Oct 31, 2010

Trick or Treat? GM offers a real ECO car?

Did GM kill the VOLT???
...for the $20,000 difference between this and the VOLT... any owner can buy a lifetime of gas even at 2012 prices of $5 per gallon.
2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco - Front Side

But, in 2011 Chevy Cruze Eco to start at $18,895 with 40 MPG is a BIG eco car with a ton of lux additions...

AutoBlogGreen: General Motors has finally slapped a price tag on the ultra-efficient, all-new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco. Starting at a base price of $18,895, the compact Cruze Eco is certainly not one of the cheapest vehicles in its class, but it's definitely one of the most efficient. Though not official yet, GM expects that the Cruze will be rated at 40 miles per gallon highway, a number that outshines all others in its segment, at least for now.

The Cruze Eco's higher-than-average base price can likely be attributed to its long list of standard features found on the Cruze Eco include 10 air bags, OnStar, keyless entry, XM Radio, 17-inch alloy wheels and low-rolling resistance tires, most of which are either optional or non-existent in the compact class. The Eco version features GM's 1.4-liter Ecotec turbo and standard six-speed manual transmission.  AutoBlogGreen


I will try to ignore that GM already sells millions of Vehicles all around the world that get over 50mpg...

Three Charts That will Scare the $#^#$ out of tax payers


HTML clipboard Staff members at the Congressional Joint Economic Committee "spent four months, night and day, and weekends" assembling this amazing graphic of our "Health Care Reform"...
First ChartIn addition to capturing the massive expansion of government and the overwhelming complexity of new regulations and taxes, the chart portrays:
  • $569 billion in higher taxes;
  • $529 billion in cuts to Medicare;
  • swelling of the ranks of Medicaid by 16 million;
  • 17 major insurance mandates; and
  • the creation of two new bureaucracies with powers to impose future rationing: the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the Independent Payments Advisory Board.
Brady admits committee analysts could not fit the entire health care bill on one chart. "This portrays only about one-third of the complexity of the final bill. It's actually worse than this."

As it is, the JEC's chart is both an incredibly impressive piece of graphic design and a jaw-dropping glimpse of the health-care Hell that awaits the American people, unless they elect a new Congress to shutter this entire fiasco before it renders this republic irretrievably ill.
Second Chart

Even those who believe that government actively should heal the American people must wonder if that goal really required something this staggeringly convoluted.

The second chart appeared in the New York Post on September 6 and is based on figures from the U.S. Labor Department, the Bureau of Labor
  • The private sector lost 7,837,000 jobs.
  • Local-government employment dropped 128,000 -  state governments shed 6,000.
  • Meanwhile, Washington, D.C., boomed.
  • Federal employment zoomed by 198,100 slots as Uncle Sam's workforce expanded by 10 percent.

Finally, USA Today on August 10 published this front-page
Third Chart
These nauseating numbers show federal employees earning 201 percent of the average private worker's compensation. 

Federal benefits equal 395 percent of private-sector benefits.


Please read full from resistnet.com

Happy Halloween (Scary Quote ;-)

I was going to go Trick or Treating dressed as the Deficit, but when I got in costume I couldn't move—too big.
And it really scared the little kids.
~Bob.

BOOOO! All your neighbors are drugged zombies

Why Are Distressed Homeowners Still Paying Their Mortgage? Japan struggled for 20 years with "zombie banks"—so called because their debts, if properly recognized, made them insolvent. Here in America, we have millions of zombie homeowners. Why is this any better?
What drives the US economy today is zombie money.
One part is the keystrokes that make up TARP, stimulus and quantitative easing, the other is the funny accounting that allows the gamblers to pretend they didn't lose their wagers.

When the banks go belly-up so does the real economy.
Then again, the only way to prevent a banking collapse is to actively make the real economy collapse. And even that prevention can only be just temporary.
'This is the biggest fraud in the history of the capital markets' When we had the financial crisis, the first thing the banks did was run to Congress and ask for accounting relief. They asked to be able to avoid pricing this stuff at the price where people would buy them. So no one can tell you the size of the hole in these balance sheets. We've thrown a lot of money at it. TARP was just the tip of the iceberg. We've given them guarantees on debts, low-cost funding from the Fed.  But a lot of these mortgages just cannot be saved. Had we acknowledged this problem in 2005, we could've cleaned it up for a few hundred billion dollars. But we didn't. Banks were lying and committing fraud, and our regulators were covering them and so a bad problem has become a hellacious one.
The most positive spin we can put on it is that nothing has changed, nothing has been solved, in the past 2-3 years. And that's not all: as Ms. Tavakoli points out, problems like these don't go to sleep, they get worse if you don't solve them. And that's why we find ourselves where we are today. It's also why I leave open the possibility that the US has a zombie government.

