Australia’s Labor Party getting Sensible in not Closing Down Coal-Fired Power Plants?

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 8th, 2012

Week in Review

Australia is moving towards a green energy future.  They’ve implemented a carbon tax.  And they’re moving ahead with closing coal-fired power plants and replacing them with renewable energy power plants.  Such as the International solar power company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures’ new 20 megawatt solar power facility.  Soon to be Australia’s largest solar power plant.  Which, at a capacity factor of 18%, will put up to 3.6 megawatts of useful electric power onto the electric grid.  Something that will only add $13 annually to all householder power bills.  And with new solar power plants coming on line like this they can afford to pay to shut down those dirty coal-fired power plants (see Govt breached faith on power stns: Greens by AAP posted 9/5/2012 on the Herald Sun).

Energy Minister Martin Ferguson on Wednesday announced Labor had abandoned plans to pay some coal-fired power generators to shut down, under its so-called contract for closure program…

“The whole point of addressing global warming through an emissions trading scheme is to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuel and to renewable energy,” Senator Milne said.

“Shutting down some of the dirtiest coal-fired power stations was at the heart of what we are trying to do.

Politics aside Australians are lucky Labor abandoned their plans.  Let’s look at just one of those dirty coal-fired power plants.  Say, the Liddell Power Station.  With four (4) 500 MW units that can produce 2,000 megawatts of electric power.  With a capacity factor of about 90% (for a coal-fired power plant) that comes to 1,800 megawatts of useful, reliable power.  So, to shut down the Liddell Power Station you would need 500 of the Fotowatio Renewable Ventures’ new 20 megawatt solar power facilities.  Which is a lot.  And about 499 more than they are planning to build.  Do you see a potential problem with this plan of closing coal-fired power plants?  To help clarify let’s do the math.  If one of these plants adds $13 annually to all householder power bills 500 plants will add $6,500 annually to all householder power bills.

The problem with green energy is that it can’t produce as much power as coal can.  They may feel good about doing their part to save the planet but in the process they may cause recurring power blackouts as they starve their nation of electric power.  To the point that people may start dying as the diminished electric capacity can’t run the waste water treatment plants.  Their hospitals.  Or their food processing industry.  Not to mention people suffering these rolling blackouts in their homes.  Spoiling the food in their refrigerators.  Their sewers backing up raw sewage because there is no electricity to run their sump pumps.  And people unable to run their home medical devices.

Saying you want to save the planet may make you feel good.  It may even impress your friends.  But advanced countries need electric power for the necessities of life.  Beyond relaxing in your air conditioning.  Watching television.  Or charging your battery for your smartphone.  Saying you want to replace coal with renewable energies is one thing.  But doing it is another.  Because we consume a lot of electric power.  Which is why we turned to coal in the first place.  Because coal is a high-density energy source.  A little of it goes a long why.  Which is why one coal-fired power plant can produce 1800 megawatts of electric power while a nation’s largest solar power plant can only produce 3.6 megawatts of useful electric power.  Coal can and will take care of us.  Something solar power simply can’t do.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

China has Severe Inequality and the Worst Public Toilets in all of Asia

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 8th, 2012

Week in Review

The Left believes the government can make capitalism better.  And fairer.  In the Eighties they liked to point to Japan.  And the incredible economic growth they had thanks to government partnering with business.  Before their deflationary spiral and their Lost Decade.  Thanks to all that government partnering with business.  But that was yesterday’s news.  Today they like to point at the economic juggernaut that is China.  And say, “See?  That’s what strong government can do.”  For they believe China can get things done because they don’t have to deal with that pesky democracy.  All of those elections.   And being answerable to the people.  In China the government rules.  And the people quake in their boots.  Which lets China get things done.  And make a better society for all Chinese (see The forbidden public toilets of Beijing by Justin Rowlatt posted 9/8/2012 on BBC News Magazine).

Jeff Sun is the scion of one of China’s new rich and the founder of the “China Super Car Club”. He has got so many he cannot even remember them all…

We met Jeff while reporting on the yawning chasms of inequality that have opened up in Chinese society.

We filmed in some of the poorest communities I have ever visited – Chinese villages where no-one has ever owned a car and where they still till their fields using a single donkey, shared between dozens of farmers.

