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December 12, 2019

Comments

Seconded. I'd never heard of this Peter Schjeldahl, but that is a beautiful piece.

Seconded. I'd never heard of this Peter Schjeldahl, but that is a beautiful piece.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/woman-says-she-ran-over-girl-because-she-looked-mexican-according-to-police

I know what filthy vermin subhuman trump conservative republicans look like, too.

They look like all other republicans and conservatives.

They smell bad too.

Not one of my leftwing links— this is just someone explaining why he thinks Trump has a permanent hold on the Republican Party.

https://thebulwark.com/trump-is-forever/

Found by way of Robert Wright’s site, which I should read more often.

The biggest impediment to Trump Is Forever is simply the fact that his mental deterioration seems to be accelerating.

I suspect that, in 3-4 years, making sense of his tweets will become next to impossible. (Those with experience doing psychic reading, etc. will doubtless step in to help.) If all the people who he attacks are no longer in politics, its effectiveness as a tool for intimidation and party discipline diminishes.

maybe the question is: what happens to all that stupidity and racism once Trump is no longer its rallying point?

An update of the Stanford global plan for 100% carbon neutral power:
https://phys.org/news/2019-12-country-green-stanford-paths-countries.html
“... To be honest, many of the policymakers and advocates supporting and promoting the Green New Deal don't have a good idea of the details of what the actual system looks like or what the impact of a transition is. It's more an abstract concept. So, we're trying to quantify it and to pin down what one possible system might look like. This work can help fill that void and give countries guidance."

The roadmaps call for the electrification of all energy sectors, for increased energy efficiency leading to reduced energy use, and for the development of wind, water, and solar infrastructure that can supply 80% of all power by 2030 and 100% of all power by 2050. All energy sectors includes electricity; transportation; building heating and cooling; industry; agriculture, forestry, and fishing; and the military. The researchers' modeling suggests that the efficiency of electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles over fossil fuel vehicles, of electrified industry over fossil industry, and of electric heat pumps over fossil heating and cooling, along with the elimination of energy needed for mining, transporting, and refining fossil fuels, could substantially decrease overall energy use.

PDF of the full report available here:
https://www.cell.com/one-earth/fulltext/S2590-3322(19)30225-8

Tell your congressperson.

..., and for the development of wind, water, and solar infrastructure that can supply 80% of all power by 2030 and 100% of all power by 2050.

The more likely outcome is that by 2050 energy sources will be 80% fossil and nuclear.

The more likely outcome is that by 2050 energy sources will be 80% fossil and nuclear.

You hope? If I recall correctly, you have a stake in the fossil fuel industry, which is why (I suppose) you're a libertarian, so that your interests will be protected from regulation.

And you may be right if the current Putin world order continues to strengthen. Fossil fuels and dictators go together like horse and carriage.

As to nuclear energy, that's something that we need to continue to try to fix and rethink.

"The more likely outcome is that by 2050 energy sources will be 80% fossil and nuclear."

So, if the negative externalities of your vision, myopic as it is, not that I completely disagree with the nuclear option, murders millions of human beings, and cause millions of others around the globe unspeakable misery, even in your own pigfucking state pf Texas, shall you post your address here so we may pay a visit to you, Charles, for vicious vengeance against you.

Do you have an algorithm to predict when that will happen? You got it all figured out?

At least McKinneyTexas admits to wanting to take his chances with Mother Nature (apparently the rest of us must as well, at his regulatory, but anti-regulatory will), although he neglected to admit the 200 billion dollars of (hard-earned) taxpayer dollars that may have to be doled out to the predatory, and at the same time parasitical Gulf Coast of Texas and Houston once a decade or so to widen their inadequate swales, eliminate their mold, and, incidentally, cover up the amount of poisons seeping into the area from its conservative fucking corrupt Citizens United petro-chemical industry.

David Bossie.

He needs to kiss his vermin revolutionary conservative goodbye. He will be executed.

He can kiss my ass first. It's all I ask.

The more likely outcome is that by 2050 energy sources will be 80% fossil and nuclear.

How that 80% is distributed between fossil ans nuclear will be rather critical from a global warming perspective.

The issue of disposing of waste from nuclear power wiil have to be dealt with (I incline incline to shoving it into a subduction zone), but it is far less urgent than reducing CO2 production.

If I recall correctly, you have a stake in the fossil fuel industry, ...

The only stake I have is how much it's costing me to stay warm this winter.

..., shall you post your address here so we may pay a visit to you, Charles, for vicious vengeance against you.

So, assault by vigilantes for the crime of making an observation?

Any plan for 100% elimination of fossil fuels won't amount to much unless China, India, Africa, and other developing countries go along with it. And that's pretty unlikely to happen.

And there are physical and economic limitations. The closer you get to 100% renewable, the more it's going to cost.

