[Excerpt from Burlington Free Press]
Consider the fossil-fuel impacts of our broader automotive lifestyle, and you’ll find that electric cars fall short of the ideal, suggests Jon Erickson, a professor of ecological economics at University of Vermont.
Costs to society (and the planet) of metal extraction, manufacturing and road maintenance don’t appear in brochures for a Toyota Prius or Nissan Leaf, noted Erickson, who took a few minutes out of his sabbatical to talk shop.
If combating global warming is a priority, he said, the decision to buy an electric car “is a measure of last resort.”
Overall, Erickson said, the new vehicles fit into an urgent campaign to wean society away from fossil fuels.
But electric cars have so far done nothing to disabuse Americans of a cherished notion of personal freedom that relies on “being able to jump into a car and going where we want,” he added.