Book Review: Insane Mode – by Hamish McKenzie

Tesla has changed the landscape of the automotive industry. Musk, through sheer vision and will, made that happen. Other people certainly could also have done it, but it would have taken longer. The large automotive firms, like Toyota, Daimler-Benz, BMW, GM, Ford, Nissan, all could have started the revolution, but they didn’t. Just like Checker Cabs could have become the Uber, but didn’t. It takes vision and grit to make a revolution happen. Musk had both, the started something unique, he started something big. In the the end, Tesla might not succeed, but the movement will certainly survive and there will be electric vehicles everywhere.

In Insane Mode, McKenzie guides us through that revolution and gives us the back story. He also shares some of his own thoughts and vision on just what an impactful revolution the electrification of automobiles actually brings, and how much it will change the way we live, work and play.

Insane Mode will change the way you think about electric vehicles. If you have an enterprising mind, it will make you ponder where you might apply your own ingenuity in the tremendous opportunities the near future offers.

Rex Tillerson uses name of Wayne Tracker for Climate Change Discussions

Rex Tillerson used the fake email name Wayne Tracker (his middle name is Wayne) within the Exxon email system for dialogs about global warming and how it could affect Exxon’s business. Of course, we have seen smoking gun documents from within the fossil fuel industry for decades about global warming, just like we saw tobacco documents in that industry in prior decades, before we all got smart.

Now you can’t smoke in public buildings anywhere in the United States. We have come to accept the reality that has been there all along, even though the tobacco lobby obfuscated it for decades and fought against it.

My question is: Why would Tillerson use a fake name? Is it because the CEO of Exxon can’t be seen discussing climate change issues within Exxon?

We have elected a clown president. With every new day it looks like we have also elected a crook president. We are still waiting for the truth to come out. Regarding climate change, Trump’s election may actually be a good thing, in the long run, because there is no way this issue will remain obfuscated with the international flood lights now shining on this issue from all directions. Climate change will be settled once and for all, and if the president and his cabinet are a bunch of crooks, as it is starting to look, they’ll eventually all be thrown out and the country can heal again.

They railed about Clinton being corrupt, and as I learn more I tend to agree, but for Trump to call Clinton corrupt….

Well, we all have heard about the kettle, haven’t we?


Dumbing Down of America: Secretary of Agriculture Nominee Sonny Perdue


Climate change, we’re told, is responsible for heavy rains and drought alike. Whether temperatures are unseasonably low or high, global warming is the culprit. Snowstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes have been around since the beginning of time, but now they want us to accept that all of it is the result of climate change.… Liberals have lost all credibility when it comes to climate science because their arguments have become so ridiculous and so obviously disconnected from reality.

— Sonny Perdue

Perdue is a former veterinarian and former governor of Georgia.

Scott Pruitt in Charge of the EPA…

…is like

  • putting the fox into the henhouse (trite but trusted)
  • putting an arsonist in charge at the fire station (Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club)
  • disputing the existence of gravity (Rush Holt, chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS))
  • saying the moon is made out of green cottage cheese (my own)

Mr. Trump and Mr. Pruitt, your viewpoints are opposed by 97% of the world’s scientist and a majority of the American public.

Human activities are largely responsible for climate change and severe impacts are already underway. The sooner we act, the lower the cost and risk will be.

You’ll go down in history as the administration that wrecked the planet – and the country.

Make America Great Again?


Trump about Climate Change in the New York Times

You know the hottest day ever was in 1890-something, 98. You know, you can make lots of cases for different views. I have a totally open mind.

My uncle was for 35 years a professor at M.I.T. He was a great engineer, scientist. He was a great guy. And he was … a long time ago, he had feelings — this was a long time ago — he had feelings on this subject. It’s a very complex subject. I’m not sure anybody is ever going to really know. I know we have, they say they have science on one side but then they also have those horrible emails that were sent between the scientists. Where was that, in Geneva or wherever five years ago? Terrible. Where they got caught, you know, so you see that and you say, what’s this all about. I absolutely have an open mind. I will tell you this: Clean air is vitally important. Clean water, crystal clean water is vitally important. Safety is vitally important.

And you know, you mentioned a lot of the courses. I have some great, great, very successful golf courses. I’ve received so many environmental awards for the way I’ve done, you know. I’ve done a tremendous amount of work where I’ve received tremendous numbers. Sometimes I’ll say I’m actually an environmentalist and people will smile in some cases and other people that know me understand that’s true. Open mind.

— Donald Trump – New York Times interview, Nov 23, 2016

Well, I am relieved that Trump’s uncle had feelings on the subject 35 years ago. It must be all good then.

I am also relieved that Trump received environmental awards for his golf courses. He understands climate science. It must be all good then.

