Piddling, entirely piddling

Assume, of course, that something needs to be done:

The vision laid out in the actions signed by Biden on Wednesday, however, was transformative. A pathway for oil and gas drilling to be banned from public lands. A third of America’s land and ocean protected. The government ditching the combustion engine from its entire vehicle fleet, offering up a future where battery-powered trucks deliver America’s mail and electric tanks are operated by the US military.

That’s all piddling nonsense. Not going to make anything more than the most marginal difference. Transformative it ain’t.

But then that’s politics and a problem, innit? All show and no difference.

The dizzying list of actions demonstrated the breadth and depth of the climate crisis.

It’s calling for a few more meetings and, well, umm, what?

32 thoughts on “Piddling, entirely piddling”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    electric tanks are operated by the US military.

    I disagree. Gutting the US military to the point of unilateral disarmament is likely to be very transformative. M1 Abrams started out at 60 tons. They kept adding bells and whistles – also DU armour – and now it weighs 73 tons.

    A Tesla S weighs 4,600 odd pounds of which just over 1000 pounds is battery. Let’s assume you need 1 pound of battery to every 4.5 pounds of car. So you are pulling out an engine that weighs 2,500 pounds and replacing it with 16 tons of battery.

    Which, incidentally, may well burn very nicely.

  2. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    All show and no meaningful difference is at least better than all very extremely expensive and disruptive show and no meaningful difference. Which is what most environmental stuff is nowadays.

  3. “battery-powered trucks deliver America’s mail”.

    who makes these? No-one, so the government is going to order them and have them specially designed and made. Which means made in the USA, which then means union jobs (which is the whole purpose of this). They’ll be paying a fortune for each truck.

  4. “electric tanks are operated by the US military.”

    The primary design point of a tank ought to be how well it protects its occupants whilst at the same time how well it can destroy the enemy.

    If the primary design suddenly becomes the hypothetical help it gives to polar bears and dolphins, I can’t help thinking the occupants of the tank are going to suffer.

  5. When I was on a bus from tel Aviv to Jerusalem, on the road that is very steep up hill, and saw the lorries, trucks and other heavy vehicles and machinery climbing at 5mph in first gear I briefly wondered about electric trucks and batteries. To a layman it all seemed quite impossible with a battery.

    What’s wrong with these mini or micro nuclear power stations?

  6. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    “What’s wrong with these mini or micro nuclear power stations?”

    On the road to Jerusalem? Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad.

  7. I imagine the kind of person who thinks an electric tank is a realistic possibility probably thinks the Avengers flying aircraft carrier is perfectly feasible as well.

  8. Electric tanks? What the actual fuck? Your armoured units can only operate within about 20 miles of base, sorry. Unless you run a fucking long cable out.

    The West is now run by the insane. Genuinely insane.

  9. @Rob
    This is easily solved. You just have a fleet of trucks carrying spare batteries following the tanks. Of course, the trucks will have to be electric as well, so you need another fleet with batteries for them, ad Infinitum. Think of all the jobs created!

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    Rob January 30, 2021 at 11:44 am – “Your armoured units can only operate within about 20 miles of base, sorry.”

    So not unlike the Centurion then? Just find some people old enough to have done their National Service in the RTR. They can tell you how it is done.

  11. So Much For Subtlety

    MC January 30, 2021 at 12:23 pm – “Electric tanks, genius.”

    You ain’t seen nothing. I am working on a proposal for an electric Blackhawk. Followed by an electric F-16. It is a bit heavy so I am planning on leaving half the batteries at home.

    Not to mention artillery uses a lot of fossil fuels indirectly. So perhaps they can replace the 70 kn range 155 mm gun with a large rubber band? Organic of course.

  12. Range and payload go down dramatically with weight. For all the hype about electric pickups, and some are pretty nifty though Tesla’s just looks odd, that purport substantial payload and towing capabilities, if you actually load them up or hook up a horse trailer the advertised range drops greatly. They will have their uses but buyers will need to be realistic about their intended use.

  13. “Roué le Jour
    probably thinks the Avengers flying aircraft carrier is perfectly feasible as well.”

    My first thought was “I can’t remember Emma Peel, John Steed or Purdey on a flying aircraft carrier.

    Then I thought “oh, not those Avengers”

    Then I thought “Purdey, Emma and me all alone on a flying aircraft carrier” mmmmmmm…….

  14. ‘ The dizzying list of actions demonstrated the breadth and depth of….’

    … degree of mental illness in those who incubate and spread this disease… the pathological belief they can eliminate climate change and eliminate a mostly harmless virus.

    Remarkable how those two beliefs go together and inhabit the same minds.

  15. “I can’t help thinking the occupants of the tank are going to suffer.”

