“Naked” Hooked Me Too

HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT BATTERIES?

written by Bruce Haedrich

When I saw the title of this lecture, especially with the picture of the scantily clad model, I couldn’t resist attending. The packed auditorium was abuzz with questions about the address; nobody seemed to know what to expect. The only hint was a large aluminum block sitting on a sturdy table on the stage.

When the crowd settled down, a scholarly-looking man walked out and put his hand on the shiny block, “Good evening,” he said, “I am here to introduce NMC532-X,” and he patted the block, “we call him NM for short,” and the man smiled proudly.

“NM is a typical electric vehicle (EV) car battery in every way except one; we programmed him to send signals of the internal movements of his electrons when charging, discharging, and in several other conditions. We wanted to know what it feels like to be a battery. We don’t know how it happened, but NM began to talk after we downloaded the program.

Despite this ability, we put him in a car for a year and then asked him if he’d like to do presentations about batteries. He readily agreed on the condition he could say whatever he wanted. We thought that was fine, and so, without further ado, I’ll turn the floor over to NM,” the man turned and walked off the stage.

“Good evening,” NM said. He had a slightly affected accent, and when he spoke, he lit up in different colors. “That cheeky woman on the marquee was my idea,” he said. “Were she not there, along with ‘naked’ in the title, I’d likely be speaking to an empty auditorium! I also had them add ‘shocking’ because it’s a favorite word amongst us batteries.” He flashed a light blue color as he laughed.

“Sorry,” NM giggled then continued, “Three days ago, at the start of my last lecture, three people walked out. I suppose they were disappointed there would be no dancing girls. But here is what I noticed about them. One was wearing a battery-powered hearing aid, one tapped on his battery-powered cell phone as he left, and a third got into his car, which would not start without a battery. So I’d like you to think about your day for a moment; how many batteries do you rely on?”

He paused for a full minute which gave us time to count our batteries.  Then he went on, “Now, it is not elementary to ask, ‘What is a battery?’ I think Tesla said it best when they called us Energy Storage Systems. That’s important. We do not make electricity – we store electricity produced elsewhere, primarily by coal, uranium, natural gas-powered plants, or diesel-fueled generators.

“So, to say an EV is a zero-emission vehicle is not at all valid. Also, since forty percent of the electricity generated in the U.S. is from coal-fired plants, it follows that forty percent of the EVs on the road are coal-powered, n’est-ce pas?” (French language for “isn’t it so.”)

He flashed blue again. “Einstein’s formula, E=MC2, tells us it takes the same amount of energy to move a five thousand pound gasoline-driven automobile a mile as it does an electric one. The only question again is what produces the power? To reiterate, it does not come from the battery; the battery is only the storage device, like a gas tank in a car.” 

He lit up red when he said that, and I sensed he was smiling. Then he continued in blue and orange. “Mr. Elkay introduced me as NMC532. If I were the battery from your computer mouse, Elkay would introduce me as double-A, if from your cell phone as CR2032, and so on. We batteries all have the same name depending on our design. By the way, the ‘X’ in my name stands for ‘experimental.’

There are two orders of batteries, rechargeable, and single-use. The most common single-use batteries are A, AA, AAA, C, D. 9V, and lantern types. Those dry-cell species use zinc, manganese, lithium, silver oxide, or zinc and carbon to store electricity chemically. Please note they all contain toxic, heavy metals.

Rechargeable batteries differ only in their internal materials, usually lithium-ion, nickel-metal oxide, and nickel-cadmium.

The United States uses three billion of these two battery types a year, and most are not recycled; they end up in landfills. California is the only state which requires all batteries be recycled. If you throw your small, used batteries in the trash, here is what happens to them.

All batteries are self-discharging. That means even when not in use, they leak tiny amounts of energy. You have likely ruined a flashlight or two from an old ruptured battery. When a battery runs down and can no longer power a toy or light, you think of it as dead; well, it is not. It continues to leak small amounts of electricity.

As the chemicals inside it run out, pressure builds inside the battery’s metal casing, and eventually, it cracks. The metals left inside then ooze out. The ooze in your ruined flashlight is toxic, and so is the ooze that will inevitably leak from every battery in a landfill. All batteries eventually rupture; it just takes rechargeable batteries longer to end up in the landfill.

In addition to dry cell batteries, there are also wet cell ones used in automobiles, boats, and motorcycles. The good thing about those is, ninety percent of them are recycled. Unfortunately, we do not yet know how to recycle batteries like me, or care to dispose of single-use ones properly. 

But that is not half of it. For those of you excited about electric cars and a green revolution, I want you to take a closer look at batteries and also windmills and solar panels. These three technologies share what we call “environmentally destructive embedded costs.” 

