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climate change

The Power Grid’s Glide Path to Reckoning

By Energy Rant No Comments
“The U.S. electrical system is becoming less dependable. The problem is likely to get worse before it gets better.” – The Wall Street Journal, February 18, 2022. I can take down another one of my seven predictions for 2022. Some numbers from the WSJ: in 2000, there were fewer than two dozen major disruptions. In 2020 there were more than 180. Customers experienced over eight hours of disruption (on average) in 2020, more than double the number in 2013 when the government began tracking this metric. The Journal reports several reasons for the rickety grid. The Markets’ Disincentives for Reliability...
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Climate Resistance Blog Post Image

Climate Resilience – Flood, Fire, Ice

By Energy Rant No Comments
A reader last week asked, “What kind of home can withstand fire, hurricanes, floods, heat domes, and polar vortex?” This is a great question. I love the challenge, so here we go[1]. Flooding and Landslides Think ahead and ask yourself, “what if” before or even after buying a property. For example, my first home was built to suit my engineering brain. It is wonderful for heating with a wood stove and is very practical; it is not huge and can be expanded with nice amenities for a family. It is built on the side of a bluff in the great...
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climate change

Climate Change, Theory, Practice, and the Farmer’s Almanac

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
We are carrying the ball forward from last week’s post that delivered hoards of historical climate data. If you didn’t see it, check it out because I guaran dam T you will find things you didn’t know – like the fact that the Earth has almost the lowest concentration of CO2 in hundreds of millions of years. That was a surprise! This subject started with a paper from the Institute of Energy Research (IER),[1] CLIMATE POLICY The Case for a New Perspective, which I had barely skimmed, and the super heatwaves in the Northwest. The IER paper provides credible information...
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climate change

Measuring Climate Change

By Energy Rant No Comments
The super heatwave of a couple of weeks ago in the northwest got me thinking about weather anomalies and climate change. What is really happening, as if anyone knows. This fits nicely with a paper that was published a month ago by the Institute for Energy Research entitled Climate Policy - The Case for a New Perspective. That provided some interesting data and got me going on more in-depth research. I added to that through a few hours of mining National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data. Whoa, does NOAA have data! Yeow! So let’s look at the data and...
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electricity storage - climate change

Innovative Electricity Storage Crushes Batteries; Death Sentence for Duck

By Energy Rant One Comment
I’m not in the electricity storage business, but I can recognize lousy ideas when I see them. Grid-scale battery storage is a bad idea. It will never be anything more than a frequency and voltage regulation technology, although I have to say these are critical functions that batteries can provide. Innovation comes out of left field while everyone else is trying to make a pig fly. And when I see it, I think, “Wow, why did I not think of that?” The Roots of Sound Storage Thermal power generation, particularly from coal, and to a lesser extent, nuclear, have enormous...
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climate

Little People Take on the Climate Industrial Complex

By Energy Rant No Comments
My undergraduate mechanical engineering curriculum at South Dakota State University included requirements for six credits of humanities and nine credits of social sciences. What is this? Who needs this stuff? Walk on the Slippery Rocks I actually enjoyed most of these courses, one of which was philosophy. What a flaky class. There was no work. There were no exams. The goofball professor spewed philosophy and moderated discussions of paradoxes and whatnot. One of those discussions was whether South Dakota should be America’s garbage dump, for princely fees of course. Essentially, should we trade self-induced exploitation for money so we can...
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bipartisan

Efficiency’s Problem: Cyborgs, Fragments, and Climate

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
The number of bipartisan political issues that can be counted on one finger is shrinking fast. All this while the definition of bipartisan has been lowered to a single vote from the opposing party. Energy efficiency is not among the bipartisan issue (sic). It is unfortunately limited to the left-wing of the political spectrum as once again demonstrated by Ohio where the deep red legislature in House Bill 6 passed a $1.1 billion bailout to keep two nuclear plants afloat, and efficiency - dead. Ohioans – Screwed, Coming and Going But there is more. Since it would be unfair to...
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Turbulence, Tribes, and Climate Change

By Energy Rant No Comments
The topic of climate change is fascinating to me because I love to learn why people believe what they believe. I wrote last week that climate change policy is firmly and forever intertwined in political warfare. Does anyone stand alone on an island isolated from their tribe on anything?  Maybe five out of one hundred on an issue or two, but for the most part, no. This is where I come in – I love stirring the pot. A few months back, a friend forwarded a link to Global Warming for the Two Cultures, by Richard LIndzen, Professor of Meteorology,...
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Decarbonizing the Bourgeoisie Through the Eye of a Needle

By Energy Rant No Comments
Climate change mitigation policies are firmly intertwined in hot political tribalism like school choice, abortion, taxes, and the minimum wage. I can think of few topics that are supported by both ends of the spectrum, although infrastructure spending and staying out of objectiveless wars seem to be two such things. We know things are at peak hostility when DC can’t even agree on infrastructure spending because somebody may get credit for it or allow a win for the other. I like perspectives from outside our industry from sources that don’t wear their agenda on their sleeves. This post was triggered...
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Dig Some Wind – Blown Away by Inversions

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
As children, some engineers liked to take things apart to see how they worked – and maybe even put them back together. That was too much work for me, but I was curious. I would intently watch my Mom as she accelerated the 1970s Ford Galaxy 500[1] down the road. What was she doing to make it shift gears? I had to know! Of course, it was an automatic transmission. Today, I see some scientific claims, and I can’t help myself but to dig in and find the big lie, er, the big why. This week’s adventure started two months...
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