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Bjørn Lomborg attacks Electric Cars??

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by tonybelding, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    In USA Today! Check it --> Electric car benefits? Just myths

    I wanted to comment, but you need a Facebook account to post comments on USA Today articles, and I have no desire to be on FB. So... I'll post it here.

    This article is just full of lies and omissions. The big lie is the one of "coal powered cars". Lomborg barely even hints that our grid power is produced from anything other than coal-fired power plants. Here in the USA, coal has gone below 50% of our grid power a few years ago, and it is still falling -- displaced largely by natural gas. Solar is a very small percentage, but is growing rapidly since economics have shifted in its favor. Personally, I see many reasons to phase out coal completely, quite beyond its CO2 emissions. We should be getting rid of it, rather than merely "cleaning coal up".

    Past studies have shown that even an electric car charged from 100% coal-fired power would come out ahead of a comparable gas car in terms of emissions, due to the electric's greater efficiency. I'm curious why the results are suddenly coming out different now?

    There's also a blind spot in terms of other reasons to favor electric cars. We have concerns over global oil depletion, and we have security concerns over the regions much of the world's oil production is sourced from. These concerns are not mentioned, presumably because they don't serve the author's agenda.

    What makes this particularly disappointing is that I have, in the past, been something of a fan of Mr. Lomborg. I read his book, "Cool It!", and I thought it was refreshing to see some calculated cost/benefit analysis of various mitigation policies, with regard to climate change. However, that analysis needs to be done honestly and without an axe to grind. This opinion piece doesn't appear to pass that test.
     
  2. GSP

    GSP Member

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    The study that Lomborg sites indicates EVs powered by natural gas are much better for human health than ICE cars.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/111/52/18490.full.pdf

    Lomborg must have forgot about that, and about ALL of the non-environmental benifits of EVs. What a fount of mis-information this guy can produce.

    GSP
     
  3. RichardC

    RichardC Cdn Sig & Solar Supporter

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    In my experience, Lomborg sounds quite plausible, until you check the underpinnings of his positions, and realize that he is merely a gussied up climate denier (with support from the usual suspects).

    See:

    Hedge Fund King is Bankrolling World's Leading Climate-Science Denier

    A self-described "defender of the 1%" is behind denialist think tank.

    http://www.alternet.org/environment/hedge-fund-billionaire-bankrolling-worlds-leading-climate-change-denier

    and

    http://www.desmogblog.com/2015/02/02/lomborg-sings-wsj-s-same-old-climate-change-song-don-t-worry-be-happy
     
  4. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I think I was taken in by what I call the "History Channel Effect". I can be watching the History Channel and thinking it's all wonderful, show after show, until they hit a subject that I was already very familiar with -- then suddenly all the mistakes and omissions become obvious. Then I find myself wondering, just how messed-up were all those other shows I watched on this channel?
     
  5. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Lomborg again? He tried something similar two years ago; read several posts past THIS one to see a lot of debunking of what he did then.
     
  6. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #6 ChadS, Feb 21, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
    Just like last time, the Union of Concerned Scientists has written a rebuttal to Lomborg's easily-disproven claims.

    It's very clear that Lomborg doesn't just have a different opinion, and isn't just mistaken. He is deliberately trying to mislead. Some have speculated as to why, but to me why doesn't matter. If you have to lie to get people to sign up for your cause, I don't care for you or your cause.
     
  7. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    For the sake of exactness, the a blogger on the UCS site wrote this excellent rebuttal.
     
  8. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Correct, it wasn't all the scientists. But Anair leads UCS's clean vehicle work; I feel safe saying he represents UCS' position.
     
  9. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    And HERE is the NRDC's staff blog taking on Lomborg.
     
  10. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    It would matter more if the rebuttal came from a group with a shred of credibility.
     
  11. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #11 ChadS, Feb 22, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
    I tend to go by the message rather than what somebody thinks about the messenger - especially since you can always find somebody that feels exactly the opposite.

    While I don't follow UCS's position on other topics, I have followed it on this one and UCS has done some very careful research on this issue and had it peer-reviewed by many in the industry; in fact they are the only ones I can think of that have asked owner groups to review their findings. I know some at Plug In America (I was not involved) had been frustrated with UCS supporting other alt-fuels in the past but not looking at EVs; but once they took a look, their stance has been carefully supported and presented.

    You can always read the NRDC's take if you really want to avoid UCS.
     

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