Study on electric versus gas power vehicles shows that the future may not be so clean.

As has been reported in past studies the daily operation of electric vehicles may be cleaner but their manufacture is significantly dirtier and more than offsets any negative environmental impact of manufacturing and operating gas powered vehicles. In this recent study by Arthur D. Little, they show the most significant impact comes not from electricity generation to charge the batteries but from what the study calls “Secondary Environmental Impacts” which is comprised of sourcing the materials necessary to manufacture the electric vehicles.

BEVs generate a host of secondary environmental impacts greater than those of ICEVs. A 2015 BEV generates enough toxicity over a vehicle’s lifetime to cause an impact to human life equivalent to 20 days of life lost to death or disability,5 whereas a 2015 ICEV generates enough toxicity to impact the average human life by only 6 days. The differential in secondary environmental impacts will widen for new vehicles in 2025, with BEVs producing even higher levels of human toxicity potential.

BEV’s refer to Battery Electric Vehicles and ICEV’s refer to Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles.

Add to this the significant higher total cost of ownership for electric vehicles and you can see why the market for them has not taken off as predicted.

From Arthur D. Little. (PDF)

Millennial remake of “Baby it’s cold outside” shows that we truly are doomed.

Millennial remake of “Baby it’s cold outside” shows that we truly are doomed. laughably compares Twitter to the Big 3 Networks during the 1960’s laughably compares Twitter to the Big 3 Networks during the 1960’s.

In a story about how President-Elect Trump is using his “bully pulpit” (which he doesn’t have until he takes office if the media chooses to not cover him) to chastise some businesses and praise others and the effect it may have on the economy, they try to compare the power and reach of Twitter to the Big Three Networks (CBS, NBC, and ABC) during President Lyndon Johnson’s administration (Lyndon Johnson was President from 1963 through 1969). What a freaking joke!

Intervention of this magnitude has little precedent, but past president such as Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy were known for such practices. Johnson, for instance, fought inflation and targeted high prices on products as varied as eggs, steel and televisions.

Johnson’s impact was limited. But he didn’t have Twitter.

The assertion that a tweet by Trump has a larger effect than anything reported by network news in the 1960’s is ridiculous. The only reason President-Elect Trump’s tweets get so much attention is because the network news today and news web sites like report on the Tweet. Otherwise, I doubt barely anyone would give a damn about him complaining about the cost of the development of the next Air Force One or his praise of Softbank investing $50 billion in the U.S.

To me this part of the story should be highlighted and labeled as “fake news”.


Here’s why you can’t trust what you’re told about “climate change”

Even scientists who believe in an Earth being warmed by human causes are being chastised and denounced as “climate change deniers”. Here’s another problem. People who are already “believing” in human caused climate change won’t bother to read an Op-Ed like this because it doesn’t fit in with their world view.

I believe climate change is real and that human emissions of greenhouse gases risk justifying action, including a carbon tax. But my research led me to a conclusion that many climate campaigners find unacceptable: There is scant evidence to indicate that hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or drought have become more frequent or intense in the U.S. or globally. In fact we are in an era of good fortune when it comes to extreme weather. This is a topic I’ve studied and published on as much as anyone over two decades. My conclusion might be wrong, but I think I’ve earned the right to share this research without risk to my career.

Instead, my research was under constant attack for years by activists, journalists and politicians. In 2011 writers in the journal Foreign Policy signaled that some accused me of being a “climate-change denier.” I earned the title, the authors explained, by “questioning certain graphs presented in IPCC reports.” That an academic who raised questions about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in an area of his expertise was tarred as a denier reveals the groupthink at work.

But the lesson is that a lone academic is no match for billionaires, well-funded advocacy groups, the media, Congress and the White House. If academics—in any subject—are to play a meaningful role in public debate, the country will have to do a better job supporting good-faith researchers, even when their results are unwelcome.

