Clark Cross’s blog on TCW yesterday, ‘That’s enough emissions from you, Selwyn’, about the complete unfeasibility of the pronouncements of Lord Deben (better known as John Selwyn Gummer) on phasing out petrol and diesel cars by 2030 – that is in 18 years – brought such a brilliant crop of informed comments from our readers that we decided we couldn’t restrict ourselves to one. So here are extracts from several. Lord Deben had better look away now.

LoveMeIamALiberal wrote:

Replacing all petrol and diesel cars with electric ones is completely unrealistic. A few facts:

There are 10 kilos of lithium in an electric car’s batteries. 43,000 tons of lithium were produced in 2017, a record amount. If all of went to produce electric cars we would be able to produce 4,300,000 cars. Currently about 45 per cent of lithium production goes to all types of battery production, so the number is a lot less if we want to maintain other industries. The world passenger car production in 2017 was 74,000,000 cars. So lithium production needs to increase at least 20 fold if all cars are to be electric. The total reserves of lithium are about 14,000,000 tons, enough for the production of 1.4 billion cars, or 19 years of electric car production, assuming lithium is not used for anything else. About half of all known lithium reserves are in China.

It’s wonderful for politicians to set targets for 2030 or 2040, safe in the knowledge that they’ll probably be dead and certainly not in office, and thus not accountable for their ridiculous virtue-signalling targets.

Flaketime wrote:

The most idiotic piece of government idiocy imaginable.

Because the electric vehicle doesn’t have an exhaust pipe and doesn’t emit exhaust gases the brains-removed morons in London believe the vehicles are emissions free! The reality is that they cause more emissions and pollution than petrol/diesel vehicles, but as these are moved away from the driver they are ignored.

Generating efficiency is not great, transmission losses, battery losses, losses at the charger too all add up to make an electric powered vehicle much less efficient than a fossil fuel one, and by and large it’s going to be fossil fuels used to generate the electricity!

Worse still is the fact that the UK is on the edge of disaster after Bliar’s madcap green energy promises closed down most of the spare generating capacity and last winter we were perilously close to the lights going out.

One bad winter with high gas demand and G(B)ummer’s plans will be shown for the tomfoolery they are.

mark wrote:

The CO2 obsession has always been absurd. It has been responsible for such barmy ideas as importing woodchips from the USA to power Drax power station and closing many other perfectly good plants down altogether.

Only a few crony insiders have gained anything – for example, windfarm builders and solar panel makers. And these gains have been at the expense or ordinary taxpayers.

But there are real problems with vehicle pollution, ironically made much worse by Gordon Brown (and ‘Conservatives’ who supported him) when he handed out all sorts of tax incentives for diesel cars in the pursuit of lower CO2 output.

Thanks to these diesels, nitrogen dioxide and particulates are now a big problem in many of our towns and cities.

David wrote:

The obsession with reducing CO2 emissions is leading to all sorts of tragedies, including the Grenfell Towers tragedy. There the energy-saving outer cladding created a chimney between it and the original outer surface, encouraging flame to spread rapidly upwards.
Basing our whole energy policy on such highly questionable pseudo-science is a sort of mass delusion. Of course the poor shiver from energy poverty whilst the large landowners rake it in from their bird shredding, utterly useless windmills. The whole scam is driven by the west hating leftist eco-zealots running the UN and their sinister Local Agenda 21.

ale bro wrote:

If the government is going to phase out fuel it needs to come up with a new tax to replace the billions it currently receives in fuel duty.

And that tax will be on electricity – you don’t know this because the government is too scared to admit it.

JohnB wrote:

The whole thing is utterly daft, most of Britain cannot feasibly incorporate electric vehicles anytime soon.

Where I live there is little in the way of even a bus service so there is very heavy car ownership and consequent parking problems. Furthermore, the way the area is designed, the houses are all placed away from the roads and the garages are mostly without power. How are people to charge their electric cars in such situations? Huge long cables draping all over the place for people to trip over?

What about dense streets with double parked cars, shall we have masses more clutter with charging stations dotted up and down the street at regular intervals? Who will pay for them and how?

The government should be looking at ways to make transport services work for people in a way that means they will voluntarily give up their vehicles and choose to use public services instead.

Benthic_aka_dinoflagellate wrote:

What makes alternatives to combustion engine cars so green? Electric cars are particularly silly, it is ridiculously inefficient to burn fossil fuels, convert the heat into electricity, and use that electricity to charge a battery, compared to burning the fossil fuel directly in a combustion engine.

Charles Dawne wrote:

If our government stopped pandering to car manufacturers and invested in rail we could greatly lessen our car usage. We could preserve what is left of our countrysides. Cars are not suited to a small island such as ours, especially when our railways have been neglected as they have.

It saddens me to see every house in my suburb with two or more cars parked awkwardly outside them, every road crammed with cars all going to the same destination.

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