Cost Benefit – After Hours http://after-hours.org/ Thu, 16 Sep 2021 11:53:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://after-hours.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-1-150x150.png Cost Benefit – After Hours http://after-hours.org/ 32 32 Farewell to the America’s Cup 2024 – sunk for lack of political will https://after-hours.org/farewell-to-the-americas-cup-2024-sunk-for-lack-of-political-will/ Thu, 16 Sep 2021 11:30:00 +0000 https://after-hours.org/farewell-to-the-americas-cup-2024-sunk-for-lack-of-political-will/ Farewell to the America’s Cup 2024. We hardly knew you. You never came, we never saw, and no one was conquered. Yesterday we learned that the big international sailing competition is unlikely to take place here in Cork (an announcement to confirm this was due today). Our hopes were raised on Monday but dipped a […]]]>

Farewell to the America’s Cup 2024. We hardly knew you. You never came, we never saw, and no one was conquered.

Yesterday we learned that the big international sailing competition is unlikely to take place here in Cork (an announcement to confirm this was due today).

Our hopes were raised on Monday but dipped a bit on Tuesday, and finally sank to the rocks on Wednesday: the end of the America’s Cup dream, or Craig David’s worst song of all time. Make your choice.

Should we be disappointed or relieved, or both? Personally, I think the two sensations can be accommodated.

For example, here is an event that had all the potential in the world to put Cork on the map, attract huge investments and generate income in the city – and cause huge division.

If you doubt me, consider the Eoin English report earlier this week, when we were stunned at the thought of thousands of well-heeled visitors jumping off the train with wheelbarrows of cash they hoped to unload in Cork.

At this early stage in our short but very exciting relationship with the America’s Cup, we were really in ‘whatever you want, we will’ mode.

Eoin reported: ‘Cork Chamber, wineries and hoteliers have urged the government to pledge to spend around 150 million euros to host the huge global sporting event in and around Cork Harbor ahead of an expected decision race organizers …

“A cost-benefit analysis carried out by EY consultants has shown that it could bring up to € 500 million to the economy, generate 2,000 jobs, attract up to 2.5 million visitors, generate between 9 and 11 million overnight stays, and be watched by approximately 900 million viewers worldwide.

Ah, the generation of windfall for the local economy. Think of it as the first courtship seated dinner, when things got beyond the mayhem behind the DJ box, or whatever the modern day equivalent of such opening maneuvers.

The monetary value of such a windfall often appears to come from somewhere in the upper ozone layer, although in fairness there appears to be an attempt at justification here, with relatively concrete numbers provided for overnight stays in hotel and job creation.

But this is also where the snake enters our paradise, as job creation indicated a likely flashpoint if this competition had ever landed on our shores, or a few hundred yards from our shores to be more precise. .

This is because the America’s Cup is an event for the wealthy.

“The entry fee for the America’s Cup 2021 is $ 2 million per team, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Yachting World said earlier this year. “The cost of managing a team, developing some of the world’s most high-tech boats, support crews, sailors and infrastructure is in the tens of millions.

“During the America’s Cup 2013, Oracle Team USA, underwritten by billionaire Larry Ellison, reportedly spent around $ 200 million to secure its eventual victory.

With that in mind, would it have been appropriate for the government to allocate funding to the public treasury – your taxes, in other words – to smooth the way for billionaires, to give them a frictionless experience in Cork?

Go further in the logic and see what was proposed by way of preparation, or how these 150 million euros were to be spent.

“50 million euros on event costs,” Eoin wrote, “much of which could be recouped through sponsorship and ticket sales, and 100 million euros on infrastructure costs, including the electrification of the Cork to Cobh railway line and improvements along the town’s Kennedy Wharf which house a fan and a racing village.

“Discussions are also underway for the construction of a hydrogen plant at a site in Crosshaven to produce fuel for the support boats of the racing fleet.”

I’m not qualified to talk about the long-term benefits of a hydrogen plant, nor its short-term benefits, but the electrification of the railway line and improvements to the facilities along the quay would likely have been designed as long-term improvements that would benefit the region.

However, is there not a recognition here that these facilities, rail and platform, need to be improved?

Also, is there not a tacit admission on the part of the government that it can release funds for such improvements?

After all, if these funds were available with the coming of the America’s Cup, surely they will remain so if the America’s Cup does not arrive?

The news that the event won’t happen may disappoint yachting fans, but what about the large number of people who are fans of decent rail services and good outdoor facilities?

Aren’t they worth facilitating, considering that most of them … live here, and aren’t they people who would visit a bit before getting on their yachts, literally, until at the next port of call?

There is no denying that proposing to spend public funds to help people navigate their solid gold boats seems almost perfectly designed to anger a lot of people, given the elitist image of yachting.

(Correction: elitist reality.) You don’t have to be a paid Marxist to ask why those who can afford to enter the race in the first place don’t pay for the labor necessary to accommodate their competition.

A number of fans take their boats to watch Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli compete in the 36th America’s Cup in Auckland on March 13, 2021. Photo: Michael Bradley / Getty Images

As a result, we may have dodged years of recrimination and pointing at the funding of the event. Which is quite disappointing, I have to admit.

