Saturday, June 15, 2019

Speaking my language

Yesterday in his closing homily of the annual conference of the Tennessee Conference, Bishop Bill McAlilly urged the people of the conference to understand that while times for the UMC today are rocky, we should, "Take a breath and carry on" with the full ministries of the church.

I turned to my wife, Cathy, and said, "That is speaking my language" since I am a retired US Army officer. So that deserves a meme!

Or as we put it in my former career:

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Electric cars pollute more than diesel

So says the University of Cologne as reported by The Brussels Times, Belgium: "Electric vehicles emit more CO2 than diesel ones, German study shows."

Electrics' killer? Life-cycle pollution, compared to diesel cars - what it takes industrially to obtain the raw materials and turn them into finished, operating vehicles, operate them during their life span, and dispose of them when the reach the end. And the core of the problem is batteries.
When CO2 emissions linked to the production of batteries and the German energy mix – in which coal still plays an important role – are taken into consideration, electric vehicles emit 11% to 28% more than their diesel counterparts, according to the study, presented on Wednesday at the Ifo Institute in Munich.

Mining and processing the lithium, cobalt and manganese used for batteries consume a great deal of energy. A Tesla Model 3 battery, for example, represents between 11 and 15 tonnes of CO2. Given a lifetime of 10 years and an annual travel distance of 15,000 kilometres, this translates into 73 to 98 grams of CO2 per kilometre, scientists Christoph Buchal, Hans-Dieter Karl and Hans-Werner Sinn noted in their study.

The CO2 given off to produce the electricity that powers such vehicles also needs to be factored in, they say.

When all these factors are considered, each Tesla emits 156 to 180 grams of CO2 per kilometre, which is more than a comparable diesel vehicle produced by the German company Mercedes, for example.

The German researchers, therefore, take issue with the fact that European officials view electric vehicles as zero-emission ones. They note further that the EU target of 59 grams of CO2 per km by 2030 corresponds to a “technically unrealistic” consumption of 2.2 litres of diesel or 2.6 litres of gas per 100 kms.

These new limits pressure German and other European car manufacturers into switching massively to electric vehicles whereas, the researchers feel, it would have been preferable to opt for methane engines, “whose emissions are one-third less than those of diesel motors.”
ZeroHedge explains:
A battery pack for a Tesla Model 3 pollutes the climate with 11 to 15 tonnes of CO2. Each battery pack has a lifespan of approximately ten years and total mileage of 94,000, would mean 73 to 98 grams of CO2 per kilometer (116 to 156 grams of CO2 per mile), Buchal said. Add to this the CO2 emissions of the electricity from powerplants that power such vehicles, and the actual Tesla emissions could be between 156 to 180 grams of CO2 per kilometer (249 and 289 grams of CO2 per mile).
An electric car such as a Tesla is not powered by electricity. It is powered by coal; the electricity is just a means of transfer.

The same problem, btw, exists in the nearly-mythical hydrogen-powered car. The hydrogen has to come from somewhere. Atoms of H It do not exist in nature unbound to other elements. And you always use more energy to obtain free hydrogen than you get from oxidizing it. Guess where that energy comes from?

Here is a good video that explains hydrogen's potential advantages but very present difficulties very well.

And then there's this:
GAO: "Biofuels Don't Lower Gas Price or Emissions" But biofuels give so much political mileage that this report will disappear without a sound.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Slavery and abortion - what's the diff?

What's the difference in the arguments offered today supporting abortion and the arguments used to support slavery until 1861?

None really: "Arguments for Abortion Mimic the Arguments for Slavery Before the Civil War."
Both the arguments for slavery in the 1800s and the arguments for abortion rely on a central claim: that a human being is less than human. The dehumanization of black people relied on pseudoscientific claims that they were inferior. The dehumanization of unborn babies relies on claims that they are "just a clump of cells" or part of a woman's body. In both cases, a growing movement of moral clarity demands that the dehumanized be granted a fundamental right long denied them: freedom and life. (Note: I am not saying abortion and slavery are the same, only that the arguments for them are similar.)
Read the whole thing.

In his debates with Stephen Douglas, Abraham Lincoln said, "If slavery is not wrong, then nothing is wrong." Slavery was the brutal exploitation of one class of human beings by another. Abortion is the actual destruction of one class of human beings by another. But that's different, we are told, because abortion is medical care.

God save us.

Update My colleague, Rev. Allan Bevere, links to a column by Frederica Mathewes-Green, whom he accurately says,
... is one of the best moral theologians alive today. She is substantive and nuanced in her arguments and is not carried away by the temptation to offer theology and ethics in quaint clich├ęs and social media memes, which is sadly so prevalent today.

This is a must-read.
Here: "When Abortion Suddenly Stopped Making Sense"

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Monday, June 3, 2019

Surprise! Parents are the key influence on children

From the United Methodist Church News Service, "The secret to faith after high school? Parents!"
Parents’ faith is key 
The National Study on Youth and Religion found a factor that is “nearly deterministic” in turning this around. Eight out of ten (82%) young adults ages 24-29 who were still participating in their faith after being active in high school, had one thing in common.

The secret? Their parents.

Youth leaders agree. “Parents are the critical discipler, period,” said Seth Martin, former Lead Student Pastor and now Lead Director of The Road at Faithbridge United Methodist Church in Spring, Texas. “Student ministries aren't (or shouldn't be, rather) the primary spiritual mentors of students, but should instead subsidize the discipleship already taking place in the home.”
Read the whole thing.

And this, from Harvard University: "Kids Raised Going to Church Are Happier Adults, Study Finds"

But don't be these parents: "After 12 Years Of Quarterly Church Attendance, Parents Shocked By Daughter's Lack Of Faith"

Jesus is served

John 6.5-14 When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people t...