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By Dan Carlson
Prairie Ponderings 

Why The Push for Electric

 

October 27, 2021 | View PDF

If you’ve not yet heard, there’s a major push to rid the world of internal combustion engines by the year 2030. You read that right, get as many vehicles powered by fossil fuels off the road as possible in about 8 years.

That may seem unrealistic, but General Motors announced in January of this year that it will no long make cars powered by gasoline after 2035. Ford announced in February that 100 percent of its passenger vehicles offered in Europe will be all-electric by 2030, and Volvo announced this summer that its vehicles will all be electric and free of leather products by 2030. If your family just welcomed a newborn into the world, that child may never know what it’s like to drive anything that doesn’t need to be plugged in overnight.

All of this is part of a global push to combat climate change. The internal combustion engine, along with the livestock industry, are two big villains contributing to global warming (or so we’re told). I have a ton to share on the whole climate change subject, but that will have to wait for another column. For now, we just have to accept the electric car is the way of the future. Unfortunately, I don’t think electric vehicles (EVs) have been sufficiently thought through.

It’s sad, but ask a random sample of students at a liberal arts college in America today where electricity comes from, and a significant percentage will say, “A plug in the wall.” I know. I’ve heard the interviews. Few seem to understand that for all the solar panels and windmills we’re putting up, fossil fuels still account for nearly 80 percent of electricity generated in the U.S. Political progressives are shutting down pipelines, preventing oil and natural gas exploration, shutting down coal plants and refusing to permit construction of new nuclear power plants to “save the planet.” Never mind that nuclear power, widely used around the world, has gotten progressively safer over the years and natural gas is a very clean energy source. Solar power production is only forecast to increase by 50 percent by 2050. So you’re getting the picture that the plan is to increase demand for electricity by making us all drive electric cars, while at the same time we don’t have a means of handling the increased amount of electricity production that will be needed without using carbon-based fuels.

And then there’s an insidious aspect. EVs only go so far until they need a recharge. Human range of road travel will be sharply reduced, or at least take far longer. What about farms and ranches? Anyone seeing new electric combines, electric tractors or heck, even electric pickups able to compete with gas-powered rivals?

Do the elites planning our electric future have any concept of how far we actually need to drive in rural America? Or is all of this part of a future they envision without family farms and ranches where rural areas are “returned to nature” and we’re all relocated to the cities where we can be more easily controlled. It’s something to think about.

 

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