A long, long, time ago – none apparently remember – people could decide to buy an electric car if that’s what they wanted and weren’t punished if they didn’t want one. They were free to choose.
What a concept!
Americans have, to a sad extent, forgotten what that was like and many are actively hostile to the concept for reasons that are psychologically interesting.
A psychologically healthy person does not care what kind of car his neighbor drives, provided his neighbor pays for it. A psychologically disturbed person cares very much what kind of car his neighbor drives and wishes to make him pay for it. He seeks to punish him for driving a car he does not like, as via exorbitant taxes sicced on his neighbor’s car or the fuel it uses or perhaps restrictions on where he is allowed to drive it.
Yes, of course – there is the putative nostrum about non-electric cars “changing” the “climate” – a transparently non-specific, non-objective assertion that is of a piece with the one made about people who aren’t sick possibly spreading a sickness they might have. It is a wonderfully elastic, open-ended and difficult to “deny” thesis – which is precisely how it serves its intended purpose.
If it is accepted that vague assertions are synonymous with facts.
The “climate” is “changing”? How, exactly? How much, exactly? It is because people are not driving electric cars? How, precisely? Prove that people who are not driving electric cars are “changing” the “climate” and then prove that this “change” is something that is causing harm.
No vague if scary assertions, please. One can assert all kinds of things. As for instance 3 million dead from the ‘Rona. As for instance “asymptomatic” spread. If assertions, however scary, are to be the justification for impositions than any imposition can be justified by painting a scary picture – as Al Gore did, literally – in his now-ancient movie that asserted we’d be under water by now or at least treading it.
A fact, on the other hand, is objective. Something is – or it is not. It did – or did not – happen. Like the coastlines going glub-glub-glub under water, for instance. There is no need to argue about it because it just is (or isn’t) and that is the elegance – and justice of it.
If it can be shown – if it is a fact – that not driving an electric car “changes” the “climate” in a way that is harmful then it is not unreasonable to favor it. But it is the definition of unreasonable to demand it when there is nothing more behind it than assertions based on projections; on scary pictures like Al Gore’s movie and Greta Thundberg’s twisted visage.
Meanwhile, how about choice? Let those who want to buy an electric car buy an electric car and let those who don’t, alone. This includes not forcing them to subsidize the buying of electric cars by those who do want them, as via the higher taxes they are forced to pay in order that those so favored – those who buy electric cars – pay lower taxes as the government’s “gift” (grift, actually) for their doing so.
Let the manufacturers of cars respond to buyer’s wants, as expressed by their willingness to buy – as opposed to using the government (via mandates and regulations and other artificially-induced mechanisms) to alter by force what would otherwise have been the market’s natural inclinations.
This was the case, once – about 120 years ago.
At the dawn of the automobile age there were a variety of different kinds of automobiles and not just electric and internal-combustion-powered. There were also external combustion-powered cars. Steam-powered cars, as made by Stanley. Or you could buy a Baker electric car. Or not.
Each was free to compete on its merits, which applied the discipline of the market to what was manufactured. At first, steam and electric-powered cars had the advantage. They were easier to use, quieter and simpler. They sold better, accordingly.
A century down the road, the electric car – though much improved in terms of its short-burst performance, which is superior to that of an internal combustion-powered car – is still afflicted by the same problems (higher cost, lower range, longer waits) that caused the Baker electric car and its brethren to yield right, pull over and leave the road, ultimately, to the internal combustion-powered car.
With the difference in our time being that government is now refusing to accept the verdict of the market and the manufacturers of cars have become rent-seeking adjuncts of the government, banking on forcing (via mandates and regulations) people to buy what they don’t really want by using the government to prevent them from having the alternative of being free to buy what they do want.
This is outrageous on its lonesome. But the tragedy is that if the government weren’t interfering and if the car companies were subjected to the discipline of the market – if they had to successfully design an electric (or steam or whatever-powered) car on the merits, it is very probable they’d be making a car that people would want – without the need to force them to buy it, by using the government to deny them alternatives to it.
Such an electric car would by definition also be affordable, which government mandated electric cars are not. You’d think people like Greta and Al would be in favor of that, as it would mean more people driving the kinds of cars they say they want them to drive.
Unless, of course, the true object is to throttle back on their driving – by arranging it such that most can no longer afford to.
. . .
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