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The only reason it takes government intervention at times, is that the marketplace is so competitive that we need a level playing field in an otherwise sometimes wild west economy.  

Small business needs protection from the Walton's who used predatory pricing and below cost selling to eliminate the competition.  

Good ole Al of Chicago used different methods  

@Michael Pickett


I'm back at my desk now, and as such can give you the response your posts on this thread deserve.

Again I say, "you sir, are the man".

We probably don't fill in many of the same circles on our ballots, but your evenhanded approach to something you are personally invested in is not the kind of scorched earth "with us or against us" rhetoric these kinds of discussions usually engender, and I (for one) really appreciate it. I also try to see both sides of an argument before I come down on one side or the other, and I'm aware that we all see through a dark glass darkly. Not everything is subjective (everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts), but generally our perspectives and experiences are. It's good for everybody to look at policy issues like this from as many angles as possible.

It's clear that you do. You've freely admitted that your embrace of an electric daily driver makes sense in Maui, and probably not in Saskatoon. If I lived on an island, had 300+ days of sunshine, $4 gas, super-expensive electricity, and the means to generate my own power-- I'd look hard at an electric car as well. It's a great solution in a situation very different from my own.

My only objection is that this has become a religion to a lot of people, and was progressing towards becoming a one-size-fits-all solution, before we elected Mussolini-Lite. The issue is that the only tool most people posses is a hammer, and that in that situation everything begins to look like a nail (whether one roots for the "D"-team or the "R"). You certainly aren't hammering down those of us in flyover states without good air or rail connections, and with kids 1000 mi away by insisting that we all walk the one true path of the EV. It's not lost on you that an electric car is a very poor option in a lot of situations.

I'm the weird conservative that actually thinks we ought to start conserving stuff. What I don't like is when either camp makes stuff up to make their point. I don't feel like you have or are doing that at all, and I think you clarified your thoughts even further-- but I hear from a lot of places how the earth is running out of energy, or food, or some such thing to make a point... when the truth is that we've never had food or fuel in such abundance in all of human history.  Far from being over-crowded, the western world is actually in danger of economic decline, unless we continue to welcome immigrants, etc., or decide that children are a blessing and not an encumbrance.

You get this, and I appreciate your approach. Thanks for being a solid dude, advocating from a different perspective.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Stan, you are the one who gets to say who's "the man" on any particular day so that makes you the man man (I'd add another ", man" to this sentence but it would make me sound like Maynard G. Krebbs).

In terms of even handedness, there are few ideologies that don't trigger my skepticism lights. When I can, I try to look at what I'm saying from the other point of view. When I was younger, I was often a total ass and have a lot of ground to make up. It's amazing how much more mature I am at 67 than when I was, like 66...

Truth be told, I worked for 35 years in information technology and would start most of my pitches for support with "In 5 years this will look like a dumb decision, but we need to do blah blah blah."

Principles endure. My favorite example is the US Constitution. Still not perfect, but it gives me goosebumps whenever I read it or hear it quoted. The founders could be asses, too but I still can't believe they came up with principles and structures that are so enduring.

Woof, sorry for rambling, thanks again


Men, or gentlemen ... the difficulty is getting unbiased facts when this discussion is so charged with a type of religious zealotry.  

Even the schools have been a seeding and breeding ground for an ideology where our kids have been indoctrinated rather than thought to think critically about this issue.  It has been 30 years in the making. 

Today, those in government who are committed to the ideology are numerous enough and are ready to take taxpayers money for an idealogy that continues to prove itself inconclusive but whenever one questions the idealogy, those in power believe the inquiry to be coming from a person who has a two decimal place IQ.   

Critical thinking is like common sense, not too common according to Voltaire.

mppickett posted:

Todd I think the credits mostly go to the car owner and not the manufacturer. Nearly a half of a trillion federal dollars has been given to subsidize the gas and oil industry since 1918 so in comparison, any solar, wind geothermal incentives to date are de minimis. EV subsidies are part of the federal subsidy program in the efficiency section of the budget (same part that subsidizes efficient refrigerators). 

I'm not arguing that it is the best process, but it makes sense for the future. Gas and oil are just going to get more scarce, dirty and expensive. We need alternatives and EVs are one. They truly aren't perfect but are getting better. I would welcome a hydrogen powered alternative, but because of the energy density complications, I suspect that is further away.

