Blue Book(R) Official Guide. According to the C.A. Walker Research Solutions, Inc. - 2008 Spring Automotive Web Site Usefulness Study, is the most useful automotive information Web site among new and used vehicle shoppers, and half of online vehicle shoppers visit is a leading provider of new car prices, car reviews and news, used car blue book values, auto classifieds and car dealer locations. No other medium reaches more in-market vehicle shoppers than


Why Tibet matters now (1)

From a global environmental perspective, few places in the world are as important as Tibet. Rising concerns about global warming, climate change, receding glaciers, desertification, food insecurity and loss of biodiversity all point to the significance of Tibet. Tackling these important issues requires greatly increased scientific research in Tibetan areas and improved understanding of current land use practices...

Voice of American - Global Tibs (very cool videos) (Go to, "the Up and Coming")

Global Tibetan Professionals Network (GTPN) North America


GTPN - North America is a non-profit, volunteer-based networking organization for Tibetan professionals and students based in North America. GTPN aims to support, motivate and empower Tibetans to take their place in the Tibetan community with, specialized skills and successful careers. We aim to serve as a platform where Tibetan professionals from diverse backgrounds in North America can network with each other and find creative ways of contributing to their professional and Tibetan communities. Through GTPN, Tibetan professionals can stay connected by exchanging ideas, information and resources as well as guide others through career mentoring. We work in close association with the Office of Tibet (New York), Students for a Free Tibet, local Tibetan Associations and other Tibet Support Groups. Our hope is to build a better future and a stronger Tibetan nation tomorrow by empowering and establishing successful youth and professionals today.

The Art of Public Speaking

ENVISION skills building series workshop

ENVISION is organising " The Art of Public Speaking" workshop for 5 days from 04:00 pm to 06:00 pm two hours a day.

Resource person: Ms. SUNITA THAKUR
Ms. Thakur is a well-known and extremely qualified reporter, film director and journalist. She has had over 25 years of experience in the field of media and mass communications, and has worked for the BBC in both India and the UK in various capacities. Throughout her career, Ms. Thakur has interacted with people in many different ways, and has gained a deep understanding of the requirements of public speaking. During this five-day workshop, she will speak on overcoming your fears and mental barriers when public speaking, and share coping strategies to boost your confidence.

Date: April 27 – May 1, 2009

Time: 4:00-6:00pm Every evening

Venue: J-50, Jor Bagh Lane, B.K. Dutt Colony, New Delhi, India

Office: 011-24641250-51
Cell: 9899040289

Participants will be accepted on a first-
come first-serve basis.
Only 10 spaces available.

Role of Tibetan professionals in strengthening Tibetan community

Presented at Second Networking Meeting of GTPN Delhi Chapter, IIC Annexe, New Delhi on Dec 20, 2008

There are a few questions that have come to my mind and which I would like to discuss with everyone. Especially keeping in mind that this is a gathering of Tibetan professionals, I think it becomes all the more important if we try and understand the four basic questions I have:

1. How can we describe the term Tibetan community?
2. What do we mean by a strong Tibetan community?
3. What is the nature of the present Tibetan community?
4. Why the compelling need to strengthen the community? And how can we go about it?

The term Tibetan community is hard to define. But it seems the term gained its relevance after China occupied Tibet. In other words, the term would not have gained so much bearing has we been in Tibet, as citizens of a free country. Therefore, broadly speaking the term refers to Tibetans living under China as subjugated subjects and Tibetans in exile, living as refugees, but bonded together with a common desire to keep alive its unique characteristics - the Tibetanness.

Secondly, what is a strong community? Loosely speaking, Tibetan people throughout the world have acquired a certain image. Outsiders consider us as good and honest people, kind and compassionate, tolerant and pacific people. To a large extend this image is based on the values we cherish. We are also proud and happily satisfied with this image. However, an important question is do these values make a community strong? I leave this for you all to answer.

From another perspective, a strong community is one that purposefully contributes to the society. At the same time, it also means such a community should be in a position to take advantage of opportunities and benefits provided to its members.

