Electric Not The Answer

Over one billion motor vehicles are in service around the globe. No one on the planet can recall a time without cars or trucks, although as a child I recall the ragman riding the streets of Jamaica Plain, calling out, “Bring out your rags.”

I have taken rickshaws in Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Thailand.

But most of my overland travel has been done by cars and the other day I was at an opening for LC Armstrong. Her husband runs an energy acquisition company. Many of the invitees were business associates. An artist was arguing against fracking.

“It’s a dirty business.”

“We don’t do much of it.”

They were into slant-drilling in Long Beach.

“That’s what all oil companies say.”

Profits for the energy industry was up everywhere.

“For us it’s the truth.”

“It doesn’t matter,” I interjected with a glass of wine in my hand.

“Why doesn’t it matter?” the artist had just returned from a successful campaign in Europe.

“Because we’re already doomed. The world cannot sustain cars or this economy based on cars.”

“And what will take its place?” The oil exec was wearing a hand-tailored suit. “Electric cars?”

“No cars.”

“No cars?” exclaimed the painter.

“No cars at all. No electric cars. No gas powered cars. No cars.” The auto industry loved building ugly electric cars.

My prediction unified the painter and oil exec.

“Cars will be here forever.”

“They weren’t here 200 years ago and that is part of forever. Fifty years from now there will be no cars. Maybe even sooner.” I wasn’t about to tell them that the world population with be reduced by climate change from the present six billion to 500 million. People aren’t ready for that news.

“Never happen.”

“Never has a funny way of not being never.” I shrugged and went over to my host.

“Thanks for the lovely evening.”

Philip loved my writing and I asked him for a job.

I wasn’t a hypocrite about cars. I loved GTOs and needed money for my kids. They will see the time of no cars and I think I will too.

If I’m lucky.

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