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What is a battery?' I think Nicholas Tesla said it best when he called it an Energy Storage System. That's an important distinction.

They do not make electricity – they store electricity produced elsewhere, primarily by coal, uranium, natural gas-powered plants, or diesel-fueled generators. So, to say an EV is a zero-emission vehicle is not at all valid.

Also, since forty percent of the electricity generated in the U.S. is from coal-fired plants, it follows that forty percent of the EVs on the road are coal-powered, do you see?

Einstein's formula, E=MC2, tells us it takes the same amount of energy to move a five-thousand-pound gasoline-driven automobile a mile as it does an electric one. The only question again is what produces the power? To reiterate, it does not come from the battery; the battery is only the storage device, like a gas tank in a car.

There are two orders of batteries, rechargeable, and single-use. The most common single-use batteries are A, AA, AAA, C, D. 9V, and lantern types. Those dry-cell species use zinc, manganese, lithium, silver oxide, or zinc and carbon to store electricity chemically. Please note they all contain toxic, heavy metals.

Rechargeable batteries only differ in their internal materials, usually lithium-ion, nickel-metal oxide, and nickel-cadmium. The United States uses three billion of these two battery types a year, and most are not recycled; they end up in landfills. California is the only state which requires all batteries be recycled. If you throw your small, used batteries in the trash, here is what happens to them.

All batteries are self-discharging. That means even when not in use, they leak tiny amounts of energy. You have likely ruined a flashlight or two from an old, ruptured battery. When a battery runs down and can no longer power a toy or light, you think of it as dead; well, it is not. It continues to leak small amounts of electricity. As the chemicals inside it run out, pressure builds inside the battery's metal casing, and eventually, it cracks. The metals left inside then ooze out. The ooze in your ruined flashlight is toxic, and so is the ooze that will inevitably leak from every battery in a landfill. All batteries eventually rupture; it just takes rechargeable batteries longer to end up in the landfill.

In addition to dry cell batteries, there are also wet cell ones used in automobiles, boats, and motorcycles. The good thing about those is, ninety percent of them are recycled. Unfortunately, we do not yet know how to recycle single-use ones properly.

But that is not half of it. For those of you excited about electric cars and a green revolution, I want you to take a closer look at batteries and also windmills and solar panels. These three technologies share what we call environmentally destructive embedded costs.

Everything manufactured has two costs associated with it, embedded costs and operating costs. I will explain embedded costs using a can of baked beans as my subject.

In this scenario, baked beans are on sale, so you jump in your car and head for the grocery store. Sure enough, there they are on the shelf for $1.75 a can. As you head to the checkout, you begin to think about the embedded costs in the can of beans.

The first cost is the diesel fuel the farmer used to plow the field, till the ground, harvest the beans, and transport them to the food processor. Not only is his diesel fuel an embedded cost, so are the costs to build the tractors, combines, and trucks. In addition, the farmer might use a nitrogen fertilizer made from natural gas.

Next is the energy costs of cooking the beans, heating the building, transporting the workers, and paying for the vast amounts of electricity used to run the plant. The steel can holding the beans is also an embedded cost. Making the steel can requires mining taconite, shipping it by boat, extracting the iron, placing it in a coal-fired blast furnace, and adding carbon. Then it's back on another truck to take the beans to the grocery store. Finally, add in the cost of the gasoline for your car.

A typical EV battery weighs one thousand pounds, about the size of a travel trunk. It contains twenty-five pounds of lithium, sixty pounds of nickel, 44 pounds of manganese, 30 pounds cobalt, 200 pounds of copper, and 400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic. Inside are over 6,000 individual lithium-ion cells.

It should concern you that all those toxic components come from mining. For instance, to manufacture each EV auto battery, you must process 25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium, 30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt, 5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, and 25,000 pounds of ore for copper. All told, you dig up 500,000 pounds of the earth's crust for just one battery."

