It seems counterintuitive that electric vehicles would have negligible if not negative effects on carbon emissions. We see around us a growing wave of electric vehicle (EV) use and commercialization mostly with regards to its utility for a greener environment. When we think of electricity, we think of batteries, cord and cables, and plugging into wall-sockets. Hardly do we imagine fossil fuels or power plants when using electric appliances. This is not to mention the carbon-expensive methods of manufacturing our electricity and electric storage appliances.
The New York Times noted that the world’s coal plants are significantly increasing, along with the fact that much of the world uses fossil fuel powered electricity grids rather than nuclear or hydropower. Having fossil fuel generated electricity defeats much of the claimed benefits with EVs.
A great example is Germany, which remained firm on fossil fuels due to its reliability and cost. In fact fossil fuel composes 80% of Germany’s energy consumption. It was made clear to Germany that to have any difference in CO2 emissions, the energy grid which supplies EVs would also need to be green such as wind, solar, etc. These forms of power are expensive and in fact can contribute to much habitat loss and waste considering its manufacturing. Th dependence on fossil fuels which powers EVs is also readily apparent, as Germany produces 10 times the EV CO2 emissions as France – which has a significantly lower power grid dependence on fossil fuels.
Surprisingly, China experienced less emissions with greater numbers of petroleum vehicles rather than EVs. Examining the global effects of CO2 emissions between petroleum vehicles and EVs, studies similarly find that EV’s increase overall emissions more than Petroleum vehicles. When we hear of EVs being better for the environment, perhaps we ought to consider further the details behind the power grid, and not merely the catch-all phrase. As usual, the problem is far more complicated, and the current data shows that if we do wish to reduce CO2 emissions, we need to do better than simply driving new Teslas.
It seems counterintuitive that a mitigation to a growing heroin problem in Vancouver is for local authorities to provide heroin for a select group of addict. If the goal is not to free people of addiction but rather to ‘reduce societal impact’ then such a counterintuitive approach may be taken. Such addicts are less likely to end up dead, commit crimes, or sell themselves into prostitution. There is a merely aesthetic net-positive on society from this. However we know that addiction is a destructive parasitic illness. Certainly most would agree that providing an obese man a consistent supply of soda does nothing for the individual.
A program of 26 heroin addicts in Vancouver CA is doing precisely the aforementioned. Kevin Thompson, a participant, states how the heroin-availability program allows him to keep his job while also getting high consistently, otherwise he would ‘break into a car’ to score drugs. In the addict logic, there is only a binary decision of getting more narcotics or devolving into criminal acts for the former. Rationally speaking, these are obviously not the only two options a society must take. It merely highlights that Thompson for example is but one day without his fix away from the very crimes the program is trying to avoid – something which is guaranteed by continuous heroin usage.
People in Vancouver also believe the program to be a form of blackmail, as some may think of the most severely addicted as hopelessly trapped into heroin. Therefore the program is once again an aesthetic act of ‘societal mitigation’ and the feeding of a habit which leaves its participants sunken in illness.
It seems counter intuitive that firearms, weapons of self-defense, would put one in more danger – with statistics to support it. With so many guns – 85 per 100 persons – the U.S. is swimming in potential danger, only with the civil-war-ridden Yemen to top the U.S. in terms on guns per capita. Due to this prevalence of guns alone, an article in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine found that children in America are 11 times more likely to die from a gun accident than in other developed countries.
The Harvard professor David Hemingway notes that having a gun in the home makes you more likely to be shot. If one does not have a firearm, the chances are nearly zero. However, when one puts bullets and a way for them to be fired in their home, the immediate risk of something being fired increases exponentially. This may be for a variety of reasons, the most numerous of which include suicide, accidental misfire, or aggravated attacks with a firearm. People tend to be safer by utilizing the police.
Moreover, the prevalence of guns in the U.S. also contributes to a ballooning suicide rate in states with wore guns. How do we combat this? The Harvard Professor suggests limiting gun purchases to one per person per moth to reduce trafficking, increased use of gun safes, and improved background checks. Clearly the sheer number of guns in the U.S. is detrimental to many individuals and families. When one person commits suicide with a firearm, an entire family is broken. Limiting numbers and availability may in fact be the best route for treatment of gun related societal ills.