403 Comments
Mar 9, 2022·edited Mar 9, 2022

Dr. Richardson, I am amazed at the amount of information you research, collect, parse, and assemble into something that is so brief (considering what you must start with and sift through) and understandable that even I can 'get it.' I reach this conclusion partially by looking at -- and sometimes following -- your MANY cites and sources. Several times I have imagined scores of student assistants or full-time staff devoted to your topic(s) of the day, maybe like a news staff working for a media journalist; else, how do you do it?

I won't pry any further into professional professorial trade secrets. It is enough for me to know that you do what you do, and why you do it -- to our great edification. And through us the truth travels far....

With my greatest admiration and thanks!

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“It is enough for me to know that you do what you do, and why you do it -- to our great edification. And through us the truth travels far....” Yup.

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I feel as if I am auditing an upper division history class here on this Letter. How she does it is a miracle to me, and I am ever so appreciative.

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I've found no other source that provides both the clarity and context of HCR's morning letters. Thank you .

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We are extraordinarily lucky to reap the benefits of Heather's knowledge, expertise and perspective. She is a treasured gift to us.

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A national TREASURE, indeed. 👍

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Yes! Yes! Yes!

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I am in complete agreement.

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Well said, Gus. Thank you, I wonder about this every day and couldn't have said it better! She is a gift!

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Heather often says, "I read A LOT." She also has said, "I read fast." So it's quite possible that she pores through the daily news outlets and other sources on her own, but, yes, I can believe she may have students and staff assisting her.

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Reading a lot is the only way to keep up, and outlining on the fly, and staying up half the night, and yes, assistants (volunteer or otherwise) to help with that would be my guess!

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I installed solar in 2002 and bought my first electric car the same year. The money I saved by not buying gasoline and electricity paid for the solar in 2010. Since then, and for the rest of my life, I power my home, cars, and motorcycles on clean renewable energy - for free.

When I did it, solar was expensive and EVs were rare and costly. Today, solar is cheaper than grid power, and EVs are plentiful and on par with the cost of gas cars.

Going forward, our job is to never buy another gas car, and to the extent you have influence, don't let your friends, family, co-workers, or neighbors buy one either.

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The US Postal service has ordered a new fleet of vehicles. Not electric, though that’s what Biden asked for. DeJoy’s handiwork, again. There has been a campaign to stop the order, email letters. Form letters not accepted. Can’t remember the recipient’s details.

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DeJoy, chump’s gift that keeps on destroying

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Absolutely! My mail service is so erratic that some days I don’t even get mail delivery.

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Ditto. And then we might get 3 weeks worth of magazines etc in one delivery. And my health insurance folks don't understand why I won't get my meds thru the mail????

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JennSH, I'll bet DeJoy would tell you that those days you don't get mail delivery there was nothing to deliver. DeJoy must go!!!

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Yeah when do we get to dump his sorry arse?

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We were discussing this yesterday. I cannot fathom how that <colorful adjective> individual is still in charge.

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Morning, Ally! How appropriate this topic is. Yesterday, I received an email from Senator Mark Warner-VA, announcing the Senate just passed the Postal Service Reform Act. Here's the Twitter link: https://twitter.com/MarkWarner/status/1501339987358502912?s=20&t=11wvMX4v2xTz2fNz30-ZDw

And here's an article last February where Senator Whitehouse addressed the issue.

https://postaltimes.com/postalnews/senator-whitehouse-calls-for-confirmation-of-usps-board-of-governors-nominees-to-address-major-operational-problems-under-postmaster-general-dejoy/

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Morning, Lynell! Thanks for the links.

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No Joy has certainly been a part of the festering death star plan. I hope to see him gone soon. My LMT, a former postal worker calls him Destroy. Our mail delivery is OK. Our problem locally is people breaking into the postal boxes. Ours hasn't been.....yet.

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President Biden will be getting a bipartisan bill to sign, finalized by the House, that will rectify a lot of what Republicans did in the past to throttle the Postal Service. There will be no more funding retirement 75 yrs into the future, employees will have to participate in Medicare for future health care needs, and mail service will be guaranteed for 6 day a week delivery to name a few aspects of this legislation. Yay! As far as Dejoy is concerned, his rear is still hanging around. Bah humbug!

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Hallelujah! Has this passed in both Houses? Getting rid of that offensive 75-year-future funding of retirement fund is crucial and I love the provision re Medicare for employees.

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Yep. It was a bipartisan pass in both the House/Senate, finalized in the House and was headed to Pres’s desk for signature ♥️!

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Carol, I had this conversation yesterday at our rural post office. I was unaware that rural post offices do not provide vehicles for their delivery people. They use their own vehicles. They get a gas allowance which has not adjusted to the rising gas prices. What the hell !

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It has been like that all my 78 years!

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I was married to a mail carrier - well aware of the whole personal vehicle issue. Nothing has changed in that regard. Not for rural carriers.

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The rural letter carriers used their own vehicles as far back as the Depression. My mother’s father was a rural letter carrier. There was even a Rural Letter Carriers Association. I saw photos of my grandparents at an association dinner.

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Jenn, I did not know that until yesterday. Are they allotted the pension that "inside" postal workers get? I have a friend that has been with the Post Office 35 years and recently retired with a decent pension. I would hope they would receive that.

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Arrrgggghhh!

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100,000 of them. It's outrageous. We've had a 2013 EV for six years. In the market now for a newer one. And trust me, charging them is a breeze compared to stopping at gas stations. According to our power company's smart meter, we spend $16 monthly to charge the car. Granted, we don't typically drive long distances during the pandemic.

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Please convince me that EV works. I can see that if all your trips are within 10 miles of home, it is totally do-able. I have a 2002 hybrid and am happy to be able to gas up anywhere on long trips.

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Mar 10, 2022·edited Mar 10, 2022

Frankly, your best bet is to buy a new or newish EV. The ranges have greatly increased. A challenge is that the very best EVs with the most range and other features are prohibitively expensive for many of us. That said, many new models have recently come on the market and more are scheduled later this year with ranges from 230 to 350 miles. This includes some priced in the $35,000 to $55,000 range. (Yes, still a lot of money but the savings knocks down the cost a lot — not just never having to buy gas but practically zero vehicle maintenance.)

Depending where you live, long trips are feasible if there are charging stations. They tend to be clustered in big cities and along heavily traveled interstate highways. Driving the length of the West Coast on I-5 is feasible. Newer model EV usually are equipped with fast-speed chargers that power up EVs to 80% of range in 30 minutes. Charging station locations are found easily online and in the cars themselves. Just takes a little advance planning.

