Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

For "a human being, the question 'to be or not to be,' is the question 'to think or not to think.'" Ayn Rand

16 February 2024

Operational Experience with an Electric Vehicle

An employee of mine had their car viciously damaged in a theft in Prince George's County, Maryland.  All of the windows on the passenger side were broken and the passenger side mirror was destroyed.  An EZ-Pass was stolen.  The repair is taking weeks.  The owner decided to rent a car for the duration.  

A Manager's Special was much less expensive than normal prices.  The Manager's Special was a Volvo C40 Recharge, a totally battery driven vehicle.  The EPA rates it as having a full charge range of about 226 miles.  The car reports its own range at 100% as being 185 miles, perhaps based on its actual history of use.  Reviews say it has a quick recharge.

The employee drove the vehicle to work, a distance of 16.2 miles.  The outside temperature was in the low 40s Fahrenheit.  This used 11% of the battery charge, implying that the 100% range was 147 miles.  The user recharged the battery at home using a regular 120V outlet and a heavy-duty 25 foot power cord.  In 13 hours of charging time, the C40 Recharge battery charge increased 21% or 1.6% per hour.  This is a bit short of allowing the user to drive to work and return, with no stops at the grocery store or other diversions from the shortest route.

A grocery store near work has two recharging stations that are rated to provide recharging power of about 8 KW, though people report that the rate is more like 6 to 7 KW.  This compares very favorably with the home recharging rate of 0.0763 KW, assuming the long extension cord is not dropping that rate of charge further.  Nonetheless, the grocery store recharging station is often not available and using it still means sitting there for about 35 minutes to charge the batteries from 0 to 100%, when the station is actually at 8 KW.

I have many, many better ways to spend my time than dealing with the recharging issues of an electric vehicle.  These vehicles are in no way desirable and any government that wants to force me to waste my time on their idiot idea that these vehicles are to be mandated will earn nothing short of my hatred.  Of course, anyone who wants to drive such vehicles is welcome to do so, but I see no reason for governments to subsidize their use.

21 January 2024

A Super Majority of America's Elitists Say They are Authoritarians

American elitists and registered voters in general were polled by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity on individual freedom, government, and environmental controls.  American elitists were defined as those "having a postgraduate degree, a household income of more than $150,000, and living in a zip code with more than 10,000 people per square mile."  This group is about 1% of Americans.  Additional polling of Ivy League and other highly regarded university graduates was performed.  As defined, I am one of this group, though my principles differ with most of them greatly.

See the results of the survey in Evita Duffy-Alfonso's article on the Federalist Daily Briefing.

Key results summarized from Evita Duffy-Alfonso's article:

  • Nearly 60% of Elitists think there is too much individual freedom in America.  This contrasts with nearly 60% of other registered voters saying there is too little individual freedom.
  • More than two-thirds of the Elite want to ration food and energy to control the climate.  90% of the Ivy Leaguers supported such rationing.  Two-thirds of normal registered voters oppose such rationing.
  • 72% of the Elites want to ban gas cars and 81% of those graduates of elite universities want to ban them.  Majorities of the Elite yearn to prohibit gas stoves, SUVs, private air conditioning, and non-essential air travel.
  • 67% of Elites do not believe parents should decide what their children are taught.
  • 70% of Elites trust the government to do the right thing most of the time.
  • About 60% of the Elites have a favorable opinion of lawyers, lobbyists, politicians, and journalists.
  • Three-quarters of the Elite support Biden
It is not just my opinion that Elites are authoritarians.  It is their own opinion.  They are proud that they are more qualified to manage the lives of the 99% than are the 99%.  They are so very smart and so willing to care for the 99%.  Yet somehow, the 99% suffer, while they manage to live the high life.  Then again, they do call most of the 99% The Deplorables.  Or clingers to their guns and religions.  Or lying dog-faced pony soldiers, or something like that.  Or MAGA extremists.

15 January 2024

The Manhattan Contrarian Notes the Insanity of New York Electric Power Mandates

The Manhattan Contrarian provides a rational evaluation of the mandates of New York on carbon-based fuel power inputs to its electric grid.

The state of New York mandated in 2018 that 70% of the electricity used in the state must come from renewables by 2030.  How is the progress going on that?  Based on data presented in the article, in 2023 the total renewable electricity output grew from 24.1% in 2019 to 25.8% in 2023.  At this rate of annual increase, by 2030 the renewable share will be 37.7%.  Nuclear power output shrank because the state forced the closure of two nuclear power plants.  Nuclear power is not renewable, but it is non-carbon fuel.  Carbon-based fuel conversion to electric power grew from 33.1% to 41.6% from 2019 to 2023.  Yes, far from being reduced, carbon-based fuel increased its share by 8.5%, while renewables increased by only 1.7%!  These percentages ignore the source of imported electricity, which was 14.4% in 2019 and 14.5% in 2023.

Francis Menton notes that the only way to make wind, solar, and other non-hydro renewable energy increase to the mandated 70% level is to use these intermittent sources to create hydrogen gas.  There is no reasonable possibility that battery storage will be feasible at the required power levels.  What might it cost to convert renewable electricity into hydrogen gas?  The United Kingdom just started a large-scale program to produce hydrogen gas, whose combustion creates dihydrogen monoxide.  For $306, hydrogen gas with the ability to produce 1 MWh of electricity will be provided to the United Kingdom.  Natural gas that produces 1 MWh of electricity is available in NYC at a cost of $11.32.  As the Manhattan Contrarian notes, this implies a greater base electric energy cost of a factor of 27.  That factor of 27 does not even include the cost of storing vast amounts of hydrogen gas, pipelines to transport it, and power plants to burn it.

Rational people cannot help but declare the New York state 70% electricity from renewables mandate absurdly impractical.  As I have pointed out numerous times, there is no problem with continuing to use inexpensive and reliable carbon-based fuels.  Nonetheless, environmental fanatics with their baseless fear-driven fantasies, continue to demand the destruction of our civilization as a small price for their "saving" the planet.  We should just recognize them as Nihilists.