California Has Another Planet-Saving Idea

A perpetual motion machine is an imaginary device that can accomplish more work than the energy it consumes.  Inventors have devised countless concepts for such a machine, but none has worked because all of them violate the 1st law of thermodynamics: energy cannot be created or destroyed, only converted into other forms.  An internal combustion engine converts chemical energy into horsepower.  An atom bomb converts nuclear energy into heat.  In the real world, a machine's output is always less than its input.

Fortunately, California is considering an exception to that law — legislatively.

California is developing a workaround to thermodynamics out of shear necessity — due to its energy predicament.  It has a small energy conversion problem and a huge energy policy problem.  Making electricity is easy.  Figuring out how to make enough electricity without violating leftist dogma is quite a bit harder.

California's population has grown an astounding 162 percent since 1958.  Yet the state hasn't built a new power plant (other than wind or solar) since the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant came online in 1985.  The state simply does not have the electrical generating capacity to meet its current needs — making it more dependent on imported power than any other state in the Union.

California currently imports between 20 and 30 percent of its power from other states.  The "save the planet" zealots have become dependent addicts, ensuring continued profitability for the evil pushers of environmentally destructive energy.

That dependence on other states is a simple engineering problem to solve.  If you don't have enough electricity, just build more power plants.  We actually know how to do that.

The thing making California's electricity shortage a huge issue is not the availability of energy or technology.  The problem is California's energy policy.  The state hasn't built a new power plant in almost 40 years because it has committed to reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.  Within the next 22 years, Californians will have saved the planet by making themselves totally dependent on windmills that stand idle on calm days and solar panels that go dormant when clouds pass over.

How's that conversion to renewables working for California?  It succeeded in making the state dependent on its neighbors for electricity — so it's not working especially well.  But there is a time-honored leftist tradition: if something isn't working, do more of it.  Therefore, California's Legislature has mandated that by 2035, all new cars sold in the state must be zero emission — which translates to electric.  If renewables can't satisfy current needs, just place more demand on renewables and tell the utilities to suck it up.

There are two entirely foreseen (to sentient beings) consequences of the E.V. (electric vehicle) mandate.  The first is that California's electricity shortage will be getting worse — much worse.  Those E.V.s use a lot of juice to recharge, and they will all be plugged in at the same time — when people get home from work.  The second consequence is that the market for obsolete, gas-guzzling, smog-producing used cars is going to explode in California — increasing greenhouse gas emissions in the state that is trying to eliminate greenhouse gases.

Luckily, California is known for its innovators, and they've come up with a creative solution to their electricity shortage.  Just mandate that all the new E.V.s incorporate bidirectional charging — as Senate Bill 233 proposes.  This means that when the cars aren't being driven, their batteries can either be recharged from the grid or discharged into the grid.  Therefore, the stored energy in millions of parked electric cars can be used to meet the state's electricity shortfall during times of peak demand.  When my car is plugged in at night, it can be used to charge my neighbor's car.  After his car is fully charged, it can be used to charge my car.  It's genius!

With a little "out of the box" thinking, the problem is solved.  Just mandate that more battery-powered machinery be brought online, and then resolve the electricity shortfall by forcing those machines to supply electricity to one another.  It will meet electric demand without more electric generation.  What could go wrong?

It's the solution inventors never thought of: perpetual motion by legislation.  More energy out than energy in, by mandate.  Just require by law that electricity be pushed back and forth between batteries to come up with the power they need but don't have.  It's a little like using two credit cards to meet a budget shortfall — only done with electricity.

Unfortunately, as stated above, it's also a violation of the laws of thermodynamics.  Something will have to be done about those troublesome laws.  Reality can't be allowed to stand in the way of progress, after all.  Perhaps California could pay some scientists to reach consensus that the 1st law of thermodynamics can be waived for "save the planet" expedience.  If scientists reach consensus, that makes it reality — right?

California's dreamin' is going to make a day in the life of the average Californian in 2045 quite entertaining for the rest of us.  Let's say Joe Pompous arrives home in his $60,000 E.V. after a long day of propaganda creation for the Disney Corporation.  He gets out of his car and takes a moment to admire its sleek lines, and pat himself on the back for his environmental stewardship.  Noting that his car's charge is down to 30 percent, he plugs it in to recharge overnight.

Joe goes inside and cranks up his AC to avoid suffering the downside of anthropogenic global warming.  As he starts dinner on his planet-friendly electric stove, he tunes in to MSNBC on his 60-inch plasma TV and begins unwinding for the day.

The next morning, after a brisk workout on his electric treadmill and a hot shower delivered by a planet-saving electric water heater, he heads to the garage for his daily commute.

Much to Joe's dismay, his car's battery has been drained overnight — due to that bidirectional charging thingy.  No problem.  He'll just summon an Uber.  Thank Gaia the voters gave Uber a waiver to AB 5 so it could stay in business.  Wait: "What do you mean, the Uber battery is dead, too?"

Joe decides that since he can't get to work, there won't be any propaganda production today.  He'll just spend the day doing yard work with his electric mower instead.  After changing into his work duds, Joe notices his neighbor, Karen, gazing disgustedly at her dead E.V.  Apparently, there won't be any censorship done at Facebook today, either.  In fact, there won't be much commerce of any kind done in California today, since everyone commutes by E.V.  Fortunately, it will be planet-friendly "all electric" loafing.

After completing his yard work, Joe gets a beer from his electric refrigerator to unwind.  As he relaxes by his electrically heated pool, he contemplates green enlightenment...and thinks about moving to Idaho.

John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho.  He has written for American Thinker and American Free News Network.  He can be reached at

Image via Pexels.

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