Category Archives: Climate

France to ban short haul airline flights


French lawmakers voted late on Saturday to abolish domestic flights on routes than can be covered by train in under two-and-a-half hours, as the government seeks to lower carbon emissions even as the air travel industry reels from the global pandemic.

Source: French lawmakers approve a ban on short domestic flights | Reuters

What if the plane is a future Airbus electrically powered or hydrogen powered aircraft? That can’t fly those routes either?

Bill Gates says he buys green aviation fuel, uses solar panels on his homes and eats synthetic meats | Daily Mail Online

Bill Gates has become a parody of living the green life:

Bill Gates says he buys green aviation fuel, uses solar panels on his homes and eats synthetic meats to reduce his carbon footprint as he stresses the importance of consuming less

Source: Bill Gates says he buys green aviation fuel, uses solar panels on his homes and eats synthetic meats | Daily Mail Online

… and he stresses the importance of consuming less.

His carbon foot print is 3 to 4 orders of magnitude greater than mine. At least.

This is hypocrisy on the level of John Kerry, the climate czar, who flies around the world in his private jet lecturing us peons on why we need to make huge sacrifices.

Posting this is a awkward as I have met Bill several times in the past, admire him and his work, and have been in his “old house” and in his new home when it was under construction. Bill has made unbelievably massive donations to important functions that help a lot of people and the future of humanity. He is a good and decent person contrary to how many view him. I have not read his book on climate change but based on a review, I think his ideas make far more sense than most rhetoric on that subject. But considering his lifestyle, his climate advocacy turns into a parody – and he seems to acknowledge that.

“When Disneyland reopens, it’s going to have even more of a privilege problem”

Many governments and organizations are seeking to turn tourism in a post pandemic world into an elites-only experience. Many have said they want fewer tourists who are more upscale and seeking luxury amenities, spending more time and spending more money.

They want cheap tourism to end – tourism, you see, should not be for the masses but should return to days past when only the wealthy could travel.

Disney has adopted the same strategy – reducing access while raising prices. Their goal is fewer “guests” – with each spending hundreds of dollars per day per visitor.

This seems an unfortunate direction for so many organizations to be taking.

Continue reading “When Disneyland reopens, it’s going to have even more of a privilege problem”

Trust Science(tm): Anything that sounds science-y is trusted, even when nonsensical

In order to put a price on carbon, governments use sciency-y techniques to come up with estimates – but rely on assumptions that are nonsensical:

The scenarios underlying the SCC estimates of the Biden administration envision cumulative carbon dioxide emissions that are far, far in excess of any plausible current expectation about the future. In fact, to even approach these massive amounts of cumulative emissions, the world would have to make it a policy goal to burn as much coal as possible over the coming centuries. That seems unlikely.

Source: The Biden Administration Just Failed its First Science Integrity Test – The Honest Broker Newsletter

Translation: The Administration’s estimate of carbon $value/ton is based on an impossible assumption -there’s not enough carbon to reach such levels.

If there is a little bit of math involved, the media just reprints the press release without critical analysis.

Reminder: I invested in solar PV for my house, to offset the 70+% utility electricity produced by fossil fuels. I also replaced my attic insulation to R-60, and have installed two 220v outlets for future EV charging. Heating is done with locally sourced wood byproduct which the UN rates as carbon neutral. Carbon calculators indicate our household carbon emissions are one quarter that of average homes.

Covid crisis must be over, time for next one: “Crisis Ensued The Last Time Earth’s Magnetic Poles Flipped, Researchers Say”

With “experts” suggesting the pandemic is winding down on its own, possibly as soon as April – the media is in panic as it must find new fear inducing scary topics within weeks 🙂

A precise record of the last major reversal of the Earth’s magnetic poles can be found in ancient trees. Researchers say this event 42,000 years ago had a huge impact on the planet and ancient humans.

Source: Crisis Ensued The Last Time Earth’s Magnetic Poles Flipped, Researchers Say : NPR


From useless epidemiological disease projection models to this – time to stop taking models seriously except as the butt of jokes.

January 21, 2021

February 15, 2021

The EV Charging Problem

Note – this video mistakenly references the Chevy Volt when it should be the Chevy Bolt EV.

Notes that the industry needs more DCFS chargers, easily accessible.