ZEV credits, or Zero Emission Vehicle credits are given to the manufacturer by the federal government, at a rate of about 4 or 5 ZEVs per zero emission vehicle.  Tesla and/or other electric car manufacturers then sell those ZEV credits to car manufacturers who need to buy them to satisfy manufacturer emission requirements. They are an indirect subsidy to electric car buyers from ICE car buyers.

I am all for REAL zero emission vehicle credits, but current electric cars, such as Tesla are an environmental nightmare.  There may not be any emissions coming from the car, but the environmental cost to manufacturer the car and batteries and recycle huge batteries is 4 times the environmental cost to manufacturer, maintain, and recycle an ICE car.

Last edited by Todd M
Stan Galat posted:


When I was a kid, LA used be be nearly uninhabitable during an inversion.  

I hated the SCAQMD when I was a teenager and had to get my car smogged.  The process in those days was a bureaucratic mess.  But, now I see the wisdom of the laws, even if imperfect at the time.  My children do not have to deal with the smog like I did, and I am grateful.  I don't think folks really understand what the smog was like for kids.  We would get home from surfing, and have to stay as still as we could so that we would breathe as little as possible because it hurt and felt so awful.  Any activity which required deep breaths came with a penalty later on.

The US has not been this pristine since before white people lived here.

Depending upon who you read, it appears that the Southern Sierra Miwok, who inhabited Yosemite Valley, used large fire for crop management which resulted in smog.  Not just haze, dust and moisture, but chemical laden smog.


Jim Kelly posted:

I agree with much of what Stan says above, but we're all whistling through the graveyard in some respects.  The electric vehicle market share will increase during our lifetime, but not without attendant problems of waste streams, recapture of harmful components, etc.

When ADM scientists figure out a way to grow corn to make batteries, Armageddon will truly have arrived, and ADM may switch over their currently-for-sale ethanol plants to EV-related battery production.

China will remain the big dog in the energy business, both short and long term, regarding both ethanol and EV's, with their pollution problems, current trade war build-up, and willingness to spearhead ecologically disastrous industrial practices.

99% of the corn grown in the US is not for human consumption.  It's not just Chuck Grassley or the family farm owner who's worried about market-based macroeconomics.  Where do we sell the corn and beans we can no longer use with current Chinese tariffs?  We should all be glancing at the pundits because we all have a dog in the fight.

I think the electric vehicle market share may increase a bit more, but then it will decrease to it's true supply and demand curve.  It all comes down to money.  Musk thought he could start a revolution, but he is fast finding out that competition and supply and demand will always win in the end.

China's ability to increase it's electric vehicle proportions are completely different than the US's.  China has 45 nuclear power plants with more under construction.

mppickett posted:

Offshore has a decent record considering how much oil we get, but screwups have extremely broad impacts. So one mistake hurts for many years. House of cards in the log run.

"In the Gulf of Mexico, there are more than 600 natural oil seeps that leak between one and five million barrels of oil per year, equivalent to roughly 80,000 to 200,000 tonnes." - Wikipedia

And that is just in the Gulf of Mexico.

"The infamous 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, one of the largest in U.S. history, dumped more than 10 million gallons of crude into Prince William Sound." ... "Microbes consume most, but not all, of the compounds in the oil."  - LiveScience

Growing up at a California beach, I knew that the ocean contained naturally occurring oil, because the beach ALWAYS had tar on it, even when there were no oil spills.  And the tar did not increase or decrease when there was a spill.


Fortunately, there's tons of research going on in coming up with the next generation of batteries. Follow the money - venture capitalists are circling.


That may have been true a few years ago, but now, not so much.  The big money is no longer investing in battery research.  Hundreds of millions of dollars were speculated with a big goose egg in returns.  If money does not find a return, it goes elsewhere.  You want media evidence, Google Panasonic and the gigafactory. 

Fusion is a dream.  Thorium is real.

Last edited by Todd M

As an old research scientist, I like the motto of the Oregon Research Institute: " In Data We Trust." Well conducted studies peer reviewed by experts in the field can lend weight arguments. In science, there is no "proof" but when the preponderance of reliable data supports an idea, it is usually the best we can use at that time. 

I was taught that I better have data to support my arguments. For example, here's a chart from a study by Ricardo (2011) showing that indeed, EV production has a higher environmental impact than ICs. But, it also shows that over the lifetime of the car, EVs have a lower environmental impact than IC cars.


