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Only in Seattle - Real Estate Unplugged
#1,338 - Why Toyota Isn't Buying Into "Exclusively" Electric Vehicles Fad

Only in Seattle - Real Estate Unplugged

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2022 16:26


While many automakers have committed billions of dollars in recent years to develop all-electric vehicles, Toyota has approached the technology with far more caution - opting instead to continue investing in a portfolio of hybrid "electrified" vehicles, such as the Prius.And while the Japanese automaker was a darling of US environmentalists and 'eco-conscious' consumers when the Prius came out two decades ago, given that it was among the cleanest and most fuel-efficient vehicles ever produced - Toyota has fallen out of favor with the 'green' crowd thanks to its hesitancy to jump into the fray with fully electric vehicles.LIKE & SUBSCRIBE for new videos everyday. https://bit.ly/3KBUDSK

The Gravel Ride.  A cycling podcast
In the Dirt 32 - LIstener questions

The Gravel Ride. A cycling podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2022 44:45


This week Randall and Craig open up the floor to questions from The Ridership. Support the Podcast Join The Ridership  Automated Transcription, please excuse the typos: In the Dirt 32 [00:00:00] Craig Dalton: Hello, and welcome to the gravel ride podcast, where we go deep on the sport of gravel cycling through in-depth interviews with product designers, event organizers and athletes. Who are pioneering the sport I'm your host, Craig Dalton, a lifelong cyclist who discovered gravel cycling back in 2016 and made all the mistakes you don't need to make. I approach each episode as a beginner down, unlock all the knowledge you need to become a great gravel cyclist. I'm going to be joined Really By my co-host randall jacobs for another episode of in the dirt [00:00:34] Craig: randall, how you doing today? [00:00:36] Randall: I'm doing well, Craig, good to see you, bud. [00:00:39] Craig: Yeah. Great to see you too. I mean, I've been looking forward this just a, a little bit of reprieve from everything else that's going on in life. It's just nice to connect with you and just purely have a half hour an hour conversation about bikes. [00:00:51] Randall: Yeah. Yeah. I know you've been going had a lot going on with your mom and so on. So, you know, definitely sending a lot of love and good vibes to you and your family going through some challenging times. [00:01:01] Craig: Yeah, I appreciate that. I mean, we it's the conversations we've had on the podcast and certainly within the ridership community, just about the value of this pursuit of gravel cycling and just kinda getting outta your head. I I've always loved it in that, like when you're on a, a gravel trail, particularly a technical gravel trail, like I ride you can't really think about anything else, but what's in front of you. And it's just so, so helpful for me to just sort of think about the bike and performance and riding. Rather than thinking about everything else going on all the time. [00:01:32] Randall: Yeah. Yeah, I can, I can relate. I've been processing some heavy things in my own life these days. And at the same time returning to the bike, I've been doing a lot more walking, hiking trail running lately as well as like canoeing and kayaking the canoes great with the kids. But there's. There's that flow state that you can get into on the bicycle that is, you know, people talk about runners high. I've never really had that. I don't think I can run long enough to get to that head space, but on the bicycle, there's just a place where everything is just in sync and the it's. I just feel very connected to everything, but not overwhelmed by it. If that makes sense. [00:02:13] Craig: yeah. You know, I was up in lake Tahoe last weekend and did a bunch of standup paddle boarding. I got some good recommendations from people on the ridership as to where I should explore to ride. And I had a bike, but honestly I just left it on the patio because I, it was just enjoying the lake so much. And to your point, like with standup paddle boarding, I found, you know, I just have to focus on the balance piece. So I, I, it sort. Took me to that same place. I just got in the rhythm of stroking on either side of the standup paddle board and, and being focused on the physicality of it. And, and the moment that I was experiencing, which, which I also really enjoyed. [00:02:49] Randall: Yeah, standup paddleboards are great. I actually like them. I use them occasionally standing up, but having them as like your own little floating island in the middle of a lake or a pond you know, you can have two adults. I've had, you know, another adult and a, a toddler on one. And so one adult is in the water swimming and the toddler is kind of jumping on and off and, and it's, it's just so much fun. Yeah, [00:03:12] Craig: but you've got, you've got something coming up. That's kind of probably forcing you a little bit to get back on the bike. Right. [00:03:17] Randall: Well, so, well, one I'm wanting to start coordinating more group rides. We've talked about this quite a bit and just life has gotten in the way you know, the logo launch and some things in, in my personal life and so on. So there's that the O positive festival. In Kingston, New York is coming up. That's the seventh through the 9th of October and community member, Joe conk in the ridership. He is the founder of that festival. And once again, we're gonna be coordinating a gravel ride. Together with a road ride and a a mural tour ride, which will be through the, the city of Kingston and is very family friendly. As part of that weekend, I believe it's gonna be on the eighth. So we'll be posting more information about that in the ridership and would love to have people come out and join. [00:04:00] Craig: That's super cool. I remember you talking about the festival last year and some of the riding that you've done with Joe up there. So that sounds awesome. So for anybody on the east coast, that's within range of that, we're able to travel, as Randall said, it'll definitely put some notes out there. Maybe we can talk about it again, more specifically when you lock down the details. [00:04:17] Randall: Yeah, we're, we're finalizing the route right now and we'll create a page for the event. So if you're interested in staying in touch, we'll definitely announce it here on the pod. I might even bring Joe on for a few minutes to share some more details, but the festival itself, it's, it's arts, it's music, it's community, it's great food and just a wonderful vibe right outside the Catskills and the riding out there is great. I've done quite a bit of riding out there with him and others. So if you're in that area, definitely come out and join us. We'd love to see you. The, the event is it'll be, the ride will be you know, we may ask like for a recommended donation, which doesn't have to be provided, and that goes towards the artist community in Kingston. And then, you know, there'll also be an option to get a wristband for the entire festival too. So. So, yeah. And if you wanna be participate in the conversation, definitely join the the Hudson valley channel in the ridership. That's where, where we'll be talking about this [00:05:07] Craig: Cool. I similarly am trying to get my act together. Cause I signed up to support the Marin county bike coalition and the NorCal NACA league for the eventual adventure revival ride. I think it started three, maybe four years ago. They did had one year that was virtual during the pandemic, but I missed last year cause it sold out. So I was sure to get on it this year. And it's a great route starting out of Fairfax, California. So super fun route , very technical it's only 60 miles, but it's got a decent amount of climbing, particularly up the aply named Randall trail. Off of highway one is a, is a grind at the end. And then you're coming across Fairfax BOS Ridge, but it's a lot of fun. And I believe I saw that Rebecca Rush is joining. [00:05:51] Randall: oh, great. [00:05:52] Craig: So that's gonna be cool. She's so nice. Former podcast guest couldn't have been more friendly when I've connected with her and subsequent times when I've ran into her, it's been awesome. So looking forward to seeing her again. [00:06:04] Randall: I got to meet her at a dinner hosted around sea Oder some years back. And yeah, she's, she's a rad woman. And a great rider. Very, very cool. Is it the same route as the original cause I did the original one some years back living in the bay. [00:06:18] Craig: Yeah, I don't, I don't think they've changed anything. I mean, I'll tell you after the 17th, but I I'm pretty sure it's the same route [00:06:24] Randall: Well, if anyone's considering doing this run higher volume tires and have a properly low gear, cuz you will want both and maybe a suspension stem. [00:06:34] Craig: and maybe a suspension for Randall. [00:06:36] Randall: Yeah. And maybe a suspension fork sacrilegious. But yeah. [00:06:39] Craig: No. Yeah, no, it's a great route and, and totally perfect recommendations Randall, cuz it's, it's, it's technical. It'll push your limits. I mean, I loved it. I just thought it was like one of those roots that favored adventure, like the name, the name is perfect, cuz you're just out there on the mountain. They're carving the route through rugged terrain, you know, basic fire roads and just this awesome part of the north side of Marin. [00:07:06] Randall: I mean, it's the location where mountain biking got ITSs start. And frankly, the gravel bikes that we ride are far superior mountain bikes than they were riding back in those days. So [00:07:14] Craig: Yeah, a hundred percent. I think I recently was at the, at the, the museum up in Fairfax, the mountain Mike museum, and looking at a clunker. And I was just [00:07:23] Randall: Mm-hmm [00:07:24] Craig: I can't even imagine with a kickback break, how they even survived going down Mount. [00:07:29] Randall: well, they had to rebuild those hubs pretty much. Every run is my understanding. So. [00:07:34] Craig: he hence the name repack downhill. [00:07:38] Randall: Yeah. I've ridden with a few of the, the OGs of the mountain biking scene and it, it wasn't the good old days. We definitely have it better now speak speaking of which we have a new bike to nerd about. [00:07:49] Craig: Yeah, not may not maybe a bike that I would take on adventure revival per se, but a very interesting bike for people to take a look at it. It's the BMC now, how do we decide that? It would say pronounce it [00:08:02] Randall: CAS say it with confidence. It's gotta be KIS, maybe [00:08:05] Craig: Kay. [00:08:06] Randall: Ks. Yeah. Something like that. [00:08:08] Craig: Super racey bike, actually, what I would've thought that BMC would've introduced to begin with kind of in the vein of the Cervelo ESP Sparrow, this bike looks, I mean, this bike could have been a road bike. When, when you see a picture of it. [00:08:23] Randall: It's stunning. I love they, there's some unique design elements on the top tube that are very BMC. I like how the, you know, the chains, the seat stays are perfectly paralleled with the down tube and it's just a very elegant bike. The, the paint schemes, particularly on that top end model are quite striking and definitely a gravel race bike. And in fact, I would say a dedicated gravel race bike, which is a little bit different than that as Sparrow. [00:08:48] Craig: Yeah. Yeah. I mean it's seven dedicated 700 C. But it still manages a fairly tight change stay and fairly good tire clearance. I mean, 700 by 45 is nothing to sneeze. [00:09:00] Randall: Yeah, especially in such a, a, you know, a tight change stay. And it's, it's optimized for that. It has 80 milli BB drop, which is to say like the bottom bracket drop relative of relative to the axles. And that's quite a bit, so anyone running longer cranks is. Going to have say like a pedal strike issue. If they try to run smaller tires, which is why I say, like, it's not quite like the Aspero, the Aspero is much more of a one bike. Like you could use it as a dedicated road bike as well. And it would be great for that sounds like bikes like that or ours, or you know, the, the open up that I always call out. So this is. The the bottom bracket drop the fact that it's a, a longer top tube, so longer reach relative to the stack, just make it a bike that is very much optimized for bigger 700 seat tires, shorter stems. And all of this works really well. Well, offroad, but kind of takes away from its versatility as a, as a road bike which [00:09:56] Craig: I also, [00:09:57] Randall: for what it's designed for. [00:09:58] Craig: yeah, I mean, it's very intentional, right. I also saw that they speck like a fairly narrow handle bar on there with a wide flare. So like keeping again, keeping that body tight in that race, race position. Yeah. [00:10:12] Randall: Yeah. Which I, I'm not sure how much I like that. I think it makes a ton of sense on the road. But I, I feel like often, well, we'll, we'll see I think there's, I think there's a place for it. I would probably want if I was gonna go so narrow, I'd probably wanna do a compound flare in order to get even more flare in the drops without having the hoods super kicked out. Because that, you know, that that extra leverage in the drops is, is nice to have, and it's kind of, but, you know, interesting to see some some difference of perspective there, [00:10:43] Craig: Yeah, let me be clear. Like I would be terrified to ride. I think it was a 37 millimeter bar hood to hood. I would be terrified to ride that. I mean, that just seems really tight. I have heard of some of the pros kind of going super narrow and maybe on a, a non-technical course, like a S B T gravel, or if you live in a part of the country where it's, you know, you're just basically on dirt roads that might, that might work. But yeah, for me, I think I'd be terrifi. [00:11:10] Randall: I think that there's a, a place for this. And you, you see it on, on the road. You've seen some road pros go towards more narrow up top and it does improve arrow. And there a lot of gravel races are not that technical. And so that arrow benefit is meaningful. I just think that there's a little bit more evolution to happen in terms of one getting even more arrow on those narrower hoods. So maybe like something to support the forearm a little bit. So you can be grabbing the, the top of the, of the hoods, but, and, and have your your forearms perpendicular the ground at parallel the ground in your upper arm perpendicular. So you really get that arrow benefit, but then, you know, again, compound flare to get that, maintain that extra leverage in the drops when you need it. Nonetheless we're we're getting into deep handlebar nuance here. Let's let's back out and look at the rest of this machine. [00:11:56] Craig: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I do think it's, it is just sort of interesting as you pointed out, like this is for a very specific rider and it's pretty natural. Companies are gonna continue to evolve around speed and ultra performance for one side of the market, not the side of the market, that's gonna attract me per se, but as more and more dollars going into racing and more and more people are looking for super high performance, like it's natural that bike companies are gonna do this type of thing. [00:12:24] Randall: There's also an element of like, you know, the bike industry likes N plus one. And so this is distinct enough from a, a road bike where you would have your road bike and, and this bike and the type of person who has this bike probably has multiple bikes. I mean, it is a dedicated race bike so that, you know, it makes sense. [00:12:46] Craig: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. You pointed out a few other interesting things about the design as well. [00:12:50] Randall: Yeah, so I like, I like how they did the inter I'm not a huge fan of integrated cabling through handlebars and stems. And I like how it seems that they kept the, the cabling external to the handlebar and then ran it underneath that new rock shop. That new shock stop stem. I think they're calling it some something different. They, they built it in using RedShift's suspension, stem tech. And so it stays external until it drops into the upper headset bear. So that could be a lot worse in terms of serviceability and adjustability and so on. The top end model is a one piece HBAR and stem that has fully internal routing looks stunning, looks really, really beautiful but an absolute nightmare to set up and service. And I wouldn't recommend going that route on any sort of bike period, because even a pro rider needs to be able to get their fit adjusted properly. [00:13:45] Craig: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you and I share the same opinion on like, on elements of bike design that make it constrained from modification, easy modification. So yeah, I'm I'm with you on that. It absolutely looks gorgeous, but knowing me, like, I think I'd be frustrated at the limitations of it. [00:14:03] Randall: yeah, yeah. But kudos to them on the keeping the, the cabling outside the bars on the Lower end models, which I say lower end, they start at six grand, which is another thing about this bike, which is on trend. Everything is so expensive. It's remarkable. How expensive bikes are these days? [00:14:19] Craig: Yeah, we gotta, we got a question about that in the, in the ridership, right? Just sort of, why are bikes so expensive and it's yeah, I don't know. You know, when you look at a $10,000 bike or $6,000 bike, it's just that's. I mean, that's a hell of a lot of money. Yeah. [00:14:33] Randall: I mean, there's, I think there's a few things that go into that. So this was we, we put out some, you know, we asked the, the ridership community for some questions in comments. So this was Matthew Kramer chiming in, you know, asking about why bikes have gotten so expensive. I think a, a big part of it. I mean, of course there's inflation, right? And one of the major drivers of inflation in recent years are COVID related supply chain constraints. Right. So it's harder to get, it's hard to get parts and it's hard to get complete bikes, which means there's, you know, Up until recently. And there was a flood of, of like stimulus money for example, into the market. So you had all these dollars chasing less available product. And so by companies focused on the higher end, I mean, we did the same thing. We, we, you know, we actually kind of regret having eliminated the mechanical model cuz but it was because we couldn't get parts and we went with all access, which is really great, but puts it at a, a more premium point. But. [00:15:27] Craig: you're layering. You're layering in increased fuel costs for transportation. There's a lot of things that have gone into it. [00:15:34] Randall: Yeah, that is a factor. But I, I don't think that that's a major driver for this. I think it's more well, honestly, a, a significant part of it is people are paying it. Right. And there's some R and D that goes in here, like the, you know, this, some of these bikes that you see coming out. On the really high end, you know, the volumes are not that great. And so that R and D has to be incorporated somewhere and with bike companies focusing on the higher end, cuz that's where the bigger margins and dollars are and riders having limited options in the more affordable end of the market, because that's not where bike companies are focusing. I mean, I think it's, it's kind of like the automotive industry right now where, you know, I bought, I bought a used Prius for like seven grand and I've put a bunch of miles into it and like, Like scrape the bumper and things like that. And I could probably sell it for 11 [00:16:24] Craig: Right. [00:16:25] Randall: like, you, you just see that in a number of different domains. And I think the B the, the bike space is no different. But you do get bikes are improving in incremental ways. But I, I, it has been a pretty radical shift towards the top of the market. It's is hard to find middle end products that is frankly, just as good in many ways. [00:16:45] Craig: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you hope over time. We know historically it does trickle down and there's, I mean, don't get us wrong. I, I think there's a lot of good entry level bikes out there. It's just getting your hands on one and finding one today is a challenge. [00:16:59] Randall: When supply chains go from 30 to 60 day lead times to, you know, at one point you know, there were like, you have very limited options for your levers and, and Dils and so on. Right. We have a duopoly in our industry, you know, and can't be is now, you know, they have a, a good product a competitive product in gravel now with their 13 speed stuff ECAR groups. But you know, that stuff was like one to two years. So when that's the case, you know, if you have a limited buy, where are you gonna focus? You're gonna focus on the higher end and that's that? I think that's part of it too. [00:17:32] Craig: Yeah, that makes sense. And I also remember you mentioning on an earlier podcast, just the amount of commitment level the component manufacturers are expecting from you. So, you know, in order to get a, a seat at the table, maybe you have to buy 50 of something, which as a small builder, you know, that could, that's a, that's a lot of dollars out of pocket. [00:17:50] Randall: Well, and the, the smaller builders generally are like, if you're a domestic builder and you're assembling domestically, it's a different supply. You're paying, you're paying more from say like STR for their domestic distributor versus the, you know, their Taiwan based distributor, just because they're manufacturing a lot of that stuff in Taiwan. But yeah, there were greater constraints. Sometimes you had to put a deposit up front and, you know, you put a deposit on something that is not going to, you're not gonna have for a year and you can't get that deposit back. So the, the risks associated with, you know, well, is something else new gonna come out or what's the market gonna look like in a year? So there's, there's all these you know, it, it really drives home, just re how remarkable it was prior to the pandemic that supply chains worked so well. I mean, truly it is a miracle of a whole lot of very complex decentralized coordination that, you know, any of this works at all. As a supply chain nerd, it's, it's something that, that is, is is not lost on me. And yeah, even the current circumstance, it's still pretty amazing what humans do. [00:18:52] Craig: Yeah. [00:18:53] Randall: All right. So where do we want to go from here? [00:18:55] Craig: Yeah. I mean, one thing I did did I thought was interesting that you pointed out about that BMC is that they do have an integrated suspension stem offering from that they've worked with, it sounds like Redshift on [00:19:05] Randall: Yep. [00:19:06] Craig: yeah. [00:19:07] Randall: I thought that was well executed. One downside I believe is that you can't flip the stem and with that beat bike being relatively long and, and on the lower side, like, you know, it's a race bike you know, it's, again, you have more constrained fitment options. I think the standard shock stop, then you can run in the up upward pointing direction. [00:19:28] Craig: Yeah, you can. I think what's interesting to point out there though. So if this in BMCs designer's mind, this is a flat out thoroughbred race, bike. To have that be an option suggests that designers are coming around to the fact that suspension and suppleness can, can be a performance benefit, like put putting, I mean, you and I have talked about that and obviously I'm sold on it, but it just struck me as like this incredibly arrow stretched out race bike is offering that they must have determined that this is gonna help people win races. [00:20:02] Randall: Yeah. Yeah. Fatigue and control it's material. And they've also done a few things with the frame design, which you see on other bikes like the really the, the seat tube towards the bottom gets really narrow. It gets really thin. So it has a lot more flex built in you saw that with bikes, like, you know, the GT grade is, is kind of an extreme example of that, but compliance is, is a great thing. That's the reason why we have one of the reasons we have such wide rims now, too. And what's so great about, you know, high volume, supple tubus tires, you know, it, it all, it all improves speed as a system. [00:20:35] Craig: Yeah. I mentioned this when I had someone from BMC on talking about the S and the S LT. I have a, I have a hard tail BMC, 20 Niner mountain bike from back in the day, like at least a decade ago. And I remember getting on that bike, I came off of a, a similar Niner. Coming to that bike, the back end definitely had a supplement to it. It had that, that exact drop stay design that you're kind of talking about and it really worked. And I was super impressed. I remember when I got on that bike, it just felt so fast and I could control it so well. [00:21:10] Randall: Yeah, well, I had you know, you probably heard the conversation I had on the pod