A response to a post about the banning of I.C.E's by Shahzad Sheikh.
I have been looking for time to expose my opinnions about this and Mr. Sheikh really gave me a good chance with his post, thank you.
Some time ago Mr. Shahzad Sheith relased a post about the banning of the I.C.E, dividing his argument in 3 points, I will shortly explain every point he made and then I will give my opinnion about them at the end, also, if any part of this post seems weirdly written it is because this is not that much of an article but a script of some sort, as I will eventually try to narrate all my posts in order to practice my deteriorating english pronunciation. Anyway, let's begin.
Mr. Sheikh begins his post explaining who and what country is planning this prohibtion, some of the consequences that matter the most to us while also admitting the cause of birth for that abominable piece of legislation, that being the personal transport sector's protagonist role in global warming, but certainly, Mr. Sheikh points out that the car is not the only responsible of this climate crisis, as an example he points out that 15 of the largest cargo ships pollute more in a year than every (registered/known to be working and used) car in the same time period.
He also says something that is extremely right yet devastating for us in the same way, but I would like to leave that for the final part of the post, as I want to elaborate about that later.
And now: Mr. Sheikh main arguments:
1. IT’S THE EQUIVALENT OF NUKING YOUR HOUSE TO GET RID OF A SPIDER INFESTATION
This point reaches a variety of subjects, beginning with the correct classification of this banning as an overreaction to then continue talking about how willing the car industry is to comply as this banning will generate a massive demand for cars and thus an equally massive profit, while on the other side, exposing the PSA group boss discontent regarding this and his statement about this being almost impossible for the industry. Mr. Sheikh then finishes this part by pointing the actual enviromental impact of the processing of lithium and cobalt for batterys: poisonning (mainly acidification) of neraby water bodys as well as the rather disturbing fact that many countrys that supply these minerals still use slave labor both from adults and children. To finish this first point Mr. Sheikh states his corncern about the durability of these new components and the total enviromental, economical, and fiscal cost of the fabrication/recycling/disposal and transport required.
2. WHERE DO I BLOODY CHARGE THIS THING?
Recharge time and energy demand are the main subjects here, the first one translates the relatively long charging time into rather unconvenient queues if not detrimental to some activities while the second explains that the increase of energy demand will force cities and countries to renovate a significant part of its electrical infrastructure and create more power stations, specifically nuclear power plants according to Mr. Sheikh.
3. CAPTAIN, WE'RE GOING TO NEED MORE DILITHIUM CRYSTALS
Alternatives are something that are criminally underrated/ignored, usually pushed aside as if they will never develop onto something useful (like the EV back 5 or 7 years ago). Well Mr. Sheikh does not ignore them, proposing an alternative for both fossil fuels and lithium-ion batterys, one of the many alternatives to fossil fuels chosen by Mr. Sheikh is co2 based fuel, a fairly good idea that I can't imagine why it has gone under the radar (other than censorship and willfull ignorance) and on the other side, diamond batterys, offering increased capacity range and durability.
An that is pretty much it about Mr. Sheikh's post, the only thing left to mention is his poll, where 77% of 1721 users see this banning bandwagon as a potential disaster.
And now... my opinion
DISCLAIMER: If you are going to be offended/annoyed because of what I think about anything doesn't align with what you think or you think you can't possibly be wrong, then this is your time to leave this post. Also, I feel it's necessary to say that anything of what I said/say/will say is NOT aimed to annoy anybody or pretend that I am some sort of truth-bearer, all of this is merely my oppinion based on what I have observed during the development of the events of the last 2-3 years and what I have been able to investigate by my own.
And really now my opinion:
1. It is indeed an overreaction, but a strategic one...
In all honesty I no longer belive in any goverment's good will, I have seen way too many examples on political partys having as a primary objective erasing whatever advancement the opposition has done just because the opposition made it (one step forward and another back) just to reassure their possition of "superiority"; confirmation bias is at an all time high within our society as well as that stupid mindset of "you are either with or against me", basically I see any goverment or just enveryone going out of their way to downplay whatever opposes them and gloryfi themselves in order to end up as heroes, and that is where I draw this conclusion, [puts on tinfoil hat] whoever made this indiscriminated banning, is not trying to help the world but himself, my reasoning? Well, the brexit will take a heavy toll on UK's economy and by prohibiting an essential product (ICE cars) while offering an alterative (EV's) they will create an artificial boom in the transport sector "saving" the economy and drawing whoever pushes that atrocity as the face of progress and prosperity, that, (I believe) has already been done albeit in a smaller scale and in a different industry sector.
