My wife is in the process of screen printing a T-shirt that she claims was inspired by me.
In beautiful ornate script it says very simply, ‘Dammit, I’ve been triggered.’
She thinks it’s funny as do my children. Do they really know me that well?
I should have had it hanging on the wall of my little studio on Sunday morning when I was invited to appear on a British commercial radio station called LBC.
For the vast majority of you reading this who will never have heard of this august institution, LBC stands for something like London Broadcasting Company.
It’s a regional micro channel has been knocking around for a few years and like all old school broadcasters, caters to an ever shrinking minority of older and generally ultra conservative listeners.
Nothing wrong with that, we need media outlets that cater to a large minority of old people who’ve developed entrenched and often bigoted views as the years pass.
I’d just like to politely point out I’m not one of them.
So I put in my earphones, adjust my mic, had a sip of tea, open Skype to see a middle aged radio host in the LBC studio talk in a very haphazard way about a topic he clearly knew nothing about to the extent that he actually said, “I’ve never driven one and know nothing about them”
Of course such a handicap didn’t stop him expressing a couple of dozen 3rd and 4th hand opinions.
And the topic? Well, it’s fairly obvious isn’t it. Electric cars.
So, he’d never driven one but he knew they didn’t work.
And he’d spoken to someone who did have one and they told him the chargers don’t work either.
Yes folks, I knew from the get-go I knew I had my work cut out as this strange man opinionated his way through the next 10 minutes.
I think it’s important to point out that he seems like quite a sensible and kind person when outside the confines of the reactionary structure of this particular media outlet.
But years of blathering to fill the airtime between adverts have somehow removed all abilities at actual conversation, let alone interview skill, his only task it seemed was to belittle, denigrate and react against what is, at the end of the day, simply a new technology.
And of course as soon as he asked me an actual question he was bored and loved the sound of his own voice to such an extent he simply interrupted me and asked me something else.
After suggestion electric cars weren’t ‘ready yet’ whatever that means and blathering about ‘throwing away batteries’ I tried to counter with the fact that batteries could be recycled, and ‘can you show me a litre of recycled diesel?’
He didn’t listen to anything I said, next it was ‘the materials in these batteries aren’t exactly green are they?’
Now I’ve made the rookie error of adding a question mark after that statement, because with this chap, he doesn’t ask questions, he makes statements and presumably expects me to agree with him or say something he can then dismiss with a reactionary sneer.
I truly don’t know,
Anyway, recounting the incident is pointless, in other circumstances I might add a link to the episode but seriously, don’t bother listening, it’s a waste of your time.
Suffice it to say I was mildly triggered and no matter what the situation, that is never a good way to conduct yourself.
In my defence the man I was talking to was, like many of his ilk, perma-triggered.
But that still doesn’t excuse me getting slightly pugilistic in my responses. I did genuinely find some of the things he said amusing so I did laugh.
His assumptions, fears and claims were so daft they were amusing, and yes it’s very easy to justify my responses when confronted with such deliberate and proudly held ignorance.
But that really doesn’t help spread a positive message, there would have been a few hundred people listening in London who were also perma-triggered and I did little or nothing to calmly dispel that fear of change.
So it’s debatable if it is ever worth someone like me entering the fray on such channels. You can argue that it’s important to talk outside the EV bubble, and there really is an EV bubble, although it’s now quite a big bubble.
However I do think the debate has fundamentally changed.
There was a time maybe 5 or 6 years ago when it was worth expending the emotional effort to try and counter the negative arguments put forward by people who didn’t know they were spouting fossil fuel lobby groups talking points.
However a glance at the sales figures for vehicles in 2021 push most of the counter arguments in the disused box.
The sales figures are huge. Even as recently as 2015 sales of electric vehicles barely registered in total sales of new cars.
In 2015 a full 48% of new cars sold were diesel.
Meaning nearly half of all vehicles sold used the most toxic fuel and of course the vast majority of those are still in use, although the 2nd hand value has collapsed.
Sales of diesel cars in 2021 collapsed to a truly pathetic 7% of new car sales in contrast to 26% of new car sales that were pure electric.
So other than the public charging infrastructure, the argument has sort of been won.
There are still enormous challenges ahead, this technology is going to further disrupt the industry,
Some automotive companies are already on their knees with covid related staff shortages, chip shortages, a global mess in regards to last minute parts deliveries and a massive shift away from combustion engines.
It’s a heady concoction but as regards some talkative radio host having an opinion about electric cars, it’s fine, it’s irrelevant. The change is happening no matter what a few angry old men say.
I need to remember that if I’m ever invited on again, which I think is possibly doubtful.