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Messages - TerryM

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Consequences / Re: Volcanoes
« on: January 16, 2019, 08:46:46 AM »
Earthquakes and volcano eruptions alongside the ring of fire are normal indeed.

A possible Yellowstone catastrophe is always good for a clickbaity headline.

A huge volcano event that could trigger a volcanic winter is just as unpredictable as an impact catastrophe from space. I'm afraid we can't do very much about it.

You're almost certainly correct.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 16, 2019, 08:39:46 AM »
Just in case you thought my last post unlikely.


You can't stop doing anything that you weren't already engaged in.
If a bounty hunter can locate you real time within meters, how safe are you from others who might wish you harm.


Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 16, 2019, 08:26:46 AM »
While selling my driving data to the highest bidder is not my greatest concern, apparently many at CES are pitching their services.

My own paranoia runs more to police departments that simply lock my doors and delivering me to the local gaol. :-\

The rest / Re: US intervention in foreign lands
« on: January 16, 2019, 08:15:25 AM »
Today's Democrats outdo Republicans WRT war mongering.

Trump was the last presidential candidate to run on a platform of "Peace in our time", perhaps Tulsi can bring the party to it's senses?

Consequences / Re: Decline in insect populations
« on: January 16, 2019, 08:05:59 AM »
Monarch butterflies at <.05% of historic levels, and down 85% from last year.

As a child the monarchs would darken the sky here in Cambridge Ontario, a few years back they did a count and recorded less than 40 of the beautiful insects. I personally saw but one last year.


Consequences / Re: Volcanoes
« on: January 16, 2019, 07:54:43 AM »

The rest / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: January 16, 2019, 07:40:24 AM »
Caitlan shines a spotlight on "NewsGuard", who as well as advising us to stay away from unapproved news sites, is also attempting to scare away advertisers.

Counter boycotts of MSM advertisers seem the only way to fight back. Perhaps alerting various ad agencies of our intentions would be productive?

If they can't win hearts and minds by providing factual reporting, they'll try to choke alternative view points by cutting off their funding.

Dirty Pool

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 16, 2019, 07:13:42 AM »
After laying off 9% of the Tesla workforce last June, Space-X announces that 10% of their workers will be "let go".
A $500M sale of equity and securities only raised $273M earlier this month, though this isn't given as the reason for the layoffs.


Consequences / Re: Volcanoes
« on: January 16, 2019, 06:59:24 AM »
Yellowstone - a 450 mile long chunk of magma is rising directly under Yellowstone.

Within the last 6 months geysers have been shooting rocks and debris into the air.
New geysers are appearing.


Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 16, 2019, 06:09:46 AM »
Power costs in California are sure to increase.
My city owned utilities in Riverside provide some protection. Perhaps the present kerfuffle will encourage other municipalities to pick up the gauntlet?

I hope the Powerwalls meet your expectations.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 16, 2019, 03:18:44 AM »

[Electric buses] are too expensive for municipalities to buy enough to serve all the populations and locations that need them.

We must change the nature of "the locations", so that they are served by nearby transport hubs. In addition we should travel less.

Mass car ownership is not compatible with saving the climate.

This attempt at sustainable living for motorists failed miserably.

Derwenthorpe was meant to be sustainable and have a low carbon footprint but it achieved a planet-destroying footprint of 14.52 tonnes CO2e per resident per year. This was worse than the average for York as a whole, which was still planet-destroying at 14.30 tonnes CO2e.

World average emissions of CO2e are now about 7 tonnes CO2e per person per year. This racks up a planet-threatening 100 tonnes of CO2e in fifty years – even if emissions steadily declined to zero during that time (OK, this is optimistic.). Emissions from Derwenthorpe and the rest of York are more than twice the world average.

We must show the world living without cars can be cheap, pleasant and won't screw the world up.

Thanks for the links!
Locally, (South Western Ontario), we've been attempting to extend a light-rail, trolley, bus system to link Kitchener/Waterloo with Toronto, Hamilton, and the rest of the region.

Ridership here is still low, but it is increasing. We've ended subsidies for EVs, linked Waterloo and Kitchener with a street trolley system and light rail can whisk you to your job in the major metropolitan regions.
I fear that we spend orders of magnitude more to widen, add rest areas and otherwise improve our already magnificent highway systems, but some of the infrastructure needed before we can expect the populace to ditch their cars is returning.
I say returning because pre & post WWII this region was very well served by electric rail roads, electric street trolley, even an electric bus system that allowed everyone access to damn near everywhere with no need for personalized transportation more complex than a bicycle.
When the Queen visited she came by way of electric rail.

I don't imagine that anything we do will be nearly enough, or nearly soon enough to derail the crushing blow(s) that will destroy all that we've built. Still, it's an improvement over passively waiting, or impulsively funding programs that yield negative outcomes.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 16, 2019, 01:37:33 AM »
PG&E , Pacific Gas & Electric a company that services over 16 million Calif. utilities customers files for bankruptcy . 
 Will the state be left on the hook for decommissioning DiabloCanyon Nuclear plant ? Who will be footing the bill for trimming tens of thousands of trees ? How long will our power grid hold ? Lots of issues and the stock dropped by half today.
 I got my deposit in for two power walls on Friday. I predict they will get very popular and the rebate tiers will fill quickly after which the state rebates will disappear although the federal tax rebate will still be there.
 PG&E did file for bankruptcy once before over the Enron debacle and made it through but I wouldn't bet on it this time.
If your power walls & solar panels are of adequate size you may escape the worst of the skulduggery that surely lies ahead.
Good luck to you and to the 15,999,999 others sure to be directly affected.