2. It isn't that bad but there is indeed TENSION in the ambient.
I can't really say a lot about batterys and their rechaging time, while 10 minutes is nothing to scoff at, it can be detrimental to people's schedules, and not everybody has a home with garage to have a personal charger, wich leads me to questionning how much use and abuse will a public charger be able to support, considering repeated daily use, accidental misuse and the enevitable human incompetece or vandalism, I guess charging stations will be like current gas stations, a defined land section with security cameras and other systems.
Let's focus now on the energetic demand, we have more than enough methods to satisfy it but the implications of using some of them are too much of a disadvantage in comparison with others, eliminating them as an option, that is where Mr. Sheikh manifested his worry about the increase on numbers of nuclear powerplants, there, I assume, he took into acount costs risks and benefits, but even then I think this worry about nuclear power is a bit unnecesary, nuclear power is just better at everything, better energy output that any other, practically no pullution (other than the one emmited during building, supplying and the waste itself), the fuel used is inmensly energetically dense which makes it very efficient and the facilities are way smaller than hydroelecric dams, solar and/or wind farms and other thermo-electric powerplants (the ones using fossil fuels, natural gas or coal...) rendering them less intrusive in the ecosystem.
"But how about the dangers of a core meltdown or radioactive leaks?"
Ok, while possible, both of them are rare and almost always consequence of missinformed/untrained/incompetent staff, and while dangerous as they are, if treated properly, they are still completely safe, also uranium can be recycled through the enrichment process.
"But the increase of nuclear use could create a big nuclear market that could imply the increase of nuclear weapons."
Well, yes and no, while it is true that almost no pilitician has good will, nuclear powerplants are used in the nuclear disarming program, a lot of times, the fuel for these plants comes from discarded nuclear warheads.
"I'm still not conviced, the potential for disaster is too high for my liking"
Understandable, it is true that if Tesl- I mean sh*t meets the fan in a nuclear powerplant the consequences can be... well, long lasting devastation really... BUT, What if I told you that there is an alternative to uranium that is pretty much a direct upgrade in almost everything?
THORIUM: Compared with uranium, it basically has a better ore density (more mineral by cubic metre of ground) same energy density and it is way more stable so weapons are basically a waste of resources and catastrophic incidents are nowhere near as bad, speaking of catastrphe prevention, if there is a core meltdown in a thorium fueled reactor, the bottom of the chamber melts down allowing the de-stabilized material to drop down and relase its energy in a controlled manner within a special containment chamber.
"If it is so good then why we haven't heard of it being used?"
Well, you cant make a profit where there is no demand, and it is also found in "rare earths", landmasses with other valuable minerals that are, for now, more profitable, thorium is basically a by-product of these mining operations. We will have to wait for a while, untill the uranium runs out or someone finds a bettew way to extract thorium.
3. Choices choices... criminally, maybe even willingly ingnored choices...
Now here is something that will piss off many EV enthusiasts: the I.C.E can be perfectly carboneutral, we have the tech and in a few years we will have the fuels, I will not get into detail (COUGH-COUGH shamelessplug COUG-COUGVID NOISES) but just so you know: Repsol and a californian company called Prometheus Fuels are already taking steps towards the production and comertialization of co2 based gasoline substitute, not as an aditive, not as a new fossil fuel composition, no, a literal substitute, a recyclable gasoline that emmits as much co2 as it takes to make it, and hydrogen is no way as much of a bad idea as you might have been taught or think, HYDI is an australian business that has developed a hydrogen injection system where the electrolisys is made on the run (no, electrolysis doesn't take that much energy, and the texan university of Rice has made even more improvements to that), the system uses destilated water and is basically a hybrid injection system for big diesel engines (from 6 to 40 litres of displacement), allowing to significantly reduce the use of fuel and making up for it with freshly made hydrogen, not exactly carboneutral but hey, its better that we what we currently have, and it has only been used with regular diesel, imagine the results with hydrogenated vegetable oil...
