Do As I Say
Rule-by-decree mandates will ultimately condemn the green energy agenda.
“A civilization which leaves so large a number of its participants unsatisfied and drives them into revolt neither has nor deserves the prospect of a lasting existence.” – Sigmund Freud
Timothy “Timmy” Johnson is living his dream life. He spends Monday through Thursday scratching out a living as a driving instructor in Anchorage, Alaska such that his weekends can be filled with outdoor adventures documented for his popular YouTube channel “Truck House Life,” which at the time of this writing has accumulated over 400,000 subscribers (for reference, that’s twice as many as this publication—move over energy, hello creative-outdoor-micro-living?). As the channel’s name implies, Johnson camps in a tiny home he built on the bed of his 1996 Ford F350 pickup truck that comes equipped with the iconic 7.3L Powerstroke diesel engine. Known for its power, durability, and reliability, the Powerstroke is one the most popular engines ever made, maintaining a cult-like following long after Ford discontinued its production in 2003.
In a three-part video series released over the holidays, Johnson documents his attempt to make the nearly 2,000-mile round-trip journey from Anchorage to Deadhorse, a historic small town situated along the North Slope near the Arctic Ocean. Along the way, he fights through dangerous blizzards and survives bone-chilling temperatures that reach as low as -60°F with the wind chill. Keeping his trusty Powerstroke topped off with diesel is a matter of life or death in such conditions, and Johnson is careful to fill both his main and after-market auxiliary fuel tanks whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Early in his journey, Johnson departs a gas station and marvels at the sight of four electric vehicle (EV) chargers sitting unused, practically shivering among the blowing drifts of snow. Their presence in the brutal environment is as jarring as it is nonsensical—an EV would be a dangerously foolish vehicle to rely on in this territory. With a charming innocence that surely explains much of his channel’s popularity, Johnson proceeds to casually say the quiet part out loud:
“That’s crazy! I mean, I guess we need ‘em at some point. That’s the thing about electric cars is, uh, I don’t know, the drive from Anchorage to Fairbanks is 379 miles, and most electric cars do not have a 300-mile range. So fossil fuels are still kind of king up here for sure.”
Unfortunately for Johnson and those like him, there are plenty of would-be kings who have a decidedly different view.
Take Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s controversial Minister of Environment and Climate Change, appointed by Justin Trudeau in 2021. Guilbeault bounced around in the world of environmental non-profits for decades, including an extensive stint at Greenpeace Canada, before his soft landing into a series of government jobs. At roughly the same time Johnson was filming his video series, Guilbeault issued from his throne a decree on how Canadians shall be permitted to move about their expansive country in the coming decade (emphasis added throughout):
“Canada on Tuesday released final regulations mandating that all passenger cars, SUVs, crossovers and light trucks sold by 2035 must be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), part of the government's overall plan to combat climate change. ZEVs must make up at least 20% of all cars sold by 2026 and at least 60% by 2030. Industry officials say electric vehicles (EVs) represented 12.1% of new vehicle sales in the third quarter of 2023.
Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said the regulations provided industry with the certainty it needed to address the issue of limited availability of EVs.
‘(This) ensures Canadians have access to our fair share of the global supply of these vehicles,’ he told a televised news conference in Toronto.”
The article goes on to note that Canada’s new regulations mirror those of the State of California, undoubtedly a point of pride for Guilbeault. Of course, Canadian weather is better represented by that of Timmy Johnson’s Alaska than Gavin Newsom’s Golden State, making EVs all but useless in Canada’s vast rural areas for much of the year.
That which can’t go on forever usually doesn’t. As “100% ZEV” mandates around the Western world make their inevitable journey from dictate to political revolt to delay to full revocation, a review of where each specific region lies on this spectrum makes for a fascinating analysis. With peak ESG almost certainly behind us, the Guilbeaults of the world look set to cling to power for as long as they can, demanding the impossible to the bitter end. Let’s spin the globe and assess where certain big-talking countries are on their EV adventure.