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Another Four Years of Trump Might Kill Off Remaining Hope Saving Planet From Climate Destruction

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/09/another-four-years-trump-might-kill-remaining-hope-saving-planet-climate

I am not sure how a “we are not opposed to fracking, we will continue to accept money from fossil fuel industries and under my watch nothing will really change” can turn this around under Biden.

Trump has been in power for 4 years. This AGW started occurring decades ago and Governments knew all about it. All of these fires under trumps watch are due to activities that occurred before he took power just as his actions will compound these problems in future years.

There is no hope of saving the planet unless the Capitalist model of externalized costs and extraction of resources for profit is ended. This does not happen just because Trump gone.

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It may be true that another four years of Trump will kill off the remaining hope to save the planet. But, there is nothing that says Biden will make much of a difference in a slightly longer run. We are faced with unacceptable choices of which neither of them are good. I have decided that buying even a small amount of additional time is the best we can do at this moment caught between false dichotomies and disaster.

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Electric vehicle technology wasn’t perfected until the late 1990’s under Al Gore’s (PNAC?) Project for a New American Car pilot program. Ford & GM produced 70 & 80mpg prototypes. The GM version unwisely added a hydrogen fuel cell stack. The Ford hybrid patent was sold to Toyota which made the first commercial hybrid Prius lineup. PHEV Plug-in Hybrid tech soon followed as a dynamic breakthrough. Prius PHEVs are rated an effective 110+mpg. Chevy Volt PHEVs are rated 150+mpg. The best mileage a standard economy car can get is around 50mpg. Awhile back, the LA Times published an article about PHEV tech titled “The 500mpg Solution” We should be glad that raising the CAFE standard was rejected. To favor all-battery BEV tech in the GND is futile and in many ways counter-productive.

There was an electric car built in 1890 that had a range of 100 miles on a single charge. A later version got a range of 160 miles this around 1909. Two years later this record was broken with a car that went 201 miles on a single charge.(The baker electric) Some of these early vehicles are still on the road with the batteries still functioning.

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Amazing, we have regressed.

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The biggest downside to the electric early was Charging stations. It was much easier to put a gas station out in the middle of nowhere then a charging station and especially since a lot of the US, Canada and Europe was not fully electrified at that time.

Added to that if a person was driving from one village to the next and back home again and needed to “charge” on the way , he did not want to spend two hours waiting for his vehicle to charge. That all said is I think we would be WAY farther ahead had the EV not been abandoned.

Imagine what 60 more years would have done if they kept making them from 1916.

Like I said, electric vehicles were not perfected until late 1990’s with battery weight reduction, safety and energy storage capacity. Plug-in Hybrid-electric PHEVs should garner 60% of the need to convert to EVs. All-battery BEVs capture the rest of the market, mostly in compact car and light utility vehicles. Hydrogen fuel cell tech would serve only a niche market, mostly in stationary power purposes, not for vehicular transport.

“The world as we know it” did not survive the last term. It is not set to survive another term of Trump nor a term of Biden, either, since Biden’s policies are not better. The election focus of Kolundzic’s piece, then, is just not germane. But there is something more interesting going on in it.

We are already into a major extinction event, in a geo-biological event worthy of being called Anthropocene, well into the process wherein it costs Homo sapiens and destroys human life and habitat. As I write, millions of acres are on fire in California alone, and this fast on the heels of unprecedented fires in the Amazon and in Australia. In California and Australia, at the very least, these are part of a feedback cycle that will involve cycles of flood, drought, fire, denudation of landscapes, and desertification.

At the same time, we have no reasonable notion at what point we might “kill off remaining hope of saving the planet from ‘climate destruction.’” Weather, climate, and the planet itself as a biological entity are of the sorts of systems that we call complex, self-directed, non-linear systems. The sorts of closed-system, limited-variable calculations that humans manage well do not represent such things with that sort of precision. We can say a lot of things about climate, but we cannot say what days it will rain in Seattle in 2021, and we cannot say at what point we have crossed or will cross a point of no return as regards the products of human folly.

So why so much speculation, where the course is actually fairly clear and the matter serious.

