Category Archives: Energy

You Want a Government Solution or One That Works?

I’m amazed how these politicians, or “activist groups”, get us to think we need another service or law to make our life wonderful. In spite of real world experience, we keep betting on the horse that never seems to win.

Ocasio-Cortez-global-warming
The people we elect, have a variety of ideas, mostly about, how to remain employed by the federal government. If not the federal government, then as a lobbyist to that government. We debate these ideas and listen to candidates on how they will solve our problems.

Climate

Projections of global sea level rise by 2100, these projections range from 0.2 meters to 2.0 meters (0.66 to 6.6 feet) [Melillo et al., 2014]

In the recently updated Copenhagen Diagnosis, the carbon that we are releasing into the atmosphere today is in the process of ‘programming’ a potential 2-5 meters of sea level rise by around the year 2300.

That’s a wide range of predictions.

As you can see from the video associated with the above image, the young, ambitious, political candidate, believes the government will be able to manipulate climate if we allow them. These wonks and wizards can’t even control spending, which is far more tangible and predictable than the global climate. Examine the government’s historical record of managing anything to a degree which could earn them, well done.

What’s their solution? As usual, tax, spend, regulate.

Abortion

We begin the catastrophic tumble, down the bewildering, pandering, deceitful, rabbit hole of political marketing 101.

First, a problem is identified. Next, they advertise they’re the people who are going to solve the problem and give you what you want.

Do you want a safe, clean & Listerine abortion? Then vote for us.

Do you want to stop abortions? Then vote for us.

If you want to be “pro-choice”, they got you covered. If you want to be “pro-life”, they got that covered, too. It’s the complete package.

Now that’s some slick Madison avenue. Better still, if you don’t agree with them then they’re going to get in your face, march down your main street, and call you derogatory names to embarrass you through social media.

I have this crazy idea. How about we quit looking to government to solve our problems? What if we quit blaming each other, and start to do things for ourselves? Sure, it might be baby steps at first, but think for just one moment (maybe two). When have you witnessed a noteworthy, praiseworthy, glad the feds took over responsibility and solved that problem?

I found a relatively simple way to solve the problem of unwanted pregnancy, it’s guaranteed to work. Don’t have sex with someone you don’t want to co-parent. I know, what a crazy, stupid idea, right? Let’s just say, that’s not possible for you. Your impulse control is limited. Then why not get fixed? A vasectomy or tubal ligation. You, thought that’s too much to ask? How about safe sex? You know, when a man simply wears a condom. Wait! That’s not a 100% guarantee. Tell me something, anything in life is guaranteed. If you say there’s anything other than death or taxes, you’re a fool.

Health care

He claims it’s working. Wake up! For who? For example, my family members received their health care through employment and they still do. The shared costs have risen dramatically and the deductibles have as well. I personally tried to get insurance through the government web site and the premium costs exceeded 50% of my gross income. He continues to put forth the number, 44 million people were without health insurance, prior to the ACA. We solved that problem, really? All of these people are covered? The exceptional cost containment we were promised, the keep your doctor, and everyone is covered? Where is this magical solution no one I know is experiencing?

Do you know how well the Feds run the VA? I’ve had a hit and miss relationship with them. Sometimes I’m quite happy, and other times, I’m highly disappointed. It’s generally not top drawer care. To say we get what we paid for, isn’t exactly correct. Some have paid with their limbs or life. None the less, government doesn’t do a very good job with it, and yet people are clamoring for “free” or “single payer” health care. Our government doesn’t handle anything that’s large in an efficient cost effective way. Quit thinking about little countries like Norway, Sweden, or the UK. We have never seen our government demonstrate real concern or efficiency. Look at what the Feds do now with the VA, and tell me you think it’s going to get better on an even larger scale?

There are people in each political party, despite the lip service, who have raided the Social Security and Medicare funds using them to augment the general fund. They (Congress) continue to give themselves raises and perks, then tell us Social Security and Medicare are in financial trouble. Of course they are. Look who’s in charge! Even though those have been separately collected funds from our paychecks, they call them entitlements, then go on to say, they’ve got to cut back “our entitlements”. I suggest those who are entitled have offices in Washington DC and live very well off the populace.

ox-cart-old-west

We’ve gone from stubbornly independent to stubbornly dependent

This is how you survive the unsurvivable, this is how you lose that which you cannot bear to lose, this is how you reinvent yourself, overcome your abusers, fulfill your ambitions and meet the love of your life: by following what is true, no matter where it leads you.
Augusten Burroughs

Sadly, year after year we fall for this nonsense. We take great pride in our “political utopias”, meanwhile the carrot(s) continue to get dangled in front of our collective noses and we chase after them.

