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Total number of comments: 4 (since 2014-06-25 04:31:22)


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  • War with Iran, by the Numbers
    • This whole thing gets funnier and weird . . .

      Now Israel wants to join the new Chinese trade bank. Apparently Bibi, out of pure hatred for Obama, is ignoring the USA comments about the Chinese bank and because of extreme Israeli naivety about China (very evident in every Israeli comment about China) , Israel is trying to join the bank that will make it impossible for the USA to enforce any third-party sanctions on Iran.

      The main idea behind the Chinese bank, that China has not really tried to hide, is to create an alternative to the USA controlled global banking system and an alternative to the US dollar for trading. China does not want so much to replace the USA in controlling the global trade but would more like to blunt the current US control, so China and the rest of the nations on earth can do what they want, whenever they want no matter what the USA wants. That is, de-power the USA but not necessarily shift the power to China but diffuse it across the globe.

      One of the consequences of the Chinese trading bank will be the USA treasury will no longer be able to make other countries do anything financially, especially the USA will NOT be able to force other countries to sanction trade with Iran (or Russia). Once the bank is on-line, no matter how much the congress critters yell and scream, the rest of the world will be able to conduct trade without USA interference.

      And now Bibi wants to help China make it easier for the rest of the world to openly trade with Iran. Meaning virtually all the non-USA sanctions will be gone by the end of 2015.

      I wonder if Bibi understands what he is doing?

      I wonder if Israelis understand what Bibi is doing and how they are between a rock and a hard place. If they don't join the new bank, it will be harder for Israel to trade, but by joining the bank, they are making it easier for Iran to trade with most of the world. oooops.

  • Why you need an EV: Radicalism in Iraq Menaces the World's most Important Oil Fields
    • Actually rural people can easily benefit from solar energy, even for vehicles. My late wife's family owned a cattle ranch, so I have some familiarity with day to day life on a ranch.

      While a "trip to town" could mean a 100 mile or more drive, all EVs on the market could make that trip with a "fill-up" in town because the ranch families typically spend a whole day "in town."

      As for ranch vehicles, even a large ranch is well within the ranges for EVs.

      While most ranches and farms now have rural power, a good solar energy plant would quickly compensate for the often unreliable grid power (when a power line goes down in a storm, it can take multiple days before it is found and repaired).

      In reality, there is no rational reason ranches and farms can't be totally electric, especially if the government subsidized the conversion.

    • A 'quick rule of thumb" for PV is about 8 watts per one square foot of PV cells. Obviously this number fluctuates a lot depending on the time of day, day of the year and the weather, but there are multiple techniques to compensate for this variability. The simplest is to use the existing grid as both a place to send excessive energy during the brightest days and to draw energy from when the PV needs to be supplemented.

      If every building in the US had PV on the roof, and "Smart Grid" was fully implemented, the only time grid based resources (hydro electric, nuclear and hydrocarbon based generators) would be needed would be during the night.

      Maybe the US should skip any more wars and just take the money we would waste and follow China's example of heavily subsidizing solar energy. The Chinese people KNOW that solar is the future. Why are Americans so much dumber than Chinese?

    • Oil production infrastructure is insanely EASY to blow up.

      Most oil infrastructure is readily accessible on the surface of the earth. Sure, the pipelines are often buried, BUT the pumping stations are usually not and refineries are all above ground. Anything that sits on the surface of the earth can be destroyed by the tens of thousands of inexpensive and relatively accurate missiles that are being produced each and every day of the week. During WW2, the Nazis discovered that no matter how brutal they were, their oil infrastructure was always vulnerable and weapons systems and tactics have only gotten much better since then.

      In addition to being accessible, oil infrastructure contains EXPLOSIVE material. That is, missiles only have to get close enough to let the explosive oil products escape and to ignite them. Once the reaction starts, in many cases the explosions continue until all the oil products are burnt up and all the production or delivery infrastructure is destroyed.

      But the real problem comes AFTER oil infrastructure is destroyed. What few people realize is that all oil infrastructure is hand built, in place. That is, there are NO SPARE PARTS just laying around some where. Sure some individual components like some valves are somewhat available, but reconstructing those components plus all the custom parts has to be done in place by extremely skilled engineers and technicians. The bottom line is once oil infrastructure is destroyed, it can often take YEARS for it to be repaired.

      If ISIL decides to just cripple Iraq and Iran if they can't control the oil fields, they can EASILY destroy them.

      Note that the balance between current demand and current possible supply is on a knife edge and any decrease in supply could drive the whole world to economic ruin (which just might be what ISIL wants rather than making money).

      Fun times ahead.

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