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A Highly Misunderstood Article About One Of The Most Important Clean Technologies



Last week, I saw a Tweet from Businessweek get ratio’d, and hard. On the surface, it looked like the author was against slowing population growth, and for this they were widely panned. While not everyone agrees that population growth should slow down, it’s generally pretty widely accepted that populating the Earth until there is standing room only is a bad idea. For that reason, among other reasonably selfish ones, humanity came up with birth control, and that may prove to be one of the most important clean technologies ever invented.

As happens on the internet often, though, people like to share things and opine about them without doing anything more than reading the headline. In my usual defiance of the crowd, I decided to actually read the article and see what it had to say.

It was actually quite interesting. The writer explored the different philosophies people have tried to apply to population sizes, and showed that it’s not a simple thing to come to any reasonable moral conclusion about.

Some History

Before we get into what he covered, let’s look at how much things have changed in the last 100-200 years. Historically, and prehistorically, people had a lot of children, sometimes dozens. What is now an extreme outlier (religious fundamentalists with 19 kids are now interesting enough to merit idiotic reality TV programming), was once the norm. There was no birth control, and people in many places were told that supernatural beings would be angry with them if they didn’t have as many kids as possible.

The lack of medical technology affected more than just whether one got pregnant, though. There was next to no way to save mother (or the occasional intersex or transgender man who gave birth) or child if something went wrong, and it often did. Many women died in childbirth, and 50% of children born died before reaching age 5. The problem was bad enough that infants were often not given a name until a year or two old for fear of getting too attached.

That’s why, despite the wider availability of birth control, population continues to rise. Fewer kids are born, but nearly all survive. At the same time, people are living much longer, so the loss of population at the other end of life has also slowed down, making it so more are alive at any given time.

An Unprecedented Choice

When ancient people spread ideas about population, they didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter. “Go forth and multiply” was a basic human instinct, and not something people had a lot of control over. The drive to engage in copulation is irresistible for most people, and doing that enough almost always led to pregnancy. To command reproduction was like commanding people to breathe, or to eat. It didn’t take any convincing in most cases.

Today, for the first time in human history, it’s a choice for many of us (but not all, as access to contraceptives is still a problem). Now, it’s usually people with some sort of religious belief against contraception or for having many children that lies beneath the decision to have more than 2 or 3 kids. Myself, I have four, and that’s largely because I grew up in such a faith system (but no longer live by it).

Not A Simple Choice In Reality

When I think about how things might have been different had I been raised differently, it’s not a hypothetical for me. If I had stopped at two children, I have two real human beings I know wouldn’t have ever existed on this earth. They’re unique people, with personalities, tastes, and feelings. The thought of them not existing activates a strong “mama bear” instinct in me, because their continued existence is something I’d literally kill others to protect (if necessary), like most parents. Defending the young (and the young of others, too) is a strong instinct in humans, like reproduction.

In theory, the world would be a better place with two less people, but that’s water under the bridge at this point. Admittedly, the other me in that alternate reality with only two children would have no idea anybody was missing, just like the me in reality doesn’t know who the two children would be if I had six children. That lack of knowledge leaves room for important questions.

That thought of who would exist in a world with a higher population or who wouldn’t exist in a world with lower population isn’t the core thought of the article in question, though. The real point is that it’s hard to philosophize and come up with a moral argument for an ideal population that should exist.

In theory, just a few hundred million people living in the world could have a much better life than ours (assuming they had the same level of technology). They’d have cleaner air, less issue with climate change, and a lot more space to roam. Whole ecosystems would exist that our species has wiped out with our massive population growth. They’d probably be happier.

That assumption that they have the same technology is questionable, though. In a world where 15 out of every 16 of us doesn’t exist, who’s missing? We’d like to think that only the most mediocre and awful of us fall in that vast majority never born, but we’re kidding ourselves.