There’s something really wrong with this picture and we never quite seem to catch on. Oh sure, we complain about it, but it’s that other party, race, or age group’s fault.

Influencing People Through Fear

People who wish to influence or control others have long since understood one of our prime motivators is the use of fear. It drives our instinct to survive, fight or flight. No normal person wants to sign up for pain & suffering. Secondary control factors include, financial incentives (reward), social status & peer pressure (ego).

torture-devicesGovernments, especially those who have unlimited power to do what they want, have used fear to motivate or control the populace. Torture was part of their tool kit, and the thought of ending up humiliated in shackles, or placed on a rack, was enough to instil fear in most people.

burn_in_hell_graphic

Christianity found their tool with the word, “hell”. You don’t behave, or do what the group thinks, you’re going to end up in a highly undesirable zip code, for eternity.

We see it’s more than peer pressure to influence predictions of climate change, we have government grants for educational and research institutions which measure and computer model predictions. The arsenal of control and scaremongering is reinforced through sympathetic media on “global warming“. If the latest trends don’t follow “scientific prediction”, than it’s called “climate change”. You places your bets, then change the predictions based on latest trends.

Which ever way the thermometer and weather, especially severe weather patterns change, it’s always based on “climate change”. Therefore if you have a drought, a flood, a grouping of tornadoes, it’s attributed to climate change.

Who Decides?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), states the largest contributor to global warming is the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) since 1750, particularly from fossil fuel combustion, cement production, and land use changes such as deforestation.

Human influence has been detected in warming of the atmosphere and the ocean, in changes in the global water cycle, in reductions in snow and ice, in global mean sea level rise, and in changes in some climate extremes. This evidence for human influence has grown since AR4. It is extremely likely (95–100%) that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.IPCC AR5 WG1 Summary for Policymakers

We’ve been here before – More Lies

In November 2009, hackers gained access to a server used by the CRU and stole a large quantity of data, anonymously posting online more than 1,000 emails and more than 2,000 other documents.

A series of independent public investigations of the allegations found no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct. The Muir Russell report exonerated the scientists, but found “a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness, both on the part of CRU scientists and on the part of the UEA”. The scientific consensus that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity remained unchanged.

In 2011, an analysis of temperature data by the independent Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature group, of whom some had stated they thought it was possible the CRU had manipulated the data, however concluded that “these studies were done carefully and that potential biases identified by climate change sceptics did not seriously affect their conclusions”.

So, the hacked emails supposedly didn’t reveal anything that pointed out a bias or a skewing of results. Here’s what some of the email said, you decide. See
University of East Anglia emails: the most contentious quotes.

From: Phil Jones. To: Many. Nov 16, 1999
I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature [the science journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

From Phil Jones To: Michael Mann (Pennsylvania State University). July 8, 2004
“I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

From: Kevin Trenberth (US National Center for Atmospheric Research). To: Michael Mann. Oct 12, 2009
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t… Our observing system is inadequate

You can click on the above link to see more of these emails.

More critical background and science history of Michael E. Mann found here.

Here we go again!

How can we trust global warming scientists if they keep twisting the truth?
| DailyMail February 11, 2017 | The following is an excerpt from their post.

The contentious paper at the heart of this furore – with the less than accessible title of Possible Artifacts Of Data Biases In The Recent Global Surface Warming Hiatus – was published just six months before the Paris conference by the influential journal Science.

It made a sensational claim: that contrary to what scientists have been saying for years, there was no ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the early 21st Century.
Indeed, this ‘Pausebuster’ paper as it has become known, claimed the rate of warming was even higher than before, making ‘urgent action’ imperative.

The ongoing battle between a radio host and author vs. the scientist.  | Michael E. Mann v. Mark Steyn

ipcc_2001_tar_figure


Going Out On A Limb

I’ve made predictions before about trends in technology, but mostly to myself. I’m often right, but you would have no way of knowing that, so here’s one I’ll announce in a way that can prove whether I got it right or wrong. Assuming I’m around and this blog is still accessible.

Here are my predictions….

electric charge stationThe internal combustion reciprocating gasoline engine is just about at its zenith in popularity. Over the next several years, we’ll see a decline in its consumer use.
Why?
There are some fundamental reasons to believe this is true but it primarily depends on only two.

