Why Do They Think That Way?

Old Way vs Progressive Way

Old Way vs Progressive Way

The argument for gun control is totally stupid and flies in the face of Liberals. Progressives by their title proclaim to be ahead of the rest of us. They embrace new technology with open arms until the companies that produce the products they love become successful, aka Apple.
When it comes to guns they argue that the hunter does not need large capacity magazines to shoot deer. So the modern advanced debaters become Neanderthal when it comes to armament. The same guys who can’t stop texting long enough to take a bath room break argue that I should make my kill with a single shot. Have you ever fired at a moving target? Instead the Progressive texters would rather we give up our liberty by denying our guns. I say this, when Progressives give up their Smart phones and their 40mpg hybrids, I’ll consider giving up my state of the art modern weapon for a more antique one. Forest Gump is genius compared to the nut jobs pushing to take away guns.
“Stupid is as stupid does.”

 

Fisker Electric Invades 1850’s Frankfort

I received a rude awakening this evening and I lost a bet too. After supper, I mounted my trusty Gold Rush recumbent bicycle and gave my legs some punishment. Since I haven’t ridden seriously in several years I am limiting my rides to five or ten miles. This evening I rode to the library and from there into town. The total distance logged was 4.5 miles. I would have ridden further except for an unusual sighting. As I passed the Grainery building on the Old Plank Trail I spied an unusually beautiful sports car. I passed by a few feet when the old “what’s wrong with this picture” mechanism went off in my head. I stopped to go back and take pictures. What was wrong? The car was plugged in to an outlet. The Village of Frankfort decided to be the first village with a public charging space for all-electric cars. That’s how I lost the bet. When I first learned of the Village decision to install the charging station, I bet a friend that it would never be used, and our tax dollars wasted.

I parked the bike and started snapping pictures with my smart phone. Then I heard someone call  my name. I looked up to see an old Folks on Spokes friend whom I haven’t seen in eight years. We stood admiring the car. Bernie is a Science teacher and is very pro green movement. He lectured me on how this car is the future of our country. I lectured back to him that it will be at least another hundred years before the electric car is practical enough to want one. He argued back about the new product curve. Yes, new products follow a cost vs volume curve that is very flat when a product is introduced, but as sales continue, the volume curve begins to slope up, the price begins coming down and the curve gets steeper. Eventually, we all have  one of the products and they are so cheap no one can afford to make them except in third world countries where labor goes for eighteen cents an hour. As we argued the merits pro and con for the electrics a man walked up and unplugged the car.

“Are you the owner,” I asked him.

“Yes I am,” he announced proudly.

“You can thank me now,” I replied.

“Why.”

“Because my tax dollars went toward building your Finnish car.”

“Oh, they didn’t go toward this one, they are going into a new model that hasn’t been built yet.”

The discussion went on for another fifteen minutes. I learned the car can get this guy all the way to the Sears Tower in Chicago (35 miles) where he works, but he needs a charge to get home(the total all-electric range is fifty miles) . If he runs out of juice a small gas-powered engine turns on and runs a generator to charge the batteries.

“How much does it weigh?” I asked.

“Fifty-five hundred pounds. It really rides nice and solid.”

Just before he got in to pull away he offered that I am getting hit twice, because Frankfort uses an honor system to collect for the electricity he used to charge.

The charging station has pictures of all the major credit cards on it, but no collection slot to swipe the card.

“I have an APP for that,”

He just made me want to run right out and buy one of these suckers. My friend Bernie will probably do it.

“There is probably an MP3 player feeding a V8 rumble noise to bystanders,I said.

“Naw,” said Bernie, “they make a whirring sound.”

The Fisker whirred out of the lot and into the night. I wonder if he will make it home now that he has to use headlights?

Finnish Electric Car

Fisker

Electric Car Charging Station in 1850’s Frankfort

Why Drive a Volt When You Can Soup Up Your Own Car

2011 Chevrolet Volt exhibited at the 2010 Wash...

2011 Chevrolet Volt exhibited at the 2010 Washington Auto Show. The Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This do it yourself video is for my Green Friends who love to drive the Volt and other Green Cars.

Porcelain Carburetor

Ten-Dollar Gasoline Forces America to Lose Weight

Evil-Oil does it again. They are jacking around with the price of oil because of the uncertainty in the Mid-East. Meanwhile POTUS is silently cheering on the crisis. His dream of forcing us into so-called “green” cars is closer to reality. For every dollar increase on a gallon of gas, he sells another Gov’m’nt green car.

Where was he when gas was eighteen cents a gallon and Gov’m’nt Motors was producing gas guzzling rust prone junk heaps? Not born yet, I can’t blame him for that one. POTUS does own the UAW, however, and they made the cars that we didn’t really want. They even called strikes against GM for the purpose of getting their piece of the pie. Now that the UAW owns Gov’m’nt Motors they want ten-dollar a gallon gas too.

