Because Trimming Trees Is So Hard

This morning about 60,000 customers are without electricity in Northern California. Why? Pacific Gas & Electric company was found liable for a major fire as they had not kept trees out of the power lines, and during a high wind condition, they sparked and caught fire.

So, since it is just soooo hard to trim trees, and one guy can chop power in a minute, they have decided to just shut off the power whenever it’s windy and dry (and it is almost always dry in California…).

Hope all you eCar owners can walk to work… Oh, wait, work will be closed too… Well, hope you don’t have to escape a fire…

Who need to drive when the wind blows, anyway… /sarc;

In a first, PG&E cuts power to 60,000 to prevent wildfires during wind storm

Gavin Bade
Oct. 15, 2018
Pacific Gas & Electric cut off electricity service to nearly 60,000 people on Sunday in a new attempt to prevent wildfires across Northern California service area during high winds and dry conditions.

The National Weather Service on Saturday issued a Red Flag Warning for the region, cautioning of extreme risk of wildfires due to low humidity and winds reaching above 50 miles per hour. High winds can cause power lines to come into contact with vegetation, igniting fires.

PG&E lines were found responsible for 16 fires last year and California lawmakers passed wildfire liability protections for utilities this summer after PG&E warned that fire costs could force it into bankruptcy or reorganization.

Must be due to Global Warming /sarc;

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Posted in AGW and Weather News Events, Emergency Preparation and Risks, Energy, News Related | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

W.O.O.D. 14 October 2018


This is another of the W.O.O.D. series of semi-regular
Weekly Occasional Open Discussions.
(i.e. if I forget and skip one, no big)

Immediate prior one here:
and remains open for threads running there
(at least until the ‘several month’ auto-close of comments on stale threads).

Canonical list of old ones here:

So use “Tips” for “Oooh, look at the interesting ponder thing!”
and “W.O.O.D” for “Did you see what just happened?! What did you think about it?”

What’s Going On?

The Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court. Now the entire Deep State & Democratic strategy is to take back the House and work on impeachment of Trump and some way to undo Kavanaugh – though I find it hard to think of a “how” since anything they tried would go to the Supreme Court and I think even the Progressives on the Supreme Court would take a dim view of reversing an approved appointment without some finding of real criminality provable in, well, the court. Kavanaugh needs to avoid hunting cabins and road trips for a few years…

Watch the Democrats attempt to run a full on smear campaign against both Trump and Kavanaugh as a way to get out their voters. Republicans need to match their “ground game” with an effective get out the vote process of their own. I hope Team Trump have a bunch of arrests queued up for an October Surprise…next week would be nice. Just a few weeks until it’s all over but the crying. That will dominate the next few weeks. The result will dominate the next few years.

Hurricane Michael is now history, watch for the recovery to be pilloried as a failure no matter now well it’s done.

The markets took a dive last week. Monday, IMHO, will be the “tell”. Is it more massive shorting and continued down? Fed rate hikes rule. Is it back up to the SMA Simple Moving Average Stack and then through it? Normal “correction” and Trumps economy rules. I’m expecting lots of downward pressure from very rich Leftists trying to ruin the market run just in time for the election. There will also be lots of talk about how it’s all Trump’s fault due to the tariffs. That’s wrong, but it is the strategy that will be used by the Dems and the media. Let’s hope it has not been so politicized too…

Excessive snow and cold are all over the West, Canada and Russia. This will be hard to hide, but also hard to demonstrate effectively to the masses. Iceage Now has a pretty good list of cold events up at the moment. Commenters there are worried about grain shortages from lack of ability to harvest in time, yet watching a farm economy show had prices stable to low and no talk of supply shortages. Someone is wrong but I’m not sure which one yet.

Says some damage, but not much:

USDA: Weather Damaged Soybeans Eligible For Crop Insurance Claims

10/12/2018 03:44 PM

WASDE: Season-Average Prices Unchanged
10/11/2018 11:26 AM

Crop Production: Corn, Soybeans, Production Down Slightly
10/11/2018 11:26 AM
Quarterly Grain Stocks: Corn Stocks Down 7%, Soybean Up 45%
09/28/2018 11:05 AM

