“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”

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royexum@aol.com

Messenger From the North

I watch a lot of movies, and I am particular about the themes. I prefer stories about real people and not those of Hollywood gangsters and shoot em ups. Some of that stuff might be going on in the real world, but not to the extent to which writers and movie makers lead us to believe. Maybe I am living in a bubble here on the edge of the mid-west near one of the largest cities in North America. Yes, we have crime, and yes, we have murders, but why make movies about them? Isn’t that reinforcing the bad behavior, i.e. by glorifying it in film?

A few days ago, I came across a movie titled Chloe and Theo. This story had all th elements of a great movie, it was funny, it was sad, it was tragic, and it had a message. The premise of the story is that a tribe of Inuit Indians living on the ice fields of the arctic circle have seen a trend of warming that is shrinking their ice, and forcing the animals inland, and away from their habitat which is the ice and the frigid waters of the arctic. They decide to send a messenger from their tribe to speak to the elders, and to give them a message of pending doom. They pick a single man named Theo not because he is a smart guy, or a diplomat, or a scientist, but because he is the only one in their village who can speak english. The village elders give him a pouch filled with cash to make the trip.

Theo lands in New York and is amazed at the tall buildings the hordes of people, and the noise. He often laments that where he is from there is a simple beauty to the empty, whiteness, and silence of the ice. He checks into a low cost flop-house and goes looking for the elders. Along the way he meets a young woman who is homeless after she recognizes him as an eskimo. She befriends him only because she thinks he is different, and she wants to know all about him. Theo asks her to help him find the elders. She takes him to her tented area in a dilapidated building where many homeless sleep. She introduces him to what she considers to be an elder. He is in reality a informal leader of the homeless group to which she belongs. Theo is not satisfied, so the group begins a brain storming session as to who they should try to get him to see. At first it was the President of the USA, but the idea falls apart when the FBI gets involved and asks too many dumb questions. Eventually, they break from the FBI and return to brainstorming. The elder in the group has a brainstorm, why not take Theo to the United Nations, and the story goes in that direction, but again proves to be fruitless.

Another plot is to introduce him to the producers of a big TV show, and they succeed in getting a meeting with them. The homeless group and Theo enter the building and are getting into an elevator when Theo balks, he wants to walk up the 62 stories to reduce his contribution to the carbon footprint left by the elevator. He walks while the homeless group is waiting for him to arrive. Nerves take over and the producers insist of leaving, but the homeless are persistent and make Theo’s pitch for him. The scene ends with all of them leaving the conference room as Theo finally arrives.

To make this long story shorter I will only say that these characters all made the story believable. Before the end of the film they are successful in finding a way to get Theo’s story to the Elders. They celebrate and give Theo a gift of a pair of shoes to replace the heavy boots he has worn since he left his Northern Village, and as he has always done throughout the story he takes a walk to try his new shoes, and to clear his head. Then something unbelievable happens and the story ends.

This is what I rate a five star film * * * * *

Sorry Joe

Last night’s debate felt rather long. Probably because the debaters tried to keep from talking over each other. I can’t proclaim a winner, but I can proclaim a loser. I thought Joe Biden did well in his ability to keep things together, and he was well rehearsed, but I had major issues with his arguments which I will elucidate below:

