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View Diary: 2013 Car of the Year is an Electric Car! (206 comments)

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  •  The reason (8+ / 0-)

    Chinese scientists find electric cars to be dirty is because China generates so much of its electricity from coal-fired plants. So if you add a large electric car fleet to be charged from those plants, of course they will generate more pollution.  

    However, an electric car can be recharged from electricity generated by ANY means.  So, if the generation is via solar panels, or wind turbines, or just about anything cleaner than coal, then the pollution emissions of an electric car fleet will be lower--potentially much lower if renewable sources of electricity are aggressively promoted.  

    It is a typical right-wing meme that green energy production is impractical and will never replace fossil fueled technology, which NNadir expresses perfectly, with a twist:

    It doesn't matter if a technology doesn't actually work so long as it makes the miserably uninformed feel smug in their bourgeois indifference to the collapse of the planetary atmosphere.
    The twist, of course, is the concession to the reality of global warming.  It is clear that, due to the obstruction of the fossil fuel industry, green power generation has not got along as far as we would like.  You may recall that it was President Reagan who removed the solar panels from the White House roof that President Carter had installed.  We are talking about a President who took office thirty-two years ago! And even back then, the writing on the wall about climate change and energy production was clear.  Think of how much time has been wasted.

    As for the actual potential of solar power  in the U.S.:

    A 2012 report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory described technically available renewable energy resources for each state and estimated that urban utility scale photovoltaics could supply 2,232 TWh/year, rural utility scale PV 280,613 TWh/year, rooftop PV 818 TWh/year, and CSP 116,146 TWh/year, for a total of almost 400,000 TWh/year, 100 times current consumption of 3,856 TWh in 2011.[8][9]

    Onshore wind potential is estimated at 32,784 TWh/year, and offshore wind at 16,976 TWh/year. The total available from all renewable resources is estimated at 481,963 TWh/year.[10]

    It is clear that the main problem is political.  If we invest sufficient resources on a large scale, the energy basis of our civilization can be transformed.  The only reason we are not moving in that direction is because of a political elite that is invested in the old fossil fuel system and would rather stick their heads in the sand than face the long-term consequences of continuing to rely on fossil fuels.

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