I assume that the rate plans, rebates and subsidies you've written of will undergo massive changes as PG&E contorts in her death throes, or writhes in extreme agony before recovering.
Trying to CYA and surviving with most of your electrical equipment intact might be more important at this juncture than striving to minimize your monthly usage/billing.

When Enron's rolling brownouts were prevalent, refrigeration, A/C & heat pump compressors, even HVAC and swimming pool motors were over amping and burning out. The only solution is to take them off line, leave them off until the grid is hopefully stable, then bring them back on line sequentially.
Ovens or water heaters that rely on resistance are not affected, but motors, compressors and electronics seldom have the circuitry needed to save themselves from extended periods of varying voltage.

Having quick access to refrigerator, TV, computer, room A/C or heat pump plugs and receptacles might save their replacement costs. Knowing which breakers to throw to keep the A/C or heat pump safe can prevent a damn expensive service call.

Hope I didn't get too carried away, but memories of back to back 18 hour days and major supply houses unable to keep 2 hp compressors in stock are what flash to mind when someone mentions Enron. When PG&E can't pay their servicemen things could begin falling apart at an exponential rate.

Scratch a piggies snout for me :)

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 12, 2019, 07:26:34 AM »
Terry, I too agree that closing down coal power plants is a good idea. California will be
shutting down it's last Nuclear plant that is about 45 miles upwind from me. We are cranking out commercial solar power and people are putting in tesla power walls along with their residential solar.
The power wall state rebate is about $3,400  and an additional $3,400 Federal tax rebate results in an installed power wall for about $8,000 in what otherwise would be a $15,000 bill.  All tax payers are shouldering the costs even though it is generally the wealthy that can afford electric cars, solar systems or power walls. Pacific gas and electric has lost about half of it,s stock value in the last couple months however and the reliability of our power grid is starting to look tenuous. Those of us who can afford renewables are ponying up and the state is moving forward with plans to get to a 100% renewable grid by 2045. If however the utility companies go broke there is something going wrong and that is before electric transport ramps up.
 O.K. Solar with a power wall takes away some of the demands for gas power to supply peak power during high demand hours and those of us who get the rebates are required to allow our power walls to cycle to receive the rebates. But those who don't have the money to afford the technology will undoubtably have to pay more for their electricity as we go forward and I believe that power will be less dependable as we move forward. Calif. generally has a mild climate and good solar and hydro resources so it makes sense that we should be taking the lead . Home heating demands are generally less so even with higher electric rates a household total energy cost isn't what it would be further east.
 I plan on forking over the money for a power wall so I will let you know what I think about the new toy as I get some experiance with it. Mostly I am doing it as some sort of insurance against potential brown outs because my annual electric costs are only about $400. Four years on solar and other than crawling up on the roof about once a month during dry season to wash them they are working perfectly.

I had no idea that the subsidy was so high for a power wall.
I've heard that paying attention to the fine print can be important.

Best of luck with your investment.

Gabbard in:


Can Tulsi, as a pacifist survive the DNC? If so she might be able to win a general election.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 12, 2019, 06:25:51 AM »
...Million$ we've spent subsidizing vehicles...

The subsidies (in the form of tax breaks, etc.) for oil and gas companies are much, much larger than the subsidies for EVs.  Imagine how much more could be done if that oil money was spent on solutions, rather than continuing to make the problem the more affordable choice — for industry, and for consumers.

Couldn't agree more.
We need to subsidize clean mass transportation. Any money spent propping up personal transportation represents negative energy that must be overwhelmed before we see an end to the traffic jams that require even more paved spaces.

Ontario couldn't afford HSR, but we could afford $14,000 for each BEV sold in the province. Our buses are slow, unreliable and few in number - consequently the ridership is low and costs are high. If we continue to spend what money we have on improving our highways and subsidizing our parking we'll never see what Beijing and Dunkirk already enjoy.


Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 11, 2019, 11:17:18 PM »
I dug up that old calculation for the USA and chucked in a column for California. The data might be a bit shaky but I think it is in the right ballpark.

The data I have suggests that California electricity consumption per capita is well under half the average for the USA. That's a surprise.

I also cannot find any official data that supports that the average mileage driven per capita in California is 1.5 times the average. The data I could find suggests rather the reverse.

But the table ends up with 100% EVs needing a 50% increase in total electricity generation.

As renewables (+ nuclear) electricity generation is currently at 56%, to power EVs requires a doubling of existing renewable electricity generation capacity. A target of 100% renewable electricity generation for all purposes requires a 177% increase in existing renewable electricity generation  (plus an amount to replace existing nuclear electricity generation).

Given that history tells us since the beginning of the industrial revolution that overall energy demand is likely to increase despite efforts to improve energy efficiency, the target for 100% electricity generation in California requires a tripling at least of existing renewable electricity generation capacity over the coming decade(s).

Thanks for dragging out, and improving on your spreadsheet. I'll be sure to copy it for future reference.

