There is no substitute for energy. The whole edifice of modern society is built upon it ... It is not “just another commodity” but the precondition of all commodities, a basic factor equal with air, water, and earth.—E. F. Schumacher, 1973 Energy costs are experienced in many ways in American society. There is, of course, the cost of energy you pay for directly, such as your monthly electricity and gas bills, gasoline, and so on. But people also pay for energy that they consume indirectly — that is, in the goods and services they consume. Author corrected by staff
Thesis: The cost of anything (with a few exceptions like diamonds and art) is highly proportional to the amount of energy used to make it.
If an energy efficient car is more expensive than a regular car then the extra cost is mostly due to more energy involved in the construction and design of the car. In order to be more energy efficient the car must save enough energy in it's lifetime operation to offset the extra cost of constructing the car. Most of these green cars do not succeed in that target.
Solar energy and wind energy also rarely meet that target because of the initial cost/energy input to the system to construct the apparatus. Solar energy is off by a factor of ten. Wind can be slightly better than solar in highly windy areas. And much worse than solar in lower wind areas.
Also, Labor IS human energy. Every human uses energy to live, to cook his food, to heat his house, etc. Labor is cheaper in China because every human uses less energy to live. At these big Chinese factories they live in barracks like conditions. Not long after sunset the lights are out and only minimum electricity is on. Heat is minimal. Food is poor. The energy for each human to live is less. Thus their pay is less. And thus the products are sold at a lower price.
If you don't know the energy used to make a product, just look at the price to get a good idea.
If it is calculated that a windmill installation will never pay for itself. That also means it will never, in it's lifespan, produce as much energy as it took to construct it.
In May of 1541, Spanish explorers under Francisco Vásquez de Coronado camped on the rim of Palo Duro Canyon and joined together in a celebration of thanksgiving. Nearly a quarter-century later, French Huguenot colonists at Fort Caroline, Florida, set aside a day for solemn praise and thanksgiving in June 1564. In the summer of 1607, English settlers in Maine united with Abnaki Indians for a harvest feast. Three years later, English colonists in Jamestown held a jubilant day of thanksgiving when fresh supply ships arrived, providing the surviving colonists with much-needed food after a severe winter and disastrous drought.
As Paul Krugman details in a recent column, many mainstream economists are concerned that a depressed economy may be the new norm. The case “was made forcefully recently at the most ultrarespectable of venues, the IMF’s big annual research conference,” he writes. Robert J. Gordon, Stanley G. Harris Professor at Northwestern University, has dismissed the job-creating potential of technological optimists’ favorite projects like biotechnology and self-driving cars, and concluded: “The future of American economic growth is dismal, and policy solutions are elusive.” Among others, the economics Nobel Laureate Edmund Phelps has deplored the decline of America’s innovative spirit.
For everyone then alive, it remains a moment frozen in time. I was a 19-year-old Vanderbilt University sophomore having lunch in the Gold Room, Vanderbilt’s snack bar. I was sitting in an overstuffed leather chair and in the act of inserting a hot dog into my mouth when one of the ladies who worked the counter came in from another room where there was a television. In a voice as devoid of emotion as if she were announcing, “They say it’s going to rain this weekend,” she said, to no one in particular, “They say the president’s been shot.”
Whether it’s a second shooter on the grassy knoll, inconsistencies in the Warren Commission investigation, or the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby, Americans are still drawn to conspiracy theories surrounding the death of President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago. But what contributes to the durability of these conspiracy theories? Certainly their plausibility has something to do with it. But like a good conspiracy theory itself, there’s more to it than the immediate explanation. In the days following President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, the National Opinion Research Center was in the field polling a stunned nation.
Anyone with a modicum of knowledge regarding public health will agree that the most important, devastating, and preventable issue facing America is the human toll of cigarettes. Yet our nation’s main health regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will issue regulations within the next few weeks that could harm our nation’s 45 million smokers. Smokers trying to quit have an extremely difficult time, yet a new technology which might ease their path — electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes — is facing relentless opposition from public health agencies like the FDA and CDC, and their antipathy is certainly not based on science.
“In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.” This, I trust everyone knows, is the inscription on the back wall of the Lincoln Memorial in DC, visible above the awe-inspiring statue of our greatest president, greeting us and inducing reverence as we enter what is, in my opinion, the finest public building anywhere. On facing walls, to left and right, are carved in stone Lincoln’s two greatest speeches, the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address, Lincoln’s personal contributions to his enduring memory.
