September 20, 2023

Green Magic

Is the electrification of transportation an actual workable solution? Or will the green magic of electric vehicles just mean a whole lot more car-nage for our ailing planet?

Tim Morgan, in The Way We Live Next has a few of his own questions about what the green wizards are promising.

"We’re assured that a solution exists to climate hazard in the form of renewable energy, principally from wind and solar power. Many critical questions remain unanswered in the wider world.

Here are some of them:

1. If transitioning to renewables is undoubtedly going to be costly – USD 130 trillion seems a reasonable estimate – what are we going to do without in order to pay for it?

2. This sort of money equates to enormous amounts of raw materials, most obviously steel, copper, lithium, cobalt and other minerals – do they even exist in the requisite quantities, and how much environmental damage are we going to cause by mining and processing them?

3. What source of energy are we going to use to access and utilize these raw materials, and, again, what other uses of energy are we going to relinquish in order to make this possible?"

I would not be surprised if the average electric car has a greater carbon footprint from cradle to grave than an equivalent internal combustion model.

It is widely accepted, for example, that car batteries are not recyclable. If that is the case, then the whole electrification project is a major waste of time, money, effort, and resources.

People who actually want positive change more than profit would be talking about solutions like enhanced public transit (electric buses/trolleys), and improving rail lines and service. 

However effective that may be, such a platform is unlikely to get one elected. 

Many people say they want to solve environmental problems, but very few are willing to drastically change their behaviours to make that possible. 

That makes me doubt the green magic they are pushing, whether it is the electrification of transportation, or any other their other elaborate, and ineffective solutions.

The most effective spell that could be cast over high consumption muggles of the world would be "livius simplius!" 

That is the only green magic that has the mojo to make a better world.

September 17, 2023

Cutting Coffee

"Greedflation is a term that refers to companies increasing prices purely to drive up profit margins. It implies that greed is the underlying reason behind a rise in the cost of goods and services and suggests that the price increases aren't justified by a legitimate need for a price increase, such as a rise in the cost of materials or labor."

Food greedflation has been crazy. It hasn't been this bad since the 70s, and back then my parents were the ones providing my meals.

When I started buying my own groceries,  a large order would have been around $100 dollars. Gradually over the years that went to $200, and all of a sudden it went to over $300. 

Something had to go to avoid having a large order go over $500.

In my home one of the things that went is coffee. Gasp!

Considering coffee is expensive, doesn't have much of a nutritional benefit, and comes from far, far away, it was a bit of a no brainer.

Not that we ever drank a lot of coffee. But there was a time that Linda and I would share 3 cups of coffee every morning.

Then we cut back to 2 cups. Then zero cups. 

But we found that we still wanted to enjoy a hot drink in the morning, so we tried tea.

It was black tea of a very generic, no-name, inexpensive variety. But it was good enough.

At first we were preparing and sharing 2 cups of tea each morning. Now we share 1 cup.

Each package of tea contains 100 two cup bags, which equals 200 servings. Sharing one cup per day means 200 days of a hot beverage from one package. 

All for $3.50. 

So we went from about $240 dollars/yr for coffee to $5 or $6 dollars/yr for tea.

We will use our savings to buy seeds and other things for next years garden, decreasing the burden of the inflated grocery bill even further.

Best of all, we have hardly noticed the switch from coffee to tea at all. We are grateful for the tea, and don't miss the coffee.

What have they made you not buy as a result of their runaway greedflation?