Sixty-eight percent of the world's cobalt, a significant part of a battery, comes from the Congo. Their mines have no pollution controls, and they employ children who die from handling this toxic material. Should we factor in these diseased kids as part of the cost of driving an electric car?"

I'd like to leave you with these thoughts. California is building the largest battery in the world near San Francisco, and they intend to power it from solar panels and windmills. They claim this is the ultimate in being 'green,' but it is not! This construction project is creating an environmental disaster. Let me tell you why.

The main problem with solar arrays is the chemicals needed to process silicate into the silicon used in the panels. To make pure enough silicon requires processing it with hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrogen fluoride, trichloroethane, and acetone. In addition, they also need gallium, arsenide, copper-indium-gallium- diselenide, and cadmium-telluride, which also are highly toxic. Silicone dust is a hazard to the workers, and the panels cannot be recycled.

Windmills are the ultimate in embedded costs and environmental destruction. Each weighs 1688 tons (the equivalent of 23 houses) and contains 1300 tons of concrete, 295 tons of steel, 48 tons of iron, 24 tons of fiberglass, and the hard to extract rare earths neodymium, praseodymium, and dysprosium. Each blade weighs 81,000 pounds and will last 15 to 20 years, at which time it must be replaced. We cannot recycle used blades. Sadly, both solar arrays and windmills kill birds, bats, sea life, and migratory insects.

There may be a place for these technologies, but you must look beyond the myth of zero emissions. I predict EVs and windmills will be abandoned once the embedded environmental costs of making and replacing them become apparent. "Going Green" may sound like the Utopian ideal and are easily espoused, catchy buzzwords, but when you look at the hidden and embedded costs realistically with an open mind, you can see that Going Green is more destructive to the Earth's environment than meets the eye, for sure.

Thoughts?
 

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The counter to some of that and why some folks talk about "renewable" is that some costs are either one time or greatly reduced after the initial. Not that I find those things the end all solution, or even a decent solution, but it would be the counter.

Another tweak required in that wall of text is about windmill blades. I suspect it was originally argued years ago. Great points can be made without including sidebar/pile on info that may not always be true or stand up over time like the "how electricity is made" bit.. This giant wind turbine blade can be recycled
 

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very well written and makes points the normal average joe doesn't understand. I for one would like to see this topic brought up and debated or exposed on a national platform. Id be curious how the greenies would debate this or defend the down side of "going green". Sadly I dont see this going on a national TV show because the parties that control everything dont want people to see the truth, all they want to do is cram EV down our throats and force everyone to go to it.
 

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I saw on the news last night power plant emissions in the US are up 6.5% in 2022. The reason stated was the increased demand was from charging stations for electric vehicles. I wonder if this is greater environmental impact than the emissions from today's 30-40 MPG cars.
 

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It seems like the big green advocates have a huge investment into going green, you buy into it they get richer.
Energy security will be a big issue soon, and while you are waiting for your ev to charge, look into the sky and see which communist nations missiles are falling.
It seems to me a better way would be to have co2 and methane scrubbers in the atmosphere cleaning up the nasty shit. Once scrubber is full send it off to the sun. The technology is not that difficult, a person would think.
 

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Just had this discussion with my brother in law. That there is a COST for going "green". I'm not opposed to the idea but it's going to be painful! I have long thought about the catch 22 of powering electric cars from coal or natural gas when there is not enough solar or wind alternatives. At the same time nuclear power is out of favor. The power has to come from somewhere.
 

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Of course there is an impact to the environment from EVs and their production. But your logic doesn't follow.

For example, even if 40% of electricity were coal generated (it's actually 16-22% depending on the time frame- I looked up 2021 and 2022) you would need an extensive evaluation of where all the EVs in the U.S. recharge their vehicles to know the actual percentage of EV energy in the U.S. generated by coal. If someone who owns an EV and charges it at home and occassionaly at charging stations: All that electricity could come from natural gas (the dominat source these days) or nuclear or solar or wind depending where they are located. This will vary a lot all over the country so you can't simply average it to some magic percentage.