with Craig Cal talking about suspension on road bikes and whether or not you fully agree with that thesis. I think it's, I think it's fairly compelling. Definitely higher volume tires. Like I don't see, even, even in Marin, I would be running minimum 28 mill tub plus tires. Nice low pressures on wide rims. There's no reason to run narrower than that. And you see a lot of the new arrow wheel options for road being built to a width where you can actually get an arrow benefit with those tires, you know, adhering to the rule of one oh 5%, which we had talked about in the wheel episode. So, so yeah, all of these things are, are good developments. [00:21:53] Craig: Yeah. You know, speaking of good developments, I managed actually to hook up with Matt Harvey from Enduro Barings, they did a ride. Out of Fairfax, California, a few weeks back. And I, I joined probably 50 people up there, Yuri, Oswald and other podcast guests was on there. And I think a couple others, I, I think I counted four old podcast guests on that ride, which was great, but a hell of a lot of fun. You had some conversation, some great conversation with him about Enduro Barings, which I hope people will go back in reference. But I think there was a question or a comment about from the ridership about. [00:22:27] Randall: Yeah. So, you know, one of the things that we covered in that episode, which I had so much fun with Matt he's just has a wealth of knowledge about the bicycle industry. He's an engineer, an engineering mindset clearly cares a lot about what he does. And you know, talking about the merits or lack thereof of a lot of ceramic bearings and long story short, most ceramic bearings. Rubbish, the ones that are of those that are good, the majority of them require a lot more maintenance to stay. And the, and the benefit is pretty trivial. And then there's this XD 15 bearing that Enduro makes. And I'm sure, you know, others probably have some, some equivalent, but I haven't looked into it, but that I find really interesting. And this is an Aeros, you know, a, I think a French aerospace alloy used for steel alloy used for the races. And then they have these high, very high grade ceramic ball. And because of this particular steel, which is very expensive and they have to buy it they don't, they can't buy it in tube form. They have to, you know, buy it in sheets and, and take it from there, I believe. But because of the unique properties of this material You can get you can use ceramic bearings and if it gets any contamination, essentially the contamination gets like pulverized and kicked out as opposed to pitting and, and starting to, to damage the the metal, because in many cases, the ceramic bearings, that metal is a lot less hard than the bearing itself. And thus, as a consequence, it's the thing to give. We go into a lot more detail in that episode, but yeah, Hans, I'm gonna, I might butcher this. So, bear with me here. Lale I'm guessing L E L L E I L I D he, he brought up this article that James Wong, why admire immensely? He's at cycling tips now wrote about an Enduro bottom bracket with this XD 15 bearing set. And what James said was incredibly low friction feel phenomenal toughness. We did everything we could to kill it, but this thing is simply incredible. And like that is coming from someone like James Wong. It makes me really think, okay, this is something that we're gonna still do a little bit more investigation and Matt's gonna be sending us some data, but we'll probably, we're strongly considering this in incorporating these into a, a higher end version of our, the logos wheels in the. [00:24:36] Craig: Got it. Nice. Yeah. I mean, I had enough smart people tell me that that was the way to go and happy that I've got that in my bottom bracket of my, my unicorn. That I've started riding. [00:24:47] Randall: Oh, it's an XD 15. [00:24:49] Craig: Yeah, I believe so. [00:24:49] Randall: Oh, sweet. Yeah. Yeah. Genuine benefits that you don't have to spend a lot of time servicing. In fact, the service, it should essentially be zero service. That's pretty cool. [00:25:00] Craig: that's what I'm looking for. [00:25:02] Randall: Not cheap though. Not cheap. So everyone else, high quality steel bearings. [00:25:07] Craig: Yeah. And I think Hans was also leading the conversation around just kind of, like flared bars, flat pedals, different kinds of like, you know, We're just out there for enjoying the ride kind of features of a bike or ways in which you could set up a bike. [00:25:22] Randall: Yeah. I mean, I think flare borrows are de rigor. I. Would run flared bars on every drop bar bike, including a pure road performance bike, just with a, maybe a different philosophy on my road bike, I'd go super narrow and get the flares to have more control in the drops for aerodynamics. But flare is here to stay. You see levers being designed with a little bit of flare. So with flare in mind and you know, any sort of, you know, is there an arrow cost? I have no idea. I, I don't think so. As long as the lever is aligned with. The bar behind it, it should sit in its wake, but if, even if there was the control benefits more than outweigh it. [00:25:58] Craig: Yeah. I think that co that the arrow part might come into play on the trend towards super wide bars. And as the, as you know, I've played around with that, I mean, I've got, I think I've. A 48 on one of my bikes and my fitter kind of brought me back to a 44. I, I do miss kind of the offroad control the way to rip the bike around that I got out of the wider bars, but I'm, I'm fairly comfortable at 44 as well. So I, I think I just need to play around with the flare on the bar that I'm running right now. And then it will be the right, right mix for. [00:26:37] Randall: Well, we've talked about in the the, in the ridership that we're thinking about developing a bar that has a compound flare. So you can get, say like eight degrees on the hoods and then 16 to 20 in the drop. So you kind of get the best of both worlds in that you still get that. You know, that roady fit up top, but then the extra control the, the first bar to do this, I believe was the three T a GI. And, and I don't even know if I'm pronouncing that right. We've talked about it on the pod [00:27:02] Craig: Yeah. And I think there was the other one that was like the Whis whiskey components has something similar [00:27:07] Randall: also does a compound. Yeah, I think compound flare makes a ton of sense for, for all of these bikes. [00:27:15] Craig: I wish it wasn't so costly. And you, you didn't have to sort of go all in to create a bar, like cuz you can't 3d print, something like this, right? [00:27:23] Randall: no, but it, it would be easy enough for somebody to create, say a, a high quality aluminum version. It's just another bending process plus testing regime to make sure that it, you know, it doesn't, it doesn't break on you. [00:27:38] Craig: yeah. I'm gonna keep exploring that. I'm I'm not sort of locked and loaded on my handlebar and stem right now. Still just wanted to make sure that the bike was fitting me correctly. And I feel like I've got enough inputs to figure out which way I wanna go with any one of the cockpit components. [00:27:55] Randall: Well, depending on your, what your timeframe is, I may have a prototype for you in time, so let's [00:28:00] Craig: All right. Many, many reasons why you're a good friend Randall and that's just one of 'em [00:28:04] Randall: you know, a guy, you know, a guy who can get you stuff. [00:28:07] Craig: yeah. [00:28:09] Randall: Tom SHEEO was asking about suspension seat posts. What's your take here? [00:28:14] Craig: I I'm a yes. So, I mean, I've been running on the thesis. I have a, a, a P N w coast dropper that has both a drop and a suspension, and I found that it's air tuned. So. Very tuneable very predictable. And I came to the conclusion, like anytime it moved, when my first inclination was like, oh crap, I'm losing performance. Anytime it moved, I wasn't in a fluid pedal stroke. Like I had hit something unexpectedly and it was just saving me. Similarly, although I think it's less active rock shock on the wireless. Their wireless dropper post does have what they call active ride. And I'm probably not tuned correctly on it right now. Cause I don't feel a lot of movement. The big difference between the two is on the PWC PMC. What am I saying here? Pacific PM. Yes. That one moves when you're fully extended. So it doesn't matter whether you're dropped or not. Like it it'll move. If the amount of pressure applied to it from your, your backside is, is forcing it to move. Whereas the rock shock post, it has to be lowered a little bit. So if you're in the full position, you're who locked out. It's only active when you're down a little [00:29:30] Randall: I wonder if that's a design constraint, because meaning something inherent in how they architected it as a dropper post, because from a product standpoint, that's exactly the opposite of what I would want. [00:29:41] Craig: I'm kind of with you and, and I, you know, in talking to rock shock, they did say some of their riders will actually set it up a little bit high so that they can basically constantly ride it with it on. [00:29:53] Randall: Yeah. I think that makes sense, especially adjustability. So to, to answer Tom's question, I think we both agree that suspension has its merits. I would definitely get a dropper first though. I like the best suspension you have is your arms and legs. And the, the float between your body and the bike. That's, that's my strong opinion. And from there you have pneumatic suspension from the tires you can do, you know, a slightly cushier saddle, like, you know, you can have some, some compliance in the frame. There's a whole bunch of things you do before you do a suspension seat, post primary amongst those being a dropper. [00:30:28] Craig: A hundred percent dropper. Number one, upgrade for gravel bikes, period. You'll never go. I don't know if I've ever met anybody who went back. Honestly, once they had a dropper. [00:30:37] Randall: Yeah, I mean, I occasionally talk to people, looking at our bikes who are like, oh, well, you know, can I swap in a rigid post? And I was like, well, if that's what you wanna do, get the, you know, the access wireless droppers are really expensive and they're heavy. But you could have a saddle on one of those and, and, you know, a standard post and swap it in, in and out with a single bolt. So that that's an option. [00:30:58] Craig: I've got that set up now. And I will tell, I will tell you, I will tell our friends in the community if I ever swap it. [00:31:05] Randall: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, [00:31:07] Craig: I don't think, I don't think I will, but [00:31:09] Randall: yeah. I can see on a city bike or like a burning man rig not having a dropper. That's that's about it. that's a whole, that's a whole separate conversation though. [00:31:18] Craig: I will argue with you on the city bike, but anyway, you still wanna drop her on the city bike? [00:31:22] Randall: Let's see. Luke Lopez and Larry Rose were commenting about non-competitive gravel setups, you know, alternative handlebars, flat pedals bags, and fun rides, and so on. Inspired by our friends over at pathless pedals who very much do a lot to create content around the non-competitive side of cycling. So what are your [00:31:41] Craig: Yeah. I mean, I think whether or not you set your bike up in a specific way to go out and have this non-competitive experience, or it's just a mindset. I think we're aligned in that gravel, gravel is for everyone. Right. And whatever your jam is going fast, going slow. Just getting out there is important. I mean, for me, I often change my clothing. [00:32:04] Randall: Mm-hmm [00:32:05] Craig: When I'm out there for just a fun ride, like, like I've got some, some, you know, great baggies that I can wear and different things. And it's definitely a different mindset rolling out the door. Not that I'm out there hammering on a general basis, but it's definitely a different mindset when I'm just out there to stop and smell the roses. [00:32:21] Randall: Yeah. Yeah. And I, I appreciate that mindset, but I still vastly prefer Lyra and, and being clipped in and, and, you know, and so on. [00:32:35] Craig: And I've got a, I've got a mountain bike. So like having a flat bar on a gravel bike, like I I've had that set up on an old cross bike. I loved it. Super fun, nimble, but for me, like if I'm gonna go flat bar right now, it's definitely gonna be more on a mountain bike than a, a traditional gravel bike setup. [00:32:52] Randall: But at the same time, you see, I can't recall if it was Luke, but you see folks with like an old Bridgestone mountain bike that they've converted into, you know, a flat bar or a drop bar, gravel bike. And it's, you know, they got a, you know, a handlebar bag on there and it's much more of like a let's go out and get lost and have an adventure, maybe do coffee outside or things like this party pace as you know, as Russ likes to say over. You know, PLP. [00:33:18] Craig: Yeah. If you've got a quiver by all means like, I, I love all bikes and I'm one who appreciates the nuances between them. So, you know, I just don't have a garage big enough for all these things. [00:33:28] Randall: yeah, yeah, no, I, I like I like the, I like being able in the middle of a ride to decide that I feel like throwing down a little bit. Sometimes I get that, that little jolt of energy less. Now that I'm 40, I suppose, but, but still [00:33:41] Craig: I I've seen you have those jolts Randall. I know it's there. [00:33:45] Randall: Let's see, what else? Oh, Matthew Kramer turned me on to something that I thought was really cool in the ridership, which was E 13. Now has a 12 speed, 9 45 cassette that is compatible with standard 12 speed chains. So you don't need that funky flat top chain. That's fair. Still, you know, pretty proprietary to Ram in order to run a tighter cluster. [00:34:07] Craig: So is that, is that 12 speed cassette from shrimp? Something you have to run on their product. [00:34:15] Randall: So the way that SW has set it up, they have migrated all their road. And then now they're dedicated gravel drive trains to this 12 speed flat top chain which is, you know, it, it has a slight benefit in terms of like, You, you get the same cross sectional area of the side plates with a thinner side plate so they can make the chain a little bit thinner. And that helps with the, the already very tight spacing of those cogs and like, but also makes it so that it's something proprietary. And so they've been expanding that I, I suspect that you'll see it on their mountain bike groups soon enough. And, you know, I really like to adopt, you know, proven open standards and non-pro proprietary stuff whenever possible. And the fact is that standard 12 speed works really well and nobody was making a tighter cluster for Eagle, like, you know, or for, for like, you know, a mullet set up where you have. A mountain bike rear derailer, but maybe you want a little bit tighter cluster a little bit tighter cassette for your road or your, your certain gravel applications. [00:35:17] Craig: when you talk about tighter cassette. I remember seeing this pop up and I was like 9 45. Okay. Why do I really care? Talk about the tighter cluster? Cause I think that's an important maybe nuance beyond just like, oh, you got a 45 and a nine. [00:35:30] Randall: Yeah. So the, the biggest knock that people have against one by drive trains is the jumps between cogs. Right. And yeah, I get it. A lot of this can be mitigated by proportional, crank length, and by having a proper bike fit. Because it allows you to spin at a wider range of cadences without, you know, while still maintaining a smooth pedal stroke. And I've, I've been fine with my setups. This 9 45 is it's the same as a, a 10 speed, 1138. Which is, you know, a, a larger road cassette from, from a few years ago. And it just adds a, a taller cog and a bigger cog you know, on that same cassette. And so you get, you know, jumps that I think are probably tight enough for the vast majority of roadies to say like, okay, well, if I had any concerns about jumps, now those are mitigated some. Want it to be like one tooth jumps between cogs and you know, okay. Go ride your road bike. That that's fine. But but yeah, I like, I like to see this. I was actually considering having us develop something if someone else didn't. So I'm glad to see this in the market, I think is a real gap for it. [00:36:35] Craig: Yeah, it's interesting. I wonder why, like SHA doesn't go to a nine cause you think like, I understand why smaller companies kind of pop up and they see an opportunity like this gap, but E thirteen's been doing this kind of thing for a while. [00:36:49] Randall: The nine tooth is so it it's gonna wear all else equal same material and everything it's gonna wear itself and the chain more quickly than a 10 tooth or an 11 tooth. Right. And so the, the entire philosophy of the drivetrain changes with a nine tooth in that. You know, I like to think of the nine tooth as an overdrive gear, plus the jump between the nine and the 11 is significant. Right? So if you're spending a lot of time at the top end of the range, you know, you might not love that, but for me, you pair it with a 42 chain ring and that 42 9. With a, you know, a, a 700 by 28 or 700 by 30 tire is the equivalent of, of a road bike with, you know, 51 11, which is to say, you have plenty of top end. You're not gonna spin out all the time on, on a high speed descent, but it's not all that often that I'm descending at those sorts of speeds. And so that jump from the 11 to the nine is not a problem for me on that end of the cassette. And so in turn, when you have that nine tooth that also informs the chain ring that you pair. Because you, you know, you kind of need to set your chain ring based on how you wanna calibrate that range that the cassette has. So yeah, I'm not surprised that Ram didn't go that didn't go that route. But I do think it makes a ton of sense and I love one by drive trains and I'm all about one bikes as well with one by drive trains. And so the nine two really facilitates that. [00:38:08] Craig: Yeah. Yeah. Super interesting. And Eli Bingham who often chimes in, in the ridership about some real technical stuff and tends to explore a lot of components. He had a kind of note on this didn't. [00:38:18] Randall: Yeah. So, one thing you gotta make sure, because of, and again, this gets into like proprietary standards and so on. So like the free hub, the XD XDR free hub standard that this cassette is compatible with is a proprietary standard that you know, Sam made it. So any. It's really easy for a wheel company to create a wheel with a free hub that, that uses the, you know, XD XDR. But they patented every possible way. They could think of, of attaching a cassette to that so that only they could produce the cassettes. And so E 13 has a came up with a really clever solution, but it requires like a cinch bolt. That clamps around the free hub body. And if that comes loose, it can affect the shifting. So that's kind of like the one issue that these can have. I've never had that issue with E 13 cassettes and I've run them exclusively for several years now. But it's just something to keep in mind. I find that they shift shift really excellent and they're light and they hold up well, cause they're, you know, most of the cogs or steel. [00:39:11] Craig: Right. Yeah, right on. And then I think we should end with, I think, which, which was one of my favorite questions coming out of the ridership from our friend, Silas, pat love is the pursuit of a quiet bike without creeks, an achievable goal or a pipe dream. [00:39:27] Randall: , it depends on what you're starting with. Unfortunately. I think in general I mean, this should AF absolutely be the standard. It, there's no reason why things should be rattling around. And you know, there are ways to get around it. So there, you know, wireless shifting and so on helps. But also like in our case, we run full housing through the frame and then we put it in a, we put it in a foam sleeve and we do that with. Hydraulic hoses too. And every bite company should be doing that because rattles suck bottom bracket Creek, again, like any bottom bracket will Creek if it gets contaminated. But you know, having a bottom bracket set up that aligns and supports the bearings sufficiently. You know, should eliminate the vast majority of those creeks. Yeah, it, this, this should entirely be possible. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bikes that, mm let's just say that this sort of thing was an afterthought. So it may cost, it may cost some money and require some expertise to chase out the, you know, all those creeks. [00:40:25] Craig: I think that's gotta be the worst task as a bike mechanic to be tasked with is when someone comes in and says, my, my bike is creaking. Help me resolve it. [00:40:34] Randall: Yeah. And, and honestly my experience, it it's a special mechanic. Who's who's really good at. I've had bikes that you know, our, our bikes will have a Creek here and there. And we'll say like, you know, bring it to a mechanic, have them take a look and they can't chase it. And I've actually had an instance where I had the bike shipped to me personally, and I chased it, but I chased it in a way that like, you know, it's I'm trying to remember what it was. Oh, it wasn't even a Creek. It was just that. Axis rear derailer the hanger on the was ever so slightly misaligned. And then the axis derailer was harder. When it's miscalibrated it makes a lot of noise on the cassette and that was the noise. So we're like, they were looking at the bottom bracket, they were looking at the seat post. They were looking at the, the headset interface and, and so on. And unless you have that, like the time and that deductive mindset and some experience of like, what things sound like, it's really hard to, to chase. So if you have a mechanic, who's a good chaser. That that's that's someone who really knows their stuff and [00:41:39] Craig: Yeah. A hundred percent. Yeah, my, my go to, I mean, as a non methodical bad mechanic, definitely like I clean my bike when a Creek arrives and that usually, like, it's say 85% of the time solves the problem. And then if, if I need to go further, it's about. You know, greasing things, making sure, just kind of being a little more I inspect of, of what's going on. I I've generally been pretty lucky that I haven't had creeks that I weren't, that I wasn't clear on how to resolve. [00:42:10] Randall: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I'd like to end with a with something that I'm excited about, which is I haven't nailed it down yet, but I had pinged you about coming out west for a bit. And so once those dates are locked down you know, getting a big group ride in the bay area and potentially in a couple other parts of the us. Something I'm super excited about and to meet some of the riders that are in the forum and that are, are regular listeners and so on. So more on that as we approach. But that would probably be Denver, Boulder, maybe San Diego, and then definitely the bay area. [00:42:40] Craig: That's super exciting. I feel like, you know, before the pandemic we had kicked off some really amazing group rides and [00:42:47] Randall: I miss it. [00:42:48] Craig: you. Yeah. And you and I have been longing for, we've had a lot going on to not kind of be putting that out there ourselves personally, but I think it's, it's a great time to do that and hopefully we can get some knocked out by the end of the year and super excited to see you when you're in the bay area. [00:43:04] Randall: Likewise. It's been too long. [00:43:06] Craig: We're good to catch up. My friend, [00:43:08] Randall: Likewise. All right, my friend. [00:43:09] Craig: take, take care. [00:43:10] Randall: See it. [00:43:11] Craig Dalton: That's going to do it for this week's edition of in the dirt. From the gravel ride pod cast How's a bit of a postscript. I did attend the adventure revival ride up in Marine county, out of Fairfax this past weekend. Quite a lovely event, benefiting Nika. The course is amazing and difficult as I imagined and remembered from the last time I did it such a great route put together by the Marine county bike coalition. Super challenging on a gravel bike. I remember thinking about halfway through. Wow. I'm about halfway through feeling quite beat up. And I was riding my unicorn with a front suspension fork on it. I certainly saw a number of riders out there on mountain bikes, which would not have been a bad choice. Anyway, phenomenal event, definitely something to have on your radar, down the line. If you're interested in connecting with myself or Randall, please join the ridership. Simply visit www.theridership.com. That's a free online, global cycling community where you can connect and discuss gravel, cycling with athletes from all over the world. If you're interested in supporting the podcast, please visit buy me a coffee.com/the gravel ride. And remember, ratings and reviews are always hugely appreciated. Until next time. Here's to finding some dirt onto your wheels

