by Harry Palmer on the BFD

With the Globalists’ “15-minute cities” and the implementation of ultra-low emission zones, individual travel is going to be very severely limited.

If you’re out walking in the bush and you come across a river, you look for stepping stones to help you get across. Being a careful person, and if you’re accompanied by children, it is, of course, important for you and them to try to avoid falling into the water, especially if it’s a fast-flowing stream and of unknown depth. So you proceed slowly: one stepping stone at a time. You first test each stone carefully with your foot, then increase the weight until you are sure you can trust the stone to bear your full weight: All to be sure that you’re not going to end up tossed into the river and swept away as you head to the far bank.

That’s the proper way of course, but where is any semblance of that caution in our Government’s headlong rush towards the brave new green world of “net zero”? Each of their proposed – untested – stepping stones to that far bank include:

  • the replacement of internal combustion engined (ICE) motorcars with cars propelled by electric motors powered by a large, heavy battery;
  • so-called “carbon capture”: the reduction of the amount of CO2 gas put into the atmosphere;
  • the replacement of coal and mineral fuel oils by solar panels, windmills and hydrogen;
  • the banning of gas stoves and appliances and the banning of nitrogen fertilisers manufactured using natural gas;
  • the replacement of conventional home-heating methods with heat pumps;

These steps have a the potential to cause serious upset in people’s lives, discomfort, misery and early death, as well as the total destruction of the country’s infrastructure and its utter devastation. Despite supposedly living in a ‘democratic country’, we have been given no choice in the matter of governments chasing of the unicorn of ‘climate change’.

Electric Vehicles

If you’re thinking about buying one these very expensive boondoggles, consider:

  • their severely curtailed range, compared with ICE vehicles;
  • compared with the few minutes it takes to fill an ICE car’s tank with petrol, the very much longer time (hours) it takes to charge an EV battery (if you can even find an rare public charging point);
  • the number of adverse events and ‘rear endings’, due to manufacturing faults and faulty ‘seeing-eye’ cameras or electronics having gone rogue, that have been revealed since EVs started to become popular. The design/manufacturing faults, I am sure, far exceed the maximum number of faults allowed in other manufacturing industry areas, but are overlooked ‘because green’. And don’t forget the government’s vested interest, because of subsidies (i.e. taxpayers’ money) handed to EV makers.
  • Because of their much heavier weight, compared to an ICE car, due to the battery, and their enhanced acceleration, EV cars require tyres with stronger sidewalls and better grip to prevent wheelspin and tyre burnout. These tyres can cost up to double the price of a conventional tyre.

Other considerations include the possible spontaneous combustion of the battery, a restriction on travel range in cold weather and door locks that don’t open due to a lack of power when a driver is trapped in a vehicle fire.

Faults being discovered in the still-being-developed electronic systems are often ‘corrected’ by manufacturers downloading software updates to each vehicle. These systems can also be ‘updated’ to detect, for example, alcohol on a driver’s breath, and to shut the car down and call the police. Such a vehicle could also be tracked and shut down by other operators, too, including governments, for such offences as the driver not having filed tax returns on time or being identified as a spreader of ‘disinformation’.

The recent collapse of a multi-story car park in New York highlighted the need for structural engineers to take the extra weight of EVs into account. The owner of a house with an adjacent wooden ‘shelf’ cantilevered off the side of a Wellington hill and on which he parks his car will need to consider this, too, if he buys an EV.

There have also been complaints that the mining of lithium (a limited resource) for batteries is being carried out by children: the modern equivalent of sending children up chimneys to clean them in the Victorian era.

As the projected life for an EV seems tied to the life of its expensive battery (around eight to ten years), the whole vehicle, including worn-out battery, will very likely be thrown on the scrap heap when the battery dies or the travel range of the vehicle is seriously reduced as the battery ages.

The Banning of Carbon-Based Fuels

It would be amusing, if it weren’t so serious, to witness the scrabbling of politicians and their assistants as they come up with multifarious suggestions for replacing coal and mineral oil. Meanwhile, as China and India, each with much larger populations than the US, continue to keep coal burning and mineral oils at the centre of their economies, our Western governments hold to the line that there’s white, grey, black and green hydrogens, etc, to replace such fuels. Let’s be clear: there is only ONE hydrogen and it requires power to produce it. Hydrogen is currently produced in bulk by “steam reforming”, which requires natural gas and steam to produce hydrogen (and usually waste carbon monoxide), and electrolysis, requiring a supply of electricity.

In the US the demand for electrical power increases about three per cent each year, and 90 per cent of that increase is provided for by ‘renewables’. So if citizens replace their ICE cars with EVs, and their home heating and air conditioning with heat pumps, can the installation of renewables keep up?

In the UK and Europe, it has become obvious the installation rate of EV-charging points is only a fraction of what’s needed if ICE cars are to be banned by 2030. If there is not enough capacity in the electricity generating system, then there’s not much point in installing EV-charging points.

Charging your car at home is possible, but it’s estimated that only around 60 per cent of homes in the UK have the necessary off-road parking to accommodate this.

And what will happen when the sun don’t shine or the wind don’t blow? ‘We’ve got hydrogen,’ the recently discovered panacea. There is natural hydrogen in the ground, but what will power the heavy machinery needed to extract it, compress it and transport it? This possible natural supply is largely inaccessible for many reasons (including because it’s at the bottom of the ocean, as apparently are swags of frozen methane, also).

Those who want to use steam reforming for the production of the hydrogen to replace fuel oils should explain why they feel they need to change one existing fuel (natural gas) into another (hydrogen). Of course, hydrogen ‘burns cleaner’, but in the process of its production by the steam reforming method, huge amounts of power and water are consumed. Large amounts of carbon monoxide are also produced and this can either be discharged to the atmosphere, used as a fuel and thus produce yet more CO2 (of course) or ‘buried’ in the ‘geological formations’ our political elites dream about.

The only other useful method of producing hydrogen, used by the providers of industrial and medical gases, is by electrolysis: relying on electricity and the provision of clean, pure water.

Accountants, businesses and responsible householders keep track of income and outgoings to stay within budget. Why cannot governments provide citizens with this sort of information when forcing alternative energy sources on them? Why can’t an energy balance sheet for hydrogen fuel production by electrolysis be provided, for example? The answer: they don’t want you to know that it takes more power to produce their fancy new sources of energy than you can get out of the end product that you’re being forced to use in your car, your home and your business. That energy has to come from somewhere…

How much electrical energy is needed to produce one cubic metre of hydrogen by electrolysis, to compress it into high-pressure steel bottles and transport it to its destination and to produce the purified water that will be separated into its hydrogen and oxygen components? Total this and compare it with the energy stored in that one cubic metre. Of hydrogen, I’ve heard it said the ratio is around 5:1 (input to output). And where does all the input energy come from: occasionally functioning windmills or solar panels? Then compare this with oil or coal fuel.

Now they’ve got the bit between their teeth, governments are of course not interested in letting go of their plans, or contracts for the building of windmills, the installing of solar panels and public EV charging points because they’re not going to be needed. Neither is any massive increase in electricity generating capacity. With the start-up of ‘15-minute cities’, as in the university city of Oxford in the UK, and the implementation of “ultra-low emission zones”, as initiated by Mayor Khan in London, individual travel is going to be very severely limited. You can be sure of further ‘enhancements’. The Covid restrictions were only the precursor.

These are the real answers for the lack of will to increase generating capacity, and lack of enthusiasm for the upping of the rate at which EV charging points are installed.

This is Part One — read part two here