We injected drugs worth 300% of our GDP straight into our veins
America has defined itself as a society of collective "drug people", pushers, addicts and associates, with our drug of choice being debt.
We happily injected drugs worth 300% of our GDP straight into our veins, and made our international dealers filthy rich in the process. The constant influx of drugs into our bodies made us feel super-human, as we were instantaneously able to afford TVs, computers, cars and homes with the swipe of a card and the flick of a pen. Of course, as any regular drug user can attest, the human biological system becomes increasingly tolerant to the jolts of external chemicals and requires ever-larger doses to achieve the same effects.

The economy rapidly became saturated with debt, since economic actors needed to take on more and more debt to simply pay off previous debts and maintain their current level of activity. In 2007-08, the private debt servicing costs overwhelmed the "high" produced from this mostly unproductive debt, in the form of artificially elevated asset prices and revenue streams, and the national body had no more financial capacity to absorb additional drugs.

With no more access to their drug of choice after a decades-long binge, the addicts began going through severe withdrawal. The drug-induced mentality of happiness, trust and tolerance was quickly replaced with collective feelings of sickness, fear and resentment.


AtomicEarth  HTML clipboard

Booooo!.... they run with your money.

HTML clipboar If you think kids costumes are scary this Halloween, look at your account statements in 6 months - Booooo!
Todays Run Cash "Dash to the Crash"
activistpost - If you're a baby boomer who still believes in the stock market since the financial collapse of 2008, listen up. The floor of this Ponzi scheme is
The largest companies in three of the most important leading sectors of the market have seen their executives classified as insiders sell more than 120 million shares of stock over the last six months. Top executives at these very same companies bought just 38,000 shares over that same time period, making for an eye-popping sell to buy ratio of 3,177 to one.
The grand total for the three sectors are "as awful as we have ever seen since we began doing this exercise years ago," said Newman, who was ahead on such trends as the dangers of high-frequency trading and ETFs before the 'Flash Crash'. "Clearly, insiders are seeing great value only in cash. Their actions speak volumes for the veracity for the current rally."
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_pCDyiFUv9XU/SpmJd9XDJzI/AAAAAAAAF8E/YvQW3onPMSU/s400/Nonperforming+loans+$300m+to+$1B.png
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_pCDyiFUv9XU/SpmIOt2UbCI/AAAAAAAAF7U/a_1aS75ht5E/s400/ALLL,+assets+$300m+to+$1.png
It's pretty difficult to excuse these levels of insider looting, but the experts are doing their best to claim that these poor executives (the titans of their industries) must take profits from stock sales because their salaries and bonuses have been cut.  Who do they think they are kidding?  Wall Street is still paying record salaries and bonuses, reportedly worth $144 billion (about a $1000 for every working American).  There also has been very little news of other industry executives taking pay cuts, as American companies are holding record levels of cash to the tune of over a trillion dollars.

In fact, the flush-with-cash CEOs continue to blame the consumer class for joblessness. Despite the mass exodus of executives from their own company's stock, the S&P continues to remain somewhat stable since gaining 16% from July lows.


Click to View
The Real Market
Well, those gains seem somewhat pathetic since the value of the dollar -- measured against the human inflation indexes such as food and oil -- has plummeted. 

Major food commodities are up over 50% since their July lows, while oil prices have climbed $10 to over $81/bbl, or around 14% for the same time period, with predictions to break the $100/bbl mark very shortly.  
Barely covering the cost of real inflationary measures is hardly success, especially with the current risks involved with being in the stock market.  These risks have only increased since the 2008 financial collapse that eventually caused the stock market to bottom out the mid-6000 range.  

Oct 30, 2010

Booooo!.... Oil $4 Per gallon

BloomBerg - For now, crude oil is holding at around $80 a barrel, but this will not last much longer.
A dollar devaluation, even in the face of commodity market manipulation, would eventually lead to an oil spike. A trade war would exacerbate this scenario by reducing the steady flow of oil into the U.S. OPEC members are now calling for oil to rise to $100 a barrel to counter weakness in the dollar. This would bring us back to $3 to $3.50 a gallon gas, if crude values and supplies remain at that level....I suspect with added currency instability, $150 a barrel oil is conceivable within the next 6 months.

Two years ago, high gas prices frustrated Americans, but were still bearable.
Today, after two years of static 20% real unemployment and trillions in lost savings, $150 oil would crush what's left of this economy. - Booohoo.

Trick or Treat? Children Now Too Fat to Fit In Class Chairs

HTML clipboard *SlashDot
A recent survey of 750 schools has revealed that on average
children have grown too large for their chairs and desks.

