MORE SKEPTICS NEEDED: A global environmental expert reports the truth behind subsidized electric cars in a Wall Street Journal commentary this week. How refreshing to read some common sense amid the green hype.
We've heard a lot about the all-electric Tesla Model S. Article author Bjorn Lomborg adds some perspective:
"The U.S. federal government essentially subsidizes electric-car buyers with up to $7,500. In addition, more than $5.5 billion in federal grants and loans go directly to battery and electric-car manufacturers like California-based Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors. This is a very poor deal for taxpayers.
"The electric car might be great in a couple of decades but as a way to tackle global warming now it does virtually nothing. The real challenge is to get green energy that is cheaper than fossil fuels. That requires heavy investment in green research and development. Spending instead on subsidizing electric cars is putting the cart before the horse, and an inconvenient and expensive cart at that."
Electric cars should be built, bought and sold on their own merits, dime and time. That's how supply and demand is supposed to work. But there is a larger issue here, resulting in a false urgency. Too many people get all worried and worked up over talk of climate change (you mean the weather?), carbon emissions (ban the volcanoes!), global warming (whatever), etc., based on unreliable information. I'll wager Al Gore on anything that Miami Beach and the oceanfront Ritz-Carlton will be just fine in the year 2020, which is well past his "due date" of irreversible rising oceans inundating the Florida coast. [But then President Obama might claim credit for having stopped the oceans from rising, which he predicted would result from his victory in 2008].
Now, if only we could harness the energy expended on the political drama surrounding this bogus issue, we could probably naturally gas a fleet of Lincoln Town Cars. And I won't be asking for a $7,500 credit. -- Martin Romjue, LCT editor
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