And remember, buying a new EV (with a few exceptions) earns a $7,500 federal tax credit and in some places like Oregon a state credit. The federal credit is promoted in a misleading way, however. You're only eligible if you owe taxes at the end of the tax year. If you're withholding leaves you with a $1,000 bill, that's all you get for a tax credit. Again, you can plan for this financially to get the maximum credit.

Finally, driving an EV usually means you learn to drive differently to save power. Like avoiding fast takeoffs and coasting more, which regenerates the batteries. And I think EV drivers generally are cool not having some of the conveniences of gas cars because they know they not adding to greenhouse gases.

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Carol C, yes, it makes no sense for the postal service to continue to use gasoline powered vehicles. But DeJoy is working for the rich oil companies that do not want the elimination of oil, since they rear they will be put out of business. Economically for the country and the climate, we must eliminate as much fossil fuel as possible as soon as we can. For money won't make any sense with world no longer a place in which to live.

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Money-sickened idiot billionaires buy refuges in New Zealand, and spend on expanding human lifespans. (Their own, that is.) Mars? Not such a nice planet as the one we currently live on.

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Sadly, both new and used vehicles are shockingly more expensive in recent months. I opted for older model turbo-diesel vehicles which get 40+ miles/gallon. Accruing the second 150k miles on those vehicles costs far less than payments and energy costs for a new vehicle, conventional or electric. One of them is blissfully "power nothing". You can't get a vehicle less than 15 years old that isn't tricked out with every manner of superfluous electronic gadgetry which can't be repaired by your local independent shop. Electric makes all the sense in the world from an environmental perspective, but the economics of new vehicle ownership are definitely not in our favor yet, even if electricity costs less than pumping fuel. At 60+ years of age, I could easily be over the rainbow bridge before recouping the capital cost of switching.

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We are so, so, so lucky to have moved away from the U.S. where you had to drive everywhere. We walk now. Have no car. Do take trains and buses for traveling. Frank Lloyd Wright had a vision. I wish it had been embraced, but the oil companies tore up the cable car tracks in LA and made the city and country dependent upon cars and gas.

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Yes, not my generation but in the 1930's, my Mother could take the "Red Line" from South Pasadena down to Long Beach to sing for a Big Band. A few of the old "Red Line" Right-of-Ways still exist. Another Red Line went out to Santa Monica.

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And my grand parents when they were teenagers.

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Mar 9, 2022·edited Mar 9, 2022

It wasn't just the oil companies. The automotive companies were a driving force in buying up the land and tearing out rail lines to force the change to driving. Oil followed. Same thing happened in Denver. 50 years later, the movement began to rebuild those same rail lines, and expand into the metro and suburban area. I grew up primarily in Chicago area, where public transportation flourished. I was astounded when i moved to Denver in the late '70s to find that the local rail lines had been closed down. Short term selfish greed, repackaged and branded as a benefit.

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I'm realizing we can use our car much less. Can walk to a small local grocery for a lot, and then only have to hit the larger store maybe once every 10-12 days. Fortunately, we have a Honda that gets great mileage, so that helps.

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"Carpool for Ukraine!" Divide the cost of gas by the number of people in the car. That's what we are really paying per gallon.

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Also important is the speed at which you drive. Nobody is talking about "Drive 55."

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My 2010 Honda CRV is worth it’s weight in gold! Good gas mileage and has only about 40,000 miles on it. No way am I buying a new car!

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Our Honda is 2015 with bells and whistles, as well as great gas mileage. 50K miles. Wouldn't trade it for the world.

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Where did you move? I see the building in Ukraine that have been hit and think that living in high rise homes would not be safe!

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Jacques Fresco also had a vision… https://g.co/kgs/9y2C6v

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I love traveling in Europe, especially Portugal and Spain. The buses and trains are so easy, accessible and take you everywhere. Plus you can walk on the Camino trails for safe walking, too. My parents lived in LA area when the street car tracks were ripped out. The smog and traffic were not considered. I lived in California suburban areas with poor public transportation, also. And high speed trains are often voted down. The auto manufacturers had a great lobby and influence on our transportation choices.

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We lived in LA and near San Diego. My grandfather worked in the oil fields near Long Beach. From childhood to adulthood I watched the changes in the air each time I went back. My mother said they use to ride bikes through orange groves from Long Beach to Culver City. Once Upon a Time SoCal was so beautiful. I miss friends and family, but would never go back.

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Where is this Shangri-la?

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My L.A. husband would second that motion, and he’s still angry about it at the age of 94!

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Mar 9, 2022·edited Mar 9, 2022

I'm not sure about the recouping theory. I'm getting 76 miles/gallon on my hybrid.

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I get about 50 miles/gallon in my hybrid. I decided to top it off before Texas does it’s faux shortage like it always does in a crisis. $25 for not quite 5 gallons. Yikes!

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Well Denise..as we all pretty-much know (tho not "all" of us exactly, but U-Kno). People in EU and UK pay by the 'liter'.....hmmm, since we-uns ain't onto 'metric' ..yet..., "we-uns" don't have a clue as to what a liter (whatevahh) amounts to. And evan (<<nascar spellink) more-bettahh.., most folks couldn't give the proverbial "rats arse" about it..move on..., jayssusss!! Oh.. you want the answer (a few of you do..hahaha), there are 3.785 liters in one US Gallon. The cost per "liter" in US$ amounts to1.96 cents per liter. MY MY MY!.., that smells like $7.41 per US Gallon... whoaa!

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Had to laugh about your comment. Having driven rental cars in Europe, mostly France & Italy, numerous times over several decades, it has always amused me to hear Americans gripe about the price of gas in the U.S.

I just went upstairs and got my photo of an Agip (gas station) sign along the Autostrada, taken about 2006 or 2007: 1.305 euro/litre. Multiplied by four that comes out to 5.22 euro for 4 liters. My guesstimate of exchange rate of 1.25 euro/1 dollar means we would have paid the equivalent of $6.52/4 liters, not even a full U.S. gallon of unleaded gas.

BTW, I have the photo because I have a little stuffed Agip 6-legged dog (Really. I looked it up!) like the one on the Agip station signs, picked up as a student in the early 1960s.

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Thanks for your note Judith. Always good to see that "the Mad Russian" moniker doesn't turn folks off. Hah.., and the six legged dog.. a pal of the 4-wheeled man (in 1953). Thank you again for providing me yet another treat for my mind to play with. This site helps greatly.