  1. Sorry Joe, but your plan for COVID-19 response is about the same as closing the barn door once the horse is out of the barn. All I heard is that your plan is to make all of us wear masks all of the time. Have you forgotten that the previous administration(like you and Obama) had run the Federal stockpiles of strategic personal protective equipment dry? Many of President Trumps reactions were in response to limiting the PPE to hospital personnel. There just wasn’t enough to go around for we the people. I call that a failure of the Obama administration to live up to his oath to protect the American people. Have you forgotten that hospitals were over burdened and there were no respirators in the federal warehouses? Trump had to round up manufacturers to make them. All of this took precious time which your plan no longer has to worry about. The same holds true for vaccines. During your administration there was a threat of a pandemic from the swine flu. Vaccines were being developed but stopped since the virus died off. Couldn’t your former plan have continued vaccine development as a step to avoid pressure in the future like now?
  2. Sorry Joe but your plan of Obama Care for all you can keep your plan if you like it is a giant lie. It was true right up until the insurance companies told us that we had to cancel our existing plans to get into the super new one you rushed through Congress to get approved. When we tried to re-up for insurance we were told we had to go for the Obama Care. Of course you brag about getting 22 million people health care who never had it before, but what about the forty million people who now couldn’t afford health care any more? Don’t they count?
  3. Sorry Joe but you argue that the economy was coming back, really? With the anemic less than one percent growth in GDP it would only take another twenty years to get to where Trump took us.
  4. Sorry Joe, but don’t get me started on clean energy. I don’t see filling every field in America with wind mills and solar panels as a rational or economic way to get to clean energy. Your plan to phase out fossil fuels to ramp up to meet demand with wind and solar is true, Except the ramp up time period will take as long as it takes to exhaust the world of good rich fossil fuel (maybe one or two thousand years). Beside that, scientists have already determined that with today’s technology, wind and solar does not have the capacity to meet our current demand much less our future needs. As far as building 50,000 charging stations for electric vehicles your are short. It will take three, four, or five time as many to keep America rolling. Don’t ever mention the environmental damage that will be done by making and charging all those batteries. In my opinion the Audubon Society is not making a large enough stink about the loss of birds to those whirling windmills batting them out of the sky.
  5. Sorry Joe but when it comes to foreign affairs when was the last time your previous administration created an alliance with Jews and Muslims? Its my recollection that you and your boss only knew how to kiss muslim ass to make friends. Or how about getting our allies mad at us for asking them to begin paying the bill for America saving them during WW 2?
  6. Sorry Joe, but your plea to me to that Trump doesn’t stand for what America was built upon is a bunch of political theater. America was built upon the idea that we have freedom and liberty to live without chains to earn a living. America was not built upon the idea that we the people should earn that living and then pay a huge fraction to you the governing to spend it the way you think is right and proper. Trump stands for exactly what our forefathers intended. His policies are all directed toward giving us all the freedom to earn as we please.
  7. Sorry Joe, when you speak of civil rights you are talking through the side of your mouth. The infamous Civil Rights Act that you and Donna Brazille so proudly proclaim is the heart of America is solely responsible for the slaughter of thirty million black babies since it’s inception. When Nancy Pelosi was asked about it she proudly exclaimed that without abortion we would have to deal with a lot more welfare. Is that what our country was built on that black babies will all grow up to go on welfare?
  8. Sorry Joe, but babies in cages that you and Obama built are also the result of your policies toward immigration. It is also the result of forty years of neglect by Congress to insist of enforcement of existing laws. Last I checked you were a part of the Congress for those years. With the lax border law enforcement we have created a need to do something with twenty million good people whose only crime was to sneak into the country to make a better life for themselves. Where were you all those years Joe? Why didn’t you give them a path to legality and citizenship?
  9. Sorry Joe, but your arguments on global warming don’t make any sense. None of the global warming arguments make any sense. The United States has the best air and water in the world, short of Antartica. What do you propose to do with a carbon tax scheme? Will all that tax money be directed toward countries like China, and India to take care of their dirty air? Why should we be made to pay for the sins of other countries. I was in shock last month to learn that China is now the largest producer of automobiles in the world. Not only have they surpassed US production they have beaten us by three times (28,000,000) as many cars a year. Does a single one of them have a catalytic converter? How about emission controls? Has the country legislated or decreed that auto companies meet clean air standards? Do they even know what clean air standards are? How about Chinese power plants? Are they all solar and wind? No? Why not? Oh, I get it you are not in charge over there so let the U.S.A. pay for it to happen. We will keep paying to clean up our air while the global winds will continue to bring us more polluted air from around the world. I ‘ll be happy to pay a carbon tax when the rest the of countries in the world meet or beat our current levels.
  10. Sorry Joe, but raising taxes is not a good way to go. It is the opposite of what our founding fathers built the country on. I think is was an unfair tax on tea that kicked off the revolutionary war because the original Americans were being taxed to death to pay for the King’s sins.

