It Couldn’t Be Done

It Couldn’t Be Done, by Edgar Albert Guest Somebody said that it couldn’t be done But he with a chuckle replied That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried. So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin On his face. If he worried he hid it. He started to sing as he tackled the thing That couldn’t be done, and he did it! Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that; At least no one ever has done it;” But he took off his coat and he took off his hat And the first thing we knew he’d begun it. With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin, Without any doubting or quiddit, He started to sing as he tackled the thing That couldn’t be done, and he did it. There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done, There are thousands to prophesy failure, There are thousands to point out to you one by one, The dangers that wait to assail you. But just buckle in with a bit of a grin, Just take off your coat and go to it; Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do...
American  Greatness – Letter to Rachel Maddow

American Greatness – Letter to Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow, D.PhilMSNBC Broadcast Journalist Dr. Maddow, Thank you for your contributions to the world of journalism.  While so many of your colleagues are challenged to stay inside the lines of your profession’s proverbial ethics, your smiling face appears on my screens delivering a “better reality”.  Your recent series of broadcasts regarding our nation’s history and heritage are indeed inspiring, however, they do not reflect an understanding of current resource availability.  To better convey my point (in your own style) I will share the following quotes from the movie, “Six Days Seven Nights”… Robin: Aren’t you one of those guys? Quinn: What guys? Robin: Those guy guys, you know, those guys with skills. Quinn: Skills? Robin: Yeah. You send them into the wilderness with a pocket knife and a Q-tip and they build you a shopping mall. You can’t do that? Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation” was indeed great because they wielded the greatest amount of the cheapest energy in human history.  The great accomplishments – Hoover Dam (about 5 miles from my offices), …, the vast majority of the entire U.S. Civil Engineering infrastructure – were all basically the result of this same “unique in all of human history” energy resource opportunity. To share some background, after graduate school, I ran my own firm for 12 years then went to work for the then Fortune 82 Corporation.  A few years of experience provided a path to the then Fortune 67, then Fortune 38 and finally Fortune 8.  Afterward I worked for the DoE and the DoD for many years.  I served as an Analyst and Project Manager/Principal Investigator in...

Blogging on renewableenergyworld.com

@etcgreen Even if we use your number of 2.8 miles/kwh, the Nissan still costs 4 cents/mile @12 cents/kwh. Or 1/2 the cost of a Jaguar @ the national B100 average of $4.20/gallon. Response… With respect, please take the time and make the effort to understand the world around you. Today, the average kwh rate in CA is about $.24 rather than your suggested $.12kwh.  Many areas of CA are now peaking at $.38kwh. This is the result of clean air legislation and increased renewable energy sources. Should the rest of the country opt for the same level of clean air legislation, the kwh price in many parts of the country would rise to 3-4x this cost – over $1kwh – due to the lower number of photons and greater amounts of rain, hail, snow, ice, humidity, tornadoes, hurricanes, …, in those areas. A more viable alternative is the proverbial National Smart Grid where solar and wind power are long hauled from their optimum generation sources to other parts of the nation. Though this plan, by all estimates, will require a double digit $T something commitment (in the range of $12T-$25T by most reports) – to power the states that need the energy.  This also results in something close to $1/kwh. The cost of solar modules may be reduced over the next 20 years.  Please do not make the common error of thinking that when solar panels are half the cost, that the total installation of solar panels will be half the cost.  Labor costs will never be reduced dramatically.  Then again, energy costs for mining the needed minerals and...

Longevity is Critical for Sustainability

Dexter Ford, the long respected auto industry journalist, recently had an article printed in the NYT, “As Cars Are Kept Longer, 200,000 Is New 100,000”. I was surprised at what he thought was important in that article until I began “walking a mile in his moccasins”, if you will.  Here is a guy who has been writing about cars for decades.  His very livelihood is based on the evaluation of new models – year after year.  Has this man or for that matter, has any individual so well embedded in the auto industry ever driven a single vehicle over 200,000 miles?  To most of these people, the very concept is probably a concerning and potentially embarrassing thought. While economics are an extremely strong factor for driving the same car year after year, there are other motivations.  If I have dated a woman more than a month, then they have heard the following explanation of my values.  Most men purchase a new car and “Baby it” with frequent car washes, timely fluid changes, better quality fuel, they park it waaaay out in the parking lots to avoid door dings, ….  Ah, but when the car is a few years old, the car washes are reduced or cease altogether.  The fluids changes are between late and very late, they burn the cheapest gas and they park the vehicle right up by the grocery store door for every shopping cart and other cars to ding and potentially dong. Now this never made sense to me in that a new car was less susceptible than an older car to scratches as the clear...

PENN & TELLER & H2O

Penn & Teller are a veritable institution in Las Vegas Entertainment.  Good to see they are expanding their horizons and using their celebrity to help the environment. PENN & TELLER &...