November 27, 2014

"...and snacks and stuff."

The funniest stuff I've read in a long time is in this "article" on the California ballot initiative voters "approved" to build a high-speed rail line to Hawaii.

"This is a great day for California," says Walter Miller, leader of the Yes on 49 campaign. "Sure it's relatively easy and cheap to fly to Hawaii. But why would you want to take a 5-hour flight, when you can take a 15-hour train ride in an underground tube?"
Posted by JohnGalt at 11:14 AM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2014

Silly Lefty, This is What Mandates Are For

The Daily Camera reports: Boulder plots path to climate goals

The city also needs a marketing campaign to engage the community in a shared goal, he [Boulder Senior Environmental Planner Brett KenCairn] said. (...)

"What motivates a community to participate in this level of transformation?" he said. "The way we have been framing the problem and the goal is now part of the problem. Aspirational goals are deeply personal. Climate as catastrophe is not a good motivator."

Question: Once regional drivers pass the city limit sign, don't they belong to someone else's ambitious climate goals?

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:00 PM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2014

Cognitive Dissonance of the Day

Religion here doesn’t mean theology but a distinct belief system which, in totality, provides basic answers regarding how to live one’s life, how society should function, how to deal with social and political issues, what is right and wrong, who should lead us, and who should not. It does so in ways that fulfill deep-seated emotional needs that, at their profoundest level, are devotional. Given the confusions of a secular world being rapidly transformed by technology, demography, and globalization, this movement has assumed a spiritual aspect whose adepts have undergone a religious experience which, if not in name, then in virtually every other aspect, can be considered a faith.

The author most likely, it seems, is writing about the modern environmentalist movement. Nay, in fact, the Tea Party.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:39 PM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2014

Speaking of Anti-Poverty Policy...

That is one of the two "biggest challenges facing the world in the 21st century" according to Patrick McCulley at international rivers dot org, who posted [in 2004] Twelve Reasons to Exclude Large Hydro From Renewables Initiatives. Spoiler alert: None of the 12 reasons is "Large hydro is non-renewable." To the contrary, reason #12 admits that it is, precisely, renewable:

12 - Large hydro reservoirs are often rendered non-renewable by sedimentation

Dam reservoirs are depleted over time by sedimentation, a problem that eventually
seriously impedes or ends the ability of a hydro plant to produce electricity. The
great majority of annual sediment loads are carried during flood periods. The high-
er intensity and frequency of floods due to global warming are therefore likely to
increase sedimentation rates and thus further shorten the useful lives of reservoirs.

No word on the required maintenance or "useful lives" of wind, solar or small hydro.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:04 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

D'ja see Jon Caldera on this? If water and gravity are "renewable" then we make all the quotas and cannot continue the graft to wind & solar providers.

Posted by: jk at February 19, 2014 7:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Precisely. And that is, unapologetically, the direct basis for "reasons" number 1 and 2 and indirect basis for numbers 5 and 8 of the twelve, as stated in the summary list created by International Rivers Network in Berkeley.

Posted by: johngalt at February 20, 2014 1:09 PM

February 6, 2014

Drill Baby Drill, Drill

I really need to visit Minnesotans for Global Warming more often. This is from 2011 but still as relevant as ever.

Posted by JohnGalt at 5:32 PM | Comments (0)

January 3, 2014

Another "dirty little secret" of renewable energy

I wonder if readers will be as surprised as I to learn that the energy required to produce a 1,000 watt solar panel is on the order of 20,000,000 watt hours? That is the gist of this 1997 Australian whitepaper - Can Solar Cells Ever Recapture the Energy Invested in their Manufacture?

It depends on the particular type of panel of course, and efficiencies may have improved but still, I wonder how many solar PV evangelists know that the energy produced in the first 2-10 years of their system's operation all goes to pay back the energy consumed to create the things in the first place? "Woo hoo, halfway through my solar PV warranty period I'm finally net energy positive! Feel the clean power baby!"

I heard this topic discussed on a local liberty-oriented radio show last night, where the claim was that the energy of manufacture exceeds the energy produced over a lifetime. While that may be true at extreme latitudes it's a credibility-destroying exaggeration.

Posted by JohnGalt at 5:17 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

And the batteries in that plug-in Prius already have 40,000 miles of equivalent impact on them.

Talking with a friendly on FB (yeah, there's one -- I met him at LOTR-Flatirons), I'm concerned about something else photovoltaic: From Dr. Gray's Global Warming speech, the solar energy hitting earth is ~4W/m2 -- is that not a maximum? 5 x 5 m to light a 100W bulb? Good thing they're illegal.

Me missing something?

Posted by: jk at January 3, 2014 5:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yeah, 4 watts is way low. Click the Atlantis Farm Weather widget on the sidebar any time to find a graph of real-time solar radiation in watts per square meter. In winter the peak is about 500 and in summer about 1000. Even averaged over a 24-hour period it is about 80 watts in winter and 160 in summer.

Which means, now that I think about it, a 1kW peak power panel can't produce that much year-round, which means the years to break even is higher than advertised.

Posted by: johngalt at January 3, 2014 6:04 PM
But jk thinks:

Very cool, thanks. Me need to read Dr. Gray again.