Google’s neural net responds with these names when we ask it who the best inventors of all time were:

  1. Thomas Edison (businessman who helped develop the light bulb)
  2. Alexander Graham Bell (telephones)
  3. Benjamin Franklin (lightning rods, bifocal glasses)
  4. Nikola Tesla (almost everything electrical we use today)
  5. Wright Brothers (human flight)
  6. Henry Ford (mass production methods)
  7. Leonardo da Vinci (parachutes, human underwater travel, armored vehicles, and much more)
  8. Samuel Morse (telegraphy)
  9. Archimedes (water screws, understanding of leverage, astronomical instruments)
  10. Eli Whitney (cotton gin)
  11. Galileo Galilei (considered by many to be the father of modern science)
  12. Johannes Gutenberg (printing press)
  13. Tim Berners-Lee (the World Wide Web)
  14. Steve Jobs (anything Apple, great contributions to Unix, better smartphones)
  15. James Watt (steam engines that powered the industrial revolution)
  16. Guglielmo Marconi (radio communication)
  17. George Washington Carver (alternative crops, prevention of soil depletion)
  18. Isaac Newton (current understanding of classical physics)
  19. Albert Einstein (theory of relativity, among other things)
  20. Charles Babbage (the idea of a digital, programmable computer)
  21. Alexander Fleming (antibiotics)
  22. Robert Fulton (steamboats)
  23. George Westinghouse (air brakes, power distribution)
  24. Louis Pasteur (making many food items safe to eat/drink)
  25. Allesandro Volta (batteries, methane)
  26. Stephanie Kwolek (Kevlar)
  27. Lewis Howard Latimer (air conditioning, key portions of light bulb research)
  28. John Logie Baird (television)
  29. Alfred Nobel (modern explosives)
  30. Rudolf Diesel (Diesel engines)
  31. Charles Goodyear (tires)
  32. Karl Benz (automobiles)

If global population were only 1/16 its present size, you only get to keep two of these inventors, and their inventions. Worse, many of their inventions rely on the work of others on the list, so you might not get the invention just by keeping that one person around.

Look at important contributions to philosophy, religion, science, and art. The top people in each list are likewise hard to choose from. Do we get a good culture, or “potatoes and Muzak?” Does one bad religion dominate our hypothetical small population of humans, or a good one? Or none? What key ideas of philosophy can we live without?

Would they (and I say “they” because any one person’s chances of living in that world are very small) have gotten Hitler without Roosevelt and Stalin to fight him back? Or would there be any megalomaniac rulers at all? We simply don’t know what that would be like.

And what have we missed out on over the years? Would we be worse off with 20 billion humans, or would one of them have invented a key technology to put most of those humans on Mars and the moons of Jupiter, leaving that alternative reality better off than our own? We really don’t know the answer to that, either.

The whole point of the article about population wasn’t that we should have more population, but that choices of this kind are rarely simple or easy to make, philosophically speaking.

Featured image by US Census Bureau

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Driving Electric Is Much Better For Climate & Air Quality Than Gas-Powered Vehicles



Courtesy of Union Of Concerned Scientists.
By David Reichmuth, Senior Engineer, Clean Transportation Program

Electric vehicles have a high profile right now, with EVs featuring prominently in the Biden administration’s and Congress’s plans and also important new vehicle announcements from major automakers like Ford. But what are the climate benefits from switching from gasoline to electricity? While it’s obvious that a fully electric vehicle eliminates tailpipe emissions, people often wonder about the global warming emissions from generating the electricity to charge an EV. The latest data confirms that driving on electricity produces significantly fewer emissions than using gasoline.

Electricity power plant emissions data for 2019 was released earlier this year and I combined that data with the latest assessments of fuel emissions and vehicle efficiency. Based on where EVs have been sold to date, the average EV driving in the US produces global warming pollution equal to a gasoline vehicle that gets 93 miles per gallon (mpg) fuel economy. That’s significantly better than the most efficient gasoline car (59 mpg) and far cleaner than the average new gasoline car (31 mpg) or truck (23 mpg) sold in the US. And our estimate for EV emissions is about 15 percent lower than our estimate from just three years ago. Now, 97 percent of people in the US live where driving an EV produces fewer emissions than using a 50 mpg gasoline car.

EV emissions are lower across the country

The mpg (miles per gallon) value listed for each region is the combined city/highway fuel economy rating of a gasoline vehicle that would have global warming emissions equivalent to driving an EV. Regional global warming emissions ratings are based on 2019 power plant data in the EPA’s eGRID2019 database (released February 2021). Comparison includes gasoline and electricity fuel production emissions estimates for processes like extraction, transportation, and refining using Argonne National Laboratory’s GREET 2020 model. The 93 mpg US average is a sales-weighted average based on where EVs were sold in 2011 through 2020.

To compare the climate-changing emissions from electric vehicles to gasoline-powered cars, we analyzed all the emissions from fueling and driving both types of vehicles. For a gasoline car, that means looking at emissions from extracting crude oil from the ground, moving the oil to a refinery, making gasoline and transporting gasoline to filling stations, in addition to the tailpipe emissions from combusting the fuel in the engine.