A better society for all Chinese?  Granted there are those on the Left who would love to see a world where no one owned a car.  But one donkey shared between dozens of farmers?  That doesn’t sound like a fairer society.  Not when there are rich people elsewhere who have so many cars that they can’t remember them all.  So apparently this state-capitalism (or as they say in China, communism) isn’t as egalitarian as the Left would like to believe.  For in America there is more capitalism than communism.  And yet American farmers don’t share donkeys.  No.  In America farmers own their own tractors.  Which seems to be a bit more egalitarian than communist China.  But it gets worse.

The journalists’ rule of thumb is that you cannot report the so-called three Ts – Tiananmen, Taiwan or Tibet.

We inadvertently discovered a fourth T.

In an article in the country’s English language newspaper, China Daily, I came across an editorial featuring stinging criticism of China from the WTO. Not the World Trade Organisation, this was the less well-known World Toilet Organisation.

This WTO had ranked China as having the worst public toilets in all Asia. The paper explained how, in response, Beijing had introduced rigorous new hygiene standards – now no more than two flies are now allowed in any public toilet.

The paper was in no doubt about the importance of the issue. “Clean public toilets are the symbol of a civilized society,” it thundered. The controversy made me chuckle and I mentioned to our government minder that I wanted to cover this storm in a toilet bowl.

It was Mr Chen’s job to ensure we did not break any reporting rules. He had been a cheerful, relaxed companion throughout our three-week journey, but now his face darkened.

“I do not think that would be a good idea,” he said gravely…

Mr Chen vanished for a few moments. When he returned his manner was forbidding.

“I am sorry Justin but I have to tell you cannot report this story at all.”

The human rights issue of Tiananmen, Taiwan or Tibet may be a sore spot for China as well as the liberals who so admire their way of governing.  But the worst public toilets in all Asia?  That affects everyone.  At least those who have to drop trou in their busy day away from home.  Not to mention the tourists.  The Chinese government may not know a good, quality public toilet but people traveling to their country no doubt do.  Oh the shame.  Oh the humanity.  Oh the inequality.  No wonder the sensors will allow journalists to report about the severe inequality in Chinese society.  For what is a village of farmers having to share one donkey compared to embarrassing public toilets?  For we all know every country judges another by the quality of their public toilets.  For few things are so sacred, so personal, as copping a squat when out on the town.

And this is the governing style the Left would have the US follow.  For it is more egalitarian.  Even though the masses must use the worse public toilets in all of Asia while the new Chinese rich no doubt enjoy a squat on the finest porcelain known to mankind.  And probably follow that up with a refreshing bidet cleansing.  No.  This isn’t equality.  This is a toilet aristocracy.  Which simply doesn’t exist under laissez faire capitalism.  Where going to the toilet in public isn’t a privilege.  It’s just so expected in capitalist societies that it is taken for granted.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Students in the US and the UK enroll in the Easy Degree Programs instead of Math and Science to have more Fun at University

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 8th, 2012

Week in Review

The liberal Democrats want to provide a college degree for everyone.  They want cheap student loans.  And more money spent on grants.  Anything and everything to increase the number of kids going on to college.  There is only one problem.  They are going to college.  But few are learning anything worthwhile (see We must shift science out of the geek ghetto by Liz Truss posted 9/3/2012 on The Telegraph).

Planes and trains will help deliver prosperity, but brains are the trump card…

Scientific and technical skills top the global league; maths graduates command the highest salaries, closely followed by engineers and computer scientists. But in Britain the message isn’t getting through – especially at school, where scientific expertise is seen as specialist and difficult. The vast majority of children drop any study of science at 16.

This contrasts with emerging economies such as India, where science is a mass aspiration… Young Indians don’t aspire to be pop singers or football stars, but computer engineers or technicians…

One of the underlying problems is that students in the US and UK often do not persevere in science. In the US, 40 per cent of students taking science and engineering switch their major or drop out, recognising that students achieve higher grades in arts subjects for less work. In the UK, students drop science even earlier. Evidence suggests that the level required in science and maths A-levels has been up to two grades tougher than in communication studies or sociology. Why risk doing a harder subject and getting a worse mark..?

In Japan, 85 per cent of students achieve the equivalent of maths A-level…

Indian students study maths and science for twice as long each week at high school as their British or American counterparts. It is not surprising that this hard work builds up the appetite to take science to a higher level…

Germany managed to transform its approach in 10 years…

Standards were yanked up and it was understood that teachers and students would have to work longer and harder. Instead of ending school at lunchtime, German children often stay from 7am until 4pm or 5pm. By 2009, results had improved significantly and overtaken the UK, which was ominously described by Pisa as having “stagnated at best”.

