Hopeful Signs

“Washington’s 2035 goal is to lower emissions by 25 million tons annually. 70% of the proceeds will go towards funding clean energy infrastructure, including but not limited to solar, wind, public transportation, and energy efficiency. Interestingly, it even would allow funds to improve rural broadband, with the expectation that it would decrease miles driven.”
 
See Please Help Pass Washington State Initiative 1631
 
“If the automobile industry doesn’t grasp the fact that it has to invest more in electric vehicles, especially in cities, then it will be very hard to defend combustion engines — gasoline and diesel — over the long term. We must do all we can now, so that the best electric cars are built in Germany.”
 
See Exclusive: Angela Merkel Put Heat On Automakers To Electrify Faster
 
“Hundreds of people, including physicians and health advocates, former EPA officials and technology entrepreneurs, environmental advocates and local officials, testified against the plan, vastly outnumbering the handful that came out in support. Even representatives of automakers and the aluminum industry opposed the effort to water down the standards.
 
A former EPA analyst who spent years working on emissions policy testified that the technical analysis for this proposal was the “most biased and dishonest” he had witnessed in his 40-year career at the agency.”
 
See Hundreds Speak Against Rollback Of Clean Car Standards At Public Hearings
 
“When I first started driving electric, about 3 years ago, when driving on longer journeys I had to share the chargers with a few Tesla drivers, or the occasional Leaf. With the roll-out of Tesla supercharger stations in the UK, the Tesla drivers have migrated to their own charging area, and for a while, especially since charging ceased to be free, I seemed to have the chargers pretty much to myself. On my drive down south, however, it was very much a case of “spot the EV.” At Gloucester southbound services on the way down, a Hyundai Ioniq was just finishing at the chargers as I drove in. At Gloucester northbound services, on the way back, I parked next to a brand-new Jaguar I-Pace, and had a pleasant chat with the new owner, who seemed thrilled to bits with his first electric car. Nissan Leafs are to be seen very often. Where the Tesla charging stations used to be conspicuous by being brand new, and entirely empty, now there seems to be quite a number of Tesla cars all charging up at the same time. I am used to members of the public occasionally asking me a few questions about electric vehicles while I am charging up, but on the last occasion no fewer than 3 different people asked me to explain all about it. That is more than ever before on a single occasion, and seems a definite indication that the electric vehicle revolution is finally gathering momentum.”
 
See Home, Home On The Range: Homing In On Electric Vehicle Ranges
Chuckle. Only a few years ago, driving an EV was a novel concept and reduction in automobile emissions was about taxation/regulation/urban living. Today, EVs are on everyone’s radar and folks want the performance, ease of maintenance and efficiency that EVs provide. Even the Trumpists, intent on pushing through rollbacks of emission standards are encircled and taking fire from all sides. The USAian mid-term elections are partly about the environment. Many millions of USAians hate Trumpism, a total substitution of transactional cost versus morality, and they are angry at Trumpists for one or more issues. They are all going to vote on issues. So, it seems the power of the congressional purse will restrain Trumpists until they are finally retired from the playing field.

Today, about half the driving public wants an EV and is impatiently waiting for manufacturers to crank them out. Witness the explosive growth of Tesla. That’s only because Tesla is not going slowly. Tesla has been able to charge a premium because their cars are better than gas-guzzlers for obvious reasons and because Tesla is not trying to preserve revenues from selling gas-guzzlers. Today, just about every driver has seen someone driving an EV even if the percentage of EVs is small. There is positive feedback in the market for automobiles. I can’t imagine ever buying a gas-guzzler again except for small engined machines or a truck. At my age I’m not likely to buy a truck. EVs are good enough for what I need done and they are affordable and perform well.

The last obstacle to widespread adoption of EVs is not technical but psychological. People resist change and are bathed in slick commercials promoting gas-guzzlers. It took a decade or more to get the first half of humanity convinced that EVs made sense. I expect in five years the other half will also see the light from behind their stacks of bills for fuel, maintenance and repairs.

These are hopeful signs and I believe the next generation will accept EVs and planting trees as the right thing to do. Several of my kids’ cousins are married now and buying real estate. They are open to planting trees and shrubs for shade, protection from the wind, and absorption of CO2. It’s all good. I’m ready, willing and able to provide advice and seedlings. Soon I’ll have my own EV to share with them.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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