The Valmy
Austin Vernon - Energy Superabundance, Starship Missiles, & Finding Alpha

The Valmy

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2022 144:32


Podcast: The Lunar Society (LS 30 · TOP 5% )Episode: Austin Vernon - Energy Superabundance, Starship Missiles, & Finding AlphaRelease date: 2022-09-08Austin Vernon is an engineer working on a new method for carbon capture, and he has one of the most interesting blogs on the internet, where he writes about engineering, software, economics, and investing.We discuss how energy superabundance will change the world, how Starship can be turned into a kinetic weapon, why nuclear is overrated, blockchains, batteries, flying cars, finding alpha, & much more!Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here.Subscribe to find out about future episodes!Follow Austin on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.Please share if you enjoyed this episode! Helps out a ton!Timestamps(0:00:00) - Intro(0:01:53) - Starship as a Weapon(0:19:24) - Software Productivity(0:41:40) - Car Manufacturing(0:57:39) - Carbon Capture(1:16:53) - Energy Superabundance(1:25:09) - Storage for Cheap Energy(1:31:25) - Travel in Future(1:33:27) - Future Cities(1:39:58) - Flying Cars(1:43:26) - Carbon Shortage(1:48:03) - Nuclear(2:12:44) - Solar(2:14:44) - Alpha & Efficient Markets(2:22:51) - ConclusionTranscriptIntroDwarkesh Patel (00:00:00):Okay! Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Austin Vernon who writes about engineering, software, economics, and investing on the internet, though not that much else is known about him. So Austin, do you want to give us a bit of info about your background? I know that the only thing the internet knows about you is this one little JPEG that you had to upload with your recent paper. But what about an identity reveal or I guess a little bit of a background reveal? Just to the extent that you're comfortable sharing.Austin Vernon (00:00:29):My degree is in chemical engineering and I've had a lifelong love for engineering as well as things like the Toyota Production System. I've also worked as a chemical engineer in a large processing facility where I've done a lot of petroleum engineering. I taught myself how to write software and now I'm working on more research and the early commercialization of CO2 electrolysis.Dwarkesh Patel (00:00:59):Okay yeah. I'm really interested in talking about all those things. The first question I have is from Alex Berger, who's the co-CEO of Open Philanthropy. When I asked on Twitter what I should ask you, he suggested that I should ask “Why so shady?” Famously you have kind of an anonymous personality, pseudonymous thing going on the internet. What's up with that?Austin Vernon (00:01:25):Yeah. I think he posted a tweet that said “I don't know who this guy is or if he's credible at all, but his stuff sure is interesting”. That really made me laugh. I thought that was hilarious. Fame just doesn't seem necessary, I think I'm fine with my ideas being well known and communicating, but I have less desire to be personally famous.Starship as a WeaponDwarkesh Patel (00:01:52):Gotcha, gotcha. I wanted to start off with a sexy topic, let's talk about using Starship as a kinetic weapon. I thought that was one of the more amusing posts you wrote. Do you want to talk more about how this would be possible?Austin Vernon (00:02:08):Well, I think the main thing with Starship is that you're taking a technology and you're making it about 100 times cheaper for cargo and 1000 times cheaper for people. When things like that happen that drastically, you're just looking at huge changes and it's really hard to anticipate what some of those can be when the change is that drastic. I think there's a lot of moon-based, Mars-based stuff that doesn't really catch the general public's eye. They also have trouble imagining some of the point-to-point travel that could be possible. But when you start talking about it as a weapon, then I think it lets people know they should be paying attention to this technology. And we certainly do not want to be second or third getting it. We should make sure that we're going to be first.Dwarkesh Patel (00:03:05):Yeah. I think you mentioned this in the post, but as recently as the '90s, the cost of sending one kilogram to space was around $20,000. More recently, SpaceX has brought it to $2,000. Lots of interesting questions pop up when you ask, “What will be possible once we get it down to $200 per kilogram to send into orbit?” One of them could be about how we might manufacture these weapons that are not conventional ballistics. Do you want to talk about why this might be an advancement over conventional ballistic weapons?Austin Vernon (00:03:37):Well, regular conventional ballistic weapons are extremely expensive. This is more like a bomb truck. But usually we think of B52 as the bomb truck and this could be even cheaper than the B52, delivering just mass on target. When you think about how expensive it is to fly a B52 from Barksdale in Louisiana all the way across the world.. you can do it from south Texas or Florida with the Starship and get more emissions per day and the fuel ends up being. When you go orbital, it takes a lot to get to orbit. But then once you're in orbit, your fuel consumption's pretty good. So over long distances, it has a lot of advantage. That's why the point-to-point works for longer distances.Austin Vernon (00:04:27):There's really a sweet spot with these weapons where you want it to be pretty accurate, but you also want it to be cheap. You're seeing that problem with Russia right now as they have some fancy parade style weapons that are really expensive, like multi-billion dollar cruise missiles, but they're missing that $5,000 guided artillery shell or that $20,000 JDM that you can just pit massive. Or the multiple launch rocket system, guided rockets. They're really short on all those because I think they had just had a limited amount of chips they could get from the US into Russia to make these advanced weapons.Austin Vernon (00:05:07):But yeah, so the Starship gives you just a platform to deliver. You could put JDMs in a shroud, or you could just have the iron unguided kinetic projectiles, and it just becomes impossible for a ship to launch missiles to intercept yours if your cost is so low, you can just overwhelm them.Dwarkesh Patel (00:05:29):Okay. There are a few terms there that neither I nor the audience might know. So what is JDM? What is shroud? And why are chips a bottleneck here? Why can't it just be any micro-controller?Austin Vernon (00:05:42):So JDM is Joint Direct Attack Munition. So what we did is we took all our Vietnam surplus bonds and we put this little fin-kit on it and it costs like $20,000, which is cheap for a weapon because the actual bond costs, I don't know, $3,000. And then it turns it into a guided weapon that, before you were probably lucky to get within 500 meters of a target, now you can get it in with two meters. So the number of missions you have to do with your planes and all that goes down by orders of magnitude. So it's an absolutely huge advantage in logistics and in just how much firepower you can put on a target. And we didn't even have to make new bombs, we just put these kits on all our old bombs.Austin Vernon (00:06:33):Let's see.. Yeah the chips are a problem. There's this organization called RUSI. I think they're in the UK, but they've been tearing down all these Russian weapons they found in Ukraine and they all have American chips in them. So technically, they're not supposed to be able to get these chips. And yet, Russia can't make a lot of its own chips. And especially not the specialized kinds you might want for guided weapons. So they've been somehow smuggling in chips from Americans to make their advanced weaponsDwarkesh Patel (00:07:03):What is special about these? As far as I'm aware, the trade with China is still going on and we get a lot of our chips manufactured from Taiwan or China. So why can't they do the same?Austin Vernon (00:07:14):It's the whole integration. It's not just the specific chip, but the board. They're more like PLCs where you almost have wired-in programming and they come with this ability to do the guidance and all that stuff. It all kind of has to work together. I think that's the way I understand it. I don't know. Maybe I don't have a really good answer for that one, but they're hard to replicate is what matters.Dwarkesh Patel (00:07:43):Okay that's interesting. Yeah, I guess that has a lot of interesting downstream effects, because for example, India buys a lot of its weapons from Russia. So if Russia doesn't have access to these, then other countries that buy from Russia won't have access to these either.Dwarkesh Patel (00:07:58):You had an interesting speculation in the post where you suggested that you could just keep these kinetic weapons in orbit, in a sort of Damocles state really, almost literally. That sounds like an incredibly scary and risky scenario where you could have orbital decay and you could have these kinetic weapons falling from the sky and destroying cities. Do you think this is what it will look like or could look like in 10 to 20 years?Austin Vernon (00:08:26):Well, yeah, so the advantage of having weapons on orbit is you can hit targets faster. So if you're launching the rocket from Florida, you're looking at maybe 30 minutes to get there and the target can move away in that time. Whereas if you're on orbit, you can have them spaced out to where you're hitting within a few minutes. So that's the advantage there.Austin Vernon (00:08:46):You really have to have a two stage system I think for most, because if you have a really aerodynamic rod that's going to give you really good performance in the low atmosphere, it'll end up going too fast and just burn up before it gets there. Tungsten's maybe the only thing that you could have that could go all the way through which is why I like the original concept of using these big tungsten rods the size of a telephone pole. But tungsten's pretty expensive. And the rod concept kind of limits what you can do.Austin Vernon (00:09:28):So a lot of these weapons will have, that's what I was talking about with the shroud, something that actually slows you down in the upper atmosphere. And then once you're at the velocity where you're not just going to melt, then you open it up and let it go. So if you actually had it fall from the sky, some may make it to the ground, but a lot would burn up. So a lot of the stuff that makes it to the ground is actually pretty light. It's stuff that can float and has a large surface area. Yeah, that's the whole thing with Starship. Or not Starship, but Starlink. All those satellites are meant to completely fall apart on de-orbit.Dwarkesh Patel (00:10:09):I see. One of the implications of that is that these may be less powerful than we might fear, because since kinetic energy is mass times velocity squared and there's an upper bound on the velocity (velocity being the component that grows the kinetic energy faster), then it suggests that you can upper bound the power these things will have. You know what I mean?Austin Vernon (00:10:32):Yeah, so even the tungsten rods. Sometimes people, they're not very good at physics, so they don't do the math. They think it's going to be a nuclear weapon, but it's really not. I think even the tungsten rod is like 10 tons of T&T or something. It's a big bomb, but it's not a super weapon.Austin Vernon (00:10:54):So I think I said in the post, it's about using advanced missiles where they're almost more defensive weapons so I can keep you from pitting your ship somewhere. Yeah I could try to bombard your cities, but I can't take ground with it. I can't even police sea lanes with it really. I'd still have to use regular ships if I had this air cover to go enforce the rules of the sea and stuff like that.Dwarkesh Patel (00:11:23):Yeah. You speculated in the post, I think, that you could load this up with shrapnel and then it could explode next to an incoming missile or an incoming aircraft. Could these get that accurate? Because that was surprising speculation to me.Austin Vernon (00:11:43):I think for ships, it's pretty... I was watching videos of how fast a ship can turn and stuff. If you're going to do an initial target on a ship to try to kill their radars, you'd want to do it above the ceiling of their missiles. So it's like, how much are they going to move between your release where you stop steering and that? The answer's maybe 1000 feet. So that's pretty simple because you just shrapnel the area.Austin Vernon (00:12:12):Targeting aircraft, you would be steering all the way in. I'd say it's doable, but it'd be pretty hard. You'd actually maybe want to even go slower than you would with the ship attack. You'd need a specialized package to attack the aircraft, but if you have enough synthetic aperture radar and stuff like that, you could see these aircraft using satellites and then guide the bomb in the whole way. You could even load heat seeking missiles into a package that unfurls right next to them and launch conventional missiles too, probably. It'd be pretty hard to do some of this stuff, but they're just the things you might be able to do if you put some effort into it.Dwarkesh Patel (00:12:57):Yeah. The reason I find this kind of speculation really interesting is because when you look at the modern weaponry that's used in conflicts, it just seems directly descendant from something you would've seen in World War II or something. If you think about how much warfare changed between 1900 and 1940, it's like, yeah, they're not even the same class of weapons anymore. So it's interesting to think about possibilities like these where the entire category of weapons has changed.Austin Vernon (00:13:33):You're right and that's because our physical technology hasn't changed that much. So it really has just made more sense to put better electronics in the same tanks. We haven't learned enough about tanks to build a new physical tank that's way better, so we just keep upgrading our existing tanks with better electronics. They're much more powerful, they're more accurate. A lot of times, they have longer range weapons and better sensors. So the tank looks the same, but it maybe has several times more killing power. But the Ukraine war right now, they're using a lot of 40, 50 year old weapons so that especially looks like that.Dwarkesh Patel (00:14:20):Yeah. Which kind of worries you if you think about the stockpiles our own military has. I'm not well educated on the topic, but I imagine that we don't have the newest of the new thing. We probably have maintained versions of decades old technology.Austin Vernon (00:14:35):We spend so much, we've got relatively... This kind of gets into debate about how ready our military is. For certain situations, it's more ready than others. I'd say in general, most people talking about it have the incentive to downplay our capabilities because they want more defense spending. There's lots of reasons. So I think we're probably more capable than what you might see from some editorial in The Hill or whatever. Us just sending a few weapons over to Ukraine and seeing how successful they've been at using them, I think, shows a little bit of that.Austin Vernon (00:15:18):There's so much uncertainty when it comes to fighting, especially when you're talking about a naval engagement, where we don't just don't have that many ships in general… you can have some bad luck. So I think you always want to be a little bit wary. You don't want to get overconfident.Dwarkesh Patel (00:15:37):Yeah. And if the offensive tech we sent to Ukraine is potentially better than the defensive tech, it's very possible that even a ballistic missile that China or Russia could launch would sink a battleship and then kill the 2,000 or 1,000 whatever soldiers that are on board. Or I guess, I don't know, you think this opens up avenues for defensive tech as well?Austin Vernon (00:16:03):Yeah––generally the consensus is that defensive technology has improved much more recently than offensive technology. This whole strategy China has is something they call anti-access/area denial, A2/AD. That's basically just how missiles have gotten better because the sensors on missiles have gotten better. So they can keep our ships from getting close to them but they can't really challenge us in Hawaii or something. And it really goes both ways, I think people forget that. So yeah, it's hard for us to get close to China, but Taiwan has a lot of missiles with these new sensors as well. So I think it's probably tougher for China to do it close to Taiwan than most people would say.Dwarkesh Patel (00:16:55):Oh, interesting. Yeah, can you talk more about that? Because every time I read about this, people are saying that if China wanted to, they could knock out Taiwan's defenses in a short amount of time and take it over. Yeah, so can you talk about why that's not possible?Austin Vernon (00:17:10):Well, it might be, but I think it's a guess of the uncertainty [inaudible 00:17:14]. Taiwan has actually one of the largest defense budgets in the world and they've recently been upping it. I think they spend, I don't know, $25 billion a year and they added an extra $5 billion. And they've been buying a lot of anti-ship missiles, a lot of air defense missiles.. Stuff that Ukraine could only dream of. I think Ukraine's military budget was $2 billion and they have a professional army. And then the other thing is Taiwan's an island, whereas Russia could just roll over the land border into Ukraine.Austin Vernon (00:17:44):There's just been very few successful amphibious landings in history. The most recent ones were all the Americans in World War II and Korea. So the challenge there is just... It's kind of on China to execute perfectly and do that. So if they had perfect execution, then possibly it would be feasible. But if their air defenses on their ships aren't quite as good as we think they could possibly be, then they could also end up with half their fleet underwater within 10 hours.Dwarkesh Patel (00:18:20):Interesting. And how has your view of Taiwan's defensive capabilities changed... How has the Ukraine conflict updated your opinion on what might happen?Austin Vernon (00:18:29):I didn't really know how much about it. And then I started looking at Wikipedia and stuff and all this stuff they're doing. Taiwan just has a lot of modern platforms like F16s with our anti-ship missiles. They actually have a lot of their own. They have indigenous fighter bombers, indigenous anti-ship missiles because they're worried we might not always sell them to them.Austin Vernon (00:18:54):They've even recently gotten these long range cruise missiles that could possibly target leadership in Beijing. So I think that makes it uncomfortable for the Chinese leadership. If you attack them, you're going to have to go live in a bunker. But again, I'm not a full-time military analyst or something, so there's a lot of uncertainty around what I'm saying. It's not a given that China's just going to roll over them.Software ProductivityDwarkesh Patel (00:19:22):Okay. That's comforting to hear. Let's talk about an area where I have a little bit of a point of contact. I thought your blog post about software and the inability of it to increase productivity numbers, I thought that was super fascinating. So before I ask you questions about it, do you want to lay out the thesis there?Austin Vernon (00:19:43):Yeah. So if there's one post I kind of felt like I caught lightning in a bottle on, it's that one. Everything I wanted to put in, it just fit together perfectly, which is usually not the case.Austin Vernon (00:19:55):I think the idea is that the world's so complex and we really underestimate that complexity. If you're going to digitize processes and automate them and stuff, you have to capture all that complexity basically at the bit level, and that's extremely difficult. And then you also have diminishing returns where the easily automatable stuff goes first and then it's increasing corner cases to get to the end, so you just have to go through more and more code basically. We don't see runaway productivity growth from software because we're fighting all this increasing complexity.Dwarkesh Patel (00:20:39):Yeah. Have you heard of the waterbed theory of complexity by the way?Austin Vernon (00:20:42):I don't think so.Dwarkesh Patel (00:20:44):Okay. It's something that comes up in compiler design: the idea is that there's a fixed amount of complexity in a system. If you try to reduce it, what you'll end up doing is just you'll end up migrating the complexity elsewhere. I think an example that's used of this is when they try to program languages that are not type safe, something like Python. You can say, “oh, it's a less complex language”, but really, you've added complexity when, I don't know, two different types of numbers are interacting like a float and an int. As your program grows, that complexity exponentially grows along with all the things that could go wrong when you're making two things interact in a way that you were expecting not to. So yeah, the idea is you can just choose where to have your complexity, but you can't get rid of that complexity.Austin Vernon (00:21:38):I think that's kind of an interesting thing when you start pairing it with management theory... when you add up all the factors, the most complex thing you're doing is high volume car manufacturing. And so we got a lot of innovations and organization from car manufacturers like the assembly line. Then you had Sloan at GM basically creating the way the modern corporation is run, then you have the