Climate Deniers Also Lying About EVs and the Grid. Who Knew?

November 23, 2022

Well, you know, if you’ve been reading this blog.
This guy does a great job refuting cranky Fox Alumnus and climate denier John Stossel (again – I posted his first takedown here).
In fact, the young guy is even starting to suspect that Stossel might not be completely honest.

Below, one of the important references from the above video is this one, which goes thru some of the purported challenges to EV adoption.


28 Responses to “Climate Deniers Also Lying About EVs and the Grid. Who Knew?”

  1. Anthony O'Brien Says:

    How about: designing new suburbs so that having a car isn’t an absolute necessity, effective public transport, corner shops, bicycle infrastructure or even sidewalks that don’t just end. You do not understand just how people unfriendly American suburbia is.

    I don’t share your confidence that the grid can easily cope, when parts of it cannot even cope with winter. Even without EVs the grid needs upgrading in many places, not just Texas.

    How about not having the air conditioning so damn cold that you need a coat in summer and the heating so damn hot that you have to take off the coat in winter. That would make a bigger difference than converting all the cars to EVs that are still snarled up in gridlocked freeways.

    Oh and having to tow your EV 600 miles to the nearest Tesla service centre for a minor repair on the back of a diesel truck isn’t particularly good either.

    • jimbills Says:

      Makes too much sense, but 1) humans don’t naturally operate by prioritizing long-term altruistic goals over short-term selfish needs, and 2) the economy and many legislative items push massive spending over cost-saving efficiencies, especially when those measures could be interpreted as personal sacrifices (ride a bike instead of drive a car, have a smaller yard to encourage tighter communities, etc.).

      On the second point, a common local rule (at least here in Texas) is that all new homes must be at least 1,500 square feet, with some areas proposing a minimum of 2,000 square feet. It’s a boon to construction companies, which likely pressed for the rule, but it kills many of the ideas you suggested, as well as being a massive waste of resources. No one here really needs the 5,000 square foot homes on a half acre that are common in DFW, not to mention all the energy they require just for that footage, but that’s the norm instead of a super efficient 1,000 square foot home with a small yard (which would be illegal to build in the first place).

    • sailrick Says:

      EVs can be grid backup, using Vehicle to Grid programs. At least one small V2G program is already a reality in New York. I also saw a headline about another one the other day.

      When an EV needs a new battery, the old one is not dead. It can be used by electric utilities for stationary grid backup. Rebates for this value could be available to EV buyers.

      And it can be argued that more electricity is used in extracting and refining oil and gas for an IC powered car, than used to charge an EV.

      How gas cars use more electricity to go 100 miles than EVs do,do%20to%20move%20an%20EV%20the%20same%20distance

      • Anthony O'Brien Says:

        Absolutely, insufficient energy density for a car in an old ev battery, but plently to use in your house and you can double up when the next ev fails. Secondary use in housing is what will make this viable.

      • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

        You don’t have to spend much time in your EV at traffic lights to notice all the ICE cars sitting there are still burning fuel.

        I do curbside pickup in my LEAF waiting next to vehicles running their engines while they wait. Some may be keeping it on to run heat or A/C, while I’d have to use up my battery for that, but I’m drawing it more efficiently and not producing large amounts of waste heat under my hood (or poisoning the poor grocery loaders with a toxic tailpipe).

    • sailrick Says:

      Do you really imagine that you’d have to travel 600 miles to have an EV serviced, when most cars are EVs?

      With current IC cars, do you have to go to a dealership of your make of car? Of course not. Just in the town I live in with about 50,000 population, there are at least a dozen garages that specialize in Japanese cars or European built cars, not just one brand.

      • sailrick Says:

        That probably seems like too many garages for 50,000 people, but it’s the county seat.

        • Anthony O'Brien Says:

          In the US you can pay a small fee and get the secret codes that will allow a new part to function, we have no such legislation. If you want to put a new Exhaust system in a SAAB you have to use a SAAB dealer (yes a gasoline engine).

          Tesla is very against third party repair or even fixing parts. Why sell a a few cells when you can force someone to buy a new battery pack. This isn’t just EVs but does seem more of a problem with EVs as is so much unnecessary complexity. to whit

          • Anthony O'Brien Says:

            And the entire country has a smaller population than Texas while having a slightly greater area than the contiguous 48

          • sailrick Says:

            Thanks for enlightening on that issue. Having never owned a new car, I have had very little experience with dealerships.

  2. I love how all this guy’s interpolated wind and solar graphs look so smooth.

    • jimbills Says:

      Gotta trust a dude on Twitter that talks about the world starving to death and follows it with five ‘tears of joy’ emojis.

      Substantively, all these dinguses use straw men versions of future scenarios where one day we have almost all fossil fuels to the next day we have only renewables. The world cannot, and therefore will not, switch immediately from diesel engines to electric engines that run on batteries. That is a process that will take many decades, at best, and if there are indeed hiccups in the system (like power failures or resource shortages) then other solutions will be implemented (like your beloved nuclear or resource substitutions). No one starves because of this. Hyperbolic fearmongering followed by laughing emojis isn’t an argument.

      People WILL starve, though, because of widespread droughts, flooding events, and global instability due in large part to climate change. I don’t find that funny.

      • He’s laughing at the absurdity of trying to replace diesel fuel with batteries on a world scale.

        • jimbills Says:

          Replacing all diesel with batteries and electricity in 5-10 years = absurd

          Replacing most to all diesel with batteries/hydrogen/other in 20-40 years = not absurd

          Do you follow?

