This week on Gas2, the most popular stories revolved around the promise of electric power in alternative transportation. From Tesla’s reveal of the Model 3, to Toyota’s vision for its 2022 quick charging EV, and even to the Koch brothers’ message machine about the perils of EVs, the key connecting element among the top Gas2 stories was about the promise of electric power…. who has it, who proclaims to be on the verge of having it, and who’s so afraid of the promise of electric power that they’re spreading EV stories about fearful safety concerns and children’s welfare.
Here are those stories and more in this edition of the “Gas2 Week in Review.”
Titled “The Dirty Secrets of Electric Cars,” the new Koch brothers’ video is a linguist’s dream! Did you know that “electric cars are more toxic to humans than average cars?” Or that “pollution is rampant” in countries where batteries are produced? When “rare earth metals” are mined for EV batteries, the video says, “children are forced into oppressive labor” and “are ripe for exploitation.” These children “earn as little as two dollars a day.” It is “dangerous” to extract these metals, many of which “end up in landfills.” Ah, the simple video is rife with the most basic of propaganda techniques to refute the promise of electric power:
- name calling (“dirty secrets”),
- glittering generalities (because batteries — among other products — are produced in countries that are polluted, it is implied that batteries are to blame),
- plain folks (“children” are “forced into oppressive labor,” but the video implies the fault lies with battery production rather than horrific social conditions),
- appeal to fear (batteries “end up in landfills” which, by extension, will contaminate infrastructure like water supplies), and,
- black and white fallacy (only two alternatives are presented— a world with and without batteries.)
Watch the video yourself and see if you can find more propaganda techniques. It’s easy!