Now... the diamond batteries... I could've sworn that I heard about them a long time ago, and negatively, and indeed I did, I can't get into detail because I'm very uninformed about this product but some time ago I found a video by someone who is usually right about busting some product scams or just pointing out mediatic noise, said person is way more informed than I am, he is a scientist working in a nuclear powerplant and while I don't like his slighly... erm..."cuntish"? tone (I should not complain here, afterall one can only take so much condescension, zealotry and entitlement before turning bitter and cynical [hint, fkn hint]), I do have reasons to belive him; here is the video. So, since I can't say anything for or against these batteries, let's move on to hydrogen.
Hydrogen, besides being acclaimed since 2007 or even earlyer, is considered a mith by some "members" of the car comunity (don't look too deep in the quoted members, I have my reasons but they do not matter here) no, seriously, someone told me that hydrogen (as a product not as an element) is another of Big Oil's lies, well, to said person and for a lot of others, hydrogen is perfectly viable, perhaps not as a fuel but as a substitute for lithum-ion batteries which are not that good, anyway, I already spoke a bit about the HYDI device and mentioned an advancement made by the Rice university, and now there is even a microscopic algae capable of producing it, an Israeli scientific team has managed to extract hydrogen from said algae, and while it is still an experiment, you can't deny that the prospect of hydrogen farms isn't too much of a stretch or impossibility.
Down with the system indeed, but we have to get rid of our fear and passivity.
Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.
We have a massive problem, it is not the viavility of our machines, nor it is what we do with them, it is the kind of people against us, and I see it neccesary to try and explain the whys and hows of some of these people, precieed trough my own understanment.
A long time ago, I think during the 2008 economical crysis, I did read a piece of a criticysm article in a newspaper which stated something I belive to be very true: "Restriction and prohibition: the first and only tool for the coward and lazy". The lazy will restrict enough to not be bothered by whatever they find problematic, and the coward will prohibit to avoid any contact instead of facing/adapting it/to it. And that is exactly what I see happening nowdays, lazy people in positions of power taking advantage of the common people's fears and convictions.
Ignorance births prejudice, prejudice brings fear and fear will eventually lead to violence. Ignorance, as I've seen too few people aware about alternatives, trating the ICE (and a lot of other things but ICE's are the main subject here) as a lost cause or irredeemable; Prejudice, as I and many others have been treated as if we were some sort of evil movement that wants to destroy the planet or just want trouble; Fear, as I have seen various examples of people reacting in a very unnecesary and dare I say ridiculous way to just a few friends hanging out with their cars, once I witnessed three cars: a 90's Celica, a BM- I mean Mini and a Megane across the street in front of my friend's small summer house, they were just there, enjoying the nice shade from a building a two palm trees, and from the house to the left of my friend's, I hear, muffled but clearly, "Paco, I don't like those brats from accross the street, get ready with the phone", then, right after the just arrived celica started openning it's driver's side door upwards (it had scissor doors and I think I should mention the mini had bbs looking wheels and a modded exhaust which I think those things already rustled that woman's jimmies)), I hear the same voice "OH MY GOD, they are mobsters like from the films, quickly Paco, call the police before they hurt someone"; I'm fairly certain that you have seen either by yourself or in videos, events or situations where no hubbub, mess or trouble, not even a car meet was going on but someone had to call the cops because people who gather up with their cars/bikes are dagerous gangs because apparently the Fast and Furious saga is a documentary series instead of an action-fiction movie series, here is a video with an example. And then, sadly there is violence, I have been fortunate enough to not experience these kind of things neither directly or indirectly, but I have watched videos and read stories shared by eyewitnesses and victims that are just mindboggling, not for the scale of the actions perpetrated, but for the reasons, as I said, from the typical assumption that a modded/sporty car belongs to a gang member or that that sort of things are done by bad people (same mentality some people have towards tattoos now that I think of it) to just straight up hate and people taking it personally, and the actions range from petty vandalism to actually ganging up to damage someone's car and sometimes in extreme cases, the owner; Once I found a video of a man trying to beat the cars leaving a car meet with a baseball bat or something similar.
