Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

Update on devastation from wind and solar power. Catching up on backlog of articles.

Only one of the three Ivanpah towers is burning the wings off birds at the moment this picture was taken in 2013. Photo by James Ulvog.

Only one of the three Ivanpah towers is burning the wings off birds at the moment this picture was taken in 2013. Photo by James Ulvog.

I have a plethora of articles on the wide range of economic, environmental, and biological harm caused by wind and solar power. Will try to get caught up. So much devastation. So little time.

3/2/15 – Coyote Blog – New Business Opportunity: Lolo’s Eagle and Waffles Next to Large Solar Plants – Post points to the following two articles. Those articles plus this headline suggest that if the solar plants can get away with killing eagles and other federally protected migratory birds, then perhaps there is a business opportunity from serving up the carcasses as exotic dishes at a nearby café.

2/18/15 – ReWire – Scores of Birds Killed During Test of The Project in Nevada – During a test on 1/14/15 at the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project outside Tonopah, Nevada, federal biologists counted 130 streamers.

Read more…

Update on Keith Graves sentencing – 2/11/16

Long term housing for Keith Graves. Duration of residence yet to be determined. Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Long term housing for Keith Graves. Duration of residence to be determined on 2/17. Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Now-convicted human trafficker Keith Graves is still scheduled for sentencing on Wednesday, February 17. That is the latest information visible on the federal PACER website.

A presentence investigation report was filed yesterday, 2/10, but is not available on the website. It is not noted as sealed. I don’t know the PACER system well enough to know what that means. Usually when something is posted it is available immediately.

Read more…

Update on the government players in the wide open frontier of space exploration

Cutting edge tech from 1981, above, will update the Saturn V for the new Space Launch System from NASA. Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Cutting edge tech from 1981, above, will update the Saturn V (cutting edge in 1960s) for the new Space Launch System from NASA. Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

The subsidized, politicized government players in the space race are still in the game. A few articles of interest: the directly subsidized ULA approach, the hidden subsidies in the European approach, NASA’s rolling forward the cutting edge Saturn V technology, and China expanding GPS coverage from their country to worldwide.

1/28 – Behind the Black – McCain and Air Force question ULA military arrangement – ULA receives a payment even if there aren’t any launches in a year. This is to give ULA sufficient funds to keep a critical national defense resource open.

I vaguely remember reading that during the Cold War, big defense contracts would be given to one of the major contractors merely because they didn’t have enough work to keep all their production lines open.

While those approaches made sense 10 or 30 years ago, the concept doesn’t work quite so well when there are multiple private companies developing their own launch vehicles and manned capsules.

Read more…

Update on the wide open frontier of private space exploration

CRS6 launch. Photo courtesy of SpaceX.

CRS6 launch. Photo courtesy of SpaceX.

The competition for getting back into space is strong. Very cool.

1/22 – USAF Space and Missile Systems Center – SpaceX Falcon 9 upgrade certified for National Security Space Launches – Upgraded Falcon 9 has been approved for military launches. Gives SpaceX increased opportunities for USAF work.

2/1 – Behind the Black – Another 5 month slip of first Falcon Heavy launch Read more…

Visual illustration of energy foolishness

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

I just learned that Robert Wilson (@CountCarbon) does a huge amount of graphing. (Yeah, yeah, I’m slow to catch up with what’s happening. On the other hand, keeping up with change is the purpose of this blog.)

Here are two of his illustrations that shows the utter foolishness of two specific energy policies: ethanol and solar power.

Ethanol

Question along with graph to help figure out your answer:

corn used in ethanol

Question: Would corn be better used to feed people than cars?

Read more…

Updates from around the Bakken

Check out that beautiful sky. Photo by James Ulvog.

Check out that beautiful sky. Based on the number of storage tanks, there will eventually be far more than four wells on that site.  Photo by James Ulvog.

A few articles of interest to me.

1/18 – Energy Media Group at Bakken.com – 5 oil full job still in demand in 2016 Even with the drop off in drilling, there are five areas in which you can still find a job if you have the skill sets.

Article says those jobs are drivers with CDL, operators, production foremen, drillers, and field technicians.

Keep in mind the comment I’ve seen repeatedly that each producing well creates essentially one full-time job.

1/26 – Bismarck Tribune – Strip clubs receive second reading – The meaning of that headline is that rules to ban strip clubs from the downtown area were considered for the second time by the Williston city commissioners. City rules require considering a motion twice before it is considered approved. Second look at the rule resulted in unanimous approval.

Read more…

Instead of reading about hyperinflation and economic collapse in history, you can watch it play out live. Tune in to Venezuela.

ten trillion Zimbabwe dollars. Not the largest currency in circulation, but close.

Ten trillion Zimbabwe dollars. Not the largest currency in circulation, but close. Tragedy of hyperinflation is playing out again, this time in Venezuela.

The hyperinflation in Zimbabwe resulted in a ten trillion Zim note being worth four cents in American dollars. That would be:

  • Zim$10,000,000,000,000  =  US$.04

When that level of financial devastation happens, it is the result of government policy. Usually socialists pull it off, but German also did so before WWII.

Previous posts:

Venezuela

If you are so interested, you can now watch the sad story as it plays out in Venezuela.