Occupy Wall Street was full of people with college degrees that couldn’t find work.  They incurred a lot of student loan debt because people told them that a college degree was a guarantee to a better and more well-paid future.  Only no one told them that it made a difference what that college degree was in.  Universities gave out a lot of expensive albeit worthless liberal arts and social science degrees.  Those easy ones with few math and science requirements.  Because it was easier to admit students for the easier degrees.  And colleges need students to pay their faculty those generous pay and benefits.  As well as all those campus workers.  So they count on large government subsidies.  And cheap student loans to bury students in debt to get a degree that few businesses will hire them for.  Because the key to those cushy jobs in our colleges is filling those classrooms.  It doesn’t matter what they learn they just have to pay to sit in those classrooms.

Of course everything people told these kids was wrong.  But do they care?  They just go after the next batch of graduating high school seniors.  Who are eager to go to college.  But often times more for the fun than the learning.  And our educators don’t care about the lives they may destroy by giving these kids the kind of debt their degrees can’t repay.  And the Left’s answer to this?  More federal jobs.  Which people joke are jobs for the unemployable.  Like those graduating with those worthless degrees.  So a lot of new government jobs help to feed the system.  When there is enough economic activity in the private sector to pay the taxes to support these bloated public sector bureaucracies, that is.

So is there a method to this madness?  Worthless jobs for worthless degrees?  Of course there is.  It helps to expand the growth of government.  When young graduates with worthless degrees get cushy federal jobs they of course vote Democrat.  Which is the ultimate goal of the federal government-public university relationship.  You scratch my back and I’ll scratch your back.  So the universities teach students about the evils of capitalism and the urgency of global warming.  And the government hires these people.  To fill the jobs of the expanding federal government.  That interferes ever further into the private sector.  The universities and the government each get what they want.  When there is enough economic activity in the private sector to pay the taxes to support these bloated public sector bureaucracies, that is.  When there isn’t they occupy Wall Street and complain about the corporations that won’t hire them.  Instead of the education system that ripped them off.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Australia to build 20 Megawatt Solar Farm in Canberra that may Provide 3.6 Megawatts of Useful Electric Power

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 8th, 2012

Week in Review

Australia is working hard to save the planet.  They’re building a new solar farm that will be the biggest in all of Australia.  Allowing the environmentalists to feel good.  But it will do little if anything (see Canberra to get Aust’s biggest solar farm posted 9/5/2012 on 9NEWS).

International solar power company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) will construct and operate the 20 megawatt facility, the ACT Government announced on Wednesday…

ACT Environment Minister Simon Corbell said the solar farm would be able to power 4400 more Canberra homes with only a $13 annual increase to all householder power bills.

Canberra, Australia, is located at about 35° south latitude.  Which puts it between the Tropic of Cancer and the Antarctic Circle.  So the sun never gets directly overhead.  The Tropic of Capricorn at about 23° south latitude (above Canberra) being the cutoff point for that.  Which means Canberra gets about 6 hours or less of sunshine during the months of May, June and July.  The month of December sees about 9.4 hours of sunshine each day.  On average their mean daily sunshine is approximately 32.1% each year (about 7.7 hours of sunshine out of the 24-hour day).  According to the same website linked to above their mean number of clear days averages to about 27.5% each year.

When you factored these together (as well as blowing dirt, bird droppings, etc.) you can understand why the capacity factor for solar power is only about 18% of the total possible output over a period of time.  So that 20 megawatt rated solar power plant may only provide about 3.6 megawatts of useful electric power.  Which would be the equivalent of power for maybe 300 homes (with a 100 amp service at 240 volts).

Their claim of powering 4400 homes is questionable.  If you divide that 20 megawatts by 4400 homes and then divide that number by 120 volts you get 37.88 amps.  Which is just over two fully loaded 20-amp circuits.  Or just over three fully loaded 15-amp circuits.  Take a look in your electric panel in your house and see what that will get you.  If you have a typical panel you probably have 20 circuits.  Divided up between 15-amp and 20-amp circuits.  With maybe a 2-pole breaker (240V) for an electric stove or central air conditioning.  So that 37.88 amps at 120 volts isn’t going to power a lot in anyone’s house.