Toyota Production System.Austin Vernon (00:22:11):But arguably now, creating software is actually the most complex thing we do. So there's all these kinds of squishy concepts that underlie things like the Toyota Production System that softwares had to learn and reimagine and adopt and you see that with Agile where, “oh, we can't have long release times. We need to be releasing every day,” which means we're limiting inventory there.Austin Vernon (00:22:42):There's a whole thing especially that's showing up in software that existed in carbon manufacturing where you're talking about reducing communication. So Jeff Bezos kind of now famously said, "I want to reduce communication," which is counterintuitive to a lot of people. This is age-old in car manufacturing where Toyota has these cards that go between workstations and they tell you what to do. So people normally think of them as limiting inventory, but it also tells the worker exactly what they're supposed to be doing at what pace, at what time. The assembly line is like that too. You just know what to do because you're standing there and there's a part here and it needs to go on there, and it comes by at the pace you're supposed to work at.Austin Vernon (00:23:29):It's so extreme that there's this famous paper, by List, Syverson and Levitt. They went to a car factory and studied how defects propagated in cars and stuff. Once a car factory gets up and running, it doesn't matter what workers you put in there, if workers are sick or you get new workers, the defect rate is the same. So all the knowledge is built into the manufacturing line.Austin Vernon (00:23:59):There's these concepts around idiot-proofing and everything that are very similar to what you'll see. You had Uncle Bob on here. So Uncle Bob says only put one input into a function and stuff like that because you'll mix them up otherwise. The Japanese call it poka-yoke. You make it where you can't mess it up. And that's another way to reduce communication, and then software, of course you have APIs.Austin Vernon (00:24:28):So I'm really interested in this overall concept of reducing communication, and reducing how much cooperation and everything we need to run the economy.Dwarkesh Patel (00:24:41):Right. Right. Speaking of the Toyota Production System, one thing they do to reduce that defect rate is if there's a problem, all the workers in that chain are forced to go to the place where the defect problem is and fix it before doing anything else. The idea there is that this will give them context to understand what the problem was and how to make sure it doesn't happen again. It also prevents a build up of inventory in a way that keeps making these defects happen or just keeps accumulating inventory before the place that can fix the defects is able to take care of them.Austin Vernon (00:25:17):Right. Yeah, yeah. Exactly.Dwarkesh Patel (00:25:19):Yeah. But I think one interesting thing about software and complexity is that software is a place where complexity is the highest in our world right now but software gives you the choice to interface with the complexity you want to interface with. I guess that's just part of specialization in general, but you could say for example that a machine learning model is really complex, but ideally, you get to a place where that's the only kind of complexity you have to deal with. You're not having to deal with the complexity of “How is this program compiled? How are the libraries that I'm using? How are they built?” You can fine tune and work on the complexity you need to work on.Dwarkesh Patel (00:26:05):It's similar to app development. Byrne Hobart has this blog post about Stripe as solid state. The basic idea is that Stripe hides all the complexity of the financial system: it charges a higher fee, but you can just treat it as an abstraction of a tithe you have to pay, and it'll just take care of that entire process so you can focus on your comparative advantage.Austin Vernon (00:26:29):It's really actually very similar in car manufacturing and the Toyota Production System if you really get into it. It's very much the same conceptual framework. There's this whole idea in Toyota Production System, everyone works at the same pace, which you kind of talked about. But also, your work content is the same. There's no room for not standardizing a way you're going to do things. So everyone gets together and they're like, “All right, we're going to do this certain part. We're going to put it together this certain way at this little micro station. And it's going to be the same way every time.” That's part of how they're reducing the defect rates. If your assembly process is longer than what your time allotment is to stay in touch with the rest of the process, then you just keep breaking it down into smaller pieces. So through this, each person only has to know a very small part of it.Austin Vernon (00:27:33):The overall engineering team has all sorts of strategies and all sorts of tools to help them break up all these processes into very small parts and make it all hold together. It's still very, very hard, but it's kind of a lot of the same ideas because you're taking away the complexity of making a $30,000 car or 30,000 part car where everyone's just focusing on their one little part and they don't care what someone else is doing.Dwarkesh Patel (00:28:06):Yeah. But the interesting thing is that it seems like you need one person who knows how everything fits together. Because from what I remember, one of the tenets of the Toyota Production System was you need to have a global view. So, in that book, was it the machine or the other one, the Toyota Production System book? But anyways, they were talking about examples where people would try to optimize for local efficiencies. I think they especially pointed to Ford and GM for trying to do this where they would try to make machines run all the time. And locally, you could say that, “oh this machine or process is super efficient. It's always outputting stuff.” But it ignores how that added inventory or that process had a bad consequence for the whole system.Dwarkesh Patel (00:28:50):And so it's interesting if you look at a company like Tesla that's able to do this really well. Tesla is run like a monarchy and this one guy has this total global view of how the entire process is supposed to run and where you have these inefficiencies.. You had some great examples of this in the blog post. I think one of the examples is this guy (the author) goes to this factory and he asks, "Is this an efficient factory?" And the guy's like, "Yeah, this is totally efficient. There's nothing we can do, adopting the Toyota way, to make this more efficient."Dwarkesh Patel (00:29:22):And so then he's like, "Okay, let me look." And he finds that they're treating steel in some way, and the main process does only take a couple of seconds, but some local manager decided that it would be more efficient to ship their parts out, to get the next stage of the process done somewhere else. So this is locally cheaper, but the result is that it takes weeks to get these parts shipped out and get them back. Which means that the actual time that the parts spend getting processed is 0.1% of the time, making the whole process super inefficient. So I don't know, it seems like the implication is you need a very monarchical structure, with one person who has a total view, in order to run such a system. Or am I getting that wrong?Austin Vernon (00:30:12):Not necessarily. I mean, you do have to make sure you're not optimizing locally, but I think it's the same. You have that same constraint in software, but I think a lot of times people are just running over it because processing has been getting so much cheaper. People are expensive, so if you could save development time, it just ends up the trade offs are different when you're talking about the tyranny of physical items and stuff like that, the constraints get a little more severe. But I think you have the same overall. You still have to fight local optimization, but the level you have to is probably different with physical goods.Austin Vernon (00:30:55):I was thinking about the smart grid situation from a software perspective, and there's this problem where, okay, I'm putting my solar farm here and it's impacting somewhere far away, and that's then creating these really high upgrade costs, that cost two or three times more than my solar farm. Well, the obvious thing would be, if you're doing software, is like you're going to break all these up into smaller sections, and then you wouldn't be impacting each other and all that, and you could work and focus on your own little thing.Austin Vernon (00:31:29):But the problem with that is if you're going to disconnect these areas of the grid, the equipment to do that is extremely expensive. It's not like I'm just going to hit a new tab and open a new file and start writing a new function. And not only that, but you still have to actually coordinate how this equipment is going to operate. So if you just let the grid flow as it does, everyone knows what's going to happen because they could just calculate the physics. If you start adding in all these checkpoints where humans are doing stuff, then you have to actually interface with the humans, and the amount of things that can happen really starts going up. So it's actually a really bad idea to try to cart all this stuff off, just because of the reality of the physical laws and the equipment you need and everything like that.Dwarkesh Patel (00:32:22):Okay. Interesting. And then I think you have a similar Coasean argument in your software post about why vertically integrating software is beneficial. Do you want to explain that thesis?Austin Vernon (00:32:34):Yeah. I think it actually gets to what we're talking about here, where it allows you to avoid the local optimization. Because a lot of times you're trying to build a software MVP, and you're tying together a few services… they don't do quite what you need, so if you try to scale that, it would just break. But if you're going to take a really complex process, like car manufacturing or retail distribution, or the home buying process or something, you really have to vertically integrate it to be able to create a decent end-to-end experience and avoid that local optimization.Austin Vernon (00:33:20):And it's just very hard otherwise, because you just can't coordinate effectively if you have 10 different vendors trying to do all the same thing. You end up in just constant vendor meetings, where you're trying to decide what the specs are or something instead of giving someone the authority, or giving a team the authority to just start building stuff. Then if you look at these companies, they have to implement these somewhat decentralized processes when they get too complex, but at least they have control over how they're interfacing with each other. Walmart, as the vendors, control their own stock. They don't tell the vendor, "We need X parts." It's just like, it's on you to make sure your shelf is stocked.Dwarkesh Patel (00:34:07):Yeah. Yeah. So what was really interesting to me about this part of the post was, I don't know, I guess I had heard of this vision of we're software setting, where everybody will have a software as a service company, and they'll all be interfacing with each other in some sort of cycle where they're all just calling each other's APIs. And yeah, basically everybody and their mother would have a SAAS company. The implication here was, from your argument, that given the necessity of integrating all those complexity vertically in a coherent way, then the winners in software should end up being a few big companies, right? They compete with each other, but still...Austin Vernon (00:34:49):I think that's especially true when you're talking about combining bits and apps. Maybe less true for pure software. The physical world is just so much more complex, and so the constraints it creates are pretty extreme, compared to like... you could maybe get away with more of everyone and their mom having an API in a pure software world.Dwarkesh Patel (00:35:14):Right. Yeah. I guess, you might think that even in the physical world, given that people really need to focus on their comparative advantage, they would just try to outsource the software parts to these APIs. But is there any scenario where the learning curve for people who are not in the firm can be fast enough that they can keep up with the complexity? Because there's huge gains for specialization and competition that go away if this is the world we're forced to live in. And then I guess we have a lot of counter examples, or I guess we have a lot of examples of what you're talking about. Like Apple is the biggest market cap in the world, right? And famously they're super vertically integrated. And yeah, obviously their thing is combining hardware and software. But yeah, is there any world in which it can keep that kind of benefit, but have it be within multiple firms?Austin Vernon (00:36:10):This is a post I've got on my list I want to write. The blockchain application, which excites me personally the most, is reimagining enterprise software. Because the things you're talking about, like hard typing and APIs are just basically built into some of these protocols. So I think it just really has a lot of exciting implications for how much you can decentralize software development. But the thing is, you can still do that within the firm. So I think I mentioned this, if the government's going to place all these rules on the edge of the firm, it makes transactions with other firms expensive. So a few internal transactions can be cheaper, because they're avoiding the government reporting and taxes and all that kind of stuff. So I think you'd have to think about how these technologies can reduce transaction costs overall and decentralize that, but also what are the costs between firms?Dwarkesh Patel (00:37:22):Yeah, it's really interesting if the costs are logistic, or if they're based on the knowledge that is housed, as you were talking about, within a factory or something. Because if it is just logistical and stuff, like you had to report any outside transactions, then it does imply that those technology blockchain could help. But if it is just that you need to be in the same office, and if you're not, then you're going to have a hard time keeping up with what the new requirements for the API are, then maybe it's that, yeah, maybe the inevitability is that you'll have these big firms that are able to vertically integrate.Austin Vernon (00:37:59):Yeah, for these big firms to survive, they have to be somewhat decentralized within them. So I think you have... you're going to the same place as just how are we viewing it, what's our perception? So even if it's a giant corporation, it's going to have very independent business units as opposed to something like a 1950s corporation.Dwarkesh Patel (00:38:29):Yeah. Byrne Hobart, by the way, has this really interesting post that you might enjoy reading while you're writing that post. It's type safe communications, and it's about that Bezos thing, about his strict style for how to communicate and how little to communicate. There's many examples in Amazon protocols where you have to... the only way you can put in this report, is in this place you had to give a number. You can't just say, "This is very likely," you had to say like, "We project X percent increase," or whatever. So it has to be a percent. And there's many other cases where they're strict about what type definition you can have in written reports or something. It has kind of the same consequence that type strict languages have, which is that you can keep track of what the value is through the entire chain of the flow of control.Austin Vernon (00:39:22):You've got to keep work content standardized.Dwarkesh Patel (00:39:26):So we've been hinting at the Coasean analysis to this. I think we just talked about it indirectly, but for the people who might not know, Coase has this paper called The Theory of Firms, and he's trying to explain why we have firms at all. Why not just have everybody compete in the open market for employment, for anything? Why do we have jobs? Why not just have... you can just hire a secretary by the day or something.Dwarkesh Patel (00:39:51):And the conclusion he comes to is that by having a firm you're reducing the transaction cost. So people will have the same knowledge about what needs to get done, obviously you're reducing the transaction cost of contracting, finding labor, blah, blah, blah. And so the conclusion it comes to is the more the transaction costs are reduced within people in a firm, as compared to the transaction cost between different firms, the bigger firms will get. So I guess that's why the implication of your argument was that there should be bigger tech firms, right?Austin Vernon (00:40:27):Yes, yes, definitely. Because they can basically decrease the transaction costs faster within, and then even at the limit, if you have large transaction costs outside the firm, between other firms that are artificially imposed, then it will make firms bigger.Dwarkesh Patel (00:40:45):What does the world look like in that scenario? So would it just be these Japanese companies, these huge conglomerates who are just... you rise through the ranks, from the age of 20 until you die? Is that what software will turn into?Austin Vernon (00:40:59):It could be. I mean, I think it will be lots of very large companies, unless there's some kind of change in inner firm transaction costs. And again, that could possibly come from blockchain like technology, but you probably also need better regulation to make that cheaper, and then you would have smaller firms. But again, in the end, it doesn't really matter. You'd be working in your little unit of the big bank of corporate, or whatever. So I don't know what that would look like on a personal level.Car ManufacturingDwarkesh Patel (00:41:40):Yeah. Okay. So speaking of these Japanese companies, let's talk about car manufacturing and everything involved there. Yeah, so we kind of hinted at a few elements of the Toyota way and production earlier, but do you want to give a brief overview of what that is, so we can compare it to potentially other systems?Austin Vernon (00:42:02):I think all these kinds of lean Toyota process systems, they do have a lot of similarities, where mostly you want to even-out your production, so you're producing very consistently, and you want to break it into small steps and you want to limit the amount of inventory you have in your system. When you do this, it makes it easy to see how the process is running and limit defects. And the ultimate is you're really trying to reduce defects, because they're very expensive. It's a little bit hard to summarize. I think that's my best shot at it there, quickly off the top of my head.Dwarkesh Patel (00:42:49):Yeah. The interesting thing about the Toyota system, so at least when the machine was released, is they talk about... that book was released I think the nineties, and they went to the history of Toyota, and one of the interesting things they talked about was there was a brief time where the company ran... I think, was this after World War II? But anyways, the company ran into some troubles. They needed to layoff people to not go bankrupt. They had much more debt on books than they had assets. So yeah, they wanted to layoff people, but obviously the people were not happy about this, so there were violent protests about this. And in fact I think the US written constitution gave strong protections to labor that they hadn't had before, which gave labor an even stronger hand here.Dwarkesh Patel (00:43:42):So anyway, Toyota came to this agreement with the unions that they'd be allowed to do this one time layoff to get the company on the right track, but afterwards they could never lay somebody off. Which would mean that a person who works at Toyota works there from the time they graduate college or high school till they die. Right? I don't know, that's super intense in a culture. I mean, in software, where you have the average tenure in a company's one year, the difference is so much.Dwarkesh Patel (00:44:13):And there's so many potential benefits here, I guess a lot of drawbacks too. But one is, obviously if you're talking in a time scale of 50 years, rather than one year, the incentives are more aligned between the company and the person. Because anything you could do in one year is not going to have a huge impact on your stock options in that amount of time. But if this company's your retirement plan, then you have a much stronger incentive to make sure that things at this company run well, which means you're probably optimizing for the company's long term cash flow yourself. And also, there's obviously benefits to having that knowledge built up in the firm from people who have been there for a long time. But yeah, that was an interesting difference. One of the interesting differences, at least.Austin Vernon (00:45:00):I mean, I think there's diminishing returns to how long your tenure's going to be. Maybe one year's too short, but there's a certain extent to where, if you grow faster than your role at the company, then it's time to switch. It's going to depend on the person, but maybe five years is a good number. And so if you're not getting promoted within the firm, then your human capital's being wasted, because you could go somewhere else and have more responsibility and perform better for them. Another interesting thing about that story, is almost all lean turnarounds, where they're like, we're going to implement something like Toyota