solar-powered planeEven the loudest, most obnoxious proponents of fossil fuels as the answer to powering modern industrial society are forced to concede one thing:

Eventually, the supply of oil — and natural gas, coal, and so on, will run out.

Yes, there is debate – significant debate – about when, for instance, oil, which is obviously the key to the current auto-motive economy – will run out.

There is little debate about the fact that, eventually, the earth’s supply of oil will run dry. Oil is a finite resource.

Technically, so too is the sun.

Of course, there’s a world of difference between the timeline for oil supplies drying up – most likely in no more than 100 years – and the several billion years of sun power available to us.

Again, oil is a finite resource. Currently, much of this oil is being used to power our cars.

Save the oil for big trucks, cargo ships and planes
It’s worth pointing out, however, that we also need oil for, among other things:

  • countless consumer and industrial products, from plastic bags to tar for the roads we drive on;
  • mass ground transportation of goods, often by way of trucks — although EV 18-wheelers might some day become a reality, to the best of my knowledge, this reality is a long way off;
  • mass, over-water transportation of goods: again, battery-powered cargo ships are not, as far as I know, close to becoming a reality;
  • finally, and most significantly for most people’s everyday travel, commercial jets; although solar-charged planes are becoming reality, the days of a solar-charged 747 are a long way off.

Solar-charging your car — partially, or fully — saves more oil for these other oil-dependent goods and forms of transportation.

The more quickly we suck down the world’s oil supply with our cars, the less we have for oil-based products and items, large trucks, cargo ships, and commercial jets – not to mention military vehicles such as tanks, fighter planes, aircraft carriers, etc.

Think about it.

The more quickly we suck down the world’s oil supply with our cars, the less we have for oil-based products and items, large trucks, cargo ships, and commercial jets – not to mention military vehicles such as tanks, fighter planes, aircraft carriers, etc.

Even if you’re not a “greenie”, it seems to us, that conservation of the world’s limited oil supply for crucial uses which, unlike driving our personal cars, cannot be met by sun energy, ought to make perfect sense.

Furthermore, while it is possible to drive a car off the sun, it is not possible to make plastic bags or tar from the sun, to transport goods by ship with sun power, or to jet off to see grandma in a solar-charged airplane.

Even if you’re not a “greenie”, it seems to us, that conservation of the world’s limited oil supply for crucial uses which, unlike driving our personal cars, cannot be met by sun energy, ought to make perfect sense.

Beyond the sheer desperation angle – if there’s no more oil, how are we going to jet off to Paris? — there’s also an economic angle to energy conservation as a powerful reason to: a) make the switch to EVs and PHEVs; b) solar-charge your EV or PHEV.

Less oil for car use = more oil for planes
If less and less of the world’s oil supply is sucked down by you and me driving around in our cars, there’ll be a bigger total supply of oil over a longer period of time.

Assuming that commodities speculation and other forms of wild capitalism don’t run roughshod over our economy, and us, this means that if more and more of us drive EVs and PHEVs, ideally, powered by the sun, the price of oil will not go up as quickly as it will if all of us continue to gas-power our cars.

If you solar-charge you car – and I do so, and he does, and she does – we will pay less to fly to see grandma, or to jet off to Paris, than if we continue to drain the world’s oil supply dry by driving our individual cars on oil, rather than on the sun.

 

More concretely, if you solar-charge you car – and I do so, and he does, and she does – we will pay less to fly to see grandma, or to jet off to Paris, than if we continue to drain the world’s oil supply dry by driving our individual cars on oil, rather than on the sun.

In sum, if a save-the-world or the environmental pitch doesn’t sway you, there’s plenty of practical and basic economic reason for more and more of us to switch to electric driving – and for more and more of us to charge our EVs with the sun.

To return briefly to a “green” pitch: Even if the burning of coal is a much cleaner and more efficient way to power our cars than oil – and it is — it is also much dirtier and environmentally toxic than using solar energy to power our cars.

And, just like oil, coal is a finite resource whose supply will someday run dry.

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