#CleanPoweredCars #GasolinePoweredCars #California #cars #transportation
California wants to ban the sale of new cars solely fueled by gasoline by 2035.
Used gas-powered cars will be allowed, but no new ones can be sold, according to the plan.
Certainly, climate change is real, and California is among the places hardest hit.
But it begs the question: how many used gasoline-powered cars will still be on the road?
It also begs the question: how long will it actually take to eliminate all gas-powered cars? The big issues are having enough rapid-charging stations, and how governments will cope with the decreased revenue from the gasoline tax, according to David Wickert, transportation writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Georgia is poised to become a leader in the manufacture of electric cars and the batteries that fuel them.
Here’s a thought: what if someone could come up with a way to convert internal-combustion cars to electric, hybrid or hydrogen power?
But, first things are first. As previously stated, there have to be more rapid-charging stations before we go entirely non-combustion.
Then, we have to look at auto manufacturing. It appears the big car companies are moving quickly away from internal combustion engines. That’s a good sign.
Then, the price of the clean-powered cars has to come down. The recent bill passed by Congress offers assistance in purchasing clean-powered vehicles, but to qualify, the vehicles have to be priced in a certain range. In other words, there are no subsidies to buy expensive cars, even if they are clean-powered.
Getting back to a previous thought, what does one do with a perfectly good gasoline-powered car? The body may be good enough to last for years. Would you spend, say, a few thousand dollars, or perhaps a bit more, to change out the guts of your car so you can drive your “new” clean-powered car?
Many would, perhaps. But now, there is no technology to do that. One might predict that someone, somewhere is working on that technology.
This news reminds us that transitions are hard. We may all want to do the right thing — the world may command us to do the right thing.
But moving from one era to the next requires infrastructure changes, innovation and the courage to move to something different. It’s also requires government to re-imagine revenue streams, as Wickert points out. All of these things can take time.
California is trying to provide that transition time. Can the innovators pull it off within that time?
Transitions are also messy. For example, if your gas-powered car craps out on you between now and then, and you can’t live without a car, what do you do that will solve your practical problem now, yet comply with the future new rules?
The lesson here is that we should have been preparing for this transition long before we did.
Certainly, it’s easier said than done. Hindsight is always 20-20.
But just because we are starting the transition in earnest later than we should have been doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.
The warming planet certainly isn’t waiting for us humans to act. It will keep warming, causing all sorts of disasters.
We just have to do the hard, messy things as we can. In fact, most of life’s journey involves hard, messy things. What’s convenient at the moment is not always the right thing for the future.
So, if you are not ready to ditch your gas-powered vehicle for something that runs much cleaner, your best bet is to hope you can buy enough time until the technology allows you to convert that vehicle, or the vehicle craps out on its own. Hopefully, you’ll be able to afford the change.


#transition #transformation #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #coronavirus #LifeChanges
So you want to make a change in your life.
Will that change be a transition, or transformation?
What’s the difference? Perhaps it can be summed up by saying a transition is a minor change, while a transformation is a major change.
COVID-19 has forced most of us to make small changes in our lives. It’s also forced some of us to make bigger changes.
Whatever type of change(s) you had to make, do you want to go back to the way things were?
Many would say YES, because they miss some interactions. They miss being able to do some things they liked doing.
But very likely, there are some – even quite a few – who see this period as a time to transform their lives. They actually do NOT want to go back to the way things were.
Perhaps the job they did before COVID was not satisfying to them. When the job disappeared during the pandemic, they had no thought about going back, although their old bosses really wanted them back.
Perhaps the pandemic led to more time at home, with children, family etc. They probably got to witness more of their children’s activities than they could when they were working.
Many probably discovered that going to work was expensive – commuting costs, buying lunch every day, day-care expenses etc. If they didn’t have those things, they discovered they could live on less. Or, they discovered that the pay they got was almost entirely eaten by those expenses.
So, how did the pandemic affect you? Did it give you perspective on your life, to the point that you realize there are better things out there for you?
