"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”

Henry D. Thoreau

 

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Wednesday
Apr182018

Update on my Electric Car

When I last wrote it was mid-September and I had just bought a 2013 Chevy Volt. I now have about Chevy Volt cruzin6000 km of experience. During the warmer days in September I could typically get 50-55 km out of a full battery charge (10.5 Kwatts costing 85 cents). My electric mileage averaged about 200 watts per km at 100 km/hour. After Wade Wiebe wrote his article entitled “Time to save gas” I tested the concept and found he was correct and I only needed 160 watts per km at 80 km/hour. It is interesting that in a gas powered car you get better mileage on the highway because it is continuous and not stop and go. With the electric car it is just the opposite; better mileage in the city in stop and go traffic because there is no idling at the stop light and the slower you go the more efficient your mileage.

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Tuesday
Apr102018

The Climate Paradox - Part 1

by Wade Wiebe

In an interview with David McRaney of the “You Are Not So Smart” podcast, Norwegian psychologist Per Espen Stoknes discussed his book “What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming”. The book tackles the paradox that despite 5 IPCC reports and over 30,000 climate change articles which have underlined the seriousness of climate change since 1989, public concern about the issue has actually declined. Stoknes’ work compiles the 300-400 articles that have been written about this psychological phenomenon into a set of five barriers which come into play when individuals are faced with this difficult message. He observed that the two most common methods for communicating scientific findings are to bombard the public with facts or to present an apocalyptic vision of the consequences of our actions. Unfortunately, both methods serve only to reinforce the positions people already hold on the issue. For those who are disengaged, dismissive or doubtful of the issue, a number of psychological barriers arise in response to this information: Distancing, Doom, Dissonance, Denial, and iDentity.

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Tuesday
Apr032018

We Need a Solar Ready Bylaw

by Eric Rempel

The news is that the City of Steinbach will be updating its 41-year-old building bylaw. This seems a necessary thing to do, but what should be considered in this update? Our contention is that a good building code today will facilitate and mitigate for energy efficiency and savings.

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Wednesday
Mar282018

Extinctions

A news item last week was that the last male Northern White Rhino has died. Although there are two females of the same species remaining, procreation demands a male as well as a female. This marks the end of the species. Species extinction. I found the accompanying commentary noteworthy. The commentary: “The Northern White Rhino DNA has been preserved.” The obvious implication was that the extinction is not so serious, because technology, yet, will solve this problem. In my opinion, a more appropriate comment would be: “Here is yet another extinction. What's next?” This particular extinction may not affect us here in southern Manitoba, but which one will?

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Tuesday
Mar202018

Bacon: Do you know what you're Eating?

Full English breakfast with bubble and squeak, sausage, bacon, grilled tomatoes, and eggsProcessed meat is a big part of Canadian culture and an even bigger part of the economy of south east Manitoba. You just can’t get away from it, bacon, ham, salami and hot dogs are a constant feature of Canadian cuisine and are eaten at breakfast, lunch and supper. We are constantly reminded that the Manitoba Hog Industry is a great success story but, in the journey from pig to plate the meat industry turns healthy pork into a poisonous substance that is killing its customers.

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