In the old days if you wanted to be opinionated – you had to take the trouble of putting your thoughts down on paper, finding an envelope and stamp, and mailing it to a newspaper. There a person with journalistic experience would read it and decide whether it was spurious or whether it would add to his publication’s reputation and his readers’ frame of reference, before throwing it away or printing it.
Today any person with a cell phone and a thumb can become a political pundit, or heaven forbid an influencer.
Recently I was directed to an article that had originated on The Daily Friend and was carelessly reposted by Biznews. On the internet, it’s easier to repost than contract a skilled journalist. The author is described thus: The chief editor of Newsi.co.za. She is a political analyst and writer and holds a BSc in Mathematical Sciences.
I am not going to do her the favour of linking her blog site to Zero Carbon Charge’s website. You can search for her yourself; I’ll save you the time and rebut her claims, without being patronising.
The article heading is The Electric Vehicle Propaganda. This implies a conspiracy to achieve some political or hidden agenda. The facts are that massive companies such as Hyundai, Tesla and Chevrolet don’t have to resort to propaganda – they are profit-driven. They put their energy where they know they can make a good return. Their agenda is to make money.
The article says that EVs are held up as the main way to combat climate change. If you read all the COP undertakings it is clear that vehicle CO2 emission is one part of the problem, and EVs will contribute to solving that problem.
Next, the writer states that “nature needs carbon” and trying to eliminate it is therefore unnatural. Nature also needs water – but not too much. The current rate of increase in CO2 emissions – which is NOT the same as carbon – is more than the planet’s innate ability to absorb carbon is capable of.
Another claim is that EVs aren’t cleaner than ICE vehicles. That’s wrong. They are cleaner, and even more so if they are charged by sustainable green energy sources.
The Internal Combustion Engine is Here to Stay. That’s also what people said about, steamships, Betamaxes, LP records, landlines, candles, and horses. Technology is driven by humankind’s desire to do things faster, easier and at a lower cost. Sometimes that cost is money, sometimes cost is human or natural resources. Technology disrupts, creating winners and losers. Progress also allows different technologies to co-exist or to have a second life.
However, in first-world countries – whether right or wrong, good, or bad – governments have decreed that Internal Combustion Engines are not here to stay. In the UK – no new ICE vehicle sales will be allowed as of 2030. The rest of Europe will follow soon afterwards. Hyundai has committed to phasing out ICE vehicles. Although they haven’t set a time frame yet.
The author’s statement that solar panels and EV batteries are health and environmental hazards is true. But it is true for all batteries. And car tyres and Television screens and old cell phone chargers. Should we give up on all of them too and move back to a palaeolithic existence? No, we should work towards cleaner production and more responsible disposal.
Finally, the article dismisses the trend toward EVs as something that only certain people will gain from. That shows a lack of understanding of economics. A transaction only happens if both parties gain from it. If you buy a Tesla then Elon Musk gains some small change, and you gain a mode of transport. Saying that the vast majority of Africa will never be able to afford an EV is not a valid argument against EV adoption either. The vast majority of Africans can’t afford many things, but that’s not a reason to write off flat-screen TVs, Netflix subscriptions, MacBooks, Nike sneakers or fake boobs.
Thank you for reading and look out for part two of this article. If you want to disagree with me, let us know. I look forward to your logical counterarguments.
AUTHOR: TIM SANDHAM
Tim is a greying redhead who thinks green. He is the author of books on welding, soccer and Herman Charles Bosman