Posted by: jk at January 3, 2014 6:13 PM

December 11, 2013

T-Shirt Meme of the Day

SAVE THE WHALES!

SAVE THE OWLS!

SAVE THE EAGLES!

End the insanity - ban wind power!

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:45 PM | Comments (6)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

It's telling that my first reaction was "They're playing the 3-9-1 Vikings this week, and Petersen is doubtful. How much more saving do they need?"

I wonder whether eagle paté tastes like chicken.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 11, 2013 4:09 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

[WARNING: NERD REFERENCE}

The eagle failed to make its saving throw versus Wind Farm.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 11, 2013 4:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I haven't read the O-admin's jackass rule yet but it is entirely possible that they've made it legal, under federal law, to kill eagles but not to possess their feathers. Although if they did have enough forsight to exempt employees, the only persons in North America legally authorized to possess eagle feathers would be Native Americans and wind farm workers.

Posted by: johngalt at December 11, 2013 6:05 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I stand corrected on my initial comment - the Vikings are now 4-9-1. The Eagles failed to make their saving throw versus Minnesota.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 16, 2013 1:22 AM
But dagny thinks:

The Eagles made their saving throw, it just came in an odd form called the Green Bay Packers. Just as the Broncos saving throw came from some guys in orange and blue with Dolphins on their shirts. :-)

Posted by: dagny at December 16, 2013 12:19 PM
But jk thinks:

Yaaaaay Dolphins!!!

Posted by: jk at December 16, 2013 1:26 PM

August 6, 2013

EV Price War

Following Nissan's lead, manufacturers of electric or hybrid electric vehicles are slashing prices by the thousands as they all chase a wafer-thin 0.5% share of the new car and truck market. And one of them, Honda, has added a new sweetener - unlimited mileage leases! Which sounds good until you think about how far an EV can go on a charge, and how many hours it takes to recharge, and how many hours there are in a day.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:25 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

"Double your IQ or NO money back!" "I dunno, it sounds pretty good to me...." -- Gary Larson

Posted by: jk at August 6, 2013 3:20 PM

July 11, 2013

Some Rational Optimism for Thursday

Very much in the spirit of his "The Rational Optimist" [Review Corner]. Sadly very much not in the style of "saucily exhibiting Kelly Slater's package".

Posted by John Kranz at 4:47 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

How much would we have to pay Kelly to recite this speech for a promo video?

Posted by: johngalt at July 11, 2013 6:36 PM
But johngalt thinks:

STOP NET REFORESTATION NOW!

Posted by: johngalt at July 11, 2013 6:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Lies! All lies! Ridley is obviously a shill for Big Prosperity.

Posted by: johngalt at July 11, 2013 6:54 PM

November 1, 2012

Better to Burn Out Than to Fade Away...

I suppose that all the cars that were submerged in sea water will be treated as a "total loss" by their insurer anyway, right?

More Than A Dozen Fisker Karma Hybrids Caught Fire And Exploded In New Jersey Port After Sandy

UPDATE: Fisker released the following statement:

“It was reported today that several Fisker Karmas were damaged by fire at the Port of Newark after being submerged in sea water during Superstorm Sandy. We can report that there were no injuries and none of the cars were being charged at the time.

Hmmm. I wonder why they made sure to mention that none of them were "being charged at the time?"

See below to form your own opinion: "Damaged by fire" or "caught fire and burned to the ground?"

fisker%20fire.jpg

I snark, but in my professional experience as a product development engineer I know that there are always glitches with new technology. Problems such as this are to be expected in complex systems. But then, that's why it is prudent to engage in lengthy laboratory and road tests of prototypes before lobbying politicians for venture capital and rushing products to a clueless customer base.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:40 PM | Comments (7)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Yeah, even prototype robotic tape libraries have been known to impersonate a Bic...

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 1, 2012 5:40 PM
But jk thinks:

I accuse my engineer brothers of excessive kindness. These were not prototypes in a test lab. These were staged for delivery to wealthy, productive Americans.

And subsidized by the taxpayer.

Posted by: jk at November 1, 2012 6:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Not that I remember, but I do recall some fancy light dimmer switches that, due to a novel yet unreliable line-connected power supply, had a 66% mortality rate after 3 or 4 years. (Nothing as spectacular as a Flaming Fisker Flambe though.)

Posted by: johngalt at November 1, 2012 6:50 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Very nice; snap poll in the Denver Compost gives the "Sandy not caused by AGW" the edge 54 - 41% over those who would dump science for politics.

No. Bad weather has been around for ages, and there's no way to prove this storm was man's fault.

Yes. This is another in a series of increasingly extreme weather events that mankind is at least partly to blame for.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 2, 2012 12:48 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Only three rules of owning a Fisker Karma:

(1) Don't get it wet.
(2) Don't expose it to bright light.
(3) Never feed it after midnight.

We've now seen what happens when you get it wet.

I know AMC used the name first, but shouldn't these be marketed as the Fisker Gremlin?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 2, 2012 11:39 AM
But johngalt thinks:

The other conclusion I draw from all of the official Fisker statements is that the only time their car can be counted on to NOT burst into flames is when it is being charged. I don't think I'd ever be comfortable unplugging it.

Posted by: johngalt at November 2, 2012 4:27 PM