NM got redder as he spoke. “Everything manufactured has two costs associated with it, embedded costs and operating costs. I will explain embedded costs using a can of baked beans as my subject.

In this scenario, baked beans are on sale, so you jump in your car and head for the grocery store. Sure enough, there they are on the shelf for $1.75 a can. As you head to the checkout, you begin to think about the embedded costs in the can of beans.

The first cost is the diesel fuel the farmer used to plow the field, till the ground, harvest the beans, and transport them to the food processor. Not only is his diesel fuel an embedded cost, so are the costs to build the tractors, combines, and trucks. In addition, the farmer might use a nitrogen fertilizer made from natural gas.

Next is the energy costs of cooking the beans, heating the building, transporting the workers, and paying for the vast amounts of electricity used to run the plant. The steel can holding the beans is also an embedded cost. Making the steel can requires mining taconite, shipping it by boat, extracting the iron, placing it in a coal-fired blast furnace, and adding carbon. Then it’s back on another truck to take the beans to the grocery store. Finally, add in the cost of the gasoline for your car.

But wait — can you guess one of the highest but rarely acknowledged embedded costs? NM said, then gave us about thirty seconds to make our guesses. Then he flashed his lights and said, “It’s the depreciation on the 5,000 pound car you used to transport one pound of canned beans!”

NM took on a golden glow, and I thought he might have winked. He said, “But that can of beans is nothing compared to me! I am hundreds of times more complicated. My embedded costs not only come in the form of energy use; they come as environmental destruction, pollution, disease, child labor, and the inability to be recycled.”

He paused, “I weigh one thousand pounds, and as you see, I am about the size of a travel trunk.” NM’s lights showed he was serious. “I contain twenty-five pounds of lithium, sixty pounds of nickel, 44 pounds of manganese, 30 pounds cobalt, 200 pounds of copper, and 400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic. Inside me are 6,831 individual lithium-ion cells.

It should concern you that all those toxic components come from mining. For instance, to manufacture each auto battery like me, you must process 25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium, 30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt, 5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, and 25,000 pounds of ore for copper. All told, you dig up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust for just — one — battery.”

He let that one sink in, then added, “I mentioned disease and child labor a moment ago. Here’s why. Sixty-eight percent of the world’s cobalt, a significant part of a battery, comes from the Congo. Their mines have no pollution controls and they employ children who die from handling this toxic material. Should we factor in these diseased kids as part of the cost of driving an electric car?” 

NM’s red and orange light made it look like he was on fire. “Finally,” he said, “I’d like to leave you with these thoughts. California is building the largest battery in the world near San Francisco, and they intend to power it from solar panels and windmills. They claim this is the ultimate in being ‘green,’ but it is not! This construction project is creating an environmental disaster. Let me tell you why.

The main problem with solar arrays is the chemicals needed to process silicate into the silicon used in the panels. To make pure enough silicon requires processing it with hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrogen fluoride, trichloroethane, and acetone. In addition, they also need gallium, arsenide, copper-indium-gallium- diselenide, and cadmium-telluride, which also are highly toxic. Silicon dust is a hazard to the workers, and the panels cannot be recycled.

Windmills are the ultimate in embedded costs and environmental destruction. Each weighs 1,688 tons (the equivalent of 23 houses) and contains 1,300 tons of concrete, 295 tons of steel, 48 tons of iron, 24 tons of fiberglass, and the hard-to-extract rare earths neodymium, praseodymium, and dysprosium. Each blade weighs 81,000 pounds and will last 15 to 20 years, at which time it must be replaced. We cannot recycle used blades. Sadly, both solar arrays and windmills kill birds, bats, sea life, and migratory insects.

NM lights dimmed, and he quietly said, “There may be a place for these technologies, but you must look beyond the myth of zero emissions. I predict EVs and windmills will be abandoned once the embedded environmental costs of making and replacing them become apparent. I’m trying to do my part with these lectures.

Thank you for your attention, good night, and good luck.” NM’s lights went out, and he was quiet, like a regular battery.

* * *

The format is stupid, but the info is right on target. If you want to inflict maximum damage on the environment, you support EVs, wind turbines and solar panels – all with their associated batteries. They don’t even come close in being as environmentally clean as coal, natural gas, and nuclear power. Likewise, their (EVs, WTs, and Solar) cost is going to be exorbitant. WTs and Solar reliability is poor.

Electric vehicles are taxpayer subsidized for the purchase of each hybrid or fully electric vehicle with a discount of about $7,000. Then, the government does not collect road-use taxes. Further, the new infrastructure bill provides several billion dollars of taxpayer funds to build charging stations. Do we really want our Government in the “electric filling-station” business?

