Negative Public Reaction to Seeing the Car

Negative Public Reaction to Seeing the Car

WOW! I wasn't prepared driving in my Model S Sig today to get a negative taunt thrown at me... I was showing some friends of mine at their office in a heavily walked area. Some guy comes up and says "Oh, so that's what my tax money is paying for." Now, I'm not normally political, but I went off... For those just receiving your car, have some nice witty retorts just in case you get something like that... I have a few good ones now that I am prepared. Of course, that's been the 1 bad out of 100 good who keep stopping and looking or wanting to see it (and I've only had it on the street for less than an hour)...

shs | 15. Dezember 2012

I think that this thread has become representative of the problem that this thread is trying to address – negative comments about the car and/or the philosophy behind it. I obviously believe that climate change is a real problem and my wife and I are doing everything we personally can to minimize our carbon footprint. Getting a Tesla Model S, is an important piece of that process.

We live in a rural area of California that is very “red” and we have already gotten some grief, even from county officials, for our attempt to build a “green” house with energy supplied by solar panels. I would love to have a custom license plate on the MS that says something like NO CO2 or CO2 FREE, (both are likely taken), but I realize that such plates would be a real invitation to get our car keyed. It’s a dilemma as obviously there are people out there who are offended by statements about climate changes and its causes even though that are the consensus of 99.83% of the peer-reviewed literature on the subject.

shop | 15. Dezember 2012

@shs, you aren't reading what I wrote. Negative comments are not about your belief in global warming, but about forcing us taxpayers to pay for your belief in global warming. People do not, in general, like to be taxed for things they think are useless. Try, try, try to understand that other people may actually think differently than you. I'm quite sure you don't like tax breaks for domestic oil production either. It's the same thing.

What grief did you get from county officials, BTW? Building codes can be a pain in the ass, but usually if you follow their rules, as silly as some of them may seem, you can get things done. And there shouldn't be blanket restrictions against solar panels. I've heard of aesthetic restrictions in a HOA, but counties nromally don't care about that sort of thing.

shop | 15. Dezember 2012

@rwang, I agree, and I would add that fear mongering against nuclear energy isn't helpful. Nuclear energy is abundant, and if left to grow, would become more and more reliable, cost effective and safe over time. Unfortunately with three mile island hysteria, it set back the industry in the US decades. I am noticing that none of the global warming crowd here on this thread is saying anything nice about nuclear. If your issue is co2 emissions, you would think you would embrace nuclear, but there seems to be a left wing groupthink against it.

Brian H | 15. Dezember 2012

That % figure is bogus, and is an spin off of a 97% number produced by a shabby student survey, in which they screened responses and got fuzzy acceptance of an ambiguous statement by 77 of 79 selected respondents -- out of about 5,000 originally polled.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of papers challenging AGW and the CO2 speculation, and more are coming out faster every month. The jig is about up for the IPCC's editorial stranglehold on the literature.

Brian H | 15. Dezember 2012

typo: "and is a spin off"

bsimoes | 15. Dezember 2012

@Shop--Not too long ago there seemed to be a little issue in Japan involving a few nuclear power plants... the worst that can happen with solar is that it is cloudy for a few days!

shs | 15. Dezember 2012

Shop, I appreciate the distinction you are making between my belief in climate change and government subsidies of something you don’t believe in. We likely differ in the role of government, but if there is a threat to the common good and national security, it is the governments job to do whatever is necessary to protect its citizens. That is where the connection is. Call it social engineering if you like, but most of the time, it is for a good reason. You are right, there are lots of things the government does that I don’t like, but I still pay my taxes.

What happened with the building department was that when we submitted our plans as owner builders, the plans called for heating and cooling with a geothermal heat pump, cooking with an induction cook top, and basically no propane or natural gas or any other fossil fuel in the house. When the Director of the Building Department asked me why we were doing this, I explained that we would use solar panels to generate enough electricity to cover our yearly needs, and that we were trying to lower or zero our carbon footprint. He got very angry/red in the face and said. “I breathe out carbon dioxide, do you want me to stop breathing?” After about a minute, he calmed down and said, “What you are doing is stupid and unpatriotic, but I can’t stop you. Things went pretty smoothly after that although he did hassle on some Mickey Mouse stuff in the next few months. Within the year, however, he was gone and we passed final with the new director with no problems at all.