These results are replicated in findings from studies in Sweden, a study by the Automotive Science Group that followed 1300 US cars through their lives and other studies. The links to the original studies are available at:

If any of my university librarian colleagues discover this post, please forgive me for citing Wikipedia, but it's really not a bad article and the sources are reasonable!!!

Also, I m sorry to whine but it puts my teeth on edge when statements are made saying that IC owners are paying for EV owners to do blah blah blah.

That kind of argument creates an emotional dichotomy that is false. Money is spent from budgets. You can argue that anything that is funded takes money from something that isn't funded. For example, a fallacious dichotomy might be "Vietnam vets aren't getting the health care and respect that they deserve because we're spending federal funds on fly-byes by fighter jets at sporting events."

Ridiculous, huh. We have the budgets we have because our representatives and executive leaders choose it. Not because the guy 4 parking spaces down bought an electric Intermeccanica. If you don't like the budget, use the Constitution to vote in some different rascals.

This finger pointing to justify what you don't like feels like a dishonest approach to convincing people that your idea has merit. Show me the data, and the link to the study so I can evaluate the quality of the science.

 So, I just put down my 15 year old Belgian Malinois. She was one the most serious and loyal dogs I've ever encountered. A true force with which to be reckoned (Seal Team 6 took a Belgian with them to get Bin Laden). I miss her terribly and it probably made me be a little bit more cranky than usual. For that I apologize.

Stan, I think I probably need to offer my resignation for being "the man" today. Time for me to sign off.



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Sorry to read about the loss of your dog, Mike.  My condolences.  We have had bush dogs for decades now, most of them gone but not forgotten.  We buried them on the property and I say HI and chat with them when I'm mowing near their graves. 

We allow them to share our lives, and we are the better for it.  Our lives are immensely richer due to living with our canine companions.  Every time we lose one, I swear off getting another dog.  Then, I'm driving somewhere and I see this gorgeous, abandoned, emaciated puppy on the side of the road.  You know how it goes . . .


If you want, you can Google and find whichever study you choose.  Right now, the number of EV beats the ICE on lowering environmental impact studies outnumbers the reverse by about 20 to 1.  And in my world, as strange as that may be, the mob is usually wrong.  People believe what they want to believe.  My experience is that I could show someone studies all day long, and they would not change their beliefs, and electric vehicle superiority is a belief not a fact.

"Also, I m sorry to whine but it puts my teeth on edge when statements are made saying that IC owners are paying for EV owners to do blah blah blah."

Why take it personally?  It isn't.

"That kind of argument creates an emotional dichotomy that is false. Money is spent from budgets. You can argue that anything that is funded takes money from something that isn't funded. For example, a fallacious dichotomy might be "Vietnam vets aren't getting the health care and respect that they deserve because we're spending federal funds on fly-byes by fighter jets at sporting events."

It is not fallacious, nor is it emotional.  Buyers of government subsidized EVs pay less than market price for their vehicle via ZEVs to manufacturers.  Buyers of ICEs pay for those ZEVS by transfer of ZEV cost to the consumer from the manufacturers.  A more accurate analogy of the ZEV budget is, "I will take Zoe's cookies and give them to Chloe, because Chloe is more popular and I want her to like me."

Disclosure: I am short Tesla.


Last edited by Todd M

The created advantage of no gas tax for EVs yet they use road/bridge infrastructure is one that gets me.  Apparently FL has one of highest gas taxes at $.55/gallon.  (So for a car covering 15k miles that is a tax of near $400 per year). That used to support 50% of road infrastructure work.

So how do you level that playing field? $.55/gallon is 20% the cost of a gallon of gas.  Do you charge more to register an EV car?  Of build more toll booths to collect road fees equally?  Florida is indeed rethinking that (not sure why they throw in ride sharing - which you'd think was good):

The changing landscape of alternative fuels and ride-sharing practices is spurring some policymakers to consider raising and reforming the gas tax, or even drafting an entirely new way to fund the country’s infrastructure.

If we were serious about conservation/environment/pollution, small, lite weight, fuel efficient cars would get a tax benefit and be selling like hot-cakes.  Instead hugh PU trucks and SUVs are driving car production to extinction.  Used to be only construction guys had PUs - now they replace Cadilacs as high end conveyances.  I can't figure it out.  I just assume gas isn't costly enough yet  in US yet to discourage folks from buying them.  Europe has some really attractive "station wagens" that aren't even exported to US.  They get car like gas mileage and handling plus can carry extra junk and folks.  Maybe calling them SW (sport wagens) or shooting brakes would increase their appeal?

