The Tesla Model 3 has received rave reviews so far. In its souped-up version it has a range of over 300 miles, The basic model still gets about 220 miles before requiring a charge. The car has more space than its BMW and Mercedes competitors. It accelerates better. it is today’s car of the future. Pending repair and maintenance feedback, the Tesla is not only a winner but a game changer. Gas-fueled cars are on the way out or on the way down, however you want to look at it.

Land yachts, with names like Denali, Sequoia and Yukon, are a dying breed. They will be replaced by jumbo’s with names like Callisto, Io, Ganymede and Europa – the mammoth Galilean moons of Jupiter: ships of the sky.

It’s going to take time for the world to convert to electric cars, but convert it will. In 1973, OPEC first flexed its collective muscle by shutting down oil exits to the US. Citizens pulled together long enough to curse their tormentors. Then in a show of unity, we moved onto to learning ways of syphoning gas out of a neighbor’s tank.

Few heeded the omen of shortages to come; the politics of energy. US manufacturers were slow to react with economical vehicles. The 1976 model year showed no evidence of recognition For example, Lincoln brought out its Continental In four design packages Hence, the Bill Blass Mark IV, a car that has taken its place along side the Edsel.

In 1979, the Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran from political exile; seized the American embassy and shut down oil production – just a little. It was enough to send a second shockwave through the United States automobile culture. Prices rose, gas lines formed. As soon as the crisis ended, automakers returned with new breeds of behemoth: minivans, SUVs, crossovers, land cruisers. Real progress in fuel economy efficiency stopped in the early 1990s. Petroleum-dependent cars of the 2015 model year showed negligible improvement in the 15 year window.

Meanwhile in another part of the world, the first electric/hybrid car was being designed and built. Toyota’s Prius was introduced to the world in the 1990s, making landfall in the United States in 1999. With average air and water temperature levels rising annually, the push was on to make progress for environmental as well as economic reasons. Thus, the Tesla, an electric car that cuts our dependence upon petroleum and eliminates the carbon emissions that are destructive to the earth’s atmosphere.

Naturally, this is the perfect time to discuss whether or not climate change is real. Do you want to ignore that ice

Naturally, this is the perfect time to discuss whether climate change is real. Do you want to ignore that iceberg the size of Delaware floating around in the southern hemisphere? Or that we keep hitting a record temperature annually? Or that there is a hole in the ozone layer that will not close? Go right ahead and be doubters about climate change. Persist in your belief that we have done nothing to cause these shifting paradigms. Have at it! Mr. Musk will be driving his Jetsons car all the way to the bank.

The debate over the reality of climate change would be amusing if it were not frightfully stupid. Less than two months ago, an Ice Shelf broke off of Antarctica.

Whether human beings are altering the environment or not, the environment is changing the planet in extremely fast and terrifying ways. Human beings need to respond by preventing additional change and by adapting to emerging conditions. The Tesla is a phenomenon because it breaks through in both ways.

This is the really stupid part. Blaise Pascal, who is a 17th-century French mathematician and philosopher. Like others of his age he had to reconcile his findings in natural philosophy with the belief in God. Pascal happened to be a man of faith, and he was challenged by his colleagues for the discrepancy between his belief and his professional findings. Pascal devised an argument known as the Wager.

Pascal’s argument was that people should believe in a God and act in accordance with religious principles. Naturally, Pascal was contemplating a Christian God but it really doesn’t matter for our purpose. If it turns out that there is a God and you have been a person of good will, you have lost nothing of significance – material wealth maybe, libido running wild perhaps. But if there is a God and you have not acted as if there were, you will be in a colossal mess. You will have sinned without seeking absolution. That’s trouble with the capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for perdition. In the words of that great 21st century moral philosopher, Donald J. Trump, “What have you got to lose?” Or as Pascal put it:

Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.

 

Many of my philosopher friends, of which there are none, are prepared to point out the flaws of the Wager as proof of the existence of God. However I do not suggest this as proof of the divine. Pascal’s wager is a good practical approach to dealing with uncertainty when the consequences are significant.

The same principle applies to environmental practice. If there is no climate change and we have developed less toxic and invasive means of producing energy, we lose very little. But the water and air will be cleaner, and our environmental practices will not cause any further deterioration. However, if mankind is destroying the environment through its energy industry and we do nothing about it but continue the same destructive ways, we will lose the World.

Think about energy production in terms of Pascal’s Wager, The best course of action is obvious. With the benefit of revolutionary propulsion technology, independent of the petroleum industry, belief is beside the point.