An environmental activist switched to an electric car. It cost $50,000, but wealthier people are fine with that if it is saving the planet, and she got a $7,500 rebate overwhelmingly paid for by poor people who can't afford electric cars. She says she did it because flowers are blooming two weeks early.

That's evidence of climate change, she said. Which is nonsense. It is only evidence of virtue signaling by a person who is running the the Westfield Green Team advisory committee - the median income of the town is $185,319: “I was feeling [insincere] leading a team and not having an electric car.” 

Anyone with basic science literacy knows that a shorter winter this year is an entirely predictable La Niña - we'll probably have more hurricanes in 2023 also - but okay, she bought a car. She also thinks she is saving money, and maybe she is as long as state gas taxes and general economic foolishness in Washington, DC remain. But will she really save money when the costs for her new car plus maintenance only being 30 percent lower means it would take 111 years to break even?

Maybe the money is not important to wealthy people. She may want her friends to know she is doing less "environmental damage" - but that is only possible as long as politically allied corporate journalism (so, most corporate journalists) frame environmental damage as exclusively CO2, CO, and NO2.

In the real world, that is absolutely false. To truly calculate the environmental damage you have to consider the entire product cycle - and electric cars will ruin the planet, especially if you count how many more cars states like California and countries like France are mandating. You'll pay more, because they are mandated, which means no reason for capitalism to bring the price down, but 111 years to break even is not going to work for the poor.

People in Idaho or Louisiana can break even fast than California or New Jersey because electricity costs are half but if you are not rich and live in a state that keeps utility costs high you have to worry your electric car will never be near as low as a regular car. Certainly not in the 10 years before you need a new environmentally-atrocious battery.

Which is going to be the case for a lot of people. Let's not pretend ruining Myanmar and numerous countries in Africa is really about preventing actual environmental damage. It's about pretending you emit less CO2 as a way of showing your friends in your wealthy tribe how much you care.