Real Engineering: California's Renewable Energy Problem (YouTube)

Any plan for 100% elimination of fossil fuels won't amount to much unless China, India, Africa, and other developing countries go along with it.

any plan that eliminates even 50% of FFs will be the kind of thing that will absolutely be shared with the world. there's literally no way any country can do it in a way that no other country would benefit from.

if we find a way to provide 50% of our energy without FFs, it will be a true revolution in energy production and a lot of people will stand to profit from it. if we do it, China and India will jump to come along because doing so will be worth it.

there's money to be made. we should be tripping over own feet to figure out how to do it, not sitting around complacent and dumb.

The observation is harmless.

The outcome not so much. Like Stalin’s observations of crop output in Ukraine.

You have big plans for fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

I presume we will be forced by private actors to participate in your scheme.

if we find a way to provide 50% of our energy without FFs, it will be a true revolution in energy production and a lot of people will stand to profit from it.

Even with the far small level we have achieved, it's already a revolution. To the point that, in a lot of places which don't aleady have extensive FF infrastructure in place, it's alreadycheaper (amortized over a decade or so) to go renewable for anything short of serious heavy industry. Which is to say, for most applications. And it's pretty clear that the technologies are going to get substantially better and cheaper.

Lots of people with big financial interests in extending FFs, of course. To the point of subsidizing new infrastructure even. But, like demograpgic trends in the US, it's obvious to anyone who looks what the future will be.

The more likely outcome is that by 2050 energy sources will be 80% fossil and nuclear.

That is, frankly, delusional.
The real question is whether we transition to renewables fast enough.

if we find a way to provide 50% of our energy without FFs, it will be a true revolution in energy production and a lot of people will stand to profit from it. if we do it, China and India will jump to come along because doing so will be worth it.

China is already, in some respects, way out in front.
https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/photovoltaic-solar-panel-market-size-2019-global-industry-sales-supply-consumption-analysis-and-forecasts-to-2024-2019-04-29

If Jabba-Bonk's successor is a WASP Bolsonaro, the US may go their own way of 'eff the world' on climate even if China, India etc. really get serious on it (or maybe even more so because of it). Local initiatives to punish the use of renewables* (by special taxes or outright bans) could go national. There is (almost) nothing that cannot be turned into a litmus test and/or totem for the cult.

*already existing, justified by either deleterious effects on the fossil fuel industry or by claims that renewables are noxious in multiple ways (spoil the view, cause cancer, withdraw the sunlight from agriculture etc.[I kid you not]).

I apologise for suggesting Charles might be delusional.

This is the real deal:

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/475701-trump-rails-against-windmills-i-never-understood-wind
...“I never understood wind,” Trump said, according to Mediaite. “I know windmills very much, I have studied it better than anybody. I know it is very expensive. They are made in China and Germany mostly, very few made here, almost none, but they are manufactured, tremendous — if you are into this — tremendous fumes and gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right?”
“So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon footprint, fumes are spewing into the air, right spewing, whether it is China or Germany, is going into the air,” the president added...

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

We have successfully managed part one. Part two soon to come (assuming that 'either...or' is replaced with 'first...then'). Don't know about it being peaceful and safe though.

----
Hac in mole Rylehque moraritur - Iä - Cthulhu.
Mortuus est ast somniat usque ad sidera recta.

"You may not have noticed it, amid the flood of bad news about the “Emissions Gap” and the collapse of the COP25 climate conference in Madrid, but over the last few weeks a new narrative about the climate future has emerged, on balance encouraging, at least to an alarmist like me. It is this: As best as we can understand and project the medium- and long-term trajectories of energy use and emissions, the window of possible climate futures is probably narrowing, with both the most optimistic scenarios and the most pessimistic ones seeming, now, less likely."
We’re Getting a Clearer Picture of the Climate Future — and It’s Not as Bad as It Once Looked: For once, the climate news might be better than you thought. It’s certainly better than I’ve thought.

Doesn’t sound very encouraging to me.

The third takeaway is that anyone who sees a world of 3 degrees warming — or even 2.5 degrees — as a positive or happy outcome has a pretty grotesque, or at least deluded, perspective on human suffering. At just two degrees, the U.N. estimates, damages from storms and sea-level rise could grow 100-fold. Cities in South Asia and the Middle East that are today home to many millions of people would be so hot during summer heat waves, scientists have projected, even going outside during the day could mean risking heatstroke or heat death. The number of climate refugees could pass 200 million, according to the U.N., and more than 150 million would die from the impacts of air pollution alone. North of two degrees, of course, the strain accumulates and intensifies, and while some amount of human adaptation to these forces is inevitable, the scale of adaptation required at even two degrees begins to seem close to impossible.

The fourth is that these findings do not, actually, make it look easier to get to “safe” levels of warming — say 1.5 degrees, or even, for that matter, 2. All future emissions paths are charted from the present forward, of course, not from some projected scenario backward. And the state of things is in the present tense is really quite dire — new emissions records every year. To stay safely below 2 degrees, we would still need to roughly halve our carbon output by 2030 and zero it out entirely by 2075, as the U.N. warned last October in its “Doomsday” report. ...