Clean air and clean water are vitally important.

And he has an open mind.

I think I can now stop worrying about climate change. We have a good captain at the help.

But What If We Are Wrong?

The Religious Argument

I have been fortunate that I was able to cast off the shackles and blinders of religion very early in life. I am not religious or spiritual in any way. I have always called myself a non-combative atheist, and I am convinced that mindset has served me well.

According to Wikipedia:

The Pew Religious Landscape survey reported that as of 2014, 22.8% of the U.S. population is religiously unaffiliated, atheists made up 3.1% and agnostics made up 4% of the U.S. population. The 2014 General Social Survey reported that 21% of American had no religion with 3% being atheist and 5% being agnostic.

So being part of only 3% of solid atheists mean that 29 out of 30 of my friends, associates and people I run into on a daily basis are more or much more religious than I.

As a result, I have a lot of religious friends. Some very old, good friends. I have friends who are pastors, youth pastors, and even a Catholic priest. In serious late-night discussions with religious friends, one of the most common points that eventually comes up is:

What if you are wrong?

They argue that their belief in a God protects them from eternal hellfire. While I, who does not have such an insurance policy, am exposed. Let’s say with both die. If there is a God, the priest presumably goes to heaven. If there isn’t, he’s just dead and nothing mattered anyway. But on the off-chance that there is a God, he has an insurance policy. He is covered.

But I don’t have that coverage. If there is a God, he says I’ll go to eternal hell. If there is no God, I’ll be just as dead and nothing mattered anyway.

I know that is why many religious people hang on to religion. Just in case.

The Climate Change Argument

The American public has been led to believe that “climate change is a hoax.” Our populace has just elected a government that officially, and in all levels of the executive and legislative branches, supports this argument.

The vast majority of all climate scientists in the world disagree with this reasoning. Our CO2 levels at 400 PPM in the Antarctic are now higher than they have been in 4 million years. In a hundred and fifty years of burning coal and oil we have created a hockey stick of CO2 levels in the atmosphere in the blink of an eye from a planet’s perspective. But this argument I am making here is not about the science. I’ll leave that to the thousands of scientist much better qualified than I am. I just need to state that I am utterly convinced that we’re seriously messing with the balances of chemistry in our atmosphere, and we will need to pay a dear price for that in the not too distant future.

Our illustrious American politicians tell us that it’s all a hoax. Never mind that we are the largest polluters in the world as a country. Never mind that the second and third largest polluters, China and India respectively, basically agree with the seriousness of climate change. Never mind that China is now cleaning up their act as rapidly as they can (which requires another post eventually to discuss). Never mind that 195 nations all came together and agreed that this is a serious problem and crafted the Paris climate agreement.

Our government, empowered by the electorate, is now preparing to get out of the Paris climate agreement. Trump’s position is: We’re not allowing UN bureaucrats to have the power to spend American tax dollars. By itself, that argument makes sense. UN bureaucrats should not get to spend American tax dollars. However, the consequences of just tearing up the agreement are severe.

What if they are wrong?

Say for the sake of argument that climate change really were a hoax. These CO2 levels of 400 and more in our air are just a natural spike, and humanity has nothing to do with it, and can do nothing to change it. The weather will change whether we like it or not.

In a hundred years, no matter what we do, we’ll still be here, with our Manhattan real estate, with our Miami beaches, happily ever after.

Then it will not have mattered.

But on the other side, if human activity actually does affect the climate adversely, and the hockey stick graphs are going to get worse, we will have serious consequences to deal with as a species. The human food chain in the oceans will be disrupted. Agriculture will be severely hindered. Real estate will disappear and many of the lowlands around the country will be under water.

Seriously, we’re willing to play this game – for MONEY?

Ignoring climate change now is like killing the last rooster and chicken, who have been laying eggs for us every day, so we can have ONE LUNCH.

We’re risking our children’s welfare and taking away their right to the pursuit of happiness so we can burn some more oil and coal, so some people can have jobs? Seriously?

What if we are wrong?


Marco Rubio on Climate Change

During the GOP debate on March 10, 2016, Marco Rubio made several statements about the subject of climate change that show all too much how inept and how much of a puppet he really is.

First, he said that of course the climate changes, it changes all the time, and it’s changed throughout history. This is, of course, an insinuation that climate change is happening all by itself, and that humans have nothing to do with it. The vast scientific consensus is that what he said is nonsense. Yes, the climate changes slowly, over millennia. What we have seen in the last 40 years is a hockey stick change in temperature and CO2 in the atmosphere that is unprecedented. The facts do not support Rubio’s bold-faced ignorant statement.

