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RVing Here and There

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  • Writers and Writing

    Posted on June 18th, 2021 admin No comments

    On Being a Dilettante, and Writing for Money

    I greatly admire those who write from passion, who burst with the pressure of stories that must be written, who burn with a desire for self-expression. I also greatly admire those who write multiple novels, become household names, and make a great deal of money.

    So I now confess that I started writing just for fun. Bored one day, and in possession of a typewriter, I banged off a story and sent it to a magazine. Just to see what would happen. It was rejected, of course, and rightly so, for although it might have been clever in parts, it rambled, and contained no central unifying theme. In the editor’s words, it “lacked coherence”.

    MAYBE I CAN DO THIS

    A decade later, after having a number of good comments on things I had written, I thought, “Okay, maybe I can do this” and signed up for a non-fiction course sponsored by Alberta Culture’s Film and Literary Arts Branch (This government department is long gone and the material of the course is now readily available online).

    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTamLjSMhLZnR_nFtP1pymO4kr3o4B41WnHgzdcb3uVsERgDHagFvoH4mqZRhkImyU5KdI&usqp=CAU
    Not that I write with a pencil….

    The course was a series of assignments mentored by then branch director, John Patrick Gillese, and provided excellent training. Fourteen of eighteen assignments sold (the other four I have been submitting off and on for thirty years with no luck!). For the next ten years or so, I wrote and sold small pieces for small amounts. A free book here, a few bucks there, a couple of free issues somewhere else.

    Like any writer, I collected a folder of rejection letters, but as the years progressed, the rejections were fewer, the cheques bigger, the markets more prestigious.

    FICTION AND REJECTIONS

    Off and on, I tried my hand at short fiction, which served mainly to fatten the rejections folder. I persevered, worked hard to improve my fiction writing, and soon was being rejected by all the best fiction magazines in North America. A few years ago I took a fiction-writing course, and eventually I made a few small sales and was finalist in a few minor writing contests.

    Writing fiction is hard work, and I admire those who can do it well.

  • MYTHS ABOUT ELECTRIC CARS #4: INFRASTRUCTURE

    Posted on June 11th, 2021 admin No comments

    THIS ARTICLE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. SOMEDAY SOON!

    Looks at the ideas that EV charging stations are too few and too far apart, and that EVs will disrupt the grid and cause mass brownouts.

  • MYTHS ABOUT ELECTRIC CARS #5: COLD WEATHER

    Posted on June 11th, 2021 admin No comments

    THIS ARTICLE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. IT WILL BE HERE LATER, WE PROMISE

  • MYTHS ABOUT ELECTRIC CARS #6: POLLUTION

    Posted on June 11th, 2021 admin No comments

    THIS ARTICLE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. WE HOPE TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

    https://insideevs.com/news/458458/legacy-automakers-backed-study-against-evs-debunked/

    https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1129478_lifetime-carbon-emissions-for-evs-is-much-lower-than-previously-suggested-study-highlights-errors

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/science/ev-electric-vehicle-carbon-footprint-1.5394126 – Argues that EVs aren’t environmentally friendly.

    Electric Cars Emissions Myth Busted

    https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/electric-vehicles-from-life-cycle with discussion at https://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/eea-report-confirms-electric-cars

    https://research.tue.nl/en/publications/the-underestimated-potential-of-battery-electric-vehicles-to-redu – this study is discussed in other articles eg https://thedriven.io/2020/09/02/dont-trash-talk-evs-new-study-shows-electric-cars-emit-less-than-thought/ and https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1129478_lifetime-carbon-emissions-for-evs-is-much-lower-than-previously-suggested-study-highlights-errors

    This might be the same study: https://www.oliver-krischer.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/English_Studie.pdf

    https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1127624_electric-cars-are-cleaner-than-gasoline-ones-in-95-of-the-world-study-finds?fbfanpage has some good links to various studies.

    Battery recycling will also help reduce waste and pollution (starting now, but effectively 10 yrs away Straubel and Redwood have partnered with Panasonic in Nevada https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/09/why-amazon-and-panasonic-are-betting-on-this-battery-recycling-startup/

  • MYTHS ABOUT ELECTRIC CARS #7: CHILD/SLAVE LABOUR

    Posted on June 11th, 2021 admin No comments

    THIS ARTICLE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. PLEASE RETURN TO CHECK.

