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Confirmed Again: The Green Agenda Is Taking Us Backward

All the cool kids say humanity has to abandon fossil fuels and rely on wind and solar for our electricity and battery-operated cars (which remind us of the toys we played with as kids) to get around. It’s the future, they say. So why does it seem more like the past?

Let’s begin with a fascinating “fer instance”: 

“Classic Cars,” says a Motorious headline from late last  month, “Are Greener Than Electric Vehicles.” The story below the headline refers to a study from ​​British insurance company Footman James, which is “refreshing,” says the article’s author, “because it doesn’t talk emotional rage, sticking  instead to the inconvenient facts.”

And what are those facts?

  • “A classic car notching up the national average of 1,200 miles emits 563kg of CO2 a year. By comparison, a new Volkswagen Golf has a carbon footprint of 6.8 tonnes of CO2 the day it leaves the factory, a figure it would take our average classic 12 years to match.”
  • “For an electric vehicle, the footprint is even greater. A battery-powered Polestar 2 creates 26 tonnes of CO2 during its production, emissions that would take a typical classic more than 46 years to achieve. By which time, the EV’s cutting-edge lithium-ion battery would have long since lost its ability to hold a charge and been consigned to the nearest recycling facility.”
  • “Footman James rightly points out that within that 46-year period, the Polestar 2’s battery will need to be replaced, maybe even swapped for a new one twice or more,” writes Steven Symes for Motorious. “And what happens to the battery? Can it really be recycled? The answer for now is no. Meanwhile, the classic car keeps running without contributing significantly to a landfill. But you should feel bad for driving such an awful pollution machine, or so we’re told.”

The narrative says EVs are greener but that’s because the true-believers “just look at tailpipe emissions, behaving as if that’s everything in the equation. They don’t consider pollution generated by the manufacturing process,” says Symes.

That’s not something Symes has made up. It’s the reality. EVs are dirty … and racist.

So what else have the Green Shirts given us?

Blackouts. “Rush toward green energy has left U.S. ‘incredibly’ vulnerable to summer blackouts, expert warns,” says a Fox News headline from Monday. “I think the entire country is incredibly vulnerable, because the entire country is facing a huge energy shortage and I don’t think there is any place that is truly safe,” Daniel Turner, founder and executive director at Power the Future, told the network.

Power rationing. Things are so bleak in Great Britain due to high energy costs (always a hallmark of renewables) and the war in Ukraine, that the government might have no choice but to ration electricity “in a manner similar to Edward Heath’s three-day week in the 1970s,” reports the Daily Mail. The scenario could have been avoided, says Watts Up With That, “if Britain maintained coal capacity and developed shale gas reserves.” 

Famine. A presidential ban on chemical fertilizers last year wrecked Sri Lanka’s harvest. Even though the ban was lifted “after widespread protests,” says Reuters, “only a trickle of chemical fertilizers made it to farms, which will likely lead to an annual drop of at least 30% in paddy yields nationwide.” Other media reports indicate that a “spiraling food crisis looms,” in the country. Similar environmental nincompoopery is threatening food production in the agriculturally rich Netherlands, where the government has proposed cutting nitrogen oxide and ammonia emissions by half by 2030.

While the political-activist-media industrial complex continually promises a grand future of green energy powering a clean planet, our world is becoming more primitive. This is a rotten tradeoff, but it’s how things are and will be until more of us realize the “cool kids” aren’t so cool after all.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • The insanity of ‘green’ policies is easily demonstrable, but you’re not going to make any headway with their proponents until you disabuse them of the popular delusion that man-made carbon dioxide (and other ‘greenhouse gases’) are causing irreversible ‘climate change’ and will destroy the Earth. So long as they believe that they are ‘saving the planet’, they will remain convinced that their (meaning our) sacrifice is necessary.

  • Your article did the same thing when you only considered the tailpipe emissions of the classic cars and compared them to the manufacturing emissions of the electric cars. It would have been more honest to include the carbon footprint of the manufacturing the classic car. It doesn’t help our cause when we engage in fundamentally dishonest arguments.

    • I kindof agree with this, but it also occurred to me that the article has a point, and it applies not just to classic cars, but used cars in general: if a car is already built, it has no manufacturing costs, just repair costs.

      This is an important consideration when buying a car, and deciding between new, new electric, and used, and considering that some people get a new car every three years, automatically, while ignoring both that the cost of a car typically drops dramatically after three years, and that the same car has years, and possibly even decades, of life still in it.

      It would have been nice if the article made that more explicit, though. That, and I would *really* like to see the carbon footprint difference of making an EV car vs a typical ICE car.

  • Its just a forced Back to Nature movement from a a bunch of idiots who watched way too many episodes of Captain Planet and Network Earth when they were kids

  • For sure, most people associate an electric car with the word “environmentally friendly”. Electric vehicles don’t have the exhaust emissions of a classic car, but that doesn’t make them 100% environmentally friendly. First, no one has canceled harmful emissions from tire and brake wear. Secondly, it would be fair to consider harmful emissions throughout the entire life cycle of a car, and not just while driving, and here a number of studies come to disappointing conclusions. It is generally accepted that including electric vehicles in the list of vehicles with zero CO2 emissions was a premature decision in the EU, since it means that electric vehicles do not generate such emissions. The reality is that, in addition to the CO2 emissions that come from the production of electric vehicles, almost all EU countries generate significant CO2 emissions while charging cars’ batteries. So the statements about the 100% environmental friendliness of electric vehicles are nothing more than a myth, because the production of electric vehicles itself causes more harm to the environment than the production of a car. It is hard to argue with the fact that the future belongs to electric vehicles. Given the development of technology, most likely, manufacturers will be able to reduce battery charge time and increase the travel range on a single charge.

  • Check your facts. I don’t 1,200/year is the correct figure for average mile driven . I think you misplaced the decimal. 12,000 /year is closer to reality.

    • That figure is for *classic* cars — not modern cars — as the study linked to in that quote makes clear.

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