Global warming dissident Bjorn Lomborg needles the fans of electric vehicles and hybrids:
A 2012 comprehensive life-cycle analysis in Journal of Industrial Ecology shows that almost half the lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions from an electric car come from the energy used to produce the car, especially the battery. The mining of lithium, for instance, is a less than green activity. By contrast, the manufacture of a gas-powered car accounts for 17% of its lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions. When an electric car rolls off the production line, it has already been responsible for 30,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide emission. The amount for making a conventional car: 14,000 pounds.
He goes on to suggest that the lifetime production of greenhouse gases may actually be higher for supposedly “green” vehicles than it is for those using conventional internal combustion engines. It would, perhaps, be indelicate of me to point out that if you reduce the amount you drive to, say, a couple of thousand miles a year it doesn’t matter much whether it’s in a fully electric all-weather golf cart or an SUV. Either way you reduce your production of greenhouse gases. Our problems are zoning, other forms of subsidy, and the lifestyles those make possible, not how our vehicles are powered.
However, I have a question. I recognize there’s a hot dispute about whether anthropogenic global warming is actually occurring but there’s somewhat less dispute over whether production of greenhouse gases influences local climate change. Here’s my question. If that’s the case, doesn’t centralizing greenhouse gas production, as Dr. Lomborg notes takes place in the production of hybrids and electrical vehicles, indisputably contribute to local climate change? Does it matter where that localized climate change is? I’ve always suspected that industrialization of the tropics was a very bad idea.