production system, they come with no layoff promises. Because if you're going to increase productivity, that's when everyone's like, "Oh gosh, I'm going to get laid off." So instead you have to increase output and take more market share, is what you do.Dwarkesh Patel (00:46:00):It's kind of like burning your bridges, right? So this is the only way.Austin Vernon (00:46:05):The process really requires complete buy-in, because a lot of your ideas for how you're going to standardize work content come from your line workers, because that's what they're doing every day. So if you don't have their buy-in, then it's going to fail. So that's why it's really necessary to have those kinds of clauses.Dwarkesh Patel (00:46:22):Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. I think it was in your post where you said, if somebody makes their process more efficient, and therefore they're getting more work allotted to them, then obviously they're going to stop doing that. Right? Which means that, I don't know, do you ought to give more downtime to your best workers or something or the people who are most creative in your company?Austin Vernon (00:46:48):I was just going to say, if you're a worker at a plant, then a lot of times for that level of employee, actually small rewards work pretty well. A lot of people on drilling rigs used to give the guys that met certain targets $100 Walmart gift cards. So sometimes small, it's a reward, new ideas, stuff like that works.Austin Vernon (00:47:15):But because the whole system has to grow together, if you just improve one part of the process, it may not help you. You have to be improving all the right processes so normally it's much more collaborative. There's some engineer that's looking at it and like, "All right, this is where we're struggling," or "We have our defects here." And then you go get together with that supervisor and the workers in that area, then you all figure out what improvements could be together. Because usually the people already know. This is like, you see a problem at the top, and you're just now realizing it. Then you go talk to the people doing the work, and they're like, "Oh yeah, I tried to tell you about that two weeks ago, man." And then you figure out a better process from there.Dwarkesh Patel (00:47:58):Based on your recommendation, and Steven Malina's recommendation, I recently read The Goal. And after reading the book, I'm much more understanding of the value that consultants bring to companies, potentially. Because before you could think, “What does a 21 year old, who just graduated college, know about manufacturing? What are they going to tell this plant that they didn't already know? How could they possibly be adding value?” And afterwards, it occurred to me that there's so many abstract concepts that are necessary to understand in order to be able to increase your throughput. So now I guess I can see how somebody who's generically smart but doesn't have that much industry knowledge might be able to contribute to a plan and value consultants could be bringing.Austin Vernon (00:48:43):I think this applies to consultants or young engineers. A lot of times you put young engineers just right in the thick of it, working in production or process right on the line, where you're talking to the workers the most. And there's several advantages to that. One, the engineer learns faster, because they're actually seeing the real process, and the other is there's easy opportunities for them to still have a positive impact on the business, because there's $100 bills laying on the ground just from going up and talking to your workers and learning about stuff and figuring out problems they might be having and finding out things like that that could help you lower cost. I think there's a lot of consultants that... I don't know how the industry goes, but I would guess there's... I know Accenture has 600,000 employees. I don't know if that many, but it's just a large number, and a lot are doing more basic tasks and there are some people that are doing the more high level stuff, but it's probably a lot less.Dwarkesh Patel (00:49:51):Yeah. Yeah. There was a quote from one of those books that said, "At Toyota we don't consider you an engineer unless you need to wash your hands before you can have lunch." Yeah. Okay. So in your blog post about car manufacturing, you talk about Tesla. But what was really interesting is that in a footnote, I think you mentioned that you bought Tesla stocks in 2014, which also might be interesting to talk about again when we go to the market and alpha part. But anyways. Okay. And then you talk about Tesla using something called metal manufacturing. So first of all, how did you know in 2014 that Tesla was headed here? And what is metal manufacturing and how does it differ from the Toyota production system?Austin Vernon (00:50:42):Yeah. So yeah, I just was goofing around and made that up. Someone actually emailed me and they were like, "Hey, what is this metal manufacturing? I want to learn more about this." It's like, "Well, sorry, I just kind of made that up, because I thought it sounded funny." But yeah, I think it's really the idea that there's this guy, Dimming, and he found a lot of the same ideas that Toyota ended up implementing, and Toyota respected his ideas a lot. America never really got fully on board with this in manufacturing. Of course it's software people that are coming and implementing this and manufacturing now which is like the real American way of doing things.Austin Vernon (00:51:32):Because when you look at these manufacturing processes, the best place to save money and optimize is before you ever build the process or the plant. It's very early on. So I think if there's a criticism of Toyota, it's that they're optimizing too late and they're not creative enough in their production technology and stuff. They're very conservative, and that's why they have hydrogen cars and not battery cars, even though they came out with the Prius, which was the first large sales hybrid.Austin Vernon (00:52:12):So yeah, I think what Tesla's doing with really just making Dimming's ideas our own and really just Americanizing it with like, "Oh, well, we want to cast this, because that would be easier." Well, we can't, because we don't have an alloy. "We'll invent the alloy." I love it. It's great. Mostly, I love Tesla because they do such... I agree with their engineering principles. So I didn't know that the company would come to be so valuable. It's just, I was just always reading their stock reports and stuff so I was like, "Well, at least I need to buy some stock so that I have a justification for spending all this time reading their 10 Ks."Dwarkesh Patel (00:52:53):I want to get a little bit more in detail about the exact difference here. So lean production, I guess, is they're able to produce their cars without defects and with matching demand or whatever. But what is it about their system that prevents them from making the kinds of innovations that Tesla is able to make?Austin Vernon (00:53:16):It's just too incremental. It's so hard to get these processes working. So the faster you change things, it becomes very, very difficult to change the whole system. So one of the advantages Tesla has is, well, if you're making electric cars, you have just a lot less parts. So that makes it easier. And once you start doing the really hard work of basically digitizing stuff, like they don't have speed limit dials, you start just removing parts from the thing and you can actually then start increasing your rate of change even faster.Austin Vernon (00:53:55):It makes it harder to get behind if you have these old dinosaur processes. But I think there's a YouTube channel called The Limiting Factor, and he actually went into the detail of numbers on what it costs for Tesla to do their giga-casting, which saves tons of parts and deletes zillions of thousands of robots from their process. If you already have an existing stamping line and all that, where you're just changing the dyes based on your model, then it doesn't make sense to switch to the casting. But if you're building new factories, like Tesla is, well, then it makes sense to do the casting and you can build new factories very cheaply and comparatively and much easier. So there's a little bit of... they just have lots of technical data, I guess you could say, in a software sense.Dwarkesh Patel (00:54:47):Yeah. That's super interesting. The analogy is actually quite... it's like, Microsoft has probably tens of thousands of software engineers who are just basically servicing its technical debt and making sure that the old systems run properly, whereas a new company like Tesla doesn't have to deal with that. The thing that's super interesting about Tesla is like, Tesla's market cap is way over a trillion, right? And then Toyota's is 300 billion. And Tesla is such a new company. The fact that you have this Toyota, which is legendary for its production system, and this company that's less than two decades old is worth many times more, it's kind of funny.Austin Vernon (00:55:32):Yeah. I would say that, in that measure, I don't like market cap. You need to use enterprise value. These old car companies have so much debt, that if you look at enterprise value, it's not so jarring. Literally, I don't know, I can't remember what GM's worth, like 40 billion or something, and then they have $120 billion in debt. So their enterprise value is five times more than their market cap.Dwarkesh Patel (00:56:02):What is enterprise value?Austin Vernon (00:56:03):Enterprise value is basically what is the value of the actual company before you have any claims on it. It's the market cap plus your debt. But basically, if you're the equity holder and the company gets sold, you have to pay the debt first. So you only get the value of what's left over after the debt. So that's why market cap is... when Tesla has very little debt and a lot of market cap, and then these other guys have a lot of debt with less market cap, it skews the comparison.Dwarkesh Patel (00:56:34):Yeah, and one of the interesting things, it's similar to your post on software, is that it seems like one of the interesting themes across your work is automating processes often leads to decreased eventual throughput, because you're probably adding capacity in a place that you're deciding excess capacity, and you're also making the money part of your operation less efficient by have it interface with this automated part. It sounds like there's a similar story there with car manufacturing, right?Austin Vernon (00:57:08):Yeah. I think if we tie it back into what we were talking about earlier, automation promotes local optimization and premature optimization. So a lot of times it's better to figure out, instead of automating a process to make a really hard to make part, you should just figure out how to make that part easy to make. Then after you do that, then it may not even make sense to automate it anymore. Or get rid of it all together, then you just delete all those robots.Austin's Carbon Capture ProjectDwarkesh Patel (00:57:37):Yeah. Yeah, that's interesting. Okay. So let's talk about the project that you're working on right now, the CO2 electrolysis. Do you want to explain what this is, and what your current approach is? What is going on here?Austin Vernon (00:57:55):Yeah, so I think just overall, electrofuels right now are super underrated, because you're about to get hopefully some very cheap electricity from solar, or it could be, maybe, some land. If we get really lucky, possibly some nuclear, geothermal. It'll just make sense to create liquid fuels, or natural gas, or something just from electricity and air, essentially.Austin Vernon (00:58:25):There's a whole spectrum of ways to do this, so O2 electrolysis is one of those. Basically, you take water, electricity, and CO2, and a catalyst. And then, you make more complex molecules, like carbon monoxide, or formic acid, or ethylene, or ethanol, or methane or methine. Those are all options. But it's important to point out that, right now, I think if you added up all the CO2 electrolyzers in the world, you'd be measuring their output and kilograms per day. We make millions of tons per day off of the products I just mentioned. So there's a massive scale up if it's going to have a wider impact.Austin Vernon (00:59:15):So there's some debate. I think the debate for the whole electrofuels sector is: How much are you going to do in the electrolyzer? One company whose approach I really like is Terraform Industries. They want to make methane, which is the main natural gas. But they're just making hydrogen in their electrolyzer, and then they capture the CO2 and then put it into a methanation reaction. So everything they're doing is already world scale, basically.Austin Vernon (00:59:47):We've had hydrogen electrolyzers power fertilizer plants, providing them with the Hydrogen that they need. Methanation happens in all ammonia plants and several other examples. It's well known, very old. Methanation is hydrogen CO2 combined to make water and methane. So their approach is more conservative, but if you do more in the electrolyzer, like I'm going to make the methane actually in the electrolyzer instead of adding this other process, you could potentially have a much simpler process that has less CapEx and scales downward better. Traditional chemical engineering heavily favors scaling. With the more Terraform processes, they're playing as absolutely ginormous factories. These can take a long time to build.Austin Vernon (01:00:42):So one of the things they're doing is: they're having to fight the complexity that creeps into chemical engineering every step of the way. Because if they don't, they'll end up with a plant that takes 10 years to build, and that's not their goal. It takes 10 years to build a new refinery, because they're so complex. So yeah, that's where I am. I'm more on the speculative edge, and it's not clear yet which products will be favorable for which approaches.Dwarkesh Patel (01:01:15):Okay, yeah. And you're building this out of your garage, correct?Austin Vernon (01:01:19):Yeah. So that's where electrolyzers... Everything with electric chemistry is a flat plate instead of a vessel, so it scales down. So I can have a pretty good idea of what my 100 square centimeter electrolyzer is going to do, if I make it quite a bit bigger. I have to worry about how my flow might interact in the larger one and make sure the mixing's good, but it's pretty straightforward because you're just making your flat plate a larger area. Whereas the scale, it is different from scaling a traditional chemical process.Dwarkesh Patel (01:01:56):I'm curious how cheap energy has to be before this is efficient. If you're turning it into methane or something like that, presumably for fuel, is the entire process energy positive? Or how cheap would energy, electricity you need to get before that's the case?Austin Vernon (01:02:18):The different products and different methods have different crossovers. So Terraform Industries, they're shooting for $10 a megawatt hour for electricity. But again, their process is simpler, a little less efficient than a lot of the other products. They also have better premiums, just worth more per ton than methane. So your crossover happens somewhere in between $10 and $20 a megawatt hour, which is... I mean, that's pretty... Right now, solar, it's maybe like $25. Maybe it's a little higher because payment prices have gone up in the last year, but I think the expectation is they'll come back down. And so, getting down to $15 where you start having crossovers for some of these products like ethanol or ethylene or methanol, it's not science fiction.Dwarkesh Patel (01:03:08):I think in Texas where I live, that's where it's at right? The cost of energy is 20 or something dollars per megawatt hour.Austin Vernon (01:03:16):Well, not this summer! But yeah, a lot of times in Texas, the wholesale prices are around $25 to $30.Dwarkesh Patel (01:03:26):Gotcha. Okay. Yeah. So a lot of the actual details you said about how this works went over my head. So what is a flat plate? I guess before you answer that question, can you just generally describe the approach? What is it? What are you doing to convert CO2 into these other compounds?Austin Vernon (01:03:45):Well, yeah, it literally just looks like an electrolyzer. You have two sides and anode and a cathode and they're just smushed together like this because of the electrical resistance. If you put them far apart, it makes it... uses up a lot of energy. So you smush them together as close as you can. And then, you're basically just trading electrons back and forth. On one side, you're turning CO2 into a more complex molecule, and on the other side, you're taking apart water. And so, when you take apart the water, it balances out the equation, balances out your electrons and everything like that. I probably need to work on that elevator pitch there, huh?Dwarkesh Patel (01:04:31):I guess what the basic idea is, you need to put power in to convert CO2 into these other compounds.Austin Vernon (01:04:38):The inputs are electricity, water, and CO2, and the output is usually oxygen and whatever chemical you're trying to create is, along with some side reactions.Dwarkesh Patel (01:04:49):And then, these chemicals you mentioned, I think ethanol, methane, formic acid, are these all just fuels or what are the other uses for them?Austin Vernon (01:04:58):A lot of people are taking a hybrid approach with carbon monoxide. So this would be like Twelve Co… They've raised a lot of money to do this and 100 employees or something. You can take that carbon monoxide and make hydrogen, and then you have to send gas to make liquid fuels. So they want to make all sorts of chemicals, but one of the main volume ones would be like jet fuel.Austin Vernon (01:05:22):Let's see Formic acid is, it's the little fry of all these. It is an additive in a lot of things like preserving hay for animals and stuff like that. Then, ethanol there's people that want to... There's this company that makes ethylene, which goes into plastics that makes polyethylene, which is the most produced plastic. Or you can burn it in your car, although I think ethanol is a terrible vehicle fuel. But then you can also just make ethylene straight in the electrolyzer. So there's many paths. So which path wins is an interesting race to see.Dwarkesh Patel (01:06:13):The ability to produce jet fuel is really interesting, because in your energy superabundance paper, you talk about... You would think that even if we can electrify everything in solar and when it becomes super cheap, that's not going to have an impact on the prices to go to space for example. But I don't know. If a process like this is possible, then it's some way to in financial terms, add liquidity. And then turn, basically, this cheap solar and wind into jet fuel through this indirect process. So the price to send stuff to space or cheap plane flights or whatever––all of that goes down as well.Austin Vernon (01:06:52):It basically sets a price ceiling on the price of oil. Whatever you can produce this for is the ceiling now, which is maybe the way I think about it.Dwarkesh Patel (01:07:06):Yeah. So do you want to talk a little bit about how your background led into this project? This is your full-time thing, right? I don't know if I read about that, but where did you get this idea and how long have you been pursuing it? And what's the progress and so on.Austin Vernon (01:07:20):I've always loved chemical engineering, and I love working at the big processing plant because it's like being a kid in a candy store. If I had extra time, I'd just walk around and look at the plant, like it's so cool. But the plant where I worked at, their up time was 99.7%. So if you wanted to change anything or do anything new, it terrified everyone. That's how they earned their bonuses: run the plant a 100% uptime all the time. So that just wasn't a good fit for me. And also, so I always wanted my own chemical plant, but it's billions of dollars to build plants so that was a pretty big step. So I think this new technology of... there's a window where you might be able to build smaller plants until it optimizes to be hard to enter again.Dwarkesh Patel (01:08:21):And then, why will it become hard to enter again? What will happen?Austin Vernon (01:08:27):If someone figures out how to build a really cheap electrolyzer, and they just keep it as intellectual property, then it would be hard to rediscover that and compete with them.Dwarkesh Patel (01:08:38):And so, how long have you been working on this?Austin Vernon (01:08:42):Oh, not quite a year. But yeah, I actually got this idea to work on it from writing my blog. So when I wrote the heating fuel post, I didn't really know much about... There's another company in the space, Prometheus Fuels and I'm like, "Oh, this is an interesting idea." And then, I got talking to a guy named Brian Heligman, and he's like, "You should do this, but not what Prometheus is doing." And so, then I started looking at it and I liked it, so I've been working on it since.Dwarkesh Patel (01:09:08):Yeah. It's interesting because if energy does become as cheap as you suspect it might. If this process works, then yeah, this is a trillion dollar company probably, right? If you're going to get the patents and everything.Austin Vernon (01:09:22):I mean, maybe. With chemical plants, there's a certain limitation where your physical limitation is. There's only so many places that are good places for chemical plants. You start getting hit by transportation and all that. So, you can't just produce all th