And tends to confirm my view that the coming election is critical in terms of climate policy.

"In a remarkable essay last week titled, “We’re Getting a Clearer Picture of the Climate Future — and It’s Not as Bad as It Once Looked,” David Wallace-Wells of New York Magazine wrote, “the climate news might be better than you thought. It’s certainly better than I’ve thought.” The essay was remarkable because Wells, a self-described “alarmist,” is also the author of The Uninhabitable Earth, which describes an apocalyptic vision of the future, dominated by “elements of climate chaos.”"
In 2020 Climate Science Needs To Hit The Reset Button, Part One

To be clear, the IEA report only measured emissions from energy use, which is not at all the whole picture when it comes to emissions. RCP stands for “representative concentration pathways,” and theoretically climate feedback loops and other natural processes could deliver those carbon concentrations even if coal use fails to grow at the predicted rate....

There is nothing theoretical about the feedback loops any more.
Just take a glance at Siberia.

with both the most optimistic scenarios and the most pessimistic ones seeming, now, less likely."

yay

The grifter grifted:
https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/23/trump-campaign-compete-against-groups-money-089454

I hope this isn't too shocking.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/12/23/newly-revealed-emails-show-why-trump-should-fear-real-senate-trial/

It's probably just a weird coincidence.

The grifter grifted

As ye sow, so shall you reap.

Must be particularly irritating for him that, regardless of whether the other groups do anything to help the campaign, they keep the money from being available for the Trump family to siphon off.

From time to time in the past, someone on the right has lamented the way their voters are so easily exploited by the grifters in their midst. But in the Trump era, such protestations have become pointless. If there’s anything Trump has proven, it’s that the conservative rank and file are not just easily hoodwinked; they’re practically begging for you to take their money.

They didn’t just elect America’s biggest con artist, the man who created Trump University and the Trump Network and the Trump Institute and the Trump Foundation and all his other scams. They rallied behind him with an absolutely rapturous fervor, long after everyone understood exactly what he is. They cheer every lie he tells them, repeat every bizarre argument he makes and treat him like a demigod walking amongst us. If these suckers aren’t asking to be separated from their money, who could be?


From cleek's link:

Even the semi-legitimate ones are essentially pulling a scam. Some of these groups do indeed spend a portion of their contributions on pro-Trump advertising, but it’s only after they pay hefty fees to the consultants who set up the group in the first place.

Makers and takers!

I found this really, really fascinating. For instance:

This debate is remarkable because McConnell is unlikely to be making the key decisions about the shape of a Senate trial. The contours of the trial will be set by rules dating to the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, in 1868. Those rules leave answers to such questions as whether witnesses will appear, and when the trial may be adjourned, to the chief justice of the United States, John G. Roberts Jr., who — as set forward in the Constitution — presides over the proceedings.

To be sure, senators can pass a special resolution setting rules for Trump’s trial, as they did for President Bill Clinton’s; such a resolution is the subject of last week’s skirmishing. But doing so would require more comity than is evident, as it needs a supermajority of 60 votes and there are just 53 Republican senators. Absent a special resolution, on the questions now causing debate, senators must defer to Roberts — or overrule him, if they dare. [emphasis added]

I, for one, didn't realize that McConnell would need more than a simple majority to fix the rules on witnesses and evidence. By far the most hopeful thing I have read on impeachment in quite a while.

A heartening column, to brighten your Christmas season.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/12/23/christmas-time-means-good-spirits-everyone-even-secular-muslim-like-me/

"Why it matters: It shows how change can happen rapidly and unexpectedly, even in an industry known to move gradually and predictably. With a new decade upon us, let’s look back at the last one’s biggest, most surprising energy changes.

Where it stands: The following five charts show the U.S. Energy Information Administration projections for the future from a decade ago, along with current EIA data to compare those projections with what actually has happened."
The decade that blew up energy predictions: America’s energy sources, like booming oil and crumbling coal, have defied projections and historical precedents over the last decade.

McConnell can override any rule or precedent, including those that require super-majorities, if he has a simple majority (absent actual statute or constitutional language to the contrary). The presiding officer rules that a simple majority is adequate; some member raises a point of order that the presiding officer is wrong; the question is settled by a simple majority vote.

This is how SCOTUS appointments are settled by a simple majority, even though the written rules say you need 60 votes for cloture, and 67 votes to modify the written rules on cloture.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate this?

America’s energy sources, like booming oil and crumbling coal, have defied projections and historical precedents over the last decade.

The Western Interconnect will get approximately 49% of its electricity from low-carbon sources this year, about 41% from renewables. Coal will be about 20% of the mix. Of course, as the population continues to boom, the West has water-related reasons to avoid thermal power plants entirely.

About to go out of town for a few days, may or may not have connection, so:

A very happy Christmas, Hannukah or other applicable holiday to all, and may the new year not be as terrible as it could be (as an old colleague of mine used to say "The secret to happiness is low expectations").

