Crazy. You see all these wind turbines all across the U.S. If not spread across the plains or along foothills, they're being shipped along the highways one blade at a time. I look at the transformation going on and figure we could have had this tech in the 80's. What happened in the last four decades? Talk about a lost generation.
It was so weird to grow up in the 70's when they were teaching us the Metric System in public schools, when National Parks were adding meters, kilometers to signage. Reusable spacecraft, renewable energy, (and nuclear energy), computers, micro-electronics....
To be sure there were warnings of an ominous, overcrowded, polluted future ("Soylent Green", "Silent Running", just to call out a couple films of the era) but as a kid I was infused with the optimism of the time. Buckminster Fuller, NASA ... even the hippies and their communes.
I think I still live in that world in my head. I hope maybe I have expressed a part of that optimism to my kids as I raised them.
I would argue that they weren't, as a movement, about either, but more inward-directed self-discovery. They were contemporaries with both movements for social inclusion (the civil rights movement) and the beginnings of environmentalism as a mass social movement, and were distinct from both of those kinds of activist movements. They had more in common and probably more overlap with the environmentalist movement (like the hippies, a predominantly white, middle-class movement.)
“Wokism” isn’t an actual movement, its just a replacement name for “political correctness” used as a label for same right-wing general-purpose boogeyman that PC served as a label for from the late 1970s until the recent replacement with first and briefly “critical race theory” and, when that proved a bit cumbersome as a generic label, “wokism”.
When phrased this way it sounds pretty darn easy of a choice, but reality never phrases it that way and that person had money to bribe politicians.
And so we struggle. Because those with wealth do not want to give up their wealth.
Cycling has more benefits than replacing cars. It connects us with joyful movement. And the infrastructure is cheaper to build and extend compared to railways.
Ideally we'd return back to the 1890s-1910s with public transport consisting of fixed line trolleys or light rail covering distances larger than five or six blocks while walking or bicycling covers distances less than that. That's where EV technology would be ideal because you could run a combination of overhead, third rail, and battery power depending on available infrastructure and space, all using the same cars city or town wide.
This means nothing.
Cobalt isn't necessary to build li-ion batteries, considering that there are mainstream chemistries like LFP which eschew cobalt entirely.
People don't necessarily want to live in a big city, go only where the buses and trains go, and never have the chance to go on road trips or vacations to the mountains or the beach. Better for the climate to do this via battery power and not fossil fuels, because it's going to happen.
Few Ford dealer workers I know have been Talking about the buildup of stock of f150 lightning and mache at dealerships.
People are turning down the purchases from preorder due to issues with battery or otherwise that is plaguing their full electric.
6 months ago you had to be on a long waiting list, now you can find one at alot of lots.
Is this actually doable? I thought in modern EVs, the battery takes up half the chassis. In a "retrofitted" EV, you'll have lots of space (and therefore battery capacity) taken up by mechanical systems which are essential for a central motor, but relatively useless if you could just use multiple electric motors.
IMO, we're going to need a lot of different approaches to solve climate. EVs, PHEVs, reduction of use of single-occupant vehicles, more transit, more biking, more e-bikes, blah blah blah.
If nothing else, I'd think the "red-blooded" crowd would love the speed that EVs give you.
It's not that simple. Ideology is more important.
> Thomas Jefferson, secretary of state in 1794, was eagerly awaiting a meeting with French physician and botanist Joseph Dombey. The Frenchman was supposed to meet Jefferson in Philadelphia to discuss a couple of critical international trade issues between their governments.
> He was also going to revolutionize the way Americans did business.
> But instead of meeting Jefferson in Philadelphia, Dombey found himself in the Caribbean, where his ship was being boarded by British privateers. Upon learning he was a Frenchman, and a famous scientist at that, he was captured and taken prisoner.
> The marauders now swarming Dombey’s ship were a particular breed of pirate: British privateers—the state-sponsored terrorists of the 18th century. These waterborne gangs had the tacit approval of the government in London to harass and plunder other countries’ maritime commerce and keep part of the spoils as their profit.
> After seizing control of the ship, the pirates came across a sailor speaking Spanish with a curiously French accent—Joseph Dombey. A French physician and botanist acting under orders from the French government, Dombey had left the port city of Le Havre, France, weeks earlier for Philadelphia and the meeting with Jefferson, the United States’ first secretary of state and future president. But storms had pushed Dombey’s ship off course and deep into pirate territory.