You state many ways that so-called green technologies impact the environment and the people making them. I would like to see that compared with their coal and gas counterparts.

The bottom line is really the net impact and whether or not that final "cost" is better than the alternatives.

Thanks for brining up this interesting subject.
 

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Not to worry....the nuclear war Putin is about to start will rid the world of about half of its energy users.
Seriously, the move to non-fossil fuel energy sources is going to take place sometime. It's as inevitable as the sun coming up in the morning. Most estimates say that barring some gigantic new discovery we have roughly 100 years of oil and gas reserves. Won't affect you and me but your grandkids' grandkids are gonna have to deal with it.

By then the world's population will have doubled along with energy usage. Personally I don't believe wind and solar will ever get beyond the 20-25% range it is today. Solar is expensive, difficult to utilize (can you envision a solar powered jetliner?) and nobody wants 500-foot tall wind turbines on or anywhere near their property. The only alternative I see that stands a chance of being a viable source is nuclear. I don't mean retrofitting your Suburban with a reactor...I mean at the generation level. But that's not a cure-all, either - we've all seen the problems involving nuclear powerplants including staggering costs, endless red tape and of course, the danger of a major accident.

So I dunno...but something we haven't tried yet is going to have to be developed between now and then or the world will be back to riding horses and bicycles. Think it's romantic to relive the simple days of the 19th century? The world may get its chance to do just that.
 

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What is a battery?' I think Nicholas Tesla said it best when he called it an Energy Storage System. That's an important distinction.
Nikola Tesla, not Nicholas...

They do not make electricity – they store electricity produced elsewhere, primarily by coal, uranium, natural gas-powered plants, or diesel-fueled generators.
Technically, yes, batteries of all types create electrical power. They do it by active chemical reaction of between materials used within the battery. Yes, they also store energy, but while a capacitor, for example, can only store energy created elsewhere (thus it is passive), batteries are active create and store energy. It is absolutely true that it takes energy, effort and resources to produce the materials used in a battery, but it's a bit a stretch to say a battery is merely a storage device for energy consumed in its very making...

Aside from these things, the article has some solid points that seem to be missed by nearly every greenie on the face of the planet...
 

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Nikola Tesla, not Nicholas...



Technically, yes, batteries of all types create electrical power. They do it by active chemical reaction of between materials used within the battery. Yes, they also store energy, but while a capacitor, for example, can only store energy created elsewhere (thus it is passive), batteries are active create and store energy. It is absolutely true that it takes energy, effort and resources to produce the materials used in a battery, but it's a bit a stretch to say a battery is merely a storage device for energy consumed in its very making...

Aside from these things, the article has some solid points that seem to be missed by nearly every greenie on the face of the planet...
"Technically" a battery (or any other device) does not create power. In the case of a typical battery it stores chemical energy and converts the chemical energy to electrical energy....... No I am not trying to be a dick, as I am sure you know this. I simply feel its important to not misspeak when talking about physics as this ( Energy can neither be created nor destroyed - only converted from one form of energy to another ) is the first and most important rule one needs to keep this in mind when speaking of physics.
 

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Interesting topic (and a surprisingly rational discussion for the bullet) It looks like Toyota is making a bet on Hydrogen as opposed to electric although that seems less feasible than electric at this point. Seems like converting a bunch of gas stations to sell hydrogen might be easier than retrofitting them to be electric charging stations. Might be quicker to fill a hydrogen tank than to recharge a battery too.
 

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"Technically" a battery (or any other device) does not create power. In the case of a typical battery it stores chemical energy and converts the chemical energy to electrical energy....... No I am not trying to be a dick, as I am sure you know this. I simply feel its important to not misspeak when talking about physics as this ( Energy can neither be created nor destroyed - only converted from one form of energy to another ) is the first and most important rule one needs to keep this in mind when speaking of physics.
True. I used the word "create" and that was wrong; I meant to use "convert"...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Let me throw this out there.