Edmund's model 3, after >10,000 miles has averaged 3.11 miles/KWh. The Mod.3 is acknowledged as getting much better mileage than either the model S or Model X.  I'd assume that 3 Miles/KWh for passenger vehicles is probably quite high, and with the Tesla E-Semi expected to come in at an estimated 1mile/KWh, the combined mileage must be much lower.

Another niggle in that direction is that as far as I see you've omitted the 20% battery charge/discharge loss, as well as whatever additional costs the charging unit itself imparts.

I fear when allowances are made for these, simply converting the passenger vehicle segment of the market will overwhelm our best efforts, if we restrict ourselves to non-polluting, renewable sources of Californian produced electricity. The trucking sector alone might overwhelm a rapid buildout of the grid and I expect that sector to change to charging as rapidly as vehicles and charging stations become available.

Bruce might be safe behind his (Power)Wall, under the shade of his solar panels, ;D but neighbors needing refrigerated milk for a toddler, or heat for an aged parent, may resent it when either their bills exceed their house payment, or their electrical supplier can't afford to service their rural lines. :-\

I've often driven Tehachapi Pass, and there isn't much room for more windmills. Boulder Dam once kept the lights of the marquee blazing bright at Grauman's Chinese Theater, but today they only let water through when peak power would otherwise cause brownouts in LA.


Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 11, 2019, 10:07:53 PM »
deflect any serious discussion about the efficacy of moving yet more American jobs to China?
Terry, you forget another thing in your haste to judge Tesla - no American jobs are moving to China. The decision is where to build up new production, currently non-existent.

There are and will be Americans building Model S,X, and high price range Mod.3s in California. The huge majority of Mod.3s sold in China will however be manufactured in Shanghai.

When Toyota decided to build their Rave4-Ev here in Ontario, these were jobs that could have been enjoyed by Californians, Japanese, or even by workers in far off Woodstock Ontario :) . The vehicles were sold exclusively in California, picking up a $2,500 state subsidy as well as a federal $7,500 subsidy which flowed from the Japanese parent company to one of it's Canadian factories.

You can argue that the jobs were non-existent in Japan or in California, and while Canadian workers building Japanese vehicles for the Californian market won't look a gift horse in the mouth, the fact remains that more Japanese, or more Californians could have been employed to the benefit of their respective countries.

Musk's decision to hire Chinese workers as opposed to Californian workers is based at least in part by the recent trade debacle, but it's impossible not to acknowledge that Tesla could have increased his Fremont or his Sparks (or possibly even his Buffalo workforce)? to meet this expected demand. California, New York State, and the Federal Government might have been expecting a little more loyalty from the recipient of their largesse.

Gigafactory II in Buffalo is still far short of hiring it's promised workforce of 5,000, and New York State is less than pleased at the return it's seeing on it's ($Billion)? investment.


Permafrost / Re: Northern Hemisphere snow cover
« on: January 11, 2019, 08:08:57 PM »
From a very localized perspective in SW Ontario.

The grass has an unhealthy greenish hue.
The river flows on, not constrained by ice along the banks
No enduring snowdrifts, even where snowplows will soon build deep banks.

All in all it's a chilly fall day - but this is the second week of January!

A Chinese friend noted last night that she's only experienced 2 "white" Xmas's since landing on our shores 5 years ago. She treats our tales of trudging through snowdrifts on Halloween much as we respond to her tales of 800 mile train trips costing <$50, taking <5 hours and available every 5 minutes. ie we understand that it's truthful, but it's so different from our own experiences that it's difficult to grasp.

If we're truly heading into another ice age, it's not likely to begin near here.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 10, 2019, 11:06:49 PM »
California already got 56% of its electricity from renewables and nuclear in 2017, the rest was from natural gas. The Diablo Canyon nuclear plant output will have to be replaced, so that will slow progress a little, but the state is still well on its way to renewable only (perhaps with standby gas) future.

Lets remember that an EV utilizes energy much more efficiently than an ICE, and therefore moving from ICE to EV reduces emissions by itself. Using renewable electricity is the cherry on the top. That extra energy efficiency also limits the amount of extra electricity that is required, an estimate for the UK put the need at an extra 10% of currently provided electricity for 100% EV cars - so maybe 30%+ for California for all EV cars and trucks

Didn't we work out the avg miles driven, the avg electricity used without an EV & the number of miles/KWh just a few months ago?

We'd worked with American averages as opposed to Californian numbers. I'd have to assume that with it's mild climate Californian homes would use less energy, and with California's lauded car culture and extensive freeway grid, that Californians probably exceed the rest of the country in miles driven/month.

I don't have those figures in front of me, but there's no need to guess about the electricity required when we've already done the required math.

Perhaps someone familiar with the search functions could chime in?

Policy and solutions / Re: UN Climate Agreement - Paris 2015 and beyond
« on: January 10, 2019, 10:33:16 PM »
That's a rather dismal 5 yr. chart.

If demand should increase substantially over the next 5 to 7 years I don't see nuclear or hydro filling the gap. Wind and solar would increase numerically, but probably not as a percentage. Cutting back coal and gas would be out of the question.

I share your concerns about fracked gas, and believe that exported LNG produced from fracked NG is particularly dirty.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 10, 2019, 10:09:29 PM »

I agree that we need fewer cars.  Unless you believe we can transition quickly to “no cars” I don’t understand why anyone would fight improving the cars that do exist.