This new power plant will add to the electric grid during those few daylight hours.  But it will be all fossil fuel-powered plants powering these homes once the sun sets.  Unless they add a lot of equipment to store excess power when the sun does shine to use when it doesn’t shine.  But if a typical house uses more than 37.88 amps at 120 volts (or 18.94 amps at 240 volts) there probably will be no excess power to store.  Meaning this new solar power plant will have little impact on the electric grid.  It will just cost the electrical consumer more.  While making little if any impact to the carbon footprint of their fossil fuel-powered plants.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Liberals attack Christians, God and Israel but are Silent on the ongoing War on Women all around Israel

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 8th, 2012

Week in Review

At the recent Democrat National Convention the speakers said most emphatically that there is a war on women.  That Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan hate women.  Want to make women pay for their own birth control.  And won’t let women have any more abortions.  As well as deny them health care, an education, take away their right to vote and a host of other vile, nasty things.  Sad, really.  Can you imagine anyone oppressing women as much as Republican candidates for office?  The sad truth is yes.  For throughout the world there are women truly suffering discrimination (see Young Iraqis face religious fashion crackdown by LARA JAKES, Associated Press, posted 9/3/2012 on Yahoo! News).

A new culture rift is emerging in Iraq, as young women replace shapeless cover-ups with ankle-baring skirts and tight blouses, while men strut around in revealing slacks and spiky haircuts. The relatively skimpy styles have prompted Islamic clerics in at least two Iraqi cities to mobilize local security guards as a “fashion police” in the name of protecting religious values…

This is a conflict playing out across the Arab world, where conservative Islamic societies grapple with the effects of Western influence, especially the most obvious — the way their young choose to dress.

The violations of old Iraqi norms have grown especially egregious, religious officials say, since the Aug. 20 end of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month. In the last two weeks, posters and banners have been hanging along the streets of Kazimiyah, sternly reminding women to wear an abaya — a long, loose black cloak that covers the body from shoulders to feet.

A similar warning came from Diwaniyah, a Shiite city about 130 kilometers (80 miles) south of the capital, where some posters have painted a red X over pictures of women wearing pants. Other banners praise women who keep their hair fully covered beneath a headscarf.

Religious officials speculate young Iraqis got carried away in celebrating the end of Ramadan and now need to be reined in…

“Legs can be seen, there are low-cut shirts,” Jawad lamented. “And all, very, very tight. I think these Iraqis who are wearing these things have come back from Syria, Dubai and Egypt. They probably spent too much time in nightclubs. The families in Kazimiyah are conservative. These young people — nobody can control them. They should be given freedoms, but they should know their limits.”

Several young adults strolling the Kazimiyah gold market on Sunday accused the religious class of trying to pull Iraq back to the dark ages, a sentiment that human rights activist Hana Adwar echoed.

The women who put forth this Republican war on women are not fans of Christianity.  What with their moralizing.  And opposition to abortion.  Especially the Catholics.  Oh, they hate the Catholics.  Which is why they put mandatory birth control (including the morning after abortion pill) into Obamacare.  Forcing Catholics to go against their conscience to comply with the new health care law.  Yet Catholics don’t have a problem with women wearing pants.  Or showing a little ankle.  Which is a lot more than can be said for other religions.

Israel is a progressive democracy in the Middle East.  It is actually a tourist destination of the LGBT community.  Yet it is the other religion in the area that gets more tolerance from the Left in America.  Not the uber tolerant Israel.  Because of those moralizing Judeo-Christian values.  The bedrock of the American republic.  As all the Founding Fathers believed deeply in religion.  Even that possible atheist.  Thomas Jefferson.  But the Left hates Judeo-Christian values.  Because who’s to say what’s right and wrong?  And who is to deny a woman’s right to have casual sex?  So they always attack Christianity in America.  Saying Christians want to drag women back to the Dark Ages.  Yet not a peep about that other religion.  One that you could make a better argument about their wanting to drag women back to the Dark Ages.  Or simply keeping them in the Dark Ages.  Why?  Because in that other religion there is an extreme element that shares the Left’s hatred of Christianity.

You could see this on full display at the Democrat National Convention.  They had revised the Democrat platform to remove God.  And to remove things about Israel.  Like recognizing that Jerusalem is and always will be the capital.  Which drew a lot of media attention.  Sending Democrats scrambling to insist they are not godless people.  So in a televised process they proposed an amendment to put God and Jerusalem back into the platform.  A voice vote sounded 50-50 or slightly against putting these back in.  After three attempts to get two-thirds of the delegates to vote ‘yea’ and failing the chair read from the teleprompter and said, “In the opinion of the chair, two-thirds have voted in the affirmative.”  And the convention hall booed.  Because the majority appeared to have voted to keep god and Jerusalem out of the platform.

