Monday June 3rd… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😉
More Lies About Electric Cars For Greedy Fossil Fuel Profits
Perhaps the best last line of defense for those who can easily be proven wrong in regards to science and yes politics is to lie, lie, lie and lie some more. Lies have become the modus operandi of our times. If enough lies get told to the public often some people will begin to believe some of the falsehoods. Today via a tweet from Jeff Berardelli I saw that the Koch brothers were up to some new but rather old tricks in regards to electric vehicles from a couple of years ago:
Yes these “old fossils” promoting fossil fuels want us to believe that electrics are more harmful to drive than ICE vehicles (internal combustion engines). For today’s subject I will take the liberties of reposting Jeff’s tweeted article in an attempt to dispel yet more lies:
The Koch brothers, who are deeply embedded in the fossil fuel industry, have long been financing offensives against electric vehicles through multimillion-dollar lobbying campaigns.
They are at it again with a fresh new effort to delegitimize electric cars and promote fossil fuels.
In the past, they have tried several different angles of attacks to paint electric cars in a bad light.
At first, it was about how electric vehicles are being subsidized by taxpayers. Of course, in those attacks, they left out the fact that fossil fuels have been subsidized by governments for decades at a rate way higher than EVs or renewable energy.
And that’s before accounting for the cost of the pollution caused by fossil fuels, which a IMF study found to be the equivalent of ~$5 trillion in subsidy a year.
When that wasn’t working, they instead went to the go-to argument that electric cars are powered by dirty energy from the grid. Of course, that’s energy that they themselves partly produce.
The argument has been debunked on several occasions. More recently, a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) using EPA data showed that the average electric car in the US now gets the equivalent efficiency of a non-existent 73 mpg gas-powered vehicle.
Now they are back with their latest campaign through “Fueling U.S. Forward”. Officially, the non-profit organization describes itself as “dedicated to educating the public about the value and potential of American energy, the vast majority of which comes from fossil fuels,” but in practice, it acts more as a PR firm for fossil fuels than anything else. The Koch brothers have been linked to financial backing for the organization.
As you would expect, their “education” is full of misinformation.
Their latest propaganda effort against EVs focuses on sourcing metals for batteries and spreading misinformation about EVs in general.
The first claim they make is that “electric cars are more toxic to humans than average cars.” They based that assertion on a study by Arthur D. Little,. which has been thoroughly debunked for inflating their emission estimates by 40% by accounting for battery replacement without recycling and adding the need for a replacement gasoline car with the EV.
They followed with a claim that batteries for electric cars are made of rare earth metals, which is not exactly true. First off, they include lithium and cobalt in rare earth element, which they are not.
Furthermore, there are tons of different battery chemistries using different minerals and they are not all the same nor have the same impact. Most battery makers try to avoid all rare earth metals, some do avoid them entirely.
In this case, they are focusing on cobalt, which is not a rare earth metal, but nonetheless, it can be a problematic mineral. A report by Amnesty International and Afrewatch published last year pointed directly to battery makers and their clients as fueling the conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where they produced most of the world’s cobalt.
In order to mitigate the impact of their products, companies have been following guidelines suggested in the report to supervise their supply chains in order to avoid any minerals in the DRC that could have been sourced in inhumane conditions and using child labor.
Furthermore, several new projects to mine cobalt, and other minerals found in batteries, have been launched in other parts of the world, including in North America, in order to offer alternatives to the DRC if the conditions don’t improve there.
Lastly, without sourcing their claim, the “Fueling U.S. Forward” campaign claims that batteries end up in landfills without being recycled. That’s something that is obviously false and actually one of the biggest advantages EVs have over gas-powered cars on the environment.
Once the oil is extracted, refined, transported, and consumed, there’s nothing to be done. It is released into the atmosphere and they have to start again. On the other hand, the minerals don’t simply evaporate from the batteries. Once their energy capacity has degraded, they can be recycled and you can be sure that they are since they still hold great value. It is much easier to mine a used battery pack than minerals in remote regions of the world.
Actually, battery recycling is expected to become big business. Whether it is to make less energy dense products, like BMW and Renault using their old EV batteries for stationary energy storage, or to recycle the actual minerals to make brand new batteries. Tesla is even believed to be behind a new startup for material recycling in order to take advantage of opportunities.
In conclusion, watch out for the misinformation in those Koch brothers-backed campaigns. While there are problems with sourcing some minerals for batteries, it is false to reach the conclusion that “electric cars are more toxic to humans than average cars” because of it.
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Here are some “cool” videos showing off new all electric tech:
Fast forward to 2019 more and more states and provinces are switching to all electrics. In Canada we have some great news from Saskatchewan, for example:
The dam of falsehoods concerning all electric vehicles is breaking. On a positive note, sorry Koch brothers and others, your fossil fuel induced greedy points won’t win the day as far as ICEs go. Now all that is left to settle dusty arguments is economics in association with getting all electrics down in price so that they are more cost effective than ICE vehicles. The old Climate Guy wants and is counting on seeing at least a third of the vehicles on the road as all electrics by 2030. We will see.
Here is some more climate and weather news from Monday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article.)
Here is an “ET” from Monday:
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The Climate Guy