The video producer suggests we need a government program to get more chargers, pointing to Europe (he attended college in the UK). It is not a government program issue – its a wide open space issue, as he later notes in regards to Australia. But then comes back to insisting we need a government infrastructure program for charging.

This addresses the issue I identified for my own use, last year. For me it is not the vehicle range, so much, but the speed of charging when traveling long distances. The Chevy Bolt is a great EV – but maxes out at about 50-55 kwh in its maximum charge point while others are now charging at 100 kwh or more.

But due to battery chemistry, you cannot charge at the full rate from empty to full. Hence, as this video notes, you really want to do several short, fast charges, on a trip. But this requires easy access to DCFS along the route.

Continue reading The EV Charging Problem

Electric vehicles, now

This part is likely negative for the environment:

Biden administration will also pursue direct-consumer rebates to encourage American car buyers to swap out fossil-fuel-powered cars for zero-emission vehicles.

Source: Biden administration promises an EV era, new world for the auto industry – Roadshow

If you already have a fuel efficient vehicle, the best thing you can do for the environment is to repair and maintain it and continue driving it as long as you can.

A significant part of a vehicle’s life time energy consumption takes place during the vehicle’s manufacture. The strategy of swapping out perfectly good ICE vehicles for EVs is a net negative for the environment.

I wrote about this in the past: here, here, and especially here.  Also a large set of past posts on electric vehicles.

Continue reading Electric vehicles, now

Shocking: GM is recalling all 2017-2019 Bolt EVs, will cut range by 10% to prevent fires

This is an huge blow to the Chevy Bolt EV line – they have confirmed five vehicles had their batteries spontaneously catch fire. And they do not know why, yet.

GM is recalling 68,667 of the cars globally from the 2017 through 2019 model years, including nearly 51,000 in the U.S.

Source: GM recalling Chevrolet Bolt EVs due to fire risks amid federal probe

GM dealers will update the software to prevent full charging of the batteries, cutting range by about 10%, as an interim solution. Alternatively, they ask owners to not fully charge their batteries or to not park inside garages or car ports. The latter may be tough – many people charge their vehicles at  home, inside the garage and might not have 220 v access available outside. Many who live in apartments and condos only have “carport” or “garage parking” – and have no place to park their vehicles outside. Plus, being winter time, range is already reduced by cold temperatures. This is a bit of mess.

All of the fires involved nearly fully charged batteries so they assume (but don’t know) that this is the cause.

They do not expect to have a real solution until sometime in 2021 – and it is not clear that this interim solution solves the problem, either.

Air Quality Index

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a numeric indicator of local air quality. Since last Thursday night, our AQI has been in the 500 to 526 range. The range only goes up to 500. Anything above 300 is considered hazardous to health for all.

We live in the area of the fires in Oregon.

We’ve been sealed up inside your home since Thursday. Fortunately, there is little smoke smell inside as our house is sealed very tight – but outside it was extremely difficult to breath. The smoke led to headaches, fatigue, sore throat and a slight shortness of breath – classic symptoms of smoke inhalation, I am told.

As of right now, the AQI has fallen to 169 which is a noticeable improvement, however this is not yet to a normal range.

The fire storm was caused by an early Arctic air mass (high pressure) descending south from Canada. The winds blew from the colder, high pressure to the warmer, low pressure to the south and on the west of the Cascades. This caused very strong winds to blow for 1-2 days, crossing mountain ridges at 55 to 75 mph and pouring down west side mountain canyons.

Routine summer thunderstorms had started fires on August 16th, fires which had been fought since then. The Lionshead fire had grown to about 22,000 acres – but then when the winds hit, exploded by over 100,000 acres in about 24 hours. Similarly, Beachie Creek Fire had also started on August 16th and was at only 500 acres when the winds hit – and it too was soon over 100,000 acres (now 190,000 acres) in size.

The cold air mass poured into the valleys and plains – creating an inversion layer of colder air that would not mix with the warmer air above. This trapped the smoke near the ground.

Yesterday – and likely again today – we will see the effects of the weakening inversion. Yesterday, AQI fell to around 250 in the afternoon but as the air mass cooled in the evening, it went back to 468 where it remained overnight. Suspect today’s lower reading will do the same this evening and repeat this pattern until late in the week when a fall weather storm system enters the area, delivering rain and breaking the inversion layer.