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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The BC Provincial government has announced legislation to require all light car and truck sales to be zero emission by 2040. And along with that comes additional hydrogen fuel cell incentives and funding to expand the fast charging network.
Most of the electric vehicles produced in North America have been flowing to Quebec, California and other U.S. states that have already legislated sales goals for zero-emission vehicles.

Interim sales targets set by the government leading up to 2025 will signal to the auto industry that far more zero-emission light cars and trucks will be needed to satisfy the market...
It's likely that this initiative is almost entirely due to the fact that the Green party has demanded it, and the governing minority New Democrats need their support. This is a great example of how minority governments can better serve the interests of the people by granting power to a more diverse set of interests. I hope that everyone in BC is going to vote in the referendum on Proportional Representation - ballots are due November 30!
 

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It's likely that this initiative is almost entirely due to the fact that the Green party has demanded it, and the governing minority New Democrats need their support.
Legislation like this is what it will take to have any chance of dealing with climate change. Unfortunately, here in the US, we are totally in the grip of fossil fuel interests. It will be interesting to see if the few left Democrats recently elected can shame the corporate Dems into making some show of concern.
 

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As I've said elsewhere, prosperity and resource consumption are extremely tightly linked.

To reduce CO2 emissions as drastically as some would like would require one or both of the following:

1. Massively lower wealth (lower economic productivity)
2. Fewer people

If BC follows through on their commitment (which I'm not opposed to BTW), then they'll have forestalled warming by a few days, tops.

It's not that the US, or the world for that matter, is "in the grip of fossil fuel interests", it's that the world uses so much stinking energy, and fossil fuels hold so much stinking energy.

I'm not saying we shouldn't conserve resources and adopt cleaner technologies, only saying that we need to set our expectations appropriately and be honest about outcomes when examining these issues.

As best as I can tell, the most realistic way the world can drastically reduce fossil fuel consumption is to move as much as possible to electrification, and then generate electricity with nuclear power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
If BC follows through on their commitment (which I'm not opposed to BTW), then they'll have forestalled warming by a few days, tops.
If we paid attention to that kind of attitude we'd never have gotten from computer punch cards to cell phones. No one step achieves the goal, but all the steps, small though they may be, are essential. A long journey does not excuse a failure to take that first step, nor any of the other steps.

Transportation is one of the primary producers of CO2, so dealing with it is one of the top priorities. Sure, any one jurisdiction can't sway the course of the planet, it takes almost all of them. But to get from none to almost all requires jurisdictions like BC to take these kinds of actions. It's needed to solve the problem even if it doesn't solve it all on it's own. The more communities who these kinds of actions, the more pressure there will be on the holdouts.
 

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... No one step achieves the goal, but all the steps, small though they may be, are essential. A long journey does not excuse a failure to take that first step, nor any of the other steps...
Excellent observation/analysis. It takes a California to establish relatively firm auto emission standards (followed by the dozen states that tether their standards to California's) to force the auto makers of the world to either comply or walk away from their largest US market for automobiles. Eventually the other 37 states inherit California's standard in a de facto sort of way because it becomes too cumbersome for the automakers to build vehicles with different emmissions specs depending on which market they are selling to.

So long as California continues to uphold the standard as one of its State's Rights, any federal legislation to the contrary will have little legal priority and the air quality/CO2 emmisions situation will improve, however slowly we might think it is occurring.
 

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If we paid attention to that kind of attitude we'd never have gotten from computer punch cards to cell phones. No one step achieves the goal, but all the steps, small though they may be, are essential. A long journey does not excuse a failure to take that first step, nor any of the other steps.
Which is why I said I'm not opposed to it.

The analogy breaks down though because the progression to cell phones didn't involve sacrifices or economic loss. It was a natural progression.

This also ignores Jevons paradox, which says that efficiency doesn't tend toward resource conservation, but instead economic growth. Economic growth and resource consumption are the same thing.

For a policy to be worthwhile, it needs to define the problem which it will address, with specifics, and the alleviation resulting from the policy must be of higher value than the drawbacks and unintended consequences.

So, before this policy was put forth to a vote, was the problem identified, with specific goals such as a certain amount of CO2 reduction, with specific expected results, such as forestalling global warming by x number of days? Did it consider the unintended consequences?

We think we're more clever than we are.
 

