Reality Checkpoint 2021
News from previous year

Electricity is one of the least efficient ways to power cars yet these vehicles are being forced onto an unwilling public.

If you really intend to adopt electric vehicles, you habe to face certain realities. For example, a home charging system for a Tesla requires 75 amp service. The average house is equipped with 100 amp service. On our small street (approximately 25 homes), the electrical infrastructure would be unable to carry more than three houses each with a single Tesla. For even half the homes to have electric vehicles, the system would be completely overloaded.

This is the elephant in the room with electric vehicles. Our residential infrastructure cannot bear the load. So as our genius elected officials promote this nonsense, not only are we being urged to buy these things and replace our reliable, cheap generating systems with expensive, new windmills and solar cells, but we will also have to renovate and pay for our entire delivery system. This latter "investment" will not be revealed until we're so far down this dead end road that it will be impossible to get out of it.

17 Sep 21

General Motors is recalling all Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles to fix a fire risk in its lithium-ion batteries. Ford, BMW and Hyundai have also recalled batteries recently.

Some of the batteries have manufacturing defects which can cause fires. The company will replace all batteries; the recall will cost about $1 billion.

GM said owners should limit charging to 90% of battery capacity. The Bolts should be parked outdoors, not in the garage, until the modules are replaced.

26 Aug 21

If you compare the utility rates of green California (19.93c per unit) to less-green Arizona (11.70 c per unit), it's easy to see that wind and solar are much more expensive than gas and nuclear. The problem is the backup and switching cost, not the raw production cost. Very cheap batteries would help solve the problem for unreliable wind and solar, but currently we are not close. The figures shown are for Jan 2021.

And an update .... California has been aggressively closing down fossil and nuclear plants (and is scheduled to close down the 2GW Diablo nuclear plant in 2024) in the drive for 'clean' energy, whilst forgetting that when reliable power stations cease generating, the Grid capacity falls. Power cuts are now looming, so it is now having to install five 30MW gas-fired plants in an effort to keep the lights on. The Governor declared a state of emergency recently on concerns about power shortages on summer evenings when the sun goes down and solar energy drops. Air quality rules have been temporarily loosened to accommodate the new capacity.

25 Aug 21

For well over a year, there has been hardly any international air traffic. Do we know what effect this had has on global carbon dioxide levels, before we start imposing 'climate levies' on future air travel?

20 Aug 21

The government's climate change adviser, Allegra Stratton, has said that she prefers her VW Golf diesel to an electric vehicle. Her grandchildren live 200-250 miles away, and her present car can do the journey in one step, without any problem. Not so with EVs, which would need one (or more than one) recharging stop.

It's good to hear a person being truthful about the inadequacy of electric vehicles for long trips. Better than finding out after you've bought one.

The British government has set a target of 68% reduction of emissions by 2030 and 78% by 2035. Its goal is for net-zero emissions by 2050. It has announced that the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2030, to force motorists into electric vehicles. This is a foolish move; it assumes that carbon dioxide emissions are responsible for driving climate change, a hypothesis for which there is no evidence.

6 Aug 21

    In winter, the Honda E would need about four recharging stops. See earlier post (21 Jan) for details on range..... -Ed

The government is to invest 860 million in flood defence schemes this year, to protect households, businesses and infrastructure from floods. The announcement is being conflated with climate change, presumably to qualify for funding, but the truth is that this is long overdue, as the inhabitants of a number of English towns will testify. It is a step in the right direction.

There will be increased restrictions on building on land prone to flooding. This has been prompted by the unwise granting of planning permission for 866 homes during 2019-20 despite Environment Agency warnings about flood risk.

Last year, the government said it would increase the funding for coastal and flood defences from 2.6 billion to 5.2 billion. The scheme will run until 2027. This year's amount, as stated above, is 860 million. Money will be spent on strengthening river walls and embankments, creating new wetland areas, peatlands and woods, and reducing upstream rainwater flow into rivers at risk of flooding. Towns in Greater Manchester will benefit, along with Hebden Bridge and Weardale (Durham). There will also be funding for sea defences in Lincolnshire.

