Offshore wind turbines keep getting bigger – and cheaper

Massive offshore wind turbines keep getting bigger, and that’s helping make the power cheaper — to the point where developers say new projects in U.S. waters can compete with natural gas…

Bigger turbines that make more electricity have cut the cost per megawatt by about half, said Tom Harries, a wind analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That also reduces maintenance expenses and installation time. All of this is helping offshore wind vie with conventional power plants…

“You could not build a thermal gas plant in New England for the price of the wind bids in Massachusetts and Rhode Island,” Martin said Friday at the U.S. Offshore Wind Conference in Boston. “It’s very cost-effective for consumers.”

And even “clean nat gas” will never be as clean as the wind.

Fake president wasted everyone’s time this weekend in Canada


Click to enlarge

❝ Just when it seemed that the G7 leaders had eked out a joint communique and avoided an open rift, Donald Trump in a stunning Twitter turnaround, retracted his endorsement. It’s probably better that way

❝ Sometimes it is good to rip off the band-aid. And by backing out of an apparently agreed upon joint G7 communique at the last minute via Twitter and on a plane en route to Singapore President Trump has done just that.

In his tweet he accused Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau of making false statements at his press conference and said he had “instructed our US Reps not to endorse the Communique…If he really does pull out of the agreement it would not be his first withdrawal. In fact, Trump is a master withdrawer. He pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord, the Iran nuclear deal, the Trans Pacific Partnership, and UNESCO, to name just a few…

But it is probably better that way than trying to paper over a fundamental rift that really can’t be papered over…Because President Trump’s appearance here in Quebec made clear one more time how he feels about America’s closest allies and the post-war international order that Washington was instrumental in building: he could not care less. More than that, he is actively trying to disrupt and undermine it.

With or without the encouragement of rightwing scumbags like Bolton, Miller and Navarro, I was confident Trump would back out of anything positive or constructive he pretended to agree to during the day-and-a-half he spent in Charlevoix. Look at Chancellor Merkel in the photo up top. She looks like she trusts Trump as far as she can throw him uphill into a heavy wind.

RTFA for the gruesome – predictable – results.

California utility PG&E faces billion$ in fines, lawsuits for wildfire death and damages


Click to enlargeDavid Paul Morris/Bloomberg

❝ Late Friday, California confirmed what many across the state’s devastated wine country had suspected for months: Equipment owned by utility giant PG&E Corp. ignited some of the deadliest and most destructive wildfires that tore through their homes in October.

The most unexpected and crucial part of the findings, though, was at the very bottom of California’s end-of-day statement: The state had found evidence of alleged violations of law by PG&E in connection with eight of the blazes…

❝ That evidence — which California’s fire agency has now sent to county prosecutors — could make or break PG&E in the dozens of lawsuits over the Northern California fires that altogether killed 44 people, consumed thousands of homes and racked up an estimated $10 billion in damages. The alleged violations could also expose PG&E to criminal charges only two years after the San Francisco company was convicted of breaking safety rules that led to a deadly gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, California.

I have no idea what portion of American corporations are dumb enough to think that skipping safety requirements to save a buck or two ever pays off over time. PG&E has to be as short-sighted as derivative investors in 2007 – or Trump voters.

Train robberies in Mexico now averaging 1 every 2.5 hours!

Early on the morning of May 19, 2018, residents on the outskirts of the town Orizaba, Veracruz — close to the bordering state of Puebla in Mexico — woke up to a loud crash.

A train with 39 cars and four locomotives crashed into another train when approaching the station. The conductor of the approaching train attempted to brake, but couldn’t because the brakes were cut, according to the Grupo Mexico Transporte, the company that owns and runs the train…

Grupo Mexico Transporte instantly called this act sabotage and pointed to the culprits as being organized crime. The company ruled out the possibility of human error because of the way the trains are remotely operated…

There has been a 476-percent increase of the number of robberies similar to the one that occurred in Orizaba…In the first quarter of 2018, there was a robbery of a train every 2.5 hours, according to the Regulatory Agency for Rail Transport.

Where’s Roy Rogers when you need him?

Sharing privately with friends on Facebook — may have been very public

❝ As many as 14 million Facebook users who thought they were posting items they only wanted their friends or smaller groups to see may have been posting that content publicly, the company said Thursday.

According to Facebook, a software bug — which was live for 10 days in May — updated the audience for some users’ posts to “public” without any warning. Facebook typically lets users select the audiences who get to see posts; that setting is “sticky,” which means it remains the default until it is manually updated.

And then there’s a school of thought that believes there never was a bug. Just a switch clicked or left switched on – accidentally.

Ignoranus Fake President Thinks War of 1812 was with Canada…which became a nation in 1867!


When’s the last time you washed that hand?

❝ CNN reports that during a “testy” conversation about the recent steel and aluminum tariffs the United States imposed on Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau interrogated Donald Trump about how he could possibly consider his country, one of America’s most stalwart allies, a national security threat. Trump jokingly responded by asking, “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” This was supposed to be a reference to the War of 1812, and would have been a pretty good retort—except that it was actually the British who torched Washington. Oh well.

❝ This story is funny, in the way that the pratfalls of a wildly ignorant chief executive who is slowly claiming ever broader executive powers have become a constant source of grim humor. But it also points to one of the more common misunderstandings about this whole tariff controversy, and some of the ways Trump has actually twisted Washington’s conventional understanding of how trade and national security relate.

RTFA for a little detail on the contortions the prat in the Oval Office goes through to rationalize crap policies he dare not try to get through Congress. Even a Congress controlled by an obedient Republican Party.