A Funny Thing Happened on Her Way to the Climate Change Rally

“Send me a helicopter, my car conked out!”

[Thanks to Susan for the nooze tip.]

The former mayor of San Luis Obispo was hot to attend the big Climbit Change rally in San Francisco; so she hopped into her electric car…

And never got there, because she couldn’t find a charging station that was open (https://calcoastnews.com/2022/01/slo-climate-change-activist-heidi-harmons-electric-car-calamity/). Don’t you hate it when that happens?

At one point she contemplated ordering a helicopter to pick her up and fly her to the rally.  Carbon footprint, anyone? Oh, wait–that only applies to us peasants.

The mayor not long ago stepped down from her office “to battle climate change.” Boy howdy. What is it like to actually be one of these people? “I’m going to San Francisco in my electric car to battle climate change!” Uh-huh. Make sure you wear a flower in your hair. And galoshes on your feet.

True, a normal gasoline-powered car might have failed her. Out of gas, flat tire, vapor lock: these things happen. But aren’t you supposed to, like, check to make sure your battery is charged before embarking on a long trip?

“Shut up! I’m saving the planet!”

Maybe someday technology will take us to a world of electric cars. But we have leftids trying to force this thing to happen before its time. They’d also like for you to have a car which the government can remotely disable if they decide you’ve traveled far enough for one week.

I wonder how many truly, deeply, goofy mayors we have in this country.

7 comments on “A Funny Thing Happened on Her Way to the Climate Change Rally

  1. So far, electric cars have proven to be a limited solution. I believe that they can work, within certain limitations, but those limitations are vast. The claimed range of an electric car frequently proves to be optimistic. The claim that they are “zero emissions” conveniently ignores the fact that the emissions are simply offset to the power generating plant. Charging stations are far from ubiquitous, and yes, I could use an app to find charging stations and drive long distances, but what are the chances that I’d be waiting in line for a chance to charge, at some point along the way?

    For someone living in a city, and confined to driving only within an urban area, it might make sense, but it would make no sense for someone like myself, who lives in a rural area and needs to be able to drive 100 miles at zero notice, 24x7x365. My job is involved with essential services, so I am always on call and have to be ready to respond. An uncharged car would not be a welcome excuse, and it is entirety possible that I could be called in to one of several locations, then be called back within a matter of minutes. In other words, I could arrive home, and have to turn around and go back to the office ten minutes later. It’s not a common occurrence, but during our Monsoon season, anything can happen. Likewise if there’s a cable cut somewhere.

    If the limitations of electric car could be realistically addressed, I’d be fine with the idea of having one, but I’d also say that we are years, if not decades, from that being the case. I’m not convinced that CO2 is the enemy some claim it to be. With sunspots at a very low level, I suspect that the climate will cool, for years to come. Reduced solar activity is also one of the reasons that volcanoes are making the news, of late. The Hunga Tonga eruption is one of the largest in the last 200 years, and volcanic ash also tends to block sunlight, reducing temps.

    As electric cars are increasingly adopted, their limitations will become increasingly well known. This will be interesting, to say the least.

    1. At this point, it certainly is.

      There are also a lot of unanswered questions regarding Lithium Ion batteries. What will be the ramifications when we face mass disposal of old lithium ion batteries? I suspect that there will be a hullabaloo over that issue. Beyond that, any battery carries with it a degree of risk.

      Here’s the thing; batteries themselves can’t be shut off. We can control the circuits connected to batteries easily, but the battery, by definition, is a circuit, connecting a battery of individual cells. If one of those cells shorts, it can cause current to flow from other cells in the battery and that means heat. A thermal runaway in a large battery can be very dangerous and result in a fire which will not be extinguishable until the individual cells have exhausted their charges.

      With cells stacked in series connections, the voltage potential can be very high. Anyone that has ever worked on commercial uninterruptible power supplies can tell you that those battery stacks can kill you, very easily. I’m not certain at what voltages electric cars operate, but I am certain that the batteries in these vehicles are not nearly so benign as the 12 volt lead-acid batteries we are accustomed to dealing with in most vehicles. I’ve seen videos of electric vehicle fires and, based upon what I’ve seen, I wouldn’t care to be anywhere near such a fire.

      We live in a complex world with many technical systems, most of which operate remarkably well. However, these systems are still complex and beyond the understanding of many people. This is nothing new. In my grandparent’s day, many people didn’t understand automobiles and could be easily misled. In my parent’s day, television was not yet well understood, and huckster TV repairman were known to exploit that situation. In our day, the proliferation of new technologies is much more widespread and even technically inclined people can become overwhelmed by the sheer number of high tech devices and services they have to deal with, day in and day out. The potential for exploitation is off-scale.

      I’m not entirely against electric automobiles, but they are not a snap-in replacement for the transportation system that we have today, and I doubt that they ever will be. As an engineer, one of my responsibilities is to think far beyond the superficial and to consider the real world ramifications of any technology that is adopted. I have to plan ahead for failures and expect that unimagined problems will arise. If you listen to the sales pitch for any product or technology, you will hear the upside of that product or technology, but not the inherent risks. Determining these risks is part of the due diligence required of someone in my position.

      For example, some years ago, I was looking for a business phone system. One proposal was for a great product and the cost was low. I asked for references from existing customers, but they couldn’t provide any. I searched for that product on the Internet, but could only find their sales materials. Eventually, I sauntered into the building they operated out of and chatted up the security person for the building. As it turns out, they were not an established company, and were in fact, a very new and untested venture. I wish them the best, but I needed a phone solution that wasn’t likely to become an orphaned product, so I passed on their offer. To the best of my knowledge, they never made a dent in the market and I haven’t heard of that company since receiving their proposal.

      It’s the same with changes to transportation. We need to see, not just the sell-job, but also, we need to know how these solutions play out in the real world. That information will take a while to,fully develop, but I wouldn’t adopt any new technologies until all of this is sorted.

  2. And where does all the lithium and other earth minerals come from to build these batteries? China, who has cornered the market. And who builds all those ugly wind turbines and ridiculous fields of solar panels? China. The best, cheapest and safest energy source is nuclear reactors (100 in America right now) but our gov’t has gas-lighted the populous into turning against them.

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