For electric vehicles, the calculation includes both power plant emissions and emissions from the production of coal, natural gas and other fuels power plants use. Our analysis relies on emissions estimates for gasoline and fuels production from Argonne National Laboratory (using the GREET2020 model) and power plant emissions data released by the US EPA. The data, released in February 2021, tallied the emissions from US power plants during 2019.

When looking at all these factors, driving the average EV is responsible for fewer global warming emissions than the average new gasoline car everywhere in the US. In some parts of the country, driving the average new gasoline car will produce 4 to 8 times the emissions of the average EV.  For example, the average EV driven in upstate New York has emissions equal to a (hypothetical) 255 mpg gasoline car. And in California, a gasoline car would need to get 134 mpg to have emissions as low as the average EV.

Compared to our analysis from three years ago that used 2016 power plant data, emissions from EVs are on average 15 percent lower. The reductions have come from two primary sources:

  • The emissions rate from power plants in the US fell over 11 percent between 2016 and 2019.  The drop comes from lower generation from coal and increases in natural gas, wind, and solar.
  • The average efficiency of EVs sold to-date in the US improved since our 2018 analysis (by about 6 percent). This was due to the sales of Tesla’s Model 3, one of the most efficient vehicles on the market. The Model 3 now makes up more than 20 percent of all EVs (and more than one third of battery electric cars) ever sold in the US, so its efficiency has a noticeable impact on calculation of average EV efficiency.

A decade of improvement

The change from our first analysis of global warming emissions from EVs and gasoline vehicles in 2012 (using 2009 powerplant data) is even more impressive. In our initial assessment, less than half the US lived where an EV produced fewer emissions than a 50 mpg car, while now nearly all of the US falls in that category. The improvement has been driven partially by increasing EV efficiency, but the major contribution has been from the reduction in electricity generation from coal power plants. Electricity from coal has fallen from 45% to 23% in just a decade. At the same time, solar and wind electricity has grown from less than 2% to 9% in 2019.

Car buyers have options to be even cleaner by choosing a more efficient EV

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the most efficient EV models available. Efficient EVs help minimize the global warming emissions from driving. Photo courtesy of JRR, CleanTechnica.

The average EV is cleaner than the average new gasoline vehicle everywhere in the US. But if you choose the most efficient EV available, your emissions reductions from switching from gasoline to electricity will be even higher. For example, driving the 2021 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus (0.24 kWh/mile) in California has emissions equal to a 177 mpg gasoline car, or less than a fifth of the global warming emissions of the average new gasoline car and over 65 percent less than even the most efficient gasoline car. And in upstate New York, the emissions from driving an EV can be as low as one tenth those of an average new gasoline car.

As the grid continues to get cleaner, EVs, both new and used, will get cleaner as well. This is a distinct advantage EVs have over gasoline fueled vehicles: their emissions get better over time as the grid gets cleaner. Gasoline vehicles’ fuel economy is fixed and therefore so are their emissions, as long as they rely primarily on petroleum for fuel.

Driving the most efficient EV available in the US means lower emissions than any gasoline car in nearly all of the US. In Upstate New York, emissions from driving the cleanest EV are one tenth that of the average new gasoline vehicle. Graphic by UCS.

Larger EVs can still lead to lower emissions compared to gasoline equivalents

Larger EVs, like SUVs and pickup trucks are slowly becoming available, and more are promised soon, including an electric version of the Ford F-150 pickup truck. Larger vehicles, whether gasoline or electric-powered, are less efficient. However, switching from gasoline to electricity still has an advantage.

Take for example the upcoming Ford F-150 Lightning all electric pickup truck. The official efficiency data is not yet available, but based on the range and charging performance information released by Ford, we estimate the efficiency to likely be between 0.46 to 0.50 kWh per mile. That would make it one of the least efficient EVs available. However, the average gasoline F-150 model is also inefficient for a gasoline vehicle, with a fuel economy rating around 20 mpg. The Ford F-150 Lightning will produce fewer emissions than the gasoline-powered F-150 while driving, even on the dirtiest electric grids in the US. And on the cleanest grids, the electric pickup will likely be responsible for less than a quarter of the global warming emissions of the gasoline truck. For example, in California, driving the F-150 Lightning should produce global warming emissions equal to an 85 mpg gasoline vehicle, better than any gasoline car or truck.  For over 70 percent of the population in the US, driving the electric version of this vehicle should produce less than half the global warming emissions of the gasoline model.