          Implied in this dunderhead’s Tweeto is that full replacement takes place short-term. Hence, the absurdity and his fearmongering. Replacement, especially full replacement, on that time frame can’t happen – therefore it won’t happen. It’s silly to even consider it. The tech isn’t fully ready, the mining for it isn’t in place yet, large scale industrial machines that run on diesel are a long way from being developed to electric, and so on. In other words, it’ll take time. Decades. And in that time frame, hiccups can be figured out and newer tech can replace older tech.

          But, also implicit in the straw man BS arguments as in your linked tweet is that replacement can’t be done short-term, so why even try at all? Why not just wait forever, and keep everything running on diesel as it has in the past?

          Obviously, that’s suicide as far as both climate change (gets worse every year) and oil supply long-term (it won’t last forever), plus economically, oil costs fluctuate wildly while renewable and battery tech only goes down:

          The world CAN’T run on diesel forever, therefore it won’t. Replacements are being built, they’ll continue to built, and there will be a day when the ‘belief’ that replacing diesel is absurd is absurd itself.

          • J4Zonian Says:

            Arbitrarily deciding what’s possible and not possible based on divination or oracle or political “reality” is absurd. Deciding what we have to do to avoid the end of civilization and nature, then figuring out how to do it, then doing it no matter what it takes is the only reasonable, non-absurd course.

          • jimbills Says:

            Hi J4 – figured you were the one that thumbs-downed my comment. You live in a different world than I do, but cheers.

    • sailrick Says:

      A gasoline car wastes about 80% of the energy in a gallon of gasoline – waste heat and exhaust. Diesels is better, only wasting about 60% of the energy.

      And EV with regenerative braking can be as much as over 90% efficient.

      • You’re missing the point. The world is utterly dependent on diesel fuel. In order to build a lot more electric cars, a lot of delivery trucks and mining machines are going to need more diesel fuel. This is not to say we shouldn’t build more EVs, but we should recognize the need for more diesel fuel and not do dumb things like stop the Keystone XL pipeline.

        • sailrick Says:

          I understand. However, you talk about EVs being phased in over decades. Doesn’t the same thing perhaps apply to heavy equipment, maybe being powered by hydrogen for example?

          • sailrick Says:

            Here’s an interesting article about the potential for hydrogen, with caveats.

            How the Hydrogen Revolution Can Help Save the Planet—And How It Can’t


          • I’m pretty skeptical about that Scientific American piece. Hydrogen for home heating? It’s a notoriously leaky gas that burns with an invisible flame and easily spontaneously explodes. I also think they are glossing over the the problems of making green hydrogen.

            A crucial factor in determining the speed of the switch to clean hydrogen will be the cost of electrolysers. The IEA, clean-energy analysts BloombergNEF and other organizations predict that this could fall rapidly — dropping by more than two-thirds by 2030 — as electrolysers are made in increasingly automated assembly lines, rather than built by hand.

            Noah Rhettberg goes into a lot of detail about electrolysers starting about 6 minutes into this video:

      • J4Zonian Says:

        Once you add searching, drilling, transporting, refining, transporting, etc.the oil, the system an ICEV is part of is about 6% efficient. Diesel may be a tiny bit more efficient but its pollution is considerably more deadly than gasoline. In any case, fossil fuels have to be abandoned as fast as possible; there’s really not even room or time for the classic abstinence vs harm reduction debate.

  3. In the first video, it looks like he’s caught Mark Mills in an extemporaneous gaff, but I’ll put Mills’ extensive knowledge up against this guy’s half assed Google foo any day. Those one percent (or whatever) solar land claims are very superficial and misleading. All land parcels are not equal and interchangeable. In fact, a lot of choice solar farm sites are being rejected by the public.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      that’s a hell of a gaffe not to catch.
      More likely they know they are speaking to an ignorant, Fox News addled crowd and just say whatever they think will work in the moment. That would be consistent with history.

    • J4Zonian Says:

      This thing keeps preventing my downvotes by the thumbzero jumping bizarrely out of the way, and just disappeared my answer to Dombo.

  4. Anthony O'Brien Says:

    I have used a bicycle instead of a car for the last 10 months or so, I would not have made that choice in the US. Even so the fuel saved would be burned up in less than an hour by a Mangusta 165 motor yacht.

    There is a corner shop within easy walking distance, even the supermarket is walkable, but a longer walk than I would want to. This is not the case in much of American suburbia. While not up to European standards our city public transport is vastly superior to most of the US. For most bussing to work is feasible and actually preferable for many. If you are near the biggest train line they are every five minutes over an extended peak period and very well used.

    But if I was in the US there are very few places that would not require a car.

    If you have a dodgy battery pack the EV makers want you to relace the whole thing and are very much against repair or refurbishment. This is a problem with the industry in general, but more pronounced with EVs.

    EV vs ICE really is a minor issue, the bigger issue is why cars are so absolutely necessary. Why cars must be replaced so often, given the imbedded energy in production is a bigger issue.

    That said an EV is probably in my future, the quietness, the cleanness and the ability to be left alone for a few weeks at a time is appealing. The ability to use the EV as a household UPS is also very attractive.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      If you have a dodgy battery pack the EV makers want you to replace the whole thing and are very much against repair or refurbishment.

      To me it seems more efficient to swap out the bad battery pack with a new one and address the old pack’s problems without holding the EV hostage while the repair center addresses it. At the rate that the tech is evolving, a new pack may already address problems that the old pack has.

      It’s not as if old battery packs are just tossed on the scrap heap: Depending on the issue, they are repaired, refurbished, upgraded, repurposed and/or recycled as needed by specialized shops. They still have value.

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