by Tom Luongo, Tom Luongo:
As the center of the U.S. freezes this weekend, Elon Musk is trying to figure out how to save Tesla from going the way of Enron.
Religions die hard. It takes an orgy of evidence to change a person’s mind on a subject that is integral to their moral and ethical structure.
In the case of Tesla, the mania surrounding it over the past decade has been inextricably bound up with the hysteria of global warming.
For years investors ignored the obvious warning signs that Tesla would never be able to graduate from a boutique, hand-built car manufacturer and technology skunk works to a mass producer.
I’ve been very hard on Musk in the past, with good reason. But, as a guy with vision I applaud him getting Tesla off the ground and legitimizing the idea of the upscale electric car.
But it was never going to work as a mass production scheme because Musk isn’t that guy. He’s a dreamer and a schemer, not a builder. And, as I’ve said multiple times, he should have stepped down as CEO of Tesla ages ago.
A man has got to know his limitations as The Man once said.
People Need Religion
And this goes for the Global Warming crowd as well. There’s is a religion based around basic human hubris — that we are far more impactful on the world than we actually are and our activities need to be reined in.
This comes from worshiping the environment as a substitute for traditional religions. Marx preached organized religion is the ‘opiate of the masses’ but people need religion of some form or another to bring meaning to their lives and guide their behavior.
So if they reject Christianity, for example, they will seek out a new thing to elevate and substitute for it. I would argue that Star Wars provided that for me as a teenager and later Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle.
We all need a religion.
The environment is definitely one of these substitute religions. In fact, modern environmentalism has all the trappings of a classic human religion.
We have our Satan, consumerism. It is the bastard child of capitalism since this version of environment-worship is rooted in Marxism.
We have the apocalypse story, Global Warming. We will literally destroy all life on the planet turning it into Venus. It’s the rapture for Gaia worshipers.
And we have the High Priest of Technocracy who will save us from ourselves, Elon Musk. He will put a solar panel on every roof, take us to Mars while we drive around, guilt-free in our luxury Teslas.
The problem with all of it, of course, is that it was all bought with debt and government largesse, itself a consumerist fantasy created out of the opulence that capitalism provided.
And while there are plenty of reasons why electric cars can make sense, less carbon dioxide isn’t one of them. But, that’s where the billions in grants and Wall Street funny money came from.
Tesla is witches’ brew consisting of equal parts the Fed’s insane zero-bound interest rates, the elevation of global warming to religious significance by the left and cynical Wall Street profiteering.
The Fed provided the money, the government gave out the subsidies to entice the Wall Streeters and global warming provided the upscaling demand as Generation Prius gave way to the siren’s call of Musk’s consumerism.
In essence, we live in a period of history so wealthy relative to our basic survival needs we can indulge the ravings of mad Marxists at levels of taxation and wealth redistribution which are far greater than any previous economic cycle.
Why this occurred, in my view, is confluence of three things:
- Rising sun output lowering the cost of food production.
- Enshrining private property rights and the subservience of government to the people in law in some places, like the U.S.
- Accessing the deep, high-density energy reserves of the planet (Oil).
Those three thing created real wealth for humanity at a rate easily double previous periods of recorded history.
There’s no doubt that this period has been messy and our institutions and cultural identities are having a hard time adjusting.
The environmentalists certainly have a point about pollution and consumerism.
But only up to a point.
And if they would confine their activities to getting polluters to pay their ‘externalities,’ limiting governments’ protection of them and educating people about being less wasteful then I would have zero problems with them.
In fact, I applaud their efforts. What they fail to understand, willfully I believe, is that the efficiency enforced by the laws of economics on producers drives waste and pollution down over time.
But their religious fervor cannot allow them to see that and allow nature, as it were, to take its course. And there’s is a religion based on the unquenchable envy of Marxism.
My substitute religion however, doesn’t tell me to expropriate 10% of world GDP to ensure I get another Star Wars movie to add to my gospel either.
But you do see that from the Global Warming extremists. And the sad part is that the same Wall St. profiteers who sold them Tesla are also selling them carbon credits, solar panels and electric luxury cars.
The very people who they rail against, Wall St. are the ones handing them the money to indulge their power fantasies about saving the world.
You can can your environmentalist cake and eat it too, Greenies.