There's a bit in this discussion I want to make a separate thread: http://visforvoltage.org/forum/8071-copenhagen-wont-be-enough-only-human-movement-can-save-civilization-climate-crisis
Somewhere on my laptop I've got a paper from Transport & Environment, a European policy research company (?think tank?) that specializes in green transportation. The paper is about electric vehicles and they make a point that every time electric vehicles were popular it was due to some external influence causing people to turn to EV's.
For example times of high oil prices such as the fake oil crises in the 1970's .. (I call them fake because they were due to market manipulation by OPEC) .. or times of government regulations such as the CARB rules in California.
What strikes me is this isn't about people choosing of their own volition to adopt EV's. It's a form of force applied on the choices of individuals. This isn't the only way governments act to influence their populations. There's all sorts of tools governments deploy to influence populations into desired behavior.
Now, it seems that some people think this is (or can be) heavy handed dictatorialness. Am I understanding that right?
I suppose theoretically it can be but the CARB mandate even if it had been implemented as written was hardly dictatorial in the ways other governments implement the edicts of real dictators. Calling the typical incentive by american governments dictatorial is as much overblown hypery as the people accusing Obama of being a fascist.
On the other hand it does leave me wishing the population would choose EV's of their own volition ... if they were to choose them on their own, this whole situation would be a lot simpler. Government regulations wouldn't have to be used, instead the cars would be bought because they would be what people want. One can dream, eh?
On another hand there are other organizations manipulating the situation, and it's not the governments. I'm talking about the existing businesses that would be harmed if EV's were to be adopted. I really don't care if some companies die along the path to getting EV's adopted. But of course those companies do care if they die in the process. The companies foisting internal combustion and fossil fuels upon us are causing us huge damage in the form of increasingly worse environmental conditions not to mention the risk our civilization faces due to being dependent on fossil fuels which are at their peak of production and are very likely to meet future increases in demand.
The point I want to get at however is about making the adoption of EV's a choice people make on their own rather than it being externally imposed.
Don't really have an answer for that and am curious what everybody thinks.