Brian H | 15. Dezember 2012

The tsunami was huge and unprecedented. All deaths were due to the water, none to the plant. It was a 40 yr old design, and held up pretty well under those circumstances.

Wanna know something funny? It scared Germany into cancelling all nuclear construction and advancing some plant retirements. Now it's having to build new coal-burning plants lickety-split to make up the slack -- burning the "dirty" local brown coal which Germany has in abundance!

Irony is a beach. Ironie ist ein Strand (? Heh. The "pun" doesn't work in German.)

shop | 15. Dezember 2012

Shs. Sounds like a nice set up, basically running everything via electricity supplemented by solar and if you have a large enough array could generate net neutral usage using the grid essentially as a giant capacitor/battery. Glad to hear you got it approved. That original director was out of line. As much as I hate stupid building codes, they are there for exactly this reason - to reign in bureaucratic power.

shop | 15. Dezember 2012

Re the tsunami. Bridges fall down, but we don't outlaw bridges, we learn from mistakes and build better next time.

MB3 | 15. Dezember 2012

Unfortunately the sea level rise is accelerating. You may be referring to paper that analyzes tidal gauge records by Houston and Dean. They cherry pick data from a subset of gauges at U.S. stations and picked a date range to specifically support their case. Even in their biased analysis they did not show a statistically significant slow down in the acceleration. More complete measures based on global combination of tide gauge records and satellites are available and support the conclusion that sea level rise is accelerating. But for the future the most important driver in sea level rise will be ice-sheet melting and that will lead to a strong non-linear and potentially sudden increase.

Mel. | 15. Dezember 2012

Well I am not a believer in many of your arguments. I tend to lean toward being a Pastafarian. I bought my MS, as a statement against imported fuels.. I really like the buy American first idea. Tesla is doing everything to move us forward in the transportation business. Government has been a negative (dealership laws ) as well as a positive ( small LOAN to Tesla ). Please continue to discuss all the issues, great for all of us to hear different points of view.

jkirkebo | 15. Dezember 2012

Shs: That is more or less exactly our setup. Heating via geothermal heat pump & 650ft deep energy well, cooling directly from the same well and induction cooktops. Also the dryes is heat pump based. And we will soon have 2 EVs and no ICEs ;)

No solar panels though, Norway isn't the best place for it and the incentives are few. However 95% of our electricity comes from hydro anyway.

bob | 15. Dezember 2012

For me the only religion I care about is fact. Everything else is just crap. I know for a fact that CO2 in the ambient atmosphere is increasing over the decades. Anything else including the final effects are at best informed speculation. That being said as a commercial pilot in the last 50 years it "seems" that weather patterns are changing. Whether it is part of a natural long term cycle or part of the CO2 rise I cannot say. Two other points. Follow the money. The oil companies fund anti climate change research. Just think about that and what would be the motivation. If you guess $$$$$ your on bunky. So I am skeptical of extreme views on either side of this question. My personal motivation for buying either an S or the new Toyota Rav4 EV (same drivetrain and battery as a 40KW S) is to reduce the justification for the US's foriegn adventures. The military complex is destroying what is left of the democracy here. And I want to remove the justifcation for our interference in other countries affairs.

shs | 15. Dezember 2012

jkirkebo, Geothermal heating and cooling is really great. In our case we use one of our ponds as a heat source/sink. Even when there is snow on the ground the pond is frozen over, the system still pumping out lots of heat with a COP of 6!. The really neat thing for us is that once we get the MS we will sign up for an EV rate for electricity where the nighttime costs for electricity are half what we currently pay. So not only will we be charging our car at 3.5 cents/kWh, we will also be heating our house at half our current cost. The only rate that goes up with the EV9A plan is the rate on summer afternoons, when of course our solar panels are putting out much more juice than the house consumes. Having a MS really should lower our overall electricity costs and take us from paying a small yearly true-up charge, to getting some money back from the electric company, PG&E.

Brian H | 15. Dezember 2012 | December 15, 2012
Follow the money. The oil companies fund anti climate change research.