But there is another angle here that is worth considering. In his report yesterday recording the offer to Davy Jones’ locker (avast over there with nautical terminology – editor’s note), Eoin noted: months – to examine the costs and potential financial benefits. Sources said there appeared to be no political will to support the event. “Hmm.

The knee-jerk reaction here would be to assume that the political will to support the event could have been stronger if it was aimed at Howth or Dun Laoghaire, perhaps.

It is such an obvious response that the reaction of exasperation is easy to imagine: provincials likely to be immediately on the lookout for a snub.

But is there something to be said for the gut reaction sometimes? What we have learned over the years, often at our expense, is that if the political will exists for something, then it tends to overshadow other elements when making the final decision.

As in: if the will exists then a project has a chance, all other things being equal. But if the will does not exist, then all things end up being unimportant, not equal.

Despite all the pleasure I have had at his expense, I cannot help thinking that in the future this lack of political will may seem even more myopic than it does this morning. And this morning it does indeed seem very short-sighted.


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Luxon: the government must park the plans of the Three Waters https://after-hours.org/luxon-the-government-must-park-the-plans-of-the-three-waters/ Sun, 12 Sep 2021 01:59:17 +0000 https://after-hours.org/luxon-the-government-must-park-the-plans-of-the-three-waters/ With an overwhelming majority of boards not on board, the government’s agenda is in dire straits and its four-entity model is floundering quickly, Botany MP Christopher Luxon said. Photo Carterton District Council Labor must listen to the multitude of mayors pleading for Three Waters’ plans to be scrapped, National local government spokesman Christopher Luxon said. […]]]>

With an overwhelming majority of boards not on board, the government’s agenda is in dire straits and its four-entity model is floundering quickly, Botany MP Christopher Luxon said. Photo Carterton District Council

Labor must listen to the multitude of mayors pleading for Three Waters’ plans to be scrapped, National local government spokesman Christopher Luxon said.

“With an overwhelming majority of boards not on board, the government’s agenda is in dire straits and its four-entity model is quickly collapsing.

“Only a handful of mayors have explicitly supported the reforms, while the remaining 60 disagree. Many are in fact asking the government to put the process on hold because they did not have enough time to digest the details or consult their communities.

“South Island Entity D is in serious doubt, with mayors from across the West Coast, Canterbury, Otago and Southland writing to the Minister and asking for a recess.

“Northern Entity A has all but collapsed, with Far North and Whangārei already gone and the two remaining councils, Auckland and Kaipara, in strong opposition and likely to leave later.

“Meanwhile, the mayors of Hawke’s Bay are against reforms and other advice from B and C entities in areas like Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Manawatū is slowing down.

“It’s no surprise that mayors are chastising the government’s dismal consultation delay and its apparent need for speed.

“National has always said that the supposed benefits and cost savings have not been adequately explained to the public.

“We oppose the reforms of the three waters. The touted benefits of scale are unrealistic, taxpayers would end up subsidizing neighboring areas and entities would deprive communities of electricity and steal control of their water assets.

“The government must heed the mayors’ appeals and at the bare minimum, suspend the program immediately.

“I would encourage them to go further and completely abandon the Three Waters plan. We need to keep the “local” in local government.

ACT chief David Seymour said Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta displayed “astonishing arrogance towards the councils” during a question-and-answer session this morning on the politics of three government waters.

“A lot of boards don’t want anything to do with Three Waters. Whangārei, for example, has shown that the government’s cost-benefit analysis for its Three Waters policy exaggerates the benefits five times, ”says Seymour.

“The minister couldn’t explain why her plan would be five times better, simply insisting that the government’s work was ‘peer reviewed’. She forgot to say that Whangārei’s analysis was a peer review by international economics consultancy Castalia.

“When asked if the government was just going to legislate on opposing advice, the minister dodged the question. It is clear that the government intends to intimidate councils when its unsuccessful attempts at persuasion fail.

“If the councils don’t adhere to the government’s agenda, they don’t receive taxpayer subsidies through central government. In fact, the governance model proposed by the government is so complicated and remote from the citizen that councils prefer to withhold taxpayer money rather than be part of it.

“ACT’s solution recognizes the challenge some, but not all, boards face in managing Three Waters. It allows municipalities to form their own voluntary water cooperatives with neighbors if they wish.

“ACT’s solution uses 30-year plans with the central government for each municipality and region. These partnerships, along with public-private partnerships to attract investment capital, would allow boards to achieve higher standards for Three Waters, without using questionable modeling to impose a heavy governance structure on reluctant boards.


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Distributed energy resources for net zero: an asset or a constraint for the electricity network? – Analysis https://after-hours.org/distributed-energy-resources-for-net-zero-an-asset-or-a-constraint-for-the-electricity-network-analysis/ Thu, 09 Sep 2021 08:09:38 +0000 https://after-hours.org/distributed-energy-resources-for-net-zero-an-asset-or-a-constraint-for-the-electricity-network-analysis/ There is no doubt that the recent unprecedented heat waves, floods and tornadoes that have hit the northern hemisphere have been largely due to climate change. Climate impacts like these have been a major point of discussion at recent G20 meetings, prompting the publication of the Press release from the Minister of Energy and Climate […]]]>

There is no doubt that the recent unprecedented heat waves, floods and tornadoes that have hit the northern hemisphere have been largely due to climate change. Climate impacts like these have been a major point of discussion at recent G20 meetings, prompting the publication of the Press release from the Minister of Energy and Climate July 23. The statement underscored the importance of Distributed Energy Resources (RED) in addressing climate and energy security challenges. In addition to their decarbonization and climate change mitigation benefits, DERs can help protect against the impacts of extreme weather events.

