Originally posted by zappafan1
REPLY: Environmentalists have been around since before the first electric car was produced. They have had money behind their lobbies for quite some
time. That's my point; it was the environmentalists that killed the EV-1. There's been a couple of books written about it.
There were no comparable environmental movement in the USA more than a century ago ( the vast majority of Americans were more concerned with getting
enough food to survive on) and as for the idea that the environmental movement killed the EV-1 that while i can certainly believe that some parts of
the movement is subverted or misdirected enough to do so i don't have any reason to believe that they had the power or the economic interest in
maintaining the rule of the hard-to-maintain internal combustion engine.
REPLY: I have to disagree. We're still 20+ years away from a solar cell that equals or beats the cost of using oil/gas as a fuel.
I don't know how one could compare the two and even begin to work out comparative cost. We can start by just talking about how to define cost. Cost
to who? Society? Industry? The environment? A great part of this whole discussion is the externalization manufacturing cost by industry onto society
which makes it so impractical to know work out what it really cost us as individuals and as humanity to consume the goods we are.
[quote[We do not "take" oil from Iraq or Afghanistan. We purchase it like everyone else does. Both wars have nothing to do with oil. The space
required to refine petroleum is much less than the space required to use wind or solar. Even a Nuke plant only requires 20 acres and usually
Strictly speaking your right but which corporations are allowed access to the oil and what sort of understanding or deals do they have with the
governments that creates access to this oil by military or economic muscle? I am surprised that you believe these wars have NOTHING to do with oil
when the officials in charge of managing ( some, including me, would say creating) these wars talk so openly amongst themselves of the energy and
economic prizes to be had by 'freeing' these countries to the world market. Perhaps you are just not aware of the collusion between governments and
industry and how practically everything the majority of national governments do is in some way related to protecting industry ( the owners of
industry) against humanity? As for the fuel the space required to refine petroleum is not massive but the environmental effects ARE and comparative
solar infrastructure production is at the very least much quite close to a once off cost. Nuke plants are already a massive improvement over oil (
France) and coal but since the oil and coal lobby's have had such success at making people paranoid about them ( by contributing generously to those
environmental sects that are scared of nukes) that i don't hold out much hope for sanity to prevail in that regard.
REPLY: Much of the nickel for the batteries is mined in Canada or Alaska (and the area around those mines looks like the surface of the moon.)
That nickel is then placed in cargo ships that burn one gallon of diesel fuel every 80 yards, and shipped to Europe. It's partially processed, then
loaded again onto those cargo ships and shipped to Korea or China to be further refined and transformed into a foam-like substance. Then it's back
more cargo ships and shipped to America for production into batteries. Then we have coal, gas or oil-fired power plants to generate the electricity to
charge those batteries. Those batteries might last 3 or 4 years, then have to be processed into it component parts; some of it able to be re-used. The
rest goes into landfills. What most people don't realize is that there's only so much nickel, of which the workld will run out of in as little as 30
The world will no more run out of nickle in thirty years than it has run out of iron in more than three thousand years; in my opinion this is the same
as the belief in peak oil. Sadly we will have ample opportunity to destroy our biosphere long before we run out of the raw materials that fuels
corporate capitalism. As to the long description of how batteries are produced i am surprised that you are not aware that practically everything you
buy these days ( depending on it's complexity) is manufactured from minerals mined in environmentally destructive ways, criss crosses the oceans many
times in various stages of assembly/refining while ending up in landfills much sooner than batteries. If you investigate how globalisation truly works
( the search for the country where people are least free to struggle for proper wages and least able to protect their environment against polluting
industry) you will soon realise that what you have described is still 'cheaper' than manufacturing and mining in a country such as America and that
the cost to the environment does not figure into the choice of energy industry chooses. If electric transportation could make corporate capitalism
wring a few more cents out of the average consumer that's what it would change to as soon as it becomes profitable over the short term.
REPLY: Capitalism is the one ideal that generates enough wealth to allow the companies to clean up after themselves.
Capitalism does not generate wealth and capitalism can no more do so than any other economic theory. What the capitalist system nominally entails is
private OWNERSHIP of property ( land ownership being the basis of all wealth) the control of which results in the ownership of exchange value.