Hilarious. Hoist by your own petard. There is almost no funding of anti-anthropogenic-climate change research, versus billions on supportive "research" (how is it 'research' if the conclusions must be vetted in advance?) And the oil companies, whether for PC reasons or otherwise, are major contributors. Take a look at the books; whether Shell, Exxon, BP, or other, it's the same across the board. | 15. Dezember 2012

Are we using Apple maps? We are way of the map here. Can we rename this "Negative Reaction to Polarized Positions".

RobertD | 15. Dezember 2012

I have a friend who posted many nasty anti-Obama, pro-Romney remarks on FB. I have told other friends that he is not allowed to ride in my Model S.

PS - my wife says that if anyone complains about the $7500 rebate the reply should be "So, do you own a house?"

Bumble | 15. Dezember 2012

...To get back to the forum line of response to negative comments and educational statements to counter act them. I would like to know what the carbon footprint is for a MS vs. BMW M5 (fair comparison I think). It can be per 300 miles driven, figured over 30,000 miles or life of the vehicle. I am certain one of the many intelligent Tesla believers out there can figure this information or can point me to the data. The other knowledge point that would be valuable to me would be the amount of subsidies/bailouts/government grants, etc. given to oil and auto industry last year. The facts always make better debating points than do avoidance, anger and frustration.

shop | 15. Dezember 2012

@RobertD - yes indeed! Any house owner gets a nice fat mortgage interest rate deduction on their taxes versus renters who get none. EV rebates are but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to government providing incentives or dis-incentives through many, many different mechanisms. For example taxes on cigarettes and alcohol. R&D tax credits. Agriculture water and electricity rates.

Hey, here's a good reason to subsidize EVs that have nothing to do with global warming belief: Air pollution. They don't call EVs clean for nothing - even taking in to account non-clean electricity sources and transmission losses, EVs are way better in terms of particulate air pollution that ICEs. Sound pollution. Imaging a busy intersection with only EVs!

bob | 15. Dezember 2012

I'll say it again, CO2 is rising that much is provable. Whether it is the primary driver in climate change is to me possible but not entirely proven. ( part of this could be cyclical in nature) However it is telling that big oil funds anti climate change research. My point is really much more about the Military Industrial Complex and it's need for justification for endless f*cking wars. That is why I will drive electric. That is why my house has a solar system. It is the best way to tell the right wing military establishment to go to h*ll. So Brian kiss my petard.

shop | 15. Dezember 2012

Just a catch up to rebut a few things that were left out here about global warming. There does appear to be a historical correlation between co2 concentration and temperature, but it is entirely possible that historically it is temperature that causes co2 rise rather than the other way around. Ie sun increases output raising temperature which then causes more co2 through various mechanisms. Indeed there are peer reviewed papers showing exactly this using ice core data ... Historically ( meaning through the ice ages) temperature goes up first, followed by co2 several hundred years later. Note that in modern history, ie. now, co2 is going up due to burning fossil fuels, no doubt about that, but we are still a long way away from co2 levels seen in geologic time in the past.

Arctic ice levels are currently shrinking but at the same time Antarctic ice levels are increasing. There is a very strong oscillation pattern whereby when one pole increases ice extent, the other shrinks.

There is no proof at all that non linear catastrophic temperature increases will occur if we pass some threshold, only theories. Theories put out by people who have a direct financial incentive for those theories to be believed as gospel. Climate scientists get lots of research money if stopping the end of the world depends on them, less if that isn't the case.

Global warming could very well occur anyways. If you believe it might happen, I would suggest moving to Canada or Alaska. I'm not joking and I'm not trying to be flippant. A place that is under snow 6 months of the year will BENEFIT greatly if massive global warming occurs.

RedShift | 15. Dezember 2012

Shop, ths so called theories are being put forth by scientists. Are you one?

When the ' proof' you so sincerely seem to seek finally arrives, to your satisfaction ( god knows whether you will ever be satisfied) what of its too late?

We should all just move to Canada or Alaska and be merry?

