Lee Pitts is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email them at leepitts@leepittsbooks.com.

When I was a sophomore in high school, one of the biggest hits on the radio was a pop-rock song called “In The Year 2525.” A duo called Zagar and Evans recorded the song in a studio in the middle of a cow pasture in Odessa, Texas. The song was #1 in America for six weeks, and in the 50 years since then, I’ve never been able to get the haunting lyrics out of my head. It began, “In the year 2525 if man is still alive and woman can survive.” The song was basically about the environmental carnage we were creating. So now, as teenagers, not only did we have to worry about being drafted to go fight in the jungles of Vietnam, passing an algebra exam, being blown to bits in a nuclear war with Russia, or if our acne would ever clear up, we also had to worry “if man would still be alive or women could survive.”

By the way, it was a one-hit-wonder for Zagar and Evans, and they remain the only group in history to have a number one hit in Britain and America and to never have another song get on the Billboard chart ever again.

For some reason, I thought of the song as I learned that California’s Governor, in his fight against climate change and fossil fuels, signed an Executive Order mandating that by 2035, all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California have to be zero-emission vehicles because transportation accounts for more than half of California’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

Here are a few headlines I expect to see making the news in California in the year 2035.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles

Donner Party, Part Two- A horse enthusiast driving a Smart Car pulling a horse trailer from Sacramento to Reno showed great ingenuity by using the two horses in her trailer to pull the car and trailer over the steep hills of Highway 80 and then putting the horses back in the trailer and coasting on the downhill. She might have made it too if her forward progress hadn’t been stopped by one inch of snow that fell on Donner Pass.

What Was Old Is Now New Again- Who would’ve thought that taxi cabs on the streets of LA would be replaced by Amish Uber Drivers? Now a new environmental problem much worse than the first has Los Angelenos holding their noses and watching their step as horse manure accumulates on city streets.

Records Made To Be Broken- A new Guinness Book record was set when an illegal alien driving a stolen EV (electric vehicle) made it from San Diego to Sanctuary City (San Francisco) in just two weeks, counting the time spent sitting at, or looking for, charging stations.

Riot Erupts At Drugstore- Five people were killed and 25 injured as 35 motorists fought over the three charging stations outside a Target store in San Luis Obispo, California. Miley Cyrus, California’s governor and the center of a recall drive, said in a prepared statement that, “The lack of charging stations throughout the state resulted when leaders in Sacramento discovered, a little too late, that they could not produce electricity to fuel the much-needed charging stations that fuel the cars without burning fossil fuels to produce the electricity in the first place. Oops.”

Passing Time- Automobile enthusiasts are finding new ways to pass the time while waiting for their electric vehicles to charge. In what are being called “Virtual Car Shows” they are sharing photos of their 56’ Chevy’s and muscle cars from the 60’s sitting at home in their garages.

On Maneuvers- When the California National Guard went on maneuvers with their electricity guzzling electric tanks and trucks, it caused a three-day power outage throughout the state. Some residents are still without power three weeks later.

Oh, Those Charges!- With the cost of a Tesla now $350,000 and the price tag on a Prius approaching a budget-breaking $150,000 urban Californians are re-learning how to walk again. Ever since the state started charging for the electricity used at charging stations, the price per hour is in excess of $100 per hour. Now that the price of electricity is being borne by those who use it, one fill-up can cost $350 on what else but… a charge card.