Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Why power generators are terrified of solar--electricity 40% cheaper in SOLAR Germany

This is a pretty good indication of how our energy debate in America is driven by oil, gas, and coal public relations bullshit not reality.

While our government has been licking around the edges of alternative energy and politely nodding when oil company execs tell us it's not cost competitive yet, Germany has jumped into it in a big way.
The result?

The peak price of electricity over the course of a day dropped 40%, and 25% of their gas generators may be closed.

Why are we still talking about deep water drilling and pipelines for tar sand and shale oil, which are a half step above turning coal into gasoline? 

Because only big money can drill oil or turn asphalt into usable fuel, so they can control the supply and therefore price. Once PV's are in place, it's a hell of a lot harder to explain price fluctuations when the ''fuel,'' the sun rays, are constant.

Obama is doing more on this than past presidents, but we need to catch up to Germany, and the sooner we do, the less of a stranglehold big oil will have on our economy and foreign policy, and the harder it will be for power companies to blackmail us for billions and even turn out the lights as they did here in California at the beginning of the Bush administration.

We need to demand that our government get out in front, not just in research and demonstration projects, but in getting these kinds of power plants online and displacing fossil fuel NOW.

Tell the White House and your corrupt Congress critters to build it fast and build it NOW. 

The first graph illustrates what a typical day on the electricity market in Germany looked like in March four years ago; the second illustrates what is happening now, with 25GW of solar PV installed across the country. Essentially, it means that solar PV is not just licking the cream off the profits of the fossil fuel generators — as happens in Australia with a more modest rollout of PV — it is in fact eating their entire cake.

Deutsche Bank solar analyst Vishal Shah noted in a report last month that EPEX data was showing solar PV was cutting peak electricity prices by up to 40%, a situation that utilities in Germany and elsewhere in Europe were finding intolerable. “With Germany adopting a drastic cut, we expect major utilities in other European countries to push for similar cuts as well,” Shah noted. 
 Analysts elsewhere said one quarter of Germany’s gas-fired capacity may be closed, because of the impact of surging solar and wind capacity. Enel, the biggest utility in Italy, which had the most solar PV installed in 2011, highlighted its exposure toreduced peaking prices when it said that a €5/MWh fall in average wholesale prices would translate into a one-third slump in earnings from the generation division.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Progressive talker Thom Hartmann punished for Rush & other cons' sins in LA?

Clear Channel wanted to diversify the range of voices on LA radio, especially in light of the Limbaugh dust up and KFI local hosts John & Ken's remarks referring to Whitney Houston as a ''crack ho'' after her death, but instead of replacing Limbaugh or the KFI locals, they bumped nationally known progressive talker Thom Hartmann. 

In one of the most liberal cities in America that has ONE progressive commercial station and a couple of conservative ones, and in which they own two AM stations and five FM ones

The Black Media alliance also noticed that the station that carries Rush has the highest ratings in the LA market, but it also has a very strong signal. The progressive station is static at a range where Rush is still coming in loud and clear. 

If Clear Channel really wants to do a mea culpa for Rush, they should replace HIM with this new show, or better yet, swap signals between their low powered progressive show and their stronger signal conservative one. 

It's also hard not to notice that Clear Channel is hardly making moves to make the progressive channel, KTLK 1150 AM more successful. They have gradually replaced nationally known progressives who could draw a large audience with little known hosts, David Cruz and Clark Howard from 3-8 pm, and now have done the same in the crucial morning slot. Come to think of it, if Clear Channel wanted to try out new hosts on KTLK, why bump someone who has a national audience, that even people from out of town might spin the dial to find, instead of bumping the late afternoon hosts that even loyal listeners of KTLK switch away from? 

Either Clear Channel doesn't care about listeners who started with the station when it was Air America and stayed with for the nationally known very progressive hosts ever since, or they are actively trying to kill the format so they could then say it failed and keeping Limbaugh in spite of near universal outrage.

Does this really sound like a free market at work or a corporation drawing blood from progressives to give a transfusion to a dying right wing propaganda format? 

