Wanna ban ICEs in preference for EVs? You got problems, pal.
The Environmental Downside of Electric Vehicles
At one time, “Saving the Environment” and “Fighting Climate Change” were synonymous. That is no longer true. The quest for Clean Energy through electric vehicles (EVs) epitomizes “the end justifies the means.”
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), an electric vehicle requires six times the mineral inputs of a comparable internal combustion engine vehicle (ICE). EV batteries are very heavy and are made with some exotic, expensive, toxic, and flammable materials.
The primary metals in EV batteries include Nickel, Lithium, Cobalt, Copper and Rare Earth metals (Neodymium and Dysprosium). The mining of these materials, their use in manufacturing and their ultimate disposal all present significant environmental challenges. Ninety percent of the ICE lead-acid batteries are recycled while only five percent of the EV lithium-ion batteries are.
Oil has been so demonized that we tend to overlook some of its positive traits as a power source relative to the battery power of EVs. The power for an internal combustion engine, oil, is a homogeneous commodity found abundantly around the world (especially in our own backyard). In 2019, the four top oil producing nations were the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Canada. In contrast, the power for EVs is dependent on a mixture of diverse commodities from just a handful of third world countries.
In spite of the environmental hysteria about oil drilling, the surface area disturbed is relatively small since the oil is extracted from under the ground. In contrast, many of the materials prominent in the clean energy revolution are obtained through open-pit horizontal mining which is extremely damaging to wide areas of the environment.
Specific details follow, all of which add up to bad news for the Green-Weenie Left’s deception and coercion program. Heberling headlines his closing ‘graphs with another home truth the Envirotwits aren’t gonna like.
It’s Time to be Honest about Clean Energy
In December, President Biden issued an Executive Order saying the United States government will “provide a strong foundation for American businesses to compete and win globally in the clean energy economy while creating well paying, union jobs [except in mining] at home. Today’s executive action further reinforces the President’s directive to Buy American [except for clean energy raw materials] and ensure that equity [in the US, but not in Third World countries] and environmental justice [in the US, but nowhere else] are key considerations.”
For all the “happy talk” about Clean Energy, our actions simply show a superficial commitment. We don’t want to do the heavy lifting that it will take to make the transition to Clean Energy. Our role in the Clean Energy revolution will be limited to the final assembly of electric vehicles. But hey, that is good enough for our virtue signalling Earth First environmentalists and politicians.
What is needed, however, is an honest and comprehensive evaluation of the entire life cycle of clean energy from raw materials through disposition. There are pros and cons to all forms of energy. To date, all we have heard are the benefits of clean energy. It is now time to highlight the true costs of clean energy which must include the negative societal and environmental impact as well.
Fat chance. Leftists want what they want, all annoying obstacles like facts, fairness, or honest evaluation be damned. The decision has been made; their tiny minds are firmly closed to any further discussion, investigation, or newer data which refutes their premises. As they so childishly proclaim: The Science, She Is Settled™. Just never you mind that this Declaration of Ignorance directly contradicts the verymost fundamental of the concepts that define true science. Shut up, you. So We have spoken. So it shall be done.
Ecotards are bound and determined to save Gaia, even if they have to kill all of us to do it.