EVs are one part of reducing transportation emissions

Passenger cars and trucks are a significant source of global warming emissions in the US. Switching from gasoline to electricity is a vital solution for reducing emissions and avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. However, it’s only one of many solutions we need to use. Because many of the cars sold in the next five years will be gasoline-powered, it is important to make sure those vehicles are as clean as possible by having strong fuel economy and emission standards. We can also reduce emissions from combustion-engine powered cars by using cleaner liquid fuel options like biofuels.

Additionally, actions we can take to reduce all driving (whether from gasoline or EVs) will help lower emissions. Sharing rides, using public transit, and making it easier to walk and bike are all important solutions to climate change. But for the personal vehicle trips that we can’t avoid today, switching to an EV can make a big difference in how much global warming emissions we produce and is one of the biggest actions a household can take to reduce their carbon footprint.

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At G-7 Summit, World Leaders Must Commit to Increasing Climate Finance for Developing Countries



Courtesy of Union Of Concerned Scientists
By Rachel Cleetus

The G-7 Leaders’ Summit is underway, from June 11–13, in Cornwall, UK. As host nation for this summit, and the annual climate talks later this year (also known as COP26), the UK will clearly be elevating the need for climate action, alongside dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and trade issues. One priority that must get urgent attention: richer nations need to make concrete commitments to increasing climate finance for developing countries. Here in the US, 48 groups, including the Union of Concerned Scientists, have just sent a letter to Congress calling for increased funding for climate finance in the federal budget.

President Biden. Image courtesy of White House, via Union of Concerned Scientists

The G7 Leaders’ Summit must prioritize climate finance

At the summit, the leaders of the G-7 countries — the UK, USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, France and Italy, and the EU — will be joined by guest nations Australia, India, South Korea, and South Africa. Tackling climate change is one of the four policy priorities on the agenda.

Ahead of the Leaders’ Summit, the finance ministers of the G-7 nations met last week. The highlight of that meeting was the announcement of a commitment to a global minimum tax rate of 15 percent for major corporations. In a statement, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said: “That global minimum tax would end the race-to-the-bottom in corporate taxation, and ensure fairness for the middle class and working people in the US and around the world.”

However, in terms of climate outcomes, the Finance Ministers’ Communique was disappointing. There were vague mentions of commitments to achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century and no major new financial commitments for clean energy investments or adaptation needs in developing countries, raising the stakes for more concrete actions at the Leader’s Summit and ahead of COP26.

On international climate finance, specifically, the text stated:

“We commit to increase and improve our climate finance contributions through to 2025, including increasing adaptation finance and finance for nature-based solutions. We welcome the commitments already made by some G7 countries to increase climate finance. We look forward to further commitments at the G7 Leaders’ Summit or ahead of COP26. We call on all the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to set ambitious dates for Paris Alignment ahead of COP26, and welcome their work supporting client countries.”

The unfair and worsening toll of climate impacts

Worldwide, climate impacts are unfolding in terrifying and costly ways. Worsening heat waves, floods, droughts, tropical storms and wildfires are taking a mounting toll on communities and economies.

Last month, for example, the unusually intense Cyclone Tauktae struck the coast of Gujarat in India, after traveling up the western coast causing heavy rainfall and floods. The cyclone took the lives of over 100 people, including 86 at an offshore oil and gas facility. Tauktae was the fifth strongest Arabian Sea cyclone on record, with peak winds of 140 mph, and tied for the strongest Arabian Sea landfalling cyclone. This latest storm is part of a trend toward increasingly frequent and powerful storms in the Arabian Sea that scientists have attributed to climate change, and that is expected to worsen.

And in a new ground-breaking study, researchers found that across 43 countries, 37 percent of summer heat-related deaths can be attributed to human-caused climate change. In several countries, including the Philippines, Thailand, Iran, Brazil, Peru, and Colombia, the proportion was greater than 50 percent.

The bottom line is that many developing countries that have contributed very little to the emissions that are fueling climate change are bearing the brunt of its impacts. Richer nations, like the United States, which are responsible for the vast majority of cumulative carbon emissions to date, must take responsibility for the harm being inflicted on poorer nations.