Obama’s insistence on electric cars is way out of line with reality. He is legislating technological development. My bosses used to play that game all the time. Instead of redesigning a product to meet their quality requirements they placed the burden of finding a technological solution on the engineers. Often the solution was beyond our capabilities and didn’t happen until the science caught up to the problem years later. Obama believes that by forcing the gas prices to rise to ten dollars that we will rush out to buy Hybrid cars.

Does the math support that premise? Assume that a standard car gets 25 mpg, and a hybrid gets 40 mpg. Sounds great doesn’t it? Assume also, that each car is driven twelve thousand miles per year. With ten-dollar a gallon gas, the annual dollar savings between the two cars is $1800. Sounds good doesn’t it?  The difference in price between a standard car and its hybrid counter part is around four thousand dollars; the electric costing more. The payback for that extra expenditure would be 2.2 years, not bad.

How long do the hybrid batteries last? No one knows for sure at this point, or they are hiding it from us to keep from scaring buyers off. The cost of replacing the batteries is four thousand dollars.

How do hybrid cars get their advantage? Of course by using the batteries while creeping at low speeds like in stop and go traffic.  For long distances and speed they switch to gasoline power. How do they get good mileage with gasoline? One way is to downsize the motor. The Toyota Prius is a good example of that. The car uses a small four-cylinder motor. Most performance freaks like myself will reject the Prius because it is a gutless wonder. I’ve had my fill of under powered small cars from my VW days. I got great mileage, but I couldn’t take the need for a constant downshift to get the thing moving. Larger SUV Hybrids make more sense, but they come at a higher premium than the small cars. Batteries also weigh a ton, and the car uses energy to carry that heavy  battery.

What about a plug-in hybrid car?  You can charge it daily to keep the efficiency up. This will cost extra in electricity. At this time, the stats show that the current fleet is about 600,000 hybrids in the USA. If those cars needed to be charged, 450,000 of them would consume all the extra power capacity we have  today. The remaining 150,000 cars would require a new power plant be added to the grid.  Think about that one. If every one of the 143,000,000 cars in the US were all-electric and the entire fleet needed the grid for a charge,  how many extra power plants would we need to add?

What would we use to power all those new plants; solar, wind, nuclear, or coal?  The new plants won’t come cheap, and they won’t come fast. A bird wouldn’t be able to fly ten feet before he was chopped to shreds with a windmill blade if we added enough mills to power the fleet. Photovoltaic cells would cover every square mile of unused land and every roof in America, but we’ll get our food from China so that’s okay. Nuclear makes some sense, but the cost of the plants is exorbitant. The safety issues are horrendous, and the danger of releasing radiation into the atmosphere far outweighs any coal related pollution. Not to mention the potential of accidents from nuclear waste. Think about Chernobyl’s all around the country. I often think about my own situation in Chicago. We have one plant forty miles west of here and another one fifty miles to the east. A third one is just north of the city. If any one of them has a Chernobyl like accident, the entire city of Chicago would be an unusable ghost town for thousands of years, Lake Michigan would be permanently polluted, and a new interstate would be needed to skirt the radiation belt around the city. Six million people would have to find new homes immediately, and a million would die early from radiation poisoning.

The USA has been lucky, in that we have never had an accident like Chernobyl, but Harrisburg came close. We build our plants with stricter safety standards than the Russians did. That is why they cost as much as they do.  Disposing of nuclear waste is another hazard. Obama says we should  do like the French do. They deal with nuclear waste effectively. Really? What do they do with it? One thing they do is to reduce the amount of waste by recycling the spent fuel and extracting usable fuel.  Eventually, they kick the can down the road by burying the unusable material.

The government of France made a decision to go into the power business in the early nineteen seventies, and they have developed regulations and  facilities to deal with their reactors. I had to deal with the French power organization dubbed Electricite de France (EdF) during my engineering career. I can vouch for them as being fanatically rigid and steeped in bureaucracy with great resistance to change. During this same period, our country decided to pull back from nuclear power. The end result is we are way behind on development. Our plants were designed and built for a forty year life. Many of the early plants are already decommissioned. Plants built after nineteen seventy are at the end of life stage. What will we do when they must  go off line?

My points with all of this dialogue is that developing an energy policy is an absolute necessity for the USA. It won’t be easy, but a plan has to be developed and followed. We can no longer kick the can down the road. Secondly, converting the country to electric cars comes with a huge price tag and a huge change in lifestyle for all of us. It won’t be easy remembering to plug the car into an outlet every time you make a stop. By the way, where are the outlets?

In the meantime, if you don’t like the prospect of paying ten dollars for a gallon of gas, find a Chinaman who will trade his “Flying Squirrel” (bicycle) for your gas hog SUV. Now that’s an energy policy that will serve many objectives:

1.) We lose our dependence on foreign oil by giving up the car.

2.) We become physically fit by riding a bicycle.

3.) We lose weight and become healthier.

4.) Our air is purer, because we burn less fuel.

5.) We use less generated power because we watch less TV, surf the net less, BLOG less, and we go to bed earlier from the exertion of riding the bike.

We can’t lose with that kind of energy policy.

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