Electric cars & other useless system tinkering

Making bits of a broken system ‘better’ isn’t a step forward.

It’s not even positive. Swapping everyone’s car for an electric one is a terrible idea, and part of a re-positioning by manufacturers to stay producing cars. Jeremy Clarkson was….this is difficult….er urgh…..right. Electric cars dig up a lot of rare metals for their lithium batteries, and they rely on a fossil fuelled system to transport, make and distribute the cars. The EVs have plastic tyres (made from oil) and plastic interiors. We don’t have enough lithium, and the production is pretty nasty.

Systems Thinking would examine the very need for the personally owned car. Going back to the idea of a shared fleet of cars, ordered via App, driver-less and the car you want, when you want. No car loan, no insurance or maintenance costs, no breakdowns, traffic jams or parking. All cheaper than what you have now. It’s possible. It’s about the service, what you want to do, more than the tools you need to own.

More than that though, Systems Thinking says do you need to live way out there alone. Could you live in the city near the job? Could we convert all those huge outdated retail spaces to quality social housing, use car-free roads as play-parks and woods and community gardens to grow our food. Could we make suburbs socially undesirable and cities the social norm?

So we change the car, but we also link out to housing, the social environment of the city, retail and consumer culture, the need or not for motorways, easing pollution levels, better health, encouraging children to play outside, safer streets….Systems Links are many and marvellous.

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