2020 MB CLA250 Shooting Brake - NA in USA!

Image result for 2020 mercedes cla250 shooting brake

@WOLFGANG @Michael Pickett

Sorry about your dog, Mike.

I don't have a great answer.  I do think that a modified ZEV credit is part of the solution.  The problem, as I see it, is that environmental cost is not included in the price of many goods and services.  If environmental cost was included in everything we buy, I have a suspicion that there would be little to no pollution or environmental destruction.  But then, I'm an optimist.

Wanna' know why huge SUVs and giant “1/2 ton” trucks that are as big as 1 ton trucks of yore are winning and cars are losing?

Check out the condition of most surface streets and highways. Big wheel/tire combos with long travel suspension makes roads befitting a 3rd world nation more navigable. Factor in that the higher vehicle is seen to be more likely to win the full-contact driving battle, and you can better understand why every 90 lb soccermom in the nation is climbing up into a giant pickup.

Also see the decline of the male population of this nation actually doing anything very manly. A fashion accessory is needed to pump up the Y-chromosome, and what better way to do that than with a $75K 4-door pickup truck with camel-colored fine grain leather, deep pile carpet, and heated and cooled full massage seats.

It’s stupid, but that’s how we roll in this country. 

Last edited by Stan Galat

If we were serious about reducing the environmental impact of cars, we'd change the one thing that damages the environment the most-- the process of manufacturing stuff to replace perfectly adequate older stuff that has simply gone out of fashion.

The average buyer keeps a new car for 71.4 months (according to AutoTrader), or just under the 6 years the loan takes to pay off. Then Mr. New Buyer trades it in, and starts the cycle over again. Lather, rinse, repeat from the time a buyer can afford his first new car (30?) until he dies. 

I've got no data to back this up (sorry Mike), but I'd bet good money that the driving my stinky old hopped up VW until I die has significantly less environmental impact than buying a new EV every 6 years. I don't care if the EV plant has a sod roof and an army of contented robots welding on the spotless epoxied floor-- the steel, aluminum, plastic, motors, and batteries to build the green machine all came from all over the globe and didn't just teleport themselves to the shiny factory. Those same raw materials and sub-assemblies likely came from places where the environmental impact of mining and manufacturing was not a prime consideration. Building stuff new stuff is not environmentally friendly, no matter how pretty it looks on the showroom floor, or how good it makes us feel.

Last edited by Stan Galat
Todd M posted:
IaM-Ray posted:

The only reason it takes government intervention at times, is that the marketplace is so competitive that we need a level playing field in an otherwise sometimes wild west economy.  


A competitive marketplace is the level playing field.  Equal opportunity does not mean equal results.

I agree, the game is always played where everyone starts at the starting line.. the outcomes are due to giftings (not earned) and hard work.

The issue in the end is your perception of how much total control you will allow if the monopoly of service no matter how good it is does not allow the common man to make a living and feed his family.

Hence the moral, dare I say it, responsibility to give others a leg up and prevent predatory behaviour....

Having said that, life isn’t fair and I really am a capitalist and I am always disturbed by those wanting equal outcomes without working but I am also frustratedly those who would vulture the weak.



All of this is drivel......   Really.  People are gonna buy what they want for all of their own reasons, even if/when it is regulated by Gum'Ment.  I used to drive a more-polluting diesel simply because it had more power (although the Urea-injection to lessen emissions I could have lived without).  It also ate me out of house and home.  Now I drive an IC car getting about 30mpg.  Meh.

I am truly sorry for the loss of your pup, @Michael Pickett.  I had to look that breed up and they are magnificent animals - Wicked smart, too.  We had full-size Collies for decades (we used them to herd the kids and their friends around the yard when they were small) and then a pair of the mellow-est, loving-est Jack Russells ever, anywhere.  

Every time I lost a dog to old age it was like tearing out my heart and trampling on it - We were losing a devoted family member and it hurt.  The hurt subsides after a while and you have some nice memories - old photos help - but it's not the same.  I can't do that anymore, so I'm dog-less for the first time in my whole life.   Sometimes I would like another, but then I remember the vet bills and boarding fees and the cost of special dog food because of Cushings disease in both of the Jacks and think it is OK to offer to be a dog-sitter for the neighbors and then see them go home.   

