Another One Bites The Dust

“Scott Pruitt, the man whose life’s mission has been to blow up the EPA so his friends and financial supporters could enrich themselves, has put his tail between his legs and snuck out of town. His resignation came as allegations of malfeasance, corruption, abuse of office, and self dealing threatened to overwhelm him.”
 
See Ding Dong, The Stooge Is Gone — Scott Pruitt Slinks Out Of Town
There’s little to celebrate in Trump’s USA. We might as well celebrate this latest departure. Unfortunately, there is a queue of Trump’s sycophants waiting in the wings to continue gutting the EPA and sacrificing the good life for our grandchildren.

I’m still optimistic that USAians will vote in a wall of Democrats and sweep Trump from office in 2019. While Pence is Trump’s backup, a Democratic Congress will provide the necessary checks and balances keeping Pence on a short leash. If I’m wrong, USA is doomed to fail. USA will be run by organized criminals and democracy will be a thing of the past.

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Tesla? Maybe Useful…

“Tesla compatible J1772 adapter.With this adapter cable you can charge your non-Tesla EV on a Tesla Destination, UMC, or Wall Connector charger.The adapter has a special circuit that allows it to work on any current Tesla charger including Destination Chargers.This adapter cable has all of the pins needed to maintain all functionality and safety protocols used by UMC and J1772 charging systems.”
 
See TeslaTap
One of the little annoyances I might encounter with my future Electra Meccanica Solo is that out on the highway there are a few charging stations that are Tesla-only. An adapter may overcome that problem.

One place where this might be useful is the gap between Winnipeg and Brandon on the Trans Canada Highway in Manitoba. There is no $free public charging station at Portage la Prairie, the “natural” location. Portage is within easy range for most EVs but Brandon is stretching things. A Tesla-only station at McGregor has appeared on PlugShare. There is also a J1772 charging station at Carberry a bit further down the road. It’s good to have choices.

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Communities Can And Do Promote Adoption Of EVs

“Electric vehicle adoption is a win/win for people, governments and the environment. Many groups and diverse stakeholders with a broad range of concerns and interests stand to benefit from state and local policies that advance electric transportation and charging infrastructure.”
 
See Model State & Local Policies to Accelerate Electric Vehicle Adoption
Amazing! The Sierra Club and Plug In America present an expansive list of actions and the states that took those actions in their report. The diversity of methods is remarkable. It shows that EVs are popular for all kinds of people for all kinds of reasons.

Where I live, renewable energy is the norm on the grid. It just makes sense to shift the money being spent importing petroleum products to run gas-guzzlers to creating jobs and supporting businesses and communities where the people live. EVs can do that and the transition will take only a few years with such policies in place. People would be foolish to buy a gas-guzzler when EVs are so practical and affordable.

In my case, I take a few trips a year on the highway to visit relatives and otherwise stick close to home hunting, gathering, shopping and doing errands. I just don’t have a need for a five-seater truck disguised as a car. The little Electra Meccanica Solo will do the job. It’s easy to drive, very efficient in use of energy, has no oil-changes, has a low price compared to other EVs and gas-guzzlers… It’s the right car for me and it has all the advantages of EVs like being low in maintenance and less polluting.

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Family Heirlooms

Recently I was blessed to be able to see some heirlooms of my family:

  • loads of photographs some more than 100 years old,
  • a Ross Rifle (.303 British), designed and built in Canada before WW I, and
  • a Cooey rifle (.22 Rimfire), also designed and built in Canada early in my lifetime.

Many fond memories were rekindled and I learned lots too. It was a great event coinciding with the anniversary of the political birth of Canada, Canada Day, July 1, 1867.

The Ross Rifle was in very good condition with bluing in great shape and the bore crisp. The only rust I could find was on the butt-plate. I’d like to shoot one more deer with this rifle, just for old time’s sake. The Cooey was in rough shape, having been stored dry and dirty in a damp place. Bore is crisp but there are some rust spots on the outer parts. I cleaned and oiled both to keep them working longer. The Cooey was used by me on the farm to dispatch lots of rabbits, grouse and even a skunk once. My father also used it to slaughter cattle and pigs as well as hunting wild game. The Ross was used by my father to hunt deer and to kill coyotes. It was certainly adequate for those tasks out past 250 yards or so. I think it had been owned by my grandfather on my father’s side. I can reload some of the original “Dominion” ammunition that still exists. A relative had used a few rounds and kept the empties. I’ve also found a few empty cartridges discarded by hunters/shooters over the years. It’s all good.