Stealing The Blinds Poker Podcast
The Frugal Poker Pro: Carlos Welch

Stealing The Blinds Poker Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 16, 2022 54:49


Whether it's living in a Prius, starting a Hip Hop trivia company, or cohosting The Thinking Poker podcast, Carlos Welch www.twitter.com/HipHop101Trivia travels the less beaten path of frugality. Dell and Christine talk to Carlos about Coaching http://www.tinyurl.com/CarlosWelch, and his frugal lifestyle. check out his latest offerings also. How To Win An Online Bracelet with Alex Fitzgerald https://assassinato.gumroad.com/l/howtowinanonlinebracelet The Venom Hand History Review with Andrew Brokos https://assassinato.gumroad.com/l/howtowinanonlinebracelet --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/theblindstealingtheblinds/support

Fightin' Words
EP150 - THE TRILOGY | Canelo Vs Golovkin - Predictions

Fightin' Words

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 16, 2022 42:27


The Story of a Brand
Babyation - The Breast Pump that Completely Changes the Game

The Story of a Brand

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 16, 2022 66:04


This episode is brought to you by Yotpo.   Shouldn't a breast pump be as elegant as an iPhone and quiet as a Prius? This questions both angered Samantha and motivated her. She also thought, “why hadn't someone already invented this?”   For the unfamiliar, breast pumps are loud and bulky. It basically forces women to hide if they're lucky in a lactation room, but more often in a bathroom or a supply closet.   Samantha explains, “there is a tell - tell noise that it makes. They are essentially a hard plastic funnel connected to a baby bottle that hangs off the breast.” And she reminds us, "it's based on technology that was used for dairy cows that is decades old."   In today's episode, we interview Samantha Rudolph, Co-founder and CEO of Babyation. Babyation creates a space where women can navigate breastfeeding and pumping with care, support, and products designed for their holistic needs. The pumps feature sound reduction, data logging, mobile device integration, and breast shields.   We have discussed topic such as   * Grateful for an early review from a customer which helped in validating her 6 years of hard work and dedication in bringing the product to market * How the little things in business help validate the purpose of the brand. * What does Babyation do? * The pressures, stigma, and prejudices that mothers face in our society * Why the lack of innovation for breast pumps? * Why no one has created this before? * How did this product actually come into the market? * Advice for entrepreneurs * What's better a software or hardware business * How the app works and why it's so cool * The special features of the Babyation products? * Innovation: You can lie down when you use the breast pump! * What did other breast pumps fail to do? * The ultimate result of Babyation: liberating women * Their give back program   Join Ramon Vela and Samantha Rudolph as they break down the inside story on The Story of a Brand.   For more on Babyation, visit: https://babyation.com/    Subscribe and Listen to the podcast on all major apps. Simply search for “The Story of a Brand,” or click here to listen on your favorite podcast player: Listen now.   *   This episode is brought to you by Yotpo.   Rising acquisition costs and the return to in-store shopping have eCommerce marketers double-clicking on their retention strategy.   Now more than ever, brands need to focus on lifetime value. Yotpo is proud to announce Yotpo Subscriptions on Shopify, making retention easy and affordable for growing brands.   Take 8 minutes or less to add a recurring revenue channel to your business.   Download Yotpo Subscriptions from the Shopify App Store today https://apps.shopify.com/yotpo-subscription 

The Clean Energy Show
The Solar Supply Chain needed to Halt Global Warming is Already Being Built

