Don’t Look at This

Years ago, I worked construction. Mainly residential stuff but several projects were connected to renovations of a downtown business. The address had(has) a courtyard with large steel gates and several times we had to do some welding on said gates in proximity to pedestrians passing on the sidewalk. During these occasions, we would station one of the guitar players laborers next to the action with a sign telling curious passersby something like, ‘Welding, Don’t look!’ Invariably, said passers would look directly at the sparkling blinding arc.

Nutso Trumpers have spooked politicians in D.C. today, saying they were returning for Trump’s inauguration and return to power. Trump himself has still been saying he won the election and is the real Preznit. Meanwhile, the government has done not so much about anything that happened on 1/6. Dallying about legislative fixes, allowing elected hucksters to read fantasies into the record, hold-up nominations, water down bills and glad-hand insurrectionists.

They are traitors. They broke more than norms. Come out smoking. Grab Hawley by the scruff of his IV neck and let him know his Jeff Davis-abetting will not be tolerated starting last Tuesday. Push the new Voting Rights Act. Put Harriet Tubman on the 20. Make DC and PR states. Get. In. Their. Faces.
The whole shebang remains on the cliff edge. Don’t look.

Conservative government cuts coal

berlinGermany is looking to do to coal what it is also doing to nuclear energy – use less of it. And it’s all the work of its conservative government listening to its citizens and what they say they want. And responding:

“The conservative government of Chancellor Angela Merkel last week issued a discussion paper proposing to implement the strictest controls on coal fired generation yet to be seen in Europe, and to redesign its energy system around renewables, which will account for around two thirds of supply within two decades,” Giles Parkinson reports.

Currently about 45% of Germany’s electricity comes from burning coal. However, it was reported recently that new coal plants will not be financed there. About 24% came from solar and wind last year, but that amount could expand to 45% by 2025, if targets are met.

Leading utility Vattenfall is examining the possibility of dropping its lignite-powered plants in Eastern Germany. About 10% of Germany’s electricity is generated by this handful of coal plants, which also produce an estimated 60 million tons of CO2 annually.

They’re not alone, but Germany’s is a curious case to consider in light of our own political experience. Whatever it is American conservatives value and cherish, it does not seem to relate to the majority will of its fellow citizens, much less the ‘good of the country’ much less the benefit of the planet. No, it’s something else,  and they’ve well-learned how to denigrate these other considerations. But note that they are plainly out of step with conservatives in other developed countries.

Meanwhile, Back at the Front

of the Curve, the Germans (and others) continue to cook, eat and run-off the lunch we presume to deny ourselves.


That’s a tremendous percentage of their power needs and will only increase as they continue to put the infrastructure in place to supplant fossil and nuclear energy. As the price per kWh of solar continues on a kind of Moore’s Law trajectory, the question of how cheap it can get is dwarfed by the one which asks, how long will it take us to begin cooking-lighting-gaming-blogging using this and other (any!) renewable resources? The two questions don’t seem to be informing one another in this country yet, and sure, the scale of the U.S. is prohibitive on this front for a while, just as it once was for paved roads, and remains for high speed broadband – which remains scandalously snail-ish compared to other places, largely thanks to “competition.” Hey, wait a minute…

Anyway, bravo Deutschland.