Thursday, December 23, 2010

A discussion with an EV denier

This is a thread I contributed to today with a fellow on an EV list.

It's an example of what I do every day. It's weird, but I spend a lot of time commenting on various websites and in response to all manner of people who for some reason find fault with electric vehicles. Whether it's because they don't understand the truth of the technology and are therefore just ignorant, or they have some malice toward what it means politically to switch away from oil to electricity, they are compelled to spend energy fighting this technology.

Anyway, the following consists of three emails with someone who took issue with EVs without responding to direct questions. You may enjoy reading them.

Paul
******


Oliver,

You state, "Although our military may be used in some fashion to help
protect our oil interests and plays a factor in our low priced oil, I
do not readily accept the numbers you provided."

Fine, tell me the number you do accept. You cannot be saying that you
think this number is zero, can you? Is the life of a soldier worth
zero? Or, was the trillion dollar cost of the Iraq war (so far) not
based in fact? Do you have another number to share? Or, are you
suggesting that the Iraq war had nothing to do with oil? Which is it?
What are your numbers?

You state, "I happen to feel that there are many other concerns facing
the world far more serious than reducing our use of oil."

So? Does this mean you do nothing about our use of oil because there
are other concerns that are more serious? Can you not multi-task? Do
you not brush your teeth because there are more important things than
brushing your teeth?

Just because there are more important things than reducing our use of
oil does not excuse any of us from reducing our use of oil. The
problems associated with the use of oil are massive and far reaching.
They include enormous pollution of our biosphere, the weakening of our
economy (the purchase of foreign oil is a full 45% of our foreign
trade deficit!), and the national security issues that come from
funding our enemies by purchasing oil from them. Maybe you can list a
few problems that are worse than these (I have a hard time coming up
with any), but for you to claim that you can't be bothered doing
anything about it sounds pretty insincere.

You state, "Any saving of oil that I personally contribute to is so
minuscule that it is meaningless."

Boy, this is a great statement! I assume you don't vote either? Are
you teaching your children that anything they do to make the world
better is "meaningless" because, "hey, you're only one person"? Way to
go, dad.

You state, "The day you convince high school kids across the nation to
ride bikes, walk, or take the school busses to school instead of
driving their cars I will consider limiting my use of fuel."

This is the noise Republicans and other climate change deniers make
when dismissing our attempts to pass measures that will limit CO2.
They say the same thing about China and India. "We won't make a move
to do the right thing till they do it first". These are not the words
of a good citizen.

Paul

Oliver,

You state, "And, be careful in accusing me of contributing garbage. I
have found when someone is only interested in furthering their own
views they tend to call other people's views garbage. Respect
an other man's opinion and you will advanced your cause further.

I used the term because I'd asked you at least twice to tell us why
you refuse to count the externalities in your calculations. You never
responded until now, and the response, I must say, leaves a lot to be
desired. I considered your remarks to be garbage because you were
stating things that were just not true and you were refusing to answer
specific questions. When you respect others by answering their
questions, others might treat you with respect.

You state, "The bottom line is that if you begin with the carbon
infrastructure that is already in place and the present cost at the
pump to the customer and compare it to the cost of unsubsidized
batteries it is more expensive to operate an electric car over a ten
year period than a comparable gasoline car."

True.

It's also true that if you ignore the external costs of dirty energy
for over a century and millions die in the meantime, and you just keep
on ignoring these unpleasant realities, that you can keep on going as
though there are no problems - until your kids have to go die in a war
over oil, until your wife gets cancer and dies, until your nation's
economy collapses and you are fighting for survival with all the
crazies out there with guns. Yes, these things are indeed true.

Paul
******

(In response to Oliver's contention that Nissan wasn't serious about their EV program)

Whatever. If you knew anything about the auto industry and how hard it
is to design, produce and market a new car, especially one with a
completely different type of drivetrain, you'd be more willing to cut
Nissan some slack. But if you want to be angry at them, fine. It's not
going to hurt them one bit. We're going to be sold out on the LEAF for
at least two years, and probably more. Your comment that "Nissan may
have to pull the plug on the whole deal" is crazy talk. Nissan is
spending multiple billions on the EV bet. They are "all in" as they say.

Paul
******

18 comments:

  1. this is very well said Paul and I quoted it when discussing EVs with someone from the Cascade Policy Institute. You can see the thread at the link below on the December 18th 2010 article (you'll need to scroll down that date). The debate is still going on if you and anyone else would like to help stand-up for EVs. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Oregon-Electric-Vehicle-Association/138510433019

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  2. Nice discussion about EV's. Hope to gather more information about EV technology. I want to write some reviews about it.

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