From the article: "The Education Department said schools were running healthy eating programs. 'The department takes the issue of childhood obesity seriously and works with a number of agencies to address the issue,' a spokesman said. 'We have a number of initiatives to support school communities as well as promote healthy eating.' He said parents needed to enforce the message about healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle at home."

...children risked weight problems or diseases such as diabetes and fatty liver.

She said parents should check if their children's waist measurement at the belly button was less than half their height.

Having to wear clothing more than two sizes bigger than their age group could also indicate a problem.

A Teachers Federation spokesman said it was also common for students in Years 5 and 6 to be taught in Year 3 classrooms with small chairs.
Read full here


Electric Car Goes 375 Miles On One 6-Minute Charge

SlashDotDaihatsu Mira EV - Photo by the Japan EV Club"We all know that battery packs are the weakest link in electric vehicles. Not only are they heavy and expensive, but they take a long time to recharge and on average can only provide around 100 miles per charge. A German-based company has changed all that with a new vehicle capable of driving up to 375 miles at moderate highway speeds. ... It doesn't end there.

The company responsible for the battery pack, DBM Energy, claims a battery pack efficiency of 97 percent and a recharge time of around 6 minutes when charged from a direct current source. Unlike the small Daihatsu which was heavily modified by a team in Japan earlier this year that achieved a massive 623 miles on a charge at around 27 mph, the Audi A2 modified by DBM Energy was able to achieve its 375 miles range at an average speed of 55 mph."

Save energy like and engineer ;-)


See more from SMBC

Oct 29, 2010

One EMP burst and the world goes dark

USA Today  Modern society relies on technologies vulnerable to electromagnetic pulse effects that, if strong enough, can induce currents that burn out wires and circuits.  The sky erupts. Cities darken, food spoils and homes fall silent. Civilization collapses.

End-of-the-world novel? A video game? Or could such a scenario loom in America's future?
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Electromagnetic pulses (EMP) are oversized outbursts of atmospheric electricity. Whether powered by geomagnetic storms or by nuclear blasts, their resultant intense magnetic fields can induce ground currents strong enough to burn out power lines and electrical equipment across state lines.

The threat has even become political fodder, drawing warnings from former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a likely presidential contender.

"We are not today hardened against this," he told a Heritage Foundation audience last year. "It is an enormous catastrophic threat."

Meanwhile, in Congress, a "Grid Act" bill aimed at the threat awaits Senate action, having passed in the House of Representatives.

Fear is evident. With the sun's 11-year solar cycle ramping up for its stormy maximum in 2012, and nuclear concerns swirling about Iran and North Korea, a drumbeat of reports and blue-ribbon panels center on electromagnetic pulse scenarios.

"We're taking this seriously," says Ed Legge of the Edison Electric Institute in Washington, which represents utilities. He points to a North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) report in June, conducted with the Energy Department, that found pulse threats to the grid "may be much greater than anticipated."

There are "some important reasons for concern," says physicist Yousaf Butt of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass...

Simple physics, big worry
The electromagnetic pulse threat is a function of simple physics: Electromagnetic pulses and geomagnetic storms can alter Earth's magnetic field. Changing magnetic fields in the atmosphere, in turn, can trigger surging currents in power lines.

"It is a well-understood phenomenon," says Butt, who this year reviewed geomagnetic and nuke blast worries in The Space Review.
• On March 9, 1989, the sun spat a million-mile-wide blast of high-temperature charged solar gas straight at the Earth. The "coronal mass ejection" struck the planet three days later, triggering a geomagnetic storm that made the northern lights visible in Texas. The storm also induced currents in Quebec's power grid that knocked out power for 6 million people in Canada and the USA for at least nine hours.


Super solar storm
On the solar front, the big fear is a solar super storm, a large, fast, coronal mass ejection with a magnetic field that lines up with an orientation perfectly opposite the Earth's own magnetic field, says solar physicist Bruce Tsurutani of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif
"It has to be the perfect storm," Tsuratani says.

"We are almost guaranteed a very large solar storm at some point... Three power grids gird the continental U.S. — one crossing 39 Eastern states, one for 11 Western states and one for Texas.

"A lot of the questions are what steps does it make sense to take," Legge says.
 "We could effectively gold-plate every component in the system, but the cost would mean that people can't afford the rates that would result to pay for it."


Read full at USA Today

NASA Solar Shield will likely get its chance soon enough.

They're out there, biding their time. Waiting patiently. And when you least expect it, they're going to plunge you and everyone you care about into total darkness. 

Luckily, we can see solar storms coming from about 93 million miles away, and NASA is now in the process of creating a "Solar Shield" that should be able to minimize the damage to power grids caused by electromagnetic disturbances in the atmosphere and ground caused by foul weather on the sun.