This is exactly what all these self-proclaimed, highly educated, intellectual, “ECO Nazi-es” need to read.

Never mind, they’re too intellectually deficient to comprehend how intertwined this information is with the damage being inflicted on our earth’s environment thanks to their “Green New Deal”

* * *

royexum@aol.com

This Is Who We Are

I wish I had written this piece because they are my thoughts as well. To me it means that the true author has identified with the general population of America. Bravo!

It is a fact of life in our country today that there are people who live to be offended.   They’re called Progressives.   

 

They are offended by Confederate statues and the Confederate Flag, by monuments that they say celebrate white supremacy and colonialism, by Trump supporters, by Trump himself, and by those who refuse to get on their knees and grovel before Black Lives Matter. 

 

1.   I’m white – I was born white and I don’t feel guilty about slavery, segregation, the Trail of Tears or the treatment of Chinese railroad workers – because (now get this)  I didn’t have anything to do with any of these. It is history and you can’t change it. I’m no more responsible for these injustices than the Indian of today is responsible for the Black Hole of Calcutta.   The idea of racial guilt is absurd.  White privilege and white supremacy is a myth. Where is the White Miss America Contest, White History Month and White Entertainment Television? Where are the white-only colleges and universities, white-only dating sites or white-only bars and restaurants? Where are the quotas and set-asides for Caucasians?  Do we need to address these things?  To some degree, yes, but not by rioting, tearing down statues, looting and destroying businesses, changing names of sports teams and products.  We can and should address these things with civility and dialogue by all concerned.

 

2.   I love America – I believe in American exceptionalism.  America pioneered representative government guided by a written constitution. We fought a war with 620,000 dead to end slavery. We defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan and liberated the death camps. We saved Europe from tyranny, twice, in the 20th century and then, with American investment, innovation, resourcefulness and generosity, rebuilt the economies of 17 nations of Europe and the nation of Japan. Our arms kept communism from conquering the world. Our factories and workshops produced a flood of inventions and products that benefited humanity. We built the greatest most respected medical system in the world and earned more Nobel Prizes in Medicine than any other nation on earth by a factor of ten!   What country has done as much – especially in 244 years, a relative hiccup in time?

 

3. I also believe in the State of Israel.  Modern Israel is a miracle and a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.  Israel is a beleaguered outpost of civilization in a savage region and a bulwark against the forces of darkness.   The next time your physician gives you a shot of penicillin, look up who discovered this miracle drug.

 

4. My heroes include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt – Washington and Lincoln were indispensable men. Washington defeated the greatest army on earth and led our country for the first quarter-century of its existence. Lincoln saved the Union, abolished slavery and inspired generations with his rhetoric.  The Declaration of Independence flames with the eloquence of Thomas Jefferson, arguably the most intelligent man to ever serve as President of the United States.  Andrew Jackson, the hero of the Battle of New Orleans, represented the pioneer spirit.  Teddy Roosevelt led the charge into the 20th century, the American Century.   Together, they gave us a country so free that malcontents like Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Talib and Ayanna Pressley can dump on it without fear of reprisal.   As representatives of the American people they are a disgrace to our nation. They all incite turmoil and division in our country. They are most certainly Anti-American. Indeed, if you listen to all the complaints voiced from all the liberal/progressive democrats and communists like NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio, you are hard pressed to understand why there are so few people leaving our country!  It is harder still to understand why, with all of our so called “problems”, millions of people from around the world want to come here. 

 

5. I support our Police, and I believe police officers are generally decent/honorable men and women who are doing a difficult, dangerous, often thankless job – You couldn’t pay me enough today to do it. Besides risking their lives every time they go to work, they bear the added burden of listening to insults shouted at them by spoiled, ungrateful people many of whom are wet behind their ears and probably still wearing diapers. Police today have become the punching bag for the nation and, sadly, they receive little or no respect or support from their superiors and the gaggle of incompetent democratic mayors around the country. And, like our military, they are all that stands between us and the abyss.   When the Twin Towers were attacked in New York City on 9/11, we were reminded by liberals to not judge all Muslims by the actions of a few. Yet today, mobs are willing to judge all police by the actions of a few police. Explain that one to me.   Defunding the police because of a few “bad apples” is just plain STUPID because the end result will be more crime. If you find that difficult to comprehend, just check the crime statistics for these liberal democratic controlled cities: New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis, Newark, Trenton and check out the number of shootings and stabbings on any given weekend!  You would think these cities are in a war zone.