But not everything will end up in violence, no, that would be rather inconvenient to some of these people, because violence is for tyrants to enforce their will, and these people are ot tyrants at all, (ofcourse they're not, not at all... can't you see their halo over their head? No?¿ well that's 'cos you're a HERETIC and thus uncapable of wittnessing their moral superiority!!!) They don't need to enforce, they have other methods to make you do what they want and believe what they say, they do something even worse than aggression or "repercussions", they manipulate, or as Mr Sheikh very accurately said: DEMONIZE. Manipulating can be many things, from only telling half truths or whatever is most convenient to your side, to threatening, guilt-tripping, and in this case: criminalizing, these people can't just get rid of whatever they see as a problem/obstacle because their surrounding society might get suspicious or call them out on ther definitively-not-at-all-bullsh*t, so they do the next "best" thing, do you want something gone but you cant get rid of it even if you have the power? then get someone else to do it or you make the people want you to get rid of it, getting someone else to do it might leave traces pointing towards you so you have to try to make your percieved problem/obstacle also the society's problem too. How does this apply to the banning of the I.C.E? Non car people don't care about us or just staight up hate us, they want us gone, but by themselves they can't do nothing to us because that would interfere with our rights (of private property, integrity, etc), but if they illegalize what we have/do now, we will automatically turn into (unwilling) criminals or delinquents, and what rights does a criminal has? Only the right to remain silent (and a few others to ensure health annd safety), they can't risk violating our rights as free people but they can circumvent that problem by making what we do/use illegal so our rights are revoked in a detention, and ofcourse using the risk of police intervention to deterr us from excersising our rights... But ofcourse, all that is only my own speculations, reality can be very different... I say it because I'm sure I'm not the only one noticing how hard reality is trying to surpass fiction this 2020...
Master yourself, master the enemy.
You can't tidy up anything in your life if you are a mess as well, the way I percieve the current state of Car Culture in general is massive disorganization and a fear to act against the people who want to hamper our ways out of fear of retaliation, we have been already villanized even to the eyes of the most progressive groups, it is understandable that the car community tries to ignore them or just let them be and act as if they wern't there, but there is a limit, you can't just ignore a problem in hopes of it just fading away, specially when that problem is people trying to organize in order to erase one of the keystones of what has become a culture to us, our greatest problem, without a doubt, is that in fear of retaliation, we let ourselves be beaten and that can't stand, WE, more than anybody else have to take care of Car Culture and the people that keep it alive, nobody but us cares about what we love, non car people only see cars a tool, a chore, a neusance, the don't understand why we do what we do or why we enjoy it, and in true human fashion " If I can't understand, collect, subjugate or control it, then I must destroy it". They won't care how much we lose because they don't see a loss, they can't see the real damage they are doing because to them, we are just crying over what they see as broken toys instead of the indivial history, the meaning, the time investment, the strife, the dream, the motivation, the sheer happynes cars provide us, they can't understand why, because they just don't care and them not caring is not a bad thing in and of itself, but they still don't care and thus they won't bother to check how we are/feel about it, and at the end of the day, it is not their responsability to care for us, that is OUR responsability, we are part of Car Culture, we, by existing make it a reality and it is our responsability and duty to mantain and protect it, I know that at a superficial level things might look fine if not a bit rocky, but we are heading towards a future where we are left out and forced to become a shadow of what we are, it is not fair, one thing is progressing and advancing and other very different thing is being carelessly shoved and dragged along, we do not deserve this and we have to remind them that we too exist and want to be happy, we have the right to be happy and if our happyness and furfilment is based on a vehicle with an ICE and the activities derived from it, then it should be respected, hell, I think it is reflected in the Declaration of Human Rights: The right of an individual/group of individuals to perform and excecise their freedom to accomplish activities to reach personal or comunal satisfaction and wellness.
So not only this whole sh*tshow would be a scene of mass manipulation, poor management, possible censoship, willfull ignorance and fear of acting but it would also be in violation of one of the most important documents in modern history.
We have to do something, I can't say that the banning is made out of ill will, but it has opened a way for ill willed people to get a sense of entitlement and validation against us, we have to gather up as a global community and show that we can improve and adapt on our own ways and that the banning is unncessary. Forget JDM, USDM, KDM, EDM, etc, forget nationalitys, forget local laws (don't take the laws part too literally, I'm just saying that you should try to keep in mind that laws in other places are more or less restictive, regardless of what you do, please respect the law), forget styles, forget your fears and speak up, because if you don't, we might lose a massive chunk of our culture and thus ourselves. We must tell them as a single voice what we want, why we do what we do and why we need them to repect it and what we can do to adapt to eachother without interfering, we have to collaborate with them to actually improve and move forwards and we can only do that as a cohesive group, and right now, we are too scattered not as a strictly physical way but as a cultural/social way, because for THEM to understand US, we have to understand eachother among ourselves first, if we understand ourselves we can self evaulate and identify weaknesses and possible self improvement, with the bonus of correctly explain ourselves to them; through self understanding we can be capable of defending ourselves where and when we need it against anybody.