We will definitely be a strong community if Tibetans under the Chinese, who are treated as second-class citizens, and Tibetans in exile, as refugees or immigrants, constructively contribute to their respective societies and at the same time they are in position to take advantage of the opportunities and benefits available in such societies. If not, then there is a problem that we all need to address.

It is difficult for me to describe the real nature of the Tibetan Community. For the purpose of today’s discussion I would like to point out at least two aspects of the nature of our community.

Tibetans in Tibet are struggling for respect and freedom and Tibetans in exile are in the process of seeking identity and security. To achieve these objectives, Tibetans are in the process of adapting changing circumstances and time. This very process of adaptation seems to be the main cause for weakening the strength of the Tibetan community.

When China captured Tibet in 1959, the initial concern of our community was to ensure survival of the spirit of Tibetanness with an objective of reinstating Tibet as a free and sovereign nation. Slowly the political objective of the community changed from non-compromising demand for a free Tibet to a more acceptable demand for peaceful co-existence with the Chinese people. But the desire to preserve the spirit of Tibetanness persisted in spite of modifications in the political objectives. The fact that today we are here to talk about strengthening the Tibetan community and, most importantly, the fact that Tibetans under the oppressive Chinese rule took out our national flag during the March protest proves that we, for the past 50 years, have succeeded to keep alive our spirit of Tibetanness.

Secondly, it is the sense of cohesiveness that has undergone a drastic change.
As I mentioned above Tibetans, inside Tibet as well as in exile, are trying to adapt to changing circumstances and time. This process of adaptation is not easy for many of us. The younger generation especially is going through a more difficult and critical phase of our history.

Difficult because challenges during the last decade has increased many fold. Massive influx of Chinese people into Tibet has turned us into a minority in our own land. On the other hand, Tibetan community in exile is slowly disintegrating because we are now increasingly dispersed amongst various cities around the world.

The widespread dispersal of Tibetans around the globe has to a large extent led to loss of sense of cohesiveness that existed particularly in India and Nepal at the beginning of our exiled life.
The loosening of sense of cohesiveness among the Tibetan people in exile is greatly impacting the strength of the community.

Compelling need:

I do not have much knowledge about how Tibetans in Tibet are adapting to the increasing influx of Chinese settlers. Nevertheless, one development that is taking place there is very clear to us. Tibetans under China are sidelined in almost every aspect of life.

In exile, the younger generation is leaving the settlements for cities in India and abroad in search of a better livelihood. For many of them it is not easy. During the first GTPN meeting, Empowering the Vision presented us with statistics of a survey conducted regarding various occupations of Tibetans living in Delhi. More than 70 per cent of those surveyed were found engaged in occupations which will give them bare minimum to survive in a big metropolis like Delhi.

A decent living accommodation of their own, a manageable education facility for their children and, above all, affordable health care in case of any major illness will always remain a difficult challenge for these people. Rest 30% people are either doing well or engaged in more comfortable occupation. For them also the challenge seems to be the availability of options for further progress in life. Although some Tibetans may be considered successful by our standard, they are a non-entity, economically and professionally, in a prosperous country like India.

Same is the case abroad. The economic and living conditions of most of Tibetans in USA and Canada are also on a similar pattern that is prevalent in Delhi. Of course, there are many successful Tibetans living in these countries. Yet most of them who have migrated to these countries lack experience, knowledge and skills needed there to get more paying jobs.

Most of them are engaged in labour-oriented jobs. Wages for such jobs are always around the minimum wage limits. Since income is limited, I have observed that many of our brothers and sisters in these countries live in areas where housing is cheap and affordable. Where housing is cheap educations facilities are not very conducive for proper upbringing of children.

Where academic environment is not conducive for positive development of human personality, many children get sucked into prevailing social problems namely drug and alcohol addiction, and law and order issues, academic dropouts, etc. I have heard of several instances of these problems faced by young Tibetans living in areas like New York, Boston, Minnesota, Toronto, etc.

Because of these new challenges it has now become very a critical moment for all of us to find out ways not only to keep alive our spirit of Tibetanness but also to take it to the next level. If we fail to build ourselves into a strong community, bonded together by a common desire to help and support each, we may eventually lose our own character and image.

