American Elephants

The Texas Disaster, The Kerry Disaster, and Upcoming Facebook Disaster. by The Elephant's Child
February 20, 2021, 9:53 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

We had a neighborhood power outage last fall, and it was uncomfortable, and we were ill-prepared. Reminds me that I need to get a camping lantern. Candles are romantic but not very useful. We don’t realize how much we depend on our power services until they are not operating.

John Kerry, President Biden’s Climate Guru (the Special Envoy for Climate) announced that we have just 9 years left before Climate Armageddon or something like that. Our records of the climate only begin in 1880. “Global Warming” began in 1850. How much has the earth warmed since 1880? About 1 degree centigrade. OMG, Run for the hills! President Biden has rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement (without Congressional approval) which will accomplish nothing at all. ‘The planet will not notice whether the UN Paris pact exists nor whether the U.S. is part of it. Even UN officials admit that the Paris pact did not save the planet as CO2 emissions continued to rise. Facebook has announced that they will be “fact checking” statements about the climate.

Texas has just had a weather disaster, more correctly, a wind turbine disaster. They got some snow and freezing weather, but the disaster was the power outage. Some people died trying to warm their houses with auto exhaust.

Americans should realize that oil and gas account for 70% of our energy supply. The reality is that blocking pipelines and development does not lower demand, it just makes getting access to energy more difficult and more costly. Oil has no material substitute. Electric cars are far more expensive and far less convenient. Climate activists blame cold and snow on — global warming.

Analysis: Social Cost of Carbon is a “Transparent and Obvious Fraud” – —Francis Menton in 2016: “The ‘Social Cost of Carbon’ can fairly be described as the mother of all government cost-benefit analyses…”In reality, it is a completely dishonest scam that wildly exaggerates costs and ignores benefits in order to justify vast seizures of power unto the government….“

Here’s a piece by journalist Andy May, who lives in Texas and writes about climate science and energy, so he gets lots of questions.

I just learned that wind turbine blades are not recyclable. They have to be buried in the landfill. Most of our rivers are dammed to produce electricity. When I was growing up, we had our own power plant, didn’t get Idaho Power until years after the War. Lots of areas in the West where you could drive for hours without seeing anywhere you could plug your electric car in.

Back in 2017, Energy Secretary Rick Perry proposed paying Coal and Nuclear Power Stations to keep at least 90 days worth of coal onsite, for disaster resilience. Widely criticized, but it might have saved Texas.

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Here’s a fun little bit of trivia regarding electric vehicles.
Battery efficiency declines rapidly at lower temperatures. You notice how the need to jump start vehicles goes up in the winter? If you ever wondered what that term “cold cranking amps” on your battery is for, it’s that at lower temperatures, batteries require more amps to push that 12 volts your internal combustion car runs on to start. After starting, the charge (or “spark”) to run an IC engine comes from the alternator, which also serves to recharge the battery for the next time you need it.
On hybrid vehicles, the battery system is charged by the internal combustion motor, and there is additional boost to charging by the braking system “recapturing” power, and electric motors augment the power needed to run the vehicle. At normal temperatures, the system can be very efficient; the IC engine keeps the batteries charged properly, and there is plenty of power to run accessories like the radio and power windows. In colder temps (below freezing, generally) the system doesn’t charge as quickly, resulting in more demand on the (usually smaller) IC engine, resulting in the fuel economy savings one gets with a hybrid going out the window.
On electric vehicles, all power comes from the batteries, and the only power recovery comes from the braking system. In below freezing temperatures, range just for driving can be reduced by 1/3 to 1/2 on a full charge, and accessories will impact efficiency even more.
Notice the phrase “just for driving”. There is another concern – heat.
In an internal combustion engine, heat is a byproduct of the engine running (interestingly enough, IC engines can run more efficiently in the cold). Heated coolant is diverted through a sealed system, before cycling back to the radiator, and as result, your toes are warm. In a hybrid vehicle. It works much the same way, and the operation of the heater doesn’t really impact engine performance.
On an electric vehicle, there is no cooling system, as the electric motors generally do not put out the same kind of heat that IC engines do. As a result, the heat comes from another accessory, which runs off of the batteries. Down to around freezing, this accessory doesn’t really impact the range very much. Once you get below freezing, heat becomes a serious drain on the battery system, further imparing efficiency. The result? During periods of extreme cold (below 25°F), electric vehicles range with a heater running can be reduced by as much as 2/3… that is, at vehicle that would ordinarily have a range of 150 miles is now down to around 50.
And this is on level ground. If you live in an area with hills (or mountains!), range drops every time you go up an incline. There is some power recovery going down, but not enough to make up the difference.


Comment by Lon Mead

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