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    Well the solution is obvious, isn't it? Somebody (Elon, are you listening?) needs to invent the Rand Machine: Water, electrons, hydrogen, carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide from the air and water from the oceans are the feedstocks, electrons and hydrogen the product, little black pellets of carbon the waste product. The electrons are used directly, the hydrogen turns back to water when it's burned, and the carbon pellets can be sunk in the Marianas Trench. Simples. Trim can get started on it right away.
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2020
     
    Why not power cars with an e-Cat, or Brillouin boiler, or Defkalion Hyperion, or HopeGirl's QEG, or any of the magic HHO defvices, or the Nanospire cavitation reactor, or...?
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2020
     
    Soon
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      CommentAuthoroak
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2020
     
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      CommentAuthorDuracell
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2020 edited
     
    Posted By: Andrew PalfreymanOf course that is correct - affiliation is no ironclad predictor of beliefs. But his article on Tesla so reeks of bias that a cheap shot is perhaps a decent response.

    I will say that the collection of comments I read are pretty balanced and well-reasoned. But what is to be said to this disputer of Katsos, for example?
    Claiming that EVs are contributing to unsustainability because most electricity is generated from fossil fuel is a false dichotomy. We need to progress on the electrification of transport AND the elimination of fossil fuels in energy production.

    Or to this one?

    KatsosballsThey pull electricity from the grid. What is the grid powered by? In almost all cases, by oil, gas, or coal. Some Scandinavian countries notwithstanding, this is the global norm.

    This is such a lazy point. I choose to buy my energy from a green energy supplier. Their profits go into producing more wind turbines and solar farms. If I plug an electric car in then if I’m not directly using green energy I’m contributing to installing green energy capacity.
    You are still focused on the energy used to power the vehicles while ignoring the energy used to manufacture them and all of their component parts. In what ways are heavy industrial processes such as smelting and lithium mining sustainable and socially responsible? If you want to claim that Tesla is doing positive work for the environment and operating in a socially responsible manner then you cannot merely look at one narrow key aspect and selling point of the post production vehicles in isolation without also factoring in the rest of their environmental impact and all of the resources and energy consumed in their manufacture and distribution.

    The environmental bind that we have driven ourselves into has arisen as a result of unsustainable growth and consumption. Technology has played a crucial role in enabling and accelerating that growth and consumption. Many of the very same corporations that have harvested enormous profits off the back of that unsustainable growth that has poisoned the planet for us are now peddling a new hopium by suggesting that technology can also fix the mess that it has helped to create in a way that will also enable us those of us who can afford it to continue growing and consuming.

    Look at the vast amount of solar, wind and other renewable energy power plants that we have added globally over the last four or five decades. Consider all of the energy and resources consumed by their manufacture and distribution. Consider the adverse impact of rare earth mining in poorer countries. Consider the vast oceans of concrete poured. Now consider whether the amount of power that we are generating globally from burning non-renewable fuels has increased or decreased since we started adding all of these renewable power sources. Are we actually replacing fossil fuel burning power plants with renewables, or is our insatiable and unsustainable drive for growth simply consuming all of that extra renewable energy plus even more energy produced from burning fossil fuels as well? The last time I looked, the global growth of something like the last 4 years alone was in itself enough to consume the entire amount of power ever generated by all renewables. If the end result of the addition of all of those renewable power plants over the last four or five decades has been a net increase in the amount of power generated by non-renewable power plants then what does that tell you?

    Consider that and now tell me again why buying more shiny new toys with enormous batteries from Elon Musk will somehow help to save the world. This is bullshit. We need less growth and less consumption. We need the opposite of growth. We need fewer cars on the road.
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    We are in the middle of a transition to renewable energy, and so it's messy. It has caused (just as an example) Germany to import lignite instead of building nuclear reactors. Likewise Tesla is improving manufacturing efficiency year on year, but are still novices at the game and have a good way to go to get to a high percentage of recyclability and to minimise waste and scrap.