However, many electric utilities still struggle to understand how DERs fit into the larger energy landscape. What are they and how can they be used to improve grid reliability and save energy costs? Is it worth it?

DERs can produce or store energy, or manage its consumption depending on the type. The term “DER” covers a wide range of technologies located close to customers, such as energy efficiency and demand response solutions, solar photovoltaic (PV) assemblies and batteries. DERs are sometimes defined more narrowly as “resources behind the meter. Solutions behind the meter can be a sort of black box, offering little transparency to network operators or utilities.

While energy efficiency and demand response solutions are not new, rooftop solar and electric vehicles (EVs) have recently been driving the growth of DERs in some countries. The IEA estimates that 179 GW of distributed solar power was added globally from 2017 to 2020. China and the United States contributed almost half of the new installed capacity. The fleet of electric vehicles has tripled since 2017 to exceed 11 million in 2020. Almost 80% of cars circulate on Chinese and European roads. These trends are expected to continue in more countries in the years to come.

DERs support decarbonization in several ways, including supporting fuel switching. Distributed solar can replace fossil fuel generators. Electric vehicles enable the large-scale switch from oil for transport to electricity. As the scale of clean, renewable electricity supply increases, electric vehicles and other electrification solutions may expand its use into new sectors. In the IEA’s Net Zero scenario, global sales of electric vehicles increased 18-fold, from 3 million to 56 million. In addition, some 600 million heat pumps will provide clean heating by 2030, while solar PV will more than quadruple to reach 633 GW by the end of this decade.


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Petition launched to stop proposed Pitt Meadows RCMP detachment – Maple Ridge News https://after-hours.org/petition-launched-to-stop-proposed-pitt-meadows-rcmp-detachment-maple-ridge-news/ Sun, 05 Sep 2021 01:00:00 +0000 https://after-hours.org/petition-launched-to-stop-proposed-pitt-meadows-rcmp-detachment-maple-ridge-news/ A petition to prevent the Town of Pitt Meadows from requesting a new zoning of the park land at Harris Rd. Park, and the establishment of a new separate RCMP detachment from Maple Ridge, has been put into operation. The petition titled “Petition Against Removal of Parkland and Formation of New RCMP Detachment”, launched by […]]]>

A petition to prevent the Town of Pitt Meadows from requesting a new zoning of the park land at Harris Rd. Park, and the establishment of a new separate RCMP detachment from Maple Ridge, has been put into operation.

The petition titled “Petition Against Removal of Parkland and Formation of New RCMP Detachment”, launched by Pitt Meadows resident Darlene Mercer, is in response to council’s proposed plan to rezone 2,300 square meters of parkland. north of Pitt Meadows Heritage Hall, to be used as the site of a new police detachment. Mercer, is against both, the new detachment, as well as the rezoning of the park.

“When I first started looking into this issue at the end of February 2020, I was, like much of the world’s population, struggling with COVID, a total lockdown looming, stay-at-home orders by various health agencies national / global, as well as meeting my father’s long-term care needs, ”said Mercer. She was unable to attend the open house, but managed to send her “no” response to the creation of a new detachment.

“I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I think it was disrespectful to the residents of Pitt Meadows that the town only held its doors open when it did (February 20, 2020), with the mayor claiming a overall approval based on a few people showing up, ”she said.

Mercer insists that since the open house, the city has not presented any formal cost-benefit analysis to the public, nor carried out a full restart of its stage of educating and contributing to the public on this major infrastructure and ” an extremely impactful financial change ”.

READ MORE: New Pitt Meadows RCMP office site considered approved

Mercer said that when she started talking actively with neighbors, friends and other residents in June 2021, she found that 99% of those she spoke to had no knowledge of the project. .

“Everyone had been focused on COVID and staying healthy / surviving. Since I started writing letters to the editor, talking to neighbors more widely and posting messages on social media; in addition, of course, to trying to discuss it with the Council, writing to the solicitor general of BC and the commander of E division, awareness has slowly grown, but even now, maybe that 70 to 75 percent have “heard about” it, but not really information. Some are totally unaware of it, ”she said.

Currently, the petition already has 175 signatures. Mercer hopes to have all the signatures by September 13.

Sign-up sheets can be filed with Mercer. She also has a sign-up sheet outside her home on 19621 Park Rd., Pitt Meadows. New petition sheets are released daily and “the equipment” is cleaned up, Mercer said. She also ventures out into the community every other evening and, along with the other volunteers, hopes to have a public place in the coming week or two.

“The sheets can be placed under my doormat, emailed to nonewdetachmentpm@gmail.com (also handy for those who wish to request a PDF of the petition), or if someone is unable to do so. , I am happy to do a doorstep, safe pickup. I understand that not everyone has a printer or is mobile, so I try to meet the needs of the residents, ”she said.


