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Sunday, March 15, 2015


We complain that politics are killing our country.  The nerve of Republicans in the U.S. Senate to send a letter to Iran, undercutting the Democratic Obama Administration in their negotiations to stop the development of nuclear weapons.  While I can't imagine the whole thing being orchestrated by a wiser authority, as I further think about this insult, maybe this missive could provide our negotiators a stronger bargaining position.

Bear with me.  First, no matter how successful our current negotiators are against the Iranians, this Congressional interference can only further prevent Iran from building and having the potential to launch nuclear missiles.  If you've been in an Arabian bazaar, it is a proud tradition to prevail on the price of an item being sold.  These Middle Easterners consider Americans as tourists deserving to  be fleeced.  Our bargainers at the nuclear agreement table don't have a chance.

Not sure who was the pawn, but, whether it was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or the Republican House, the key point is that all that byplay probably assisted our discussants working out a solution where Humanity can avoid a major Middle War and subsequent world economic collapse.  Last week I said this issue was the most dangerous issue facing our society today, so this nonsense we tolerate as Republican-Democratic politics might well help save the world.

Similarly, just about everyone is decrying the attitude of NextEra in their purchase of Hawaiian Electric Company, for their stated aim is to minimize residential solar photovoltaics, and instead build solar farms which the utility can fully control.  Well, maybe that actually makes sense.

  • $5.71/WP DC – 5 kWP DC residential rooftop
  • $4.59/WP DC – 217 kWP DC commercial rooftop
  • $3.80/WP DC – 187.5 MWP DC fixed-axis utility-scale ground mount 
Utility-scale PV systems are much cheaper.  While the above comparison is 2010 data, recent trends show similar cost declines.  Data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for example, show nearly a halving of costs from 2010 to 2013 for utility-scale projects:

Ergo, perhaps NextEra has a point worthy of consideration.  I might finally add that NextEra is not only Florida-based.  Just last month the largest PV solar energy farm was dedicated near the Joshua Tree National Park in California, and NextEra is a prominent partner.  

The Desert Sunlight Solar Farm above is a 550 MW facility providing electricity for 160,000 California homes.

Well, things are worse than we thought in Vanuatu.  Super Tropical Cyclone Pam decimated most  of the 65 islands, Information remains sketchy, but early reports hint of double digit deaths and total devastation:  worse than the worst case scenario.  Pam is weakening and will skirt east of New Zealand, bringing rain and high winds to the country.

Otherwise, Tropical Storm Bavi rolled right over Guam and apparently will not attain hurricane strength when it strikes the Philippines in a few days.  Tropical Cyclone Nathan has been moving in circles just off Queensland, Australia, and seems destined to dissipate in the ocean:


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