Tone-deaf is putting it mildly.
Amid surging gas prices (accompanied by inflation everywhere else in the economy), those who have been pushing unrealistic energy policies are finding themselves uncomfortably on the defensive.
Yet, rather than show a sense of self-awareness or realize they have been mistaken in their efforts to strangle the Canadian (and American/European) oil, gas, coal, and nuclear sectors, they are doubling down.
This inability to reckon with reality is leading many of those in power – or who support the agenda of those in power – to put their elitist arrogance on full display.
Here’s Rick Anderson saying that people who don’t buy electric vehicles shouldn’t complain about the price of gas:
“Look, I don’t care if someone chooses not to buy an electric vehicle. It’s a free world.
But don’t stick with gasoline and then go on endlessly about the price of gasoline.”
In the US, Biden administration transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg is talking about electric cars as well:
Pete Buttigieg wants people to simply buy an electric car so they don't have to worry about rising gas prices. pic.twitter.com/VBcIfRotvE
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) March 7, 2022
Of course, as many have pointed out, if people can’t afford the current price of gas, how can they afford an electric car?
Not only are many electric cars pricier than their combustion-engine counterparts, but there are also significant issues that are driving those prices up even higher:
“Consumers hoping to switch to an all-electric or more fuel-efficient vehicle, while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushes gas prices to record highs, will largely be out of luck.
A combination of supply chain problems, pent-up demand and record-low vehicle inventory levels means many new cars and trucks, including EVs, are already spoken for before they reach dealers lots. Those that are readily available are more often large pickups, SUVs and crossovers, since many automakers dropped or deprioritized small car production in recent years in exchange for vehicles with higher margins.
“Even for people who want to switch to electric, they have nowhere to go,” said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at Edmunds.com. “Anything you’re looking to buy, you’re on a waitlist … or even if you’re looking to downsize your purchase, you’re paying top dollar. It just doesn’t make sense to make a move right now.””
Long-term vs short-term
A key problem here is that the elitist political class seems unable to put aside their ideology, and unable to distinguish from long-term and short term solutions.
In the long-run, the world will move more towards electric vehicles as technology approves, batteries become cheaper and more efficient, and infrastructure to handle them is built.
All of that takes time, and we simply aren’t at a place where widespread EV use is viable.
Additionally, the parts used to make EV’s must be transported by trucks, and EV’s add to power demands, meaning more energy must be produced.
Because EV usage doesn’t take place in a bubble, but is instead interconnected with everything else, oil & gas is still essential to widespread adoption of EV’s.
And this is where we get to the short-term problem.
Right now, Europe is beholden to Russia for a large portion of their natural gas. Europe is trying to get out of that dangerous situation as fast as possible without ruining their economies.
Countries that have their own production and/or alternatives, such as Canada, the US, and the UK, have already banned oil & gas from Russia.
Investments in the Russian oil & gas sector have collapsed, and – fearing future sanctions – many are seeking to source their supplies elsewhere, even without an explicit ban on Russian supplies.
All of this means that there is less supply, and more demand, and that means higher prices.
To mitigate the damage of higher prices, it is necessary for countries like Canada and the US to rapidly and massively ramp up production.
That is the only viable short-term solution to the problem.
There’s no way around that.
It may as well be an ironclad law of nature at this point.
The inability of some of those in power to wake up to this fact is stunning.
Across Europe, even countries like Germany that went all in on green energy realize they need more LNG imports from friendly, democratic nations like the US and Canada, and they plan to rapidly construct two new LNG terminals.
Even Elon Musk has been calling for more oil & gas productions, knowing that will hurt his own business in the short-term.
But, befitting the lack of seriousness among our leaders, they’re still pushing for a ‘just transition,’ and still acting as if everyone can just go and snag an electric car with ease.
It’s almost reminiscent of the ‘lockdown forever’ crowd, those who had the luxury of working from home and just assumed everyone else could do the same.
Being so disconnected from reality is one thing, but to keep doubling down on it even as reality demolishes the narrative is quite something.
It also shows a distinct lack of empathy, as those in the political class have no idea what most Canadians are facing.
It would be funny, if it wasn’t real
Watching how tone-deaf much of the political class has become, and watching the Trudeau government continue to push their ideological green policies at the worst possible moment would be funny, if the consequences weren’t so severe.
After two years of the economy being alternatively locked down and restricted, we are being granted no economic respite, and are instead plunged into a new crisis. And, with the energy supplies and knowledge easily available to us to mitigate the damage by increasing our oil & gas production, those in power instead continue to try and damage our energy sector while acting like electric car salesmen.
“Just stop being poor”
The question facing Canada now is whether a critical mass of working class people in this country will finally say “enough is enough.”
We have the political class all but telling people to “just stop being poor” in response to our growing economic disasters, and imposing policies like the ever-rising carbon tax that not only fail to help, but actively make things worse.
For a long time, well-meaning and compassionate Canadians have been willing to listen to politicians who talk about ‘saving the planet,’ because Canadians want to feel we are doing the right thing.
But now that we see the true results of ‘green energy policies’ result in the enriching and emboldening of Russia, a cost-of-living crisis, and our allies being left at the mercy of energy-rich dictatorships, it’s time for us to focus on short-term solutions and leave the long-term issues for when this moment of crisis has ended.
Otherwise, the crisis in our economy won’t be going away anytime soon.