You might not be trying to be flippant, but you are coming across as being flippant. Sorry.

shop | 15. Dezember 2012

Sorry, was just trying to be realistic. Honestly not flippant. For instance, I am a believer that the US is going to undergo a massive economic convulsion similar to what is occurring in Greece. Not soon, probably 10-20 years from now. If you have any kind of savings, you'll be poor. Unfortunately, there are enough people that either refuse to see what I can see coming or don't care about it, so that the coming economic disaster is almost inevitable. Rather than rail about it, I might as well save my breath and just plan accordingly. Similarly, if you really believe in a coming climate disaster, I wouldn't be putting my trust in fickle politicians and voters, but would instead just plan for it. History is littered with examples of looming disasters that could have been avoided but weren't. Frankly, it may not even make sense in some sense to do something about these disasters, because external factors could always come along and prevent the disaster from happening anyways. In my case we could elect a fiscally sane president and congress. Or the sun could decide to lessen its output. These things are fundamentally unpredictable.

And there are plenty of scientists who are global warming skeptics.

Brant | 15. Dezember 2012

This is the same BS argument, as Elon pointed out in his lecture at Oxford, that big tobacco used to dispute the link between smoking and lung cancer; :Scientists Disagree!" You can always find a scientist that disagrees. There are millions of them. But when 92% do agree they may be on to something.

For your viewing pleasure

Brant | 15. Dezember 2012

And remember....
only 9 out of 10 dentists recommend sugarless gum to their patients that chew gum
; )

Brian H | 15. Dezember 2012

neither big oil nor anyone else funds anti-AGW research. Here's a quote from an IPCC 'expert reviewer':
United States taxpayers have funded climate science to the tune of well over 80 billion dollars, all channeled through the funding bureaucracy established by Vice President Albert “the end is nigh” Gore when he served as President Clinton’s “climate czar.” That Gore-built bureaucracy is still to this day striving to insure that not a penny of all those taxpayer billions ever goes to any researcher who is not committed to the premature conclusion that human contributions to atmospheric CO2 are causing dangerous global warming (despite the lack of any statistically significant warming for more than 15 years).

Find any documented "big oil" funding of skeptical science, and you will discover it is 1% or less of the amounts the same company provides the alarmist pre-cooked "research".

nwdiver93 | 15. Dezember 2012

For the AGW deniers out there go look up something... how did the earth free itself from the grips of the last Ice Age? Go ahead... I'll wait...

Back? Ok, you should have found only one published and peer reviewed theory that explains the MAGNITUDE of Earths climate swings. The TIMING is caused by the Earths orbital wobbles around the sun(Milankovitch cylces) but the MAGNITUDE is the result of a feedback from CO2. A slight warming releases CO2 from "natural sinks" (gas is less soluble in warm oceans) this released CO2 causes more warming which releases more CO2. 180 ppm = Ice Age; 280 ppm = Interglacial. A 100 ppm rise in CO2 resulted in a ~6C rise in global temperatures. We're now at 394ppm and rising ~2ppm/yr. We're adding 30 Billion Metric tons of CO2 annually, enough to raise atmospheric CO2 ~5ppm/yr. The rise is 100% man-made.

Climate Change is not a joke, it's not a hoax, it's not an opinion, it's not controversial, but it is "only" a scientific theory... just like gravity.

"It's unwise to play Russian Roulette with Earths Atmosphere... we've only got one" -Elon Musk

Brian H | 15. Dezember 2012

The CO2 caused the amplitude swings? Trailing the temperature movements by thousands of years, when it tracked at all? Pull the other one. A desperate attempt to distract from the near-zero relationship over the past hundreds of millions of years. Those handwaving assertions have been long blown far, far out of the water.

jbunn | 15. Dezember 2012

Thanks. Brant. Good point. This is the same game the tobacco companies played. Brian may not be old enough to remember.

Here in the northwest, our oyster farmers are getting alarmed as disolving co2 lowers sea water pH. When oysters are almost too small to see, slight drops in pH disolve their shells faster than they can form them. Shellfish farmers see rising co2 as a very real threat. They dont see this as a joke.

nwdiver93 | 15. Dezember 2012

Yes, CO2 caused the amplitude swings.

I would love to disregard AGW... my life would much simpler but as a rational person with a conscience I find this impossible given the present state of the science. If there is an alternative theory which better explains the facts then please post a link.

shop | 15. Dezember 2012

nwdiver93 - please save the cuteness, and arrogant tone. If you have a paper to cite, cite it. I presume you are talking about Shakun(2012)? If so, then read this post debunking that paper:

And this post:

shows how that Shakun conveniently stopped showing CO2 rise on his graphs right at the point the earth started leveling off temperature. ie he stopped his graphs around 6,000 BC, when the continuation of his proxy temperature data showed the earth either leveling off temperature or cooling. I guess he just didn't feel like explaining how his dataset showed the opposite of what he was trying to claim?