In the aftermath of last week´s elections in Virginia and New Jersey, much has been said about what the results portend for Republicans in the next election cycle. But let´s not lose sight of the lessons learned only last year. After the shellshock of the 2012 election abated, the Republican National Committee released their “Growth and Opportunity Project” report, which observed that “the perception that the GOP does not care about people is doing great harm to the Party and its candidates on the federal level, especially in presidential years. It is a major deficiency that must be addressed.”
I recently wrote a brief summary critique of the Environmental Protection Agency’s “analysis” of the “social cost of carbon.” In a nutshell, I argued: (1) the EPA analysis fails to recognize that U.S. policies would have virtually no effect on temperatures or “climate” regardless of which climate model is assumed to be the most useful; and (2) the analysis is poor methodologically and inconsistent with analytic guidelines that have been imposed on executive agencies by the Office of Management and Budget. My observations elicited several comments, varying substantially in analytic quality, to which I respond below in this article.
Today, the phrase “social engineering” has fallen into disgrace. Yet the policy of social engineering, the idea of which goes back to Plato’s time, is still with us today, most conspicuously in the Affordable Care Act. Within the first few weeks of its rollout, Obamacare began to show the telltale signs of social engineering: nothing worked the way it was originally planned. Soon the words “debacle” and “fiasco” were being routinely employed by the media to describe Obamacare’s first month — the same words that have been so appropriately applied to the ill-fated social engineering ventures of the past.
Georgia’s recent presidential election was another milestone for democracy, but the small nation faces ongoing intimidation and illegal occupation of two of its territories by Russia. Whether Georgia integrates into the West or becomes annexed into President Putin’s greater Russia is critical for Georgians and consequential to the United States. Russia is seeking to strengthen its sphere of influence, especially in countries formerly part of the Soviet Union. Although some of Moscow’s tactics are brutish, outrageous, and unacceptable, it is understandable that it seeks to reclaim a central role on the world stage.
The ways in which changes to tax policy would redistribute wealth drives many of today’s debates in Washington. The fiscal cliff fight that ushered in the year hinged on whether the Bush tax cuts should be extended for all Americans or only the bottom 98 percent. Last year, a report on Mitt Romney’s tax proposal aroused intense controversy and scarred the Romney campaign when it claimed that “a revenue-neutral individual income tax change that incorporates the features Governor Romney has proposed … would provide large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers.”
"Wherever people discover that money is being spent, either privately or by public officials, they commonly develop opinions on how it ought to be spent ... each person thus becomes his own fantasy despot, disposing of others and their resources as he or she thinks desirable,” wrote Kenneth Minogue in The Servile Mind. Pundits are starting to realize that the problems with Healthcare.gov, the troubled Obamacare website, are not merely technical. High-level managerial issues have started to surface, particularly with this week’s publication by the Washington Post of a memorandum written in 2010 by health care economist David Cutler.
A Republican strategist is reminding his party that President Reagan is dead. Ford O´Connell, who worked on Sen. John McCain´s (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign, says if Republicans want to win the White House in 2016, they need to break free of the "obsessive Reagan disorder." Rule #1 of the political analyst´s newly released book, "Hail Mary: The 10-Step Playbook for Republican Recovery," is: "Ronald Reagan is dead. Accept it." Such a sentiment is sure to be tough to digest for a party insistent on using the 40th president´s legacy as a GOP litmus test to prove conservative credentials. "The Reagan fixation is a drag
The hits to President Obama´s popularity, prompted by the botched HealthCare.gov rollout, are simply a natural fluctuation every commander-in-chief faces, Obama told interviewer Barbara Walters in an interview aired Friday. "If you remember, I´ve gone up and down pretty consistently throughout," Obama said in the ABC interview on Friday. "But the good thing about when you´re down is that usually you´ve got nowhere to go but up." "I got re-elected in part because people did think I was trustworthy and they knew I was working on their behalf," Obama said in the network´s exclusive. A CNN Poll of Polls complied
WASHINGTON — As a small coterie of grim-faced advisers shuffled into the Oval Office on the evening of Oct. 15, President Obama’s chief domestic accomplishment was falling apart 24 miles away, at a bustling high-tech data center in suburban Virginia. HealthCare.gov, the $630 million online insurance marketplace, was a disaster after it went live on Oct. 1, with a roster of engineering repairs that would eventually swell to more than 600 items. The private contractors who built it were pointing fingers at one another. And inside the White House, after initially saying too much traffic was to blame, Mr. Obama’s
