Okay. Now it’s a heat wave.

The interior of Southern California has been slow-roasting, like everybody else in the U. S. of A. It’s so bad, people are being told to use their A/C less, to let their houses go all the way up to 78°F (25°C). The utilities have been moaning about having barely enough power to meet needs and many AC repair companies are totally booked.

They’ve been bewailing the temporary shutdown of the San Onofre nuke like the loss of the last drop of drinking water. (The thing has cracks in hundreds of steam pipes due to design flaws.) It provides 2200 Megawatts. It’s loss is terrible. We’re all dying out here.

A complete load of horsefeathers. I live near two natural gas power stations, and they’re barely ever even on. If it’s as bad as all that, you’d think they’d have to use them, yes? One produces 560 Megawatts, the other 1516MW. But they don’t. Especially the 1516MW one. If I see it running two days out of the year, that’s a lot. Admittedly, I don’t spend my life staring at it, so I might miss a day or two, but not much more than that. The other one seems to run maybe 14 days out of the year.

Then, yesterday I went for a hike and saw this:

view of Pt. Mugu

Nice, you say? What are you complaining about, you say? Well, look at those two wisps coming out of the two power plants. They’re running! They’re producing power!

Ormond Beach Generating Station

Half of it is down right now due to a fire, so it’s only producing about 730MW. (Notice also that line of photochemical smog.)

Mandalay Generating Station

The neat thing about natural gas plants is the utlities get pollution credits for them because they’re so (relatively) clean. So — this is just a wild guess — by not running them, they can use those credits for dirtier plants of theirs. Or sell them to other needy utilities.

Meanwhile, they can weep and wail and gnash their teeth over how we must turn the nukes back on now now now! Or else we might have to turn the A/C all the way to 79°F.

27 Comments on “Okay. Now it’s a heat wave.”

  1. quixote says:

    In case anyone’s wondering what most of the buildings in the first photo are, that’s Pt. Mugu Naval Air Station. The road is the Pacific Coast Highway.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    78 degrees? ROFL! I’d be thrilled if my house was that cool.

  3. roofingbird says:

    Yes it’s been hot. I had a cat die yesterday morning. I morn her but in my non air conditioned house she was starting to smell. So, I was out in 105 degree heat watering down hard rock clay, and digging the resultant thousand lb. soup out, cutting tree roots and placing a hardened 50.lb concrete over her so the raccoons wouldn’t dig her up.

    And, I STILL don’t want nuclear power.

    • roofingbird says:

      I planted Shasta daisies, Cala Lillies and Yarrow over her. I wound up digging a 5 foot trench. to condition the soil.

      • quixote says:

        Always hard to lose a dearly loved pet. I do admire your attitude!

      • NW Luna says:

        I am so sorry you lost your furkid. Theyare such good companions. May The flowers you planted thrive for years.

      • dakinikat says:

        Ah, so sorry. My dog is dying at the moment and it’s really rough to watch her slow down so much. She’s pushing 16 and a lab so she’s way over her prime. I’m going to plant her under the bodhi tree in the back eventually. It’s still hard, enough when you know it’s coming.

    • Seriously says:

      I’m so sorry, roofingbird.

    • roofingbird says:

      Thanks, she wasn’t with us that long- she showed up on our door step, like so many of ours. The neighborhood has a policy of breeding and dumping pets. She was never really well, the Vet pronounced kidney disease. However, she was a sweet and loving critter named Hushe! My husband found her name, after she had been sitting on his lap for an hour and suddenly realized he wasn’t petting the cat he thought.

  4. Nice photos.

    The Western States could develop Geothermal. A few geothermal elect plants here & there. NV has the most Geothermal & exports to CA.

    Washington state with so many sleeping volcanos should have full geothermal — but no — gotta kill salmon & cause other problems with damn dams. Think of the income from exporting elect power.

    We have some warm weather but the water temp coming in from the cold Pacific works like an outdoor AC. Often heavy fog follows a warm day. Inland & further away from the Pacific — that’s where the heat wave is.

    • quixote says:

      Well, just looking at those photos (:P ) what strikes me is we could be doing a bit with solar. And then there’s efficiency. All those great honking SUVs driving three blocks to the grocery store. All those houses running full A/C while everyone’s at work. All those windows leaking all the coolness because double glazing is expensive. Etc., etc., etc.

      • I saw many acres of solar panels in the Southwest, plus wind mills. Southern CA seems like a natural for solar panels. Many Caribbean Islands use solar panels for heating water. That seems like a good way to start.

        Big box type houses get really hot — even up here.

      • quixote says:

        I’m being a tad facetious. I know there’s a lot of solar here compared to most places, but “a lot” is still only some tiny few percent of the total energy mix. (2%? Not sure.) SoCal could be getting 100% of its energy from the sun, and have enough left over to export.

    • janicen says:

      My MIL is currently converting her home to geothermal here in Virginia. Apparently you can cool your home with it too.

  5. RalphB says:

    Bain dismantles another company in Illinois.

    Sensata Loss: Bad for Illinois, Good for Romney

    Via Paul Constant, the Guardian has another heartbreaking article on Bain’s ongoing assault on America:

    “So as Sensata strips out costs by sacking American workers in favour of Chinese ones, the value of Romney’s own investments could rise, putting money into the pockets of a Republican challenger who has placed job creation in America at the heart of his bid for the White House…”

    Corporations are people, my friend! And Romney actually cares about those corporate “people”—unlike the unfortunate meatsacks who aren’t his fellow Bain shareholders.

  6. roofingbird says:

    I’m not particularly a fan of replacing existing windows with double paned ones. As a waterproofing consultant I am constantly appalled by the replacement of perfectly good window assemblies for 20 year or less jobs that look like they should be on a trailer and are wretchedly installed, leading to leaks,mold and worse. That is one of the big blights of HUD housing and is NOT a selling point to me. I consider it to be damage. There are other ways to lessen the heat loss around windows, like reducing airflow in the the ballast cavities of double hung windows and double hung curtains.

    • quixote says:

      Interesting! I’ve seen some of those problems in double-glazed windows and assumed it was just some weird thing. I’ll have to look up some more info about this.

      • roofingbird says:

        I ‘m not saying it should never be done. It’s just more complex then wanting to meet new LEEDs standards.


        One point to consider is replacement with in kind window assemblies but with double glazing. The sticker price on wood assemblies will give you a clue as to the inherent value of your existing window frames. Wood is generally a greater thermal barrier than metal, with interior blocking. Vinyl coating on metal windows is subject to UV radiation, and will eventually shrink and crack. Aside from being ugly, this can be a point of water entry. Double glazed panes are put together with a gasket type seal, usually silicone. From UV, this will eventually shrink and fail to create that fogged window effect you may have seen. When this happens it loses or reduces its thermal protection. It appears to be about 15 year life cycle and becomes a maintenance issue.

        However, for me, the biggest issue in order to retrofit windows is design and installation. You have to open up the siding beyond the window opening, break the waterproofing envelope of the building, reseal it after installation and reform the siding. It’s typically where you get into trouble. Windows with fin type installation are supposed to reduce this problem, but often don’t and finished installation will not look like the original.

      • quixote says:

        Thanks for the extra info and the link! I’m off to read it now. I love learning something new every day. 😀

      • NW Luna says:

        Thx for the info. Good to know — we may do some remodeling.