I’m a hardcore climate activist. I’ve been one for approximately 20 years (and writing that sure does make me feel old). I’m quite concerned that we are destroying the livability of this planet for human life and countless other species. Furthermore, I’ve got two young girls, and I’m certain their lives are going to be harder than mine due to more drought, agricultural failures, superstorms, more severe fires, climate-related diseases, flooding, and severe migration challenges. I’d like to do what I can to limit the challenges they will face in an increasingly unstable world.
There are millions of people like me. The climate crisis is the top concern of many people in my generation and older generations, but it’s an especially big focus of the youngest adults in our society. They know what’s up. They know they are rolling into an epic storm and “natural” disaster culture that their parents will hardly experience. They know that a century of burning fossil fuels to an obscene degree has threatened their quality of life.
Millions upon millions upon millions of people know this, and yet they drive fossil-powered Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans, Fords, Chevrolets, Audis, BMWs, Lexuses, etc. 10 years ago, there was a valid excuse for this — “well, we have to get around, and we can’t afford a Tesla Roadster.” Today, there are 3 big things that keep most of these climate activists in a gasmobile: 1) lack of awareness, 2) complacent inertia, 3) anti-Tesla, anti-EV propaganda. I’ll quickly tackle each of these, but the focus of this article is #3.
1) Yes, yet again, I think the top barrier to quicker EV adoption is lack of awareness. Many consumers don’t even know what an electric car is (often assuming it’s a conventional hybrid car). Most consumers do not understand how much range a modern mass-market electric car (like the Tesla Model 3) has, how fast it can charge, and how affordable the price tag is.
Most consumers do not know that the Tesla Model 3 scored the lowest probability of injury of any car ever tested by the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and that electric vehicles have inherent safety advantages.
Most consumers are not aware of the performance, drive quality, and consumer comfort advantages of an EV.
Most consumers do not realize the very occasional inconvenience of road-trip charging (if it actually is an inconvenience) does not outweigh the much greater convenience of home charging.
If you ask someone on the street, even a climate activist, what 30 benefits of electric cars are, I bet they’d be hard pressed to even mention 3 of them.
2) A point I talk much less about is complacent inertia. I’m not saying humans are lazy, but ….
Seriously, people are lazy. Not only that, but we also get used to operating in autopilot — it’s human nature. We skim over and accept our habits even when they become illogical or harmful. There are definitely buyers who can’t yet switch to an electric car, but many people can switch tomorrow but fail to do so because they are just coasting along and think it’s fine to keep driving a gas car for a few more years (tens of thousands of miles). That needs to change.
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3) This is the most sinister matter in this trio, and I’m disappointed to see that many climate activists or concerned citizens have not done a better job seeing past the misleading messaging campaigns. Not only are many climate activists not cutting approximately 1/3 of their carbon emissions, but they are also in many cases campaigning against their own interests.
I previously wrote that environmentalists opposed to Tesla were being punked by Big Oil and Big Auto. Many of these environmentalists can apparently hold onto their misinformation/disinformation for years, but seriously, it’s time to stop being a puppet for the oil industry.
How many climate activists have bought into the nonsense that an electric car isn’t much greener than a gasoline car? More than I’d like to know. Who does that benefit? Big Oil and Big Auto. Who does it hurt? Basically everyone else.
How many climate activists have a misguided, highly negative view of Elon Musk, a man who has been working for years to help humanity as much as possible? How did they form this opinion? That’s right, by falling for a multi-tiered, multi-level astroturfing campaign that aims to smear Elon and Tesla from as many angles as possible.
How many climate activists continue to send money to Big Oil every day, continue to pollute the air and the atmosphere, and basically fund the core industry they say we need to shut down? Indeed, there are people who block out the fact that they would do much more good buying a Tesla Model 3 than they do via climate campaigning or tweeting. It’s sometimes hard to understand, but consider the fact that many consumers still have no idea the Model 3 has become so affordable.
Many people have let clever fossil fuel campaigners fool even them, getting progressives to go against their own self-interests. Many people, climate activists even, have been fooled into avoiding critical climate-friendly lifestyle changes.
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