I notice coal's usage is dropping, except for taking away space in America's and England's Christmas stockings from the imported cheeses I use to savor.

Trump wants to lynch the Christmas stockings, instead of just hanging them high for most decent Americans.

Hey, we could witness a second impeachment, if we're lucky. But will it come before martial law, or after?

Count (me in) yer blessings:

https://twitter.com/PodcastTheRide/status/1207478434206638081

Marry Christmas and Happy New Year, as GFTNC notes.

See ya next year, though I'm going to really try for permanent lurking.

It's my gift to y'all.

Marry? A Floydean slip, probably.

Murray Christmas, as they say in Philly (without regard to the film).

The presiding officer rules that a simple majority is adequate; some member raises a point of order that the presiding officer is wrong; the question is settled by a simple majority vote.

aka "The Nuclear Option"

somewhere, Bellmore's chickens are smiling:

On Friday, the Energy Department announced it would keep incandescent and halogen bulbs on the market rather than phasing them out on Jan. 1. The reprieve for old-fashioned lightbulbs affects roughly 3 billion — nearly half — of the bulbs in sockets in U.S. homes.

“If you like your lightbulbs, you can keep your lightbulbs!” the official White House Twitter account posted Saturday. “The Obama Admin tried to limit Americans to buying more-expensive LED bulbs for their homes — but thanks to President @realDonaldTrump, go ahead and decorate your house with whatever lights you want.”

...


Democrats and environmental activists have said Trump is selling out the long-term health of the planet in an attempt to secure short-term political gain. Trump’s lightbulb decision, for example, will boost energy costs by $14 billion a year and generate 38 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, according to consumer group estimates.

I'm sure there's a large overlap between Rump supporters and the people who, long before Rump was president, were purposely using extra electricity on Earth Day. "Conservatives" who don't like to conserve, because liberals. (Someone should make up some kind of law that explains this phenomenon.)

It seems to me that LEDs are now both cheaper and much more reliable than filament bulbs in decorative lighting.

A Merry Christmas to everyone trying not to destroy the environment.

Time to change political mascots from elephants and donkeys to grasshoppers and ants.

Locusts - they stand for freedom!

This is tremendous:
https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/kehinde-wileys-anti-confederate-memorial

Oh, and Happy Christmas, one and all !

It seems to me that LEDs are now both cheaper and much more reliable than filament bulbs in decorative lighting.

They ought to be more reliable. The LED itself has a longer time-to-failure than any of the parts around it. Most LED light bulbs don't fail because of the LED, they fail because the AC-to-DC power converter fails. I have a home automation project from several years ago with a small touch screen with LED backlighting. The backlight LEDs are turned on and off 250 times per second, with the perceived brightness determined by the relative length of the on and off intervals. For some reason last year I did a back of the envelope estimate; those LEDs have been turned on and off something over four billion times.

Happy Christmas or holiday equivalent to all!

I don’t recall this quote from the book:

“I consider him a trump, in the fullest sense of that expressive word.” ...
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/01/06/greta-gerwigs-raw-startling-little-women

Yikes indeed.

A fine movie, btw.

"Trump’s lightbulb decision, for example, will boost energy costs by $14 billion a year and generate 38 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, according to consumer group estimates."

Perhaps. But, on the other hand, the more energy-efficient devices are, the more people will use them. Thus, at least in part, offsetting the gains in less energy use.

"The growing evidence that low-cost efficiency often leads to faster energy growth was recently considered by both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency. They concluded that energy savings associated with new, more energy efficient technologies were likely to result in significant “rebounds,” or increases, in energy consumption. This means that very significant percentages of energy savings will be lost to increased energy consumption."
The Problem With Energy Efficiency

I have one word for you, young man.

Yes sir.

Just one word. That word is ...

Yes sir?

Candles. Candles are the future.

What about the fumes, sir?

Scented, my dear boy. Now go forth.

Hmmm ... fire danger?

Deregulate the fire codes, son, and death by immolation will be considered freedom of choice. And speech. The highest good. You think a siren and and a dalmation make these gummint bureaucrats experts?

Let it burn.


But, on the other hand, the more energy-efficient devices are, the more people will use them.

oh contrarianism... when will you ever help ?

the more energy-efficient devices are, the more people will use them.

Do you have any evidence for this? Any evidence at all?

Because, in my experience, people don't generally give a second thought to how energy-efficient things are in daily life. When they are buying something? Especially something major? Sure. But when using it? No. They certainly don't say to themselves: "Wow, this is so efficient that I can use it lots more."

But, on the other hand, the more energy-efficient devices are, the more people will use them.

Seven times as much ?

And how do we drive two cars at the same time ?