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THe government never thinks of the unintended consequences. For employing so many college educated economists and policy advisers they sure miss the boat regularly on the effects of increased taxes and the way people are incentivised. Who would have ever thought that offering single moms financial help would have led to more single moms? Who would have thought that the government offering student loans to all young people would cause the cost of college to go up at 3x the rate of inflation? In the book freakomonics they provide an example of a daycare charging $5 if you are late picking up your child and the rate of late pickups actually went up. I often jokingly refer to freakonomics as "common sense for college people"

Redpoint makes a good point about these ideals that feel good but don't accomplish much. To say if we removed 100% of ICE engines from the roads, it would forestall global warming by xx years but cause yy loss of the standard of living via economic downturn, would it be worth it? I'm not saying we should drive the earth like we stole it, but at the same time many of the things that sound good are about as effective as peeing in the ocean.
 

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ai4px, I can't really envision what problem is attempted to be solved by peeing in the ocean. :)

It's muddily clear to me that in order to save humans on earth, along with many many other species, two things will have to occur:

1) A massive reduction in our numbers.
2) A drastically reduced "lifestyle."

I believe both will happen. It's just a question of whether we're smart enough to take this on as a rationally-planned project (not a chance!), or have it imposed upon us as a consequence of our blind greed and being disconnected from "nature."

As much as I'd love to feel ecologically smug about driving an electric car, and an electric motorcycle, and an electric bicycle, I really can't fool myself into thinking I'm making any kind of difference at all.

While transportation (cars and, much more significantly, aircraft and ocean freighters) will be impacted by our running out of cheap oil, the real problem is agriculture where 99% of our nitrogen fertilizer comes from natural gas and where petroleum inputs in the form of plowing the earth, planting the crops, applying petrochemical fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, harvesting the crops, transporting the food, refrigerating it is all based on oil. I've gardened for 35 people before. I did it with a hoe, pick, and rake. I also did it with a tractor. Guess which was more efficient.

So I see us living in small, walkable communities and spending the majority of our time raising our food by hand. A different economy, a different "standard of living" for sure.

I'm reasonably certain that my daughter will live to see mass die-offs of billions of humans. I hope I'm wrong.
 

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THe government never thinks of the unintended consequences. For employing so many college educated economists and policy advisers they sure miss the boat regularly on the effects of increased taxes and the way people are incentivised. Who would have ever thought that offering single moms financial help would have led to more single moms? Who would have thought that the government offering student loans to all young people would cause the cost of college to go up at 3x the rate of inflation? In the book freakomonics they provide an example of a daycare charging $5 if you are late picking up your child and the rate of late pickups actually went up. I often jokingly refer to freakonomics as "common sense for college people"

Redpoint makes a good point about these ideals that feel good but don't accomplish much. To say if we removed 100% of ICE engines from the roads, it would forestall global warming by xx years but cause yy loss of the standard of living via economic downturn, would it be worth it? I'm not saying we should drive the earth like we stole it, but at the same time many of the things that sound good are about as effective as peeing in the ocean.

Probably half of the Earth's population effectively "pees in the ocean" via raw sewage dumped there...
 

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>:)Sounds like the middle ages when everyone drank ale and wine. The horse knew how to take the path home. Maybe in 20 years the autonomous driving will allow us to return to that time.
 

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The biggest thing wrong with conservatism is that they no longer care about conservation...
More accurately stated "Republicans", because those practicing conservatism are by definition, conservative.

The biggest thing wrong with politics is that is has stopped trying to solve real problems and instead focuses on tribal victories, which inevitably treats citizens as pawns.

Why does there need to be a D or an R in front of a name for someone to speak and be heard?
 

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Why does there need to be a D or an R in front of a name for someone to speak and be heard?
I understand your desire for having personal control over your destiny. That is why you are a libertarian. Unfortunately, once we got past sleeping in piles of leaves, and built villages, that luxury was gone. In a small group you may be able to spend much of your time lobbying your village mates to see things your way. Once we got past groups of 75-100, that was no longer possible.

Unless things go really badly, in our own estimation, most of us are happy to go about our lives, and "maybe" voting once every few years. With computers, we could have real one person/one vote, on all questions. That would last about a day. It would quickly end up like those surveys your dentist office, insurance company, Sirius radio, and everybody else wants you to "just take a few moments to tell us what you think."

There is no solution to complexity. Trying to improve it only leads to greater complexity, until it fails.
 
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