Every carbon-belching SUV that drives by me is paid for, not in small part, by my contribution to the forced extraction of wealth that is being transferred to a minority of people.
See, I know how it is to be forced to pay for someone else, and feel your pain.
I would far prefer to direct some of that ransom money towards technology that actually has a small chance of correcting some of those issues I've mentioned. It's a tiny, tiny amount of money that can be leveraged to extract huge behavioural changes.
I live in a highly energy efficient dwelling, have spent way beyond others to make sure my energy usage in minimised, 20 years ahead of the green movement.
I've felt nothing but frustration at government spending on crazy programs that do nothing.
I will admit for a bit I was one of those SUV driving people. It was a choice out of necessity as being a very tall person, they for some reason made cars designed for the sub 6' and being well over that mark made it quite fun to drive with a standard car. I am very pleased that the NIRO is clearly designed with tall people in mind as I have ZERO issue fitting inside.
I am very much like you in believing that subsidizing a company for the pure sake of profit is not on my list. I too am appalled that big oil has reaped the land and walked away leaving many of the ranch owners with dormant wells that are leaching out contamination yet the shell company who owns them has had their wealth transferred out and now sit effectively bankrupt and say there is no way to cover the cost of capping and cleanup. I am all for holding the real owners accountable and making them pay for the real cost of extraction from start to finish so the land is as effectively back to the same state of use it was in before the process.
I am also like you in I have worked on my own home in making it energy efficient and did it on my own dime. I did it because I found that it would serve me better and save me money to do it right from the start. I fully get that not everyone can afford to do it right and I believe in giving a helping hand for the less fortunate to help bring them up, but that is where I start to draw my line. There is a distinct difference between the haves and the really have-nots. If you look at the seriously poor, they likely don't even own a car, and if they do, it is likely one that is very inexpensive in the purchase value, but likely requires a constant amount of money to barely keep it going. These as the cars that I'd like to see get off the streets. These are the cars that are not safe and where I'd prefer to see the grant money going towards. These are the people who really need it. Not buying some $1 million BMW EV and getting a tax refund like has happened here in Ontario. I am going to gather you would be behind me on that one.
Nice post. You said a lot that was on my mind, more eloquently than I could have stated it. On the other hand, you were responding to Roadkill401's post, and while I don't always agree with him, I like reading his posts and I like hearing his point of view. Sometimes I agree, and other times I like it because even though I disagree, it reminds me that there are a lot of good people in the world who don't always think the same way that I do, and I think it's important to recognize other points of view and try to understand where people are coming from. (I like it even better when they can persuade me or I can persuade them to adopt a new point of view, but sadly, the human condition doesn't seem to allow that to happen as often as I wish).
If you're driving a Niro today, it's likely that your cost to own that vehicle has been reduced by a multitude of social planners in multiple governments who advocated for the idea that the world needs to consume less energy and pollute less, per mile travelled. I don't always like the idea of social planners (especially those who lack experience) making important decisions that affect my life, but in the current context, my impression is that the collective decision to have the government step in and get more hybrids and PHEVs and EVs in circulation was probably a good decision.
Thankyou, I will take it as a compliment. I was on vacation a week or so ago and met quite the array of people from all over the world. The one thing that sitting in a pool with a drink in hand does it breaks through the ice of preconceived notions of others and let you see really how much in common we all have rather than focusing on our differences. Sometimes we are all heading towards the same goal, just taking a different path to get there.
I will agree that innovation is the path that can and will lead to the betterment of society and the world we live in. I have followed the path of EV from the ill fated GM EV1, and how depending on who you believe and how you look at it, has shaped the direction of vehicles that we drive in today. The path to getting a better and safer car has been a really rocky road and I know full well that we are not there yet. I get that you cannot totally trust the free market to deliver what is needed and quite often needs to get the shove in the right direction to get the ball rolling. I look at food and think back just 3-4 years ago it was just about impossible to get a can of soup that wasn't loaded beyond reason with salt and sugar for no real reason. The consumer really didn't have a choice to purchase an alternative as there just wasn't anything else out there, or if there was, none of the shops offered to sell it. To say that consumers could vote with there pocketbook was like saying they could choose between eating and not eating, not really an option. Now in my local stores, about 1/3rd of the shelf space for soup is low sodium or no sodium options, and generally speaking, they are usually very low in stock as people are buying that option. I hope that in the next few years that companies will have heard the message of what consumers want.
The unfortunate part of this is I don't know how well this approach will work with large purchase items that don't get bought very much. It is not like you buy a new car every year. (well there are some on this forum who seem to). There are those who purchase based on needs be it transportation, cost, and sadly for some it is style and image. There are some who purchase with a social conscience and those who simply will not and those who cannot. I get that there is the side of if it isn't made or made available to the masses then you remove their option to choose. Perhaps the discussion should be around what is the best means of promoting the change that is needed as to move us all forward to a better tomorrow.