But NASA has a plan to battle these blackouts with blackouts. If transformers are offline at the time the storm hits they will not be affected, so the trick is to figure out where and when a storm is going to hit before it reaches the atmosphere. To do that, NASA's SOHO and two STEREO spacecraft identify a coronal mass ejection (CME) heading toward earth and create a 3-D image of it, allowing researchers to characterize its strength and determine when it will hit.

Solar Shield is experimental at this point, and its hard to know how successful it will be, mainly because it hasn't had the trial by fire it needs to see if it works. Solar weather has been fairly quiet this year, so the team hasn't been able to gather the data it needs. But considering we're going into a period of increased solar activity (solar weather ebbs and flows cyclically) that will peak in 2013, Solar Shield will likely get its chance soon enough.

[NASA Science News]

World’s Fastest Supercomputer… Is Now In China

Nvidia- Tianhe-1A, a new supercomputer designed by the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) in China has set a new performance record of 2.507 petaflops, making it the fastest system in the world today.

Oct 28, 2010

Sorry, it's important... pooponomics


link : http://www.mint.com

Oil Could Hit $100 Barrel Soon - JPMorgan

Guardian - Chinese demand could push crude to $100 a barrel soon, according to JP Morgan, with the weaker dollar and restocking of French oil inventories once strikes end also helping to drive up oil prices.

"The key risk is that we are being too cautious and that the threat of $100 per barrel oil that is implicit in our fourth quarter 2011 oil forecast arrives much sooner than we expect – driven by not only a weak dollar, but also by rampant Chinese and emerging market demand and the rebuilding of French strategic stocks," said Lawrence Eagles of JP Morgan.

Read on at Guardian

Fun with numbers by age...

Oct 27, 2010

There is no such thing as a vegan...

GOOD - This awesome illustration shows us how amazingly (and disconcertingly) inescapable cow-derived products are, and comes to the hilarious conclusion that there is no such thing as a vegan.
If you're a vegan, do you go to pains to avoid the things listed here? Did you even know about most of this? From GOOD Via Gizmodo 




Nissan Leaf goes 116miles on single charge - Test Drive

Sure the Chevy VOLT's future looks bleak... Heck, GM doesnt even want the word Chevy anymore
Photo of a compact, four-door car with trim lines.

The electric Nissan Leaf will begin appearing in select U.S. markets by the end of this year, and will be available nationwide in 2011. Enlarge this image.
Credit: Nissan


Don't worry Nissan & FORD to rescue!

Both Nissan and FORD make full electrics with 100 mile ranges without bailout money ;-)

GOOD - (LEAF i.e. "game changer")
In a recent test drive, a Nissan Leaf has traveled 116.1 miles on a single charge. The Leaf was originally marketed as delivering 100 miles per charge. In mid-October, Nissan revised its range estimates to "between 62 and 138 miles" per charge. 

According to Engadget, the pilot of this test drove "casually and slightly below the speed limit," but not "like an obsessed hypermiler." The air conditioning was turned on for the duration of the test run.

Just as Nissan and China announce they both have plans to invest billions in the U.S. and open massive plants in America...  The Detroit Free Press is reporting that GM will indeed build the Chevy Volt in China.

*(Ford - 100 mile range electric 120 volt recharge)

Ninety-Five Percent of "Green" Marketing Is Misleading

GOOD - We all know marketers try to mislead us into thinking their products are "eco-friendly" or whatever.

But now we can quantify the phenomenon (it's huge):

HTML clipboardMore than 95% of consumer products marketed as "green," including all toys surveyed, make misleading or inaccurate claims, says a report today.

The number of products claiming to be green increased 73% since 2009, according to a survey by TerraChoice, an Ottawa-based marketing firm owned mostly by Underwriters Laboratory of Canada. The UL network does independent product testing and certification.

"The biggest sin is making claims without any proof," says Scot Case of UL Environment, adding that companies want consumers to "just trust them." The report finds "vagueness" is the second-leading problem (a shampoo claimed it was "mother-earth approved").

You can get the full report here.

The good news? The number of products making accurate environmental claims was up from 2 percent in 2009 to 4.5 percent this year. Hopefully that trend continues. The Federal Trade Commission's new guidelines should help a lot. -GOOD

Scary Wage Data Suppressed from News (i.e. election time)

HTML clipboardhttp://www.cato-at-liberty.org/wp-content/uploads/free_Speech.jpgNow that a handful of companies own and control all of the news media (now NPR)... anything that can have a 'negative' impact on what they want voters/public to see is removed. Impossible?

Not a single news organization reported this data below when it was released October 15,
searches of Google and the Nexis databases show. Nor did any blog, so the citizen journalists and professional economists did no better than the newsroom pros in reporting this basic information about our economy.
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...some really scary breaking news, from the latest payroll tax data.
Every 34th wage earner in America in 2008 went all of 2009 without earning a single dollar, new data from the Social Security Administration show. Total wages, median wages, and average wages all declined, but at the very top, salaries grew more than fivefold.