Every Million$ we've spent subsidizing vehicles that only the very wealthy can afford anyway, was a Million$ not spent on free bus service for those that might decide that they really didn't need a car at all.

Infrastructure dollars spent to grow out the super charger network are infrastructure dollars not spent to improve the availability of inter-city rail service.

If limitless funding was available I'd be neutral re. the roll out of subsidized EV's. Since funding is restricted, I'd prefer that it be spent on projects that benefit the largest numbers of people.

Improving "cars that do exist" is a far cry from subsidizing new sports cars for those that can and have spent lavishly on personal transportation in the past. If better results can be had by tuning engines, installing high mileage tires or junking a Hummer, I'm on board. Free (mandated?) tuneups, subsidized HI-MI tires and cash for clunkers could "improve cars that do exist", but we need to keep the public in mind when we spend public funds.

Should we be spending to reduce the costs of the young master's new E-Bentley Convertible, or spending a similar amount buying bicycles for every obsequious drudge on the Estate?

Consequences / Re: California weather extremes and climate
« on: January 10, 2019, 09:11:25 PM »
We are suppose to get over 7 inches of rain here in Southern Calif. over the ten days with long term forecasts looking wet. I am happy but those people near the burn scars in Malibu may take a bit of a beating. Our reservior is finally going to be filling . Maybe we can break this drought even if the El Niño
has stalled out.
That's a huge amount of rain fall interacting with lands that have had no time at all to recover from the recent burn.
It looks as though lots of very expensive real estate is going to be heading incrementally westward towards that most inappropriately named ocean.

Should we be expecting more insurance companies to discover that they themselves hadn't purchased adequate coverage? ::)

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 10, 2019, 08:07:54 PM »

Are you as equally concerned about the millions more new ICE cars that will be put on the road in the coming years, and the additional fossil fuels needed to be extracted and refined to run them, and the ten to fifteen years of those cars spewing carbon dioxide into cities and neighborhoods around the world?  I think we really ought to work as hard as we can to make that a thing of the past, as quickly as possible.

My bolding, my strikes. Short answer to the bolded is a resounding YES.
I've been an advocate for free local bus service, backed up by HSR. Free ride and drop bicycles & "freight tricycles" similar to those used in Havana.
Subways & Trolleys have their place, particularly in large, northern metropolises where cold, snow, and sleet make bicycles uncomfortable and unsafe.

Personal vehicles are finally falling out of favor in some markets with fewer having being sold in 2018 than in 2017 in a number of countries. Bicycles in the Netherlands, HSR in China, free buses in France. The solutions are staring us in our face.

We don't need better cars, we need fewer cars - and fewer parking facilities, fewer traffic lanes, fewer horns and fewer accidents.


Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 09, 2019, 01:22:58 AM »

"Our latest expectation is that global capacity for automotive traction batteries will need to rise to over 550 gigawatt-hours in 2025 in order to satisfy our latest demand projections," said Andrew Fulbrook, executive director of light-vehicle powertrain research and analysis fro IHS Markit.

That's 550GWh of batteries that will require ~120% more AC electricity to charge them once or twice a week.
Year after year that's a whole bunch of new electrical generation, especially considering that in many regions much of the populace still doesn't gave access to a reliable grid that supplies power on a daily basis.

VW's ELLI appears to recognize the problem, but solving it by invoking Hydro, even as we move further into a climate with more droughts and more vicious floods is disingenuous. The best sites for hydro have been utilized, and some (Boulder Dam) are played out.


Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 08, 2019, 05:39:15 PM »

If the state is stratled with all these costs you gotta remember we just elected the most liberal governor we have ever had and he is very very green. So the state won’t back down on solar rebates, new construction solar mandates, or other efforts to choke off existing revenue streams from fishing, lumber, mining, or brown generating options like gas fired generating plants. Also a large coal generator in Arizona that used to send us electricity is shutting down.
Perhaps a strain on California's power consumers, but surely a big plus for the region and the world.
My understanding is that Boulder Dam no longer contributes to So. Cal's energy base, but is now only used as peak energy due to low water levels at Lake Mead.

As EV's prices drop and their popularity grows, California utilities will require a massive buildout. Flexible charging schedules will expand peak hours to 24 hours per day. If your AC, TV, oven or clothes dryer aren't spinning your meter at night, your EVs charging up from the day's commute will be demanding juice even as the family sleeps.

Can inexpensive clean energy be rolled out faster than EVs come on line? Where are these plants being built? Who will ultimately foot the bill for the infrastructure?

Once E-Trucking becomes available these vehicles will make diesels obsolete overnight. Instead of needing millions of gallons of diesel fuel, the trucking sector will require TWs of additional power to be generated and distributed across the State. How will this be generated. Who will pay the bills?


Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 08, 2019, 01:42:13 AM »
Re: making cars locally

zoomed past a Honda plant today thats been making cars in ohio since early 80s ... toyota has been doin the same

in the reagan years, during the anti japanese sentiment,  both those companies had paperwork ready to turn into US corps in twenty four hours. I happened to know about it since i had a lawyer friend who drew up some of the filings necessary.


Two of the largest ~local employers are Toyota factories, one of which will be manufacturing North America's E-Rave4s. :)

Back when VW bugs were every Californian hippy's dream, they were all shipped in through Long Beach. Affordable vehicles from the other side of the world, a concept lost to this generation?