But not a peep about that other religion.  Just attacks and boos for God and Israel.  And our Judeo-Christian values.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Grizzly Child Murders not connected to Drug Crime but to Drug Use

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 8th, 2012

Week in Review

One argument for the decriminalization of drugs is that it will reduce violent crime.  Because a lot of violent crime is connected to the illicit drug trade.  So decriminalizing drugs would make more crime-free cities.  That would be a good thing.  A very good thing.  But is there a downside to decriminalizing drugs?  For if people want to get high in their own house isn’t that a victimless crime to begin with?  And by dropping the ‘crime’ from ‘victimless crime’ drug use would just be victimless, yes?  So how could anything be bad that has no victims?  I mean, it’s not like we’re hurting children when adults use drugs (see Two Grisly Child Murders Prompt PCP Crackdown in New Jersey by CHRISTINA NG posted 9/7/2012 on ABC News).

Authorities in New Jersey are cracking down on PCP, a hallucinogenic drug that has been involved in two grisly murders of children in less than two weeks in the crime-ridden city of Camden, N.J…

“Violent behavior with PCP, that’s nothing new,” Police Chief Scott Thomson said. “It’s happening on a daily basis in Philadelphia and urban centers all over the country. But what has us concerned is the attacks on small children…Is something being added [to the PCP]..?”

Osvaldo Rivera, 31, told police that he smoked “wet,” a combination of PCP and pot before he allegedly slit the throats of a 6-year-old boy and his 12-year-old sister in the middle of the night in their Camden, N.J., home on Sept. 2…

On Aug. 22, authorities believe Chevonne Thomas was smoking wet before beheading her 2-year-old son Zahree in Camden…

“You’ve got paranoia, anxiety, delusional behavior, hallucinations and then you add to that a disconnect between the mind and body so the person doesn’t feel pain and can behave as if they have superhuman strength,” Jason Laughlin, spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, told ABCNews.com. “The consequences can be dire…”

The effect of the drug mimics the effects of schizophrenia, including hallucinations, extreme stress, delusions and disordered thinking, according to NIDA…

PCP can even do permanent damage.

“If somebody is vulnerable, it would be possible for somebody to smoke it once or twice and develop psychosis that could last months, years or could not be resolved,” Galynker said. “It makes people psychotic and I don’t understand why anyone would ever use it.”

Apparently we are hurting children when adults use drugs.  Sometimes through neglect.  Sometimes by setting a bad example that draws them into the world of drug use at a young age.  And sometimes by killing them.  The people that do are obviously out of their right minds.  And it is probable that their drug use put them out of their right mind.  Which is a salient point.  These children did not die because of the criminal activity associated with these drugs.  They died because of the effects of taking these drugs.  Which would have happened even if these drugs weren’t illegal.  And if some people did this after using drugs it is likely that more people will do these things when there are more people taking drugs.  Which would probably happen if we decriminalize them.

If one smoked a combination of PCP and pot one would have to assume that one smoked marijuana at one time without PCP.  So one drug was probably a gateway to the other drug.  Now with people saying marijuana is so harmless it is probably less harmless than PCP.  And therefore the gateway drug to PCP.  One could even go further to suggest that without ever having used the gateway drug (marijuana) that it is unlikely that someone would experiment with drugs for the first time with something as powerful as PCP.

So there are strong arguments against decriminalizing drugs.  Of course some will counter that it’s not right to condemn all drug users because of the actions of a few.  We don’t bring back prohibition because some drunks beat their wives or cause a fatal car accidents.  Which is a good point.  But here’s a better point.  Alcohol can make you a stupid drunk.  But it won’t make you psychotic.  And when you’re drunk out of your mind you don’t get superhuman strength.  Often times you actually regress to childhood and travel on your hands and knees. So there is a difference between being falling-down drunk and slashing throat-high on PCP.  One is clearly more dangerous than the other.  Finally, who are the people who most want to decriminalize drugs?  Apart from the addicts?  The same people we make wait until they are 21 to drink.  Teenagers and young adults who have a propensity to make bad decisions.  So you know that this is yet one more bad decision from those of us who are least responsible.

Interestingly, we have raised the drinking age for teenagers and young adults but not the voting age.  In fact, there are some who want to lower the voting age further.  Those on the Left, of course.  Who need more people who don’t know any better to vote for them.  Because the older and more responsible people get the more they tend to vote conservative.  Just an interesting side note.  Perhaps we should counter their argument (to lower the voting age) with a simple question.  Do they also want to lower the drinking age?  If not, why not?  It would be entertaining to hear them tap-dance their way around that answer.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,