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EV Market: “Engage!”

“The Chinese PEV market is at full charge, with some 94,000 units registered in May, up 127% YoY and just 8,000 units less than the current record of 102,000 units set last December. If sales continue progressing this fast, expect a new all-time record in June.
 
Consequently, the PEV share hit a record 5% PEV in May, pulling the 2018 share to 3%, well above the 2.1% of 2017, and with sales expected to pick up significantly as the year advances, the 2018 PEV share should end north of the 3% to 4% threshold (maybe 5%?), with December possibly reaching 7%.”
 
See Beijing Auto Goes Into Warp Speed
 
“Almost lost in all the Model 3 production news was the fact that the company is continuing to churn out its Model S and Model X vehicles. On Sunday afternoon, Musk tweeted that total company production for the last week of June amounted to 7,000 vehicles.”
 
See Tesla Produces 7,000 Cars In 7 Days
My! What a difference a year makes! EV production/sales in 2018 are expected to be near 2% of all vehicle production/sales. This is mostly thanks to China and Tesla which are on fire. Tesla is producing ~7000 of their EVs each week and China is making ~25000 each week.

Soon a Chinese motor-cycle maker will be in production of my chosen EV, the Electra Meccanica Solo, a single-seater with enough range to meet my needs and with an efficiency of about 10km/kWh. The only thing more efficient might be a transport beam as seen on Star Trek. There goes another ~500 EVs/week. According to Reuters, globally, auto-makers are investing $90billion USD in EVs. We are not “there” yet, but we have entered a new star-system as far as personal transportation goes.

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Blinded About Sun

“President Trump blows a lot of wind about trying to bring back coal jobs, but if he was paying attention, he would have to admit the growth is in solar jobs. It’s almost as though he is energy blind.”
 
See Solar Power Employs Twice As Many As Coal In US
Trump spends many hours spreading ignorant lies. It’s what he does to rile up his “base”. One of those lies is that coal is “coming back”. That just makes no sense. Coal is highly automated. It doesn’t need a huge crew with hand-shovels. It doesn’t need a lot of workers to get done and coal is very expensive compared to natural gas which abounds. Coal is very dirty both to mine and to burn. No one needs coal except for metallurgy. Coal just isn’t “coming back”.

Meanwhile solar power is growing like Topsy. Instead of touting coal, Trump should be touting retraining and going where the jobs are. That would be too logical. That would be too efficient. That would cause less chaos. So, he doesn’t do that.

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After The Rain

We had a cold front move through last night as we slept, bringing numerous thunderstorms. Fortunately, here they were gentle with just a few gusts of wind. The rain was long, light and welcome, just what my potted seedlings needed to rinse out our hard well-water.

When I patrolled my greenhouse, I plucked out a few weeds from the pots and took the opportunity to transplant the last of the Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia Creeper) from a crowded 5 inch pot where they germinated into individual pots where others had not survived the winter, some Swiss Stone Pine and Thuja occidentalis. After I was done, I washed my hands and took one last tour of the greenhouse. A seedling spoke to me…

It was a very healthy and vigorous Nanking Cherry (Prunus tomentosa) seedling that I had previously distributed from a crowded nursery pot to an individual but tiny pot, just two inches or so… There was something wrong with the picture. Why was this seedling as large and strong as the seedlings that were in larger pots? I was intrigued and searched for another free pot with soil. I found a huge five-gallon pot wherein was a tree that had accidentally been winter-killed the previous year. It was too big for anything that I had and, honestly, so heavy it was difficult to move. What if I gave that ambitious seedling the opportunity of a lifetime and put it in the huge pot? I did the transplant. To my amazement, the Nanking Cherry had not crowded its tiny pot at all. It just had very efficient roots… Chuckle. It fooled me. I think it may be a month or two before it realizes the opportunity that it was given. We shall see. Growing conditions are perfect this June. I rolled the huge pot into a sunnier location.