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Mar 10, 2022·edited Mar 10, 2022

My 2012 hybrid Prius is great in mountain areas or nonstop freeway driving. At least 50 mph and often significantly higher. Short trips not so much. It has 83,000 miles and runs like new. Fingers crossed. Gas today in Northern California rural town on the way up to Lake Tahoe: $5.24 gallon - credit card.

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My last Prius had 360,000 miles on it, ran great, and got about 53 mpg. The battery never needed replacing.

I'll be at the pump in a couple days. Who knows what the gas will be then in SF Bay Area!

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Wow! That mileage sounds like a record. Especially with original hybrid battery. You’re lucky. Hope you still have an energy efficient car. Gas is sky high already. I saw a FB picture from a community outside of Sacramento with gas for $6.71 gal. I know people who bought small van/motorhomes during the Pandemic. They will have big bills. But we’re lucky. We aren’t being bombed in America and I’ll pay and reduce my driving so we can make life better for the Ukrainians.

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I laughed at the "rainbow bridge" addition! We are pretty back woods here in Indiana...so electric vehicles will probably be common in our area after I cross over the "rainbow bridge" for sure!

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Same for me at 77. My 2014 Outback doesn't get the estimated in-town mileage but I drive so little in the past 2 years that costs haven't been onerous, esp. compared to costs relating to replacing it.

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Solar is still expensive here in CA and Pacific Gas and Electric is trying to get those who have it to pay more. Actually, all of us are getting hit with exorbitant costs for running anything electric or gas. Our average monthly bill is $400 now. I am looking to buy an EV, hopefully this year, if it’s not cost prohibitive. The price of one is what I paid for my house in 1976. Ugh!

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In Northern California: My friends who already have a Prius just bought a Tesla. I think about $35-$40,000. They had electricity rewired in their garage for charging. $10,000. Charging stations are everywhere, even in our rural town. The prices for these cars today are like home mortgages years ago. How do young families afford homes and cars that are energy efficient?

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I agree! Here in the Bay Area, those are the families whose salaries are generated by Silicon Valley’s tech companies. They buy $1mil+ “Smart” homes, send their kids to private schools, and buy Teslas. I for one, will not be buying a Tesla. They are brilliantly made but knowing that Musk reaps tons of money just makes my skin crawl.

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Simple answer there Irenie..They need to 'haul stuff' so a pu truck or a used SUV fills the bill.., until they find a decent place to live and generate a couple children.

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Right. Everyone doesn’t have a hybrid or even a home. But the idea of affordable transportation, is more universal. Move from fossil fuels to alternative energy for our planet’s health. That has been a possibility for decades. And is political.

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SDG&E is doing the same regarding solar, talk about $20/mo for residential users. On May 1, San Diego city will join other cities in SD County in a Community Choice Aggregation not-for-profit. The rate paid will be only pennies less per kWh but will disconnect from investor-owned SDG&E while supporting the evolution of the clean energy sector. San Diego Community Power is describe on its website:

"San Diego Community Power (SDCP) is a local provider of electricity that will serve our communities by bringing you cleaner energy at competitive rates. We will provide renewable electricity service to over 960,000 customer accounts in the cities of Chula Vista, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, La Mesa and San Diego starting in 2022, with the unincorporated communities of the County of San Diego and the City of National City served in 2023.

We provide you with reliable, affordable electricity from renewable sources. We are focused on what families need and want most when it comes to their energy."

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Wish that was our county’s goal! We have quite a few affluent cities up here in the Bay Area where there is solar. PG&E has never been honest with their customers. Their rates have been predicated based on the lives they’ve killed such as dated equipment, explosions, fires due to faulty or neglected power lines. Not one person on mu street has solar. We are an old neighborhood with old charming homes lined with big trees. We do not have underground wiring who h is required with new builds. Many of our homes are heated with gas and we cook with it also.

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Some companies are offering lease program, which easily transfer if you sell a house.

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Everyone I have talked to and they’re plenty of them, have told me not to lease but to purchase outright. I simply can’t do it this year because I need to trade in my gas guzzler (although I love it) for either a hybrid or an EV. Plus, being that we have lived in our almost 100 year old house for nearly 47 years, we now must redo our foundation. No easy fixes are what face us oldsters now.

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Mar 9, 2022·edited Mar 9, 2022

I bought our 2013 Nissan Leaf in 2016 at the end of someone's three-year lease. It was a remarkably good deal. I found it at a very small dealer that deals exclusively in used EVs. And I hear you about old houses. Ours turns 100 this year. We've been in it 20 years. Many challenges along the way, though not something like replacing a foundation. Good luck.

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Can’t❤️your statement! Thank you!

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Mar 10, 2022·edited Mar 10, 2022

The upcoming generations are being priced out of home purchases in California especially San Francisco and Bay areas. Palo Alto fixer-uppers are often $2-$3 million and may be remodeled or torn down. And then there’s a car to buy or support.

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To clarify: lease programs for solar panels, not cars.

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Might be worth recalculating. We have net metering in California, which is the essential factor. PG&E charges $10 a month for grid services, which is fair. Might go to $20 or more for grid connection to help pay for grid upgrades, such as buried lines, also fair. I get 90% of the electricity I use from seventeen 3’x6’ panels on my small, townhouse roof.

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I'm with ya. We put solar on our garage in 2019 and last year bought an all-electric Mini Cooper (made more darling by being electric). The federal tax credits and local electrical company rebates (in Minnesota) lowered the cost of the solar panels, but the fact of driving off sun power feels redemptive enough to be worth it without the financial incentives. I am glad Biden pushes renewable energy even while being disappointed that there was nothing in the State of the Union address about climate chaos. Maybe too much on his plate just now to include that volatile issue. Thank you to the engineers who figured out solar power for earthlings!

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The poor man has so much on his plate! And he is doing a wonderful job in spite of the Republicans rejecting him at every turn!

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KAA-BLAMMO...good shot there Sharon. The repubDUBS have infiltrated the minds of our young with their fraudulent sound-bites. And now we have the Trump-Church helping with Sunday School.

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I see it here in Indiana!

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I love my EV and I'm never going back. I posted today telling people now is the perfect time to make the switch.

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I so much wanted to buy an EV when I purchased a new car last June, but I live rurally and in an apartment. Currently there is no way to charge an EV. I am hoping for the future.

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Some bicycle friends of mine recently spent a week in the Scottsdale Arizona area and observed that given the sunny environment they didn’t see any roof-top solar panels. Such a wasted opportunity

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Rethug legislature. No net metering, which is essential.