I mean, in the long term, you aren’t wrong. When the marginal cost of most energy production is zero (wind and solar), we will be able to do economically all kinds of stuff which we can’t do now.

we could always do something like this:

  • charge more for sources of energy whose use we want to discourage.
  • charge less for sources of energy whose use we want to encourage.

all of this assuming that there are sources of energy whose use we want to encourage or discourage, for reasons above and beyond simply making things go. which is, I think, a safe assumption.

Merry Christmas / Chanukah / Diwali / whatever form of creating light in a dark season you personally observe, if any, everyone.

A good day here chez russell. I got Fernand Braudel's "Civilization and Capitalism", a new Small's Jazz Club T-shirt, "Jazz Bata" by Chucho Valdes, and a belt. Wife got some new choral music, some new and improved cooking implements, and a box of maple sugar candy. Doing family and friends stuff, singing and eating and general merriment. A nice holiday. Hope you all had / are having a great holiday as well.

All of the bullshit will continue until it can't anymore. in the meantime, let's all do our best to not let it get us down, and we'll plan on fixing whatever we can when the brain fever breaks, whenever that is.

I'm having a lovely, if quiet, Christmas, and am hoping that everyone's holiday (whatever you celebrate!) is just the way you like it!

I'm so grateful for so many things that are happening in my immediate range of family and friends. I wish all of it for everyone!

All of the bullshit will continue until it can't anymore. in the meantime, let's all do our best to not let it get us down, and we'll plan on fixing whatever we can when the brain fever breaks, whenever that is.

Yes, this.

Happy holidays, everyone, and be strong!

Because, in my experience, people don't generally give a second thought to how energy-efficient things are in daily life

i just now calculated that it costs me $0.006 per hour to run a 60W light bulb - 6/10ths of a cent. but if electricity got 10x cheaper or bulbs got 10x more efficient, i wouldn't turn on more lights... because i don't need any more light than i'm already using.

it's already cheap enough that i don't notice the cost, even in aggregate. i know some people do notice, and they could really use more efficiency and less cost. but it wouldn't matter much to me. my use is already at its max because i don't need any more.

Encourage/discourage...

It’s not difficult:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/25/2020-set-to-be-year-of-the-electric-car-say-industry-analysts
New European Union rules come into force on 1 January that will heavily penalise carmakers if average carbon dioxide emissions from the cars they sell rise above 95g per kilometre. If carmakers exceed that limit, they will have to pay a fine of €95 (£79) for every gram over the target, multiplied by the total number of cars they sell.

The excess emissions bill would have been £28.6bn on 2018 sales figures, according to analysis by the automotive consultancy Jato Dynamics, illustrating the extent of the change required by carmakers over a short period of time. Jato analyst Felipe Muñoz said there will still be large fines, as companies keep selling profitable internal combustion engine cars and struggle to bring down EV prices to parity with their fossil-fuel peers.

“It is very difficult for carmakers to change manufacturing infrastructure in such a short period of time,” Muñoz said.

However, some analysts take a more sceptical view of the industry that spawned the Dieselgate scandal, in which Volkswagen and Daimler were shown to have deliberately cheated emissions regulations. Carmakers successfully lobbied for a rule that means cars emitting less than 50g of carbon dioxide per kilometre are eligible for so-called super-credits, a controversial policy which means that every electric vehicle sold counts as two cars. That makes it easier for carmakers to meet their targets, even if average emissions from their cars are actually higher than the rules stipulate....

"New European Union rules come into force on 1 January that will heavily penalise carmakers if average carbon dioxide emissions from the cars they sell rise above 95g per kilometre."

I think I heard a sigh of relief from the UK auto industry.

Well, soon they will have only their domestic market left, so there'll also be an end to the trouble of building different cars for left- and right-hand-traffic.

On the contrary, UK volume car manufacturing is facing extinction, as it’s likely to face tariffs from its largest export market.

The decision of Tesla to ignore the UK as a location for its new factory is one symptom of that; the lack of any plans for mass battery manufacturing (in sharp contrast to the dozen or so plants in the works across Europe) another.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/your-electric-car-and-vegetarian-diet-are-pointless-virtue-signalling-in-fighting-climate-change-2019-12-26?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Some will hate this and some will love it.

Then, when they get to the last paragraph, the hating and loving somes will abruptly switch sides.

Try not to hurt yourselves.

I own Tesla stock, from a lower price, for a trade (when in asshole Rome, etc. ...) though the company would be better served if someone cut Elon Musk's tongue out of his head (and toss it into the gigantic pile of bullshit-emitting severed tongues America requires to survive)

But this is what I'm seeing more frequently from so-called "analysts" (predatory fucking Americans) and I don't ever remember this phenomenon occurring in previous market cycles to this extent, and I've been investing since 1979.

Read the sub-headline and see if you can suss out what I'm talking about:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesla-stock-continues-record-setting-run-after-analyst-raises-price-target-by-100-2019-12-26?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

I call it the Kudlowian 12-step blowing bubbles in the kool-aid cure.