Contact KTLK at 

And Clear Channel at 

Tell them to bring back Thom Hartmann to 9-12 am on KTLK AM 1150, and move Diverse LA to the later slots or better yet, to Rush Limbaugh or John and Ken's time slots on KFI AM 640!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Santorum wants prima nocta, nobles' right of wedding night sex, back

After his success energizing Republican voters with his attack on contraception, presidential candidate Rick Santorum has reached even deeper into traditional Catholic sexual edicts to add prima nocta, also known as droit du seigneur, the right of nobles to sexual relations with brides on their wedding nights, to his women's issues platform.

To underline his embrace of this tradition, Santorum announced it during a campaign event at Dark AJ's Medieval Dinner Park in Hannibal, Missouri, going as far as to dress in Middle Ages attire himself.

"You know our critics on the loony left often say they can't see how the Christian wing of the Republican Party can co-exist with the free market wing, as if there was some conflict of values between the two," Santorum began.

"But in the ancient tradition of prima nocta, these two wings become one beautiful bird, perfectly illustrating God's hierarchy for all living things, and the economic superior embodying God's love as he fills the inferior."

As Santorum spoke, the prima nocta scenes from movies like Braveheart and Beckett played in the background.

Since America has no formal nobility, Santorum said as president he will fight for a law to adapt the ancient droit du seigneur to become a droit du corporis, or right of the corporation.

The right could be exercised by the CEO, major shareholders, or board members of any corporation over recently married employees or customers indebted to the corporation through mortgages, credit card debt, or other consumer loans.

"What is really exciting is this could provide a new opportunity for the free market," Santorum continued.  "If the CEO or others legally granted the right choose not to exercise it, they could sell that right on a nocta market."

A reporter asked if  CEO's could also take the first night of gay spouses in states where gay marriage is legal.

Santorum thought for several minutes before saying, "I'll have to consult some trusted Vatican scholars before giving a definitive answer, but I can say as a Republican that so long as they do it in the closet, and at least one of them claims publicly to be straight, it's probably ok."

UPDATE: Seth McFarlane used his FAMILY GUY characters to create this educational video on prima nocta for Santorum.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

ice cream shop names milkshake after Santorum

A Hershey, Pennsylvania ice cream shop owner came up with a novel way to support his favorite GOP presidential candidate: by creating a milkshake in his name.

Francis (Frank) Manuopus thought he should do more that plant a lawn sign to spread his support for Santorum, so he invented the Santorum Shake, made with double dutch chocolate (in honor of the Pennsylvania Dutch) and whipped cream because Santorum is "the cream of the crop" to Manuopus.

"If someone has never had the Santorum Shake, they absolutely MUST have a cherry on top," Manuopus added.

He has promoted it in various ways, such as selling it for 50% off if people ask for it at the far right end of the counter or who come in the back door.

He said the shake has proven popular, especially with the town's gay community.

"With Rick's stand on gay rights, you wouldn't think they'd be interested, but they have been flooding in, saying they want to taste Santorum.  Sometimes they are really surprised how good it  is.  One even said Santorum tastes a lot better cold.  I guess some gave him one that had melted to room temperature.  That would be too runny for my taste," Manuopus said.

Manuopus said he isn't sure that all the gays who come in are Santorum supporters though.

"One group came in and one of the guys looked sort of like Rick and even wore a sweater vest.  The other three bought Santorum shakes, sucked them up into straws, and blew it on the one dressed like Rick.  They were good sports and cleaned it up though.  They said they didn't want anyone to slip in their Santorum."

Manuopus was especially proud that his parish priest came in and tried the shake. "I was really surprised. The priest said he has made this for boys in the rectory lots of times, but never actually tried it."

He hopes the candidate himself will get a taste of his own Santorum before the Pennsylvania primary.  "Nothing would make me prouder than seeing Rick wiping my Santorum off his face," Manuopus beamed.

UPDATE: Always a good sport, Newt Gingrich came in for a Santorum Shake when he was in town.  He brought his own whipped cream and offered to share it with all the ladies in the shop.  

"Frankly, I used to enjoy sharing this with my wife, but now it's more fun to give it to women I've just met," he explained.