Crop Progress: North Carolina Farmers Did Their Best
09/24/2018 05:11 PM

USDA Invests More Than $100 Million In Specialty Crop Market
09/19/2018 04:08 PM

Farmers Double Five-Year Soybean Harvest Average
09/17/2018 04:07 PM

One Farmer’s Experience Applying For Tariff Aid
09/14/2018 04:27 PM

Farmers Share Their Thoughts On Tariff Aid
09/14/2018 03:46 PM

Farmer Wins Case After Losing $2.2 Million of Chickens to Bald Eagles
09/13/2018 04:06 PM

So looking down that list of articles, there’s some reductions “Corn, Soybeans, Production Down Slightly” does not get me excited; but also a lot more soybeans held in stocks. I’m just not seeing a reason to get excited about it. The article about a Farmer wining a case about bald eagles looks interesting and I’m going to read it right after posting this ;-) If folks can start holding the EPA & Government responsible for their economic losses from stupid policies, that would go a long way to fixing things.

On the Roku, the FRTV (Farm TV) channel was saying they were running about 10 days late on wheat ripening, in Ohio I think, but they thought the harvest would be fine.

IMHO, if colder seasons have onset over a few years, farmers will be plenty able to adjust when and what they plant and grow. Worst case would be too much rain and mud mixed with rapid swings of temperature in a “loopy jet stream” regimen. Even then, sturdy grains that can take water variation and don’t lodge much, like sorghum, can be used instead of corn – especially in dry places; while faster grains that are more cold tolerant can be used instead of wheat. Grains like barley. More beer, less bread? I can live with that ;-)

In Texas they already decide, season by season, about the corn vs sorghum choice based on the expected rains each year (where corn is sporadic or marginal) so that margin will just move over time. Similarly where corn marched north in the last few decades, it can march back south. I remember in the late ’70s being in Indiana where farmers were talking about planting corn further north than it had been grown prior (shorter season varieties and warming out of the early 70s cold). Farmers know how to do this. They did it after the Great Pacific Shift of the mid 70s to the warm side, then can revert to the pattern of the 50s and 60s just as readily.

I know “fear sells” and you see lots of Horror movies but hardly any “Nothing much will happen” movies – so I’ll never get rich that way… but I just don’t see any reason to panic over a bit of cold coming earlier. Guess I’m a lousy fear merchant.

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Posted in W.O.O.D. | Tagged | 26 Comments

Why The Electrification Big Con?

I’ve pondered for a good long while just why there would be such a push to abandon oil & gas. What’s the real big benefit? It isn’t cheaper goods, services, and transportation. It isn’t “saving the planet” as there is no Global Warming.

So why all the push to move everyone to electric cars and trucks, to electrify all the oil & gas using parts of the economy? Why the electrification big con?

So first look at who is pushing it and where they are from. We know the 3rd World economies have been bought off to get on side with the program. Promised $200 Billion / year or so from the USA Sugar Daddy. (Trump, thankfully, has saved us from that bit of the con via canning the Paris Agreement.) Russia signed up for it thinking they’d get some bucks too (or maybe some nice technology transfers) but Russia has never believed in the Climate Con. They have stated they are preparing for cold.

That leaves Japan, Europe, and North America as the big remaining players in the global economy, plus a pile of OPEC oil sources – and the attendant banked $Billions.

The USA is self sufficient in oil, gas, and coal. We’ve been pushed, reluctantly, and via a Green Lie into tepid “me too” following. Europe has been doing the leading. Why might Europe want to get the world off of oil and gas, hmmm?

Found that last image at Tallbloke’s here:

Image from:

So let’s say you were horribly dependent on imported oil and gas, so much so that it drained massive amounts of your money. Further, if you were to stop using it, the costs to produce goods and services would rise dramatically. That would make your already way expensive products even more expensive and non-competitive What to do, what to do…

Perhaps try to find a way to make your competitors in the global markets use the same “alternative” energy sources? But you can’t just tell them to raise their cost basis for everything they make to insane levels just to please you. No, you need a reason why they just can’t use all the energy supply they have. Something horrible that will happen, something that’s an existential threat to them if they do.

How about a con where you convince them it will destroy the planet and end life as we know it? Think that might work? Gin up some “science” to “prove” it, then get everyone to sign on to a treaty requiring them to use the same crap energy sources you have to use.

But that would just crush the 3rd World countries. OK, need to get a “mark” to pony up the bribe money to buy them off. Soak the USA for a few hundred $Billion a year. Yeah, that ought to cover it…

True? I don’t know. Passes Occam’s Razor? Oh yeah…

Now, for seasoning, what about this speculation:

There are rumors that the Saudi Oil fields are pumping a lot more water these days. That the light crude is showing signs of being an old field near end of life. They have other fields, but heavier and sour in comparison. So the Saudi’s just might be thinking it’s time to branch out into other money supplies.

