Our Elitist Environmental Experts Are Driving Us Over the Cliff

Our Elitist Environmental Experts Are Driving Us Over the Cliff

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

Leftist thought leaders insist that we are facing an environmental holocaust unless we immediately, drastically reduce carbon emissions.

Yet it’s curious. The governing and influence elites demand massive societal sacrifice, while they are apparently not concerned enough to alter their own extravagant lifestyles. They own multiple sumptuous homes, cars, and yachts. They fly individual private jets to their annual meetings in Davos, Switzerland, where they assure each other that it is their solemn responsibility to save the rest of us from ourselves.

They refuse to engage in thoughtful debate on any notions that challenge their woke orthodoxy. Instead, those advocating ideas different from their own are dismissed as “climate deniers.”

Take electric vehicles. EVs are touted by enviros as the obvious antidote to carbon belching SUVs. But they aren’t.

Fossil fuels produce most of their electricity. The manufacture and disposal of batteries—and the rare metals required—have significant environmental impacts. A growing consensus now acknowledges that EVs may produce more net carbon emissions than today’s cleaner burning gasoline cars.

You would think anyone with genuine concern about the environment might reconsider EV policy. But they don’t engage. Instead, they soldier on, funding yet more subsidies, benefits, and charging stations. Taxpayers get dinged for billions with no discernible benefit.

Clearly, to these decision makers, climate change isn’t about climate. It’s about power. Egomaniacal persons of all stripes throughout history have had the unquenchable desire to control the lives of others and operate the world from their centers of power. Think Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Gates, Zuckerberg – make your own list.

One irony is that the consequences of rising temperatures may not be that harmful. According to Swedish economist Bjorn Lomborg, higher temperatures are far less harmful than lower ones.

500,000 people worldwide die annually from heat-related causes, while 4.5 million die from cold. Over the last decade or so, rising temperatures have caused 116,000 more heat deaths yearly, but also 283,000 fewer cold-related deaths per year. How many hysterical accounts of coming devastation would you have to read to learn that?

It’s not the heat but the political responses to climate change that are causing real harm. Low-cost synthetic fertilizer is an innovation that has greatly enhanced our ability to feed the world. Because it is made from natural gas, climate activists have limited its use, even though 1 billion people worldwide are facing imminent threat of starvation.

Other pressing needs have been drowned out by the insistence on prioritizing climate change. Recent increases in energy prices were exacerbated by Biden’s self-proclaimed war on fossil fuels. Europe’s refusal to capitalize on its shale reserves and their shunning of nuclear power also resulted in higher energy prices and lower security, as did subsidies of solar and wind, which are still not substantial, reliable suppliers to the electrical grid.

The costs of climate activism will be even higher if governments seriously pursue their stated aim of producing net zero emissions by 2050. The truth is that climate is a global problem. With our current technologies and geopolitical realities (i.e., China) such goals are simply not attainable.

But the price for such climate grandstanding would be $5 trillion per year for 30 years according to McKinsey. Every single American would have to pay $5,000 per year to achieve even 80% of the goal by mid-century.

Ordinary citizens are getting fed up with these elitist obsessions. Polls show climate change far down the list of Americans’ concerns.

40,000 Dutch farmers recently held a mass protest against government mandates that nitrogen-oxide and ammonia emissions, produced by livestock, be reduced by 80%. The government of Sri Lanka resigned after a ban on synthetic fertilizers decimated food production and the economy collapsed.

Remember, we’re only in the early phases of the alarmists’ grand plans to reorder society. Already, California and other areas, possibly including Arizona, are facing the threat of rolling blackouts. An EU official recently warned that millions of Europeans may not be able to heat their homes this winter.

Climate change is manageable through mitigation and innovation. The fabulously expensive, impractical nostrums being pushed by our self-appointed experts are a recipe for human suffering and chaos.

Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.

Arizona to Have Statewide Network of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Arizona to Have Statewide Network of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

By Corinne Murdock |

This summer, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) will develop a statewide network of electric vehicle charging stations. The state anticipates receiving $76.5 million in federal dollars for the project, funding courtesy of the $5 billion set aside for states through the Biden administration’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program.

ADOT announced the plans in a press release last Thursday. The initial roadmap for electric vehicle charging stations follows along the international highways running through the state, or “federally-designated corridors”: the I-8, I-10, I-17, and I-40. There’s also a proposed charging corridor for the I-19 connecting Mexico and Tucson. 

At present, ADOT is seeking public input and plans to submit an initial plan in August.

On Thursday, the Biden administration announced new standards for the NEVI Formula Program. They said that the need for the standards arose from concerns over electric vehicles’ limited range on a full charge, what they called “range anxiety,” and the possibility of few and far between charging stations, or “vehicle charging deserts.”