That is what I think we need: unity and coordination, only then we can avoid what, however you might want to approach it, is a legitimate distopia -"Oh come on, you are just exagerating" oh, AM I?, AHEM: Dystopias are often characterized by dehumanization, tyrannical governments, environmental disaster or other characteristics associated with a cataclysmic decline in society. Now point by point:
Dehumanization? Check, as I said before we are being demonized, but we are not alone, keep in mind that we are not the only victims of cancel-culture. Then there are some other situations where people are treated like trash by certaing goverments... no need to explain...
Tyrannical goverments? Check, but with some remarks, we have over all an increasingly retrograde right wing, an apathic centre and an increasingly manipulative left wing, so yeah, while not exactly tryants, they are starting to show some bad tendences and well the fact that many politicians nowdays take some decissions by vote and then they do whatever they want regardless if the voters wanted it or not, so yeah, not exactly tyranny but moral bankrupcy.
Enviromental disaster? Check, I don't think I need to explain human-derived climate change, I mean I would, but I would like to ask something to the deniers: Why? What makes you think it is an invention/hoax? It is relatively easy to understand, in fact since the 1st year of highschool we are been taught how our climate and enviroment work by themselves, then over that we got to analyse how human acivity affects it. I don't understand why so many people deny it...
Decline in society? Very much check: Flatearthers, anti-vaccines, pacifist protests used as an excuse for violent riots, negacionism in general, the fact that the internet, the best method of tranmission and spread of data so far, has done way more damage than it has done good because it has enabled the worldwide, unrestricted, uninspected spread of misinformation designed to be more appealing and easier to come across in order to obscure true data to an increasingly lazy population, the fact that said misinformnation has been promoted by political leaders and multimillionary corporations with more than enough power to avoid it but instead they chose short-term benefits... As I said before... Total and absolute moral bankrupcy at a social, political and economycal level...
So yeah, I don't think you can blame me for thinking that we are f*cked, maybe not apocalyptically f*cked but f*cked nonetheless... But let's just play along and act as if I was right, the way I see it, we might be f*cked, but I don't think thats an excuse for us to not try to make things better, it is likely nowhere near that bad but we still have to do something, as I said before, we are disorganized and scattered, with what I precieve as fear of retaliations, we have to find unity and overcome our fears, only then we will be able to get our point across and avoid the disgraceful loss of one of, if not the most important caracteristic of our cars and culture.
The banning is bullss*t, the problem is the fuels, not the engines, appart of missinformation and our own passivity. If we want to get out of this somewhat unscathed then we have top get our sh*t together and show how we can improve without the need of abandoning arguably the best trait of our cars.
A few words to the reader before fianlly finishing this post.
First of all thank you very much for making it up to this point, I am aware that sometimes I may have ended up veering off the point of the conversation or dragging the whole thing for far longer than it should, I'm not a writer or a journalyst, I have not the slightest idea of how to write a propper/professional article except for the things I know I don't want in one, I hope the whole experience was comfortable and easy enough to follow while also being clear about what I had to say.
Second, I am somewone who considers Car Culture to be apolitical to the maximun degree, I say this because I had to talk about my opinions and presumptions about possible political implications which might prompt some of you to light up torches and sharpen pitchforks. Rest assured that I did my absolute best to not let any political influece stain this post, whatever you might have found to be incorrect or offensive is there merely for comedic factor or because it is the literal, most accurate representation of my feeling towards the main subject, so if you get your jimmys rustled, keep in mind you might have had a slight predisposition towards it and if you don't, well, sorry, I tried, can't make everyone happy...
Once again massive thanks to you dear reader and petrolhead for going though all this and specially you @SHAHZAD SHEIKH for giving me some sort of cue for me to make this post, I feel as if the banning hasn't been talked enough other than the 1 to 2 paragraph rant or the typical quick comment, much less as seriously as Mr.Sheikh has done, and so, with this post not only I aim to privide an answer worthy of the honesty and good sense Mr. Sheikh portrayed in his post but also provide at least a vague direction as to where Car Culture should be moving as a collective.