  • MYTHS ABOUT ELECTRIC CARS #8: PROFIT

    Posted on June 11th, 2021 admin No comments

    THIS ARTICLE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. WE LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING YOU BACK.

  • MYTHS ABOUT ELECTRIC CARS #3: REFUELING

    Posted on June 11th, 2021 admin No comments

    THIS ARTICLE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. PLEASE COME BACK LATER!

    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/01/electric-car-battery-charge-time-vehicles-climate-change-sustainability

    EU battery recycling could be profitable by 2025.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jan/19/electric-car-batteries-race-ahead-with-five-minute-charging-times?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other

  • MYTHS ABOUT ELECTRIC CARS #2: RANGE

    Posted on June 11th, 2021 admin No comments

    Range anxiety” promotes the false idea that electric vehicles are limited to short distances.

    RANGE: THE MYTH

    Specifically, it is concern that an EV will not have the range to reach its destination and thus strand the vehicle’s occupants. The concept is held up by legacy automakers and anti-EV groups as one of the major barriers to large-scale adoption of electric cars.

    White Gas Gauge stock vector. Illustration of gauge, gallon - 37627745

    According to Wikipedia, “The term range anxiety was first reported in the press on September 1, 1997, in the San Diego Business Journal by Richard Acello referring to worries of GM EV1 electric car drivers.[7] On July 6, 2010, General Motors filed to trademark the term, stating it was for the purpose of ‘promoting public awareness of electric vehicle capabilities’.[8]

    More accurately, GM loves the term because it gives the impression of the lack of capability of those vehicles.

    RANGE: THE FACTS

    The actual range of an electric vehicle depends on many factors. Average speed, driving conditions (hilly terrain, for example), outside temperature (which affects battery capacity and also the use of heating and air conditioning), driver aggressiveness, vehicle mass and load, availability of regenerative braking, and age of the car’s battery pack all affect the vehicle’s range. Many of these (speed, hills, a/c, load, jack-rabbit starts) also affect the range of a standard gas car.

    Three things drive FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) about the range of an EV:

    1. Ignoring how far the average driver drives on a daily basis
    2. Comparing the range (or energy capacity) of a charge vs a tank of gasoline and pointing out the (present) difference in favor of gasoline. This is a false analogy and need not be discussed. A car with a “full tank” goes as far as it goes and the only relevant issue is “How far will it go and will that get me from A to B?”
    3. Exaggerating the shortage of charging stations and the distance between them (while simultaneously pointing out the ubiquity of gas stations). This is discussed here.
    The Beauty in Mathematics

    HOW FAR DO YOU NEED TO GO?

    Studies of driving habits in the USA show an increase in driving over the past decade. According to an AAA study conducted in 2003, motorists age 16 years and older drove, on average, 29.2 miles per day. A report in Car and Driver from 2020 says, “The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration states the average person drives around 13,500 miles every year [37 miles per day]. This is the highest average miles per year in American history.” The Car and Driver report goes on to cite statistics from carinsurance.com claiming that American men drive an average of 45 miles per day.

    HOW FAR WILL AN EV GO PER CHARGE?

    The average range of an EV is stated as between 164 (winter) and 222 (summer) miles in the UK. The Canada Energy Regulator site says that “Between 2013 and 2019, the average EV model range increased from 219 km to 386 km [136 miles to 240 miles].”

    It should be obvious that the average EV has more than enough range for the average American driver to go at least five days between charges. With some EVs such as Tesla claiming up to 840 km (522 miles) per charge, and with battery technology advancing rapidly, it is clear that EV range is more than sufficient for average needs.

    In fact, a study by MIT found that 87% of American cars could be electric, and people could pay for them, keep them charged, and get where they want to go. The minor exceptions are for long trips (another form of FUD discussed here) or areas with long periods of extreme cold (discussed here). For a huge majority of US drivers, EVs would work and work well.

    CONCLUSION: PHOOEY.

    It is obvious that “range anxiety” is an artificial construct devised and driven by legacy auto to make EVs look bad. It is typical FUD, and for almost nine out of ten American drivers it is totally phony, but it is pushed by the media to the point where most people believe it.