Reagan's xenophobic followers forced foreign manufacturers to assemble cars in North America, but without that impetus I'm sure they'd have been happy to ship us our fill of good inexpensive imports for a very long time.

Musk's California factory was once a joint GM/Toyota factory, capable of producing an average of 6,000 high quality cars/week - and without a tent, extra shifts or overtime!

The link is to an article written as that partnership ended and the plant closed. It touches on the Toyota quality first system & GM's reaction.


Policy and solutions / Re: Trains, Trams, Subways and Buses
« on: January 07, 2019, 11:18:54 PM »
New York Governor Cuomo Called Tesla for Help With NYC Subway System

Why not just ask for help from one of the countries that has successful subway systems, so many to choose from in Europe, Japan, China, Russia (Moscow), and even Quebec (Montreal)? Mr. Musk seems to be the flavour of the times to fix anything that moves.

Some of the fine engineers from Toronto's Metro might even be cajoled into assisting their apparently flummoxed southern brethren, if they could somehow get past the language barrier. Brooklynese is rough on the ear of those conversant in English. 8)

Perhaps Mr. Cuomo wasn't familiar with Elons long and deep support for politicians from the Republican side of the aisle?

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 07, 2019, 10:58:06 PM »
Elon Musk (@elonmusk)1/6/19, 10:43 PM
@jimcramer Shanghai Giga output is just for greater China, not North America. Affordable cars must be made on same continent as customers.
It's fortunate that VW, Honda & Toyota were never privy to this fact::)

Was this intended as sarcasm, an ironic comment, Onionesque humor, or offered as a device to deflect any serious discussion about the efficacy of moving yet more American jobs to China?

China successfully exports everything from plastic crib mobiles to prefabricated buildings and giant construction equipment, yet we find it necessary to build a factory in Shanghai to supply the Chinese market with cars powered by Japanese batteries?
Describing vehicle designed to sell for in excess of $30K US as "affordable cars" is a hell of a stretch, but justifying the move by claiming that they "must be made on the same continent as the customers", is such a ridiculous statement that it can't be intended to be taken seriously.


The rest / Re: Empire - America and the future
« on: January 07, 2019, 03:05:34 AM »
Watch out Canada: might need a wall

"while only 11 percent and 10 percent wanted to leave the county under former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, respectively, that number surged to 16 percent in 2018 under Trump."

" Most—26 percent, Gallup found—would head north to Canada."

If 16% of the Never Trumpers escape to the north, Trump will be a shoo in for the next term. :(

Do these prospective immigrants know how to pick fruit?

This might go on the "Que Se Ficieron ?" thread, but i post here: Corporate Dem cashes in


Lieberman was the poster boy for Corporate Democrats, but why is Warren acting as though foreign corporations (ZTE) is under some obligation to follow American sanctions against Iran. The US is the one violating international law by placing those sanctions.

She calls out Russia, China and Saudi Arabia for lobbying congress, but skips over Israel? Does giving Kerry's son a seat on the board of Ukraine's biggest energy corporation count as foreign lobbying? How about Hunter Biden's position with the same outfit?

Warren apparently was "A top Democratic fund raiser" in 2014 - How does this, and her early support of Hillary Clinton's candidacy mesh with her present stance as a "Progressive"?

I'm 1/1024th convinced of her sincerity.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: January 06, 2019, 11:00:44 PM »
In retrospect my fathers main factory ran on coal, both for heat and through a steam engine in the basement that drove huge axles hung beneath each ceiling. The axles and machinery were all driven by wide leather belts. The freight elevator was also powered by that steam engine.

That factory either blew up or burned down in 1962.

The houses I lived in up until that time all had large oil tanks buried beneath the yard, but my country grade-school was heated by coal.

Thanks for all the feedback. I'd forgotten my own families use of coal in the 50's.

The rest / Re: US intervention in foreign lands
« on: January 06, 2019, 10:33:16 PM »
or the opposite? A Foreign lands intervention on US Officials .... makes them seriously ill.

Cue the crickets: Berkeley researcher finds Cuba ‘sonic attack’ sound is actually insects chirping Published time: 5 Jan, 2019


Havana's Noisy Nightlife Drove Diplomats Buggy!

America's diplomatic stature suffers as it's discovered that their diplomats can't withstand the sonorous mating calls of a tropical cricket.
Brain damage, loss of balance and "poor comprehension" by Americans on duty at the Havana Embassy had been blamed on "sonic attacks" by the host country. Some demanded a redo of the Bay of Pigs as fitting retribution for these despicable attacks on members of our heroic diplomatic corps.

After searching for communists under the beds, and electronics embedded in the walls, the answer was found in the plaintive cries of a tropical cricket.

The Americans will doubtlessly apologize profusely for their false accusations, and the Cuban Government will no doubt accept this heart felt atonement with all of the sincerity with which it is offered.
News organizations will print, or announce their retractions, and Americas diplomats, having allowed their paranoia to be displayed so openly, will no doubt see this as a cautionary tale and will act with muted restraint in the future. ::)

Match, game and set for the Cuban Cricket Team.

