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Post-truth…  August 1, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Interesting point here… Tim Hollo discussing Elon Musk’s big battery for South Australia argues that:

While we got a taste for it in Australia under Tony “don’t believe anything I haven’t written down” Abbott’s government, the idea sprang into the global mainstream last year with Donald Trump’s election campaign and the Brexit bus.

It seemed that truth no longer mattered. Facts were not just unimportant, but barriers to be smashed through with rhetoric. Demonstrating beyond reasonable doubt that a politician was lying no longer had any impact. Even when people agreed that he (usually) was lying, they still supported him, because he activated a frame or a value that drove their political decision-making.

I don’t disagree. But I think that rhetoric will almost always be shown up by reality. If the rhetoric is empty or false eventually it will be found out. As Hollo notes:

…sometimes politics comes up hard against reality.

Sometimes? Always. Sooner or later.

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1. GW - August 1, 2017

Hm. I saw this an found Musk’s claims – erm – how shall I put it – as ambitious.

Tech-optimism also crashes in to reality. Always.

Also lithium batteries have considerable energy costs in construction and deployment. And a limited lifetime, at which point they have to be replaced and the materials hopefully recycled. Also an energy cost.

None of these energy costs ever seem to figure in the fan-boys accounts.

What’s Musk about? – Well essentially it’s cornering the battery market. If the idiocy of individual electric cars to replace fossil fuel cars becomes hegemonic, as the auto industry wants it to, then monopolists of battery and battery charging supply will make a killing.

Don’t get me wrong – as an eco-socialist I’m all for exiting the fossil fuel economy ASAP, but we have to be honest about the material and social infrastructure of what replaces it, and the context of monopolising capitalism in which it is currently taking place, much too slowly.

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2. GW - August 1, 2017

This study gives about 1/10 of a tonne of CO2 emmissions per KWh of electric-car battery.

For Musk’s 130 MWh battery I make that 13,000 Tonnes CO2 emission.

A typical US car emits 4.7 Tonnes of CO2 per anum.

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