Got a tip for the story? Email: priyanka.ketkar@mapleridgenews.com

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Ike Dike’s final plan won’t protect against every storm https://after-hours.org/ike-dikes-final-plan-wont-protect-against-every-storm/ Thu, 02 Sep 2021 10:12:10 +0000 https://after-hours.org/ike-dikes-final-plan-wont-protect-against-every-storm/ Bill Merrell knew something had to be done to protect the Texas coast from the moment he looked out of a building on Galveston Island and saw the raging waters below. It was September 2008, and Hurricane Ike had pushed a storm surge up to 20 feet over the nearby Bolivar Peninsula. His strength wiped […]]]>

Bill Merrell knew something had to be done to protect the Texas coast from the moment he looked out of a building on Galveston Island and saw the raging waters below. It was September 2008, and Hurricane Ike had pushed a storm surge up to 20 feet over the nearby Bolivar Peninsula. His strength wiped out communities, with bodies found in the debris.

“The Dutch couldn’t have put up with that,” Merrell told his wife.

Thirteen years later, the Houston area still rests on the 17-foot-high Galveston Seawall that was first built after the catastrophic 1900 hurricane and the dunes that are continually damaged. The Texas City Seawall defends against surges in Galveston Bay.

Merrell’s initial imagination of the so-called Ike-Dike, inspired by the barriers in the Netherlands, evolved into a massive multibillion-dollar plan. A final version of what is now the Army Corps of Engineers Coastal Texas Study is expected to be released on September 10 and then sent to Congress for approval and funding.

Still, that may not be enough – and it certainly isn’t a panacea, especially as climate change is making the region’s luck worse, leading to rising seas and hurricanes that are expected to be stronger.

The more than $ 23 billion Galveston barrier system portion of the project will not protect against the strongest hurricanes. (And the cost estimate in the final report is expected to increase.) But the price for additional protection could be higher than what politicians and taxpayers want to pay.

“You can assure people that you are never going to flood,” said Chris Sallese, who served as district commander for the Corps in Galveston between 2010 and 2013, “but is that what you’re ready to to pay?”

The Army Corps uses a cost-benefit analysis, among other factors, to decide what to design. The centerpiece of the plan is an ambitious gate system that would stretch from the eastern end of Galveston Island at the mouth of the bay to the Bolivar Peninsula. It is intended to prevent a storm surge of up to 22 feet from entering the bay and up the industry-lined Houston Ship Channel.

The agency argues that building to this height is the best use of money, even when sea levels rise, earning $ 2 for every $ 1 spent and paying for itself after a storm. This assumes moderate sea elevation. Merrell, professor of marine science at Texas A&M University in Galveston, hopes it will be designed in such a way that it can be strengthened if conditions change or new technologies develop.

Even then, the wrong combination of events could still overcome it.

“There could be bigger storms hitting it, and you would have what they call an overflow, basically a bay spill,” said Kelly Burks-Copes, Corps project manager. “But we have to assess and trade the return on investment to build bigger and bigger.”

The design and construction of the proposed valves is expected to take up to 20 years. It remains to be seen how useful they will be then – or over the course of half a century or more that the structure should work then. It is impossible to predict the sea level rise exactly. The Dutch barriers are built at a much higher level.

The Coastal Texas study may not even meet the protection level for every 100-year storm, or storms with a 1% chance of occurring in a year, Merrell said.

“Obviously places like Houston with all the refineries and everything should be protected from a bigger storm; everyone will admit it, ”said Merrell, 78. “One of the peculiarities of this particular Corps project is that it hasn’t even reached 100 years of protection, which is sad. It’s not so much protection.

The proposal illustrates the balance that Houston leaders must be between what we are willing to pay and what we are willing to risk. Planners argue that the barrier will still reduce damage and reduce the number of people at risk, even if a stronger storm hits.

The draft plan put the price of the Galveston barrier system at $ 23.5 billion, of which the federal government would fund 65 percent. (A few billion more was earmarked for environmental restoration.) The remainder would go to a tax district created by the Texas legislature, the Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District. A board of directors builds the agency from scratch to raise funds and make the system work. He can also propose an alternative plan but will have to cover additional costs for this one.

The Galveston Bay Storm Barrier System

Houston Chronicle

Heading the board is Michel Bechtel, Mayor of Morgan’s Point, which sits at the start of where the shipping channel winds past the communities. Bechtel believes that the surge can “of course” be mitigated, although the deep channel should act like a straw and attract the surge. He thinks the draft proposal was too weak.

“The board will have to think about it very seriously and basically say: is this strong enough? Bechtel said. “Is this the best we can do?” “

Critics fear that although the gates will be 22 feet high, the second tallest dune line on Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula will rise only 14 feet. Clint Dawson, chairman of the Department of Aerospace Mechanics and Engineering at the University of Texas, modeled a Category 5 storm uniformly hitting a barrier at this lower height and always saw significant flooding.

Properties at risk of flooding include industrial sites with those familiar round chemical storage tanks. Power surges can also send debris there, damage it, or dislodge it and push it elsewhere.

Blake Eskew, a former consultant in the oil and gas industry, has counted 2,900 hazardous reservoirs with a capacity of over 4 billion gallons of product.