The Clean Energy Show

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2022 43:01


The IEA has a number for the required solar to halt climate change and it's being built right now! Heat waves make people angry, Californians respond to text alert to save power and blackouts were averted. Tesla's production cost per vehicle is 42% of what it was just five years ago and it's not due to falling battery prices. Some grids in the US have so much excess power, prices are often going negative. They pay you to use power. This is going to become common as we move forward with decarbonization. The specs for the Chevy Equinox have been announced and it's clearly going to make the Chevy Bolt EUV obselete instantly.  James's son's geology professor says there's not enough lithium for 100% electric car sales. He's wrong. Thanks for listening to our show! Consider rating The Clean Energy Show on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen to our show. Follow us on TikTok! Check out our YouTube Channel! Follow us on Twitter! Your hosts: James Whittingham https://twitter.com/jewhittingham Brian Stockton: https://twitter.com/brianstockton Email us at cleanenergyshow@gmail.com Leave us an online voicemail at http://speakpipe.com/cleanenergyshow Tell your friends about us on social media!   Transcript of this Episode Brian: Hello, and welcome to episode 131 of the Clean Energy Show. I'm Brian Stockton. BBC News Anchor: We're interrupting our schedules for the following announcement. Buckingham palace has announced the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Brian: What is this, the London Bridge protocol? James: Yes. We've been waiting decades for this, and it's finally happened. Brian: No. Podcasts do not have to follow the London Bridge protocol. Come on. They don't it's fine. But I will say the Queen is dead. Long lived the king. James:I'm James Whittingham. This week, my son's geology prof says there's not enough lithium to go 100% electric anytime soon. I promptly advised my son to quit university and educate himself on Facebook. This week. California didn't have enough power. While other grids in the US. Have so much excess power, prices are often going negative. If I can get the grid to pay me to use my fancy coffee machine, I'll be rich. Tesla's production cost per vehicle is 42% of what it was just five years ago. And it's not due to falling battery prices. It's actually Elon Musk not having to buy horses anymore due to the woke mob. Okay, I don't understand that, Joe. Really? No, I don't. He got a massage and promised a woman a horse. I got it. The California power grid avoided severe blackouts after sending a text alert to citizens. The text said, you up, followed by turn off your lights. All that and more on this edition of the Clean Energy Show. And Brian, this week we also have something from Bloomberg opinion that says the energy transition and its supply chain are at what we need to beat climate change. Already. It's already being constructed. It's quite remarkable. Even apparently, lithium. Yes, high temperatures are making people angrier online. And how are you this week? I'm good. So here's my two updates. I got the latest full self driving update on my Tesla, which is it a big one. Yeah, it's a big 110.69.2. This is the first update I've had since actually getting the full self. Oh, I didn't know that. Yeah, it's the only one I've had since getting the full self driving software. Only had it a day, only used it once, and it still did that. Same thing where a lot of our streets don't have a line painted down the middle, and it's two lanes, and it started to drift to one side, so I canceled it and just kept driving. Well, Joy? Yeah. And he says they're going to be out by the end of the year. Come on. Yeah, well, a lot of the testing miles have been done in California, so it sounds like the software works way better in California. And we are, sadly, many miles from California, so it's going to be a bit of a struggle here for a while, I think. Do they paint the streets of California? Is that the issue? We don't paint them here. Yeah. Well, I'm assuming all the roads are better in California, but the grass is always greener, as they say, although not during a drought. But anyway, my other updates so I think I said last week, I've applied for the Greener Homes grant, which is Canada's subsidy for retrofitting your home to put in clean energy stuff, insulation. And I'm still hoping to do a heat pump, an air source heat pump for my house, get rid of my furnace. So the process is moving. I've been approved. I'm in the program. They can't do the blower test. So what they do is a blower test on your house to test the tightness of the house, and then you do the upgrades, and they do another one. But because our ceiling, the drywalls opened up in the ceiling in the kitchen, because we were trying to fix those leaks, they can't do the blower test right away. But anyway, I just wanted to mention that I am hoping to go through this process. This is what it's available in Canada, and as we've covered on the show before, the new Inflation Reduction Act in the US. If you're in the US. There's lots of kind of similar subsidies for home improvements and upgrades and energy efficient appliances and vehicles and everything. And of course, different states and different provinces all have incentives, too. And like, our natural gas utility has a little bit of incentive to go to higher efficiency furnaces, gas furnaces and stuff. So anybody listening, always check your local area, your local state, your local province to see what the possible subsidies are. Okay, well, the Chevy Equinox, they finally announced the specs on it. Yeah. So this is the next big electric vehicle from General Motors, which is an SUV that's going to be at a reasonable price. They said this is a small SUV under $30,000 US. Is that cheaper than the Bolt? It's not cheaper than the Bolt now because they lower the Bolt in the US. But the equivalent Canadian pricing would put it lower, I think, than the Canadian pricing, current Canadian pricing of the bolt and worldwide as well. Yeah, and if that's the price for the Equinox, one would think they would eventually drop the bolt below that because that's a smaller car. The Equinox is actually making it hard for me to buy a Bolt because of two reasons. One, it'll render the Bolt obsolete. Even if it's really close in price, it's a bigger vehicle, seems like a better vehicle. It's not as well fitted. Maybe they have some bare bones stuff with the base model. You get a power driver's seat on the base model of the boat and a few other nice things. In Canada, you get ten years of connectivity, or eight years of connectivity. A long time of connectivity. Maybe it's five, but it's a few years. That cover most of your ownership, usually. So I'm just worried about it. Plus, they got the LTM battery pack with that. So that should be approved to charge faster, three times as fast. Peak charging doesn't mean that it's going to charge three times as fast, but the peak charging is three times as fast. So that's what the big drawback of the Bolt is. Well, it's size and it's charging speed on the highway. Well, and I think we're still in a situation where if you decide you want one, you're going to have to head down to GM as soon as you can and kind of put down a deposit because the supplies are going to be limited, especially where we live. So I think that's going to be the situation for the next couple of years, no matter which electric vehicle you decide to buy. And it's going to be at least two years before I get a base model of the Equinox. But let's say I have a four year loan or four year lease of a Bolt. Maybe leasing is the way to go because the Bolt could be under severe price pressure. Right. If the price does go down and I bought the vehicle, then I've got like a dud on it when I'm trying to sell it in three or four years to get an equal option, but at least would give you a sort of a guaranteed buyout price or something. Yeah, but at least they're not too sexy with their offers on the leasing right now. So I really don't know what to do. So I got a message from my son at his geology class. It's not basic geology, it's engineering related. Geology is something that requisite that he's taking. And he says the prof was going on about not having enough lithium. Like this was the day that California solidified their 100% electric vehicles by 2035. Well, he says there's no way, no way in hell, because there's not enough lithium. He's a geologist. He knows there's not enough lithium. That's not true, though. No. From what I understand, and I'm not a lithium expert, but apparently you are, it's not so much that there's plenty of lithium. It's the processing of the lithium that's the difficult part to make it usable for batteries. Yeah. So I looked it up, and I found some sources in the journal Nature, and lithium itself is not scarce, as you said. But a June report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimated that the current reserves of the metal are around 20 million tons. And that's not enough to carry the conversion EVs through to mid century. So the actual amount there, it's the refinery of it, the mining of it. He said it takes ten years to mind to get well. Do your math. It's more than ten years away, and we're going to have a story later about the solar supply chain going gangbusters enough to actually beat climate change. And where there's a will, there's a way. And this is what's happening. Solar is ahead of everybody else. But batteries are coming now and there's money to be made. So presumably if there's money to be made, it seems possible that there will possibly be some lithium bottlenecks where we won't have all that we need. There was an announcement from Tesla recently that they are trying to get a lithium mine or processing plant going in Texas. So the fact that Tesla is getting into it indicates that, you know, maybe they are worried there's not quite enough lithium, but it's all part of the ramp, so I'm not worried. But, hey, I'm not a geology professor, and we're also going to talk about Tesla having an advantage because five, seven years ago, musk was talking about lithium and he was on top of this, wasn't he? No, I mean, this is the advantage of Tesla, is they've been working on all of these things for at least a dozen years now. They've got a nice head start in figuring this stuff out. We were just before we went to record, there was a threat in California of power blackouts, wasn't there? Yes. So they've got a crazy heat wave going on there and they were predicted just at the time that we were recording. They had managed to stave off blackouts for the previous couple of days, but it was all coming to a head just as we were recording our show last week. And they saved the grid. And how did they do it, James? They sent out a text message alert. Yeah. And Brian? It worked. It totally works. It's a crazy thing. It worked. People said, okay, I will turn off my draw up for a couple of hours, or whatever they do in California. And it worked. Yeah. No, I thought that was quite remarkable. There was some graphs posted online of, like, exactly when the text went out and how power dipped. Obviously not everybody's going to listen to that, but that is one of the advantages of everybody having a cell phone here in our province. We had a bunch of emergency alerts for safety reasons a couple of weeks ago, and they were quite alarming to get. Definitely necessary for everybody's safety. Certainly I want to be informed and stuff like that. So if you and I were living in California, we would absolutely have gone and turned off some lights, turned off some power hungry things, and clearly enough people think like us and did that as well. So I've got a pool pump running, right? Yeah, it's about 1000 watts. Wow. Yeah, it's not fun. Swimming pools are not the most environmental thing there, but heating, although you do run yours with thermal solar panels. I heated with solar, yeah, but there's chemicals and water. I should probably do an assessment of that and compare it to having a hot tub, because maybe a hot tub is more my thing. I like the freedom from gravity, Brian. That's what I've been really enjoying the last couple of years is the freedom from gravity. The fatter you are, the lighter you are in water. So I figure I wave it as much as I would on the moon. And can you put a bunch of salt in the water and be even more buoyant? You could, but I wouldn't be able to touch the ground and I don't think I would be walking around floating like a bob, bobbing up and down like a buoy. That's a horrible sight, especially in my speedo. I just bought a bunch of chemicals even after I closed the pool, because I had to. I have to keep it treated until it freezes. And then in the spring, I have to treat it again and kill all the LG. You have to do that with a hot tub, but it's less. But then you heat it. And I can't heat it with heat, with solar panels, but I can't heat it with my thermal heating. Anyway, the pool is closed in winter is here. And that emergency alert that we had, a Saskatchewan resolved itself. The person was caught and died in custody, for what it's worth, but I won't dwell on that. The fact is, Brian, 500,000 homes in California and businesses have been warned that they might lose service. And within five minutes it was all but over. That's all tough. It's five minutes. Maybe people are more conscious of energy demands these days. We never used to think about it before, but maybe now it's not such a crazy thing to send in a text. Yeah, I mean, I think maybe they'd run into problems if they were sending out one of these alerts every couple of days. Eventually people would get tired of it. But if they can limit themselves to once or twice a year, then they can keep people's attention and they'll do it. Maybe we'll have smarter homes. Like my pool pump runs on a smart timer, a smart switch. Maybe if I connected that to the power utility and allowed it to turn off, things like that, I don't know what else it would be. My air conditioner thermostat goes up a degree. Yeah, something like that. Well, actually, Apple has announced a new feature coming, I think with the next update of their iOS, their mobile software is apple is actually going to have a thing where your phone will only charge when there's the maximum amount of green electricity on the grid. They're going to figure out that's cool. Why don't we have a story about that? What's wrong with you? You're the apple guy here. This is it right now. Sorry about it. Tell me everything. Presumably it will figure this out for each jurisdiction because the grid is different every place. But yeah, it'll figure out when there's the most green power on the grid, and it will only charge your phone during that time. See, phones take a lot of power now. They take 20, 40, 50 watts, some tablets take 100 watts. Yeah, that's getting a little bit more serious, especially since we don't have 100 watt light bulbs anymore. We have Led light bulbs. No. And when you think about pretty much every single human being in North America has a smartphone. That's a few hundred million smartphones just in North America. So, yeah, that's a lot of juice when you add them all together. But I've said this before on the show, that I wanted to know when is the greenest time to charge my car? Because we live on a power grid that has 45% coal, something like that. And I want to know, is there more hydro in the mix at three in the morning than, say, if I plugged it in and charged it at seven in the night or something, or even during the day, the business day, and I couldn't get a response from the utility source power. I want to know that. I don't know if they know that. I hope they know that. But yeah, that's a very interesting question. So we'll have to see if Apple figures out our jurisdiction. Yeah, I'd be curious. Maybe they'd listen to Apple and not you. Well, maybe Apple figures it out and then I'll learn from that. And you will know when to charge our cars, because all electric cars have preset timers on them that you can do. A lot of them you can do from an app. And I don't have an app for mine because I bought the base model, but I do set a timer on it every time. Millions of Californians, though, received these alerts that the grid was apparel. Millions of them. Right, interesting. I just wonder, though, if we can integrate our homes into the power grid better, because we're getting smart meters on our house. So that tells the utility what's going on faster in real time. And maybe they can say, well, Joe Schmo at 205th Avenue uses a lot of electricity between five and seven, and he's crashing the grid. Maybe he could find something to cut down on, and maybe they wouldn't send an alert to somebody who has a trickle of electricity because they're gone during that time. Well, that makes me want to skip ahead to one of the stories we were going to have this week again from Bloomberg. And this is about negative power prices. And I've heard about this in the UK and in other jurisdictions, but I didn't realize it was happening quite so much in the US. And so this definitely relates to what we're talking about now. I think basically what you're just asking about here is basically the grid just isn't smart enough yet. It will eventually get there, and it's also not interconnected enough. So in the US, there is seven different utility grids and they're not all connected. It's basically seven regions of seven grids in certain places at certain times. There's excess wind and excess solar. So much so that they have too much power at certain times of the day. This results in negative pricing and encouraging people to just use extra power. And if the grid was further developed, was smarter, there's more home batteries connected to the grid, there's more EVs connected to the grid, and all of those can go either into the grid or out of the grid. That's going to eliminate these problems. So once you start hitting negative prices, boom, that's when your car charges. That's when your home battery charges. And it's coming, it's just going to take a long time. I thought we'd talk a little bit about Tesla this week because there's a lot going on and it's kind of interesting. One thing that I'll start with is a bit of information I learned on Twitter, and that is, you know how supercharger pricing is creeping up, right? It's getting more and more expensive all the time that Tesla sets the price for the superchargers. Yeah, it was super cheap. When I got my car two and a half years ago, it was almost nothing, just a few bucks a charge. And now it's more like 15, $20 a charge, which is annoying, but it's still way better than gas. And it is what it is. Well, now they're saying that it's now the equivalent of a 30 to 40 miles per gallon gas car, which isn't even that great because the Prius is 50 miles per gallon. So it's saying it's like that. Yeah, that's supercharging. By the way, November, you don't always supercharge. You mostly charge at home if you can. Yeah. So that's the caveat there. Yeah. So, yeah, it sucks to pay that much when you're on the road, but still way cheaper than gas. Yeah. And electricity is usually a lot cheaper at home. Plus, if you're like us, you have the option of making it even cheaper by if you can invest in some solar panels and you have a good enough situation with your local utility. Yeah. Martin Avisa, the vice president of investor relations at Tesla, said Monday during the presentation at the Goldman Sachs tech conference in San Francisco, tesla currently has all the supply it needs. This is courtesy of Business Insider. This is an interesting statement. This is a shift from Tesla is always supply constraints with their batteries. Now they have all they need. What happened? Well, it's just all that groundwork that they laid is starting to pay off, which is they basically just saw this coming before everybody else. And it's an obvious thing to you and me, it's like, okay, well, the world needs to get off oil. So what do you do? You do the math and it's like, well, guess what? We need an insane number of batteries. And Tesla figured this out ten or possibly as much as 20 years ago. And so they've been working on this problem for ten or 20 years, and they're just far ahead of the game because that's always been their ethos. It's like, well, no one else is doing it, so we have to do it ourselves. Since they were the first ones up to bat, as it were. So they've just got a big head start, and the other players are figuring it out too. And as we always say, there are announcements every week of new battery factories and such. So as a Tesla investor, it's great news that they are not constrained by battery supply. They're buying them from everybody that will sell them CATL and panasonic. And as well as starting to ramp up their own batteries, we're hitting the S curve of EV adoption, and it is constrained by supply. Yeah. If I want to order the bolt, I have to wait months and stuff like that. It's not just a chip shortage, right? Yeah. And I think there is still a bit of a chip shortage. So they didn't say, like the last I heard was that the chip shortage was the limiting factor for Tesla. They had enough batteries, but they were still a bit iffy on the number of chips. But this more recent statement suggests, okay, well, maybe they've got enough chips now. Well, the statement says, for the first time I can remember, we can access all the supply we need for both businesses. This is something startling as well. The price of manufacturing is only 42% of what it was five short years ago. And it's not due to battery prices falling as expected. It's due to factory design and large castings, like making one large piece of the car instead of a whole bunch of little ones. Efficiencies. Like that. Yeah. All the stuff they set up ten or 20 years ago is starting to pay off. That also makes me think they're making a killing on the markup. So the cars that they make in California at Fremont are a lot more expensive than China. Obviously, Santa Monroe thought they'd be 20% less than China, but they say also in Germany, they're cheaper to make in Germany as well. Yeah, just because it's the new factory with the new design. Their original factory in Fremont was something that they bought from somebody else and kind of had to repurpose it, and that kind of gave them the knowledge to, okay, if we're going to build this stuff from scratch, what's the better design, the more efficient design? And that's what they've got in Texas and Berlin and wherever else they might be building in the future. Yeah. So we have Tesla factories in China, in California, in Austin, Texas, and in Berlin, Germany, and who knows where else down the line. But those are the main ones that are coming online and starting to hit their stride in production, right? Yeah. And really, I think that would be the case if any Automaker was kind of starting up. Now, the problem that the legacy Automakers have is they've been in business for 100 years and they've been doing things a particular way. The businesses have grown in a particular way, and they don't have the luxury of just blowing everything up and starting over again and building new factories. They've kind of got a jerry rigged as they go along. So that turned out to be Tesla's big advantage, was the ability to start from scratch like that. Of course, it meant they nearly went bankrupt several times, but once they passed, once they got over the hump, it's all gravy from this point. Well, I thought it was interesting to know that 10% of the batteries are going into storage, because we had an email about that last week. I think there's an insatiable demand for storage as well. Obviously, it's just a matter of price. When the price hits a certain point, it's going to go crazy because the grid is greening and we need that storage. For yes, and from what I understand, they would maybe do more than 10% of the batteries to storage, but the profits are just way better in the cars. So 10% is all they can manage right now, but eventually more batteries, more grid stores, etc. For so you're basically just selling the batteries with a little bit of equipment, whereas the car is the batteries with a lot of equipment. And so the mark up comes from the bigger spend. So, yeah, it's quite remarkable. And it makes me think that the other manufacturers might be further behind than I thought, which is good if you're a Tesla investor like yourself, because the demand for electric car, man, I tell you, I see so many Teslas, I keep thinking it's you. And it's never you. It's never you. No. I was driving with my partner the other day and I said, look, I have an announcement to make. I'm now going to stop pointing out every Tesla that I see because it's just become too annoying. I used to do that. Hey, there's a Tesla. Hey, there's a Tesla. No more. So, yeah, if you're new to the podcast, full disclosure, I am a Tesla investor. Yeah. Wow. That's actually a big announcement, Brian, because I haven't stopped doing that, and my daughter hasn't stopped doing that. And sometimes she'll text me Tesla. That's what she'll say in the text. It's the punch buggy of our time, really. Exactly. So the supercharger, version four is apparently being set up in Arizona with a mega pack. That's the grid size, truck, container size, storage of batteries, and solar, which is something that Elon has been promising for years, that all superchargers would have a solar installation either adjacent to them or right on top or around them. No, that makes sense. We always see those renderings of the car park of the future where there are solar panels. You park underneath to protect your car from rain, but you also get some free solar charging. So eventually I think most car charging spots will include some solar. It's probably never enough to actually fully supply the cars, but that's fine. So we don't know the speed, the maximum charge rate of these new chargers. In fact, has there even been an announcement on it? I mean, what do we know? No, we don't know too much other than these are going to be prepared for cars other than Tesla's. More so than the other ones. There was going to be maybe a second cable, but now it's sounding more like it would be an adapter. There will be an adapter included with each one. So we think every Tesla charger can be adapted to charge non Teslas, but these ones are going to be designed that way. I wonder how they'll do that with the adapters so people don't steal them because they're worth hundreds of dollars. Yeah, hooked on with a wire or something. I don't know. Maybe lots of video cameras, too. We don't know the charge speed, but what's the maximum charge fees of the version three? It's currently 250, but we believe that even on the version three chargers, they can probably up it to 300, 350, but they haven't done it yet. So most of the third party chargers that are out now, let's call them non Tesla chargers, do 350 like the Electrify America or they are capable of they don't do 350, but they're capable of it. That 1350 is not too difficult to get to that's based on the voltage, I think. So supercharger V four is out and I guess they'll start testing them and maybe announcing what exactly they do. Everybody sort of expects that they'll bump it up a little bit, maybe perhaps for the cyber truck. What do you think? Yeah, like up to just 350 kw or something. Yeah. My car is limited to 170. Have not found that to be a real problem on the highway trips. So I think 250 is fine, 350 is fine, whatever they can do. So they're cranking out tesla's cranking out 6500 power walls. This is the battery packs for home storage a week and 9000 battery packs a week in Nevada. The battery packs are 9000 in Nevada for vehicles per week and 6500 power walls. That's pretty good. People are going to start buying these suckers and battery prices have to go down at some point if we don't run out of lithium. Geology professor they're testing new side repeater cameras with a wider field of view. What do you think of that? What's the deal with that? Is it anything to do with self driving improvements? Or is it just a feature for coolness, for having a better surround view of. The car? I would think it's probably both. I mean, there's always going to be upgrades, there's always going to be new camera modules available, so why not move to the new ones? This is the Clean Energy Show with Brian Stafford and James Whittingham. Every now and again, Brian a Twitter thread. Blows my mind, blows my little head. And this is one of those Twitter threads. It was from David Fickling, a Bloomberg New Energy opinion writer for Bloomberg. He says that solar is on an unstoppable path to solve climate change. And this is something that he didn't know. He's not telling us that. He said he looked into it, he talked to all the analysis and found out that solar is going gangbusters. And not only that, but it's enough to solve climate change on paper and then some by 2050. This is where we have to get to by 2050. He says there's more than enough being built now, basically, to be easily on that path. He says the energy supply to solve the climate is already under construction right now, and it's enough even if the current factories only run at 70%. So it's not like everybody's going to 100% and steam is coming out of the buildings and people are running around. It's like casual 70% is nothing. Anybody who runs less than 70% is not profitable. So he says, I was absolutely astonished to discover this. The solar supply chain we need to reach net zero is already under construction. Current planned and under construction capacity for solar poly silicon industry would be sufficient to support a solar sector producing nearly one terawatt of PV panels every year. That's 1 TB every year. So new solar only generates about 20% of the time. Okay, this is for reference. Nuclear does about 90%, 50% for coal and gas and offshore wind, which surprised me. I thought offshore wind was a bit better than 50%, and it's 35% for hydro. And onshore wind, 35% for hydro. I always grew up with the belief that hydro was a constant. They always say hydro is like a base power, but we're finding out with climate change and droughts that it's not and also seasonal. So it's not. So if hydro is only producing 35% of the time, of course pumped hydro works as battery storage because you just pump it back upstream. You lose 20% of your energy doing that, but batteries lose something in the hand off, too. So, yeah, it makes sense. Pumped hydro is hydro that doesn't depend on nature. This is one terawatt. It's equivalent to 5.8% of annual global electricity consumption. That's right now, right now, every year we are going to make 5.8%, almost 6% of global energy production in solar alone, starting very soon. Not in the 20, fourties very soon. That's amazing. To give it in a bit more context, he said the IEA last year worked out what you need to do to get to net zero this is the International Energy Agency. We worked out last year what you need to get to net zero by 2050, which is our target for climate change, to keep it at 1.5 degrees of warming and start to bring global warming to a halt. Instead you would need an average of 63 year installed between 2000 and 32,050. And he says one of solar alone is getting output now very soon. Under the construction is there to have one terawatt every year. So current polysilicone capacity construction is about $20 billion more than the current production at factories and constantly underestimating growth. Five years ago, the IEA estimated what the solar capacity production would be right now and they are 40% low. And it's the big underestimate of everything we do talk about on this show. So regulatory roadblocks, though this is caveat, are likely to be bigger bottleneck than the supply chain because wind has a lot of regulatory roadblocks and bottlenecks, I guess things like that. Mining too, like we were talking about lithium. Part of it is the permitting process for processing lithium and most panel construction production rather is in China. So political issues could arise. But the gold rush on poly silicon will likely cause prices to crash even further. So this is very positive for the world and it's hard for us to say that the technology and prices are going to solve climate change because the people who are at the forefront of that are hopeful. But it's just hard to say that. But it seems like there is a lot of positive news and this is basically the thesis of our podcast that prices of the technology we talked about is going to change the world and perhaps save it. Yeah, clean energy will win because it's better and cheaper. High temperatures are making people angrier online. So this is another article from Bloomberg. Somebody did a study about when temperatures rise above 30 degrees Celsius or 86 Fahrenheit, hate speech increases on social media when the temperatures go above 30 Celsius. You're kidding. This is maybe not too surprising. I mean, people get hot and they get angry. Actually makes me think of you remember do the Right Thing, the great Spike Lee film from 25 years ago or so. That film takes place on the hottest day of the summer in Brooklyn, right? Yeah. Tempers start to flare because it's so damn hot. And so I don't know, it's maybe just common sense, but somebody did a study and this is a thing that you can measure. You go on social media and you can evaluate the posts and absolutely more hate speech and bad behavior when the temperatures rise. And with climate change, the temperatures are going to be rising more often. You know, whenever there's the first hot day of a season or a hot day after a cold snap, I find that people have road rage around here a lot. Yeah, the speeding and I think the police should model on forecast and other traffic enforcement. Brian, it's time for what do you think? What do you think? This is where I asked Brian what he thinks about topics that I am unsure of. BMW confirms it will adopt Tesla's four six, eight cell format pledging billions of dollars for six global factories. What do you think? Yeah, it sounds like a smart idea. I wasn't sure everybody was going to adopt up the Tesla 46 80 sell. I mean, it'll still be one of many, I guess, but it's a very new form factor. So interesting that other people are adopting it. Electrify America is rebranding it's 350 kilowatt and 150 kilowatt fast chargers and the one will be hyper fast and the other will be ultra fast. Do you know which one is which? I don't know. I think those names are useless because who knows what's faster, hyper or ultra. Tesla solar now has to come with powerwall. So if you buy solar from Tesla, you have to get a powerwall with it, which aren't cheap, by the way. There are thousands and thousands of dollars. I don't know why. What do you think about that? What's the point of that? Well, I mentioned it has to do with their limited ability to they've had some difficulty expanding their solar, so I don't know, they've crunched the numbers and they can only serve a limited number of people anyway, so they might as well do it the way they want to. Elon Musk still says that 6 billion Tesla FSD full self driving beta miles driven by consumers like yourself are necessary for global regulatory approval. Do you know where they're at now? What does that mean? Yeah, it just means there's a lot of miles before it's going to work or what? Yes, I'm surprised that there's any kind of a number attached to it. I mean, the main thing is the software has got to work, so who knows how many billions of miles they're going to need. And they can't process all the data from all those miles, so yeah, I'm not sure what that means. All right, let's briefly dip into the mail bag, Brian. And also the lighting round is coming up later in the show where we'll skip through the rest of the week's headlines. Dear Clean Energy Show, I am an autistic boy named Name withheld to talk about ammonia and hydrogen vehicles in your podcast. Here are some videos about it. And he gave us about 90 links to YouTube videos. And I'm not even exaggerating, there is dozens and dozens of links that he gave, which is great. And he says, credit me under the alias Clasol Blano for giving you the suggestion and the research, please. Fame isn't for me. Have a nice day, gentlemen. That's one of the problems when people write into the podcast, Brian, is fame, instant fame that you have to deal with. And fame is not something for everyone. We understand that it's very fleeting. Very fleeting, yeah. But I definitely want to know more about ammonia and hydrogen. Those are both interesting possible things that can be done green in the future. Absolutely. And we will use some of your research and look at it. And we are hoping to know more and talk more and have some interviews coming up as well, perhaps. So we like to hear from you. Contact us cleanenergyshow@gmail.com. We're on Twitter and TikTok. Hello. We're everywhere. Brian, don't forget our YouTube channel and our Speak Pipe Cleanenergy Show is our handle on Speedpipe.com Cleanenergy Show. And now, of course, it's time for the lightning round. It's time for the lightning round. A fast paced look at the week in clean energy news. And Brian, this week, this year, rather, germany moved to a goal of 100% renewables by 2035. They doubled the goal for onshore wind, tripled solar goals, quadrupled offshore wind guards, all in the space of a few weeks. Thank you, Russia. Thank you, Putin. Yeah, that's working out great. Under the climate change file, unprecedented floods killed 1400, injured 13,000, and damaged 1.17 million homes and destroyed another half million more and washed away livestock and crops in Pakistan, something we haven't mentioned on the show and is under reported in the news. Perhaps we did mention it briefly a couple of weeks ago. I know, but it's true. This is a massive story and all of our thoughts to people in Pakistan dealing with that horrible tragedy. And it's time for clean energy. Class Fact. Brian, a single Tesla megapack. That is the semi truck size utility megapack and hold enough energy to charge how many Tesla vehicles? 40. That's not bad. I mean, the battery packs and cars are pretty big, so, yeah, that's good to know. From Electric Autonomy, Canada. Toronto Fire Services, Canada's largest municipal fire department, is buying his first electric pumper truck. Unfortunately, it'll cost twice as much as a standard one, $2 million. What do you think of that? Wow. I mean, more upfront, but probably cheaper in the long run. That's usually how these things work. They told electric Autonomy, Canada. North American firefighters prefer something bigger and more traditional looking in the fire truck department. So we decided that we were going to build a truck that looked and felt like a North American fire truck, which sounds like it's overbuilt and it's just going to run an electric instead of diesel. Well, time for another clean energy show. Fast fact. In 2020, 70% to 80% of lithiumion battery costs were raw materials this year, but in 2010, it was only 20% to 30%. So, yes, the rest of the battery has come down the raw materials, not as much. But that just goes to show you that making a lot of batteries reduces the prices. Interesting. From Bloomberg, the United States is estimated to host about a third of global crypto asset operations. And get this, it currently consumes about zero 9% to 1.7% of total US electricity usage. Yeah, turn off your crypto in California when the power might go out. Guys, that's the first thing you should start in a clean energy future. Not a big deal, but right now, we don't need that. Panasonic scoped two potential sites in the United States, kansas and Oklahoma for a $4 billion investment in a new lithium ion battery assembly plant likely to support Tesla EV assembly in Texas. They initially selected Kansas, but after the big biden bill, the IRA, the Inflation Reduction Act passed. They said, what the heck, why not both they doubled it. They doubled just like that. There you go. Sign of the time. It's not the future, it's now. No more coal ruling. The EPA recently announced the living of millions of dollars in fines against companies for selling equipment designed to circumvent pollution controls illegal under the Clean Air Act. And I say, God bless you. About time. We don't want any more damn coal. Related that is our time for this week. We like to hear from you. Contact us. As I said, our email is Cleanenergy show@gmail.com. Get out your typewriter now and send us a message. We're on Twitter. TikTok clean Energy Pod. Don't forget to check out our YouTube channel because we are there in visual form and you can leave us a voicemail@speakbite.com cleanenergyshow. And we will mention your birthday on your birthday. And if you're new to the show, remember to subscribe to our podcast us, because every week you get more of this great content. And God save the king. See you next week.  

