Illegal truck mods pollution = same as 9 million extra pickups


Pollution porn

…According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, diesel trucks with disabled emissions controls are far more widespread than you might think and emit more pollution than the diesel engines that got Volkswagen such hefty fines.

According to the EPA’s Air Enforcement Division, the use of aftermarket emissions defeat devices by diesel truck owners rivals that problem. In a report first obtained by The New York Times, it estimates that 550,000 medium trucks have had their emissions systems tampered with over the last decade—fully 15 percent of the diesel trucks on US roads…

…Specifically, the EPA says it’s only counting tampering where all of a truck’s emissions controls are removed, as opposed to mods that leave “emissions controls hardware intact and operational.”

…The EPA report says that 570,000 tons of excess NOx and 5,000 tons of excess diesel particulates are the result over the course of these trucks’ lifetimes. Or to put it another way, “due to their severe excess NOx emissions, these trucks have an air quality impact equivalent to adding more than 9 million additional (compliant, non-tampered) diesel pickup trucks to our roads.”

Pleased to see EPA differentiates between gonzo drivers looking to turn their diesel pickups into power hogs regardless of how they get there…vs. the case I imagine is at least as frequent of folks simply trying catch a bit more reliability, easier starting, better fuel economy than the sometimes mediocre design and craftmanship allocated for in truck manufacturers’ budgets.

Fences affect environments around the world…rarely studied or regulated


Marian Deschain

What is the most common form of human infrastructure in the world? It may well be the fence. Recent estimates suggest that the total length of all fencing around the globe is 10 times greater than the total length of roads…

On every continent, from cities to rural areas and from ancient to modern times, humans have built fences. But we know almost nothing about their ecological effects. Border fences are often in the news, but other fences are so ubiquitous that they disappear into the landscape, becoming scenery rather than subject.

[In fact]…compiling studies from ecosystems around the world…research shows that fences produce a complex range of ecological effects.

I love articles that jog my brain into looking at my own life’s landscape to examine/re-examine the subject matter. Living where barbed wire rules, here in the American Southwest, you have to think about fences anywhere you roam.

Ozymandias turns out to be the “Great and Powerful Oz”

Donald Trump’s tiny desk has sparked hilarious memes online as the president complained about the election, finally admitted he will leave the White House in January…

The president held a question-and-answer session with the press in the Diplomatic Reception Room in the White House on Thanksgiving Day, marking the first time he has taken questions from the press since he lost the election to Joe Biden.

Social media users went into overdrive mocking the staging and posting hilarious memes comparing the president…and his desk to a Fisher Price children’s version of presidential furniture.

Matches all the preceding memes about the Fake President and his tiny hands, tiny schlong and tiny brain. What a useless cardboard prop for a nation’s leadership.

Ex-presidents normally keep security clearances. Trump shouldn’t be trusted!


Brendan Smialowski/AFP

When David Priess was a CIA officer, he traveled to Houston, he recalls, to brief former President George H.W. Bush on classified developments in the Middle East.

It was part of a long tradition of former presidents being consulted about, and granted access to, some of the nation’s secrets.

Priess and other former intelligence officials say Joe Biden would be wise not to let that tradition continue in the case of Donald Trump…

They argue soon-to-be-former President Trump already poses a danger because of the secrets he currently possesses, and they say it would be foolish to trust him with more sensitive information. With Trump’s real estate empire under financial pressure and his brand suffering, they worry he will see American secrets as a profit center.

Not that I have beaucoup confidence in any of the standards guiding our “national security” boffins. But, I wouldn’t trust Trump any farther than I could throw him uphill into a heavy wind.

Look who’s back!


Thanks, gocomics.org

Now the Dems can trundle along – not only including the requisite bashing of any furrin’ land that competes with the GOUSA instead of kowtowing to our “proper place” – but, they have the opportunity to sweep up centrist positions abandoned by the Republican Party in the years dedicated to butt-kissing fascism.

We are underestimating Zoom


Chris Montgomery/Unsplash

For as long as I can remember, companies have been trying to build and sell elaborate and expensive video conferencing systems with massive screens, near-perfect audio, super high-definition video, and complex networking software layer to make it all work. These were luxury items, geared toward chief executives and their offices.

The arrival of the pandemic forced us all to seek out the simplest product with the least amount of friction. That turned out to be Zoom. And almost overnight, everyone — from late-night television hosts to the presidential candidates — was Zooming.

The prevalence of Zoom has shown us that working from a home office can be better than sitting in traffic for two hours. Even if, at this point, we find ourselves despising Zoom and complaining of persistent Zoom fatigue, we will not be going back to our pre-Zoom ways after the pandemic subsides. Whether Zoom remains the standard or gets overtaken by some upstart, Bill Gates predicts “that over 50% of business travel and over 30% of days in the office will go away.

I love Om’s writing style. It feels like he’s talking directly to me. Even the often cranky tech of blogging software doesn’t get in his way. No harm done, either, when he’s riding the wave of a topic where he is eminently qualified, whether that be the tech industry, software or his gorgeous photography.