The EV nonsense and its buffs

Jeffrey Middlebrook is a retired civil engineer and geologist who resides in Truckee. He will lecture in Israel on alternative technologies this summer.

So I’ve been seeing a lot in the news of late that Elon Musk (one of my visionary icons) says he’s fed up with people “picking on Tesla.” Now, I’m sure that he’s referring to the debate over Tesla’s evaluation and whether Tesla as a company will survive its financial crisis, but I have my own bone to pick with Tesla car owners.

The Union of Concerned Scientists did a serious calculation of the entire collective investment of fossil fuels into the manufacturing of a Tesla car and they found that it takes 15 percent more fossil fuels to make a Tesla than it does to make an internal combustion engine (ICE) car of similar size. I might also note that a few years ago it was calculated that it takes a greater investment of fossil fuels to manufacture a Prius than it does a Hummer, but I’m here to pick on clueless Tesla owners.

The immutable, irrefutable, indisputable laws of physics—thermodynamics especially—dictate that there’s no such thing as a free lunch anywhere in the universe, and this applies no greater than it does to the entire EV nonsense. Every time I see a brand new Tesla going down the road with no license plates yet and I see that cardboard insert inside the metal license plate frame that says “Zero Emissions,” I see-saw between laughing my ass off or puking in disgust.

First of all, let me reiterate that it takes 15 percent more fossil fuels to make a Tesla than, say, a full-size ICE Cadillac. Ah, but then comes that inconvenient truth about where the electricity comes from to recharge a Tesla’s batteries (or any EV’s batteries). Even if some Tesla owners have their own PV systems on their homes to augment the recharging of their Tesla, once they are out on the highways and need to recharge, there’s a 99.99 percent chance the electricity at the recharge stations comes from the burning of fossil fuels. Oops, so much for “Zero Emissions!”

Ah, but let’s go back to the PV systems some Tesla owners have on their homes. It takes huge investments of fossil fuels to manufacture, ship and install PV systems. Again, so much for “Zero Emissions!”

I get a kick out of the clueless arrogance of Tesla owners who actually think they are doing something positive for the environment. Sorry, folks, but to own any EV—especially the costly Tesla—is really nothing more than a dumb-ass boasting point to try to impress equally clueless people.

The real solution to the world’s increasing environmental problems isn’t a technological solution, it’s a biological solution. Humanity is fornicating itself to annihilation. Our global population is about three times too large, and only getting scarier. There would be no atmospheric CO2 crisis, or ocean acidification, or massive deforestation, or huge plastic gyres in our oceans if we were only a couple billion in numbers instead of almost eight billon in numbers. Human over-population is the 20-ton T-Rex in the room that nobody wants to address, admit to, and try to solve.