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: January 05, 2019, 08:55:51 PM »
I've watched producing orchards being torn out to install PV panels with mixed feelings. Electricity is cheap, abundant and quite "clean" here in Ontario.
My understanding is that we produce quite a bit more electricity than we can utilize, or profitably sell.

I'm not sure why we don't expand our grid westward so that Manitoba could do away with some of their coal fired plants.

Excess cider should be easier to dispose of, or store, than excess electricity. :)

Consequences / Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« on: January 05, 2019, 08:40:30 PM »

Medical costs would be the second great challenge.  For the US, simply adopting cost controls used by every other advanced economy would solve most of that problem.
Can you expand on the bolded.
I've never head of "cost controls" on healthcare since I left the US.
AFAIK every Canadian, or at least every Ontarian, is entitled to the best treatments available anywhere.
Unproven quackery excepted of course.



Passing ObamaCare under Pay-Go meant increasing a number of taxes.  (Back then Pay-Go imposed needless restrictions.)  We also basically flat-funded defense (already too big).  We can do it again, with enough political will.

Political will is fairly easy. Political won't, not so much.

Whoever is out of power demands that those in power restrain their out of control spending. They're adamant about this until they wrest power from those prodigious spendthrifts. At this point the roles are reversed and the new opposition demands that the new rulers pay attention to the very thing that they themselves so recently ignored.

Does anyone believe that America could, or would pay their bloated debts? If they can't/wont pay back a Trillion, why worry when the amount they can't/wont pay back reaches 10 Trillion or a Hundred Trillion?

They squeezed their supposed allies to pay their debts after WWII, but no one has the military strength to demand the same from the U.S.

Russia, Iran, and increasingly China, India, Pakistan and others are pricing their transactions in local currencies. When the EU finds it can purchase all it's needs without need of American Dollars, those holding Dollars will find themselves holding something that the rest of the world has no need of.
Those wanting Saudi oil may still need to pay with American Bucks, but those satisfied with Iranian or Russian petroleum, Chinese Clothing or Russian Rockets may discover that they don't need Uncle Sam's Script for anything at all. The Saudi's may find they've a Yen for Chinese commerce, then the ride comes to an end.

This is when the US may deign to pay back her dollar denominated debt. A million dollars may not buy a loaf of bread, but Trillions of debt will be paid off or forgotten and forgiven.

Until that happy day why should we worry about debt in a zero interest world. We'll pretend that we'll pay it back, they'll pretend that they believe us, and the world will live in harmony, for a little longer. ::)

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: January 05, 2019, 07:02:02 PM »
El Cid, you presume the fossil fuel bonanza that runs modern agriculture will magically keep on spitting out cheap fuel so that we can keep producing cheap food. If you are correct we fry the planet and if you are wrong we starve. Welcome to reality.

Current agricultural practices are fossil fuel intense, but I don't see why eliminating fossil fuel dependence in agriculture is any more challenging than eliminating fossil fuel dependence in transportation or electricity generation.

Operating heavy farm machinery with batteries may seem implausible at first, but I think not more so than operating 18-wheelers on the highway.  In most agricultural settings, such heavy equipment would be close to a farmhouse charging station/energy storage source.  Perfect setting for swapping batteries, to avoid down-time during charging.

Am I missing something?

Batteries don't produce electricity, they're a drain, a consumer of electricity.

Bruce and sidd have each been working for years to lower ff usage in agriculture. I don't believe either have hit on a method that can expand to a viable system that would produce the surplus required to feed much more than a very small village.

Batteries may eventually prove to be a part of the solution, but at the moment they drain ~20% of what electricity is fed through them.

Doesn't Pay-Go eliminate:

Single payer healthcare.
Lowering pharmaceutical costs
Spending to clean up the environment
Spending to monitor the environment
Investing in HSR
Relief from education debt

and any number of popular programs that Democrats have successfully campaigned for.

Why would we want to champion taking these off the table?
Do we wish to engage with the Republicans by vying to be the greater at leading the country into the failed austerity programs that have proven themselves so ineffective, as well as being very unpopular around the world?

Have Pelosi enact some austerity programs in her own district, say by turning down federal and state grants for higher education, investments in Bart - or even highway maintenance. Once the next election results are in she'll have proof of how well these programs are received by the voting public, and the rest of her colleges will be jumping on board. ::)

Austerity is always good for them, never for us.

The rest / Re: Elections 2018 USA
« on: January 05, 2019, 06:01:56 PM »
A little off topic but Freedom Fries, and the wild popularity they enjoyed, played a part in my flight to the relative sanity of Canada.

I suppose I'm in debt to the sickly congressman from N. Carolina. Without the rabid repetition of his xenophobic sound bite I might still be reliant on a Nevada HMO for my health care (if I could still afford the co-pay), always assuming I'd somehow survived after Nevada's finest doctors gave me less than 6 months to live back in 2004.


Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 05, 2019, 04:28:54 PM »
Is the Hallbach magnet used in wind turbine generators yet ?


Halbach Arrays have been extensively used for many decades. Refrigerator magnets that stick witty sayings, calender's, and to do lists to the sides of what was once referred to as an ice box are manufactured using Halbach Arrays.
I'm not sure that any brushless motors/generators are now built without this now rather hoary technology.

Why aren't they known as Mallinson Arrays to honor John C. Mallison who discovered them 55 years ago in 1973?

High Tech or Old Hat?

