Climate Change denial supports a 19th Century energy policy. Fossil fuels are economically doomed, no matter how much the Republicans try to prop them up for the benefit of the Koch Brothers.
In addition to the Koch Brothers, Republicans also beat the drum for fossil fuels because it provides the appearance of low skill, high paying jobs in the Red heartland. And while this may get low information voters to the polls, living in the past isn’t actually helping them at all.
Let’s look at one scenario where this is already beginning to play out — the electric car.
It is clear that the cost and efficiency of electric cars are improving rapidly. The Chevy Bolt is already here with a $40,000 price tag and range of 200 miles. It is easy to imagine a sub $30,000 electric car with a range of say, 400 miles per charge in the pretty near future. And who would buy such a thing?
I would venture to guess lots and lots and lots of people.
A range of 200 miles is already more than enough to cover many people’s commutes and daily driving. Which is the vast majority of the miles most people drive. And with a charging station in your garage, say goodbye to having to stand in the rain, cold and whipping out your credit card to fill up. I venture to think that most people, once they got accustomed to their new electric bill would say they their car is now “free” to run. Pull in your garage, plug in and you are “free” for another day. Kind of like replacing a coal furnace with a gas one. A no brainer. A category killer.
But wait, it could get better. Suppose if, when you bought your electric car, you got installed on your house, not just a charging station, but a solar powered one. A solar panel with the capacity of the car that needs charging, perhaps even including a same size battery, charging up during the day, filling your car at night. “Free” power!
Once again, who would not want this? Even current estimates show that electric vehicle ownership can save over $4,000 over five years. I think we are getting close to the tipping point.
Republican politicians keep their fingers on the scale so that most consumers won’t see the benefits of renewables. “Global warming is a hoax.” “Coal mining is a real job.” Solar panels are for wimps.” And so on.
But it is their own base that is suffering from living in the 19th century. We have already lost the opportunity to be the leader in wind technology. That honor now goes to the Danes. Tesla is trying to get out in front of the electric car industry, but who knows if it can, being in a country with such backwards policies.
Renewable energy would certainly supply high tech, high skill and high wage jobs. But hey, Paul Ryan doesn’t want any of that. Better to have low paying, low skill jobs in dying industries. Let the Randian takers in the countryside just die off, says Ryan.
Pretending that global warming is a Chinese hoax and hanging on to fossil fuels as long as possible is a long term losing strategy. Like keeping a cavalry brigades after World War I. A recipe for disaster.
Renewable energy sources would benefit workers, consumers and most likely the planet. Why don’t we do it?
Mostly so that a couple of 80 year old brothers don’t lose too much of their $80 billion fortune before they die. Ryan and McConnell — and now Trump — are the water carriers for these clowns.
We can and must do better.