Anyways, the overall point against Shakun(2012) is that trying to figure out the average temperature of the earth 30,000 years ago is, to put it mildly, very hard to do and will be full of large error bars. Here's a climate scientist making this case a bit better than I can:

nwdiver93 | 15. Dezember 2012

Last time I checked science is done by scientists... not bloggers.

Also last time I checked no scientist had published a paper for peer review claiming something other than CO2 was the prime reason New York is periodically covered by a mile of ice.

97% of published papers agree with AGW; A few think it might be something else. ZERO have an alternative theory.

Absolute temperature may be difficult to determine from Ice Cores but Relative temperature is not. O16/O18 isotope ratios in precipitation change with temperature.

- We know beyond reasonable doubt when Ice Ages have occured.
- We know beyond reasonable doubt Earths Orbit Triggered this
- We know beyond reasonable doubt this Obital change could not cause the dramatic changes in Earths temperature seen in the Geologic record.
- CO2 is the ONLY variable with physical properties sufficient to cause this shift.

I agree that there are "qualified" people who disagree with AGW just as there are some "qualified" people who disagree with Evolution, Vaccines, Germ Theory, ect ect. However, no group has come up with a theory that better fits the facts.

If I need to check again please post a link...

jbunn | 15. Dezember 2012

Oh awsome, Shop. Blogger and retired tv weatherman Watt, who was put on the web by the Heartland Institute who fund climate denial. Heartland also ran the Phillip Morris campaign in the 90s to show scientists were undecided about ciggs and cancer.

Perfect example of how the game is run. If you were "researching", you would have found this in 3 mins.

shop | 15. Dezember 2012

Done talking. You guys are just arrogant and rude. Attack the messenger, attack lack of credentials, anything except talk about the science. I'm outta here.

shop | 16. Dezember 2012

Oh and if you bothered to read the links, it wasn't Watt who wrote them.

nwdiver93 | 16. Dezember 2012


Read your links... that's why I responded with this

"I agree that there are "qualified" people who disagree with AGW just as there are some "qualified" people who disagree with Evolution, Vaccines, Germ Theory, ect ect. However, no group has come up with a theory that better fits the facts."

Don't like a theory? Come up with a better one, that's how science works.

Think AGW is bunk? Find a better explanation for the observations. That's how science works.

The fact no scientist has published an alternative despite millions in funding from fossil fuel interests speaks volumes. Most end up like Richard Muller, discovering that the consensus of their peers was in fact correct, "The Earth is warming and humans are mostly responsible"

Mel. | 16. Dezember 2012

Nc, try to calm down..are you saying that you are the scientist and the rest of us should not be allowed to discuss this sacred issue? We are all buying Tesla autos. I think your fight might be with those that are dissing electric vehicles and not smart individuals like shop.

Brian H | 16. Dezember 2012

BS comparison. And I'm much more than old enough! All this $$ comparison is really a laugh. The AGW-pushers are floating on a sea of money, with conflict-of-interest the rampant norm throughout their research and PR. Yet those are the very (totally undocumented, except for ridiculous distortions and exaggerations), accusations they throw around against sceptics; as though they can't imagine anyone being less corrupt than they are. E.g.: the top pro-AGW website (Real Climate) is owned and operated by the wealthy PR firm Fenton; the top sceptic site (WattsUpWithThat) is personal out-of-pocket by a meteorologist Anthony Watts - but is the Top Science Blog winner several years running, with an order or two of magnitude more readers.

You have been conned.

ak-tually55 | 16. Dezember 2012

Brian H,

It seems you are the smartest person on the forum. Thus, it is time perhaps for you to realize that you would be best off correcting grammar mistakes of your buddies, Republicans, instead of arguing against climate change, influence of oil companies in politics, and other things that most of Tesla owners or reservation holders believe in.

Where did I make a mistake? Should I replace "Republicans" with "Democrats"?

jbunn | 16. Dezember 2012


WhatsUpWithThat isnt personaly funded. Nearly 90 k for the website development came from the Heartland institute. True or not? You can buy a lot of nice web site for 90,000.

