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Ambitious action on climate change could be Biden’s ‘moon shot’

Posted on 3 June 2021 by greenman3610

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections

Some cable TV personalities, talking heads, and plain old historians and historian wannabes have taken to finding connections between President Joe Biden and former Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson. A common rationale: The historic eras in which both FDR and LBJ, and now Biden, first took office. And the scope of public policy initiatives all three initiated virtually from the day they were sworn in.

Like most sweeping generalizations, there are strains of truth and fact and lots to quibble about in these comparisons. One analogy not having gotten much attention, however, is that involving Biden’s ambitious climate change action items and how they compare with President John F. Kennedy’s May 25, 1961, commitment to land Americans on the moon and bring them safely back to terra firma.

In this month’s original “This Is Not Cool” video by Yale Climate Connections independent videographer Peter Sinclair, the link between the historic “moon shot” goal and the Biden hoped-for climate objectives is front and center (and posted here, coincidentally, on the 60th anniversary of Kennedy’s pronouncement to Congress). Moon shot? Wishful thinking? How can such sweeping changes occur in the tight time frames often assigned to them? The video explores those questions and more. Take a look.

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Comments 1 to 7:

  1. The issue that has surprised me is that sales of electric cars have not seemed to grow as fast as the development wind and solar power. That's my impression but perhaps the data says otherwise.

    One thing holding back sales of electic cars may be the conspicuous lack of advertising. In our media in New Zealand there has been virtually no advertising, until perhaps the last two months we are seeing a sudden surge of advertisements. Don't know if its the same in America? It's possibly because the automobile companies have not really wanted to re-tool manufacturing plant and maintainance work and retrain staff, but it looks like they may be finally accepting the inevitable.

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  2. Hi Nigel,

    Sales of electric cars worldwide are currently "supply constrained" rather than "demand constrained". In such circumstances surely advertising is a waste of money?

    Do you subscribe to the "conspiracy" theory of history, or the alternative "cock-up" theory?

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  3. Jim Hunt @2, I assume you are referring to current supply constraints on electric cars being the current global chip shortage? It doesn't seem to be stopping them advertising electric cars where I live, and I doubt they would do that if it was a "waste of money".

    My comments were more an observation on the past. You post something that infers I either believe in conspiracy theories or cock ups by governments or car companies. I made no suggestion of either. I explained what I thought: Companies would prefer not to switch over to electric cars and obviously by not advertising them this furthers their cause. They create their own supply constraint but thankfully the whole strategy seems to be ending. This is neither a conspiracy or cock up, but pure financial self interest.

    Perhaps you should spend more time understanding what people are getting at and less time jumping to conclusions and trying to ridicule them and put words in their mouths with trick questions. And dont come back pretending you weren't doing that.

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  4. Nigel @3 - Good morning (UTC)

    No I wasn't doing that. My apologies if I have inadvertently offended you, but perhaps you are the one who should avoid jumping to conclusions?

    It seems that like certain denialistas one might mention, you fail to appreciate my tongue in cheek Anglo-Saxon sense of humour?

    My "day job" involves advising the once Great British government, and indeed the rest of what remains of the planet, about "smart grid" technology, particularly with regard to electric vehicles:

    In my evidently overly brief comment above I was alluding to allegations that ICE OEMs are willing to use any excuse to avoid shipping BEVs.

    In my version of the Queen's English "waste of money" + "conspiracy" == "financial self interest".

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  5. Jim Hunt @7, I didn't get your sense of humour. Normally I can read between the lines and I like the English sense of humour.  I think I'm just a bit on edge due to all the internet trolls out there. You clearly aren't one. Currently enjoying Bill Bailey the stand up comedian / musician. Sophisticated and sardonic.

    Looks like we are  more or less in agreement on the EV issue. Thank goodness for Tesla. They seem to be genuinely trying to step up production.

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  6. Hi Nigel,

    I'm glad we got that straightened out. I'm afraid a bit brusque on here just at the moment given the time I'm spending taking down some of the "trolls" you mention.

    Yes, we do seem to be on largely the same wavelength. However even Elon does have his shortcomings. He claims that the concept of "Bi-directional power transfer (AKA BPT), as we refer to V2G in the smoke filled back offices at the IEC, makes no sense:

    However there are some who think he just wants to sell lots of Powerwalls!

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  7. nigelj @1

    When we ordered our Tesla M3 in 2019 we were lucky and "only" had to wait for two months. Since then I've observed many people ordering EVs and then waiting for many months for delivery. In the case of the Kona EV some people waited for more than nine months. A far cry from the millions of ICE vechicles sitting on dealer lots.

    Yes, that's anecdotal but I have also observed that, with the exception of Tesla, auto makers consistently announce new EVs then restrict production to a token amount, i.e. less than 50,000 a year. So supply is definitely constrainted - by choice.

    That approach is supposedly changing this year with recent announcements from VW, Ford (F-150 pickup), and others. Some auto makers seemed to change their tune on EVs just after Biden was elected US President.  Funny about that.  We'll see how committed they are or whether Tesla will continue to eat their lunch.

    That's my Canadian perspective.  FWIW.

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