Measured in 2009 dollars, total wages fell to just above $5.9 trillion, down $215 billion from the previous year...These figures show, far more powerfully than the official unemployment measure known as U3, how both widespread and deep the loss of jobs was in 2009. While the official unemployment rate is just under 10 percent, deeper analysis of the data by economist John Williams at http://www.shadowstats.com shows a real under- and unemployment rate of more than 22 percent.

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Only 150.9 million Americans reported any wage income in 2009.

Add in today's decreased number of jobs, and all these data add up to policies that can be described with one word: failed

What does this all mean?
Total Non-Farm PayrollsIt is the latest, and in this case quite dramatic, evidence that our economic policies in Washington are undermining the nation as a whole.We have created a tax system that changes continually as politicians manipulate it to extract campaign donations. We have enabled ''free trade'' that is nothing of the sort, but rather tax-subsidized mechanisms that encourage American manufacturers to close their domestic factories, fire workers, and then use cheap labor in China for products they send right back to the United States. This has created enormous downward pressure on wages, and not just for factory workers.

Combined with government policies that have reduced the share of private-sector workers in unions by more than two-thirds — while our competitors in Canada, Europe, and Japan continue to have highly unionized workforces — the net effect has been disastrous for the vast majority of American workers. And of course, less money earned from labor translates into less money to finance the United States of America.

This systematic destruction of the working class and middle class has come during an era notable for celebrating the super-rich just for being super-rich.
During the years from 1950 to 1980, the share of total income going to those at the top declined, and the real incomes of the vast majority grew much more quickly than did nearly all incomes at the very top.

In those years, America had the money, and vision, to invest in the future through education, research, and infrastructure.

Had income growth from 1950 to 1980 continued at the same rate for the next 28 years, the average income of the bottom 90 percent in 2008 would have been 68 percent higher, instead of just 1 percent more.

That would have meant an average income for the vast majority of $52,051, or $21,110 more than actual 2008 incomes. How different America would be today if the typical family had $406 more each week — less debt, more savings, and more consumption. Please read more from Tax.com

It gets worse... Economists have written several papers and a bookgross public debt in excess of 90 percent of GDP severely hinders economic growth--(the "tipping point") For the United States the ratio of gross government debt to GDP at the end of fiscal year 2010 was 92 percent. reporting  that

In July the CBO published its latest report on the long-term deficit. One of the many interesting things it tells us is that the rise in public debt will have a significant negative effect on our standard of living. 
Balance Budget  

Now as Bad as During the Great Depression?
HTML clipboard
The Wall Street Journal noted in July 2009:
The average length of unemployment is higher than it's been since government began tracking the data in 1948.

The job losses are also now equal to the net job gains over the previous nine years, making this the only recession since the Great Depression to wipe out all job growth from the previous expansion.
The Christian Science Monitor wrote an article in June entitled, "Length of unemployment reaches Great Depression levels".

Unemployment is expected to exceed 10% by many economists, and Obama "has warned that the unemployment rate will explode to at least 10% in 2009".
10 percent of 154 million is 15 million people out of work - more than during the Great Depression.

Oct 26, 2010

70 MPG Mazda is a VOLT / hybrid killer

SlashDot - The Mazda2 will return a fuel economy of 70 mpg — without the aid of any electric motors. This is because the car will feature Mazda's next-generation of drivetrain, body and chassis technologies, dubbed SKYACTIV. The new Mazda 2 will come powered by a SKYACTIV-G engine, Mazda's next-generation direct injection gasoline mill that achieves significantly improved fuel efficiency thanks to a high compression ratio of 14.0:1 (the world's highest for a production gasoline engine).

U.S. Slips to 49th in Life Expectancy

You work longer, have less vacation, are less happy and die sooner

No wonder everyone's on medication ;-)... or is that the problem :-O

Reuters: Americans die sooner than citizens of a dozen other developed nations and the usual suspects —They found that 15-year survival rates for men and women aged 45 to 65 have fallen in the United States relative to the other 12 countries over the past 30 years.

"But what really surprised us was that all of the usual suspects -- smoking, obesity, traffic accidents, and homicides -- are not the culprits,"
Meunnig said in a statement.

Instead, poor healthcare may be to blame, the team at Columbia University in New York reported.
"The U.S. doesn't stand out as doing any worse in these areas than any of the other countries we studied, leading us to believe that failings in the U.S. health care system, such as costly specialized and fragmented care, are likely playing a large role in this relatively poor performance on improvements in life expectancy."

In June, the Commonwealth Fund, which advocates on and does research focusing on healthcare reform, reported that Americans spend twice as much on healthcare as residents of other developed countries -- $7,290 per person -- but get lower quality and less efficiency.