Still, we always carry dog treats with us when we walk the neighborhood in hopes of seeing any of the dozen or so being walked daily here.  Big or small, they all get treats from the Nichols' and they are all our special friends.

God Bless, Mike.  

Be strong.  gn

I have a golden retriever named Barney. He just turned 1 year old and he is a handful!!! I have had dogs my entire life and only have gone a few months without one.  Denise and I love every one of the dogs we have had but, this is the first one that she has said, "NO MORE PUPPIES!"  He has been the toughest to train, tame! He is still very love\able and he makes us laugh every day with his antics.

Barney Feb 2019 004


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I have a golden retriever named Barney. He just turned 1 year old and he is a handful!!! I have had dogs my entire life and only have gone a few months without one.  Denise and I love every one of the dogs we have had but, this is the first one that she has said, "NO MORE PUPPIES!"  He has been the toughest to train, tame! He is still very love\able and he makes us laugh every day with his antics.

Barney Feb 2019 004

When I was a 8 y/o kid I had a beagle / basset hound...strong dog that would take ME for a walk. My father set up a cable run for the dog from a tree 50' from the house to a heavy screw eye on the kitchen window frame. A rabbit runs across the yard, the dog takes notice and goes into a full pursuit mode turning 90 degrees from the cable and that move instantly pulled the kitchen window right out of the house ! 

Fast forward 6 decades I am seriously considering getting a "Pocket Beagle" these dogs remain the size of a puppy at about 4 - 5 lbs. 

Last edited by Alan Merklin
Stan Galat posted:
Todd M posted:

Fusion is a dream.  Thorium is real.

I missed this sentence yesterday, but read it and did a little "YouTube Research" after church this morning. 

All I can say is wow. LFTR is the real deal.

Before I speculate, I research.  My research shows me that there will not be much money to made in this realm.  The technology will probably easy with no barrier to entry.  The great news is that the resulting electricity will be cheap and available enough that poorer countries and areas will have access.  The picture that keeps going through my mind is of people not having to use wood, charcoal, and dung for cooking and heating.  Maybe an inexpensive byproduct would be desalination?  How amazing would that be for those without access to clean water?  How much ill health could be brought to bay with clean energy and clean water? 

"When I was a 8 y/o kid I had a beagle / basset hound...strong dog that would take ME for a walk."

Ain't that the truth .... I still see grown ups being taken for a walk everyday  

One of my kids trains dogs and her Australian cattle dogs are just so well trained it is amazing to watch how attentive they are to her and how they actually seem to love having a job...something to do... 

The "You Tube Research" comment was meant to poke fun at myself, as I had never even heard of Thorium before your comment.

The thing is-- the fact that we're pursuing really imperfect and variable pie-in-the-sky semi-solutions (wind and solar), rather than look for something that offers constant and scaleable power reveals that we really aren't very serious about weaning off fossil fuels for electricity. Since we're not serious about a realistic solution to greatly increase the capacity of the grid, it makes me wonder why there is so much emphasis on electric cars, which simply moves the source of the pollution several steps upstream, with an attendant efficiency loss at every step.

If we really could generate all the power we might ever need, and do it without burning anything at all, and do it safely-- this might be the game-changer every pragmatic environmentalist should be looking for.

True Story, I was involved with an inventor who had created a dual fuel burner and incinerator that government scientist really thought were genius ideas but he got no traction.  Even when there was only two things produced by the incinerator output, CO2 and H2O.  How much more do you want...

Then he invented a generation system that could realistic double the output of a generator and another that would be able to use a 5mph stream to power up a village, again no traction.  The engineers were amazed at the logic and the simplistic but profound steps forward he had in his designs.  

He had a whole bunch of patents .... passed away sometime ago... many of his ideas in the patent office. 

We had lots of fun. 


I just showed my 10 year old neighbor how a solar panel works, from scratch. I gave him a radiometer and a gyroscope for his birthday. His radiometer sits on a window sill in his house where it takes light energy and spins away....  He comes over to my house to play in my workshop, mostly crushing stuff in vises ;-0..... but, every time he is here, we do or make something creative!   Power is all around us.. Harnessing it efficiently & safely is the key... The next generation can figure out how to make money from the sun, wind, geothermic, ocean waves and on and on and on.... there are lots of energy units in our world just waiting to be used....

   I have a daughter who is now a successful Phd in physics.  I like to think that she learned some stuff in my basement workshop too!  Colleen Speedster throw back;-) 


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