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 05, 2019, 03:39:21 PM »
IIRC Tesla uses alternating current while all others? charge with high voltage DC. Using a different system can be a more complex problem than simply fitting a jumper cord with a different configuration.
A quick Wiki check says no.
"A Tesla Supercharger is a 480-volt DC fast-charging station built by American vehicle manufacturer Tesla Inc. for their all-electric cars"

Thanks oren
I should learn to  check Wiki before relying on my increasingly aged memory.

The Tesla Superchargers are DC, not AC as I'd remembered.

The rest / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: January 04, 2019, 06:08:28 AM »
Let me add Caitlin Johnston's take on William Arkin's departure from NBC.

As the Good retreat, the Bad become ever more emboldened.
Truth no longer takes a back seat to Ideology, it's been kicked off the bus.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 04, 2019, 02:08:48 AM »
Auto stock returns in 2018...
Tesla: +7%
Toyota: -9%
GM: -15%
Fiat: -19%
Nissan: -20%
Volkswagen: -21%
Honda: -22%
Ford: -34%
Daimler: -34%
Tata: -63%
Image below.
(Tata Motors owns Jaguar [I-PACE])

 Some more from the world largest car market:
Brilliance; -72%
Great Wall Motor: -52%
Geely: -49%
Dong Feng: -22%
SAIC: -11%
It didn't take Tesla long to lose that +7% - and more.

The above also discusses the 63,150 M3 deliveries vs. the expected, absorbing the tax credit and American price cuts.

TSLA Closed 2018 at $332,80 and now stands at $299,08

The 10K cars/wk that Musk promised back in 2017 have yet to appear. Are we still experiencing "production hell"

P.S. With the huge downturn in delivered cars throughout the US, how was it possible that Elon couldn't find available auto carrier trucks?

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 04, 2019, 01:44:34 AM »
The Toronto Star is a newspaper with a definite leftist bias. Their take on Tesla and Musk is less than flattering.

They point to possible ties between Musk and Ellison prior to his ascendancy to Tesla's board.

Who owns his own Hawaiian Island?

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 04, 2019, 01:25:16 AM »
I've yet to see anyone using the local CHAdeMO/CCS in use.

IIRC Tesla uses alternating current while all others? charge with high voltage DC. Using a different system can be a more complex problem than simply fitting a jumper cord with a different configuration.

Still only one Tesla spotted in my travels, and that was sometime last fall or summer. A humorous event occurred last week when the cashier at a local fish and chips pointed out that a Tesla was parked in her lot, how beautiful they are and what wonderful colors they came in.
When I explained that it was my 2015 VW Passat, and that the styling is thought to be a weak point, she was only slightly abashed, while my companions and I shared a laugh.

I have seen a handful of other e-brands, but if they're in Cambridge, most must be locked up in a garage for the winter, (not an unusual thing here, but usually reserved for sporty convertibles.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: January 04, 2019, 12:58:14 AM »

More coal plants shut down in Trump’s first two years than in Obama’s entire first term
As a result, U.S. coal use dropped 4 percent in 2018 to a level not seen since 1979.

In the very early 50's coal may still have been burned for transportation, and apparently much more was used for this purpose than for generating electricity, which was a big surprise to me.
Any idea what coal was being used for in the 60's that consumed so much of it?

I assume that most recent coal usage has been steel production when not used to generate electricity. Are there other uses that I'm unaware of?


Policy and solutions / Re: Ships and boats
« on: January 04, 2019, 12:38:01 AM »
I'll not defend the 7 year cycle, it's something I think that I recall from my youth. For all I know it might have been passed down by a 10 year old blowhard trying to impress an 8 year old with his vast knowledge of the world. :)

Sorry to hear that your day is headed south. Scratching a pigs snout always seemed to bring a little pleasure to both of our days - but the pig could gave been faking it. ::)

2019's been pleasurable so far. My young Chinese friend has turned down a teaching position at Harvard, so she'll hopefully remain close for at least the near future. The Serbian lass with a degree from Oxford that I'd advised to quit her very unrewarding job has found another - much to everyone's vast relief.
My friend's Neapolitan Style Pizza restaurant is wining acclaim with healthy food advocates, and he will probably survive in a very tight market.

Jeeze, I'm making it sound as though everything has a financial angle which is far from the truth.
The wife and I have been feted to holiday dinners by hosts from Poland, China, Serbia, England and Detroit. The pounds we've gained are international in scope.
Carole liked Canada when we arrived, now she's developing a zealotry sometimes witnessed in recent immigrants.

My club is in the planning stages for a Regional Gathering to be held this fall, and I may or may not do another presentation on the state of the ASI. If I do decide to go ahead with it I'll need to spend more time above the line.
I'll simply sit in the audience at Ontario Archaeology Society meetings this year. Too many years away from the field - any field. The Ancient Mariners Canoe Club has retained me on their membership list, and my canoe in their livery, but I'm too damn weak to paddle the river, maybe this summer will be different?

The local Mayor, City Counselor and Federal MP are all friends whose campaigns I'd worked on so I'm not as politically isolated as I once was. If I've regrets it's that I was never able to track down relatives or friends from my youth.- oh, that and the fact that herringbone tweed is now just another marijuana cultivar. :(

In all an auspicious beginning to 2019, and as always I owe much of my present joyous state to the companions found on this forum.