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Why I’m Glad I Escaped The Wintel Monopoly All Those Years Ago

It’s so tedious that M$ and Intel have monopolized computing, an activity I love and appreciate for its power, efficiency and economy, at least using GNU/Linux. Today I read the following articles and just had to thank Debian GNU/Linux for freeing me from all this stuff:

Well, that last one is not about the evil-doing of M$ but their empowering evil-doers. The software and services M$ supplies can be used for good or ill but I still don’t want anything to do with them controlling my infrastructure. Also, Google is not totally innocent either. I do use their search engine and e-mail a lot…

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Give Trump The Boot

“The practice of separating these families was implemented without any effective system or procedure for (1) tracking the children after they were separated from their parents, (2) enabling communication between the parents and their children after separation, and (3) reuniting the parents and children after the parents are returned to immigration custody following completion of their criminal sentence. This is a startling reality”
 
See Federal judge orders reunification of parents and children, end to family separations at border
Well, there’s a court ordering Trump to undo some of the harm he’s done to immigrant families ASAP. There should instead be impeachment and prosecution for child-abuse but the GOP has been corrupted from within and without. Certainly the court-order is necessary and speedy but it isn’t sufficient. More needs to be done:

  • Mueller needs to publish his report,
  • the few decent members of the GOP need to join with the Democrats and make impeachment happen, and
  • Trump and his minions need to go to jail.
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Economics Trumps Trump

“The Mid-Continent Nail plant in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, laid off 60 of its 500 workers last week because of increased steel costs. The company blames the 25% tariff on imported steel. Orders for nails plunged 50% after the company raised its prices to deal with higher steel costs.”
 
See Largest US nail manufacturer ‘on the brink of extinction’ because of the steel tariffs
Trump looks only at the trade deficit. He ignores that tariffs to “punish countries” with trade surpluses is really a tax on USA. What he gave to the economy by cutting taxes (in exchange for huge future indebtedness) and cutting regulations he’s taking away by placing economic sanctions on USA, the folks he promised to serve and protect. So he’s chasing his tail down a rabbit-hole. Everything he claims to have accomplished is a net negative. The biggest tax-cuts went to the wealthy and they raised their pay and left Trump’s voters in the lurch paying higher prices for gasoline, oil and metals. You can add nails and homes to the list and the associated loss of jobs (Harley too…).

Will the last Trump-supporter left please turn out the lights when they leave?

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My Goals For Renewable Energy Will Be Achieved Long Before 2050

“falling photovoltaic (PV), wind, and battery costs will cause the dramatic shift in investment, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) notes. “PV and wind are already cheaper than building new large-scale coal or gas plants,” the 2018 report says. In addition, BNEF expects that more than $500 billion will be invested in batteries by 2050, with two-thirds of that investment going to installations on the grid and one-third of that investment happening at a residential level.”
 
See Report: World trending to hit 50% renewables, 11% coal by 2050
My little contributions may not be a huge percentage globally but they are here and now. TLW and I already live in a very efficient house with geothermal and passive solar heating. We drive an hybrid SUV gas-guzzler. Soon I will have a BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) and local solar panels and battery for charging it. Our utility uses mainly hydroelectricity with some wind power. Others can wait to 2050 to see the end of fossil fuel but it’s happening here and now. I hope soon to see the day when the only fossil fuel I consume will be in the lawn-mower and roto-tiller. The yard is still too large for those to be run by battery-power unless they come with robots and self-contained charging systems. That could happen for the mower but I’m still concerned about kids running into one on the lawn.

BTW, Trump will also be gone along with coal by 2050. It’s all good.

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Just Following Orders…

“Something just doesn’t sit well with the image of a bureaucrat scoffing at a reporter’s question about whether separating young immigrant children from their parents constitutes a form of child abuse.
 
But Kirstjen Nielsen should know better than to attempt to reduce a crisis as visceral as this one to statistics and wonkish D.C. policy-speak — especially when it is a crisis of the administration’s own making and all part of an elaborate sham aimed at pleasing her boss, the President, who sees the children caught up in this drama not as human beings, but as mere negotiating chits in a game of brinkmanship with a Congress that doesn’t want to give him his “wall.””
 
See I have known Kirstjen Nielsen for nearly 30 years. She should resign now
A crime against humanity is still a crime against humanity if it is committed by one trying to please the boss. Neither the boss nor the minion get to deny the harm they do.

Trump and all his minions should resign immediately and report to prison. They don’t belong free to torment children in the modern world. Who will file the charges of child-abuse? Who will impeach POTUS? Who will speak truth to power? There should be resignations and factual statements made to the public up and down the chain of command to/from this “commander in chief”. His title would be better, “mob boss”, “saboteur”, or “traitor”. He’s making USA smaller than it has been for more than a century. The people who help Trump in the destruction of USA and all it stands for are just as guilty.

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