I generally don’t like to “show my hand” politically, but rather seek to gain and express a broader perspective that embraces seemingly opposing views and opinions, so I probably get emails from time to time in response to some specific questions. the column is from people with wildly different views, each of whom is convinced that I think the same way as they do, which usually isn’t the case.
I was less reticent when I expressed my concern about “the environment” and the harmful effects of toxic chemicals, harmful radiation, oil extraction and production methods, and materialistic attitudes toward the Earth and its people, plants, and animals.
Last spring and early summer, when some people were moaning about skyrocketing gas prices, I said this was a necessary step in our break with oil. This has to happen if we are to move to a … better way of doing things, which of course raises questions like: What do you call “better” and “better” for whom? I use it to mean an approach to technology that keeps pace with our knowledge while always holding on to our wisdom—a way that supports our well-being on all levels.
When I dared to say something similar in response to a social media post complaining about the cost of gas and the administration’s decision to limit oil production, I was immediately picked on and rebuked for electric car technology and its attendant problems. with batteries and charging stations.
The thing is, I never mentioned or even hinted at EV technology; I look further – to solar, wind (which actually looks back), hydrogen, nuclear, and ultimately dark energy and dark matter, which make up 96% of the universe! This is what I call abundance, independence and resilience.
Electric cars are an intermediate but now necessary step in technology, like steam engines, telegraph machines, coal furnaces, and landline telephones. Everyone had their day, and that day lasted as many decades as they wanted, or even centuries.
Given that things are happening faster now, I would expect the “EV period” to be even shorter, and I don’t advise considering it or planning for it as a long-term solution.
The problem is that it carries the same baggage of “non-renewable resources” as oil, so we need to mine the earth for lithium, nickel and cobalt, which exist in limited quantities in places like Chile, Argentina, Australia, Indonesia , China and the Democratic Republic. Republic of the Congo. Thus, it is neither sustainable nor energy independent.
However, the more people switch from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles, the more successful we will be in curbing carbon dioxide emissions and limiting global warming, which (97% of scientists in the field agree) leads to extreme weather events. , high seas, water scarcity, food insecurity, loss of biodiversity, extinction of animals and plants and more people dying from heat, respiratory and infectious diseases.
So, for now, this is a step in the right direction.
In the meantime, if you don’t intend to or can’t afford to buy an electric car, here are a few things you can do at home to be part of the solution and help reduce the load on the system:
1. If possible, go on foot or by bicycle, not by car – to the store, to the post office, etc.;
2. Make an effort to reduce the amount of trash you throw away. Food products are the largest category and pollutant in landfills. Simple home composting of food scraps can reduce food waste by more than 60%;
3. Reduce the amount of water you use for things like brushing your teeth, washing dishes, and showering. Even one minute less will save gallons of water; and
4. Turn off the lights when you’re not in the room, or limit the amount of lights on when you are.
These things will increase your sense of purpose and power.
To quote the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “There is a place and a reason for each of us to be part of the solution. I urge everyone to join us in overcoming this historic challenge.”