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Mar 9, 2022·edited Mar 9, 2022

In 2012 we put in Geothermal heating and solar on our roof. In 2020 we bought our first electric car. Currently we are considering how we can disconnect from the grid and or at least have a solar backup solution. There are quite a few options. None of these were inexpensive but at the time the federal and state governments were giving rebates, the solar had options for leasing the equipment, and we were going to need to replace our furnace within a few years. Economically, our choices all cost us way less than the old 20th century solutions.

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We have solar panels which we plan to expand and a Prius Prime. Since most of our driving is in city, we seldom buy gas. I was very happy to see this letter this am because I know that there's much misleading into out there in the R attempt to blame Biden.

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I think the initial cost is an issue for many people I’ve talked to. Plus people are gun shy about trusting any direction the government says it’s going. Who knows if there will be another Trump type environmental rapist in office next time (highly likely). Look how people lost their solar tax credit during his admin!

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I have a question. I heard on the news this morning that the price of electric cars will go up because nickel is one of the primary components of them and the major supply of nickel is in Russia. Does anyone know where else we can get this element from or if there is an alternative? I don’t know much about this.

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Nickel is one of the elements in EV batteries, but it's a small portion of the total cost of a battery. EV prices are actually dropping, not going up, although demand can alter that to a degree. With higher gas prices, demand for EVs is definitely rising.

If you want a university-level understanding of batteries for EVs, watch this remarkable 53 minute story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM1fL5D1_W8. It will give you a thorough understanding of mining, manufacturing, and recycling of batteries.

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Sudbury, ON Canada is called the mining capital of the world; it mines and refines Nickel.

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Mar 10, 2022·edited Mar 10, 2022

Here is a good chart. According to it, Brazil is on par with Russia, then Switzerland at half their market. Then seven other countries make up the rest of the nickel mining companies. https://elements.visualcapitalist.com/the-worlds-largest-nickel-mining-companies/

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What the Republican liars about the Keystone XL didn't say was that ALL OF THAT OIL was Canadian, and was destined for foreign sales, none of it for the U.S. We were just the territory it would ooze across, and be the ones who would deal with the inevitable leaks and oil spills in the middle of the Oglala Aquifier - which (barely now) keeps the farmers who are dumb enough to vote for that con artist in business as farmers.

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That's right. Keystone was not benefitting the USA, it was all for oil company's convenience and would put our nation environment at the risk. Plus, it would have been one more way to hurt our indigenous people.

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Win-win for Repub evil

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Yeh... the repubDUB Machine is still alive and, well here's their secret song: repub a Dub Dub, Better stay in the Tub, the MarA-Lago heard clicken.. is just a big chicken, so Stay in the tub.. give your friends a "rub"....rubba rubba we're all just DUBS. Thank you DUB's, now go home and FLUSH HARD it's a long way to mar a lago. So, there ya go Jeri, you are not in that DUB TUB, but you can still flush hard. I do.

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People were protesting the lack of jobs at that time.

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Yes, they were, but most of or the only jobs that would have been created would have been temporary construction jobs.

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Yes, and there was a ton of complaining about the loss of these temporary jobs.

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... this, in the most stable economy in the wealthiest of all nations ...?

👍🙄👌🙄👍

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Thankfully the point turned out to be moot.

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James Hansen, the dean of climate scientists in America, said that oil from the Alberts tar sands would be so dirty, the Keystone XL pipeline would mean "game over" for the climate crisis. He said, "What makes tar sands particularly odious is that the energy you get out in the end, per unit carbon dioxide, is ... equivalent to burning coal in your automobile. We simply cannot be that stupid if we want to preserve a planet for our children and grandchildren."

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As I've said many times, our descendants will loathe us — for centuries — is they even survive this act of inexplicable self-destruction.

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The Republicans always have short pithy sound bites that resonate but are NOT true, and they repeat them endlessly. I have family members and neighbors who repeat R talking points verbatim. Argh! Thanks for your comment, TC. It is a short, sweet rebuttal to one stupid talking point, at least.

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Once it was called spin; now it's "getting the optics right"

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Ahhh "pithy".... "short pithy sound bites"...., let's trash that! And now!!! The News.... hahahahahaa what a freaking joke.. News? In 5 minutes or less? No wonder 'The DUBS' like the Faux News manure.. they eat it right up! Good Shot JennSH.....KABLAMMO.

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Good shot there TC. Meat for SNL. Plus the simple fact that we have been a "Net" producer.., producing MORE than we can use (EX-PORTER!! of our own oil) So, if that's so...and it is, why is OUR price of oil /gasoline so high? Profit for the oil CEO's by sticking it to the World?? Help me understand this.... somebody please. Rock on TC!

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Mar 9, 2022·edited Mar 9, 2022

It's explained in "Price Wars" by Rupert Russell,,, a fascinating expose of how ruthless speculators in the Commodities Market have a stranglehold on our world.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57925998-price-wars

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PROFIT for CEOs

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Price-gouging that should be against the law but isn’t.

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If I am not mistaken the crude that would be shipped was super volatile so very dangerous to the communities it passed.

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Exactly!

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Mar 9, 2022·edited Mar 9, 2022

I was and am totally in favor of President Biden's move to freeze the permits for drilling rights on Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge -- and I hope that they will be forever frozen regardless of the financial hits that it may give the western states. They can find new ways to make money through more ecological and climate friendly measures. It is inconceivable that a wildlife refuge designation could be placed under such threats!!!

"On November 17, 2020, after he lost the election, former president Trump abruptly allowed oil and gas companies to pick out land for drilling rights on about 1.6 million acres of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Biden froze those permits as soon as he took office. Only about 10% of drilling takes place on public land, and there are currently about 9000 permits already issued that have not been developed."

As you have pointed out, Heather, there are several reasons for the hike in gas prices. Regardless of the reasons, If we have to pay sky high prices for gas at this point in time, and if it means that our tiny bit of hardship will help Ukraine in the long term, so be it! We can walk more, buy more electric cars, and think about the fact that others are suffering far more than us!

Thank you for your insightful analysis of the economic situation vis à vis gas prices this evening. What an eye opener! And, I fully agree with President Biden's solution to the problem!

"'[T]ransforming our economy to run on [electric vehicles], powered by clean energy, will mean that in the future, no one has to worry about gas prices.'"

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"Our tiny bit of hardship." By George, I think you've got it. Americans in general tend to believe that, in our particular case, hardship = suffering. From that vantage point it is very difficult to engage with the people in Ukraine today. If high gas prices are the equivalent of dead children buried under the rubble. They flee their homes, only to be trapped and killed. It costs us more to drive to work. I realize this is an extreme way to think about the contrast, but sometimes I despair at this nation of whiners (myself included). Of course, the CEO's of the oil companies are making out like bandits.