Then he said that the United States is a country, not a planet. He said that China and India were not doing anything about climate change, which by itself is an incorrect statement. I acknowledge they may be behind Europe and the U.S. in their progress, but they are working hard at it. But what’s worse, after constantly stating that the United States was the “leader of  the free world” and that the world looks to the United States for leadership, he breaks with that usual stance out of convenience. Well, China and India aren’t going to do anything, so why would we lead? This is a very inconsistent point of view for a presidential candidate.

He also keeps saying that he is not willing to “destroy the American economy” in the fight against climate change. I wonder what the heck he is talking about. The economy is in so much better a shape today then it was when Bush left office. The DOW was below 7000 when Bush left office and falling. Now it’s at 17000. We had the biggest job growth in modern history since then. Ok, it may not have been enough, but the record shows that under Obama there was more job and economic growth than under Bush, by a long shot. This coincided with a period where our economy transitioned toward renewable energies like never before. So what is Rubio talking about when he says he is not willing to wreck the economy?

All Major Oil Companies Knew of Climate Change by 1970s

From this article:

A new investigation by the Pulitzer Prize-winning outlet InsideClimate News suggests that nearly every major U.S. and multinational oil and gas company was aware of the impact of fossil fuels on climate change as early as the late 1970s. Earlier exposés by InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times have revealed that Exxon scientists knew about climate change as early as 1977, and for decades Exxon concealed its own findings that the burning of fossil fuels causes global warming, alters the climate and melts the Arctic ice. Now, internal documents obtained by InsideClimate News reveal that the entire oil and gas industry had similar knowledge. From 1979 to 1983, the oil and gas industry trade group American Petroleum Institute ran a task force to monitor and share climate research. The group’s members included senior scientists and engineers from not only Exxon, but also Amoco, Phillips, Mobil, Texaco, Shell, Sunoco, Sohio and Standard Oil of California and Gulf Oil, the predecessors to Chevron. The documents show that as early as 1979, the task force knew carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was rising steadily. The task force even briefly considered researching how to introduce a new energy source into the global market, given the research about fossil fuels’ impact on global warming. But in 1983, the task force was disbanded, and by the late 1990s, the American Petroleum Institute had launched a campaign to oppose the Kyoto Protocol, which was adopted by many countries to cut fossil fuel emissions but was never ratified by the United States.

Merry Christmas!

I don’t give a **** if we agree about climate change – by Arnold Schwarzenegger

I lifted the section below from a Facebook feed by Schwarzenegger. I didn’t want to just share the feed. There were too many idiotic comments by brilliant and successful experts on energy below the feed – I could not stand it. So here it is, sanitized and quarantined, for your reading:



I don’t give a **** if we agree about climate change.


 Arnold Schwarzenegger· Monday, December 7, 2015

I see your questions.

Each and every time I post on my Facebook page or tweet about my crusade for a clean energy future, I see them.

There are always a few of you, asking why we should care about the temperature rising, or questioning the science of climate change.

I want you to know that I hear you. Even those of you who say renewable energy is a conspiracy. Even those who say climate change is a hoax. Even those of you who use four letter words.

I’ve heard all of your questions, and now I have three questions for you.

Let’s put climate change aside for a minute. In fact, let’s assume you’re right.

First – do you believe it is acceptable that 7 million people die every year from pollution? That’s more than murders, suicides, and car accidents – combined.

Every day, 19,000 people die from pollution from fossil fuels. Do you accept those deaths? Do you accept that children all over the world have to grow up breathing with inhalers?

Now, my second question: do you believe coal and oil will be the fuels of the future?

Besides the fact that fossil fuels destroy our lungs, everyone agrees that eventually they will run out. What’s your plan then?

I, personally, want a plan. I don’t want to be like the last horse and buggy salesman who was holding out as cars took over the roads. I don’t want to be the last investor in Blockbuster as Netflix emerged. That’s exactly what is going to happen to fossil fuels.

A clean energy future is a wise investment, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either wrong, or lying. Either way, I wouldn’t take their investment advice.

Renewable energy is great for the economy, and you don’t have to take my word for it. California has some of the most revolutionary environmental laws in the United States, we get 40% of our power from renewables, and we are 40% more energy efficient than the rest of the country. We were an early-adopter of a clean energy future.

Our economy has not suffered. In fact, our economy in California is growing faster than the U.S. economy. We lead the nation in manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, entertainment, high tech, biotech, and, of course, green tech.

I have a final question, and it will take some imagination.

There are two doors. Behind Door Number One is a completely sealed room, with a regular, gasoline-fueled car. Behind Door Number Two is an identical, completely sealed room, with an electric car. Both engines are running full blast.