Maybe you feel that way, but don’t know what those better things are. So, you instinctively go back to what you know, even though you didn’t particularly like that old situation.
Meanwhile, a “new normal” is evolving, We may not see a complete eradication of COVID-19 for some time, if ever.
Society has been trying to eradicate some diseases for decades. Other diseases – perhaps COVID-19 will be among them – can be kept at bay with vaccines. If you are eligible, but not vaccinated, getting the shots, including boosters, is your best weapon against serious illness or death.
Regardless, it would be safe to prepare for COVID-19 to be around for a good while. Adjust as you must, but know that you may not have to take unnecessary risks. If we all bore in mind that the virus is always lurking, perhaps we can all take steps to minimize its effect on our lives.
That will require an effort by EVERY individual.


#jobs #recession #economics #wages
The recent jobs report was double what was expected.
Yet, there is talk of recession.
It’s been said that a recession is defined by how each individual feels about his or her situation.
There are a few questions about the data, and economic perceptions here.
First, if there are a record number of jobs, are they all being filled? Many employers are begging for workers at all levels. Therefore, are they just creating empty slots on a payroll?
Secondly, if the economy has declined for two straight quarters – the technical definition of recession – shouldn’t employers be laying people off, not hiring?
In fact, many companies, Oracle, for example, are laying off people. But, is this a function of technological changes? Remember, as technologies evolve, the masters of the previous technology may not be needed when the new technology emerges. Changing technologies may mean changing staffs.
Thirdly, many people perceive we are heading toward recession because things are costing more, like food and gasoline. Inflation is indeed here, but that has many causes that are unrelated to a declining economy. The aforementioned labor shortages may be one, as companies have to pay workers more to hire or keep them. Supply-chain issues caused by the pandemic may be another, along with the war in Ukraine etc.
So, you may not feel that the economy is clicking on all cylinders, even if it may be. Inflation will ease as buyers naturally cut back. Therefore, ask yourself: is your job paying you more since the pandemic restrictions were lifted? Certainly, you are paying more for what you buy, which may mitigate your raise, but you could be paying more without getting a raise.
By the way, if you didn’t get a raise, feel free to look for something else. The jobs, and needs, are out there, and you may have more leverage as an employee than you’ve ever had.
Some describe this economy as complicated. Perhaps, it is. Suffice it to say that after pandemic lockdowns, there is pent-up demand not only to buy things, but to do things. And, many of those who sell or provide services to meet that demand are still staffing up to accomplish that.
Therefore, there will be some shortages and closings because there aren’t enough people to provide the products and services.
You, as a consumer, will feel that, and it won’t necessarily feel good. But, as the saying goes, one cannot turn a battleship around quickly. It will take time to resolve.
If you are feeling down about the economy, think of it this way: If you got a raise, chances are the raise will not go away. If prices now are eating away at the raise, and you feel you are no better off than you were, as inflation comes down, your raise will likely still be there.
If what you do for a living is becoming obsolete, and you can see it, try something else. We all have to adjust as times and technology change.
Sure, it’s no easy task to try something different. And, of course, if you learn something different, and THAT becomes obsolete, you are going to ask yourself “why did I bother?” The message here seems to be to keep learning and trying new things.
This economy is complicated. It is in transition. We all may have to muddle through for a time for things to get better.
But, we can say with some confidence that they usually do.


#workplaces #workers #pay #benefits #childcare #COVID19 #coronavirus #FlattenTheCurve
The pandemic changed everything.
First, it gave workers a bit more leverage in how they deal with work/life balance.
That has good, and bad, effects.
Workers are leaving jobs that paid little, with no flexibility in their lives, to either stay home with children – day-care costs are rising and options are limited – or moving on to jobs that pay more and, perhaps, offer some of the flexibility they want.
A story by Marc Fisher for the Washington Post, and a “This Life” column by Nedra Rhone tackle this issue in detail. Both were published Dec. 30, 2021, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Post story focuses on Liberty County, Ga., along the state’s coast. Liberty is a small county, with a major military institution, Ft. Stewart, as its biggest employer.
