We Don’t Need No Stinking Batteries!
By Steven J. Grisafi, PhD.
One of the leaders within the Green Party of Germany, Anna Baerbock, has expressed her preference for regulations that prohibit undesirable human activity, as it relates to our dilemma regarding climate change, as opposed to the method of applying punitive taxes on such activities. I emphatically support this position but consider Ms. Baerbock recommendations to be too timid. She suggests that beyond the year 2030 no fossil fuel powered motor vehicles be allowed to be registered within Germany. Considering the huge significance of the automobile industry to the German economy I can understand why Ms. Baerbock takes such a small incremental step toward combating climate change. But if we are to believe the hysteria of climate change activists regarding the urgency of our dilemma, surely, this is not enough. We ought not even consider it sufficient to prohibit the registration of all combustion engine motor vehicles if we truly believe that carbon dioxide within the atmosphere is the primary cause of climate change. Actually, I do not believe this, but see no point arguing against it, since all combustion pollutes the atmosphere. Nor do I think it sufficient to require that all motor vehicles be electric powered. If the urgency of our climate change dilemma is real, and not merely hysteria, because we know our population growth to be exponential, then no solution short of the elimination of the automobile industry is satisfactory.
Unfortunately, the public ignores the numerous other sources of pollution, besides the combustion of fossil fuels, that motor vehicles spew into our environment. Drivers of automobiles know that the tred on the tires of the cars erode but never seem to realize that the fine particles of carbon black resulting from this erosion of their tires become airborne such that there persists a continual haze within the local atmosphere. Even if your car is powered by an electric engine your car still contributes soot into the atmosphere. There is also the issue as to how your electric battery acquires its electric charge. With the burgeoning demand of our growing population for new roads and more motor vehicles it comes as a great surprise to me that our politicians have still not grasped the essential point: that the automobile itself must vanish. We need to envision modern society as a network of cities and towns all connected to one another only by rail transport. There is to be no asphalt beyond city-limits. Within each town or city, regardless of size, the only motor vehicles permitted on their asphalt roads are public or employer registered buses. Just as school children are transported to and from their schools, all employees would need to be transported to their place of employment either by public transport or employer provided buses. No personal motor vehicles would be permitted.
While this may seem draconian, I assure you that this is our future. Our population growth requires this. I consider it foolhardy to waste any further resources and effort toward the development of battery powered electric vehicles other than that which is needed for the physically handicapped. With only a small number of public and employer buses within a community it would not be harmful, beyond the capacity of the local environment to heal itself, if the buses were to be powered by liquefied natural gas. However, each community could choose which they would prefer, either natural gas or electric. Transportation beyond each community would only be via rail transport. Trains riding levitated by magnetic fields on a single rail would connect, to whatever extent required, the local communities to one another. While each cluster of communities would then be connected to its nearest neighbors. By the elimination of all personal motor vehicles, regardless of however they could be powered, we recover all of the land covered with asphalt, be it either under the roads or parking lots. The recovered territory would be returned to green spaces and living spaces for the people. It would even be possible to eliminate all asphalt even within the towns and cities by providing electric trolleys as were once commonplace.