Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wetter and Wetter

It is still raining. There is water everywhere. Everyone from the county to homeowners are out trying to free up storm drains so the water has someplace to go other than the living room or a giant puddle on the highway. There is no end in site. If this had been snow, we'd be up around 4 feet by now. The roads are still lined with utility trucks patching together power lines. Our electric has stayed on (looks around desperately for some wood to knock on), but most of the people I work with have lost power at some point in the last couple days. What an interesting place. I think I'll take my chances with hurricanes.

I wonder at times what planet newspaper reporters come from. There is an article that breathlessly announces that (gasp!) Hispanic immigrants are heavily religiously conservative! Wow! Ya think that may have something to do with how those same Hispanic immigrants are heavily Catholic? Looks like the Dallas Morning News had some white space that needed filling.

The Airport Security Kabuki Theater continues. Flashcards. Ye flippin' gods.

Another excellent essay over at The Archdruid Report explaining why fossil fuels will be difficult to impossible to replace. Namely, fossil fuels are made by huge energy inputs resulting in a very energy-dense fuel source. Attempting to replicate that with solar or wind or [fill in the blank] is a challenge. I largely agree with his point, but would quibble with his comments on nuclear. The cost of nuclear, at least here in the United States, is inflated by legal and regulatory obstacles that don't accomplish much other than destroying nuclear as an option. I still contend that had the US started a crash program (or a series of X-Prizes) on September 12, 2001 to build a number of different test reactors (light water, fast breeders, thorium, pebble bed, etc.), standardized on a design, made it immune to NIMBY law suites, onerous permitting processes, etc., we'd now have an abundance of electricity. Running in parallel with this, other crash programs (or X-Prizes) for battery tech and charging infrastructure would make electric transportation affordable and practical. At the very least, this would have given all those Masters of the Universe something to do other than create exotic financial derivatives based on toxic mortgages, sell them as AAA-safe-as-US-T-bills, and blow up the world economy.

Related to that, housing sales continue to dig an even-deeper hole. I love this:
The big drop was a surprise to economists who were expecting a 5 percent increase over December's pace.

By all the gods, do economists live in caves in Afghanistan?

A great article on lost trust. It is focused on the loss of trust in climate scientists, and, by extension, science in general. But it can be applied to a great many things. Like economists and bankers.

And the rain continues. I may need webbed feet to pick Debbie up from work.

No comments: