4. CO2 reduction: After years of progress and ingenuity and debate, does anyone believe that it is a question of "can" global CO2 emissions be reduced? Isn't the real question simply "should" that happen? And if it should, then wouldn't it be worthwhile to unify the effort behind "how"?
5. Electric vehicle charging: Public EV chargers represent the chicken-and-egg dilemma of industry electrification. Consumers would like to see chargers on every street corner before they buy an EV. Charging purveyors don't want to install chargers until the population of EVs grows. The federal government is prepared to step in as the icebreaker. But critics say such thinking smacks of socialism. But what are we really talking about here? We're talking about dotting our cityscapes with more wall plugs, more or less. Did anybody weep about Outta Control Big Government when cities and states began building roads and interstates?
Tragically, the reality is that so much of this sort of problem-solving probably won't happen. It just won't.
Why? Because the world is not really looking for consensus solutions these days. Americans are not. The auto industry is not.
Homogeneity is an obsolete concept. And cooperative planning among businesses is something of a myth. You will personally change what you do when there is a financial or safety or emotional reason to do so. Some say that you'll really only change your behavior when you're confronted with a crisis.
Many people see this moment of post-pandemic turmoil as a crisis indeed. And likely, they will change what they do, adopt new ideas and innovate their business models.
Everyone else will probably look back at 2021 as simply a wasted opportunity to fix things.