“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, July 22, 2011

Deadly heatwave settles over US - Let's hope this does not happen again.

Today, it is going to 103F  in New York City

It has been worse:

and worse still:


  1. Watching this NYC clip, that as recently as 2003, there were no near as many severely obese people in the crowds.

  2. $2.00/Watt - That's the New, Operative Price for a large Solar Farm.

    About the same price to build a coal-fired plant (but, you don't have to feed it Coal for the next fifty years.)

  3. New York City is about the same lattitude as Naples, Italy.

  4. Hey Rufus, what's the footprint on the solar farm?

    Figure your average coal plant nowadays is 1000-3000MW. Footprint for it is going to include the rail yard (for the mile-long trains), coal storage, ash pond, switch yard, the plant itself, scrubbers, etc. About 5sq mi. Plant life being about 50 years.

    Don't know much about the size of the new thin-film panels or their longevity. I know the footprint issue tends to be one that the naysayers latch onto.

    Sandia labs says a concentrated solar plant needs 5 acres per MW produced, so 5000 acres for 1000MW sounds pretty comparable to what a coal plant could be.

    Still, at $2/watt, a 1000MW solar plant is $2B. A 1,000MW coal plant is about $2B.

    Sounds too good to be true. Check my math, because that is game-changing crazy.

  5. Bro, a PV farm (solar thermal Is much more expensive - but has the advantage that it can deliver power 24 hrs/day, not just 10 or 11,) is about 200 Megawatts/Sq. mile (640 acres.)

    So, a 1,000 Megawatt PV farm would be about 5 sq. mi. Say 2.5 mi X 2 mi.

    What's happening is, the prices on all things PV are Plunging. People's thinking hasn't caught up, yet.

  6. Dallas is about the same lattitude as Tripoli.

  7. MacAllen, Tx, or Laredo puts you right in the middle of Egypt.

  8. Houston, Tx needs more "peaking" power. Peaking power in Houston, of course, means Hot Summer Days.

    They're getting ready to blow $2.00/Watt on the White Stallion Coal-fired Power Plant, which they'll feed with Coal from Illinois (high sulfur,) which they'll blend with coal from AUSTRALIA for the next 50 Years.

    For about the same initial investment they would have FREE Sunlight-powered electricity for the next 50 to 100 yrs.

    How much do you think the fossil fuel industry hates Solar?

  9. Houston, btw, is about the same lattitude as KUWAIT.

  10. Here is Big D, we are on our 20th staight day of triple digit heat, with no rain or relief in sight.

  11. If we let them keep moving all of our Capital, and Jobs, Offshore, it could happen again.

  12. It's been Almost that bad in N.W. Mississippi. 95 to 100 for, it seems like, at least, a month.

    We really, really need a rain.

  13. Woke up this morning, and it was cloudy. But, you couldn't smell any rain in the air. Sure enough, the clouds are gone, and we're back in the oven.

  14. Ruf

    I used to fish those oxbow lakes by you with my dad. Cane pole and a bucket of minnows or crickets.

    Laying in bed at night I could feel the john boat rock.

  15. Just another day in Paradise, fellas.

  16. Minnows, crickets, and, if absolutely necessary, earthworms. Anything else ain't fihin'.

    It might be something, but it ain't fishing.

  17. There is no need for Federal funding, for NASA's thirty year old technologies, not when private funding is available and makes commercial applications of space travel economically viable.

    Spurred by a $30 million purse put up by Google, 29 teams have signed up for a competition to become the first private venture to land on the moon. Most of them are unlikely to overcome the financial and technical challenges to meet the contest deadline of December 2015, but several teams think they have a good shot to win — and to take an early lead in a race to take commercial advantage of our celestial neighbor.

    At the very least, a flotilla of unmanned spacecraft could be headed moonward within the next few years ...
    Naveen Jain, an Internet billionaire and co-founder of Moon Express, says the company will spend $70 million to $100 million to try to win the Google Lunar X Prize but could recoup its investment on its first flight. He envisions selling exclusive broadcast rights for video from the moon, as well as sponsorships, a la NASCAR, for companies to put their logos on the lander.

    Or, perhaps, a tie-in to reality television.

  18. George Xenofos, manager of NASA’s Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data program, said he expected one or more teams to make it to the moon.

    "It’s definitely not the technical issues that’s stopping them," he said.

    The contestants’ goals do not appear to face legal hurdles. The Outer Space Treaty of 1967, ratified by 100 nations including the United States, bars countries from claiming sovereignty over any part of the moon but does not prevent private companies from setting up shop. As for mining the moon, it could fall under similar legal parameters as fishing in international waters.

  19. I don't fish much, anymore, and I hate that. I guess it's not as much fun if you don't have a kid along.

  20. Me neither, Rufus. The only time I fish now is on hunting trips. I like to fly fish and most of the areas in Canada and Alaska are catch and release.

