Powerful Words

Michelle Goldman has assumed a columnist position at the New York Times. Gail Collins interviewed her today, September 25, in The Conversation (1). In an exchange related to the possibility that Trump may choose to follow a path to war, Goldman said:

Yeah, I think we’re learning that the Constitution may, in fact, be a suicide pact. It’s a source of constant astonishment to me that the country has handed over the means to destroy civilization on this planet to an unhinged lunatic who lost the popular vote and was installed with the aid of a hostile foreign power. It’s such an epic institutional failure that it calls everything we thought we knew about this country’s stability into question.

Very Powerful Words. It’s time for a constitutional convention, as scary as that may be in a country full of people and legislators that can put a person like Donald Trump in its top job.

Must read her first column tomorrow. (2)

-George-

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/column/the-conversation
  2.  Did. Wow.

Mary, Mary, To The Contrary

I read in The New York Times today that Mary Barra pushed back against China’s aggressive plan to ban the sale of gasoline powered automobiles. In her Shanghai speech, she said:

“I think it works best when, instead of mandating, customers are choosing
the technology that meets their needs,”
(1)

Shame, Mary. Shame. Should we permit customers to choose plutonium powered cars because they would only need refueling once every twenty years? Hey, convenient, quiet, zero emissions. I think not. It’s the old critical mass problem. We’ll probably agree that Governments should control that option. But, if you look at the alphabet soup of Climate Change (2) hurricane names in the Caribbean and the mess they have left (or will leave) behind,  you might think a few plutonium bombs had been loosed down there. That’s not the case, of course, but you know, I know you do, that gasoline powered cars are just slow atmospheric time bombs, and the timer has run out.

It certainly does not work best when customers are choosing their own automobile power technology if that choice chokes us in poison gases, fills the atmosphere with CO2, acidifies the ocean, and blows Florida and its neighbors to the south off the map. Your customers are not equipped to sort through the real facts, industrial propaganda, bullshit, and lies that surround matters like these. They’ve been trained well by Detroit and decognified by political evangelists. We need a some real leadership here. Leadership with brains, not what we have in Washington and Florida now.

How about this, let’s use up what gas cars we have for as long as they run, but make no more. Or not many more. It’s past time. Hell, Cuba did it. We can, too! China is right.

Or, maybe we could build a wall around the country to keep hurricanes out, and evolve leaves to breath CO2.

-George-

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/15/business/gm-china-ceo-gasoline.html?hpw&rref=automobiles&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well
  2. In bold and capitalized for Rick Scott, who has trouble seeing or saying those words.

A Cloud Over The Sunshine State

I posted an article on this topic a day or two ago, and thought it missed the mark. Here’s a redo. I Blew the old one away.

My son lives in Sebring, Florida. As a result of Irma, he’ll be without power for about two weeks according to local power company folks. The Washington Post has a good article on the scope of the situation, (1) and CNN covers the cost of rebuilding traditional electrical utility infrastructure. (2) Both stories miss the point of my post here. That point is that this completely unnecessary mess is in the “Sunshine State”, a state in which everyone SHOULD be generating power on their business and home rooftops with solar panels for personal use, to share with neighbors in a microgrid, or to feed back into a conventional grid if that’s what one wants to do. But, because of regressive State regulations that protect utility interests, solar power has simply become too expensive to deploy. (3)

Many of the “shoulda-been” rooftop installations would certainly have been damaged by Irma, but many would have made it through just fine. How many people would be cool and comfortable tonight running on their Powerwalls (4) while repair crews from as far away as Michigan work around the clock to patch up Florida’s coal and gas fired grid so it can work until the next storm comes rolling in and they can do it all over again? Would the twelve who died in a hot nursing home still be alive? (5) We don’t know, but we do know that not having strong governmental policies and incentives promoting the rapid conversion to decentralized microgrid or personal solar power in Florida is simply foolish — unless you own a coal or gas power plant — or unless those folks pay your political office campaign bills.

Something to think about very seriously if you are a Floridian when the next election opportunity comes about. There is something you can do.

-George-

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/09/12/florida-struggles-with-top-job-in-irmas-wake-restoring-power-to-millions/
  2. http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/14/us/underground-power-lines-trnd/index.html
  3. http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-no-solar-20140810-story.html
  4. https://www.tesla.com/powerwall
  5. Updated Sep 29, 2017. https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/hurricane-irma/florida-nursing-home-death-toll-rises-twelve-after-irma-knocked-n805846