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👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼❤️❤️❤️🏆🏆🏆

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I’m with Gigi and Dean

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You are so right! As I filled up today- my car gets 34miles per gallon and we put on few miles) I thanked the "stars" for food, a roof, no bombs, medical care...

I will gladly pay more for my gas, have less ketsup options- yes, someone was complaining about that, if we can xxxxxxx that man!

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Thanks, Kay. Those of us with cars and food keep ourselves cut off from the poor, the homeless, the mentally ill (all those worlds right around the block in our own country). And, although we are here with Dr. Richardson, reading and thinking and working every day to make some substantial empathy-driven connection to the rest of the world, I think even the best among us can find it difficult. As Americans, we just aren't trained to do that. I'm sure the human condition dictates a certain amount of that closed-tribe mentality but America seems to me to be an extreme case. President Biden has his flaws but for the most part he really appears to have that natural instinct for compassion. He is certainly the man for this hour.

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“If we have to pay sky high prices for gas at this point in time, and if it means that our tiny bit of hardship will help Ukraine in the long term, so be it! We can walk more, buy more electric cars, and think about the fact that others are suffering far more than us!”

Yup.

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Those high prices are helping the fossil fuel company CEOs and shareholders, not the Ukrainians.

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Perhaps, but if the ban irks Putin, then I'm all for it!

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yes, me too!

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Yes, yes, yes!

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Yes Jean-Pierre, problem is the repubDUBS are busy keeping the grass mowed at the Lago, and unplugging the turlet, and feeding King DUB.

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“ We can walk more, buy more electric cars, and think about the fact that others are suffering far more than us!”.

So sensible, Rowshan! Plus the benefits would be manifold: healthier bodies, cleaner environment, and greater empathy for the suffering of fellow members of OUR human race!

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Mar 9, 2022·edited Mar 9, 2022

I am from Alaska and so agree and many in Alaska feel the same way. Those yearly dividend checks are sure hard to beat, though. Governing folks beat the drum constantly in this red state for drilling in ANWR.

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OR - possibly drive less & stop selling/buying enormous SUVs or pickups for city driving!

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If only people had listened to President Carter. Our reliance on fossil fuels would be minimized by now.

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We had a very good leader many years ago who gave a stark warning in no uncertain terms that dependence on foreign oil was a national security threat. He was a pioneer and encouraged the country to move to renewables in the late seventies. One can only imagine if we had put our best efforts into that end how the world might look different today. No military bases in Saudi Arabia therefore no bin laden therefore no 9/11 therefore no Afghanistan therefore no Iraq therefore no dependence on foreign oil from brutal regimes anywhere. Jimmy Carter doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would say I told you so

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I lived near DC then and the WaPo and other media criticized and mocked him just like they do Biden. (Lust in my heart, attack rabbit, Olympic boycott, dark Christmas tree.) Carter separated the Department of Education from HEW put solar panels on the roof, and tried to give us some moral guideposts. He already has the Nobel Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom but there must be something Pres Biden can give him ASAP and mention Reagan took the solar panels off the White House roof. And compare him to the greedy businessman/fascist/baby man idjt.

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And forgot to mention he slowed the National highway speed limit. Wouldn’t the truckers love that one but it makes perfect sense. Slow down, start coasting, share your ride. Short and sweet. But my favorite is PAY YOUR FAIR SHARE. Every Democrat should start repeating that one.

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This truck driver has no problem with speed limits to save fuel and air pollution. Only the independent truck drivers who own their own rigs can drive at any speed on the highway. If you work for any large company, all the tractors are speed-regulated to save fuel.

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Surely those independent truck drivers, if they do drive at any speed, will moderate that behavior as gas prices increasingly eat into profits.

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Gigi... slowing down is good for you and I and many of our friends, DUBs and Dems alike. However, for the average person, it's a non-starter. I believe it was Nixon who imposed the 55 because of another (fake) fuel crisis. Driving long distances at 55 is unsafe, our hi-ways are designed for higher speeds. Do you drive in Texas? Well, if you do, you'd know that it's 70 on most rural roads..2 lanes, 4 lanes, divided or undivided. And, traveling from little town like Kountze to Houston or Dallas, 80mph is the norm. Why? Because it's a long way to anywhere in Texas. And a ton of other places in our country as well. And, let us not make jokes about people who bring all that crap we buy, including food..in a very 'timely' manner. With a good safety record too. At the same time, piston engine fuel economy has improved. Example, my 1966 Corvette gave me 12 mpg, whether I was going 50 or 70. Today, my 2021 corvette delivers 26mpg at 72. And in closing, I would add that because of KingDUB, Detroit was allowed to ignore fuel mileage recommendations..which they happily did. I'm with you Gigi.., but try driving from Depue IL to Point Reyes, CA at 50mph, on some roads where 85 is just another sign. Motels? ha. After 5 hrs at 50 looking at the same scenery for 250 miles.., I get bored and sleepy. While 5 hrs at 85 plus, I'm refreshed seeing I've covered over 400 miles.

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Thank you Gigi, for just pointing these things out. However..., right now thru this coming election cycle.., ANNND the really important one, in 2024, where we absolutely must reelect President Biden. Doing so means we (all of us) must cease promoting things which is a non-starter with the DUBS. Stop.. DO NOT accuse moi of being stupid...what I am saying here is that we must be clever.

I could've said subtle...I did not. One of the keys is to (cleverly) beat Faux news. I'll stick my neck out further and offer that not all "DUBs" are dumb. They are vulnerable to 'truth' but not from a "libtard", that's where "clever" is paramount. My friends.., we failed to be clever when G.Dubya Busch walked in. (please note that any spelling wich appears to be in error.. is intentional). Pax Vobiscum.

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I remember how the Republican steam roller ran over him

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And Gore! He even made a well-known movie. Sigh…

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One afternoon in 2008, my friend and I went to see Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth. It moved me so deeply that the following evening, I went car shopping at a Toyota dealership for a Prius. I am embarrassed to admit that I had been driving a gas- guzzling SUV. The sales people tried to change my mind because at that time in Southern California where I lived Prius had to be pre-ordered and they didn’t have any, but the movie had changed me at depth. And I persevered! Finally at 9:30 pm, they found one that someone had backed out of the deal. I bought it that night. I was perfectly content with it for eight years and although it was still running perfectly, I purchased a new Prius hybrid. Last summer when I decided to move from California to Alberta Canada, A friend accompanied me to make the trip. She was greatly surprised at how little gas it took. Now here in Calgary, I am an anomaly. Most people dry bigger gas-dependent vehicles. It was also a very comfortable drive. And my conscience is clearer.