Stay Happy

Policy and solutions / Re: Ships and boats
« on: January 03, 2019, 10:43:31 PM »
Terry, as someone who supports public transportation and is worried about operating costs, surely you can see that having less operating personnel could enable the opening of more public transport lines.
I recall many years ago traveling the Docklands Light Rail in London, raising my eyebrows at the driverless automated contraption. But if it enables more widespread service, I am all for it.
Though to be honest, I don't think a ferry is the best thing to automate, and would have serious qualms about traveling in such. But technology marches on, and eventually it will be safer and more reliable than the human operator.

After viewing the antics of the Ukrainian Tub Boat Captain in Kerch Strait last month I might concede that a remotely operated, even an autonomous Tugboat would be safer than allowing captains with Texas accents to operate in the Sea of Azov.
Kerch Strait is not the Wild West.

Ferries by design are built to carry large numbers of people, and ferry boat operators should be held to higher standards than operators of sea going ore carriers, tugs herding log booms or even bulk oil tankers.
Why would we laud a company for gambling the lives of their passengers, their crew, and any unfortunate who unexpectedly crossed their path against a portion of the wages due to the licensed seaman traditionally entrusted with their safety?
If they win they can't win as much as a captains salary. If they lose the losses are incalculable.

I don't believe that this is a serious proposal, but rather the opening of an Overton Window forcing many to see autonomous cars and trucks in a new, less threatening light.

If Rolls Royce and a Finnish Ferry Line are considering risking thousands of lives and multi-million dollar ships by leaving the driving to an Indian based Boiler Room/Bot Farm, then what's outrageous about a driverless micro van wending itself through residential Phoenix?
Can worries about an 80K pound autonomous semi weaving through rush hour traffic on an LA freeway compare to allowing a million pound vessel to dodge ships while avoiding ice and tidal currents in northern European ports?

Do you recall Musk's ill fated, and outrageously expensive, dream of an Alien Dreadnought that would autonomously produce cars without the need of human oversight? This cost him his shareholders a fortune and set his visions of automation back so far that he ended up building cars by hand in a temporary building.

Musk's blunder may yet cost him his company. If a ferry line were to somehow follow through with driverless ships carrying hundreds or thousands of passengers, and if this dream were to fail as spectacularly as Musk's Dreadnought failed, far more than dollars and one man's visions of infallibility would be lost.


Policy and solutions / Re: Ships and boats
« on: January 03, 2019, 08:33:47 PM »
I've a residential property in So Cal and I could be induced to hang out a NOT FOR RENT sign on it if the remuneration were sufficient. ::)
Perhaps you should consider dividing your acreage into seven equal areas, then practicing crop rotation as it's done here among the Amish. One year of lying fallow out of every seven. 6 productive fields each year while the 7th replenishes itself & pays the taxman.
Alternatively perhaps hire a very good surveyor could draw up micro fields where the rows of crops would be counted as productive land, while the space between rows would be designated as "totally removed from production" 8)

It suddenly dawned on me that a "mine" might be either a purposefully built hole in the ground, or a military machine designed to consign shipping to a watery grave. While automating the former seems harmless enough, operating the later via an internet connection reduces the navy to the maritime equivalent of those brave air force lads who bomb and strafe from the safety of their swivel chairs, and the greatest danger they face is their daily commute.
I fear that it was military mines that Sebastian was referencing, and I missed it entirely. I've never had much use for the military, but if The Nuremberg Trials ever spawns a sequel I hope there are special tortures reserved for those that destroy so many while risking so little.

Policy and solutions / Re: Ships and boats
« on: January 03, 2019, 07:40:33 AM »

Rolls Royce & Finferries Put To Sea In An Autonomous Ferry
The Falco used a combination of Rolls-Royce Ship Intelligence technologies to successfully navigate autonomously during its voyage between Parainen and Nauvo in the southwestern part of the country. It is equipped with a range of advanced sensors which allows it to build a detailed picture of its surroundings in real time and with a level of accuracy beyond that of the human eye according to a Rolls Royce press release. The vessel was able to avoid potential collisions along the route using sensor fusion and artificial intelligence.

The Falco is also equipped with an autonomous docking system that can reduce speed and guide the vessel to a safe and secure berth once it arrives at its destination. One additional advantage of the autonomous hardware and systems is that the vessel can be controlled remotely by a “virtual captain” at the Finferries operation center in the city of Turku, 50 kilometers away. The Falco made its way back to its point of origin by remote control. ...


Fewer crew are required.The crew can be sitting in an office anywhere with an internet connection (such as a call centre in India) and each crew can remotely operate multiple vessels. Mines are doing the same thing now. It saves them a bundle.

Saving bundles may be the present cause celebre, but when has a bundle ever done anything for you? Are bundles endangered? Are bundles to be hoarded like squirrels save walnuts, stashed in the crotch of a rotting Elm?

To the One in the Cloud

Our Father who began with cards
Hallorith was the name
Then Windows came
And Intel's shame
Was backdoors open to hackers

With hackers now well embedded
Security is a farce
Your secrets open
Your codes broken
In Finland
As it is in Delhi

Give us this day
Our daily fix
But forgive us our incredulity
As we forgive those who disbelieve us
And deliver us not with Rolls Royce Robots
But with  properly captained ships.

Terry :)

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