    LOOKING FURTHER

  • MYTHS ABOUT ELECTRIC CARS #1: COST

    Posted on June 8th, 2021 admin No comments

    In an earlier post, the eight “reasons electric cars just aren’t right for this world” were presented from Hamish McKenzie’s book, Insane Mode.

    In this series, counter-arguments are offered, showing facts and evidence against those so-called “reasons”.

    COST: The Myth

    The myth is that the high price and shortage of current Lithium Ion batteries (and at the time of writing, computer chips) makes electric vehicles prohibitively expensive.

    No money dollar sign clipart free clip art images - WikiClipArt

    A typical headline from an automotive magazine: Electric Vehicles are Too Damn Expensive. “The average Josephine on the street can’t afford to step into most electric vehicles on sale in the U.S. today,” the article states. “Electric cars and crossovers remain far too expensive to be daily commuters for the middle- and working-classes.” In other words, available EVs are largely “rich people’s toys” that cost hundreds or millions of dollars. (There are a few microcars with a low price and limited features, usually not available in North America because they aren’t attractive in that market.)

    COST – The Facts

    One fact is that market forces, and increased availability of EVs, will drive prices down. Current shortages of computer chips and battery chemicals are limiting vehicle production; when demand exceeds supply, prices can go up. However, the market is not static: battery manufacturers are ramping up production; raw material reserves are plentiful; new battery technology is in active development; Tesla and others are building gigafactories to increase the speed and lower the cost of production. All of these factors will ultimately reduce manufacturing cost. Combined with increased competition, this will bring down consumer prices.

    Free Saving Cliparts, Download Free Saving Cliparts png images, Free  ClipArts on Clipart Library
    EV owners save $$ on fuel
    and maintenance

    An additional fact is that purchase price is not the sole expense of a vehicle. “The cost of charging is a tiny fraction of the cost of fuel for an equivalent gas-powered vehicle. And with far fewer mechanical parts, they also require a lot less maintenance which saves money over the life of the vehicle,” notes BC Hydro.

    Telsa hopes to have a $25,000 USD sedan by 2022, and other auto makers will be forced to follow suit. The argument that “electric vehicles are too damn expensive” is weakening rapidly, especially when the costs of post-purchase ownership are considered.

    Arguments against electric vehicles – True, False, or FUD?

  • Fake Arguments Against Electric Cars

    Posted on June 8th, 2021 admin No comments

    “Consider the reasons we’ve been given over the last 120 years for why electric cars just aren’t right for this world,” writes Hamish McKenzie in his book Insane Mode. There is evidence showing those reasons to be false or misleading, “but forces in the automotive and oil industries have long dedicated themselves to making us think there can’t be.”

    EIGHT (FAKE) ARGUMENTS AGAINST EVs

    1. Cost – Electric cars are too expensive, and will always be. The high cost of batteries makes them uneconomical. Read More.
    2. Range – EVs are limited to short trips. (The ICE vehicle industry even coined the phrase “range anxiety” to create a phony issue. They have been quite effective at this). Read More.
    3. Refueling Time – Five minutes at a gas pump and you’re fueled up. A recharge takes hours. Read More
    4. Infrastructure – Gas stations are everywhere. Charging stations are few and far between. Besides, more electric cars will overwhelm the power grid and cause brownouts everywhere. Read More
    5. Cold-Weather Performance – EV batteries lose charge (and range) in cold weather. You’ll be stranded and freeze to death! Read More
    6. They pollute worse than ICE cars – If EVs are charged from coal-fired power plants, they pollute more than gas cars. And building the batteries pollutes more than does refining gasoline. Read More.
    7. They use child/slave labor – the materials for batteries are mined in the Congo by slave/child labor Read More
    8. They are not profitable – Companies lose money on every EV they make. Tesla only makes money from carbon transfer payments and is on the verge of bankruptcy. Read More.

    These are the most common arguments made against electrical vehicles. You see them repeated, in one form or another, throughout social media. They appear articles written by Tesla short-sellers, by editors of magazines supported by auto industry advertising, by scientists receiving grants from organizations set up and funded in turn by oil industry members, and by those organizations themselves (for an excellent discussion of these schemes, read Hamish McKenzie’s book, Insane Mode.)

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