Green Energy is the future. However, that future is not within the next 30 years, and it has little to do with the current policies that have been put forth by our sitting officials. Someday …
Green Energy is the future. However, that future is not within the next 30 years, and it has little to do with the current policies that have been put forth by our sitting officials. Someday human’s energy requirements will be fulfilled through renewable and emissionless methods. Whether we manage to harvest the power of the Sun, without covering vast swaths of Earth with toxic paneling, harness wind power, in even a moderate efficiency as opposed to our current wind farms, absorb the oceans’ currents, without disrupting vital marine life, or simply Teslafy our magnetic poles with massive solenoids. In the meantime, the safest and most efficient, environmentally friendly option is nuclear energy. And until then, continuing to use fossil fuels at high efficiency, just as they are today, is the perfect, affordable answer to get us to the age of energy innovation.
But even when we finally figure out the best method for producing mass amounts of electricity, even then these EV cars, that are being written into law now, might not be the vehicle we drive. Does anyone remember the Hydrogen Fuel craze of the 1990s? The dream isn’t dead, it’s just been shadowed by big corporations and the media. The darlings of “saving the planet” are costly EVs with giant batteries that have the same, if not higher, carbon footprints as efficient gas vehicles. The Tesla Model 3 battery costs equivalent emissions to produce as driving a BMW Diesel 60,000 miles. If you’re electricity comes from anything other than solar, wind, or 100% LNG, then your breakeven point on emissions is around 70,000 miles driven. God forbid you need to replace the battery, because disposal adds another 30,000 miles of the BMW, and if you need a new battery, that’s another 60,000. All told – if you ever have to replace your battery, you actually have no breakeven point – your EV produced more carbon emissions than a Honda CRV driven through its entire life cycle. EVs don’t reduce emissions, they just export them - unless of course you’re one of the 1/10,000 people who get their energy from entirely renewable sources, at a high cost that 99.5% of Rhode Islanders cannot afford. Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles are a better option, cleaner, more efficient, with less environmental impact. No difficulties with mining lithium or zinc, and having to dispose of it after – no worries about fill-ups, since hydrogen fuel can be pumped into a vehicle just like gas – and no worries about sourcing the electricity – hydrogen fuel cell cars produce their own electricity.
My point is, don’t believe the hype about having to jump off fossil fuels and buy a Tesla today, or else we’ll all be under water. Innovation is unyielding, no matter what competitors exist. We will find our way to clean and renewable energy, we do not have to be hysterical about it. And in the meantime, the timeline should look like this: Become energy independent in the US as quickly as possible, whether it’s opening our channels of oil, extracting natural gas deposits, or mining coal for efficient burning, followed by nuclear power and hydrogen fuel, followed by completely clean renewable energy. It’s all better than what people are turning to today – wood! Many people in Rhode Island are turning to wood furnaces to heat their homes this year, because energy prices have skyrocketed – not because of a war between two tiny economies on the other side of the world, but because we turned off our own spigot of energy! So all of these policies actually push people to POLLUTE MORE, NOT LESS! Let’s be pragmatic in our approach to Green Energy. I agree it’s the future, but there’s no reason to ruin people’s financial lives now.
We will get there when we get there, and I promise you it won’t be slow.
Jonathan Hamilton Martin, MD is the Medical Direcotr of VillageMD; staff physician at Roger Williams Medical Center and co-founder of PureVita Labs, LLC.
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