If we fail to visualise the consequences this looming danger, like many other minorities in the world, Tibetans will also live on the sidelines of the majority. Tibetan population throughout the world, as per Tibetan Govt in exile records, is six million. This figure is so insignificant a number amongst six-and-a-half-billion people in the world for us to survive even as a fragmented minority. Marginalisation of a particular community means that they are neither able to purposefully contribute to the society nor they are able to take full advantage of opportunities and benefits provided by the society.

How and who can do it?

Natural science teaches us the basic lessons for survival - the fittest one survives.
For Tibetans to survive, we need to make ourselves fit. Our fitness will come from strength and strength for us will come from our ability as a community to rub shoulders with the world.
I strongly believe that this strength will rise if we all come together with a common passion to succeed not only as individual but, more importantly, as a community for the common good of all.
There is a great need for the creation of a strong and vibrant network of Tibetan professionals who can weave together a dream for themselves as well as for the larger community.

Through a vibrant network of Tibetan professionals, based on mutual cooperation and support system, they can not only consolidate their own strengths and successes, the same network can uplift the weak and needy fellow Tibetans. Through a network Tibetans can create opportunities for each other. Through network Tibetans can face challenges together and share the fruits of success together. Through cooperation, collaboration, joint ventures, Tibetan professionals can consolidate and expand their success.

It is my dream, hopefully yours too, to one day become part of such a community that will have the respect, credibility and power to shape our common destiny.

About the Author: Mr. Kunsang Tanzin is presently a Trustee of ENVISION and a board member of Aribodh, the American Foundation for the Preservation of Tibetan Culture in California, U.S.A. He is also an Advisor to W.S. Tibetan Chamber of Commerce based in New Delhi.

by Kunsang Tanzin, Trustee ENVISION

Read his latest interview in Outlook India magazine 2009

Photo by: Jitender Gupta

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The 20 best views in the World

(the rest are missing except for the below)

14. Annapurna from Sarankot, Nepal

The Himalayas are unlike any other mountains on earth: They are simply much bigger and grander. Arguments rage about which is the most unforgettable view: The Kangshung Face of Everest in Tibet; K2 from the snout of the Baltoro Glacier; Kanchenjunga across the tea terraces of Darjeeling. The list is endless. The first time I saw the Himalayas in all their incomparable splendor was from the village of Sarankot, 5,000 feet up in the foothills of Nepal. It is a famous panoramic view of immense peaks, dominated by the 26,000-foot Annapurna massif. And to this day, it remains my most indelible memory.

15. Sydney Harbour from Taronga Zoo, Australia

Which is the most spectacular harbor in the world: Rio, Hong Kong or Sydney? It’s hard to say, but on a sunny day, the view from Taronga Zoo across a yacht-strewn expanse of blue water to the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the towers of downtown Sydney certainly takes the cake.

16. The Potala Palace from across the Lhasa River, Tibet

Throughout the 19th century, Lhasa was the most mysterious city in the world, a magnet for intrepid European travelers. Today, it is a Chinese regional capital, increasingly swamped by shoddy and depressing concrete buildings. At its heart, however, the magnificent Potala Palace, the winter residence of Tibet’s Dalai Lamas, is still as extraordinary as ever. Its 13 stories are terraced 400 feet up the side of Marpo Ri (“Red Hill”), contain more than 1,000 rooms and have walls 16 feet thick. There are few more remarkable and impressive structures on earth.

Help Rahul, who unfortunately passed away

(Milan Shrestha at NY: (917) 293-4702 requested me to post this up to the site. Do contact him for details or the other contacts provided in . Thanks).

Rahul Hamal, a student of Caldwell College, passed away on March 27. He was being treated in the Intensive Care Unit at Moutainside Hopital, NJ since March 8. The doctors could not diagnose his condition. His family has been here for almost three weeks now. We plead all of you to support Rahul's family in this time of bereavement.

Note: The funds will be collected in Dixant Rai's Paypal account which will be donated to Rahul's family. The Nepali community at Caldwell College requested Dixant Rai to administer the fund as he was an intimate friend of Rahul Hamal. For transparency , all the transactions of the donations collected will be posted regularly.