There’s a lot of debate going on about the practicality of switching the world over to electric vehicles. Of course, a lot of the resistance to this is coming from the right, where the vested interest in preserving the status quo mainly lies.
Their basic argument is that the amount of energy burned to find, process, and manufacture the minerals and metals needed to make the batteries and the electric cars themselves is 5 or 6 times more damaging to the environment than sucking oil out of the ground and refining it to make fuel for internal combustion engines.
That would be a good point except for one little thing: The simple fact that while the creation and manufacture of most vehicles, electric or internal combustion, is close to a wash in terms of energy usage, the real damage that combustion engines do is after they have been created, and for years and years over the life of the vehicles.
Of course, taking the argument to the manufacturing of the vehicles themselves does one critical thing for the fossil fuel and automotive industries. It diverts attention from the real issue here.
Seldom do you find any ‘industry’ conversation about why car makers and oil companies are doing virtually nothing to create engines that burn fossil fuels more efficiently or fuels that burn cleaner than they do now.
Because this is the Achilles’ heel of both the automobile manufacturers and the oil producers of the world. And it’s a pretty damn big one at that.
I would venture a wild-ass guess that these companies, all of them, would not be willing to invest even a small percentage of their gargantuan profits into working on these two critical pieces of the energy puzzle.
I’m reasonably certain they have thought about it. And I’m also reasonably certain that there are literally dozens of alternative technologies in both of these industries. But corporate greed being what it is these days, these ideas are being stifled. Why? Because they would, purely and simply, reduce profitability. And that, of course, brings us to the bigger economic issue and a bunch of pretty serious questions about the damage that market capitalism is doing to the world.
Oil companies and vehicle manufacturing companies seem to be getting a free ride here when it’s their technologies and their profound lack of commitment to the human race that are at the root of the environmental crisis the world is experiencing.
A lot of this has to do with the fact that they have pretty much bought off all the politicians required to stifle any serious pressure from governments that would force them into being environmentally responsible.
And why bother when you can keep on making barrels of money, (pardon the pun), by doing absolutely nothing, other than supporting the politicians who are greedy enough to make sure they never have to actually do anything that will affect their own bottom lines? Things like demanding research and development into more efficient engines or new refining processes that create cleaner burning fuels.
This is the world we have created. And right now, it’s quickly approaching totally f__ked. And it’s all because of corporate greed and the failing of the market capitalist system that only rewards things that are growing and kills anything that is not.