The climate changes. It always has. It may now be changing due to human activity. But, first, if it is changing due to humans how is it being changed. Second, if it is changing due to humans is that change for the better or worse (and how is better or worse determined)? Third, what if the climate is changing due to natural causes (other than human intervention)? Fourth, if the Earth’s climate is changing due to natural causes should we intervene to prevent the change (providing the change is bad)?

When the “climate change” (aka used to be called “global warming”) crowd of politicians, pundits, and scientists stop this kind of stupid behavior may then I’ll start believing in some of their conclusions.

From the Wall Street Journal


50 thoughts on turning 50

50 thoughts on turning 50… I was going to pen a blog post with 50 thoughts on turning 50 years old but forgot what those thoughts were due to my ever more rapidly advancing age. 

To Melissa Bae: Happy 30th Anniversary!

I got married at 19 and turned 20 a week later. My parents and siblings doubted I would stay married for 30 days. Well, 30 years have gone by as quickly as if it was 30 days. It’s been a whirlwind and not a day spent has been boring.

Happy anniversary Melissa!

This study says I’m highly intelligent so I choose to believe it. 

This study says I’m highly intelligent so I choose to believe it. 

They concluded that, while people generally feel happier when they spend time with others, very smart people are an exception to this rule.

The study said this could be because of evolution

Kiosk ordering coming soon to a McDonald’s near you. 

This is what raising the minimum wage does. How many teens and others looking to enter the workforce for the first time will now be replaced by a Kiosk? The report says that a single kiosk costs $60k,  which seems overly expensive, and if true will still cost far less than the combination of humans it would replace. No insurance (liability, health, worker’s comp, etc), no sick days, no breaks, no regulations to abide by and the list goes on.

Legislation through regulation needs to be curtailed

440 Federal Regulatory Agencies Found

There are 440 Federal Regulatory Agencies

Legislation through regulation needs to be curtailed. The New York Times had a story today regarding  an issue I posted about a few days ago. In the article they go through some of the policies pushed forward by President Obama through the nation’s regulatory agencies.

Dozens of major regulations passed recently by the Obama administration — including far-reaching changes on health care, consumer protections and environmental safety — could be undone with the stroke of a pen by Donald J. Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress starting in January, thanks to a little-used law that dates back to 1996.

And it comes with a scorched-earth kicker: If the law is used to strike down a rule, the federal agency that issued it is barred from enacting similar regulation again in the future.

Rules from regulatory agencies are de facto laws while they are in effect but they do not have the same weight as laws that are passed through Congress and signed by the President. The former are the visions of one man where the latter is what should be a deliberate choice by the people’s representatives.

Congress needs to act in these next two years to take back so much of the power they ceded to the Executive Branch over the last several decades. This is the only way to stop legislation through regulation.

From the New York Times

President Obama’s biggest mistake was to legislate from the Oval Office

scotus-sealInstead of trying to reach compromise (yes the Republicans are partly to blame) President Obama repeatedly used Executive Orders, Executive Memoranda, and regulatory agencies to push forward policies he couldn’t get through Congress. This was extremely short sighted because now a great deal of the policies he pushed, regardless of whether you agree with him or not, can be undone by similar means.

Even before Donald Trump chooses a Supreme Court nominee, the new president can take steps to make several contentious court cases go away.

Legal challenges involving immigration, climate change, cost-free contraceptive care and transgender rights all could be affected, without any help from Congress.

The cases turn on Obama administration policies that rely on the president’s pen, regulations or decisions made by federal agencies. And what one administration can do, the next can undo.

It is not uncommon for the court’s docket to change when one party replaces the other in the White House. That change in direction is magnified by the high-court seat Trump will get to fill after Senate Republicans refused to consider President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland.

Congress has the authority to write laws. The President can have legislation introduced and if passed by both houses of Congress he can then sign it into law. If President Obama had gone in this direction he may not have been able to do a lot of what he wanted but at least it would have had the weight of law rather than the impermanence of an Executive Order.

From the Chicago Tribune