  • Continued increase in fuel prices which make operational costs higher
  • Development and improvement of electric-powered vehicles
  • Availability of charging stations
  • Legislation forcing automotive manufacturers to retool or fade away
  • Removal of price support (tax incentives) for large petroleum companies

I think full conversion to an alternate engine/propulsion system is still an unpredictable time frame. It may take 10 to 15 years for this technology to be prevalent. Twenty to thirty years and I think the gasoline internal combustion engine will go away like steam engines. Sure, there will be some left but more of a curiosity on the way things were rather than anyone wanting them. The one thing that can and probably will impact the development & distribution of electric power cars is legislation. There has been a significant push by some of the public toward legislation affecting output of carbon emissions. It doesn’t matter if you are in a panic or unconcerned about global climate change, the reason government officials are for the idea of limiting carbon emissions, is it gives them more control and tax revenue. Money is power and if tax policy can be shaped to place limits on industry and their products as well as allowing trading these credits for tax purposes (cap & trade), you know they like the idea. Why else would they use the IRS as a punitory administrator in health care? This is simply an expansion of power. Good intentions aside, power likes to aggregate more power. There’s a common bond between an environmental agenda and political power, so that is why I think there will be more controls and incentives to seek alternative power sources for transportation.

Tesla supercharger station

Tesla Supercharger station

Refueling is the key and the charging station proliferation will play an important role in the wider acceptance of this type of mobility. Significant efforts have been made in some areas of the country which have public charging stations available for work. You drive to your place of employment and they provide an electrical plug-in. Many homes are already equipped with 220 volt power connections. Having an outside or in garage charging connection is something within the scope of a licensed electrician.

Tesla motors is at the forefront of making this technology viable. They have worked with companies to install charging facilities so it’s possible to drive across country with their long-range electric vehicles. Any vehicle only capable of 100 miles or less between charges wouldn’t work but the Tesla is in the 200 to 400 mile between charge range. Rapid charge is possible but their other proposal is to use quick battery exchange. You drive up and the battery pack to your vehicle is quickly removed and a fully charged one takes it’s place. Again, as more electric vehicles are on the road, new ways of providing quick re-fuel will be made possible. They have also installed a few supercharger stations which provide a range of about 150 miles in 30 minutes time.

What are some of the additional benefits or impetus to promote electric drive technology? Let’s examine what happened in another form of transportation history. Steam locomotives opened a new era in large capacity, fast transportation. Wide spread use beginning in the 19th century continued into the first 3rd of the 20th century. Then a completely new technology was introduced, diesel-electric locomotives started use in the 1930’s and by the early 1950’s, steam engine powered trains were part of history. The diesel-electric locomotive was a hybrid and in a way points to modern automotive hybrids. Electric motors were used at the wheels as primary mover and a diesel engine running an alternator was a constant source of electrical generation. Hybrid cars such as the GM volt use a gasoline engine coupled to a generator to do much of the same type of work. I think this is an interim step, fully electric will be the eventual dominate form.

Steam powered locomotives were ‘settled technology’. Even though they were more complex, steam engines were admired for their speed & pulling power, all of that appealed to the engineers at the time. They had a life unto themselves from the way they sounded to how they responded to throttle application. In short, they had their adherents. When the diesel-electric locomotive was introduced several things happened, all of the existing fueling locations were no longer necessary, coal and water stations were outmoded. steam engine locomotiveServiceability was improved, because these new locomotive propulsion systems were a lot less complex and required less maintenance. This is exactly the way it is for all-electric vehicles. Hybrid automotive systems don’t accomplish the fewer parts rule. The complexity for electric cars and the general reliability of motors and electronics can help the consumer to reduce cost as well as fuel savings. Electric cars are more efficient in energy conversion as well. Battery life is a significant factor because replacement is usually required after a few years and the replacement cost is significant. More production should reduce costs and improvements in battery technology make that attainable.

The United States will have to find a way forward on energy policy or its future isn’t going to be a good one. The constant all or nothing mentality needs to move past the petty partisanship because if we are to find strategies that work, cooperation is needed. Simply passing law that mandates a 30% reduction of carbon emissions in coal fired electric power plants aren’t going to manifest productive outcome. Energy costs force people to change but those who suffer the most are the lower-income individuals and families. They need to have electric costs which are affordable and dependable transportation is critical if they are to fend for themselves. Politics often makes problems worse rather than help because unforeseen or at least, under researched insufficiently explored consequences are a result.