I don’t have too much of a problem with the Lamborghini article - his larger conclusion is essentially correct, and more or less what I’ve been arguing here.
He’s wrong about electric cars (and other individual decisions to switch to renewables), though. That has helped create a market and helped jump start technologies which are available now, rather than in a few years time after government gets its act together.
And in any event, in three or four years time, electric vehicles are going to be cheaper than their direct ICE equivalents, which is going to see a very rapid change in manufacturing and energy demand.

Musing further on Charles’ comments above, it's surprising just how reactionary US libertarians appear to be.

Did autocorrect really change Lomborg to Lamborghini. ??

Snarky.

I don't ever remember this phenomenon occurring in previous market cycles to this extent

I follow US biotechs in a desultory manner, and this sort of thing seems quite familiar since more or less forever.

You mean, "I'm coming out with a table-pounding buy with both hands recommendation at $429/share because my price target is $379/share"?

It's the new trickle down theory of investing.

It's a variation of what's happened before (Will Rogers: "Buy em if they go up, if they don't go up, don't buy em"), but I've never seen it expressed with such specific incoherence before.

As I said, it's Kudlowian, the type of desperate optimism expressed by recovering drug and alcohol addicts.

He’s wrong about electric cars (and other individual decisions to switch to renewables), though. That has helped create a market and helped jump start technologies which are available now, rather than in a few years time after government gets its act together

That's the flaw in the "one person's actions aren't big enough to make a difference" argument. It fails to recognize that multiple "one person" actions end up creating conditions that do make a difference. Government action isn't the only path to collective action. That, after all, is the whole idea behind how markets work.

I'm neither a mod nor a rocker, I'm a mocker.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/nyc-anti-semitic-attacks-holidays

Attacks ordered by the un-elected, self-proclaimed King of the Jews to his right-wing filth republican base, who will blame the attacks on George Soros, using sweet diversionary and always eminently successful (see historical body counts) Hitlerian illogic:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-tweets-quote-calling-him-the-second-coming-of-god-to-jews-in-israel/

Buy Trump at a million dollars a share. My price target, which is affixed to his back, is zero, but he's a bargain up here.

Yeah, back to incandescent light bulbs and internal combustion engines. Because we just luurve how efficient and reliable they are!

While they're at it, why aren't the grumpy old pigheads demanding a return to CRT computer monitors and TVs instead of these newfangled 'flatscreen' things?

Just amazing how CRTs went from 'ubiquitous' to 'what are these strange antiques?' in just a few years. It gives one hope, it does.


Just amazing how CRTs went from 'ubiquitous' to 'what are these strange antiques?' in just a few years. It gives one hope, it does.

Partly, the new stuff works better. And partly, to be frank, fashion. There's also the detail that they are far more energy efficient, but that doesn't seem to be a real factor in why people bought them.

Probably a lesson there for those who want more energy efficient cars, etc., etc. Not because you are wrong to want them, but because you need to look at what works to move people's behavior. And, in general, logic is a minor part.

While they're at it, why aren't the grumpy old pigheads demanding a return to CRT computer monitors and TVs instead of these newfangled 'flatscreen' things?

Because once they've watched a football game in high-def on a 65-inch display, there's no going back.

Many years ago when I was doing tech demos for one of the few innovative cable companies, we had a 30-inch high-def CRT monitor Sony had loaned us. We put it up on a specially-built stand at our shows so people could see it over the folks in front of them. When it was time to put it up there, I rounded up three other people so we had one person on each corner. That sucker was heavy. And deep from the screen to the back of the enclosure. No way you were going to put it on any normal sort of family room furniture and not have it end up on the floor at some point.

Not because you are wrong to want them, but because you need to look at what works to move people's behavior.

With my technology forecasting hat on, I predict that in about ten years there will be a surprising number of small (two-seat) self-driving electric cars sold. To Boomers (perhaps at the insistence of their children), so they can stay in their houses for another decade because the car can get them to the grocery, doctor, etc.

While they're at it, why aren't the grumpy old pigheads demanding a return to...

easy. the liquidation of the incandescent bulb and the larger than bowel movements toilet flush tank were MANDATED by the EVIL GOVERNMENT. FREEDOM!

cheap flat screens, on the other hand, are the creation of the free trade policies market that shipped millions of good paying jobs overseas so we could have cheap stuff. MOAR FREEDOM.

There's also the detail that they are far more energy efficient, but that doesn't seem to be a real factor in why people bought them.

I don’t know. The battery life of a mobile phone with CRT display would be disappointing...

If you compare the cost of operating a small electric car vs. a similar gas-powered car, there's a huge electric advantage, even in places where your home electricity is rather expensive. Not even counting in the repairs of electric motors vs. i.c. monstrosity.

For frequent short trips (home/school, home/store, etc) electric is the clear winner. It just takes a while for the obvious to be obvious, I guess.

CRT laptop? Anyone remember the Kaypro 'luggable'?