Dawson’s modeling was used by a team at Rice University’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters Center, who are working on a proposal that could provide additional protections sooner. The corps plan includes surge protection measures in the bay; Rice’s plan calls for a system of barriers extending down the middle of the bay towards the ship channel. (He’s still trying to get funding from the City of Houston and Harris County for further study.)

With the Coastal Texas plan, there remain concerns, from a granular perspective to the big picture, about damage to fish and oysters, beach access, and vulnerabilities to storm surges whipping in the bay. . Take a further step back and the math becomes even more complicated by this huge factor of how climate change will alter the defenses that communities need.

Specifically: sea level rises as ice caps melt and oceans warm, increasing the size of water molecules.

Amanda Fuller, director of the Texas Coast and Water program for the National Wildlife Federation, said she believes the decade-long debate over Ike’s seawall missed the point. The state is holding back on the conversation that really matters – about reducing emissions, investing in renewable energy and focusing on nature-based solutions, she said.

This project is not going to save the area; it will only save time.

“It’s really been a major distraction, honestly, from how we come up with the band-aid solutions so that we can all get on with living our lives without having to grapple with these much bigger, long-term issues that are really big issues. political issues. at the state level, ”Fuller said, adding,“ This is a band-aid. It is not a quick fix. “

emily.foxhall@chron.com

emily.foxhall@chron.com | Twitter: @emfoxhall


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CALDARA | Unmask Colorado Students – Like My Son | Opinion https://after-hours.org/caldara-unmask-colorado-students-like-my-son-opinion/ Sun, 29 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://after-hours.org/caldara-unmask-colorado-students-like-my-son-opinion/ Jon Caldara It’s time to stop depriving my son of an education. I have already mentioned my son Chance. This is the brotherhood that I never had, a party on two feet, the reincarnation of John Belushi, the embodiment of the phrase “and that’s why we can’t have beautiful things.” He is the happiest and […]]]>






Jon Caldara


It’s time to stop depriving my son of an education.

I have already mentioned my son Chance. This is the brotherhood that I never had, a party on two feet, the reincarnation of John Belushi, the embodiment of the phrase “and that’s why we can’t have beautiful things.”

He is the happiest and most empathetic person I know. I am honored to be his entourage.

Chance is seventeen and cannot read or write, but can sometimes count to ten. People can understand maybe half of what he says due to his speech problems, which makes everyday communication a real challenge.

My son has Down syndrome and without modern medicine, like open heart surgery at one month, he would not be alive.

But, he would also have died if he hadn’t received a crucial education, such as how to eat. Chance was hospitalized for failure at age three because of his aversion to food. I had no idea that there were some 27 steps he had to go through, in a particular order, to eat (see food, then smell food, then touch food, etc.).

When taught correctly by the right people, he saved his own life and now eats like a teenager, and I’m going to go broke shoving food into him.

Like all children, my son can flourish with the right education styled for him.

Chance learns through personal and physical interaction, especially with other children her age. He was deprived of a full year of study while in lockdown. “Online” classes were worse than no classes at all. It was cruel and discriminatory for children like Chance. It was heinous.

I took legal action against the Boulder Valley School District to recover the year they stole from it. They are moving slowly through the process. This from the same school district that proudly states that “unique learning needs will not be a barrier to student success.”

Like all parents, I am delighted that the schools are open this year. But he’s not quite back yet.

Chance, like many people with cognitive disabilities, learns by seeing people’s faces and their expressions. Because of his severe speech problems, in order for him to be understood, people need to see his face and expressions. And with his hearing loss, the muffled voices through the face masks make it even more difficult to learn.

So, of course, our school district requires masks.

Just as there was no real cost / benefit analysis in the early days of the command and control lockdown of the economy, little is said about the long-term impacts on our children who are still missing their education now.

We’re just starting to see the costs of foreclosure, all predictable: persistent unemployment, small business bankruptcies (according to the Colorado Restaurant Association 25% of restaurants will never reopen), soaring inflation.

So of course the media doesn’t talk about the long term damage to children from covering their faces for a year and a half.

Other countries are doing it. In the UK, Dr Susan Hopkins of Public Health England announced that the scientific consensus was to unmask children in school for two reasons. It is difficult for children to wear and breathe, and “it is really important that they can see facial expressions in order to develop their communication and language skills”, which all children, including my son, have. desperately needed.

Unmasked children could kill grandmother, you say. But grandmother is now vaccinated and probably wants her grandchildren to get a real education.

Teachers could catch COVID! But they are forced to be vaccinated.

Children could catch COVID! But they are the most likely to recover from it and the least likely to die from it. The CDC reports that the infection-to-mortality ratio for children 0 to 17 years old is 0.0012%. In contrast, for swine flu more than a decade ago, it was 0.0066%. It’s five times more deadly and it wasn’t scary enough forcing kids to wear masks back then. So why now?

Do not mistake yourself. Children in school with masks are much better than unmasked but not in school. I recognize the progress.

But now, with easy access to the vaccine, which is remarkably effective against the Delta variant, it’s time to prioritize our children and our irrational fears of lasting.

Unmask my son. Unmask his peers. And let them learn again.

Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute in Denver and hosts “The Devil’s Advocate with Jon Caldara” on Colorado Public Television Channel 12. His column appears on Sundays in Colorado Politics.