I rented a small house in California and my landlady put solar panels on the house. Now I am retired, living with my sister, a new car is not in my budget.

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I am impressed with your determination to make a difference. ❤️

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2006 “Who Killed the Electric Car” on Prime.

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Tens of millions of Americans and Europeans are itching to do something to help the Ukraine. We are waiting for leaders to call for Oil conservation to stop the need for Russian Oil. Some of us remember a prior oil crisis when leaders called for conservation by simply driving slower, skipping unnecessary trips and wearing a sweater to make up for lowering the thermostat by a degree or two. Can President Biden find the words to inspire such a campaign? We need to feel we are doing something, and it isn't effective unless it is done on a massive scale. Simple?

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I agree, Marshall, though we shouldn't even need to be told. Of course, if Biden does try to convince Americans to accept minimal discomfort and inconvenience in support of the Ukrainian people, he will be skewered for attacking our god given freedom to to be selfish jerks.

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The Republican evil will blame him and smear him, no matter what. All the while pretending to support Ukraine. It’s the ploy they have used since Nixon.

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Agree. A message from President Biden to explain the ban on Russian oil and what we can do to address inconveniences and setbacks would be significant. As a retired person, higher gas prices will not have as much of an effect on me, so I understand how those who need to drive to work daily will be an issue. However, a focus on inconveniences as temporary and how the ban will be another tool to support the Ukrainians and keep us out of a war with Russia needs to be shared. Might be good to bring up Louis DeJoy’s new purchase of a fleet of gas-powered vehicles

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At least, there is *some* good USPS news. A bipartisan bill is on its way to the president's desk which, among other provisions, end the requirement to pre-fund the USPS retirement system out 75 years. https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/03/08/signed-sealed-delivered-senate-sends-usps-reform-bill-bidens-desk

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Love this idea. I posted a reply to McPutin's Twitter. He lied about President Biden and oil. Everyone needs to call all of them on their lies on their posts and celebrate our President.

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At this point, nearly the entire world is reviling the Russian Army and Putin for targeting civilians. They will never recover from this stain: they are stained forever. The oil embargo is merely America digging very deep to express the profound opposition that this criminal action has ignited.

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Roland, Agree. Putin has forever ruined the Russian 'brand'. He'll probably light off a tactical nuke and the whole planet will react to that - in not a nice way. Get out a map and start looking at neighboring countries who will start dismembering Russia. Some great investment opportunities there. Not snark, totally serious.

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Hi Charlie. I am well aware you’re being totally serious, there was never any doubt.

Here’s my view, and the FSB observers here in this forum might appreciate this:

I agree with you that the Russian brand is being ruined, moreso the Putin name and the names of any cronies that make it into the news (Deripaska, Usmanov, et al).

I differentiate between Russia

(1) the police state, the Orwellian mind control agency, and the criminal enterprise composed of the government and the business oligarchy

(2) the people

The Russian people are responsible for allowing a deeply corrupt government and business oligarchy to take control in their country. So they are going to take the hit for that abdication of power and responsibility.

I have confidence in them however. The war protesters are evidence of life. Even before this war, in Khabarovsk and elsewhere around Russia, we have seen glimmers of dawn. Navalny of course. Even as we speak, I suspect now that there are FSB agents (and perhaps even factions within that agency) who are well on their way to understanding the truth. They have very sharp minds.

Russia is going through a reckoning, a coming to consciousness, not unlike what has been happening in America (#MeToo, George Floyd, Jan. 6). These societal awakenings are brutal. So like it or not, I can’t help it, I have sympathy and empathy for the Russians.

It’s who I am.

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Roland, Spot on as usual. I also hold a difference between Russian 'leaders' and average citizens. I feel sorry for the pain they will now suffer. But they will prevail. This is a necessary initial step in evolving global consciousness.

Buddhists (like moi) say, 'pain is inevitable, suffering is optional'.

I've been on this awakening rant for some 5 years now. I am actually heartened that the process has begun - but not without the pain of birth. https://media.awakeningtowholeness.net/

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Yes.

“This is a necessary initial step in evolving global consciousness.”

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Will that reckoning come soon enough to save Ukraine? I suspect not.

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And Saudi oil....

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Rising prices at the gas pump? That gets voters’ attention. Rising sea levels, so far not.

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Bingo!

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“The media’s gas price theater reached new heights of drama this week. Eagerly reporting from outlier gas stations that charge far above the national average, journalists remain obsessed with pinning the global pump trend on President Joe Biden.“—from Press Run. Oil companies are getting a pass. Record profits. Everything must be Joe Biden’s fault, his responsibility to fix this global problem.

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No one will get any sympathy from me about oil prices. From the beginning of the automobile industry, oil hasbeen a dirty, dangerous business. The same goes for nuclear power. If the men who plowed money into oil, gas and nuclear power had invested in solar energy jnstead, we wouldn't be in this stupid mess.

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I agree. Global warming and it's causes were well understood and under discussion in the public domain at least 50 years ago. The oil companies had it all figured out but denied it for years as their profits kept rising. That oil (and gas) continue to be the main source of international instability, leading to death and destruction on a massive scale, is the direct result of human ignorance and stupidity. It seems we will never learn anything.

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"It seems we will never learn anything" - You're right: we have not seen any idea of how to recycle solar panels, wings from wind mills, LED-lamps... What will we do with all the lithium when there is a better battery technology based on some other metal that is not so dangerous to extract, and so rare as lithium? Battery technology is developing very fast as I understand it, and China's monopolies on rare earth metals is not pointing towards less conflicts. It seems to me that we are running into the future looking backwards, satisfied to see that we are distancing ourselves to the old problems.

I agree of course that global warming is problem on a new scale, as is the deposit of nuclear waste so far.

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So agree. We never seem to learn.

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Propaganda runs rings around the truth

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Anybody remember cigarette companies, deny, deny, deny, kill, kill, kill

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This is exposed in the book Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes. It is quite a read ... and not only about tobacco

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And, greed.

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Yup, the big three: Ignorance, stupidity and greed.

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... yes, but ... guaranteed business for the health care industry & population control ...?

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Drive around in Texas, Oklahoma, wyoming, Montana, and other petrol states and it is clear from rebranding efforts, oil companies are now Energy Corporations. Guess who is buying up leases and shares in solar and wind technology?

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And wind and tides and geothermal and storage batteries and. . . Mess, missed opportunity, crime against humanity. . .

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It is little known that electric and gasoline vehicles were developed at the same time in the early 1900s, but the gasoline vehicles were preferred because they made more noise!