30 Jul 21

The car industry has spent the last two decades improving beyond expectation (and hitting every government target for cleanliness) diesel and petrol engine technology - 60mpg; virtually zero pollution; great fuel economy. The best private cars we have ever seen. Now those manufacturers are being told that diesel and petrol cars will be phased out beginning in 2030.

This would be the end of the British car industry.

I was pleased to see in this morning's paper a statement by the owner of Vauxhall pointing this out - and saying that introduction of this unnecessary (and inferior, and more expensive) technology is likely to price the ordinary middle-class car driver off the roads. Do we want private mobility to be only for the wealthy?

It seems that this is a foolish scheme devised by an urban mindset; completely inappropriate for those living in rural locations.

13 May 21

The prospect of a new coal mine in Cumbria is opposed by many on environmental grounds. However, it seems to me that those who hold this point of view need to explain why they think so.

In what ways is it more environmentally friendly to import coal for steel production than it is to use coal mined here?

If steel is not made here, it would need to be imported for such things as the constructiion of wind turbines - would that be more environmentally friendly? If coal and steel are thought, by definition, to be environmentally damaging, then if we think wind turbines are necessary, are we not exporting the problems to other lands?

Howard Curnow, Devon.
Methodist Recorder, 26 Feb 21; reproduced by permission.

A friend of mine recently bought an electric car - a Honda E. He reports after driving it for several months that the range in summer was 100 miles; in winter about 50 miles.

Last week he went to Kettering and back, a round journey of 58 miles. The batteries were fully charged (90%; wouldn't go any higher) when he started out. He cruised at about 60mph; it was cold so he put on enough heat to keep warm. On reaching Kettering, the battery was at 37%.

After 12 miles of the return journey it was clear he wasn't going to get home (battery now 14%) without a recharge. He refuelled with a 15m boost at the Motorway Services, for which he paid 10.

He is now selling the car and getting a vehicle with a decent range.

29 Jan 21

Ian Botham has said (13 Jan) that people from the countryside are tired of the Corporation's virtue-signalling presenters. Botham said that the Corporation was doing particularly badly in the countryside; many country people write to him. They dislike how the Corporation increasingly uses its programmes to promote the narrow 'woke' views of its senior staff. In Botham's words: "They say it abuses its power to push these 'urban progressive' ideas as if they were mainstream".

Lord Botham referred to a recent YouGov poll, which found that only 4% of the British public thought that the BBC had improved in terms of representing their values during 2020. 33% had said that the Corporation had become worse. "This is an organization in big trouble. Any business facing numbers like those would take drastic action".

The BBC has faced mounting criticism over its broadcasting approach, particularly its reporting of Brexit in recent weeks.

Botham went on to say that the nation was fed with Brexit threats by the broadcasters - for example, massive congestion of traffic in Kent and Calais. Those threats were about as serious as the millenium bug 20 years ago; all the freight is operating perfectly smoothly.

Botham directed his criticism at the BBC's new boss, Tim Davie. He said that there is a small army of BBC presenters who use their profiles to push their political and social views. "Mr. Davie pledged to put an end to this abuse, but it hasn't totally stopped. Country people have long been tired of this...yet the BBC just mouths empty platitudes... It appears too big to reform".

The reason I've included this: The BBC has had a similar approach to energy policy over recent years. It refuses to give a balanced picture; electric vehicles and wind turbines are good, it seems, irrespective of cost or effectiveness, and climate change mitigation, if such a thing is possible, is more important than maintaining a stable electricity supply. - ...Ed.

16 Jan 21

Back to top

Energy Policy
Nuclear Power
Wind -
big turbines
Wind -
small turbines
Low Energy Bulbs
Diversity Website