Arizona officials are moving ahead despite widespread bipartisan concern that only the wealthy can afford to buy electric. That’s reflected further by past recipients of tax credits for electric vehicles: nearly 80 percent were those making over $100,000. 

Additionally, critics point out that tax credits aren’t immediate relief but function to alleviate the additional financial burden on the back end. Bloomberg estimated in March that less than 15 percent of Americans could afford to buy electric.  

On the low or “mainstream” end, new electric cars cost between $27,000 and $32,000. Those more affordable models come with a lower range: about 150 to just under 230 miles for the cheapest option, and just under 260 for the high end. 

Luxury models with higher ranges cost much more. The low end just under $47,000 comes with a range of just over 270 miles to just under 360 miles. The highest range of just over 400 to 520 miles comes with a $77,400 price tag — a down payment of about $15,500. The 2020 census reported that the median household income in Arizona is about $61,500. 

By contrast, gas vehicles cover the same distance as high-end luxury electric models at a much cheaper cost than low-end mainstream electric cars. At just over $20,600, the Nissan Sentra can travel just over 400 miles on one tank. That’s about $5,000 more than the average down payment needed for an electric vehicle of comparable range — the Nissan Sentra down payment would be over $4,100.

There’s even challenges to the claims of electric vehicles’ range. Forbes reported that multiple years of road testing electric vehicles showed that marketed range fell short of actual range — an average of 20 percent less.  

Arizonans’ buying power falls further in light of the reality that the median income will cover increasingly less. Arizona families are paying over $500 more a month in household costs due to inflation. In Phoenix, inflation spiked recently to 11 percent. 

Yet, major cities are launching their own electric vehicle infrastructure initiatives as well. In addition to ADOT, the city of Phoenix announced last month its draft roadmap for widespread electric vehicle use. Phoenix leadership anticipated that up to 280,000 electric vehicles would be in the area within the next decade. Part of their initiative includes switching city vehicles to electric, establishing electric vehicle charging stations for the city and its employees, and updating the zoning ordinance and building codes by 2025 to standardize electric vehicle charging access. 

Additionally, Tucson City Council enacted a policy last summer requiring electric vehicle charging outlets on all new constructions of one- and two-family dwellings. The city is now attempting to enact a similar requirement for apartments and commercial development. The community is embroiled in controversy over city leadership’s efforts. 

Their state senator, Minority Whip Victoria Steele, attempted to pass similar legislation this session. That bill never made it to the Senate floor for a final vote, though it did pass out of committee. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Bill Would Require New Homes To Have Designated Outlet To Charge Electric Vehicles

Bill Would Require New Homes To Have Designated Outlet To Charge Electric Vehicles

Monday afternoon the Arizona Senate Committee on Government will consider a bill sponsored by Sen. Victoria Steele (D-LD9) that would prohibit a municipality or county from issuing a single-family residential building permit unless there is a special dedicated outlet for charging an electric vehicle in a garage or within 10 feet of the home’s parking area.

Under SB1102, a residential building permit could not be issued for new construction or an addition if the structure does not have a 208/240 volt, 50-ampere, NEMA 14-50 branch circuit. The required electrical work could cost up to $2,000 depending on where the home is located.

The exceptions in Steele’s bill include building permits issued for a manufactured home, a residential structure of less than 1,000 square feet, and a residential structure whose main electric service would exceed 200 ampere with the addition of a 50-ampere circuit. The bill is opposed by the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona.

SB1102 also appropriates $1,000,000 from the state’s FY22 general fund to the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA) to help support electric vehicle charging options. One-half of the funds would go to a Ready Home Pilot Program to establish guidelines and standards for the installation of a high voltage electric vehicle charging outlet.

The program would also reimburse the owner of a single-family or multifamily residential structure for the cost -up to $1,000- of installing the outlet, until the appropriated funds are exhausted.

The other $500,000 appropriated by Steele’s bill would be used by ADOA to conduct a two-year “Charging Station Pilot Program” under which state agencies could apply for funds to install electric vehicle charging stations at agency locations.
The program would also allow private entities to install and operate a retail fee-based electric vehicle charging station at various state properties, including the Legislature and property under the jurisdiction of the Arizona Board of Regents.

However, Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai (D-LD7) put forth a proposed amendment on Feb. 12 which would make the charging outlet an option, not a requirement, to obtain a building permit. The amendment also drops the provision in Steele’s bill about allowing private operation of a retail fee-based electric vehicle charging station on state-controlled property.

If SB1102 -as introduced or amended- makes it out of the Government Committee it must then get past the Appropriations and Rules Committees, neither of which are scheduled to consider the bill this week.