The speculation seems to be a matter of trying to convince people to act in their own benefit or the benefit of humans generally. It is a pity, since the credibility of even an accurate statement of this nature is inevitably low beforehand, whereas the credibility of observations that we have entered a period of free-fall environmental damage has become woefully easy to document.

Further, evocations of apocalypse tend to trigger responses of learned and also feigned helplessness. It seems to become an equivalent of “Oh, wow, it’s too late to completely avoid a collision; I had might as well stomp on the gas to be certain that I do not survive in some unpleasant form.”

Why not stick to what we more or less collectively know, in some typically rough and human sort of sense? It is really quite awful enough to be motivating if one takes it in. Outside of futzing with the choice-of-tyrants theme, why not start working with people who have some conception of the problem and work against one or multiple of incoming or ongoing catastrophes

  • Mismanagement and loss of soil
  • Mismanagement and exhaustion of water
  • Toxic and destructive agriculture
  • Nonproductive and unsustainable cities
  • Misallocation of resources (to rich psychopaths, mostly)

There’s no end of things to do. But none appear to involve voting for a corporatist neoconservative candidate, nor for Donald Trump.

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Looking at the weather from 2020, one would have to conclude that the ship has already sailed. Even if you had an environmentalist as president, you still have 535 people in Congress that have to have a majority agree and that’s not going to happen.

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I have misgivings about there being any remaining hope. I see people gathering in large groups without masks and no social distancing, woodlands being cleared for cattle ranching, idiots buying defeat devices to bypass emissions controls on diesel trucks, the list goes on and on. We are a suicidal race.

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The percentage difference between zero action, and some action is infinity.

As far as stopping fracking, how is it ever going to stop unless we stop the demand for the product it produces?

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They also had a top speed of 20 kph.

And that was breakneck speed at the time, literally (about 12 MPH). Your point?

Untrue. An electric car in fact had the highest land speed record. The Torpedo had a top speed of 75 MPH and was released in 1913.

In 1913 most cars had a top speed of 30 mph. The Chalmers touring car, one of the most popular had a speed right around there. The Detroit electric, contemporary to that model (200 miles per charge) had a top speed of 25 mph.

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People stopped riding horses.

There not a heck of a lot of Coal burned in peoples homes where Coal burning furnaces in homes once abounded. In my own lifetime I have seen people using coal burning stoves in their homes to none used at all. The period where coal was used to heat homes lasted as the major means of doing so was from 1860 to 1930. By 1930 it was being replaced just as it had replaced wood burning stoves.

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One candidate wants us to drive off the cliff.
The other candidate wants us to jump off the cliff.

This is a hard choice.

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I just put 9/9, California Admissions Day, behind me – along with a fair chunk of that “remaining hope,” such as it remains. Our Bay Area sky filled with so much smoke from diablo-wind driven wildfires we had darkness at noon. People on the street, asked to comment on the unearthly orange sky, kept coming up with the same phrase: “Like the end of the world.” Certainly the end of many things. The shadow inspiring such gloom came to us courtesy of a plush smoke-blanket at 3,000 feet – part of which, flying by, used to be my brother’s house, in Berry Creek. Nextdoor, in Paradise, stalwart residents who got started rebuilding watch the edge of the Bear Fire threatening them again.

Where do you rebuild, then, when it doesn’t look likely to ever end? Where’s a good place?

Forgive me for saying so, but some of the chatter in this thread exasperates me as superficial fluff – arguments about who killed the electric car or whatever. Possibly some have not yet grasped the gravity of the situation, plummeting into shockingly rapid climatic destabilization from now on.

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Electric cars are not a solution to anything. Voting for a corporate democrat is not a solution to anything. Immediate and complete cessation of fossil burning by our perma war machine would make the largest impact on our destruction of the world, and its’ inhabitants survival. Because we are so far past the point of actions in response to our risk level, this must be done immediately, for any hope to exist for the survival of either earth or its’ occupants. As usual this journalist provides skewed perspective that minimizes what is/has been happening. Humans are at fault. We are all examples of the worst that humans offer. Selfishness and greed instead of rationality and sustainable living. Stop the US war perma crime machine, and there may be a chance for us and the planet.

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my hope is badly wilted already and desperatly in need of a tall drink of water