2/3 – Wall Street Journal – Inflation-Wrought Venezuela Orders Bank Notes by the Planeload – Usually governments deal with out-of-control inflation by adding two or three zeros to the currency. Instead of the largest bill in circulation being a 100 unit note, the next run of currency is for a 10,000 unit note. In six months or a year there will be a 500,000 or 1,000,000 note in circulation.

Article says the Venezuelan government isn’t doing that because to do so would acknowledge the astronomical inflation. As the saying goes, denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.

Instead of acknowledging that inflation is running out of control, the government of Venezuela is flooding the economy with the same denomination note. In the last several months of 2014, the article says there were three dozen flights of 747s into the country hauling nothing but currency. Over 30 cargo holds filled with currency.

Read more…

Bakken entering ‘manufacturing’ stage? Also, count of oil rigs in field.

Out of focus photo by James Ulvog (yeah, yeah, don't give up my day job)

Out of focus photo of drilling rig and four not-yet-in-production wells by James Ulvog (yeah, yeah, I know – don’t give up my day job.)

Bruce Oksol wonders whether Bakken  oil production is entering the manufacturing phase after a frantic construction phase.

2/3 – The Million Dollar Way – Idle Chatter on DUCs and Related Data Points – Before a big factory or electrical plant or other major project begins production there is a massive construction effort. The number of jobs to run the facility is a fraction of the number of workers needed to construct the thing. When completed, the number of jobs at the facility drops off.

Mr. Oksol uses the illustration of a natural gas plant being built. During construction there will be around 2,000 temporary jobs. When that gas is turned into electricity, the plant will employ 45. That’s 2,000 temporary and 45 permanent jobs.

He wonders if Bakken is like that, having finished the ‘construction’ and now moving into manufacturing.

Read more…

Which group pays more in individual income taxes? The top 1% of earners of the bottom 95%?

If you guessed the bottom 95%, you would be right.

Follow-up question: What is the spread between the percentage of taxes paid by each group?

What do you think it is? A multiple? Something like double or triple what the 1% pays?

Maybe just a percentage more? 30%, 50%, 60%?

Actually the spread is thin.

Check out the following graph:

taxes by top 1 and bottom 95

 

Used with permission of Prof. Mark Perry at Carpe Diem.

Read more…

Estimates of construction costs for new energy projects

Photo of multi fuel power plant courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Photo of multi fuel power plant courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Bruce Oksol at The Million Dollar Way provides an updated scorecard on what he is seeing as the cost to construct a variety of electricity generating plants.

From Enquiring Minds Want to Know – January 30, 2016: Read more…

Data points for building solar farms at airports

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Have mentioned some of this before, but will post again to keep track of it.

12/3 – The Million Dollar Way – Minneapolis Airport Solar Project Twice The Quoted Rate for Solar Energy Projects at $7 Million / MW; No Problem – Increased Landing Fees – No One Will Notice

Two Minnie solar projects on top of parking garages at the airport.

Read more…

China is a competitor in the open frontier of space exploration

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Previously mentioned a lot of players are involved with cutting edge efforts for space exploration. Russia is still a player. So is China. Here are a few articles on the Chinese efforts:

1/11 – Behind the Black – China has big plans in space in 2016 – Summary of the following article. Recap says China has the goal of launching a new space station in 2016 and put staff on it along with initial launch of two new rockets.

1/11 – Parabolic Arc – China Plans Space Station & New Booster Launches in 2016 – Article gives a few more details on China’s plans for spaceflight in 2016: Read more…

More illustrations of disruption from technology

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

While tech innovations have opened up new frontiers, innovation is disrupting some fields. Here are a few articles making this point that I’ve accumulated recently:  newspaper circulation continues to collapse, higher ed is increasingly vulnerable to disruptions, and accreditation agencies (which illustrate regulatory capture) show why disruption is needed.

1/20 – Richard Tofel at Medium – The sky is falling on print newspapers faster than you think – Author pulled together circulation numbers from March 2013 and September 2015 for the 25 largest newspapers in the country.

Guess what? Circulation is collapsing.

Here are just a few of the numbers he accumulated: Read more…

More news on military drone operations

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Reaper drone. Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

A few articles on military drone operations.

12/27 – Wall Street Journal – Air Force Looks Beyond Officers to Boost Drone-Pilot Ranks – USAF is moving towards having enlisted troops fly drones. To this point rated pilots had to be at the controls. The increased demands for joint operations combined with staffing limits along with the dreariness of the work has created a shortage of qualified pilots. To fill a gap, USAF may use enlisted pilots.

Read more…

Blue Origin launches and recovers a previously used booster rocket

New Shepard booster above was launched a second time and recovered a second time. Photo courtesy of Blue Origin. Used with permission.

New Shepard booster above was launched a second time and recovered a second time. Photo courtesy of Blue Origin. Used with permission.

Fun news on one space competitor competing and one non-competitor lollygagging.

1/23 – Instapundit and Behind the Black – Blue Origin reflies and lands New Shepard again – Blue Origin successfully recovered a booster last November. They have now successfully relaunched the booster and again recovered it.

A reused booster. Extremely cool.

As BtB says, the competition heats up…

Check out the video, Launch. Land. Repeat. January 22, 2016:

 

(Video courtesy of Blue Origin.)

In the opening frame of the video above, it is noticeable to me that it landed something in the range of 10 or 15 feet from dead center.

Read more…

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