Climate finance is also desperately needed for developing countries to make a low-carbon transition. To have a fighting chance of limiting some of the worst climate impacts, the world will have to cut heat-trapping emissions in half by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050. The recent IEA net-zero by 2050 report points out that this is both feasible and affordable — as long as we make proactive, intentional investments in clean energy and curtail fossil fuels now, globally. That includes investments in decarbonizing every sector of the global energy system. It also means providing electricity to the 785 million people who currently do not have access, and clean cooking solutions to the 2.6 billion people who need them, most of whom live in developing countries — two priorities which the IEA estimates could be achieved by 2030 at a cost of about $40 billion a year and would deliver tremendous public health and economic benefits.

The necessary scale of international climate finance

In 2009, at the annual climate talks in Copenhagen, richer nations pledged to raise $100 billion a year to help developing countries cut their carbon emissions and adapt to climate change. Over ten years later, they have fallen woefully short.

The UNEP Adaptation Gap Report 2020, points out that “Annual adaptation costs in developing countries alone are currently estimated to be in the range of US$70 billion, with the expectation of reaching US$140–300 billion in 2030 and US$280–500 billion in 2050.”

Here in the US, the Biden administration and Congress must step up and ensure that this year’s federal budget includes a significant down payment on a US fair share contribution to climate finance, ahead of COP26. Forty eight groups, including the Union of Concerned Scientists, have just sent a letter to Congress, calling for a Fiscal Year 2022 allocation of at least $69.1 billion to support critical development goals and dedicating at least $3.3 billion of that for direct climate change programs as a step towards significantly increased international climate finance.

This is a minimum threshold, and a lot more will be needed in the years to come, including concrete steps from richer countries to recognize and respond to those crushing impacts of climate change that poorer nations simply will not be able to adapt to.

Sharp cuts in carbon emissions needed

Sharp cuts in global carbon emissions remain a core priority, especially with the latest data confirming — again — that we are far off track from where we need to be. While the 2020 economic downturn led to a brief dip in emissions, they are set to rise at a record-setting pace in 2021. Here too, richer nations must do much more. The Biden administration has made a significant commitment, pledging to cut US emissions 50–52% below 2005 levels by 2030, and we must now secure the domestic policies to deliver on that goal, starting with the American Jobs Plan.

An unconscionable gap between the rich and the poor

The gap in climate finance for developing countries is unconscionable. This mirrors the inequity in global vaccine availability, with richer nations stockpiling billions of surplus vaccine doses even as many countries have barely received any. With the climate crisis compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis, millions of lives are at risk and many more are being driven into poverty.

Just as with the COVID-19 crisis, solving the climate crisis will require collective global action. Equity is at the heart of ensuring the success of our efforts. Richer nations must both make sharp cuts in their own global warming emissions and contribute to climate finance for developing countries.

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Electric Ferrari Drag Race: Tesla Power vs. 12 Mighty Cylinders



For those of you too young to remember the fact for yourselves, I’m about to drop a truth-bomb: the 1980s were an absolutely magical time to love cars. There was a strange mix of things happening to help fuel that fact, too — a bit of hand-built craftsmanship here, some vague understanding of aerodynamics evolving over there (there was some science behind it, but it was a far cry from the computer-aided cruise missiles of today). Stir in a heaping helping of “War on Drugs” cocaine cowboy-ism and more than a dash of Magnum PI and Miami Vice, and you might soon understand why we children of the ’80s love Ferrari so. Pity Ferraris are objectively terrible by today’s standards … if only there was some way to make a classic Ferrari somehow relevant again.

I am, of course, leading you down a certain path — and longtime Gas2 and CleanTechnica readers will no doubt remember another electrically converted Ferrari 308 GT we covered a while back. That car has the look and the style of the Pininfarina-penned classic, but it’s packed with copper coils and windings instead of the original 3.0 liter V8 (3.0, 8 — get it?). That one was quick, but one featured here is packing even more power thanks to a 450 HP Tesla drive unit.

As that first ElectricGT 308 was more than a match for the ’80s spec 220 HP with “just” 330 HP, this new Tesla-powered find would have to be lined up against something a little more stout as a baseline. At least, that seems to be what the guys at CarWow thought, and they found another iconic 1980s Ferrari that fit the bill nicely thanks to its 390 HP flat-12 cylinder engine (red heads and all!).

So, 450 HP Ferrari 308 GTB vs. 390 HP Testarossa — is it fair? Not really. Is it awesome? Undoubtedly. Enough talk then — hit the play button on the video below and then let us know what you thought of this electric Ferrari drag race in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!

CarWow Electric Ferrari Drag Race

Source | Images: CarWow, via Motor1.

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Attending The Tesla Model S Plaid Event — Model S Plaid Is Like A Spaceship!