    Your straw man of evil shiny new toys is bullshit. Every ICE vehicle replaced by a BEV is a step in the right direction.
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      CommentAuthorDuracell
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2020 edited
     
    Every additional MW produced by non-renewable power plants is a step in the wrong direction. The output of non-renewable power plants continues to increase. We are still walking in the wrong direction. We cannot wind farm and solar panel our way of this mess.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2020
     
    Musk's genius is marketing. Think how much more he would contribute to the solution if he were to apply it to persuade people not to use cars at all.
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    He has one or two engineering chops too (although some here are probably better engineers) and anent such, the Robotaxi idea seeks to dilute (and perhaps even eradicate) car ownership, with the upshot being less cars per capita and less traffic.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2020
     
    A small and fantastical step. We deserve more from somebody who managed to skim off several billion dollars from our combined resources.
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    Vast swathes of this country, to include many entire cities, and huge portions of the economy are based on the private individual ownership of motor vehicles. The ownership and exclusive use privileges of motor vehicles even shape the psyches of maturing adolescents and adults. What's the first and most expensive thing that will actually cause a USAmerican youth to get a job and start saving money? There is nothing like the experience of owning one's first automobile. It's not just a means of transportation, it is a rite of passage and a vehicle to endless delights.

    To challenge the individual ownership and exclusive use of automobiles is to challenge a very way of life, a very marker of adulthood in the USA.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2020 edited
     
    So?
    (Which being translated means "You say that as if it were important.")
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      CommentAuthoralsetalokin
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2020 edited
     
    How many of us owe our very existence to a roomy rear seat, ala 1957 Chevy? (Or a rumble seat, codgers...)


    Doing it in a robotaxi might have its perks though. No need actually to park.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2020
     
    Somehow an increasing majority of people have never made out in a car, nor are ever likely to. So the preservation of this ultraprivileged rite of passage is a matter of exceedingly low priority on a world scale. Which is the scale everybody better now start thinking at.
  5.  
    Posted By: DuracellEvery additional MW produced by non-renewable power plants is a step in the wrong direction.
    Upon this we can most certainly agree.
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      CommentAuthorDuracell
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2020 edited
     
    Posted By: Andrew Palfreyman
    Posted By: DuracellEvery additional MW produced by non-renewable power plants is a step in the wrong direction.
    Upon this we can most certainly agree.
    The problem is that no matter how many renewable power plants we create, no matter how many vast arrays of solar panels we install, no matter how much of our landscape we cover with giant windmills, no matter how many lithium and rare earth mineral mines we dig to put giant batteries on wheels and keep our favourite smartphones and other electronic devices going, no matter how many oceans of concrete we pour to do all of that, no matter how much material we smelt, and no matter how much energy we consume to do all of that, the power output from non-renewable power plants just seems to keep on increasing. Renewables are not resulting in a net decrease of power output from non-renewables and we are already, or we have already, hit our planetary limits.

    This isn’t merely about energy sources. That is only one aspect of a much bigger problem. It is about the consumption and depletion of scare resources. It isn’t merely about the climate crisis either. It is about pollution, habitat loss and destruction. It is about the collapse of insect populations, the loss of top soil and the depletion of our oceans. It is about the ubiquity of plastic and its presence everywhere on this planet and in our own bodies and cells. It is about the inequality of the consumption and growth driving these terraforming changes and also about the inequality of how the consequences and impacts of all of these changes are being distributed. It is about the mass extinction of huge numbers of species including our own.

    We no longer have the luxury of time available to us to allow us to accept mere reductions in the amount of additional increased power getting generated from non-renewables. We need the opposite of growth. We need less consumption. Yet, the capitalism that has driven this relentless consumption and inflicted this planetary damage demands continued and never ending growth and ever-increasing consumption. Capitalism is unsustainable.