Oct 24, 2010

1 Billion People have less than nothing....

tumblr_larbt8OJDc1qz6f9yo1_500.jpg

VOLT mpg rang erred by about 500%???

First of all, let's talk about fuel economy... HTML clipboard

In August of last year, we heard GM's then-CEO Fritz Henderson claimed with all the marketing might it could muster at a Detroit-area press event, that the Chevy Volt would get 230 MPG in city driving conditions. Now, as the Volt's being tested by the auto trade press, we're seeing some surprisingly low fuel economy figures amid the expected lavish praise buff books are heaping upon the Volt.

Let's see what they've found out. Popular Mechanics saw just 37.5 MPG in city driving. Car and Driver apparently didn't choose to use their wheel time for any city driving — but found with all-electric driving

"...getting on the nearest highway and commuting with the 80-mph flow of traffic-basically the worst-case scenario-yielded 26 miles; a fairly spirited back-road loop netted 31; and a carefully modulated cruise below 60 mph pushed the figure into the upper 30s."

Motor Trend, like the rest of the trade press other than Popular Mechanics, didn't appear to do any testing in city conditions, but did find that

"Without any plugging in, [a weeklong trip to Grandma's house] should return fuel economy in the high 30s to low 40s."

They also parrot GM's new line of 25-50 miles of all-electric — a far cry from the 230 MPG they originally marketed — that the "Volt provides 25-50 miles of real-world electric operation no matter how hard you flog it." Read full at Jalopnik

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Ford - 100mile range electric charges on standard outlet

Ford anticipates owners of an electric version of its Focus hatchback can charge on a standard 120 Volt Outlet HTML clipboard

Sydney Morning Herald - Owners using the normal powerpoint 120 volt system will need to plug the car in several times a day to ensure they have enough reserves of electricity in the car's batteries to fit in a full day of driving.
Ford says it expects electric car owners to need to plug in at up to 30 times the frequency that petrol-engined Focus owners will need to visit the petrol station.
''Between plugging in and unplugging at home, work or other places, Focus Electric owners are likely to recharge their vehicles two to four times each day  compared to once a week for gassing up (52 times a year),'' the car maker says.
The range of the 2011 Ford Focus Electric is up to 100 miles on a single charge, depending on usage, temperature, and other variables.

Wikipedia has barred Global warming propagandist Connolley

FinancialPost:   http://youarebeingdeceived.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/climate-gate-cartoon-2.jpgWilliam Connolley, arguably the world's most influential global warming advocate after Al Gore, has lost his bully pulpit. Connolley did not wield his influence by the quality of his research or the force of his argument but through his administrative position at Wikipedia, the most popular reference source on the planet.

Through his position, Connolley for years kept dissenting views on global warming out of Wikipedia, allowing only those that promoted the view that global warming represented a threat to mankind. As a result, Wikipedia became a leading source of global warming propaganda, with Connolley its chief propagandist.

His career as a global warming propagandist has now been stopped, following a unanimous verdict that came down today through an arbitration proceeding conducted by Wikipedia. In the decision, a slap-down for the once-powerful Connolley by his peers, he has been barred from participating in any article, discussion or forum dealing with global warming. In addition, because he rewrote biographies of scientists and others he disagreed with, to either belittle their accomplishments or make them appear to be frauds, Wikipedia barred him — again unanimously — from editing biographies of those in the climate change field. FinancialPost.com

Department of Homeland Security Secretary “Opts Out” of body Scan?

http://www.vosizneias.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/body-scanner-at-manchester-airport.jpgAirline passengers might want to consider a trip to the gym before heading to the airport now that high-tech body scanners have been unveiled at Kennedy Airport. HTML clipboard

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano yesterday hailed them as an important breakthrough for airport security and the fight against terrorism.

FAIL - Going through one is optional for all travelers, but Napolitano hoped to ease any fears that airport staff would use them to leer at passengers.

Yet when it came to testing the devices - which produce naked X-ray images of passengers - she turned the floor over to some brave volunteers.????

Read full at NY DailyNews

NPR - GOP Victory May Be Defeat For Climate Change Policy

"The more carbon that gets released into the atmosphere, the higher the average temperature rises... yet the majority of Republicans running for House and Senate seats this year disagree." Ken Buck, the GOP senate candidate in Colorado admits he's a climate change denier. Ron Johnson, who leads in the polls of Wisconsin's senatorial race, has said that "it is far more likely that [climate change] is just sunspot activity or something just in the geologic eons of time where we have changes in the climate." ... Conservatives in Congress are turning against the science behind climate change. That means if Republicans take control this November, there's little hope for climate change policy." - NPR

Comment: Please notice this link is to the official NPR website and that this is a transcript that was read on air (also notice who gets credit for writing it).
Why is the so-called non-partisan public radio corporation taking sides on a political issue with the public treasury paying for what is not only open advocacy of a position, but partisan in its intent, nature, and effect?


