New High Tech Stuff Isn’t Always More ‘Environmentally Friendly’

Which is why the EPA won’t let certain things be manufactured in the US. (Not that shipping that manufacturing overseas is really ‘good’ for the environment. But NIMBY is a strong force in America.)

So first up is the whole electric vehicle craze. (And it is a craze.) The Silicon Graybeard: All-Electric Small Airplane

OK, so there’s an electric plane. Not the first. The thing that caught my eye…

Earlier this week, several outlets reported a study from the Swedish Environmental Research Insitute that the “carbon footprint” of producing the batteries for an electric car was equivalent to driving for 8 years. This ignored recharging the batteries for the life of the car, which is obviously coming from an electric power generating plant somewhere, so more than likely generating CO2 itself. I’m sure you’ve seen electric cars referred to as coal powered.

The report shows that the battery manufacturing leads to high emissions. For every kilowatt hour of storage capacity in the battery generated emissions of 150 to 200 kilos of carbon dioxide already in the factory. The researchers did not study individual brand batteries, how these were produced, or the electricity mix they use.

As Graybeard points out, battery researchers are struggling to come up with batteries that have 4% of the energy density of gasoline. (450 Wh/kg versus 12,000 Wh/kg.) And the “8 year” figure doesn’t include charging of the batteries. That is just the carbon cost of producing the battery.

This reminds me of the state of fusion power over the past few decades. Since before I graduated from college, fusion power has been “just around the corner.” And while the ITER (the current international attempt at fusion) might actually produce a reactor that generates more power than it consumes, no utility will ever build one. Imagining Fusion Power | Energy Matters

First off, fusion reactors based on the Tokamak design will produce large amounts of neutrons. These will turn all of the components of the Tokamak into radioactive waste. Large quantities of radioactive waste.

The Hirsch article tells you that worldwide fusion energy research is almost totally focused on a concept called the tokamak, a toroidal (donut) shaped system, which uses the deuterium-tritium (DT) fusion fuel cycle. You are reminded that the DT cycle is characterized by the copious emission of neutrons, which will result in the creation of large quantities of radioactivity, no matter what materials are used to build such a system. Opps! Managing large quantities of radioactive material raises a huge red flag with you, based on the experience with nuclear power plants. Not good!

So we would have EXACTLY the same problems with fusion reactors – storing radioactive waste – that makes the population hate fission reactors. Not a “clean technology.”

Then there is the likelihood of a regular explosion.

ITER-Tokamak reactors appear to be seriously wanting, in part because of the massive amount of radioactivity that will be produced and in part because its massive superconducting magnets could suddenly go normal, resulting in an explosion of the magnitude of a World War II blockbuster bomb.

So radioactive debris in the middle of something that could let go with the force of a VERY large conventional bomb. Yeah, sign me up for one of those!

While I’m not of the “let’s dump all fusion research” camp, I am aware of the fact that there are problems with the current design. And we’ve sort of put all of our eggs in one basket on that front.

On the electric vehicle front, I think that day will dawn, but it will take some serious developments in either battery or super capacitor research. I actually think some of the research being done in artificial photosynthesis to produce alcohol fuels has more promise. But that doesn’t get much press.

“I didn’t want to have to kill ’em”

They couldn’t leave a Marine Corps veteran alone. They wanted his cancer meds. “I didn’t want to have to kill ’em”: Veteran talks about shootin – FOX10 News | WALA

For him, the last 24-hours have been almost unreal, and it all started with a tap on his door.

“I walked right here to open the door, and that’s when he shot me right there. They cut loose on me, and that’s when I went to the cabinet here and back behind the coffee was an old time pistol,” said Irving. “I opened the door and smoked ’em.”

Cops are still looking of the getaway driver, but the two men and one woman who came to the door to rob him are in custody. (After having spent some time in the hospital.)

They are lucky he didn’t harbor them more ill will.

“I tried not to shoot any of them in the chest. I didn’t want to have to kill ’em.”

Self-defense is a human-right.

Even in the People’s Republic of California, Self-defense is Legal

Police believe that it is possible to kill someone in self-defense. Police: No Charges for Homeowner Who Fatally Shot 2 Robbers | California News | US News

Northern California police said Friday that a homeowner acted in self-defense when he fatally shot two men during an attempted home invasion robbery.

This story also gets something right, that reporters usually screw up. (Or maybe the screw up is by copy editors. If someone attacks me and I shoot them in self-defense, they are not victims. The original victim of the crime remains the victim, even he or she turns the tables on the attackers.

Self-defense is a human-right. Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0.

Homeowner shoots burglar

Excuse me… “alleged burglar.” Homeowner shoots suspected burglar – The News Journal

A shotgun blast to your torso will usually ruin your day.

“Deputies received other information that the homeowner had apparently shot the intruder with a shotgun and that the intruder had fled into the woods,” [Laurel County Sheriff’s Deputy Gilbert] Acciardo stated.

When deputies arrived, the suspect had fled the scene. However Sgt. Brett Reeves and Deputy Brandon Brought located the suspect, later identified as Kemp, within a few hundred yards of the scene after a neighborhood dog alerted to the presence of someone in the woods.

The Would-be Bad-Guy was airlifted to the University of Kentucky hospital, in serious condition. When released from hospital he will face a host of charges.

Self-defense is a human-right. Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

Highlights from the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta

The Main Event at America’s Cup picks up later today, with Emirates Team New Zealand up 3-to-0 over Oracle Team USA. In the meantime, they’ve been running a superyacht regatta. Highlights from the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta 2017 in Bermuda – 35th America’s Cup

A short video of the highlights of this week’s race.

Lionheart, with round the world racer Bouwe Bekking in charge, won the J Class and with it the top prize for the regatta.

The details of the J-Class are down in the weeds of yacht design, but they can be found at the Wiki. There are currently 8 boats racing that conform to the J-Class rules (as amended in 1937). 10 were built in the 1930-1937 era, but only 3 survived. The rest are recent builds with one boat being launched this year.

Toccata and Fugue

Have been exploring more into the music offered by Google Play Music, while working on my (lovely, new) PC. Have really come to appreciate the “radio station” “the Piano Guys Radio.”

This is “Toccata and Fugue” by Jennifer Thomas from her 2012 album Illumination. This is a piano transcription (with accompaniment) of “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” by Johann Sebastian Bach. (Originally written for organ.) It is offered here in honor of her birthday. June 23, 1977.