The battery life of a mobile phone with CRT display would be disappointing.

my grandfather was an engineer for Corning glass. a couple of times, back in the 70s,i spotted some mini CRT tubes in the back seat of his car. 3"-4".

not sure what happened to those tubes. i assume my uncles made bongs out of them.

I once knew a dude with one of these:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osborne_1

(I also once failed to buy an old Lisa signed by the Woz in a Sunnyvale electronic junk shop back in the 80s...
This place:
https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/04/08/sjm-l-weirdstuff-0408/ )

My son's girlfriend bought a new Nissan Leaf. She says the routine maintenance schedule is a hoot: check the fluid levels and rotate the tires. Longer term, the seldom-used friction components in the brakes are supposed to be good for 150k miles. Replace the 12V battery -- used for the electronics other than the drive train -- every 60 months.

For an oldster not putting many miles on per day, park the car over an induction charging pad in the garage so they don't forget to plug it in.

I keep considering an electric car. But at the moment, the technology (not to mention the infrastructure) looks to be just short of cascade. That is, the point where it goes from only-enthusiasts-have-one to seems-like-everyone-does. And the price plummets while the capabilities take off. So if I hold off just a couple more tears....

Most of us can remember when home/personal computers when thru that. (I'm recalling the late 1990s when my mother, 80 years old and in a nursing home doing rehab for a hip replacement, was bitching about the lack of Internet access there.) I think the next few years will see electric vehicles do the same. Probably with short haul delivery trucks leading the charge -- they seem a prime market: lots of short haul stuff.

The charge (pardon the pun) is being led by the top end of the market.
Tesla already outsells all of the pricey German imports.

Two or three years’ time it will pay the rest of us plebs to switch too.

And yes, commercial vehicles will be a compelling economic proposition too.

I have a hybrid, and won't buy a new car until mine is run into the ground, and by that time (I think) I'll be too old to drive - self-imposed. Speaking of not driving, I'm actually also looking forward to driverless cars, although I don't know anyone else who welcomes them. (Obviously, the technology has to improve, but when it does, and when self-driving becomes mandatory, the accident rate will be amazingly diminished.)

when self-driving becomes mandatory, the accident rate will be amazingly diminished.

If nothing else, we will require a terminology change. Because "accident" won't really be right for that kind of event. ;-)

And efficiency of traffic flow, only part of which will be the result of a reduction in collisions. Cooperative and uncompetitive driving algorithms, shorter following distances, narrower lanes, networked route management. That’ll be some sh1t.

There will still be accidents - the world is not deterministic.
But the hard work on common safety standards has recently started in earnest:
https://www.eetimes.com/a-wave-of-av-safety-standards-to-hit-in-2020/

I expect there will be those who trumpet that you'll have to "pry their steering wheel from their cold, dead fingers".

While rolling-coal, also, too.

It is for such problems that the Jaws Of Life were invented, amirite?

One of the features of Tesla’s always on cameras is the documenting of multiple idiocies perpetrated by those who simply can’t accept the existence of vehicles which don’t run on gasoline.... from paint vandalism, futile attempts to race off traffic lights and brake testing - all the way to attempts to run them off the road.

So, yes, I think you’re probably right.

From Alan Bennett's always wonderful diaries, this from the end of 2019 on the death of Jonathan Miller:

Ours was a not unrivalrous relationship, with neither particularly generous about the other’s work. Whereas a play or whatever on TV would invariably prompt a tipsy telephone call from Peter Cook with congratulations that one had got away with it yet again, Jonathan and I were less indulgent, tending to ignore each other’s efforts. I never saw one of his operas and I’m not sure he ever saw one of my plays. He did try though, which is more than I did, and en route to the premiere of The History Boys a traffic jam enabled him to abandon the car (and the attempt) in the middle of Waterloo Bridge. Still, I wouldn’t even have tried.

I learned quite early on in our friendship not to discuss what I was working on lest it turn out he knew more about the subject than I did – or seemed to. It was always difficult to tell Jonathan anything, only to remind him of it.

Talking to Jonathan found its way into my work. Mr and Mrs T.S. Eliot saw Beyond the Fringe and said that Jonathan reminded them of Auden, and as such he crops up in the preface to my play The Habit of Art: ‘Wystan was the first person to go to Iceland, did you know that? And Christopher Columbus didn’t discover America. Wystan did.’ That was Jonathan. Now that he’s gone I feel remorse as well as sorrow. But, jokes apart, it was a question of survival. I needed to write. Jonathan needed one to listen.

And on the result of the December 12th election:

13 December. It’s a gang, not a government. Sure, he smells – but you can get used to anything.

my next car, as soon as we save up enough downpayment, will be a Tesla 3. i'm moving on from two Audi A4s and two VWs before that. i do love the way those Audis drive, but there is zero chance i'm paying $80K+ for the electric version.

the T3 comes in under the cost of a new A4, plus i can charge at work for free.

Because "accident" won't really be right for that kind of event.

the software "crash" will move from metaphoric to reality.