I want you to pick a door to open, and enter the room and shut the door behind you. You have to stay in the room you choose for one hour. You cannot turn off the engine. You do not get a gas mask.

I’m guessing you chose the Door Number Two, with the electric car, right? Door number one is a fatal choice – who would ever want to breathe those fumes?

This is the choice the world is making right now.

To use one of the four-letter words all of you commenters love, I don’t give a damn if you believe in climate change. I couldn’t care less if you’re concerned about temperatures rising or melting glaciers. It doesn’t matter to me which of us is right about the science.

I just hope that you’ll join me in opening Door Number Two, to a smarter, cleaner, healthier, more profitable energy future.

NASA versus Climate Deniers

The earth has warmed by 1.4 degrees since 1880. Climate deniers claim that natural sources, like solar activity, volcanos, and orbital changes have caused the earth to warm. The data published by NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies shows otherwise. Reviewing this clearly and graphically indicates that the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere tracks closely with the observed increase in temperature.

The question now is: how do we reduce human-caused greenhouse gas emissions?

Marco Rubio says that the United States is not a planet, so whatever we do here is not going to fix things. So we might as well do nothing.

I say the United States should show leadership, and other countries will follow. We have always led in the past, and we should lead now.

But then, I am not running for president.

Rick Santorum, Pope Francis and Science

Rick Santorum has been ranting about the Pope’s statements about science, and particularly climate change. Here are two quotes:

“The perception that the media would like to give of Pope Francis and the reality are two different things…I’m a huge fan of his, and his focus on making sure that we have a healthier society…I support completely the Pope’s call for us to do more to create opportunities for people to be able to rise in society and care for the poor. That’s our obligation as a society.”

“The Church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think we’re probably better off leaving science to the scientists and focus on what we’re really good on, which is theology and morality. When we get involved with political and controversial scientific theories, then I think the church is probably not as forceful and credible.”

Funny how Santorum decides about “controversial scientific theories.” His bachelors degree is in political science, then he got a one year MBA, then and a law degree, with honors. No science there at all. That did not stop him from advocating teaching of intelligent design in schools by introducing what became known as the Santorum Amendment.

Santorum is not a scientist.

In contrast, Pope Francis has a Masters degree in Chemistry. Pope Francis has considerably more scientific credentials that many of our congressmen.

Ted Cruz and NASA – Take Two


NASA has published an online study in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters which suggests that the Larsen B Ice Shelf among other ice glaciers in the Antarctica is fast collapsing and losing its shape due to global warming and other environmental factors, and that the ice sheets could be gone by 2020.

The Standard Daily

I know that Ted Cruz is what we call a “climate denier.” That’s a person that believes that either the world is not warming at all, or, if it actually is warming, it is part of a natural cycle and we can’t do anything about it.

Notwithstanding that the vast majority of climate scientists do not agree with that opinion and assure us that climate change is proven to be anthropogenic, Ted Cruz wants to stop NASA from studying climate related subjects.

Anthropogenic or not, if the Larsen B Ice Shelf disintegrates by 2020 and allows further glaciers behind it to slip down into the ocean, we’ll see some serious real estate implications in the next 20 years in Miami, New York, Boston, San Diego, Seattle – to list only a few obvious U.S. cities affected.

So Ted Cruz wants to gag NASA, the one governmental body by far the most qualified to study this issue in the world, and most likely the best at it. I don’t understand the rationale? If you don’t study a phenomenon, you won’t understand it with certainty. Studying and learning never hurts. Even if the warming is natural, the implications are serious, and we need to prepare for them.

Yet, Ted Cruz wants us to stick our collective heads in the sand. Why? The only motivation I can come up with is giving more time to Koch Industries, Shell, BP, Chevron and Exxon Mobile to rape the world.

Some responsible leaders we have elected.

Paying Homage to the Senator with the Snowball

InhofeSenator Inhofe tried to make the case that global warming is fake because it is currently very cold in the Eastern United States. It is indeed right now unusually cold in the Eastern United States, but the planet on the whole is having an unusually warm year. We here in California have had unseasonably warm weather, but Inhofe probably hasn’t been here in a while. To make his point, he held up a snowball and dropped it on the Senate floor.

How can Senator Inhofe expect us to treat him with any respect?

Throwing that snowball would be like me holding up a Big Mac and claiming that world hunger doesn’t exist.

Senator Whitehouse does a wonderful job setting the Senate straight: You can believe every major American scientific society, or you can believe the senator with the snowball.

The scary thing is, Inhofe chairs the Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works. How likely is an Inhofe-chaired committee to pass well-designed environmental legislation?

How likely is the Republican Party to gain the respect of the educated and scientific community in our country with flag bearers – and snowball throwers – like Inhofe in the lead?