Maybe this is why? Left-wing buys NPR
Just days after declaring himself himself “helpless” to stop the Republican avalanche coming next month, George Soros paid $1.8 million to purchase NPR.  The money is supposed to be used to hire 1oo “news” reporters for his Impact of Government project.  Soros’s OSI is using the project to target state governments, as he is doing with his nefarious SoS campaign. Obama’s boss is conniving to install regime-friendly operatives in Secretaries of State offices nationwide.  
 
In a completely unrelated story, NPR just fired its lone intellectually honest liberal and Fox News commentator, Juan Williams ;-)

How can you buy NPR? Doesn’t the government own it? And Isn't election tampering a federal crime?

Oct 22, 2010

California About to Fall Off Into Ocean (of Unpayable Debt)

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Why California is About to Fall Off Into an Ocean of Unpayable Debt, We're talking about a perfect storm: more state services needed for an aging population, a workforce that will spend more years in retirement than they did contributing to the funds, and a smaller ratio of working-age taxpayers and contributing state workers to pay for it all.

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Some of the key findings in the report include:

  • By around 2012 or 2013, the three major state pensions' obligations will be more than five times as large as total state tax revenue.
  • Not only will California's growing senior population depend on Medi-Cal and other state services, but public school enrollment is likely to rise in the coming years. The state can ill afford to fund pensions by cutting back on these services.
  • In 2009, the pension liability came out to $3,000 per working-age adult in the state. By 2014, it will triple to over $10,000 per working-age Californian.
  • Raising employee contributions alone will be less effective over time as the ratio of actively contributing members to benefit recipients continues to decrease.
  • Currently, the average state employee contributes to the system for 25 years, but will receive benefits for 26 years — and the number of benefit-receiving years is increasing as longevity improves. Read report here

Haase - Sustainable environmental and energy programs are impossible in a unsustainable economic environment.
This has grave implications for the future of green power, energy and environmental prosperity...
Much has been made globally of the problems of Ireland and Iceland. Yet California dwarfs both. It is the eighth largest economy in the world, with a population of 37 million. If it was an independent country it would be in the G8.

And if it were a company, it would likely be declared bankrupt.

Does the bankrupt state of California understand that they could purchase unlimited "dirt' cheap power from their neighbor (
Nevada As "Saudi Arabia of Geothermal Energy") and create millions of jobs with this? WHILE eliminating nearly all their debt in a few short years by walking away from the poor energy options bankrupting them?

Read more at

Clean Cities Now - September Issue

Clean Cities Now Clean Cities Now is the official biannual publication of Clean Cities, an initiative designed to reduce petroleum consumption in the transportation sector by advancing the use of alternative fuel vehicles, idle reduction technologies, hybrid electric vehicles, fuel blends, and fuel economy.

This issue contains articles about:

  • Readying U.S. cities for the widespread deployment of electric vehicles
  • Propane conversion options for light-duty vehicles
  • Using the mobile FuelEconomy.gov site to compare vehicle specs
  • Regional coalition success stories
  • Answers to questions about vehicle weight ratings and E85 equipment certified by Underwriters Laboratories.

A little more salt and a lot higher I.Q.

Worldwide, about two billion people — a third of the globe — get too little iodine, including hundreds of millions in India and China. Studies show that iodine deficiency is the leading preventable cause of mental retardation. Even moderate deficiency, especially in pregnant women and infants, lowers intelligence by 10 to 15 I.Q. points, shaving incalculable potential off a nation's development.- NY Times

SOH-CAH-TOA ... first atomic test

For my nuke eng./edu. buddies ;-)
The test didn't (spoiler alert) destroy the world, but the fact  that they were even doing those calculations makes theirs the coolest  jobs ever.
Have a good weekend!

Oct 21, 2010

Can Goolges Geothermal Hit replace Virgina Coal?

VIA - PeakEnergy in West Virginia - Google Hits Geothermal Jackpot in West Virginia.HTML clipboardhttp://farm1.static.flickr.com/84/272645442_0aeec7a3d3.jpg
Along with the great news that Google is investing a ton of money in an offshore wind energy superhighway, other recent Google energy news is that a Google-funded project has discovered enough geothermal potential under a rather infamous coal state — West Virginia — to more than double the state's electricity generation capacity.

Google gave the Southern Methodist University a $481,500 grant to look into this issue and the research findings were huge.

78% more geothermal energy is under the state than was previously expected.

The implications are rather clear: West Virginia could kick its dirty coal and mountaintop removal habit and start tapping into geothermal. This would be a benefit for the state economically and environmentally, meaning a better quality of life for its residents.