"In this video, I explore the data to see who will most likely be the first to release a Full Self Driving feature-complete product to the market. How does Tesla compare to the competition and who has the best approach?"
Tesla VS Waymo - Who Will Win the Race to Full Self Driving? + LiDAR VS Computer Vision (YouTube)

i will not be buying Tesla's "self-driving" package. not this time, probably not ever.

anyone wanting to trust software to drive them around should just look at Boeing's year in software.

I will not be buying Tesla's "self-driving" package. not this time, probably not ever.

anyone wanting to trust software to drive them around should just look at Boeing's year in software.

In the short term, absolutely. Many of us here have way too much experience with software, up close and personal, to want to be anywhere near what will be a really massive beta test. Which is what the early versions will be.

But in time, we'll go there. Only think how many functions in you existing car run of one of the dozens of computer chips it includes. There days, and auto mechanic needs computer skills almost as much as a wrench. Maybe more.

as soon as software can predict an individual human's behavior as well as a human can, i'll trust it to drive me around.

because, no matter howe good your sensors are, reaction speed becomes irrelevant when dealing with large mass and high velocity. if your predictions are wrong, and you've got yourself moving too quickly, you're might just find yourself with too much momentum and no time to deal with it.

I refer you to the link above about safety standards.

Would I take Tesla’s word for it ? No way.
If they demonstrate they can conform to independent standards which are verifiable, perhaps.
Will take a few years, of course.

I can't see self-driving cars being practical other than in some very narrow cases until and unless pretty much all roads and highways are re-engineered. Just to make conditions consistent enough to make them amenable to automation, if nothing else.

Basically, we have to create the conditions for driving to be simple enough that a machine can do it. Which is not a small lift. There are lots of crappy roads out there, they are always in some state of repair or disruption due to their own wear and tear and/or the fact that they share a footprint with lots of other systems - water, sewer, gas, electric. Vehicles share the roads with pedestrians, motorcycles, bicycles, and the occasional stray animal. And self-driving vehicles will be sharing the road with human-driven vehicles for at least another generation.

And, then there's weather.

Creating the conditions for self-driving vehicles to be practical will take significant public investment. And if we are going to make significant public investment, I wish we would spend it on something more like public transportation, and less like baking the practice of everybody driving their own personal vehicle (or having their own personal vehicle drive itself, with them in it) every time they leave the house to go somewhere.

To be honest, I don't really see the point of self-driving vehicles. I can't think of a single upside that can't easily be achieved by other simpler, less expensive means. They just seem like another example of the seductiveness of shiny new gadgets.

Electric vehicles are great, torquey as all get out. Right now they're a niche luxury good, and are likely to stay that way until (a) places and means to recharge them are ubiquitous, and (b) you can buy a good, reliable electric vehicle for less than $20k. That last either means car makers have to build something like that, or else enough people buy the $30K and up kind that there's a significant used car market.

The "affordable" electric vehicles are the Chevy Bolt, which starts at $36K, and the Nissan Leaf, which starts at just below $30K. The entry level Tesla is the Model 3, at $36K.

Median household income in the US is currently about $60K. Which means that, for half of the households in the US, a new EV will cost them at least half of their annual household income. Nobody is going to spend half their annual income to help save the planet.

Technology is fun and interesting, but if we really want to make a dent in the issues that are created by People Driving Cars, we should think about figuring out how to make it possible for people to simply drive less.

Current road conditions and traffic flow, for Boston, on a non-work day.

The big red circles are "critical incidents" - something going on that is likely to have a critical impact on traffic flow. There are something like two dozen of them at the moment, in an area that is maybe a couple of square miles.

Will the self-driving vehicle understand what the guy in the orange vest with the flag is telling it to do?

Best of luck to self-driving vehicles.

The Honda Fit starts at $17.5K. It'll carry four adults in reasonable comfort, and you can fit pretty much anything smaller than a horse in the hatch with the back seats down.

It's the official vehicle of the gigging musician, because it will hold a drum set, vibraphone, PA system, upright bass, tuba, multiple keyboards, or various combinations of the above.

If you play the harp or a Hammond B3, you need something bigger.

If you keep up with oil changes etc., you'll probably get 150-200k miles out of it. Realistic, real-world mpg is probably mid-30's. It's not clear to me that an EV is, net/net, environmentally better than a vehicle that gets mid-30's mpg.

It's even semi-fun to drive.

If America wants to move to electric vehicles in numbers that will actually move the needle on fossil fuel use, car makers need to produce EV's that can compete with something like the Fit.

But if we really, truly want to move the needle on fossil fuel use, we need useful public transportation. Yes, I know that's problematic for folks in rural areas. Most people don't live in rural areas.

Autonomous vehicles, should they come about, will provide public transportation.

Which is why Tesla are attempting to engineer their vehicles to be good for 500k miles.

As far as the price thing is concerned, battery costs are falling fast, and EVs will likely be cheaper than their direct ICE equivalents within five years.

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