    My dad would laugh at that, not only fly fishing, but catch and release.

    His idea of catch and release was catch and release in to the frying pan.

  21. MYFOXNY.COM - Con Edison says it has reduced power to tens of thousands of customers in Queens and five towns in Westchester because of electrical equipment problems.

    The company says in a statement that the voltage reduction was done as a precaution to protect equipment and maintain service as crews work to repair the problem.

    People in Elmsford, Greenburgh, Ardsley, Irvington and Tarrytown in Westchester are dealing with the voltage reduction.

    The Maspeth, Queens area is also affected which includes the neighborhoods of Glendale, Fresh Pond, Ridgewood, Rego Park, Middle Village, Elmhurst and Woodside.

    The affected areas are bounded by Brooklyn-Queens Expressway on the north, Brooklyn borough line on the west, Jackie Robinson Parkway on the south, and Queens Boulevard on the east.

    Con-Ed - don't use A/C

  22. We fried'em all, the large and the small. It had to be a mighty small perch for dad to throw it back. An' I mean, Mighty small. :)

  23. I mean, mighty, mighty small. :)

  24. If it was big enough to get on a hook it had a bleak outlook in life.

  25. Guys, if I was an old person, dependent on that check on the 3rd to pay the rent, or go to the store, I'd be getting scared right now.

  26. It's one thing for us to sit here and say, "I don't think they'll miss that payment;"

    It's something else if you're an 85 year old woman, with nothing else in the world to keep you going.

  27. Doesn't the U.S. Government have a payroll to make on the 1st?

  28. What if you're a gov worker with a couple of young kids, your wife got laid off a couple of months ago, and now Con-Ed has told your mother, who lives in Queens, to turn her air conditioner off, and, that check she depends on for medicine, rent, and groceries "might not" be there?

  29. The politicians are playing with fire, here.

  30. All hell breaking loose in Norway.

    Let's see if there are any balls left in Norway, at all.

  31. A counter strike against Norway's participation in Afghanistan, or Libya, which do you think will prove to be the case?

    If there is a case that can be proved.

  32. Yeah Rufus, the whole thing is with solar is the fear from the fossil guys of the distributed generation. You lose 5% of your load to people putting panels on their houses, you now have to jack rates on the coal-fired KWh. Turn that into a negative feedback loop and it becomes a death spiral. Make the panels cheap enough (from a 50-year payback to a five-year payback) and the utilities are going to piss themselves. Suddenly "the cheapest" fuel source ain't so cheap anymore, and the utilities are stuck with billions and billions in infrastructure that they will never recover costs from.

    Change is a bitch I guess.

  33. From the wikipedia on the AFG Order of Battle:
    The Norwegian forces in Afghanistan consist of one mechanized company and one support squadron from Telemark Bataljon, and one ISTAR-squadron from the Intelligence Battalion, all serving with ISAF forces in Kabul. Norway also has previously deployed four F-16 ground attack fighter jets in 2002 and four F-16s returned to support the ISAF force in Afghanistan later in 2006 alongside Dutch F-16s.[51] The detachment is known as the 1st Netherlands-Norwegian European Participating Forces Expeditionary Air Wing (1 NLD/NOR EEAW).[52]

    On 8 February 2005, the US Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation was awarded to Marinejegerkommandoen (MJK), the Norwegian Navy Special Forces, and to Hærens Jegerkommando (HJK), the Norwegian "Rangers", for their actions in Afghanistan since Operation Enduring Freedom onwards.

    The wikipedia says this about Norway in Libya:

    NOR: The Royal Norwegian Air Force has deployed six F-16AM fighters to Souda Bay Air Base.[78][79][111] On 24 March, the Norwegian F16s were assigned to the US North African command and Operation Odyssey Dawn. A number of the aircraft have participated in operations over Libya.[78][79] Prime minister Jens Stoltenberg also stated that Norway will participate in the humanitarian aid to follow.[112] It has also been reported that Norwegian fighters along with Danish are the ones that have bombed most targets in Libya in proportion to the number of planes involved.[113]

  34. As I mentioned to Q, the other day, the delivery grid already exists, where the sun shines.

    Allow the use of less expensive scrubbers, while adding output with PV panels.
    There is no shortage of space that could be used.

    The "footprint" is not a real issue, not in the Western United States.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will wait until at least early next year to issue its final decision on new pollution controls for a power plant near the Grand Canyon, giving opponents more time to argue their case.

    The new timetable was outlined in a letter this week to other federal officials by the EPA's regional administrator.

    The agency has been working on a proposal since 2009 to require so-called air scrubbers at the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station near Page, which has long been blamed for contributing to haze over the national park.

    Since then, the plant's owners and largest customers had warned that the new scrubbers would raise costs to operate the plant and could lead to its eventual closure.