Tesla and BMW are in cooperative talks

Clearly, until now the rest of the industry had rejected Tesla’s charging technology, which goes beyond just the physical plug. One can imagine numerous reasons for this, but at the top of the list could easily be the issue of control. When you’re dealing with a connector/plug standard, it’s important that a competitor can’t mess with it.

After all, it takes approximately five years to develop a car, and you are committing to a long-term standard in the automotive industry that goes well beyond five years. People take decades to get used to things, and you have to install things both at home and at public charging stations. Messing with this plug and standard is a huge issue.

Tesla is constrained is that it can’t hire engineers fast enough, and automotive engineering projects simply take a lot of time. Testing new automotive systems — batteries, bodies, motors, electronics — takes years.

From a strict investment standpoint, it had become clear that Tesla’s charging network was a major advantage. Even if someone else were to deliver a car with 265 miles of pure battery-electric range, all other things equal, a consumer would prefer a car that could be recharged quickly on longer routes.

If you have a critical advantage, you exploit it. You don’t give it away for a small fee when you didn’t really need that tiny sliver of financing anyway. Today, if you want a 265-mile electric car and the ability to charge it quickly along some of our long-range freeways, Tesla is your only option. So you have to buy the car from Tesla, not BMW.

The above quotes are from Anton WahlmanThe Street” I disagree with his assessment of the future stock value of Tesla. I’m betting on Elon Musk prevailing. Read the article if you want to find out more on investment potential. I believe Mr. Musk is smarter than the analysts advising people on stock value.

Cooperation is needed for electric vehicles to become prolific. Common standards need to emerge in this industry just as they have in many aspects of the computer communication tech. Competing charging station connections, rapidity of charge are part of the first steps.  With a small number of free-to-use stations in California, Tesla has plans for an ambitious charging station network for its new model line. The stations only work with the Model S. The Model X and subsequent Teslas will also be able to utilize these stations. Competing standards of CHAdeMO, SAE, and the Tesla Roadster are incompatible with it.

A solar powered charging station.

A solar-powered charging station.

Summarized: If we can keep from killing ourselves in other useless war(s) and our politicians start to recognize their immigration policies flooding this country with illegals (un-documented for the PC crowd), address our true educational needs and we can keep a stable growth economy, then some of these predictions will come about in a form resembling my thoughts. Don’t you just love all of the qualifying variables?

Here’s what may and in some cases should transpire.
1 – gasoline as well as diesel internal combustion engines will substantially diminish in number.
2 – Electric motors with self-contained charged energy sources will become dominant. I used a name different from battery technology because there’s likely to be significant change in storage cells, radically different than today.
3 – Hybrid systems using gasoline engines will almost be non-existent. Exactly what with will be difficult to predict set of options; an alternate source might be hydrogen fuel cells, or my more likely idea as of this juncture is a Stirling engine to run a generator.
4 – Almost everyone born in what is referred to as the “baby boomer generation”, born approximately 1946-1966, will have to pass before these predictions are true. The reasons revolve around people wanting to keep things as they are rather than how they might improve.
5 – Highways systems will include computer controlled technology permitting the individual car to only enter the interstate when the driver enters the necessary permission code to engage into the stream. Each vehicle on that highway will be autonomously controlled to avoid rapid speed changes and unforeseen lane changes. You will be able to read, watch the news, read your tablet, put on make-up, drink your coffee and eat a bagel if you want without endangering everyone around you.

I don’t see how we can continue with the present self drive single or even dual passenger vehicle clogging freeways and their uncoordinated motions and decisions which create chaos and mayhem with huge delays and injury on major highways. There will be a lot of push back on this but the alternative is greater grid lock, severe loss of time and an almost impossible to predict work arrival time. The time, material cost, energy efficiency and reduction in deaths all point to future technology taking advantage of the required on board computers and motor drive.

Here’s one other idea that comes to mind when we talk about electric motor powered vehicles. Nikola Tesla was a genius and came up with ideas we’re just now beginning to see how they might be used. Tesla’s theories on the possibility of distributing power by transmission through radio waves was and still is an unfulfilled concept but similar ideas are already being employed to charge cell phones. Placing the cell phone near the induction charging station, enables charging of the phone without physical connection. Applying that idea to future interstate highway road systems, the electric vehicle could receive a charge while driving over this highway with successively located proximity charging stations. This means your car receives a charge while driving. Costs for this charge would be applied to the specific vehicle owner registration using a scheme similar to network MAC ID’s (used to identify each physical device through a unique 12 digit code on a computer network).

An ignorant person is one who doesn’t know what you have just found out.
Will Rogers

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