[Marxism] Re: Electric cars

Ben Courtice benj2006 at optusnet.com.au
Sat Aug 5 18:40:38 MDT 2006

Anthony Boynton wrote:
"Electric cars, even with lead acid batteries, are definitely more 
environmentally friendly than are any fossil fuel burning vehicles.

"In the first place, current electric motor technolgy is 2-3 trimes more 
eneregy efficient than internal combustion engines.

"In the second place electricity can be generated without burning fossil 
fuels, and without burning any carbon: wind, tidal, geothermal, 
hydroelectric, solar
and nuclear are all possible. (All have their environmental prices, but 
none emit CO2 into the atmosphere.) "

Ah, we can relax. No need to stop building new roads, freeways, suburbs 
and exurbs, shopping malls, car dealerships, we can keep the massive 
steel and rubber and plastics companies producing their products, using 
vast amounts of energy (from whatever source) and shipping their 
four-wheel icons of civilisation all over the world...

There is a tendency to think that the invention of cleaner versions of 
car technology and energy generation mean that we can simply convert our 
existing technological infrastructure over to cleaner, carbon-neutral 
energy inputs and then continue on just as before.

Nice theory, but the vast infrastructure that backs up car-centric 
society and its mind-boggling waste of energy and other resources would 
be much easier to simply shut down (and to convert to producing useful 
stuff instead of cars).

Good luck to anthony converting the old Mazda to an electric car, all 
this sort of stuff is fine (and probably fun), but let's not kid 
ourselves that it is much of a positive environmental development. Even 
GWB reckons that “Keeping America competitive requires affordable 
energy. And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, 
which is often imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way 
to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent 
nearly $10 billion to develop cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable 
alternative energy sources -- and we are on the threshold of incredible 
advances.” Let's keep our eyes on the ball: destroying capitalism, not 
eco-reforming it.

Ben Courtice

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