 

6. I support the Second Amendment.  It’s one of the reasons why Japan thought long and hard about attacking us It’s a major reason why we’ll never have a Holocaust here. Europe has had the divine right of kings, religious persecution, Communism and Nazism. We have the Second Amendment.   The anarchy in our streets, coupled with calls to defund the police, only serve to underscore the need for civilian gun ownership.

 

7.  Reparations are racial plunder. The idea of racial guilt is an obscenity from the dark recesses of 19th century European history – There’s no group in the world that hasn’t been oppressed at some point in time. Will Denmark pay reparations to the English for the Danelaw?  Will Mongols and Manchus compensate the Chinese?  Will Japan compensate the Chinese for the Rape of Nanjing?  How about the English and the Irish, the Mongols and the Russians, the Cossacks and Jews?  Will bi-racial Barack Obama take money out of one pocket and put it in another?

 

8. There are only two genders. Deal with it – Gender is determined at birth by your DNA. Just as you can’t change your DNA, you can’t change your sex. You should not be able to force others to participate in your fantasy.  Reality isn’t hateful.

 

9. I support what President Trump advocated and accomplished during his four years in office.  The 45th president loves this country. He had Israel’s back. Who else was strong enough to stand up to China and Iran? Unlike almost everyone else in Washington, as a businessman, he understood finance and the market economy. He’s gave us judges who deliberate instead of legislate. And he had the guts not to be liked.  Prior to COVID-19, President Trump built the greatest most prosperous economy in the world and he gave power back to the people.  He understood that we are a people who happen to have a government, not the other way around, and this American experiment in which government derives its just power from the consent of the governed is still the most unique, treasured and progressive form of government in the history of mankind.  He may or may not be the best candidate in 2024, but his policies should be followed by the Republican nominee, whoever that might be.

 

10. You have a right to disagree with me, but you do not have a right to try to silence me – Being offended doesn’t trump the First Amendment.  Attacking statues and assaulting those with different values is the kind of thing we saw in Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Russia. Generations of Americans died for freedom of speech, not freedom to suppress speech.  To say you’re offended is merely an attempt to prioritize your feelings above everyone and everything else. It’s not an argument, but a call to end discussion – an admission of intellectual impotence. Being offended isn’t a mark of virtue; it’s a sign that you’re a big, blubbering baby who will throw a tantrum if you can’t get your way.  Wagging fingers and shouting obscenities at me is just plain disrespectful and might get you a punch in the nose.   Sadly, that is what we see today with liberals and progressives.   They do not maintain a dialogue, they respond with insults and attacks, and that is fundamentally because they have not done their homework, lack historical perspective, and context and have no inclination or desire to reason.   We have the right to disagree… but what I see taking place in our country today is simply not right from any reasonable perspective. Many in politics have lost their sanity for political reasons. I heard AOC state this morning that the riots and looting are taking place because of the pandemic.  People don’t have food, so they must riot.  Does anyone believe this drivel?  For what food were they looking at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Macy’s, Gucci, Louis Vuitton,  etc.?  I may be wrong, but I would bet that the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. is looking down from Heaven at all the rioting looting, black on black killing, BLM and saying to himself, “I can’t believe I died for this.”

 

If you believe in “One Nation Under God,” you pass this letter on. Our nation can’t survive in any other way!

Senior Citizens

I love it when a friend sends me a piece that is too good to not post. They don’t realize how much time they save me of thinking of stuff of my own to write about. Thank you Rich for donating another post to Grumpa Joes Place Blog.

THIS IS US!!!

Senior citizens are constantly being criticized for every conceivable deficiency of the modern world, real or imaginary. We know we take responsibility for all we have done and do not blame others.

HOWEVER, upon reflection, we would like to point out that it was NOT the senior citizens who took

The melody out of music,

The pride out of appearance,

The courtesy out of driving,

The romance out of love,

The commitment out of marriage,

The responsibility out of parenthood,

The togetherness out of the family,

The learning out of education,

The service out of patriotism,

The Golden Rule from rulers,

The nativity scene out of cities,

The civility out of behavior,

The refinement out of language,

The dedication out of employment,

The prudence out of spending,

The ambition out of achievement or

God out of government and school.

And we certainly are NOT the ones who eliminated patience and tolerance from personal relationships and interactions with others!!

And, we do understand the meaning of patriotism, and remember those who have fought and died for our country.

Just look at the Seniors with tears in their eyes and pride in their hearts as they stand at attention with their hand over their hearts!

YES, I’M A SENIOR CITIZEN!

 And don't you forget it....

Have You Ever?

