No, this post is not about the policy of switching to Electric Vehicles (EVs), though from the above chart, and having lived through the Texas Freeze (2021) (just barely), it could be plenty damaging. But let’s understand the chart. A 25% switch to EVs would cause a 30% increase in peak electric grid load. So a 100% switch would cause about a 120% increase in grid peak load. Let’s just round that off and say the grid would have to double. That’s just in the US, already a high electricity consumer. In countries with less electricity usage, their grids would have to way more than double.
How fast has electric capacity been growing? Below is the chart for the US:
Since about 2005 it hasn’t been growing at all. Before that, it took 30 years to double. The switch to EVs by 2050, needed to meet climate goals, would require doubling again in 30 years. But that double is twice as big as the last double, twice as many power plants, twice as many transmission lines. To meet climate goals, ALL of that and then some would have to come from renewables. Look at the chart. What are the chances? Zero. Period. This is unobtainable. One would be better off working on Faster Than Light technology to move us off planet (I’m being sarcastic, in case you are dreaming FTL is actually possible).
But the analogy with FTL is apropos. I am disgusted at the level of naïve “dreaming” in public policy in the minds of ordinary voters.
Can we simply live with less energy, a lot less? No. It is required for basic food production and distribution. The population is too high to live with dramatically less energy. Food systems are responsible for one third of human caused greenhouse emissions. See https://www.carbonbrief.org/food-systems-responsible-for-one-third-of-human-caused-emissions .
That leaves only one solution, population reduction. This is actually quite easy and low impact. It might be a little late to make it all the way to low human impact on the environment by 2050, but with a crude world natural death rate of 7.7 per 1000 a 24% reduction is easily possible by 2050, which is probably larger than any other one green measure!
How do we do this?
– Stop paying people to have children
– Start paying them not to
For nearly a century we in the US have had financial incentives to have children:
- tax credits
- AFDC payments
- people who don’t have children pay for the education of children
- religions against birth control
- laws against many forms of abortion
And still we are increasing these subsidies for population growth. You can see from the list why politics makes me extremely angry. I consider the above list the most damaging policies in the world (because they lead to “growth” of problems, not just a fixed factor). About half of them are supported by Democrats/liberals and half by Republicans/conservatives. I hope both parties burn in hell. Well, with climate change they probably will, except I’ll burn with them.
I have only one child, and only when I was 62 years old. I paid all my life taxes so other people could educate their children (school taxes) and have illegitimate children (AFDC). If I vote against those policies, then I also vote against birth control of all kinds. This is not a choice at all.
In China a one-child policy, implemented by a totalitarian regime, not voluntary as I’m suggesting above, quickly elevated them to the 2nd greatest economy on Earth.
Bunk on needing more population to have economic growth. Companies are converting to Artificial Intelligence and robots as fast as they can. After COVID lockdowns, people have got used to not working. It’s easier to rethink the economy than double the power grid while simultaneously going all green.
If that doesn’t suit you, let’s see your design for an FTL drive, implementable before 2050.