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Cryptocurrency worsens the climate crisis https://after-hours.org/cryptocurrency-worsens-the-climate-crisis/ Wed, 25 Aug 2021 22:00:08 +0000 https://after-hours.org/cryptocurrency-worsens-the-climate-crisis/ Cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin in particular, is still relevant today and is becoming an important factor in modern financial markets. Not surprisingly, the subject of cryptocurrency regulation in one form or another has become a major concern. China is already restrict Its use. Central banks around the world are looking at decentralized cryptocurrencies to assess their […]]]>

Cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin in particular, is still relevant today and is becoming an important factor in modern financial markets. Not surprisingly, the subject of cryptocurrency regulation in one form or another has become a major concern. China is already restrict Its use. Central banks around the world are looking at decentralized cryptocurrencies to assess their potential impact on financial stability, or even to issue their own digital currencies. Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Gary GenslerGary GenslerSEC Increases Disclosure Requirements For Chinese Companies Seeking U.S. IPOs: Report Crypto Industry Seeks To Gain Momentum After Losing The Fight To The Balance / Sustainability Senate – Living tree “when Jesus was on Earth” threatened by rising seas MORE describes crypto trading as the ” Far west “ recently calling on Congress to create a protective regime for crypto investors. A major impasse for the critical infrastructure bill was the issue of taxation of crypto transactions. Others have proposed that “stablecoins” be regulated like banks.

Unsurprisingly, the crypto industry has developed a formidable lobbying force to avoid further regulation. The regulations are completely antithetical to the very idea of ​​decentralized cryptocurrency.

Yet little attention has been paid to the environmental dangers of cryptocurrency. Yes, Elon muskElon Reeve MuskThe Hill’s Morning Report – Featured By Facebook – Biden Continues To Fight Chaos In Afghanistan Can SpaceX’s Elon Musk Help NASA Return To The Moon By 2024 After All? Hillicon Valley: QAnon ‘GhostEzra’ key influencer identified MORE attracted the usual hype when he first announced that Tesla would accept Bitcoin – then said (rather belatedly given the science) that since he learned of the environmental damage inflicted by cryptocurrencies, he would overturn that decision.

The impact of cryptocurrency on the environment is indeed very serious – perhaps the most important political factor against its growth.

Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum in particular, are so damaging to the environment that they threaten to reverse any gains made from the transition to electric vehicles and reduced use of fossil fuels. Much of this consumption and production comes from the intensive energy and processing “mining” of Bitcoin and “proof of work”. Even now, Bitcoin’s total carbon footprint exceeds the total emission reductions from electric vehicles. Based on Cambridge Bitcoin electricity consumption Index, Bitcoin is already consuming more energy than the whole of Argentina (45 million inhabitants).

Digiconomist Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index estimates that Bitcoin and Ethereum together consume the same amount of electricity as Ukraine and Israel, totaling 52 million people. The carbon footprint of a single Bitcoin transaction is equivalent to nearly 2 million Visa transactions, or 135,229 hours of YouTube viewing! A single Ethereum transaction consumes the equivalent energy used by an average US household over 4.55 days. Additionally, the energy and carbon footprints of these two cryptocurrencies and others are expected to grow exponentially in volume as speculation, hype and crime continue to generate volume. Already, total crypto energy consumption “is roughly comparable to the carbon emissions produced by the metropolitan area of London“, According to The Gaurdian.

Besides these staggering energy consumption statistics, crypto is also increased competition for chips, for which there is already a global shortage preventing the manufacture of alternative energy devices, including electric vehicles. Crypto has already grown exponentially. Further growth will only widen its carbon footprint.

Given the intimidating targets for the carbon reduction we are facing in the United States and around the world, this development should be for everyone. If there were offsetting gains with crypto, it could be justified on a cost-benefit basis, as we do with electric vehicles (which do damage but less overall than combustion engines). Yet there are no real gains.

There are many classes of crypto adventurers: libertarian idealists who dream of being freed from sovereign monetary control; hardware and software players “mine” the hardware for a reward; traders who earn income from crypto transactions; speculators who ride the wild volatility of crypto; crypto “wallet” hackers; and criminals who exploit the relative degree of anonymity offered by cryptography as ransomware. Despite big claims about reducing transaction costs and freeing up ‘fiat’ currency, none of the legitimate players have advocated for crypto contributions to general well-being. Beyond the rhetoric, they haven’t even seriously tried to do it. Instead, they relied on the naivety of lawmakers, regulators and journalists.

Knowledgeable commentators have described crypto as a “giant bubble”. Yet regulators continue to be timid in approaching the subject. As the Biden administration urges the auto industry to switch to 50% electric vehicles by 2030, we are recklessly allowing crypto to escalate at a huge current and potential cost to our carbon footprint.

China has at least taken a step towards connecting crypto to climate change concerns: it has banned crypto mining. This activity will only move elsewhere. Lawmakers and policymakers should educate themselves now and act quickly to stop the counterproductive growth of this industry, however powerful their lobbying forces may be. If they don’t, even as the threat posed by global warming comes in “Red code“According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we will find ourselves in another situation where a strong industry will prevent us from advancing the common good and fighting climate change.

Laurent G. Baxter is Professor David T. Zhang of the practice of law at Duke University, where he also directs the Global Financial Markets Center.