    But by then they’ll all be People of NBGPDQWTL, won’t they?

  16. This is easily solved. You just have a fleet of trucks carrying spare batteries following the tanks. Of course, the trucks will have to be electric as well, so you need another fleet with batteries for them, ad Infinitum. Think of all the jobs created!

    A giant battery helicopter, with at least ten plug points so tanks can plug themselves in for the twelve hours it takes to recharge.

  17. @BoM4
    “battery-powered trucks deliver America’s mail”.

    who makes these?

    Surely somebody still produces milk floats? 🙂

  18. This idea that metal oxide batteries are “environmentally friendly” is fucking demented. What is wrong with people.

  19. The last leg to the door carriers and guys collecting from mailboxes are already using some electric vehicles locally, they do in fact look like covered over milk floats. Given the stop/start nature of a mail delivery and collection route combined with set schedules them electric isn’t a problem. Charge up overnight ready for the 1 or 2 runs a day.
    It’s the movement between mail hubs/sorting offices that’s going to be the problem.
    What’s puzzling me is electric buses, trolley buses with overhead wires have been around for over a century (and include hybrid systems) so why not expand that capability instead of putting batteries in the bus which is inevitably going to lead to range/recharge issues and building a load of infrastructure anyway. One I’ve seen is using induction with plates under the bay at a bus loop to charge the battery while it’s in between runs.

  20. “The dizzying list of actions demonstrated the breadth and depth of the climate crisis.”

    This is exactly correct, if you consider the “dizzying list of actions” to BE the climate crisis.

  21. BniC

    What’s puzzling me is electric buses, trolley buses with overhead wires have been around for over a century (and include hybrid systems) so why not expand that capability instead of putting batteries in the bus

    Could that not work with cars (sort of)? Don’t get me wrong, I think the e-car stuff is mostly bollocks, but – could this be an alternative way of getting around the range issues. So, I want to drive from Penzance to Inverness. If all the main motorways (that’s all it would need) had some way of providing live charge (overhead?) this then saves the car battery charge to those parts away from the motorway/primary route. Only a car, it could be a relatively light weight contraption?

    Late Saturday and thinking out loud?

  22. @PF

    The problem is that getting electricity to a moving vehicle isn’t a particularly trivial problem. It works quite well on the railways, but trains have the massive advantage of moving in very predicable directions by virtue of being on rails (which being steel conveniently double up really well as a return conductor). Ground level power (3rd rail) is insanely dangerous for obvious reasons, although pretty reliable. Even in the controlled environment of the railway, overhead lines are surprisingly fragile – one loco pantograph can do a lot of damage if it de-wires, and it happens more often than you might think – a little mishap with an IEP during testing a couple of years ago caused days of disruption when they managed to rip down a section of 4 track “headbanded” overhead line (all four track’s power is supported together, so if you damage one they all come down) on the approach to a major London terminus.

    Trolleybuses only really worked because they ran fairly slowly, and even then frequently dewired themselves (although they were designed to prevent that destroying the infrastructure for the most part).

    Overhead might be workable for trucks running on “autopilot” in a inside lane, but that’s as good as it possibly gets.

    I think the only possible viable strategy for cars is inductive charging via the road surface, but it’s likely to be horribly inefficient as well as requiring a lot of very complex control electronics to have a fighting chance of working (I think you’d have to “track” a car and chase it with energised coils beneath it as it traveled to make the coil on the car behave as if it was static relative to the road coil).

  23. @PF

    You might be interested in

    https://web.archive.org/web/20160513092205/http://assets.highways.gov.uk/specialist-information/knowledge-compendium/2014-2015/Feasibility+study+Powering+electric+vehicles+on+Englands+major+roads.pdf

    “This feasibility report aims to inform us about the viability of implementing dynamic wireless power transfer systems on the strategic road network that will provide a safe road environment for the projected growth in electric and hybrid vehicles using the network”

  24. “What’s wrong with these mini or micro nuclear power stations?”

    ‘On the road to Jerusalem? Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad.’

    My understanding is that the concrete around nukes is thicker than the Maginot Line.

    No doubt all the electrics’ll be connected to overhead wires or a third rail, and only use their batteries when they go off the grid, as BniC implied. Back to the 19th century!!!

    More seriously, I really loathe Biden’s tendency to make the US dependent on foreign oil again. The Yanks need to abandon the Middle East, not think up new reasons to keep their troops there.

  25. Prole/MBE

    Interesting, and thanks… MBE, lots there, for tomorrow (from here)! I’m reminded that when needs must, technologies can move quickly. OK, there is categorically no needs must, but you get the gist if people believed that to be the case.

  26. Was reading that the induction systems for electric buses (using charging at stops to top up) is just an adaption on the light rail LIM systems so not even new technology

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