I was reading the New York Times this morning and I see that Joe Biden is beginning to introduce his big new environmental plan. He is talking electric cars and the upcoming transition from fossil fuels to renewables. And then I see the Republican Party about swing into action as usual and block the Biden environmental agenda. And you know what I’m thinking? I’m thinking maybe this is either the end of the old Republican Party or the beginning of a new Republican Party that will back renewables. I’m thinking that any party that tries to stop the climate revolution that is happening all over the world right now at break neck speed, is heading either into its own demise or into something new. I’m thinking that either the Republican Party is cutting its own throat or on its way to turning into a new kind of Republican Party.
Let’s look at just one aspect of the ongoing climate revolution that is beginning to sweep the world. Four years ago, in 2017, China decided to end the production and sales of traditional energy vehicles and manufacture only electric vehicles in the future. And they were sitting in the middle of the world’s largest car market. That was a very big deal.
And that was also four years ago. Now they are eons ahead of the US in EV (electric vehicle) development, technology and sales.
The US has been working on electric cars all along, but not on the scale of China. And the Chinese government has been cooperating and partnering with the Chinese car industry all the way.
This is not the way it has been in America. Four years ago we were electing Donald Trump. And now we’ve had four years of Trump doing his very best to slow down everything environmental and deliberately promoting everything fossil fuel based. He spent his time trying to reverse auto efficiency standards and pushing fossil fuels and suing California for passing laws requiring cars to have higher mileage and lower pollution.
But finally, with the election of Biden, auto manufactures are waking up to the fact that they are falling further and further behind the rest of the world in automobile efficiency standards. And they are also waking up to the fact that if they don’t catch up in electric vehicle technology right now they are going to be doomed forever.
And now, very suddenly, all of the US auto manufacturers are cheering Biden on as he tries to improve both auto fuel-economy and pollution standards. According to this morning’s (Jan 27, 2021) New York Times,
Mr. Biden’s team is already drafting new national auto pollution standards — based on a deal reached between the state of California and Ford, Honda, BMW, Volkswagen and Volvo — that would require passenger vehicles to average 51 miles per gallon of gasoline by 2026. The current Trump rules only require fuel economy of about 40 miles per gallon in the same time frame.
And just two weeks after Mr. Biden’s electoral victory, General Motors signaled that it, too, was ready to work with the new administration.
Mary Barra, the General Motors chief executive, has signaled her willingness to work with the Biden administration.
President-elect Biden recently said, “I believe that we can own the 21st century car market again by moving to electric vehicles.” We at General Motors couldn’t agree more,” wrote Mary Barra, the chief executive of GM, in a letter to leaders of some of the nation’s largest environmental groups.
If enacted, a fuel economy rule modeled on the California system could immediately become the nation’s single largest policy for cutting greenhouse gases.
And what are the Republicans doing? They are already pushing back at Biden of course. They are hinting that all this environmental nonsense has to be stopped even if they have to use the filibuster in the senate.
What I’ve been thinking is that big business very much wants electric cars and trucks right now and that big business will soon be driving the climate change revolution in America. And, in addition, I think they will soon grow tired of the Republican obstruction of what they know has to happen very rapidly. They know that if they can’t build cleaner, more fuel efficient and cheaper electric cars, they are going to be big time losers.
America business knows that if it cannot catch up in the electric car business very, very soon, it will be left behind forever.
And it is not only electric cars that the US automakers want to build. They know they have to build all kinds of electric powered transportation. Already the world is building all kinds of electric delivery-trucks, electric semi-trucks, high speed electric trains, and electric busses.
China is the current world leader in electric busses, but the US is slowly getting on board also.
I think Corporate America sees very well that we have to take part in the global climate revolution or get left out. And in this case, being left out means being way behind in the production and sales of electric vehicles. And being left out means losing big bucks and it also means the US will be a poorer, second class country forever. And no big business leader wants that; it means less money for business and less money in his own pocket.
Corporate America is not stupid. I think that very soon big business will be the ones pushing for electric cars and for the end of combustion engines. And they will be the ones pushing for the transition from fossil fuels to renewables. Actually they already are.
And I think this will also mean that the Republicans will probably turn into the party of electric cars, renewable fuels and the end of global warming. Right now it seems pretty impossible that this could happen, but I think it is definitely possible .
The Republicans are most essentially the party of money and wealth. Their paymasters are American big business and soon or later big business is going to realise that the way to wealth is now through renewables. Actually, I think this has already happened.
Sooner or later the Republicans are going to see the writing on the wall. I don’t think the Republicans are actually going to be cutting their own throats, they are too smart for that. I think what is really going to happen is that they are just going to follow the money into the new land of big money which will be renewable energy.
Cars are clearly leading the charge into electrically powered vehicles. Suddenly we are seeing more and more electric cars that are beautiful and work far better than we ever thought possible.
The electric car revolution is big and it is here now. Below are a couple of Tesla’s electric cars. These are the 2018 models and the new ones are slicker, more beautiful and more efficient. And the efficiency of electric batteries is also going up. This of course means longer and longer distances between recharging.
Below are several paragraphs David Roberts wrote in Vox back in 2017. He and most of the rest of the world saw the coming revolution in electric vehicles even then. The excitement in his voice is very apparent.
Momentum toward EVs is building rapidly — so rapidly that forecasts are being rendered anachronistic within a year of release. China, France, and the UK have announced they are ending gas and diesel cars, period. That’s crazy!
Imagine, if you will, a global diaspora of ambitious young researchers and entrepreneurs who hear that in their lifetimes, the most common passenger vehicle in the world will effectively become illegal to make — that they will almost certainly see a large-scale transition to electric vehicles.
That means there are riches and renown to be had. (Do people still say “gold in them thar hills”?)
The people and companies that figure out how to make EVs work — drive costs down, get charging in place, soothe consumer fears about range and cybersecurity, develop new features and services — are going to make a metric shit-ton of money in coming decades.
As for me, in this rare case, I’m an optimist. Once it really sinks in that the transition to EVs is underway and inevitable, a lot more people will hop on the bandwagon, through a sense of public service or a desire for riches or some mix of the two.
A lot of brainpower and money are going to be put behind EVs in the next 20 years. Once the transition gets going, I think it’s going to go quick.
It seems pretty clear to me that the world is rapidly changing and that at the forefront of the change is the electrically powered vehicle. The Republican Party is going to have to change and adapt to this new world. I don’t think the Republican Party is really going to be cutting its own throat. I think that sooner or later they are just going to follow the money into where it is inevitably headed, the new land of renewable energy. This transformation of the Republicans may take awhile, but I think it is going to happen.
Here is a little more reading on this subject
The World’s largest car market just announced an imminent end to gas and diesel cars. This is a link to the 2017 Dave Robert’s article on electric cars that I have been quoting from in this post.
Here are a few more pictures of the natural world that is still out there. Switching to electric cars will be good for all of us and good for nature also.
Post summary: I think that any party that tries to stop the climate revolution that is happening all over the world right now at break neck speed, is maybe heading toward its own demise. I’m wondering if the Republican Party is cutting its own throat. Or are they just going to follow the money into where it is inevitably headed, the new land of renewable energy. It looks to me like it will be the latter.