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How Crappy Valve Seats Made The Entire World More Stoopider

How The World's Largest Corporations Fought Very Hard to Poison Us.

4w ago
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The new rush to promote EV technology reminds me of how in the early 1970's, car makers who were facing government mileage restrictions, went out with a big bang and showered the markets with big block, tire melting, gasoline gulping beasts. Chrysler had the Hemi, Ford had the Cobra and GM had it's Big Block V8 and all made one last blast before the government forced them into performance killing restrictions. We are seeing the same, pre-EV rules, 'last gasps' being played out today with the Ram TRX, Ford's Raptor and GM's Corvette. EV technology may be here to stay, but does everyone trust it and is it really environmentally better than petrol? No one is asking what mining for Lithium does to the communities that mine for it and no one is asking how the electricity is made that charges the batteries. Well, the answers to those types of questions are better left out of the ears of the 'great unwashed masses'. The world needs smart people to tell us what is best for us...right?

She Knows What Is Best For Us

She Knows What Is Best For Us

I'm sure you have heard the old story of how the Man upstairs created the Earth in seven days. A little known fact is that on the 12th day, He created the Automobile and it was good. In the times of Adam and Eve, there were only two auto makers that really mattered, Ford and General Motors. While Ford Motor had only Ford, General Motors had Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, Pontiac and Oldsmobile and this meant that Ford only had to perfect one model automobile while General Motors had to perfect hundreds. GM soon found that the more you are asked to do, the crappier everything tends to turn out. In 1920, your average General Motors built engine sounded like two pounds of scrap metal in a blender run at full speed. GM decided that paying workers to do better quality work was too difficult and there must be an easier way to quiet a noisy engine.

While it was the Man upstairs that created the automobile, it was the man downstairs that created Tetraethyllead. Tetraethyllead, later named Ethyl, was a lead based compound that eliminated engine knock when added to gasoline. It was a wonder element that GM spent millions perfecting as a cure for poorly made engines. In 1923, through a joint venture between General Motors and Standard Oil, the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation was formed and leaded gasoline was being produced for the entire world to consume. The rub here is that at the time, Standard Oil held almost a monopoly on gasoline production and both GM and Standard Oil made a few pennies on every gallon of Ethyl gasoline made or sold all over the world, regardless of the brand of car it was going into or who refined it.

Knock Knock....Who's There?

Knock Knock....Who's There?

Problems with the leaded fuel became apparent almost immediately when, in 1924, five workers died and 35 suffered crippling hallucinations and permanent nerve damage when un-vented leaded gasoline fumes filled a New Jersey gasoline refinery. In an effort to quell public fears and to show how wholesome leaded gas can be, Ethyl Gasoline's head chemist stood in front of press cameras and washed his hands from a crystal bowl filled with leaded gasoline. Three months later, the same chemist, would be placed on paid medical leave to recover from near fatal lead exposure. While the state of New Jersey tried it's very best to outlaw the production and use of leaded fuels, the leaded gasoline monster created by Standard Oil and General Motors was able to successfully lobby the U.S. Government and halt any legislation that would outlaw leaded gas.

For over fifty years the world knew what harm leaded fuel did to both humans and the environment. But, smarter people knew what was better for us. It wasn't until the 60's that GM would divest itself from the Ethyl Gasoline Company, and soon after in the 70's that leaded gasoline for automobiles would be outlawed. The damage had been done. Generations of adults and children, exposed to lead in the air and water, suffered from neurological impairment. Even birds, fish, air and ground water were found to have alarming levels of lead, decades after the ban on leaded gasoline.

The Future Will Be A Utopia

The Future Will Be A Utopia

Lithium based EV automobiles are here to stay. But, do we really know what harm can come from the introduction of large amounts of heavy metals, such as Lithium, Cobalt and Magnesium, into our environment? Not every old battery will be recycled and the manufacturing process is far from clean. But, these concerns are not for us members of the great unwashed masses, there are far smarter people that will take care of our wellbeing. Right?!

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Comments (5)

  • Love the idea of Adam and Eve driving a Ford and a GM

      1 month ago
  • I don't think leaded Gasoline can be compared with EVs but i liked the satirical tone of the article.

      1 month ago
    • I just think that 20 years from now pop-eyes and goiters caused by increased Lithium exposure and hyper-thyroids will be a badge honor for those who helped save the polar bears.

        1 month ago
  • Good point, well made.

      1 month ago
  • Thomas Midgley was the man that put the lead in gasoline. He also created Freon, the CFC.

    He did manage to strangle himself with one of his inventions.

    But regarding the opening part of your essay, the environmental and social effects of EV production and electrical generation are probably the most scrutinised there are.

    And just remember that the laptop I am typing this on, and my mobile phone, use the same technologies.

    So stop perpetuating myths, like the science of climate change, the argument is over.

      1 month ago
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