By BOB FIFIELD
Over many years, oil companies have provided fuel to allow fossil powered engines to be useful (which has been appreciated for generations by the masses). They probably did not provide all that just out of the goodness of their hearts; many millionaires were made and some just in investing even became billionaires. It is understandable, that after generations of income, those investors (and descendants) would want that to continue until the last final drop of that limited resource.
Many even not investing in oil may feel indebted to being able to move freely about throughout their entire lives because of transportation run by gasoline and the like. Loyalty is commendable, but acknowledge it or not, like tobacco companies, the oil companies are more concerned with your credit card than your health.
Bad air is a fact and can be measured. Fortunately, government regulations years ago forced the lead out of gas, resulting in a substantially clear major improvement in air quality. The exhaust from combustion engines is still so unhealthy that I doubt anyone in support of continuing with that obsolete technology would put their mouths over an exhaust pipe. Continued use of such a product is not helping the health of the planet. Attempts to further improve unhealthy exhaust from combustion engines may not be possible without impacting cost/performance and that would be resisted by industry.
Regardless of half-truths and exposure to “fake-news” on global warming, why contribute to obviously unhealthy air pollution? (To introduce “hoax” seems a meek, last-ditch attempt to extend an inevitably extinct oil empire anyway.) It’s now time to move onto the next favorable advancement to benefit the masses and put support behind solar and all types of renewable energy paired with electric motors. It may be difficult for investors with a past of investing in oil to accept electric vehicles, as it is not a consumable that they can easily capitalize upon.
Not everyone is going to realize the favorable impact at the present time. Some are so “hung up” by present costs, that rather than encouraging, they are hindering progress that would benefit the masses in a manner similar to the previous leap from the horse and buggy era. Even back then, there was reluctance to what now is an accepted horseless mode of transportation. Reliability and costs (as well as very visible foul air) may have presented some initial resistance to the horseless carriage, but improved production and an increase in the manufacturing aspects, finally made it more practical. That, along with a substantial investment in a massive infrastructure, made it totally acceptable and it certainly caught on!
Those who don’t want to make the plunge to be part of the next benefit to the world can hold off their purchases, but still support the concept and be guaranteed that prices will drop as volumes and experience goes up. (Note that today’s $100 smartphones easily overpower the $10,000-plus computers of years ago and now the entire world is abundantly filled with such smartphones.)
Zero to 60 miles per hour in less than two seconds is not one of your billionaire president’s many golf carts and more than 300 miles on a single charge is not the electric car of years past! The proper technology has certainly been achieved and now it’s time for common sense and to benefit the masses. The only complaint regarding electric vehicles is customers not getting their vehicle soon enough. Demand is certainly there … supply is something that isn’t insurmountable.
An incredible technological bonus is also possible with the development of a practical self-driving feature (see Letters to the Editor – June 27, 2017). This will reduce drunk and distracted driving accidents which are now way too plentiful and will only increase with more “invincible” drivers believing in their own fake-news laws.
Why continue to open up pristine areas for drilling and ruin the environment for future generations and even fight unnecessary wars over oil? We also don’t need any more careless supertanker spills or have to resort to fracking. Do we want to be a “Great Again” ruler of the world like the dinosaur and follow that guaranteed path to extinction, or be regarded as true leaders in the world and build upon common sense? Is America going to allow itself to become obsolete by continuing to be at the bottom of the industrialized world with a country filled with an embarrassing lack of proper education, or get smart and help to embrace a better world for the masses?
Bob Fifield is a resident of Aptos. His opinions are his own and not necessarily those of the Pajaronian.