But the county is growing by adding big warehouses. These allow people to leave the small, mom-and-pop hotel and restaurant jobs for higher-paying, and often more flexible, warehouse work.
That hurts the lower-paying sole-owner businesses, causing them to cut back on hours, service etc., for lack of help.
Some employees had been laid off when many of these operations shut down. When they reopened, many of the workers did not return, for various reasons – not the least of which is the risk of being infected with COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Rhone’s column discusses the differences among various generations in how they react to changing workplaces.
The youngest generation of workers had their world turned upside down. Many now want to be entrepreneurs, meaning they may never work for anyone but themselves in their lives.
(What these young folks may not realize is that working only for oneself may have its own pitfalls. They still have to serve clients, who will be their ultimate employers).
So, all of this begs the usual question: where do you fit in this changing workplace?
Is the idea of going back to work too risky? Or, is it going to cost you more to go back to work (commuting, day care etc.) than you would make?
In summary, workplaces are changing. Workers no longer feel forced to take, or go back to, jobs that put them at risk, will cost them more to work than not, and not get a good return from the employer(s).
Employers currently are adapting by cutting back on things that could decimate their businesses. They have to find more creative ways to entice people from multiple generations, who have different hopes, dreams and attitudes toward the workplace.
To quote Donald Lovette, chairman of the Liberty County, Ga., Commission, from the Post story: “It’s not that people are lazy. It’s that some of them are better off financially by not paying for child care, staying home for a while … It’s simple economics.”
Employers, even those in basic businesses like hospitality and restaurants, have to come up with new ways to get and keep workers.


#weather #ClimateChange #coronavirus #COVID-19 #FlattenTheCurve
Last winter, Texas froze.
This past winter, Alaska temperatures were in the 60s (December) and other places with normally cooler temperatures are in the 70s and 80s.
Tornadoes and wildfires erupt more frequently. This past winter, wildfires occurred in Colorado, which is normally covered in snow. (The snow came AFTER the fire).
The climate is changing. Inconvenient as that sounds, it’s happening. COVID-19 is inconvenient, too, but the virus isn’t going away.
Yes, we need to act, as a nation, a world, a community and as individuals to combat these phenomena. Unlike a common cold, which eventually goes away with rest, fluids and medication, we can’t rest and wait for the climate to get back to more normal, or for the coronavirus to disappear.
We have to do things to help create that disappearance. We have to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Then, we have to wear face coverings in confined public spaces where lots of people you may not know congregate.
We have to curtail our use of fossil fuels, and work toward the day we can eliminate them entirely. We can’t do that yet, as we have to wait for the technology to catch up. And it will. We are just not there yet.
Our individual mitigating activities are inconvenient. Most of us hate wearing masks. But, if we ALL do, and we ALL (who are eligible) get vaccinated, we can do our individual parts.
If we ALL curtail our use of fossil fuels – today’s high gasoline prices may help us do that — we can buy time for technology to allow us to eliminate them. That’s a tall order now, as electric cars and other clean energy innovations are being developed, but are either not quite perfected or are lacking the infrastructure to allow their widespread use.
Still, we can stop neither the virus nor climate change. The coronavirus may be here for the foreseeable future, but our individual actions – collectively – can help us live with it much easier.
Climate change is a bit different. We can’t stop severe weather or fires, but we can help by NOT living in the most vulnerable places. It’s nice to have a forest view out your back yard, but it may make your house a sitting duck for wildfire.
The same may go for houses on the beach. As nice as they are, as sea levels rise, they could get flooded to the point of no return.
The lesson here is not to blow off these things as inconveniences, and believe they will go away on their own.
After all, in the case of climate change, we, as humans, created it with our “progress.” The coronavirus, on the other hand, is a force of nature we have to fight.
Meanwhile, it’s urgent that we fight these phenomena and get our world back to somewhat normal ASAP. It won’t happen simply because we complain about inconveniences. It will happen by acting resiliently, collectively and individually to do the right thing.