Heartand is the same group in the 90s that was lobbying our congress and working with Phillips Morris. They had a "question the science" by funding "science" research campaign. Also true or not?

Please give us an answer to those two questions.


Gator | 16. Dezember 2012

I am the smartest person on the forum. My mother had me tested.

Brant | 16. Dezember 2012

I'm the smartest
Just ask me!

Volker.Berlin | 16. Dezember 2012

Another thread derailed...

Volker.Berlin | 16. Dezember 2012

(The ratio is still pretty good in this forum though, compared to others.)

nwdiver93 | 16. Dezember 2012

Strip the political ideology away from the AGW denial and there's really nothing left.

Frontline ran a great episode called "Climate of Doubt"

AGW denial is almost completely a political position entirely divorced from reality and science.

Sudre_ | 16. Dezember 2012

Arguing or even discussing at this point is also becoming pointless. The people who deny it will continue no matter what unless they do the research themselves and discover they are wrong. The people supporting it will never change their mind until they do their own research and discover they are wrong. From what
Now. When I say research I mean doing the science. Not reading a paper published on the internet.

If it is happening or not, maybe the more important thing to think about is can we do anything about it at this point if it is happening? It might even be more fun than the argument about it.
I don't understand why the Brian H's or shop's don't feel they can discus that part. They can be right and I am happy with that. Lets have a hypothetical discussion then. If it is true, hypothetically, can we scrub the atmosphere of CO2? Since it is hypothetical we can go crazy with the ideas. (some call it brain storming)
I heard some ideas about using orbital material to obscure sunlight over the oceans. If heated oceans release CO2 do cooled oceans absorb co2? What weather disasters can happen from heated air moving over a cooled ocean? Can you stop a hurricane by have a satellite (or millions of tiny satellites) shadowing a large (600-1000 mile dia) area in front of it cooling the ocean and air? A cooled ocean will shrink. Would that cause sever waves or something like a storm surge?

frisbin | 16. Dezember 2012


Yes, some people will deny until they discover they are wrong to do so:

-Eventually even research funded by the oil industry show GW is real, and humans are to blame.

Perhaps the carbon extractive industries that have profited so much, should be required to chemically re-bind the carbon they have released, and return it to the earth where they found it?

I wouldn't want the thread to die yet, I enjoyed reading it.

vanslot | 16. Dezember 2012

1. "Sucks to be stuck in the past, doesn't it?"
2. "Relax, I'm driving your wife around in it."
3. "Yup, and my brother is robbing your home right now."
4. "That's right. Win-win!"
5. "Well of course. After all I'm paying for the car..."
6. "Then you'll be pleased to know the car is fantastic!"
7. "Chill out. It's much less than you're paying for my solar
8. "But I look great driving it. Isn't it worth it?"
9. "Hey thanks. Can you buy me a cup of coffee too?"
10. "And that's how I was able to afford the Tech Package."
11. "Totally, and check out those rims!"
12. "No, I put your tax dollars into a mutual fund making me 8%"

Brian H | 16. Dezember 2012

WhatsUpWithThat isnt personaly funded. Nearly 90 k for the website development came from the Heartland institute. True or not?

False. Outrageous BS. WUWT received a one-time grant for half the cost of ($40K out of $80K) setting up a public graphic charting access to a government data site that was previously almost unusable. Not a cent otherwise, before or after. The other half of that project was paid out-of-pocket and by reader contributions.

Heartland's "questioning the science" consists of promoting open research and investigation as ideals, to students, as opposed to taking the AGW creed on faith. I.e., promoting science instead of suppressing it.

The whole "meme" of "questioning climate change" is also outrageous BS. Climate is never static; what's questioned is the "hidden variable fraud" of superficially eliminating all natural variation from consideration and then using the fallacious "argument from ignorance" ('we can't think of anything else that could do it') to assign all "forcing" to hypothetical human emission CO2 influence.

But as CO2 continues to rise at an accelerating rate, the globe's temperature has plateaued for 16 years, in flat contradiction to the output of all the GCM (climate models). They are crude approximations by any professional standards anyway, and this falsification by observation is only to be expected.