It could also help the country become more energy secure.

"The presence of a large, baseload, carbon neutral and sustainable energy resource in West Virginia could make an important contribution to enhancing the US energy security and for decreasing CO2 emissions," the report concluded.

West Virginia currently has an electricity generating capacity of 16,350 MW (~97% of that coming from coal power), but the report concluded that if only 2% of the state's geothermal energy were recovered, it could produce up to 18,890 MW of capacity from clean energy.

Federal Reserve Buying $100 Billion of Debt per Month

There will be no sustainable energy in a unsustainable economy..."The incremental borrower of funds in the U.S. capital markets is rapidly becoming the U.S. Treasury," Boston-based Fuss said. "Do you really want to buy the debt of the biggest issuer?"


Reuters - A string of Federal Reserve officials on HTML clipboardhttp://static-p3.fotolia.com/jpg/00/10/26/50/400_F_10265039_EFjGVkk6OJjAqwbGRwO79oKNiUvKYjld.jpgTuesday indicated the central bank will soon offer further monetary stimulus to the economy, by buying $100 billion a month in in federal bonds.

"If we're going to pursue another round of quantitative easing, it has to be a large enough number to make a difference," Lockhart said in an interview on CNBC television.

"As a monthly number ($100 billion) is fairly consistent with what we did before, and so I think it would certainly be in the range of numbers one might consider ... but if you were talking about $100 billion as simply the overall program, I think that's too small," he said.

The hints of forthcoming stimulus were not enough to soothe U.S. stocks, which were down sharply on the day after an interest rate hike in China sparked concerns about the outlook for global growth. Read full at Reuters



Federal scientists go public in face of restrictive media rules

Editorial Cartoon by AnthonyJenkins - Editorial Cartoon by  AnthonyJenkins | The Globe and Mail

The Canadian union that represents federal government scientists has created a website – PublicScience.ca – to give a voice to the work of its members.

The move comes weeks after it was revealed that new restrictive rules have been placed on scientists at the Natural Resources department requiring them to clear a number of hoops, including approval from the minister's director of communications, before they may speak with the press about their work
Read more at Globe and Mail Update

Oct 20, 2010

Cost, price, wind & value of wind as wind drops

DailyKOS  ...There was a conference on the subject last week in Atlantic City which I attended, and which generated a lot of attention (with over 1,500 attendees) and during which the federal lease for Cape Wind was signed.

While no turbine has been built in the US yet*, there are high hopes that there will be some in the near future, and one of the ways to make that happen faster is to absorb the lessons from the European experience, where close to 2,500 MW have been built already. So here's my take on what can be usefully learnt.

Part of my series on Wind Power with the usual disclosure that my work (as an independent consultant) is to advise offshore wind projects find debt financing.

....support to be economically attractive to private investors,  offshore wind requires an unusual level of regulatory effort to work:

  • first, the economics need to make sense.

    While offshore is more expensive than onshore,   see my article on the cost of wind, the price of wind, the value of wind).

  • the biggest obstacle in the US: the instability created by the PTC mechanism, which needs to be extended every year or couple of years, is well documented and has led to under-investment in US factories by manufacturers, who fear that the market will disappear on them every now on them (as is happening - again - this year);


...While many have expressed worries about the fact that the cost of offshore wind has pretty much doubled over the past 5 years, this can be discounted for several reasons:

  • prices were driven up by the cost of commodities (steel, in particular, for offshore wind); this applied equally to other technologies, which have seen their prices move in the same direction even more for the same reason;


    Source: UKER

Please read full at DailyKOS


PFI - Offshore deals tests banks as wind drops
UK wind speeds have been at 180 year record lows this year - raising concerns about the reliability of wind as an energy source.
With UK wind speeds at 180 year low... Two projects in the embryonic but fast growing offshore wind sector are currently seeking debt finance. The sponsors, large European utilities, want to transfer construction risk on the deals to the banks to keep the financings off their balance sheets. A further test for the financiers is the fact.
Despite the risks, neither scheme has a construction guarantee from the sponsors. And there is plenty of risk on offshore deals...

It's not windy
The deals are being launched as it has become clear 2010 has been a bad year for UK wind speeds, perhaps the worse since 1821. Wind speeds clearly have a direct impact on energy MW yields from wind.

A recent report from wind consultancy Garrad Hassan said UK wind yields have dropped this year to perhaps a 1 in 15 year event due to stable high pressure. Energy levels from wind dropped 27.8% in the first quarter compared with the average and 18.3% in the second quarter... The much bigger question, however, is for energy planners. Relying on a variable source of energy creates problems in terms of day-to-day security of power supply, particularly if wind accounts a quarter of the country's power generation by 2030 as planned in the UK.


Read more at Reuters