Category Archives: History

The shift has come: GE, Siemens massive job losses as fossil fuels crash and the sun rises

The carbon bubble is bursting, as jobs fly from some of the biggest companies in the world, because solar and wind power are taking over right now. It’s too late to bet on the wrong nuclear horse or the wrong pipelnie snake. Get out of fossil fuels now: the sun is rising.

Tiffany Hsu and Clifford Krauss, New York Times, 7 December 2017, G.E. Cuts Jobs as It Navigates a Shifting Energy Market,

General Electric, whose new leadership is moving to eliminate bloat and grapple with the fallout from earlier, ill-timed decisions, is taking drastic steps to keep pace with seismic shifts in the global energy industry.

GE ranks first in 2017 downsizing after 12,000 more jobs: Brandon Kochkodin, Bloomberg, 7 December 2017
Brandon Kochkodin, Bloomberg, 7 December 2017, GE Ranks First in 2017 Downsizing After 12,000 More Job Cuts.

The company said on Thursday that it would cut 12,000 jobs in its power division, reducing the size of the unit’s work force by 18 percent as part of a push to compete with international rivals in a saturated natural gas market, adjust to “softening” in the oil and gas sectors and stay abreast of the growing demand for renewable energy.

Solar and wind energy technology is increasingly being deployed Continue reading

Larry Hanson retiring as Valdosta City Manager

Congratulations, Larry Hanson.

Valdosta, PR, 1 November 2017, City Manager Larry Hanson Retires From Valdosta with Exceptional 42-Year Career: Hanson has been named the Georgia Municipal Association Executive Director

Larry Hanson will retire from the City of Valdosta, effective Dec. 8 after 42 years of public service, 22 of which he served as the Valdosta City Manager. Hanson will assume his new role as the Georgia Municipal Association Executive Director, where he will oversee the advocacy, training and various programs for more than 500 Georgia cities.

Hanson is the 10th and longest-serving city manager for the City of Valdosta, where he oversees Continue reading

Videos: Naylor Boat Ramp and Appointments to Public Facilities Authority @ LCC 2017-10-10

By far the most time, almost eight minutes, on 6b. Abandonment of Portions of Old Lake Park Road and Hickory Grove Road SE, the Lowndes County Commissioners spent two weeks ago, involving reference to minutes they approved in that meeting but that still aren’t on the county’s website two weeks later, and resulting in a split vote.

More interesting: the county is finally starting construction on the Naylor Boat Ramp.

By their customary silent “acclamation” they appointed people to the Lowndes County Public Facilities Authority.

Below are Continue reading

Videos: Public Facilities Authority, Health Fair @ LCC 2017-10-09

The longest item was not on the agenda: a Health Fair Update in the County Manager’s Report.

They breezed through everything else including 5 a. Lowndes County Public Facilities Authority Appointment, although the Chairman did have another name to propose.

Below are links to the LAKE video of each item, plus a very few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also Continue reading

Appointments to Public Facilities Authority @ LCC 2017-10-09

Appointments to the board that floated bonds for the county palace, REZ-2017-10 Laurel Run Homes, and two road abandonments, to be considered this morning at 8:30 AM and voted on Tuesday evening.

What is the Lowndes County Georgia Public Facilities Authority, which issued the bonds 548757BE2 and 548757BG7 “Refunding Judicial Administration Complex”?

According to the county’s website it’s a Continue reading

Hurricane Andrew was record-breaking, Irma is much worse

Seth Borenstein, NBC Miami, 8 September 2017, Hurricane Andrew Was a Monster; Irma Could Blow It Out of the Water: Andrew, “an incredible buzz saw giant tornado of a hurricane,” killed 65 people; Irma is much larger,


Satellite imagery of Hurricane Andrew (inset, at left) from Aug. 23, 1992, is digitally superimposed, to scale, over imagery of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 7, 2017.
Photo credit: NOAA

At the time, Andrew was the costliest hurricane in U.S. history with damages of $26.5 billion in 1992 dollars (about $50 billion in current dollars), according to the National Weather Service.

“The effect of Irma on the state of Florida is going to be much greater than Andrew’s effect,” said Continue reading

The real worst and best cases of climate change

What do you want? The planet Venus? The current degraded Earth? Or a better world we know how to create?

What if it's a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?
Joel Pett, Lexington Herald Leader, 18 March 2012, The cartoon seen ’round the world

Mostly I post about solar and wind power winning, which is what I think is happening. But sometimes it’s worth a reminder of what could happen if we do nothing about climate change, and I posted on my facebook page a story about that. Which actually didn’t go far enough to the real worst case. Nonetheless, that story has been attacked by numerous parties of all political and scientific and unscientific stripes for being too doom and gloom. Yet none of the attackers bothered to mention a best case beyond “the same world we have now”. I have news for you: the world we have now is an ecological catastrophe, and we can do a lot better. So here’s the real worst case, the current case, which is far from the best of all possible worlds, and the real best case, as I see it. Plus what we can do to head for the best case.

grinning fossilized skull

First, the story I posted: David Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine, 9 July 2017, The Uninhabitable Earth: Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think. Notice that word “could”, which a lot of his critics seem to have ignored. He didn’t say “will”, and he clearly labeled what he was presenting as worst case scenarios.

In case anybody thinks he was making any of that stuff up, Wallace-Wells has also linked to an annotated version with footnotes for every substantial assertion. The annotated version notes at the top: Continue reading

Videos: Sewage, Coal Ash, Historic Preservation, a dead cat, and turkeys @ VCC 2016-03-09

The Valdosta City Council heard from citizens about coal ash, wastewater, and toxic waste in the landfill. Mayor John Gayle offered to answer later in his office Eric Howard’s question about wastewater in his yard. The Mayor expressed his opinion that he and the council couldn’t do anything about the landfill, and read for yourself what he said about the Florida county resolutions about Valdosta wastewater. George Boston Rhynes told a droll tale about a dead cat and turkeys.

The Historic Preservation appeal was long and contentious, with the Mayor twice breaking a tie because only four City Council members were there: the appeal was approved. A citizen spoke about that afterwards, as did Council Tim Carroll.

Council Robert Yost recommended all the Hospital Authority Board should resign.

They unanimously approved both of the rezoning items; ditto the right of way maintenance bids.

And Firefighter Michael Penland is employee of the month.

Below are links to the LAKE video of each item, with a few notes (some drawn from Valdosta’s own SUMMARY OF ACTIONS), followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda.

Brief agenda plus Water @ VCC 2016-03-09

No water on the agenda, but there’s a WWALS event for those who want to speak about water issues.

AGENDA
REGULAR MEETING OF THE VALDOSTA CITY COUNCIL
5:30 PM Thursday, March 9, 2017
COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL

Valdosta City Council

  1. Opening Ceremonies Continue reading

How much solar power could Sabal Trail’s $3.2 billion buy?

The same money would buy a lot more electricity through solar power than that fracked methane pipeline could generate.

Update 2 March 2017: Added tables; fixed some typos.


Ramez Naam, his blog, 21 September 2016, New Record Low Solar Price in Abu Dhabi — Costs Plunging Faster Than Expected

Start with Sabal Trail’s numbers

Continue reading