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And I suspect that's the main attraction of macho, huge, honking and guzzling mega-pickups. I aspire to an EV once economies of scale make them more affordable, but for now I'm pretty happy with my little Fiat Panda 4x4 which gets about 50 mpg with a tiny, hightech, clean-burning diesel. It's zippy, too.

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Mar 9, 2022·edited Mar 9, 2022

David, is it yellow?! We should mention that these cars are hugely popular in Italy, in part because government policy of high taxes on fuel has for years influenced people’s buying decisions towards smaller, more efficient vehicles. My husband’s very snazzy Alfa Romeo Giulia gets better mileage than my Honda CRV. We think gas prices are high here? They’re above $8/gallon in Italy.

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Hi Kathy! Actually, it's Halloween pumpkin orange. Just an hour ago I filled the tank at a cost of € 1.99/liter. So... 1.99 x 3.9 = € 7.76/US gallon, so ... with the exchange rate at about 1.09 USD per EURO, let's see, that gives us.... $$ 8.46 per gallon!!! Yikes.

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I like the orange one! My sister-in-law has a yellow CNG Panda. I don't know what her mileage (kilomiterage?) is - but it's a lot.

We in the US have not used policy to impact consumption the same way that the Europeans have. The lack of a tax policy to reduce consumption is a big reason that energy is so much less expensive here than in Europe.

Further, people do not seem to understand that electric vehicles are only truly low emission if the electricity used to charge them was generated using clean (not fossil fuel) energy - nuclear, hydro, solar, wind etc. If the power you use to charge your EV comes from coal or natural gas, that car's environmental impact is not less than a combustion engine's. If we only measure emissions at the tailpipe, it might seem that it is, but that is not an accurate way to measure a vehicle's carbon impact. We need to be measuring emissions over the life cycle - from power generation through consumption - instead. Don't get me wrong, I'm very pro-EV, and my husband has spent his career researching alternative energy for vehicles and is now almost exclusively researching batteries. It's interesting how much "hotter" his field is under the Biden administration than it was under Trump's.

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The machismo of the big rig protests, combined with white supremacy bull Schitt. Puke

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Transporting a large load requires a large engine. You sure I couldn’t convince you to try it out? Ah well, you have to be a driving fool who likes big vehicles, I suppose. 😘

Of course if you were trying out a big rig and if I were supporting you from the passenger seat, no white racist convoys and no sexist machismo would be in evidence. Goddess Convoys Only 🇺🇦🇩🇪🧑‍🎤🦜 🕊

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And thank You for That!!

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Barf!

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My son liked his little Porsche Carrera for the same reason. Sold it, but he said he'll get another one of these days!

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That's a cute little car!

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I agree. Too bad they don't sell them in the States. It's hellishly good on snow and ice. Perfect for a Vermont winter!

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Snow and ice R us!

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I have a photo of my grandmother sitting in her electric automobile circa 1910-ish (I think, without going to find the photo).

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No one has yet mentioned lead in gasoline. One hundred years ago Thomas Midgely was hired to find an additive for gasoline to reduce engine knocking. He discovered that ethanol would work but that was rejected because adding lead provided more profit. The lead in our environment that will not ever disappear. This is the story:

http://www.thenation.com/article/secret-history-lead

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Well, THAT was interesting - it wouldnt come up from your link, but I copied/pasted & got it online. Only read about 3/4 of it, but frankly its par for the course, isnt it? Oil companies, car companies, "public" health?????? Its the same as almost any other "new" wonderful product - cigarettes, nuclear energy, fracking, on and on. Jump into it & make a profit which keeps the industry - whichever one it is - continuing to make a profit - no matter what!

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If the "men who plowed money into oil" had possibly comprehended what the future would be? Maybe if there had been more women involved at that point - there might have been a bit more looking into the future!

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We have a very smart President. He’s making excellent decisions through and through.

It feels so good to say those things!!!

Thank you, Professor for finally explaining that pipeline issue for me. Thanks for a great Letter. 😊

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YES, a smart President‼️🎉🎉🥰

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Thank you for giving us the relevant talking points which we can share with those who shout lies (like McPutin) and the rest of the RePutins. Today I saw a wonderful post. ¨In a world of Putins, be a Zelenskyy¨

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Zelenskiy is truly admirable.

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“RePutins.” Clever neologism, Gailee!

And thanks for sharing that post. I see Zelenskyy as a heroic role model who I pray symbolizes how Good does triumph over Evil/RePutins.

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In a world of TrumPutins

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🤭

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Thanks for your letter today. Keystone has played havoc in Canadian politics as well with one of our provinces, British Columbia, at odds with another, Alberta, and Justin Trudeau's liberals trying to mediate between the environmental concerns of First Nations communities and pressure from Alberta to support Keystone to shore up its economy and create jobs. I have been following this story for a long time. But this short piece is the best overview I have read to date of the issues involved.

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IMO the conversation and our energy policy has less to do with making us energy independent (fosil fuels, gas) as it does with getting a difficult to drill and refine version of oil onto the global market.

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I watched FOX last night after watching PBS Newshour to see what FOX was covering in Ukraine. The videos of Ukraine were nearly identical to Newshour without the same on location reporting that I saw on Newshour. It seemed FOX viewers were getting close to the same news filming but not the same on location explanations and empathy in the Newshour reporting where additional time was spent.

When the FOX's Ukraine coverage was over, they switched from a single anchor person to a table of four people bantering about with each other. Video showed Biden's announcement banning all Russian gas & oil, which seemed to include important parts of his press announcement. Then a video came on with Pamela Harris making a statement about renewable energy. The video was edited and not flattering to Harris. Then a FOX blonde started the most "dumb blonde" (sorry this is FOX) routines I have seen. I don't watch FOX so I am not used to this dumbing down method to get your audience thinking dumb is smart. The woman said Harris was "out of touch", that Americans need cheap gasoline not $60,000 electric cars, that Democrats are causing fuel prices to skyrocket and don't care about Americans. This went on without any more news reports until my wife demanded I turn off the TV before she chucked it out of our house onto the frozen lawn.