Europe, knowing the big oil supply may be ramping down in a decade or two need to cut over to other energy supplies, and the Saudis need a new money supply; but presently hold most of the investment capital in the world. So…

Talk to the Saudis. Sell them on the notion of using all that lovely €Money from their banks to build all the new energy supply. They stay in the energy business and Europe gets some capital recycled, a bunch of jobs for their 20% unemployed, and everyone is happy. Well, except for the rate payers, but who cares about them…

Just need to get those pesky Americans to buy the Climate Con and you’re golden…

The part I don’t see fitting this speculation:

Europe has coal. Are they just not using it to sell the con, or what? Is it that there is so little coal in Europe it can’t replace all the oil & gas?

Nuclear. It works. It is really the only long term energy source for stable dispatchable cheap electricity. France & Japan show you can run modern economies on it. Just nuclear paranoia or what?

So that’s my muse for the day. Rampant speculation that the Climate Con is just a way for Europe to fix their oil & gas addiction and import problems without being at a competitive disadvantage in trade. The whole push to electric cars and all is just a way to solve the European oil & gas import problems. Perhaps with a bit of “keep Russia out” frosting on top.

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Posted in Energy, World Economics | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

Jordan Petersen – Marxism and the Pareto Principle

An interesting perspective on Marxism and why it can not work.

The essential point is that the Pareto Principle is a physical reality that applies to all manner of things, including money and economies. Marxism is ignorant of that and attributes it to a failure of Capitalism, when it isn’t. Attempts to “fix” issues with “income distribution” are akin to trying to fix gravity by passing laws.

What is the Pareto Principle? It is seen all over the place as the 80 / 20 rule. That 80% of the patents go to 20% of the inventors, or that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people.

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Management consultant Joseph M. Juran suggested the principle and named it after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who noted the 80/20 connection while at the University of Lausanne in 1896, as published in his first work, Cours d’économie politique. Essentially, Pareto showed that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population.

It is an axiom of business management that “80% of sales come from 20% of clients”. Richard Koch authored the book, The 80/20 Principle, which illustrated some practical applications of the Pareto principle in business management and life.

Mathematically, the 80/20 rule is roughly followed by a power law distribution (also known as a Pareto distribution) for a particular set of parameters, and many natural phenomena have been shown empirically to exhibit such a distribution.

The Pareto principle is only tangentially related to Pareto efficiency. Pareto developed both concepts in the context of the distribution of income and wealth among the population.
In economics

The original observation was in connection with population and wealth. Pareto noticed that 80% of Italy’s land was owned by 20% of the population. He then carried out surveys on a variety of other countries and found to his surprise that a similar distribution applied.

A chart that gave the inequality a very visible and comprehensible form, the so-called “champagne glass” effect, was contained in the 1992 United Nations Development Program Report, which showed that distribution of global income is very uneven, with the richest 20% of the world’s population controlling 82.7% of the world’s income.
The Pareto principle also applies to taxation. In the US, the top 20% of earners have paid roughly 80% of Federal income taxes in 2000 and 2006, and again in 2018.

Attempts to “fix that” are essentially doomed to failure.

Very similar to a Parato Distribution that is a more rigorous statistical statement.

The Pareto distribution, named after the Italian civil engineer, economist, and sociologist Vilfredo Pareto, is a power-law probability distribution that is used in description of social, scientific, geophysical, actuarial, and many other types of observable phenomena. Originally applied to describing the distribution of wealth in a society, fitting the trend that a large portion of wealth is held by a small fraction of the population, the Pareto distribution has colloquially become known and referred to as the Pareto principle, or “80-20 rule”, and is sometimes called the “Matthew principle”. This rule states that, for example, 80% of the wealth of a society is held by 20% of its population. However, the Pareto distribution only produces this result for a particular power value, α (α = log4 5 ≈ 1.16). While α is variable, empirical observation has found the 80-20 distribution to fit a wide range of cases, including natural phenomena and human activities.

In effect, Marxism is un-natural and fighting with the laws of nature and human nature.

But it’s a pretty good story… “There’s always a story.” -E.M.Smith

Marxism attempts to change the value of α by an extreme amount and in a very unnatural way, so fails.

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Posted in World Economics | Tagged , , | 2 Comments