Another Blunderbuss from Bacon’s Rebellion

Brace yourself for the onslaught of the Aug. 4, 2008, edition of the Bacon’s Rebellion e-zine. As usual we, loot, plunder and burn the conventional wisdom. And we take no prisoners.

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Brainy Power
Dominion’s proposed $600 million investment in a “smart grid” is the first step toward an electric power system in which conservation and renewables have equal standing with with coal and nukes.
by James A. Bacon

Flash the Lights and Blow the Sirens
The NVTA is near death as legislators fail once again.
by Doug Koelemay

Beyond the Headlines
A thread runs between many newspaper stories: Higher energy prices are reordering everything from international trade flows to housing affordability. Too bad our Institutions are responding so sluggishly.
by EM Risse

Reviving the Great Melting Pot
A century ago, Americans expected immigrants to learn English and adapt to a new culture. Would it be politically incorrect to encourage today’s immigrants to “Americanize”?
by Chris Braunlich

Bogus Tax Break
The back-to-school tax break feels good — for two days out of the year. Woopido. How about a tax break that provides relief 365 days a year?
by Norman Leahy

The Netherworld of FDA Regulation
Getting the agency to oversee tobacco is creating strange bedfellows and will end up keeping the status quo – letting thousands more die.
by Peter Galuszka

When All Else Fails, Try the Head Smackingly Obvious
Want to relieve traffic congestion? Stop funding pork barrel and prioritize transportation projects that… (drum roll)… relieve traffic congestion.
by Ron Utt

Nice & Curious Questions
Riffles and Cascades: Waterfalls in Virginia
by Edwin S. Clay III and Patricia Bangs

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  1. Anonymous Avatar

    “In the longer run, the meter at your back door could become a nerve center for converting your residence into a “smart house” where your HVAC, refrigerator and other appliances collaborate to conserve energy.”

    If you said they collaborate to reduce peak demand for your house, I could believe that. But the refrigerator is going to use as much power as it needs to keep cool: we can vary when it comes on and off a little bit(it isn;t on at the same time as the AC, as often), but not that much. Where does the conservation come from?

    It conserves on the need for additional capital for more peak power, but overall the same energy is being used: it is only a question of when.

    I know I am quibbling, but I think the distinciton is important. Telling people they will save energy when they won’t, isn’t going to be a good thing. But, holding out some vague future promise of lower rates, if and when the SCC imposes them is a lot different from promoting some gizmo that is actually supposed to conserve on the energy my refrigerator uses right now.

    Selling the first idea is a lot different from selling the second.

    Even worse, I may find that I have to set the thermostat lower to maintain the same maximum temperature due to the time the machine is shut off, and that might mean more energy used.

    And in the end, the real purpose of the smart meter is to allow the company to charge me more.


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