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Profile Information

Name: Hunter
Gender: Male
Current location: California
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 37,617

About Me

I'm a very dangerous fellow when I don't know what I'm doing.

Journal Archives

Nice dream... but the math doesn't support it.

Adding even a few hours storage to "free" wind and solar power pushes the the cost per megawatt hour up through the roof.

The current Tesla "Power Wall" stores 13.5 kwhr and costs $5900. Optimistically that's enough to run a small window air conditioner (and nothing else in your home) for about 24 hours.

The basic problem doesn't go away with scale, it's the same for a private home or a regional electric grid. The sun doesn't always shine and the wind doesn't always blow. People off-the-grid tend to buy dirty fossil fuel generators as "backup" to their dream solar and wind systems and end up making a much bigger environmental mess than they would have if they just moved to the city. Urban and high density suburban living can have a surprisingly small environmental footprint.

Germany's ambitious wind and solar program has brought the price of electricity to about 35 cents a kilowatt hour for home and small business users, but it's a sleight of hand because heavy industry is exempt and use coal generated electricity at less than 5 cents a kilowatt hour. The problem is simple, if German industry had to pay for wind and solar energy they couldn't compete in world markets.

In places amicable to pumped hydro storage the cost of storage is about $150-$200 a megawatt hour and the lifetime of the plant is indefinite, provided climate change doesn't dry up the supply of water.

Big Lithium battery plants are about $200 a megawatt hour, and Tesla is aiming for $100, but the lifetime of batteries is limited and this does not include recycling costs. Last I heard, Tesla is claiming their batteries will go 5000 cycles before they reach 80% of their original capacity.

Lead acid batteries cost less initially but I don't know anyone who has had to care for them who doesn't loathe them, not to mention the extreme toxic lead problems they've caused in less developed nations where battery recycling technology is primitive and poisons entire communities.

Batteries become very problematic if they have to be replaced every ten years and stations have to install excess capacity to account for battery degradation.

Here's the thing to remember: None of these costly storage schemes are necessary if you have responsive gas and hydro power systems.

Batteries can compensate for less responsive power systems, but in such cases battery capacities are measured in minutes.

There are some interesting numbers and analysis here:


I'll put this movie on my list. Thank you.

As an aside, although there are no labs developing Kodachrome using the Kodachrome process anymore, there are still a few labs that will develop it in black and white. The color information could conceivably be recovered later by various means since the color information on the film isn't lost, it's just not visible.

There's been some progress in color processing of kodachrome but unlike the original process the color is not stable. Best scan it before the color fades. Some of the chemicals used in the original Kodachrome process are unacceptably toxic or no longer available.

The image will be lost if the film is never developed so it may be a worthwhile to have Kodachrome developed in black and white if you happen to find some never-developed rolls of kodachrome in grandma's closet.

Gun fetishes are a public health hazard just like smoking and drunk driving.

They ought to be treated as such.

Anyone who loves their guns, especially hand guns and assault type weapons has a problem.

For now, the law may not be adequate, but parents and children, spouses and lovers, friends and community can encourage gun fetishists to destroy their weapons, and seek help for whatever problems make them desire these sorts of weapons.

The law will follow, just as it did for drunk driving and smoking.

Gun fetishes are dangerous and disgusting.

I could write the story of my life along Route 66.

Santa Monica to Chicago. My wife and I have made the trip a few times following the old highway as closely as possible. We've lived in Southern California, New Mexico, and Illinois within walking distance of the highway.

My San Francisco great grandparents had a small second home on Route 66 Santa Monica Blvd., Southern California, long before that was any big deal, a place from which my great grandfather could pursue his grand schemes of 20th century dairy, movie, and aeronautical business. Unfortunately for the family wealth my great grandfather knew exactly what the future looked like with factory farms, movies, and aircraft, but he leveraged everything he had and bet on all the wrong players. And then his daughters, my grandma included, fled stuffy San Francisco and went wild in Hollywood, making Route 66 in Santa Monica their home base.

I once had a girlfriend who lived in Santa Monica. I'd been doing some field work out in the desert not far from Route 66 and I was at least two weeks desert filthy when I decided to visit her on a break. I drove to her house "Radar Love" style.

But when I got there I thought maybe we were not that close that I should presume to wake her up before sunrise, so I decided to park on the street and sleep in my car. The Santa Monica Police saw me as some worthless homeless guy and woke me up by throwing me out of my car and smashing my face against the pavement. I was totally Clarke Kent about it so then they realized maybe I was something different, and white, so they picked me up, brushed me off, and were somewhat apologetic, a kinder gentler version of asshole.

Gun fetishes must be denormalized as drunk driving or smoking in the workplace were.