    Higher operating costs would result in price increases for electricity ratepayers in Arizona and neighboring states. The plant's closure would make power more expensive still as utilities bought electricity from other sources and could devastate tribes that depend on the plant for income.

    Read more:

  35. The Colonel promised, and could be expected to attempt delivery of, a counter strike against the EU participants.

    A tit for tat decapitation attempt, against the PM of Norway?

    He could seem to be one of the softest of the NATO leaders to access.

  36. From via BlackFive:

    Looks like a car bomb - reports of two, second perhaps not vehicle based, but pure blind speculation from afar. AQ hallmark tactic. Bomb 1 draws first responders, samaritans. Bomb 2 takes them out. Serves larger strategy of instilling fear. terrorism, after all.

    Najibullah Zazi's father's trial just went to jury for deliberations, with his fate hanging in the balance.

    See, the deal is that his son & pals were trained by AQ to be suicide bombers in NYC subways. The terror trail leads to swell folks in - wait for it - Pakistan.

    Well, you see, in connection, there were "immigrants" arrested in Norway - freaking Norway - last year as part of a plotting Islamic terror cell that has links to - you guessed it - the same happy campers in Pakistan as Naji B and company.,8599,2002541,00.html

    And the rest of their "immigrant" friends in Norway (and elsewhere) were pretty pissed off that Norway dare have the testicular fortitude to throw Brothers in jail. PM Jens Stoltenberg’s not on the Eid Card List, to say the least.

    That was all precisely a year ago in Norway. And the anniversary of Norway pissing off al-Qaeda coincides nicely with the related NYC terror trial of Papa-Zazi, who with his son shares links to the same chums in Pakistan as the incarcerated immigrants in Norway. Oslo, to be specific.

  37. If that's the power plant I'm thinking of, Rat; up on I-40, it's the dirtiest, foulest, most-disgusting coal-fired plant I've seen in my entire life. I haven't been out that way in a few years, but I'm amazed it's still open.

  38. The Navajos need to build themselves a Solar Farm out there.

  39. 60F in Seattle right now.

    Because off all the recycling we do here, and Bellingham just banned plastic grocery bags.

    But they say it might get up to 78F on Sunday, so I need to hit Lowes and get an air conditioner before that heat wave hits.

  40. Guys, if I was an old person, dependent on that check on the 3rd to pay the rent, or go to the store, I'd be getting scared right now.

    The trick is to make the politicians scared instead.

  41. The "Jesus" in response to the 60 degrees.

  42. The politicians are afraid, T. It's just that it's their "bases" they're afraid of - not us.

  43. Don't get me wrong; I still think they'll get "something" done before the 2nd.

    BUT, politicians have been known to go completely batshit crazy. Anything can happen when Congress is in session.

  44. Whit, it's 105 today. I'm in heaven...or hell depending on the way you look at it.

  45. Bombing in Oslo, in case you think appeasement works. Allahu Oinkbar. Inshallah.

  46. Worms, minnows, crickets or hellgrammites were always good for bass and catfish. Sunfish weuld bite at anything.

  47. Crappie, that king of panfish, will bite crickets okay, but Minners are just a whole lot more fun (and, the only thing that works if you want to go out and troll in the channel.)

  48. How I would love to return to the days, where I could walk out the back door crossing fields and woods, a few dirt roads to un underfished stream and pond. All of this 25 miles from Philadelphia and permanently wrecked by Toll Brothers.

  49. Warwick Township, is in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and is 10 miles north of Northeast Philadelphia. Warwick was formed by petition February 13, 1733 by eighteen residents. It was named after a town in central England and was the home to many Scots-Irish Presbyterians. In 1819 the Township lost over half its territory to the north when Doylestown Township was established. History is closely tied to several existing structures, i.e. the Neshaminy Presbyterian Church and the Moland House. The Neshaminy Presbyterian Church is one of the earliest religious association in Pennsylvania dating back to 1726. The Moland House was General George Washington's headquarters when 11,000 Continental Army troops camped in Warwick Township from August 10, 1777 until August 23, 1777 while on their way to the Battle of Brandywine. The encampment stretched along both sides of Old York Road, on the slope of Carr's hill to the north; both sides of Bristol Road from Mearns Road to Meetinghouse Road. General Washington held a "Council of War" with his four Major Generals and six Brigadier General in the Moland House. While in Warwick Township the American flag that was designed by Betsy Ross was presented to General Washington and Warwick Township was the site where the American flag was first flown. It was here the Marquis de Lafayette and Count Casimir Pulaski joined the American Revolution and distinguished themselves soon at the Battle of Brandywine and for many years thereafter in the fight for American freedom from England.

  50. Warwick Township Population statistics and percentage increase in population since 1950.

    1950________ 906_______41.8%
    1970 __________2,138______18.1%
    1980 __________2,307_______7.9%
    1990 __________5,916_____156.4%
    2000 ________11,977______102.5%
    2010 ________14,437