Essentially, and this is my opinion/understanding, Capitalism can fundamentally be regarded as a system whereby everything under the sun is ( perhaps
including the sun, soon) assigned a subjective value or processed into something that can be assigned such. In this way things can be exchanged and
profit can be had by continually adding to the volume of 'commodities' ( such as drinking water and food; formerly free to anyone who could catch it
or pick a fruit) traded and processed. For capitalism to generate wealth it would have to be able to generate land and matter in general and since
that's the realm of science and engineering we can do away with that as description of Capitalism.
I can only marvel at the notion that capitalism/capitalist will clean up after themselves when capitalism is about the creation of private property
and thus private profit. Since profit is gained by competitive advantage of rival manufacturers/service providers the first thing one does is to
externalize cost in as many of the following ways as possible:
1. Pay your workers as little as you can get away with, to get the product made to the standard you require, without a riot or the like every other
day. To this end it's logical to employ whatever power you have to ensure that the workers do not get sufficiently organized to make trouble for you.
This is obviously extended to entire countries who's economic and social policies you may attempt to influence if you have sufficient economic muscle
to do so. It is after all not your business to create consumers and it would be completely contrary to capitalistic ideals to pay your workers
sufficiently high wages to allow them to actually purchase the products their making. If you ever looked for a reason why capitalist is a self, and
human, destructive economic theory there it is.
2. If someone gets injured , fire them if you can replace them easily; if there's no one to replace them frighten them into carrying as much of the
health bill as you can get away with.
3. Use the infrastructure of the host country to the greatest extent possible and use all your power to lobby for reduced prices on water, electricity
and access to harbors and rail networks. It is after all something the citizens of said country paid for so employ it as best you can for a higher
4: Ignore environmental laws ( or just find a country that is too poor to be able to afford it) as far as makes economic sense to do so. If you wont
get caught or wont get fined much dump everything that can not be be reprocessed for profit in whatever hole or river is closest.
Essentially every sent that you have to spend is a sent less in profit and if some other manufacturer manages to cut that cost investor funds will
soon start flowing to reward him for 'generating wealth'. What so few people seem to understand is that the world is capitalistic and the vast
majority of it's people are either poor, starving or slowly on their way there. The countries which are relatively wealthy compared to others have
just as nations managed to externalize the costs onto other countries and people by fighting for and gaining relative economic, and thus political,
power over their local industry. It is the fight against and the resistance too capitalism that have made the lives of those in the west bearable and
our air and local environments somewhat less devastated and exhausted than those elsewhere in the third world /Southern hemisphere.
The air in America is cleaner now than it was before the industrial revolution. IE: most everyone used coal or wood to heat their homes and
cook their food, etc. New refining and burning techniques of oil and coal produce very little pollution.
The air is not cleaner now than before the industrial revolution. What is meant when industry/pundits or regular people say that is that coal and wood
home and city industry's used to burn these minerals much closer to home creating 'smog' ,( ash that could not easily disperse into the local
atmosphere) resulting in devastating respiratory diseases that greatly helped to shorten lifespans in places like London to thirty-five - fifty. The
air quality in cities in the west ( London has been improving since the worse years perhaps 150 years ago) not because the air quality overall has
improved but because our pollutants are now MUCH finer and dispersed relatively uniformly throughout the earths atmosphere.
Overall things are still getting worse( lung cancer is not caused by smoking cigarettes; one industry suffers so that the other 99.9% can continue to
pollute) but since we can not often see or smell it many people in the west is fooled into believing that things are getting better while the
polluters just pack up and move to countries where there are less people who can afford to complain about dying at forty or fifty due to toxic
pollutants in the air, ground and water.
Either way it's a depressing story and after all this disagreeing with you i should just make it clear that i don't believe that all electric
transport will help enough as long as the power is still 'generated' by means of burning coal. The transition to electric must go along with renew
ables in general with the transition period covered by Nukes for the biosphere to stand much of a chance. That's sadly the best we can hope for but
with the powers being who they are and even that is probably just fantasy.
In closing i hope i did not give too much offense; it's certainly not my aim and i have already retyped much to try avoid doing so. Let me know how
badly i failed!