Tuesday, July 29, 2014

California cities among slowest to recover since recession, study says

Gee.  You needed a study to prove this???
Not surprisingly, the rankings tended to mirror which areas were hardest hit by the housing crisis. Texas emerged relatively unscathed from the bubble, and cities such as Houston, Dallas and San Antonio all ranked in the top third of cities measured.

Those at the bottom also included hard-hit areas such as Phoenix, Las Vegas and Cape Coral, Fla.

"At the end of the day, it was a housing crisis where everything began," said Odysseas Papadimitriou, chief executive of Evolution Finance, which runs WalletHub. "So the areas that relied on housing, where you had some of the biggest bubbles, suffered the most."

Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego and Sacramento all ranked in the bottom half of WalletHub's list. The highest-ranked California cities were San Francisco, Bakersfield and San Jose.
Here's a snapshot of the cool graphic:

California dreaming is nuts in NSW

Yes, it's not only Americans who see the stupidity of CA.  Australians see it, too.
The NSW government must also be oblivious to the steady exodus of Californian businesses and jobs. Companies like Toyota, which after 60 years has moved its US headquarters to Texas, or Occidental Petroleum, which after 50 years has left for Houston. Chevron is next. Other stalwarts like ARCO, Getty Oil, Union Oil, Fluor, Calpine and Intel have all moved in search of a more business friendly environment and lower energy costs. Texas has been the main beneficiary. It has added 200,000 jobs in the energy sector in the past decade while California has barely managed 20,000. Texas leads California in the export of hi-tech goods.

“Big Oil” may be unwelcome in his brave new world, but California’s Governor Jerry Brown is not doing well at replacing jobs and investments lost to the Lone Star state. Brown promised to create 500,000 clean-energy jobs by the end of the decade, but this is now accepted as just a pipe dream.

Meanwhile, in the real world, California’s unemployment rate is 7.4 per cent (fourth highest in the country). It compares to 5.1 per cent for Texas and the national rate of 6.1 per cent. California’s relative joblessness lends weight to the UK Versa Economics study, which found that for every job created in the wind industry 3.7 jobs are lost elsewhere.

German Utilities Bail Out Electric Grid at Wind’s Mercy

Got this via freerepublic which linked to wattsupwiththat.com

After Fukushima, Germany dropped nuclear power like a hot potato.  How utterly short-sighted.

Unlike the USA, Germany has few non-green solutions to fall back on except for coal.  And they have lots of it.  Especially lignite, or also known as brown coal.  But coal plants are hard to power up on a dime.  Heck, even natural gas power plants are tough to start up quickly.

I'm no power expert, but this means you need to have a fossil fuel power plant always on a "slow burn" (I have no idea what the correct term would be) so that it could quickly be ramped up to replace the quirky and fickle wind and solar power.

But really bad news?  Germany is paying a hefty price to get the coal plants to supply this needed backup.
Twenty power companies including Germany’s biggest utilities, EON SE and RWE AG, now get fees for pledging to add or cut electricity within seconds to keep the power system stable, double the number in September, according to data from the nation’s four grid operators. Utilities that sign up to the 800 million-euro ($1.1 billion) balancing market can be paid as much as 400 times wholesale electricity prices, the data show.

Monday, July 28, 2014

With The Law Ignored, Border Surge Turns Into A Tsunami

If it was "O'Bama's intent to turn the USA into a war zone, he's getting close to succeeding.

The hard reality is, if the law is suddenly rendered null based on the treacly photos of cherubic toddlers and their moms, it's not going to be just Central Americans at our door.

As CBS News reports, we're now seeing a surge in illegal immigrants from Haiti, with the number soaring in the past two years from 12 in 2011 to 1,760 in fiscal 2013. The Colombian navy has been plucking illegals out of coastal waters from as far away as Bangladesh and Afghanistan. They're making their way to Central America and its vast human smuggling networks.

Just last weekend, the National Border Patrol Council said a large group of nationals from Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka were caught in the Rio Grande Valley, coming to get what Central Americans were getting.

These migrant waves parallel the migrant waves from Africa flooding the shores of Italy, Greece and Spain and are above all a commentary on the global development of powerful smuggling networks and mafias empowered by technology. They're able to do today what couldn't be done just 10 years ago. 

Plastic-bag ban a cash grab that hurts environment, consumers, workers: Guest commentary

But...the fact that grocery stores will be making mucho money from the sale of bags won't matter at all to those who think they know better.

So while the intent of SB 270 is a bit confusing, it doesn’t take long to connect the dots on this. The California Grocers Association, which previously opposed similar plastic bags bans, jumped on the bandwagon the second that Sen. Padilla decided to amend his bill, allowing them to keep all the fees that would be placed on the thicker plastic and paper bags. This is not surprising, especially after a recent study found that grocers could be in line for profits in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Far from being a monumental environmental bill, SB 270 represents nothing more than a cash grab and a historic transfer of wealth from California consumers to corporate interests.

Chennai choking on plastic

This goes along with what I've said in the past:  Plastic waste management is a THIRD WORLD PROBLEM.  NOT a first world problem like here in the USA.  Without proper disposal management, trash ends up in the environment.  I saw this first hand in Mexico. Outside the city of Monterrey trash was dumped onto a bank of a ravine and allowed to just flow down the bank.  This trash ends up in the ecosystem.

Banning plastic in third world countries will not solve their problem.

Chennai figures among the top 10 largest plastic waste producing cities in the country. Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar’s announcement in Parliament that Chennai is behind only Delhi as a generator of plastic waste is a wake up call for the state environment department.

Greens complain that the state government allots crores of rupees every year for awareness on dangers of using plastic but fails to arrive at any firm policy decision to ban plastic by a suitable law.

Quoting the study by the Central Pollution Control Board and Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology for 60 cities in the country during 2010-11, Mr Javadekar said, “Ten cities - Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Surat, Kanpur and Pune - generate more plastic waste.” He said the ministry has notified the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2011 despite which waste generation was not regulated in the cities.

California Grocers Lobby for First State Plastic Bag Ban

Oh yeah!  They LOVE plastic bag bans.  They can MAKE MONEY off of those bags. So, since market forces are bypassed by idiotic plastic bag bans why not just throw the rest of market forces down the tubes and jump in with Fascism whole hog.  Let's ban grocery bags at ALL of our grocery stores and then the money will role in!
California grocers, who may realize as much as $1 billion in new revenue from a 10-cent fee on paper bags, are teaming up with environmentalists in a push to make their state the first to prohibit single-use plastic shopping bags.

The retail and grocery lobbies, which backed some of 13 failed California bills since 2007 to curb or ban the bags, are facing off against paper- and plastic-bag manufacturers who oppose the restrictions. Together, the two sides spent $366,000 to lobby California lawmakers in the first three months of this year, according to state filings.
Protect the environment?  What's that?  This really makes you start to wonder what was really behind the plastic bag ban in the first place.