That begins with spouses and lovers, parents and children, friends and community.

We must empower people to reject gun fetishes.

"Honey we love you, but it's us or the guns..."

"No, you don't get to see the grandchildren until you get rid of the guns..."

"Guns. Eeeeewwwww. Bad date. Blocked number."

"Dude, that's fucked up..."

Three-quarters of us can't be bothered to own gun. Most gun owners have one or two they don't think about much, the guns are locked up and come to think of it they haven't been hunting with uncle Joe and the cousins for a few years now. Forty year old guys who wouldn't buy a gun porn magazine at the liquor store any sooner than they'd buy a "just eighteen" porn magazine.

Most new guns are sold to the fetishists, just as most beer is sold to the alcoholics. That's the problem population, that's the gun culture that psychopaths are attracted to, those are the people who keep guns carelessly for burglars to steal or sell their guns to sketchy buyers who let them trickle down into the illegal gun trade.

Gun love is disgusting.

I'm fine with calling them gun fetishists.

Three quarters of us can't be bothered with owning a gun. Most gun owners have one or two locked away somewhere and don't think about them much. Most of us with family hunting traditions can't be bothered to hunt even when we have easy access to the necessary tools. (Frankly I'd rather go to Disneyland. If I'm visiting the forest I'll bring a camera, not a gun.)

The gun industry sells most new guns and ammunition to the fetishists, just as the alcohol industry sells most of its booze to alcoholics, something close to 90% of it.

Gun fetishes are disgusting and a public health hazard. We have to empower family, friends, and community to reject gun fetishes, just as drunk driving and smoking in the workplace were rejected.

The first sign that anybody might be a little "off" is that they want to buy guns for anything other than utilitarian purposes.

Gun fetishes need to be denormalized.

Gun love is disgusting. I have no trouble saying that.

Gun fetishists have much in common with the folks who defend cigarette smoking and drunk driving.

There's no reason to be polite.

The second amendment is bullshit. It has no place in the 21st century.

It's directly comparable to the Three-Fifths Clause of the United States Constitution.

Trouble is once they are "cut off" then what?

Street drugs are easy, or if you've got money, scam providers are easy too. Witness Rush Limbaugh living, or Michael Jackson dead...

How do we reduce harm?

It's not working in the U.S.A. because we usually regard addiction as a moral failing not a medical problem.

In the U.S.A. it seems "hitting bottom" has to be a death or near death experience, whereas in more civilized nations it's just a crappy room, supervision and therapy, and whatever it takes to get you through the day, methadone, a few beers, whatever.

We'd be a much more humane society if we accepted the fact that some people are going to be living at very minimal levels of social functionality, years even, before they can move on to better lives, and that a very small minority will never overcome their addictions, but that it's no reason to wish any hell upon them.

By virtue of our humanity, we all deserve a safe place to simply exist.

Just to make it fair, there ought to be a license to hunt trophy hunters.

Nah, not kill them, unless you are a lion or an elephant or other trophy animal. Trophy animals ought to be privileged with no-limit trophy hunter hunting.

As humans we'd be allowed to hit trophy hunters with tranquilizer darts and tag their ears or something, and post their photos on the internet, as trophies.

Rather like the catch-and-release-unbarbed-hooks requirements for fishing in some places. You get to catch the fish, take the photo and brag about it, but then you release them. You can't eat them, you can't stuff them and hang them on your wall..

Nobody wants to eat trophy hunters anyways. They taste like Viagra. And their heads mounted on the wall would be damned ugly.

There are excellent alternatives to copper for plumbing...

... not so much for household wiring. Aluminum wiring works for large scale projects maintained by professionals, but it proved dangerous in homes, causing many fires. It's possible that modern material sciences, electronics (such as arc-fault circuit interuptors), and low energy LED lighting and other electrical appliances, could make aluminum household wiring viable, but there's a tremendously bad reputation to overcome, along with an expectation that ordinary wall outlets will deliver at least 1.5 kilowatts.

Copper is used in cars too. There's about 150 pounds of copper in pure electric cars like the Tesla, three or four times more copper than a modern fuel powered car uses. Older fuel powered cars used a lot of copper too. They had copper radiators and heater cores, etc..

Modern renewable energy systems tend to use a lot of copper too, requiring more copper per kilowatt hour than conventional power plants.

The sad thing about this U.S. copper mine is that it might be much less destructive to the natural environment than copper mines in places with very few or no environmental regulations.

I often think about what it would take to provide every human on earth with safe comfortable housing. Providing everyone with a big suburban house with copper plumbing and wiring, an electric car in the driveway, and wind turbines on the hill would do unimaginable damage to the earth.

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