Guess who gets to live and die downwind from pollution sources?


Click to enlarge

University of Washington researchers have found that air pollution from electricity generation emissions in 2014 led to about 16,000 premature deaths in the continental U.S. In many states, the majority of the health impacts came from emissions originating in other states. Interactive map of the U.S. where the states are colored according to the number of premature deaths per 100,000 people in that state. Darker colors represent more deaths.

No surprises here for me. Growing up downwind from 2 of the 3 largest factory complexes in my hometown – one of which even generated electricity from its own powerhouse – we would wake in the morning, throw open the windows, scrape the soot from the windowsill and close the windows back up till the following morning.

Fortunately, we moved upwind from the whole city by the time I was 12.

Aptera Claims Three-Wheel EV Can Go Shopping on Solar Only

❝ Aptera…is claiming its forthcoming electric three-wheeler can operate on solar power without ever plugging in to charge.

Every hour it’s parked in the sun generates five miles of range, so Aptera claims 44 miles of range in a day based on solar charging from the summer sun in San Diego.

Users can still plug in the Aptera EV, which Aptera recently claimed will have a 1000-mile range between charges.

Interesting reads, warts, caveats and all. If it performs as promoted – and affordable in my retiree household – it makes all the sense in the world. Our average weekly shopping trip to town rarely exceeds 30 miles roundtrip. We’re in sunny New Mexico with all the solar energy you could ever wish for pouring down every day. Enough room for my wife and me + groceries, etc..

Ford EV Owners will have access to VW’s 12,000 US charging stations

❝ Ford is sweetening the deal for its future electric car owners. The “Mustang-inspired” EV crossover that’s on its way will come with access to 12,000 charging stations Ford is calling the “FordPass Charging Network.”

❝ While they might have the Ford name attached to them, these stations were not built by Ford, and the Blue Oval also won’t be building any new ones itself. However, Ford EV owners will have access to all of them for the first two years of ownership. Some of the 35,000 plugs among the 12,000 stations will be DC fast chargers built by Electrify America. With one of those 150 kW chargers, Ford says its electric cars will be capable of gaining 47 miles of range in just 10 minutes. A charge from 10 percent to 80 percent will be a 45-minute wait, according to Ford. One can likely thank the recent Ford-VW partnership dealings for this Electrify America (a VW subsidiary) access, as the two companies continue to share more technology and resources with each other.

❝ The FordPass app and FordPass dashboard assistant will help make charging easier, as well. Despite Ford saying owners will have “complimentary access” to the charging network, owners will still have to pay to charge. This can be done via the FordPass software baked into the car’s infotainment system. It also has a trip planner to help identify charge points along your route, similar to Tesla’s navigation system. You’ll be able to tell if a charger is available or not on your vehicle’s dashboard…

Don’t need all the grunt of my old 4WD Ram Pickup, nowadays. Love to have someone offer an affordable, lightweight, not-so-big electric pickup for the kind of tasks where that vehicle class shines. Something akin to this VW TriStar concept – electrified!

1970 Toyota Land Cruiser – with all-electric drive

❝ For many decades, so-called crate engines—most often V-8s—have been the basis for adding more excitement or a life extension to old cars and trucks, fresh out of a shipping crate and with a minimum of fuss.

So how about a “crate” electric motor system that’s disguised as a V-8?

❝ Electric GT, of Chatsworth, California, is in the process of doing a “TLC build” electric conversion of a 1970 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser. This conversion, which is nearly complete, also happens to be a testbed for an all-in-one modular “crate” system.

❝ With Electric GT’s product, it should be a matter of dropping the “crate engine” in as you might an engine swap of a V-8 into an old car, then attaching harnesses and installing the battery. The goal is to have something that greatly reduces the number of conversion hours while offering something that’s “very stylistic, all functional,” according to WInberg.

Eventually, easier means cheaper, as well. Be nice to turn my 25-year-old Dodge pickup into an electric beastie.

Our Galaxy’s Supermassive Black Hole Has Pooped Out a Big Bright Flare

❝ The supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way, Sagittarius A*, is relatively quiet. It’s not an active nucleus, spewing light and heat into the space around it; most of the time, the black hole’s activity is low key, with minimal fluctuations in its brightness.

Most of the time. Recently, astronomers caught it going absolutely bananas, suddenly growing 75 times brighter before subsiding back to normal levels. That’s the brightest we’ve ever seen Sgr A* in near-infrared wavelengths…

❝ “I was pretty surprised at first and then very excited,” astronomer Tuan Do of the University of California Los Angeles told ScienceAlert.

“The black hole was so bright I at first mistook it for the star S0-2, because I had never seen Sgr A* that bright. Over the next few frames, though, it was clear the source was variable and had to be the black hole. I knew almost right away there was probably something interesting going on with the black hole.”

The explosions in the video up top from DOCTOR STRANGELOVE are little pinpricks compared to the energy from interaction with a black hole. Luckily, not a neighborhood happenstance.

Researchers make hybrid particles combining light and matter

Every type of atom in the universe has a unique fingerprint: It only absorbs or emits light at the particular energies that match the allowed orbits of its electrons. That fingerprint enables scientists to identify an atom wherever it is found. A hydrogen atom in outer space absorbs light at the same energies as one on Earth.

❝ While physicists have learned how electric and magnetic fields can manipulate this fingerprint, the number of features that make it up usually remains constant. In work published July 3 in the journal Nature, University of Chicago researchers challenged this paradigm by shaking electrons with lasers to create “doppelganger” features at new energies—a breakthrough that lets scientists create hybrid particles which are part-atom and part-light, with a wide variety of new behaviors.

What startling stuff. RTFA. Wrap your mind around manipulating quantum matter by shaking it!

Fracking “Revolution” continues to be a disaster for investors and more

❝ Steve Schlotterbeck, who led drilling company EQT as it expanded to become the nation’s largest producer of natural gas in 2017, arrived at a petrochemical industry conference in Pittsburgh…with a blunt message about shale gas drilling and fracking.

“The shale gas revolution has frankly been an unmitigated disaster for any buy-and-hold investor in the shale gas industry with very few limited exceptions,” Schlotterbeck, who left the helm of EQT last year, continued. “In fact, I’m not aware of another case of a disruptive technological change that has done so much harm to the industry that created the change.”

“While hundreds of billions of dollars of benefits have accrued to hundreds of millions of people, the amount of shareholder value destruction registers in the hundreds of billions of dollars,” he said. “The industry is self-destructive.” [emphasis added]…

❝ “The technological advancements developed by the industry have been the weapon of its own suicide,” Schlotterbeck added, referring to the financial impacts of shale gas drilling on shale gas drillers. “And unfortunately, the industry still has not fully realized how it’s killing itself. Since 2015, there’s been 172 E&P company bankruptcies involving nearly a hundred billion dollars of debt.”

❝ “In a little more than a decade, most of these companies just destroyed a very large percentage of their companies’ value that they had at the beginning of the shale revolution,” he said. “It’s frankly hard to imagine the scope of the value destruction that has occurred. And it continues.”

Our fake president wants to make it easier for this clown show to borrow even more money. When this paper edifice crashes and burns – what do you think will be the effect on the nation’s economy?