> Some historians view this event as a tragic missed opportunity whose consequences we are still living with today. When the U.S. became an independent nation, it inherited an inconsistent collection of traditional British weights and measures. Congress was aware of the flaws with its British measures, and a congressional committee was formed to recommend solutions. Thomas Jefferson, an admirer of French scientific ideas, lobbied for a measurement system similar to that of France. But Congress didn’t adopt it, and the British-influenced system took hold in the U.S. instead. However, If pirates hadn’t intercepted Dombey on his way to Philadelphia, the situation might be very different today. As historian Andro Linklater writes in his book Measuring America,
> “The sight [in Congress] of those two copper objects [Dombey’s meter and grave], so easily copied and sent out to every state in the Union, together with the weighty scientific arguments supporting them, might well have clarified the minds of senators and representatives alike. And today the U.S. might not be the last country in the world to resist the metric system.”
>To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
That was actually the point I was trying to get at. Thank you.
The Mendenhall Order marked a decision to change the fundamental standards of length and mass of the United States from the customary standards based on those of England to metric standards.
It was issued on April 5, 1893, by Thomas Corwin Mendenhall, superintendent of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, with the approval of the United States Secretary of the Treasury, John Griffin Carlisle.
The US public are really just pretending that they don't use metric.
I also like the fact that feet are are composed of inches in base 12. The promise that decimal brings some deep utility doesn't really materialize in most other contexts, and time is still base 60.
In my view, people who use metric pretend they like using metric. I mean, the unit of temperature is often expressed in divisions that are 0.1 apart, both because the basic units range and scale aren't particularly useful for human experience, and because "centidegree" is pretty difficult to actually "conjugate" in the system.
Neither system is particularly great, they're mostly just familiar, and outside of a few peculiar cases aren't very distinguished from each other.
It's not clear how this "redundancy" your aiming for would benefit us.
I would prefer the stagflation and trains, personally.
That's a problem stemming from government regulation that prevents competition in diabetes insulin.
I'd prefer trains, too. But the government makes it far too expensive to build lines and operate them.
It's amazing how neo-liberal see government the source of half of their problem. When generally speaking, the true source of their problems is just corporations trying to fuck them up and do business as usual.
We have insulin regulation in most of Europe and Japan.
And still insulin cost there less than 10$ and close to 100$ in USA.
Taxes make up the difference.
Taxes are not 1000% higher in USA than they are in France or Germany.
The main reason are patents, lack of generics, lacks of leverage of insurers in the American health care system and lack of regulation.
One of the main insulin provider in the USA is currently Sanofi.
Sanofi is a french company.
And the same insulin in France is under 10$ and currently reimbursed at 100% by the government.
Why ? Because in France the health coverage is state managed. And when the state negotiates the prices (paid by tax payers), the industry shut up and accept them.
This is the same in most of Europe Switzerland excepted.
Regulation affects everybody a great deal, whether you're aware of it or not. In this case, insulin regulation has created a single supplier and prevented the market from working.
Rail, healthcare and rent prices might be bright spots in Japan, but I hardly would consider a regression in real wages and living standards to be "doing fine". Your not doing fine if you can't afford to support yourself and a dependent.
Japan per capita GDP was 44k in 1995 and 33k in 2022.
People die in of diabetes in the US because they eat too much bad food.
"You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are not physically active and are overweight or have obesity. Extra weight sometimes causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. The location of body fat also makes a difference."
And if you want cheap insulin, you can buy it for $25 at Walmart.
The issue is people, generally, see diabetic and don’t ask, just assume. Millions are not type-2, many are due to pregnancies, old age too, or damage from disease. But even with obeisity/inactivity it is a risk factor and generally has a genetic component too. Plus, one the beta cells are gone, they are gone.
The gas lines disappeared literally overnight! And I mean literally in the literal sense of the word. It was amazing. Poof! I remember the next day well. I pulled into a gas station right up to a pump, filled up, and drove home. Aaaahhh! Gas lines never returned.
Reductive, true. Accurate, absolutely.
Carter just didn't have a clue.
In any case, Carter's ineptness at foreign policy left an opening for his opponents. Not that that justifies his opponents, but it's still ineptness.
P.S. Carter is a nice guy and well-meaning, and I like him a lot. I'm glad he's been given a long life. He was just not a good President.
The failure of your dialog here is further evidence that partisanship does not serve us well.
Neoliberalism and the Chicago school of economics happened.