Have you ever gotten in a mood when you have to force yourself to compose something? A BLOG is a diary of sorts, and the word BLOG is an acronym for Weblog. When you own a blog it infers that you write something nearly everyday. There are times when I can post three or four pieces in the same day, and then there are times when I don’t do anything for two weeks. I’m in that zone right now where writing is a royal pain in the keester. On days like this I force my self to begin keying words, sometimes they are just that, words. Not sentences that are put into paragraphs in an attempt to convey information or personal thoughts.

Maybe it is because I just returned from shoveling snow off my driveway and I’m dead tired, but the words, and ideas are stuck somewhere in my cranium. I hate a drive topped with four inches of the white fluffy stuff. My drive has to show concrete not deep, groovy white tire tracks. Most times I test the snow with a shovel to decide if I do it by hand, or if I pull out my handy Honda snow-blower. Today, the blower lost the game and I won the chance to compete with my two shovels. I took my time and spent an hour pushing the stuff around.

When I sit in my sun-room and view the backyard garden covered in snow I see a space of beauty. There is nothing prettier than new fallen snow on trees, shrubs, and lawns. The whiteness of it all conveys a purity of vision and thoughts that can be over-whelming. By tomorrow the back lawn will resemble a school playground with foot prints leading to everywhere. Mostly rabbit and squirrel tracks., but today it is still pristine, smooth, and white.

Who’s Lies Do You Believe?

Lie, lie, lie, the word is used daily in accusations by political pundits. It seems that making false statements has become standard in political conversation. Who are we to believe when a candidate makes a statement and his opposition says he is lying? To make things even worse, who are we to believe when the said candidate then responds with a counter statement that his rival is lying?

Then, there are statements made during campaigns that are interpreted as lies even though at the time a candidate made the claim he believed it to be true. For example, when Biden was campaigning to become president he stated that Trump mis-handled the COVID-19 response and because of it people died. He claimed that he would stop the pandemic and life would be good again. The instant those words left his mouth I jumped out of my chair in anger. How can anyone make such a claim when no one has yet demonstrated a single way to stop or control the virus? Biden knew what he was saying and he also knew it was intentionally false, but enough people were so sick of COVID they wanted to believe him and did. Now, of course, we all know that he was blowing smoke out of his ass. These statements fall under the Harry Reid Rule of making statements true or false to win elections. When Romney ran against Obama, Reid publicly stated that Romney did not pay his income-taxes. By the time anyone had proven otherwise the election was over and Obama won. Later when Reid was challenged on his statement his answer was “he won didn’t he?” In his demented mind that justified the lie.

Lying has become a standard way of speaking in order to win elections. Forget that “thou shalt not lie” is one of the ten commandments it only applies to someone else, and only when you are not speaking during and election campaign. I wish we could have an app to detect when someone was telling a lie and to “beep” when the lie is detected. Campaign speeches would sound a lot different with all the beeps coming after statements. For example:

“My fellow Americans (beep) I am running to be your next president because I want to lower your taxes (BEEP), and make America great again (BEEP), and I will make China and Russia behave (BEEP,BEEP,BEEP). . .”

John Q. Candidate

When did it become acceptable to condone lying in political speech? What is more surprising to me is that so many Americans are gullible enough to believe the horse hockey they are being fed. The lying does not stop with the candidates, but has permeated the reporting as well. Everyday we see examples of reporters writing and telling deliberate lies to illicit responses that support their political philosophy. A recent example is the article that cites a Liberal Supreme Court Justice making a claim that A Conservative Judge is jeopardizing her health by not wearing a mask in her presence. Two days later, after this lie has been promulgated around the world, another reporter finally asks the judges if this is correct. Both judges deny any such statement or intention. Who cares? The damage was done, and the man on the street only remembers that the Conservative Judge is a bad guy who intended to harm the Liberal Judge. Lies, lies, lies, but who cares the reporter did his job, and got his viewpoint out.

After reading history, I have learned the problem of lying in newspapers is as old as the First amendment which protects free speech even if it is damaging and incorrect. The only way to correct this is to not read the newspapers, or the websites that publish a lying reporter’s crap. The liars need to be exposed in a way that the public will not listen to their voice. A problem with this method is that there are way too many reporters involved, and new ones are being graduated every six months from a slew of liberal colleges with so called journalism programs. My personal method is to not read political essays on the internet nor listen to liberal voices on the tv or radio. Instead, I scan news sites and read headlines looking for interesting articles that I could believe and learn something from. I have also limited viewing cable news programs because they don’t contain news only opinions, and my opinion is as good as any of theirs. The worst kind of opinion program is when the moderator has a liberal and a conservative side by side. Most times the liberal will only invoke my vomit response. Why should I put up with that? I don’t.

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