The Washington Examiner recently reported on an academic study on the 2008 presidential election entitled "The Palin Effect" that examined the effect of then Gov. Palin on the John McCain campaign. Its conclusions run counter to conventional wisdom. The cliché, advanced by the media and the now infamous HBO TV show "Game Change," was that Palin helped to cost McCain the election because of her "controversial" personality. In fact, typical of most vice presidential running mates, Palin had a marginal but largely positive effect on McCain´s standing with the voters. She certainly did not drive away independents and moderates, who along
An education official at a Texas high school is under fire after telling some female students they have been dressing like ‘hoes.’ According to KRIV Fox 26, School Support Officer Dr. Tameca Richardson made the remark to female students at Jack Yates High School in Houston during an assembly on campus. A spokesperson for the Houston Independent School District confirmed the language used by Richardson, the station reported. Some parents expressed anger over Richardson’s terminology, saying the Ph.D.-level educator should have used language that was less offensive. "That was out of line and she should be disciplined for that,"
AUBURN, Ala. — In a season of miracles for Auburn, all it has taken is one mistake to give the Tigers life. No. 1 Alabama made just enough of them Saturday to change the course of history. With no time left on the clock, Auburn cornerback Chris Davis caught a 57-yard field goal attempt by Alabama in the back of the end zone, ran it out down the left sideline and went 109 yards untouched to beat the Crimson Tide, 34-28.
He´s a proud family man already, but President Barack Obama will turn to his children when it comes to life after the White House. Sasha Obama could be the deciding factor in whether the first family stay in Washington once he leaves office in three years. In a taped interview with ABC News, the President said his now 12-year-old daughter ´will have a big vote in where we are´ because she will be a sophomore in high school. When Obama leaves office in January 2017 after two terms, eldest daughter Malia could be off in college. Both girls attend the exclusive Sidwell Friends School
Sen. John McCain is starting to sound like a Tea Party “wacko bird.” In a new fundraising letter for the Republican National Committee released Friday, McCain lashed out at “Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Washington liberals,” who he claimed are destroying the United States. Liberals, he warned, “have taken us down a dark and dangerous path defined by record levels of debt, ever-expanding government, and a lead-from-behind defense strategy. There´s not much time left to turn things around.” McCain’s name carries a lot of weight in fundraising because he was the 2008 GOP nominee and is a leading voice of
President Obama took part in Small Business Saturday by heading over to Politics and Prose, a locally-owned bookstore in Washington, D.C. Wearing a brown leather coat and tan sweater, the president mingled with customers and wished them happy holidays. He brought daughters Malia and Sasha, who occasionally left his side to shop as he chatted with others. At the register, when asked what books he purchased, Obama said, “it is a long list ... books for every age group, from 5 to 52.” In all, Obama purchased 21 titles, including, “All That Is” by James Salter; “Collision Low Crossers:
Former Obama advisor David Plouffe appeared on This Week With George Stephanopoulos Sunday morning and predicted that President Barack Obama’s approval rating would rise over the next few months, following the increasing functionality of the Affordable Care Act. “This has been a tough task,” Plouffe said. “It’s not just health care. The shutdown affected everybody’s confidence in government. But let’s fast-forward to the State of the Union and the months after that. Health care working better, a lot of people signing up. The economy continuing to strengthen. Hopefully no Washington shutdowns.
It only took five years for the American media to get tired of President Obama´s spoon-fed propaganda -- well, at least one aspect of it. Earlier this month, 38 news organizations, including the Associated Press, ABC News, The Washington Post, and Reuters demanded more photojournalist access to the president. The White House responded with what one reporter described as a middle finger. Now some news organizations are responding by formalizing policies not to publish White House-distributed photographs. Last week the USA Today announced that it will not use “handout photos originating from the White House Press Office, except in very
Appearing on Friday night’s On the Record, conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer strongly criticized President Barack Obama for his “cavalier attitude” towards the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution. “Democrats will rue the day that they allowed all this,” Krauthammer declared. “I’m talking about how the administration, particularly the president, seems to think that he has the right to change duly passed statutes on his own or to suspend parts of laws on his own,” Krauthammer said when asked to clarify his critique of the Obama administration’s “lawlessness.” “The Constitution is pretty clear,” he continued,