You have been good to them, then. Those hopes were grown by a generation of survivors, thinkers, and humanists who expressed humanist principles in their work. They were agents of change. Knowledge, compassion, and fairness have been almost completely replaced in public discourse by cruel raving and demagoguery.
Basically, Carter wasn't deploying some cutting edge and extravagantly expensive (at the time) technology that could be deployed as a high-profile technical demo but not actually economical to use, he was deploying a cheap, practical technology that could be used on most houses, during warm months at least.
something really did a number on society and it politicized so many things that needn’t be politicized
But he talks about politics from back in the day. Everything has always been super politicized. Everything. But our memories are short as a country.
It's not just recency bias - things are really screwed up.
Why (my opinion) one side started caring more about winning than any of their own positions. That then devolved into only caring if the other side loses regardless of what the policy is.
If a party's main focus is the other side loses rather than to successfully govern - you end up here. And the fact they more or less admit it, and people jump to justify it shows how far things have fallen.
We actually had a political landscape from the 30's to the early 90's that was much less polarized than the rest of our history. We're returning back to where we were in the 1800's.
I guess maybe I don't know what you're talking about with common sense becoming politics. Do you have an example?
I visited Sardinia recently for the first time, and saw the exact same type of houses built there, with the same climate, but not a single solar heater on their roofs. I wondered aloud why, but got no answer.
My guess is that an energy company took an interest early on in Sardinia, and Cyprus was thankfully missed for a few decades.
Wires are easier than pipes, we still need electricity, make the existing system larger rather than split between the two. Heat water during the midday when output is high. I use almost no hot water, so the system would have a long payback period. But I can heat water in a 15A kettle.
I love solar thermal, Trombe Walls should be integrated into the construction directly or added after the fact. They are for building heat, not water.
However that ignores the externalities of PV and heat pumps manufacture, replacement and disposal so I think the argument is BS.
Solar thermal is an aimed aluminum trough and a stainless steel pipe painted black on its focal point.
No, it's actually these fairly sophisticated phase-change evacuated tubes that have a heatsink at one end immersed in the water, from what I remember reading.
Phase changes, and pressurized tubes screams heat pump to me. This is different than solar thermal which is essentially leaving a bottle of water sitting in your car on a sunny day. Nothing more complex needed.
One circulates a non-water liquid between the panels and the hot water storage tank, and it exchanges heat obtained from the panel with the water in the tank. This has the downside of being complex (pumps, weird liquids etc.), but has the upside of keeping the fluid system associated with the panels distinct, which can reduce issues with freezing and can boost efficiency.
The other system doesn't use thermal panels at all, but just uses electricity to drive an air-source heat pump that exchanges with the storage tank.
The Carter panels were pretty simple boxes with pipes and water circulated through them, I think.
 which you don't even need if you route the system well or use valves.
Few wanted one.
And still they're rarely installed. I knew more people in the 90s who were ripping them out or leaving them dry (they were popular for pool heating in some areas) than installing them.
I've considered it several times, and it came down to it being too much work.
PV is much simpler, and if it stops working you can just ignore it.
I once designed a solar swimming pool heater that had no moving parts and required no maintenance. I never built it because I didn't have a pool.
Temperature changes can cause glued pipes to move enough that they become unglued. What fun!
Modern PEX offers significant advantages there (hundreds of feet with no joints).
I once had a car that had aluminum cylinder heads and bronze valve guides. The valve guides were a press fit with no keepers. Aluminum expands at twice the rate as bronze with temperature. So, when the engine got hot, the valve guides fell out.
The reason they haven't picked up in the US is because infrastructure is good - electricity delivery is reliable. It's much cheaper to install an electrical or gas water heater rather than the complicated plumbing needed to add solar-thermal.
Here in the Netherlands government is now trying to ramp down PV subsidies, because PV has been so wildly successful that electricity spot prices are actually negative at peak sun (midday). (Even without subsidies I believe the panels are now cheap enough to be worth the investment, though.)
Which means people should start buying batteries. Pull in power during midday at a profit, and then send it back out in the evening at a profit. I'm curious how long it'd take to pay back the price of a battery.
Could change as tech improves but as of today they are pointless for most people.
This is misinformation.
I searched on google, bing and Yandex and all the results I found implied that breakeven would occur substantially before 20 years. The lowest breakeven time figure I found quoted was 5 years. The usual quoted breakeven ranges were, I'd say, 6-12.