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House takes bill to send ’13th check’ to retired Texas teachers https://after-hours.org/house-takes-bill-to-send-13th-check-to-retired-texas-teachers/ Mon, 23 Aug 2021 21:37:18 +0000 https://after-hours.org/house-takes-bill-to-send-13th-check-to-retired-texas-teachers/ As the State House Appropriations Committee considered the “13th Check” bill on Monday afternoon to provide an additional pension payment to retired public school employees, the conversation mostly focused not on what the bill does – for it already enjoys overwhelming bipartisan support – but rather on what the bill does not. “While one might […]]]>

As the State House Appropriations Committee considered the “13th Check” bill on Monday afternoon to provide an additional pension payment to retired public school employees, the conversation mostly focused not on what the bill does – for it already enjoys overwhelming bipartisan support – but rather on what the bill does not.

“While one might fear that this 13th check may not be enough for some, for others it will literally be a lifeline,” said Rep. Glenn Rogers, a Republican from Graford.

The bill has already passed by an overwhelming majority in the Senate, and it would set aside around $ 700 million to give one-off checks to retired public school employees based on their monthly retirement payments. Payments would be capped at $ 2,400. Many public school employees in Texas do not contribute to social security, thus, once they retire, their pension payments are sometimes their only monthly income.

No COLA for retirees since 2004

But what retirees want most is not a one-time check, but rather a permanent increase in the benefits they receive each month, known as the cost of living adjustment, or COLA.

Under state law, only the legislature can order the pension fund to adjust its payments, and the average pension payout is around $ 2,000 per month, said Tim Lee, executive director of the Texas Retired Teachers Association. Benefit amounts have not been adjusted for any teacher since those who retired in 2004, he said, and about half of members have never received a cost of living increase.

Adjusted for inflation, $ 2,000 in 2004 would equal $ 2,820 in 2021 dollars.

“People will benefit now, but in January 2023 a lot of them will start to see that the extra payment dollars have been spent, the bills are still there and what they really need consistently is a increase in their basic retirement benefit, ”said Lee, who testified later at the hearing, in a telephone interview earlier today.

In 2007, the legislature authorized a similar 13th check payment for retirees – paid for by the pension fund itself – and it did so again in 2019, this time paid for out of state revenue. This year’s payment would be publicly funded thanks to a faster-than-expected economic rebound, said a spokesperson for House Speaker Dade Phelan, who posted a multibillion-dollar surplus.

The legislature envisioned a permanent COLA earlier this year, although it is not on the table for the current special session, which ends early next month. Rep. Greg Bonnen, chair of the appropriations committee, pointed out that if retirees received a 13th check this year and a COLA in the 2023 legislative session, they would actually receive more money overall than they did. ‘would have if a COLA were adopted earlier this year. It would also give the pension more time to demonstrate its financial stability and justify to the legislature that it can afford higher permanent benefits.

But while the bill is a traditionally non-partisan issue – “Everyone loves their retired teachers,” Rep. Justin Holland, a Republican from Heath, said at the hearing – it has been politicized by them. month.

Blame the Democrats

When House Democrats ditched the city to deny the GOP a quorum to enact proposed electoral law changes, Republicans accused their colleagues of denying teachers – a traditionally Democratic constituency – the money they desperately needed .

“Our retired teachers deserve better than the Democrats in Texas who are abandoning them and relinquishing their duties to those who elected them,” he added. Abbott spokesperson Renae Eze said in July.

Democrats hit back, claiming the GOP slowed down the bill earlier in the year.

“Texas House Democrats supported both a 13th check and a cost of living increase for our retired teachers during the regular session. Yet Gov. Abbott and Republican leaders have drowned out measures to keep dangerous and partisan bills afloat, ”Rep. Rafael Anchía, a Democrat from Dallas, wrote in a July statement.

Lee said the politicization of the issue had positive and negative effects on retired school workers.

“It gave us more coverage, which we were happy to see, but I think on the negative side it probably discouraged members because they like to see retiree aid as non-partisan,” he said. -he declares.

edward.mckinley@chron.com


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Why boatbuilder Brunswick isn’t about to make a floating Tesla https://after-hours.org/why-boatbuilder-brunswick-isnt-about-to-make-a-floating-tesla/ Sun, 22 Aug 2021 16:41:31 +0000 https://after-hours.org/why-boatbuilder-brunswick-isnt-about-to-make-a-floating-tesla/ This does not mean that Brunswick does not invest in electric boats; It is. The builder of Boston Whaler boats and Mercury Marine engines aim launch five electric propulsion products by 2023 and offer electric models in four different boat categories on the same schedule. But if you’re looking for a man hyped on boat […]]]>

This does not mean that Brunswick does not invest in electric boats; It is. The builder of Boston Whaler boats and Mercury Marine engines aim launch five electric propulsion products by 2023 and offer electric models in four different boat categories on the same schedule. But if you’re looking for a man hyped on boat electrification, Foulkes is not the guy. He graduated in aerospace engineering and spent nearly two decades with Ford Motor Co., but he also appreciates old-fashioned common sense.

