What if I told you that there is a climate expert who does not quite entirely agree with the idea of climate crises being averted thanks to thousands of dollars spent on the smallest iota of change? Well, you’d probably jump quicker to believe there’s a dodo still alive, but believe it or not this is also true. Dr. Bjorn Lomborg has been in the field for 20 years.
And yet, this Climate Expert is disgusted.
While the doctor does advocate for policies that will combat global warming, he isn’t much a fan of manners that set back the road to progress.
Dr. Lomborg starts by saying this. “Electric cars are this icon of us doing something about global warming. Now remember, electric cars are actually good for the environment. They emit less CO2 on average — even if they charge from a coal-fired power plant — but not by very much, because you still have to build them.” To translate, there is no real point of depleting CO2 if it takes that much CO2 to bid adieu with copious amounts of CO2. But that’s the Climate Expert talking. Not me. I know nothing.
“Much of their batteries are incredibly energy-intensive, typically done in China with lots of coal-fired power. So the reality is that these cars will typically, over their lifetime, cut maybe 10 tons of CO2. Now, to most people that doesn’t mean anything.” Of course not! Most people will mine ten million tons of CO2 in Minecraft before worrying about fossil fuels in real life.
“But actually, on the standard marketplaces for CO2 emissions in the U.S, you could cut a similar amount for $60 right now. So spending $7,500 on subsidies to get that amount over even ten years is a really bad idea. Again, it’s not to say that the intention is not good but it’s a very, very poor incentive. It’s one of the worst ways to try to cut carbon emissions.” So that’s all to say, we’re kind of screwed either way. The only possible path to redemption visible here would be if we all are in accordance to possibly build electric energy machines that will build the electric vehicles. Which in theory, may be “all for naught.”