Tesla owners have no reason to gloat about saving the environment

Substituting electrical vehicles for legacy internal combustion engines is not sufficient to overcome decades of climate change.

The simple fact is that being rich is bad for the environment. Statistically in the 1 per cent, Tesla owners belong to a global elite who produce a sixth of the planet’s carbon and half of its flying emissions. Lest we get too righteous about their profligacy, though, they’re merely charting the way for the rest of us. Although we in the West comprise less than a fifth of humanity, we produce more than two-thirds of its carbon emissions. […]

If technology won’t reduce our carbon emissions, then, what will? The good news is that we know the answer. Recently, for example, the planet experienced the largest drop in greenhouse-gas emissions since the Second World War and it resulted from, wait for it, the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s not rocket science. We’ve known a long time that recessions reduce carbon emissions. But rather than retain the kind of lifestyle changes we began experimenting with then, too many of us persist in the delusion that buying and investing “green” will save us from hell on Earth as we resume old ways, much as medieval Europeans imagined that buying indulgences saved them from hell in the afterlife.

John Rapley, " Tesla owners have no reason to gloat about saving the environment" | Globe & Mail | August 27, 2021 at https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-own-a-tesla-youre-probably-doing-more-harm-to-the-environment-than-if/

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