Electrical storage, batteries, store Direct Current, DC, positive and negative.
Electronics devices use DC power.

AC, Alternating Current, in it's simplest forum, cannot be stored, since the electrons alternate back and forth.

Anytime AC and DC are converted or inverted back and forth there is a power loss.
 

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Screw batteries and evs and the green initiatives in the power sector. RECYCLING is a massive scam. There isn't a curbside recycing program in all of the US that produces income or saves significantly on emissions.

When I lived in Norman OK they started curbside pickup. Before they had 6 self dropoff locations that actually netted about $250k-$400k per year for the city. They removed those and started curbside and it raised our water/trash service bills. Even with the added charges on our bills, the recyle program looses several million per year. Hardly anyone participated, something like 18% and just as we were moving away in 2014 they were talking about RFID tags on the recycle bins so they could charge even more to the folks that didn't put them out at least once a month. From my understanding if we really want to reduce emissions with recycling it needs to be reduced to aluminum cans and clear glass only. Everything else is a waste of time and money.

At my local trash/recyle transfer station here in DFW they do sort and send a lot off for recycling but once those transfer containers are filled for the day, you can watch them dump the recycling stuff right in with the trash.
 

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At my local trash/recyle transfer station here in DFW they do sort and send a lot off for recycling but once those transfer containers are filled for the day, you can watch them dump the recycling stuff right in with the trash.
Everyone should spend a day a couple hours a year at the local transfer plant. I have witnessed this on several occasions when I took our dump trailer to the transfer plant when we were redoing our house.
 

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Screw batteries and evs and the green initiatives in the power sector. RECYCLING is a massive scam. There isn't a curbside recycing program in all of the US that produces income or saves significantly on emissions.

When I lived in Norman OK they started curbside pickup. Before they had 6 self dropoff locations that actually netted about $250k-$400k per year for the city. They removed those and started curbside and it raised our water/trash service bills. Even with the added charges on our bills, the recyle program looses several million per year. Hardly anyone participated, something like 18% and just as we were moving away in 2014 they were talking about RFID tags on the recycle bins so they could charge even more to the folks that didn't put them out at least once a month. From my understanding if we really want to reduce emissions with recycling it needs to be reduced to aluminum cans and clear glass only. Everything else is a waste of time and money.

At my local trash/recyle transfer station here in DFW they do sort and send a lot off for recycling but once those transfer containers are filled for the day, you can watch them dump the recycling stuff right in with the trash.
The funny thing is way back in the 50s-60s they had a perfectly rational program...they used glass bottles and rinsed and reused them.
 

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Our local trash service has a truck that makes the rounds twice on trash days. First round is for the garbage. Second round is the recycled stuff. When there is a problem like weather or truck break down guess what they do? They make one trip and empty both cans in the same truck. This week we had bad weather so they skipped a lot of routes. I would bet next week with be a one trip week with every thing going at one time and all going to the dump. So they saved the cost of two trips for the truck last week and will save half the cost next wee if they only have one pick up. But my bill will still be the same
 

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Where I live, the only thing that gets recycled is cardboard. And even then, they don't have enough capacity to deal with the volume, so they incinerate what they can not process.
Due to that fact, I burn all of the paper and cardboard waste that we generate in the fire pit out back. Why spend resources on transporting it when I can burn it myself.
As far as EV batteries go, they are a lot bigger than a travel trunk. What i see at the Dealership is around 7 feet long, 4 feet wide and around 12" deep with 2' of the length being around 20" deep. They also weigh more than 1,000 lbs. And this is for the Chevrolet Bolt which is not a large vehicle. I imagine larger EV's have larger batteries, but I could be wrong. The only smaller batteries I have personally seen are in Hybrid vehicles where a I/C engine provides most of the motivation and the battery is just a supplement.
 
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