I went to the Tesla Model S Plaid delivery event this week, and it was thrilling. I wasn’t planning on actually coming to the event, but when things are meant to be, they happen — and it happened for me. My friend Isaac Latterell tweeted to Elon Musk asking him to give me press access. I could have asked, but it honestly didn’t even cross my mind to do so. Plus, I really don’t like asking for big favors like that. It’s just how I was raised. I figured this was for Tesla owners and customers who have supported the company and that I would just watch from home.

Then I got an email from Tesla inviting me to come. With the help of friends, I made last-minute arrangements to go. I literally found out less than 24 hours before the event that I was attending. My friend Al, with Tesla Owners of East Bay, invited me to crash with him and his family and he advised me to get a jacket. Mind you, I was in the Louisiana heat and it was 95 degrees with 100% humidity, so I thought he was exaggerating. California is supposed to be warm right? In June?

When I got to the event — wearing a very thin sweater that I found at Target — I discovered that not only did Tesla allow me to come, I was informed that I was in Group 0, which I thought was interesting. Starting groups with 0 instead of 1 is … odd. I asked the person who gave me the badge what the significance of Group 0 was and she told me that it was VIP. I was floored.

Another thing that Group 0 members received was the privilege of being the first to go on a test ride in the new Tesla Model S Plaid.

The Test Ride

Michael, who works with Tesla, was my driver. I rode in the back with my awesome friend Eli Burton, the creator of Starman Comics, which currently has a Kickstarter going. Dan Markham from What’s Inside was in the front. Teslarati also featured my video in this article.

Michael also allowed me to get my own video of the display of the Tesla Model S Plaid.

The test ride was amazing. Elon was not exaggerating when he said this was the fastest car ever created, but that is impossible to really convey in words. The beautiful part is that this is an electric vehicle, and Elon’s heart and passion for sustainable energy were felt in every aspect of the vehicle, from the design to the speed.

“It’s gotta be clear, like, man, sustainable energy cars can be the fastest cars, can be the safest cars, can be the most kick-ass cars in every way,” Elon said. The vehicle goes from 0 to 60 in 1.99 seconds. When Michael accelerated, it literally felt as if I was being pushed back into the seat of the car. It’s like riding in an airplane when it takes off, but 1,000 times more intense. For those who are afraid of flying, especially when taking off in the airplane, I suggest you take a ride in the Model S Plaid — I think it will help you overcome your fears.

After exiting the vehicle, my heart was still pounding well over 30 minutes later. Perhaps it was a mix of adrenaline, excitement, lack of sleep, and the insane rush of the Model S Plaid.

Other Highlights

Not only did I get to meet several Tesla Twitter friends, but I got to meet Franz von Holzhausen, who led design of the Model S Plaid as well as Tesla’s other vehicles. And, yes, he brought the sledgehammer, but it was to break records, not windows.

I was wrapped up in the blanket Tesla provided us, since I was freezing.

Alien Engineering & UFOs

When Elon was talking about how the engineering was practically alien, I made a joke about the Model S Plaid being able to catch up to UFOs, or catch one. I waited for that quiet moment and yelled it out — and, to my surprise, people laughed, including Elon. However, after riding in it, that sure felt possible.

A Message To Elon & All Tesla Employees

Elon, if you’re reading this, I just want to say thank you for inviting me. Being here was a mind-blowing experience. I met a few Tesla employees at the hotel and I told them that their work matters. One who I met asked me what was going on. We randomly met in the hotel and I explained that there was a Tesla event and he said that he worked there. So, naturally, I invited him to the party.

To any Tesla employee reading this, I just want to emphasize that your work is really, really important. Elon Musk and Tesla are making a positive change in an industry that has been polluting our planet for decades. We often take for granted the very air that we breathe. I don’t — I have asthma. Being able to breathe freely without any type of lung issue is a luxury to me. Our air is worth fighting for, and the work that you all do is helping to create a better world — one where the air we breathe doesn’t poison our future generations.

So, as you work the line, take photos, or even work as a janitor — you are making an impact. I can’t stress this enough. Your work matters.

For me, I’m just a girl from a small city in Louisiana, a state where the politicians are swayed by dealerships and oil and gas industry tycoons. However, Elon Musk and the folks at Tesla made me feel as if I am valued and I greatly appreciate that. And after experiencing the Model S Plaid in action, hearing the spaceship noises that the Teslas make, I can’t understand why anyone thinks these cars are not great.

You need to experience this car.

Where’s Johnna? (Screenshot from Tesla livestream.)

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