We also installed solar panels on our house more than 5 years ago here in Maine where winters are cloudy, and summers are not clear 100% as they are for our daughter in NM. The state and Federal rebates cut the costs in half. We pay about $12/month for electricity and are still paying off the solar. But we also bought a Nissan Leaf for our local driving, that cost only $15k new after subsidies. There have been absolutely no service expenses, no oil changes, no antifreeze. No trips to the dealer. And we could not have bought a new gasoline engine vehicle for $15k at the time. We didn't pay the "dumb blonde's" $60,000 which she would have done because everyone sitting at that FOX table is paid way more than their brains can keep track of. Out of touch? FOX, as Putin does, has a way of carrying on with brain numbing drivel about imaginary assassins attacking the FOX and Putin world. For FOX, it's "Democrats". For Putin, it's "Ukrainians". FOX calls Democrats "socialists". Putin calls Ukrainians "brothers" led by "Nazis" and then kills them all while real time videos show little old ladies and men trying to escape through bombed apartment rubble, young mothers and children trying to board trains and living in masses of dislocated refugees, and men of all ages with no experience trying to join a military defense. The differences in human values and character between the Ukrainians and the FOX/Putin teams are day and night, or in my mind good and evil.

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It works like this: the racist and sexist mind sees a black woman, and what happens next is criticism. A lengthy word jumble and language stew appears, all fabricated out of thin air

She is black. She’s a woman. We don’t want a black and a woman as VP, we want a white man in that role. Everything else is contrived gibberish, just genteel enough to cover up the fact that racism and sexism is the only reason Harris is being criticized.

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For those of you who are still reading here, let me also say that Kamala Harris is an absolutely magnificent human being. She’s from California, she was a senator here briefly, and every story I have read about her makes it clear that she is a gem. If she ever becomes our first woman president, it will rock the world.

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And I don’t even say that with hyperbole. I really do believe a President Harris would rock the world.

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Good letter David. And I think we have a good Governor.., certainly way better than the repubDUB who will shortly proceed with a Faux (faux news) cam"pain" strategy. Trouble is, here in Maine, we have no shortage of Faux News (FOX) admirers. The Governor is facing a mis-information laden opposition..I hope she will cleverly dispense with it. Each of our United States is facing the same problem. Flush hard.., it's a long way to the "lago"

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Was this VP Kamala Harris? The only Pamela Harris I can find is a 4th Circuit Court of Appeals judge.

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Yes, Pamela is Kamala when spell correct takes over.

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Ally, looks like an autocorrect issue to me.

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That was what I thought, but I hate to assume.

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So much here and so little time, alas; I feel the need to put out a statement. Not that I'm in a position to expound, but I figure this is a safe crowd...<smile>

Much as has been made clear by HCR: the oil and gas (OG) industry has reaped (reapt?) tremendous profits, as most know, and have never NOT. While it is hard to ignore, industry advocates will try to declare that these profits are ALL going back into the difficult job they have going forward with a diminishing supply and increasing demand (BS, it's about profit). I won't get into what a "reasonable" profit is, here, but I'd say...just using fuzzy "Dubya" math, that the industry is returning profits just fine. I don't hold shares in them but I see the stock tickers...

When Biden halted development of domestic production (read, no NEW permits on Federal/Public land) he didn't invalidate any existing permits. As HCR pointed out, and I concur, Biden's Order left in-place 9000 (NINE THOUSAND) issued but not-acted-upon permits to take minerals from the public's land. Didn't say or do or limit ANY private grants...truth be told, many of the authorizations in North Dakota, in particular, do NOT implicate Federal Land and don't even TOUCH previously granted permits and leases. But I digress.

I find it at best obtuse that the party that claims to be the 'savior' of OG didn't give two licks about future leases when he-shall-not-be-named was in control didn't make it a priority. IF leases were an issue, you can bet that they were quietly granted, but I guess that doesn't fit into a sound-bite. In other words, the current administration is not revoking or limiting a THING that has been approved with respect to current leases. Any suggestion otherwise is, "fake news."

With respect to Russian oil, our domestic needs only implicate the USSR in a tiny way (1-3%) and Biden's announcement seems to be a symbolic effort on our part, despite the huge media-hype over today's announcement (OTOH, there are refineries that are specific to Russian Crude that are not tooled for other inputs). That said (and acknowledged) I'm NOT excited about replacing our tiny Russian contribution to our energy needs with approaching Venezuela for that production; I'm just not. I'd rather lean into Canada, if necessary, than lean on another shitty authoritarian regime we historically oppose and is just as bad as any petty-dictatorial regime we profess to oppose...

I totally get that this calculation for us is different if you are in Europe and you rely to a greater extent on Russia for carbon (which they certainly do), but that is a horse of a different colour. We can do what we can do: and we are by no-means energy poor, here. While difficult, I stand with Mr. Colbert (and maybe I'm just affluent enough to do it) when he said, "I'd pay ____" to prove the point that we all stand united against this regime and not support its illegal war on Ukraine... by agreeing to pay more at the pump (but then also admitted he drove a Tesla(?). I would agree to that suffering, too: but I' m also not the electrician who HAS TO drive to the customer's site or the gal that HAS TO drive to her place of employment... these decisions to 'screw' Putin are regressive in effect. Any bleeding-heart-for-Ukraine HAS TO understand that if this struggle is, in any way, tied to the cost of their ability to WORK: it will have consequences at the ballot-box. Joe and Jane 'six-pack' for the most part care about THEIR families and THEIR bottom-line. 15-75 cents a gallon is a huge burden for folks who drive to or for work.

I applaud some of the folks who want a Federal Gas Tax holiday to take the burden down of high prices for gas down (States could do the same by the by). But at the end of the day it will be an economic grudge-match with a petty dictator who HAPPENS to have a bunch of REAL nukes at his disposal; this is not Kim Jong here. Until others around Putin convince him to stand-down or he pushes his Country to a point (global war and nuclear options) that even his own people (the DUMA) can't accept, he calls the shots. It ultimately will be on the Russian people to fix this and hopefully not as drastic a result as Lyndsey Graham has suggested (idiot).

It seems that, for now, the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is not enough to sway anyone who has a conscience in the DUMA. They stand with Putin, despite the fact that he is as close to a dictator as anyone since Hitler and has basically holed-himself-up in a compound akin to Hitler's bunker (Sochi). Once the Oligarchs realize that they have more to lose than to gain in this struggle, I expect they will act, but not before the rest of the World forces their hand.

As much as we are all, "for," Ukraine, now, we do have history with them and rest of the World needs to consider that even Ukraine poked the Bear. They took steps, very harsh steps, to push away from Russia, including not recognizing the Russian language (officially) and rejecting the Country in its official dictates. While this is certainly appropriate for them to do, those efforts behind that the scenes that have not been reported in the media also contribute to the attitude Russia has. It's not a concession, mind you, but a cautionary note that not all of this is just about territory and NATO. We had a chance to make a bigger deal with this conflict almost a decade ago and didn't. He who shall-not-be-named made our position worse by cuddling Putin and essentially, politically, communicating to him that Ukraine would not get the support of the US, at least not going forward. That, in my mind, opened the door for him to start down thi