Listen now (30 mins) | Why climate is personal to me, two ways to decarbonize your own transportation, and how to not be a preachy vegan.
I like this post overall, especially the part about austerity. You briefly mentioned carbon generated by electricity generation, but I think this needs to be looked at in more detail. I looked into it a bit earlier in 2022 and decided to buy a hybrid since it actually seemed to be a better choice than a BEV in terms of overall carbon emissions based on the electricity generation mix in most of the country. If you have mostly renewable sources to charge from then it is a different story, but currently I think this only exists in some pockets of the country. Or if you have your own solar generation. One problem with solar, there is an issue with seasonal supply and demand. Much more energy is generated in the summer than in the winter, but sometimes demand in the winter is higher, especially if people are using heat pumps in cold regions. I'm looking into doing a combined solar plus CHP system at home. The CHP system provides heat and electricity in the winter and the solar system would provide electricity mostly in the summer. I'll still be burning #2 fuel oil (transitioning to biodiesel) but the overall efficiency is much higher than generating electricity at a natural gas/oil fired power plant, so overall carbon emissions can be reduced. I think we really need to look at practical ways to reduce carbon emissions quickly, not necessarily completely eliminate it since that will take a lot more time. If everyone drove a hybrid vehicle for example, I think we would see a very significant reduction in emissions and it is very practical since it does not cost that more than a traditional ICE vehicle and uses existing infrastructure. Infrastructure build out takes a lot of time and I fear that if we jump to EVs before there is enough renewable generation it will not actually reduce carbon emissions enough. Along with renewable generation I we will need some form of long term energy storage to resolve seasonal fluctuations in renewable generation and demand. This could end up being hydrogen, but we are not there yet. For now, I think we will still need to burn some fuel to stay warm in the winter. if it is done efficiently we can still reduce emissions. I know someone you built a very elaborate solar heating system, but in the coldest months of the year in VT it is not enough, so he still burns wood in a boiler for additional heat. Burning biomass on a small enough scale can be sustainable for now I think, until we come up with better solutions.
My favorite part was hearing about your experience with an electric car!