Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day



Today we remember the folks who lost their lives defending liberty.  We all should pause a moment and thank these peoples who prevented tyranny from overtaking freedom.

Now let’s reflect on the state of our union in the land of the free and the home of brave.  In many ways we are much improved in protecting liberty and justice for all.  We have failed when it comes to bringing environmental justice to the folks in Delaware, Maiden North Carolina, and Oakland California where the polluting Bloom Coffins are still operating openly and are above ground.  But in many places where coal fired power stations have shut and new combined cycle natural gas stations have replaced the old coal fired stations environmental justice is alive and well.

In 2015 natural gas will provide almost as many gigawatt hours of power as coal to electric customers in the United States.  A decade ago coal provided twice as many gigawatt hours as gas.  Carbon dioxide and acid gas (Sox and NOx) emissions have been significantly reduced by the substitution of natural gas for coal in electric power generation.  I also applauded the contribution of solar and wind although these renewable sources needed subsidies.  The combined cycle gas powered station did it without subsidy and contributed almost five times as much substitution compared with renewables of coal gigawatt hours.

On the transportation front we have ridded the planet of Hummer production in the last decade and many new cars and trucks are much more efficient than the vehicles they replace.   People are also driving less miles per year, but still we pretty much use approximately the same quantity of gasoline and diesel as we did a decade ago.  This is an area we must improve.   I plan to focus some effort on lowering the carbon emissions in transportation.

Al Gore issued his latest manifesto to save the planet.  He tweeted that he had a new manifesto on “Sustainable Capitalism”.  Being a sucker for punishment I read the hogwash he and his team wrote.  Interestingly for power generation Big Al is now focused on four areas.  They are Solar PV, Wind, Geothermal, and Energy Storage.  He has abandoned his Fuel Cell story.  Of course he has profited handsomely from the fuel cell BLOOMDOGGLE but even Al knows that not even Governor Jack Markell of Delaware believes in Bloom anymore.  In transportation he and his team at Generation Foundation are focusing on Improved Engines, Electric Vehicles, Fleet Logistics, and Biofuels.  Big Al and his partners at Kleiner Perkins brought us the Fisker Fiasco.  Perhaps the new Chinese owners of Fisker will have Improved Engines and Better Batteries or maybe Big Al and John Doerr have a new Fisker like vehicle in planning. 


Sadly for us Global Warming is a problem and thermodynamic fools (opportunists) like Gore dominate the international stage.  What is needed is that real engineers get cracking on improving vehicles and that more folks hop on the bus.   Gladly we have stopped producing Hummers and more hybrids are on the road.  I do not memorialize the Hummer nor do I memorialize Arne the Hummernator who popularized massive SUVs and conspicuous gasoline consumption.  Arne in fact makes Al look like a thermodynamic whiz kid.   Arne was the supersize me of transportation.  We just need Mini Me for governor of the California.  Yeah Dannie DeGreenie for Governor.  

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