Boats, after all, operate in the water. To state the obvious, this is not the most ideal environment for electric power. Brunswick and other boat builders need to worry much more than electric car makers about sealants, electric grounds and how to prevent uncontrolled deluges of moisture from frying. the whole system. **

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The compatibility of battery technology with open water bodies is decently understood for low power applications in the 50 to 60 volt range; much less to the energy levels of an electric car, Foulkes said. This is because it is not recommended that someone drive a Tesla Inc. car – or any car for that matter – in the ocean. Boats generally need more power to pass through water than cars need to pass through air. This is especially true in the oceanic environments of Florida and the Northeast, which are among the largest boat markets in the United States, but boats must also float, which means you can’t just use a boat. automotive battery designed for higher speeds and longer. ranges in them and call it good. Some Tesla batteries weigh around 1,000 pounds, for example.

The result is that even with the latest and greatest automotive-derived battery technology, “you can’t really deliver the same utility in terms of range and speed as with a contemporary combustion setup,” said Foulkes. The main market for electric boats today is small lakes and waterways where distance requirements are limited and speeds are lower. Most of the interest comes from Europe where certain municipalities are highly dependent on maritime traffic, including Amsterdam and Venice – have decided to ban or limit the use of gasoline or diesel models. The market is even more niche in the United States; one of the most popular applications is electric dinghies which transport the well-heeled from the dock to their parked yachts, Foulkes said. He estimates that around 90% of electric models sold today run below 10 horsepower. Bow, an electric boat startup supported by Andreessen Horowitz and composed of former SpaceX employees, considering offering a 475 horsepower model by the end of this year, but the ship measures less than 25 feet and costs $ 300,000.

“The common feature is that they cost a lot of money and don’t have much use,” said Foulkes, speaking generally of the electric boats currently available. By comparison, 90% of the boats Brunswick sells cost less than $ 100,000. Her average customer earns about $ 140,000 a year. Consumers typically don’t spend as much on fuel for their boats as they do for their cars, complicating the cost-benefit analysis of switching to electric, Foulkes said. “I don’t want to paint the picture as it’s not possible,” he said. But the industry needs to be pragmatic about where battery technology may be a good choice while continuing to invest in improving the environmental footprint of combustion engines and exploring other alternatives such as e-fuels and hydrogen, he says.


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Rebranding by Zoom: The Creative Process Behind the Switch from Indians to Guardians https://after-hours.org/rebranding-by-zoom-the-creative-process-behind-the-switch-from-indians-to-guardians/ Sun, 22 Aug 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://after-hours.org/rebranding-by-zoom-the-creative-process-behind-the-switch-from-indians-to-guardians/ Aside from expansion teams and clubs that moved from city to city, one Major League Baseball team had not undergone a major rebranding since 1965. Houston’s transition from the Colts .45s to the Astros was a bit before the days of Twitter, where almost every newer uniform has far fewer fans than a quarterback on […]]]>

Aside from expansion teams and clubs that moved from city to city, one Major League Baseball team had not undergone a major rebranding since 1965.

Houston’s transition from the Colts .45s to the Astros was a bit before the days of Twitter, where almost every newer uniform has far fewer fans than a quarterback on an NFL team. And meetings about the Astros’ impending change were not conducted via Zoom.

The latter has been the case with many discussions regarding the move from the Cleveland Indians to the Guardians, which was announced last month and will go into effect after the 2021 season.

“At the very least, this is probably the first big sports brand change that has been accomplished completely remotely,” said Dudley Versaci, chief strategist of Sports Car Brand Creative – the personalized agency employed by the club. baseball player from Cleveland to design the Guardians’ new look.

Versaci is a 34-year former director of business development at Doubleday & Cartwright, a Brooklyn, New York-based company that spearheaded a revamp of the Milwaukee Bucks and was the creative force behind the launch of Inter Miami CF in the Major League Soccer. . At Doubleday, Versaci worked with Kimou Meyer, a designer known as Grotesk who is now Senior Creative Director at Jumpman.

The Indians and Sports Car began discussing a possible rebranding last summer, after the baseball club first announced that it was exploring the possibility of changing the franchise name since 1915. In October, the parties had agreed to a consultation agreement, and in the first few months, the groups explored some preliminary ideas.

The Indians said 1,198 name options were on a list at one point – a figure according to Versaci is correct.

“You kind of start with a cost-benefit analysis from a creative strategic perspective,” Versaci said. “What are the potential forces here, what are the vulnerabilities in terms of media acceptance and market acceptance, and you look at it that way.”

The process of elimination, he added, also resulted in additions, as discovering the strengths and vulnerabilities of some options led to some names being put back on the drawing board.

When the Indians announced the name change, the team said they spent 140 hours interviewing fans, community leaders and members of the club’s front office about the change. The customs agency, according to Versaci, added 60 more hours of discussions with local “influencers” and other sports industry analysts.

Sports Car’s virtual meetings with Indians were held once every two weeks at the start. Finally, the discussions took place every week, then twice a week. The framework, which became too common during the pandemic, did not hinder the process, the customs agency’s chief strategist said.

“I think there is a common understanding that inspired creation takes place on the water cooler, and I actually think Zoom is a relatively functional way to do a project like this because you can pull together a lot. of people and share with them concepts or ideas that they’ve developed, “Versaci said.” And that tends to send other people in different directions or inspire work in other directions. “


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