My Sentiments Exactly

George Carlin was a magnificent comedian who used common sense to make fun of the human race. His intellect was far greater than that of the entire liberal population.

I would love to hear George’s monologue on global warming. He is right about the conceit of those who actually believe that a life form as insignificant as a human could have any impact on changing the planet.

The only positive I see coming out of the global warming threat is that power companies are becoming more efficient and thus less polluting. More companies are pouring money into developing better batteries and solar panels, but the bottom line is this: If we can buy energy for less from a coal burning power plant we will continue to do it. Our money is better spent on having fun. In another hundred years the electric car will probably have enough range and life to warrant spending money for. We will still need coal burning power plants to supply energy to all the battery chargers needed to keep our cars running. Solar panels may someday be made in the form of building materials. All new houses made from these solar absorbing roofs and walls will make them self sufficient. What will we then do with the millions of homes already made without such a sufficiency?

In the short term, all I see happening is that governments that buy into the global warming lie will tax us heavily. Not only will their economies be pouring trillions into developing low carbon emitting processes, the rich countries will be racked with guilt about putting the world into the dilemma. To buy their way out of the guilt they will send trillions of tax dollars to lesser countries that are too ignorant to know their life is being jacked by a bunch of thieves. Poor countries will remain poor, and rich countries will remain rich.  The common man, we the people meaning you and me will be poorer, and perhaps happier that we do our bit to save the planet.

As we pay and suffer to save the world, and Muslims will succeed in annihilating civilization thus depopulating the planet.  Earth will continue on its merry orbit until the sun itself eventually peters out a few billion years from now.

Get Off the Stage, and Pack

In a speech during a townhall meeting in Laos President Obama called Americans lazy. I take exception to that. He quickly explained it referred to the people of the USA who didn’t know or care to know about peoples from other parts of the world. I agree there is an element of young people educated by the Obama Department of Education that don’t know jack shit much less know about people in other countries. I don’t agree that my generation or all the generations before me don’t care to know about other peoples. In fact, I think any of us can challenge Obama and his entire State Department on our knowledge of foreign peoples.

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My opinion is that the pot smoking generation he belongs to are among the worst of this infliction. Those of who lived through WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and the many lessor skirmishes know quite a bit about the world.  The generations born to LEGAL immigrants from every part of Europe, South America, and Asia that lived through constant broken English lectures on the history, culture, and problems of the “old country” are quite knowledgeable in what is going on in the world.  Obama’s total knowledge is limited to Hawaii, Kenya, and the south side of Chicago.

Calling Americans lazy is just another example of Obama broadcasting his dislike for America and Americans. This is what we get for electing a Kenyan national to the highest office in the land.  This one is more stupid than when he referred to ISIS as a JV team. Obama is not capable of picking up the sweaty towels of a JV team but he thinks he is above others. If ever there was a head as large and pressurized as Obama’s it would blow up like the Fat Boy did over Hiroshima.

I challenge Obama to a debate on the subject of knowing about other cultures and peoples. Put us on National TV and let me show the world just what a despicable worm this guy is.

He also blamed us for rejecting his global warming initiatives because we are too lazy to look at facts and try to understand. I challenge him to show me one iota of legitimate evidence that points global warming toward human beings. He relies on reports written and paid for by his Czars who are spitting images of his socialist self. I admit the earth temperatures may be on the rise, but it is not because I heat my house or because I drive my car. It is due to a natural fluctuation of the earth’s temperature. Ice ages come and go. They come because the earth gets cold and they go because the earth gets hot again. He says we are lazy because we won’t buy into his carbon tax scheme designed to make him and Al-gore billionaires.

Obama, your time is up, get off the stage and start packing.