    The technological innovations and breakthroughs that have enabled heavy industries to wreak this havoc upon our planet cannot and will not fix the underlying and inherent unsustainable nature of capitalism. There is no technological fix for that. The so-called Green Capitalism behind the current global push and drive for renewables is trying to sell the myth that there is such a technological fix. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid: it is poison. They just want us to buy more and more of their shit. The increased growth and consumption that these so-called Green Capitalist industries require is utterly incompatible with anything that might genuinely fix capitalism’s inherent unsustainability. The greater the consumption they cause and the more they grow, they more successful they become and the more we suffer the consequences of that success, and the consequences of that success are even more increased growth and consumption that the technological fixes they are selling are somehow supposed to protect us from.

    Global mega corporations and the billionaires that they produce are abominations. Their first priority and singular purpose is to continue their own growth and promote the relentlessly increasing consumption necessary to feed that growth. Anything that might threaten that growth and increased consumption is anathema to them. They are an existential threat to us. Their mere existence threatens our survival as a species. Their mere existence should serve as a huge red flag and a warning sign for us.

    This is the properly articulated precise reason why I find your claim that the billionaire Elon Musk and the lithium depleting giant batteries on wheels peddling unsustainable global mega corporation that he runs are somehow “socially responsible” so objectionable and frankly risible. Sorry for taking so long to express is clearly and fully.
  6.  
    Hold your horses. I am not talking about EVERYTHING ON THE PLANET when I use the word "socially responsible". I am talking about replacing a fossil fueled vehicle by a BEV so as to help ameliorate climate change. There is no shortage of lithium and will not be for a very long time - by which time the resources of the solar system will be at our disposal in any case. Mining lithium is therefore sustainable. On the near/medium term horizon is fusion power and solar powered satellites. Both of these are carbon neutral and therefore renewable and sustainable.

    By all means object to Musk and laugh at people who feel he's doing the right thing. You'd serve public debate better if you attacked more worthy targets.
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      CommentAuthorDuracell
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2020 edited
     
    Posted By: Andrew PalfreymanHold your horses. I am not talking about EVERYTHING ON THE PLANET when I use the word "socially responsible".
    You have to look at the entire impact of a corporation if you want to label it as “socially responsible”. It either is or it isn’t. You can’t cherry pick one aspect of it in isolation and ignore the rest.

    Posted By: Andrew PalfreymanI am talking about replacing a fossil fueled vehicle by a BEV so as to help ameliorate climate change.
    The increased consumption of Teslas doesn’t ameliorate anything. It helps Tesla to grow and succeed and Elon Musk to become even wealthier.

    Posted By: Andrew PalfreymanThere is no shortage of lithium and will not be for a very long time - by which time the resources of the solar system will be at our disposal in any case. Mining lithium is therefore sustainable.
    Lithium mining is an absolute shit show for the environment and especially for the communities anywhere near it.

    Posted By: Andrew PalfreymanOn the near/medium term horizon is fusion power and solar powered satellites. Both of these are carbon neutral and therefore renewable and sustainable.
    Tesla manufactures and sells large and expensive battery powered cars and in order to survive it needs increased growth and increased consumption of those cars. This is about making Elon Musk even more obscenely wealthy, not about “social responsibility” or saving the planet.

    Posted By: Andrew PalfreymanBy all means object to Musk and laugh at people who feel he's doing the right thing. You'd serve public debate better if you attacked more worthy targets.
    Capitalism is what has brought our planet to its current catastrophic state. Musk is a billionaire capitalist. I object to the existence of billionaire capitalists, including Musk, on the basis that their existence threatens everyone’s.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2020
     
    Posted By: DuracellCapitalism is what has brought our planet to its current catastrophic state.


    I agree, with a caveat. There is a chicken-and-egg problem here with the growth of population. Does the increase in the number of consumers drive capitalism, or vice versa? The fact that most of the growth is dirt poor doesn't resolve this, because even the poor consume ever more and more per capita.
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      CommentAuthoraber0der
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2020
     
    Capitalism and socialism come in many flavours.