Mental Reps Podcast
Ep. 93 - Mike Cannon

Mental Reps Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 8, 2022 34:32


Comedian Mike Cannon joins the podcast to talk about his new special ‘Huge Mistake', growing up in New York, moving in with family during the pandemic, how having a child is weirdly psychedelic, being a ‘joy pusher', how his car was hit by a Prius during our interview, his upcoming gig as Headliner of ‘Shamrock Comedy Club' in Ft. Lauderdale, FL – September 27th, 2022 and much more. Enjoy another set of Mental Reps! – Hosted by Brian Wright.

The Lunar Society
38: Austin Vernon - Energy Superabundance, Starship Missiles, & Finding Alpha

The Lunar Society

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 8, 2022 144:32


Austin Vernon is an engineer working on a new method for carbon capture, and he has one of the most interesting blogs on the internet, where he writes about engineering, software, economics, and investing.We discuss how energy superabundance will change the world, how Starship can be turned into a kinetic weapon, why nuclear is overrated, blockchains, batteries, flying cars, finding alpha, & much more!Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here.Subscribe to find out about future episodes!Follow Austin on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.Please share if you enjoyed this episode! Helps out a ton!Timestamps(0:00:00) - Intro(0:01:53) - Starship as a Weapon(0:19:24) - Software Productivity(0:41:40) - Car Manufacturing(0:57:39) - Carbon Capture(1:16:53) - Energy Superabundance(1:25:09) - Storage for Cheap Energy(1:31:25) - Travel in Future(1:33:27) - Future Cities(1:39:58) - Flying Cars(1:43:26) - Carbon Shortage(1:48:03) - Nuclear(2:12:44) - Solar(2:14:44) - Alpha & Efficient Markets(2:22:51) - ConclusionTranscriptIntroDwarkesh Patel (00:00:00):Okay! Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Austin Vernon who writes about engineering, software, economics, and investing on the internet, though not that much else is known about him. So Austin, do you want to give us a bit of info about your background? I know that the only thing the internet knows about you is this one little JPEG that you had to upload with your recent paper. But what about an identity reveal or I guess a little bit of a background reveal? Just to the extent that you're comfortable sharing.Austin Vernon (00:00:29):My degree is in chemical engineering and I've had a lifelong love for engineering as well as things like the Toyota Production System. I've also worked as a chemical engineer in a large processing facility where I've done a lot of petroleum engineering. I taught myself how to write software and now I'm working on more research and the early commercialization of CO2 electrolysis.Dwarkesh Patel (00:00:59):Okay yeah. I'm really interested in talking about all those things. The first question I have is from Alex Berger, who's the co-CEO of Open Philanthropy. When I asked on Twitter what I should ask you, he suggested that I should ask “Why so shady?” Famously you have kind of an anonymous personality, pseudonymous thing going on the internet. What's up with that?Austin Vernon (00:01:25):Yeah. I think he posted a tweet that said “I don't know who this guy is or if he's credible at all, but his stuff sure is interesting”. That really made me laugh. I thought that was hilarious. Fame just doesn't seem necessary, I think I'm fine with my ideas being well known and communicating, but I have less desire to be personally famous.Starship as a WeaponDwarkesh Patel (00:01:52):Gotcha, gotcha. I wanted to start off with a sexy topic, let's talk about using Starship as a kinetic weapon. I thought that was one of the more amusing posts you wrote. Do you want to talk more about how this would be possible?Austin Vernon (00:02:08):Well, I think the main thing with Starship is that you're taking a technology and you're making it about 100 times cheaper for cargo and 1000 times cheaper for people. When things like that happen that drastically, you're just looking at huge changes and it's really hard to anticipate what some of those can be when the change is that drastic. I think there's a lot of moon-based, Mars-based stuff that doesn't really catch the general public's eye. They also have trouble imagining some of the point-to-point travel that could be possible. But when you start talking about it as a weapon, then I think it lets people know they should be paying attention to this technology. And we certainly do not want to be second or third getting it. We should make sure that we're going to be first.Dwarkesh Patel (00:03:05):Yeah. I think you mentioned this in the post, but as recently as the '90s, the cost of sending one kilogram to space was around $20,000. More recently, SpaceX has brought it to $2,000. Lots of interesting questions pop up when you ask, “What will be possible once we get it down to $200 per kilogram to send into orbit?” One of them could be about how we might manufacture these weapons that are not conventional ballistics. Do you want to talk about why this might be an advancement over conventional ballistic weapons?Austin Vernon (00:03:37):Well, regular conventional ballistic weapons are extremely expensive. This is more like a bomb truck. But usually we think of B52 as the bomb truck and this could be even cheaper than the B52, delivering just mass on target. When you think about how expensive it is to fly a B52 from Barksdale in Louisiana all the way across the world.. you can do it from south Texas or Florida with the Starship and get more emissions per day and the fuel ends up being. When you go orbital, it takes a lot to get to orbit. But then once you're in orbit, your fuel consumption's pretty good. So over long distances, it has a lot of advantage. That's why the point-to-point works for longer distances.Austin Vernon (00:04:27):There's really a sweet spot with these weapons where you want it to be pretty accurate, but you also want it to be cheap. You're seeing that problem with Russia right now as they have some fancy parade style weapons that are really expensive, like multi-billion dollar cruise missiles, but they're missing that $5,000 guided artillery shell or that $20,000 JDM that you can just pit massive. Or the multiple launch rocket system, guided rockets. They're really short on all those because I think they had just had a limited amount of chips they could get from the US into Russia to make these advanced weapons.Austin Vernon (00:05:07):But yeah, so the Starship gives you just a platform to deliver. You could put JDMs in a shroud, or you could just have the iron unguided kinetic projectiles, and it just becomes impossible for a ship to launch missiles to intercept yours if your cost is so low, you can just overwhelm them.Dwarkesh Patel (00:05:29):Okay. There are a few terms there that neither I nor the audience might know. So what is JDM? What is shroud? And why are chips a bottleneck here? Why can't it just be any micro-controller?Austin Vernon (00:05:42):So JDM is Joint Direct Attack Munition. So what we did is we took all our Vietnam surplus bonds and we put this little fin-kit on it and it costs like $20,000, which is cheap for a weapon because the actual bond costs, I don't know, $3,000. And then it turns it into a guided weapon that, before you were probably lucky to get within 500 meters of a target, now you can get it in with two meters. So the number of missions you have to do with your planes and all that goes down by orders of magnitude. So it's an absolutely huge advantage in logistics and in just how much firepower you can put on a target. And we didn't even have to make new bombs, we just put these kits on all our old bombs.Austin Vernon (00:06:33):Let's see.. Yeah the chips are a problem. There's this organization called RUSI. I think they're in the UK, but they've been tearing down all these Russian weapons they found in Ukraine and they all have American chips in them. So technically, they're not supposed to be able to get these chips. And yet, Russia can't make a lot of its own chips. And especially not the specialized kinds you might want for guided weapons. So they've been somehow smuggling in chips from Americans to make their advanced weaponsDwarkesh Patel (00:07:03):What is special about these? As far as I'm aware, the trade with China is still going on and we get a lot of our chips manufactured from Taiwan or China. So why can't they do the same?Austin Vernon (00:07:14):It's the whole integration. It's not just the specific chip, but the board. They're more like PLCs where you almost have wired-in programming and they come with this ability to do the guidance and all that stuff. It all kind of has to work together. I think that's the way I understand it. I don't know. Maybe I don't have a really good answer for that one, but they're hard to replicate is what matters.Dwarkesh Patel (00:07:43):Okay that's interesting. Yeah, I guess that has a lot of interesting downstream effects, because for example, India buys a lot of its weapons from Russia. So if Russia doesn't have access to these, then other countries that buy from Russia won't have access to these either.Dwarkesh Patel (00:07:58):You had an interesting speculation in the post where you suggested that you could just keep these kinetic weapons in orbit, in a sort of Damocles state really, almost literally. That sounds like an incredibly scary and risky scenario where you could have orbital decay and you could have these kinetic weapons falling from the sky and destroying cities. Do you think this is what it will look like or could look like in 10 to 20 years?Austin Vernon (00:08:26):Well, yeah, so the advantage of having weapons on orbit is you can hit targets faster. So if you're launching the rocket from Florida, you're looking at maybe 30 minutes to get there and the target can move away in that time. Whereas if you're on orbit, you can have them spaced out to where you're hitting within a few minutes. So that's the advantage there.Austin Vernon (00:08:46):You really have to have a two stage system I think for most, because if you have a really aerodynamic rod that's going to give you really good performance in the low atmosphere, it'll end up going too fast and just burn up before it gets there. Tungsten's maybe the only thing that you could have that could go all the way through which is why I like the original concept of using these big tungsten rods the size of a telephone pole. But tungsten's pretty expensive. And the rod concept kind of limits what you can do.Austin Vernon (00:09:28):So a lot of these weapons will have, that's what I was talking about with the shroud, something that actually slows you down in the upper atmosphere. And then once you're at the velocity where you're not just going to melt, then you open it up and let it go. So if you actually had it fall from the sky, some may make it to the ground, but a lot would burn up. So a lot of the stuff that makes it to the ground is actually pretty light. It's stuff that can float and has a large surface area. Yeah, that's the whole thing with Starship. Or not Starship, but Starlink. All those satellites are meant to completely fall apart on de-orbit.Dwarkesh Patel (00:10:09):I see. One of the implications of that is that these may be less powerful than we might fear, because since kinetic energy is mass times velocity squared and there's an upper bound on the velocity (velocity being the component that grows the kinetic energy faster), then it suggests that you can upper bound the power these things will have. You know what I mean?Austin Vernon (00:10:32):Yeah, so even the tungsten rods. Sometimes people, they're not very good at physics, so they don't do the math. They think it's going to be a nuclear weapon, but it's really not. I think even the tungsten rod is like 10 tons of T&T or something. It's a big bomb, but it's not a super weapon.Austin Vernon (00:10:54):So I think I said in the post, it's about using advanced missiles where they're almost more defensive weapons so I can keep you from pitting your ship somewhere. Yeah I could try to bombard your cities, but I can't take ground with it. I can't even police sea lanes with it really. I'd still have to use regular ships if I had this air cover to go enforce the rules of the sea and stuff like that.Dwarkesh Patel (00:11:23):Yeah. You speculated in the post, I think, that you could load this up with shrapnel and then it could explode next to an incoming missile or an incoming aircraft. Could these get that accurate? Because that was surprising speculation to me.Austin Vernon (00:11:43):I think for ships, it's pretty... I was watching videos of how fast a ship can turn and stuff. If you're going to do an initial target on a ship to try to kill their radars, you'd want to do it above the ceiling of their missiles. So it's like, how much are they going to move between your release where you stop steering and that? The answer's maybe 1000 feet. So that's pretty simple because you just shrapnel the area.Austin Vernon (00:12:12):Targeting aircraft, you would be steering all the way in. I'd say it's doable, but it'd be pretty hard. You'd actually maybe want to even go slower than you would with the ship attack. You'd need a specialized package to attack the aircraft, but if you have enough synthetic aperture radar and stuff like that, you could see these aircraft using satellites and then guide the bomb in the whole way. You could even load heat seeking missiles into a package that unfurls right next to them and launch conventional missiles too, probably. It'd be pretty hard to do some of this stuff, but they're just the things you might be able to do if you put some effort into it.Dwarkesh Patel (00:12:57):Yeah. The reason I find this kind of speculation really interesting is because when you look at the modern weaponry that's used in conflicts, it just seems directly descendant from something you would've seen in World War II or something. If you think about how much warfare changed between 1900 and 1940, it's like, yeah, they're not even the same class of weapons anymore. So it's interesting to think about possibilities like these where the entire category of weapons has changed.Austin Vernon (00:13:33):You're right and that's because our physical technology hasn't changed that much. So it really has just made more sense to put better electronics in the same tanks. We haven't learned enough about tanks to build a new physical tank that's way better, so we just keep upgrading our existing tanks with better electronics. They're much more powerful, they're more accurate. A lot of times, they have longer range weapons and better sensors. So the tank looks the same, but it maybe has several times more killing power. But the Ukraine war right now, they're using a lot of 40, 50 year old weapons so that especially looks like that.Dwarkesh Patel (00:14:20):Yeah. Which kind of worries you if you think about the stockpiles our own military has. I'm not well educated on the topic, but I imagine that we don't have the newest of the new thing. We probably have maintained versions of decades old technology.Austin Vernon (00:14:35):We spend so much, we've got relatively... This kind of gets into debate about how ready our military is. For certain situations, it's more ready than others. I'd say in general, most people talking about it have the incentive to downplay our capabilities because they want more defense spending. There's lots of reasons. So I think we're probably more capable than what you might see from some editorial in The Hill or whatever. Us just sending a few weapons over to Ukraine and seeing how successful they've been at using them, I think, shows a little bit of that.Austin Vernon (00:15:18):There's so much uncertainty when it comes to fighting, especially when you're talking about a naval engagement, where we don't just don't have that many ships in general… you can have some bad luck. So I think you always want to be a little bit wary. You don't want to get overconfident.Dwarkesh Patel (00:15:37):Yeah. And if the offensive tech we sent to Ukraine is potentially better than the defensive tech, it's very possible that even a ballistic missile that China or Russia could launch would sink a battleship and then kill the 2,000 or 1,000 whatever soldiers that are on board. Or I guess, I don't know, you think this opens up avenues for defensive tech as well?Austin Vernon (00:16:03):Yeah––generally the consensus is that defensive technology has improved much more recently than offensive technology. This whole strategy China has is something they call anti-access/area denial, A2/AD. That's basically just how missiles have gotten better because the sensors on missiles have gotten better. So they can keep our ships from getting close to them but they can't really challenge us in Hawaii or something. And it really goes both ways, I think people forget that. So yeah, it's hard for us to get close to China, but Taiwan has a lot of missiles with these new sensors as well. So I think it's probably tougher for China to do it close to Taiwan than most people would say.Dwarkesh Patel (00:16:55):Oh, interesting. Yeah, can you talk more about that? Because every time I read about this, people are saying that if China wanted to, they could knock out Taiwan's defenses in a short amount of time and take it over. Yeah, so can you talk about why that's not possible?Austin Vernon (00:17:10):Well, it might be, but I think it's a guess of the uncertainty [inaudible 00:17:14]. Taiwan has actually one of the largest defense budgets in the world and they've recently been upping it. I think they spend, I don't know, $25 billion a year and they added an extra $5 billion. And they've been buying a lot of anti-ship missiles, a lot of air defense missiles.. Stuff that Ukraine could only dream of. I think Ukraine's military budget was $2 billion and they have a professional army. And then the other thing is Taiwan's an island, whereas Russia could just roll over the land border into Ukraine.Austin Vernon (00:17:44):There's just been very few successful amphibious landings in history. The most recent ones were all the Americans in World War II and Korea. So the challenge there is just... It's kind of on China to execute perfectly and do that. So if they had perfect execution, then possibly it would be feasible. But if their air defenses on their ships aren't quite as good as we think they could possibly be, then they could also end up with half their fleet underwater within 10 hours.Dwarkesh Patel (00:18:20):Interesting. And how has your view of Taiwan's defensive capabilities changed... How has the Ukraine conflict updated your opinion on what might happen?Austin Vernon (00:18:29):I didn't really know how much about it. And then I started looking at Wikipedia and stuff and all this stuff they're doing. Taiwan just has a lot of modern platforms like F16s with our anti-ship missiles. They actually have a lot of their own. They have indigenous fighter bombers, indigenous anti-ship missiles because they're worried we might not always sell them to them.Austin Vernon (00:18:54):They've even recently gotten these long range cruise missiles that could possibly target leadership in Beijing. So I think that makes it uncomfortable for the Chinese leadership. If you attack them, you're going to have to go live in a bunker. But again, I'm not a full-time military analyst or something, so there's a lot of uncertainty around what I'm saying. It's not a given that China's just going to roll over them.Software ProductivityDwarkesh Patel (00:19:22):Okay. That's comforting to hear. Let's talk about an area where I have a little bit of a point of contact. I thought your blog post about software and the inability of it to increase productivity numbers, I thought that was super fascinating. So before I ask you questions about it, do you want to lay out the thesis there?Austin Vernon (00:19:43):Yeah. So if there's one post I kind of felt like I caught lightning in a bottle on, it's that one. Everything I wanted to put in, it just fit together perfectly, which is usually not the case.Austin Vernon (00:19:55):I think the idea is that the world's so complex and we really underestimate that complexity. If you're going to digitize processes and automate them and stuff, you have to capture all that complexity basically at the bit level, and that's extremely difficult. And then you also have diminishing returns where the easily automatable stuff goes first and then it's increasing corner cases to get to the end, so you just have to go through more and more code basically. We don't see runaway productivity growth from software because we're fighting all this increasing complexity.Dwarkesh Patel (00:20:39):Yeah. Have you heard of the waterbed theory of complexity by the way?Austin Vernon (00:20:42):I don't think so.Dwarkesh Patel (00:20:44):Okay. It's something that comes up in compiler design: the idea is that there's a fixed amount of complexity in a system. If you try to reduce it, what you'll end up doing is just you'll end up migrating the complexity elsewhere. I think an example that's used of this is when they try to program languages that are not type safe, something like Python. You can say, “oh, it's a less complex language”, but really, you've added complexity when, I don't know, two different types of numbers are interacting like a float and an int. As your program grows, that complexity exponentially grows along with all the things that could go wrong when you're making two things interact in a way that you were expecting not to. So yeah, the idea is you can just choose where to have your complexity, but you can't get rid of that complexity.Austin Vernon (00:21:38):I think that's kind of an interesting thing when you start pairing it with management theory... when you add up all the factors, the most complex thing you're doing is high volume car manufacturing. And so we got a lot of innovations and organization from car manufacturers like the assembly line. Then you had Sloan at GM basically creating the way the modern corporation is run, then you have the Toyota Production System.Austin Vernon (00:22:11):But arguably now, creating software is actually the most complex thing we do. So there's all these kinds of squishy concepts that underlie things like the Toyota Production System that softwares had to learn and reimagine and adopt and you see that with Agile where, “oh, we can't have long release times. We need to be releasing every day,” which means we're limiting inventory there.Austin Vernon (00:22:42):There's a whole thing especially that's showing up in software that existed in carbon manufacturing where you're talking about reducing communication. So Jeff Bezos kind of now famously said, "I want to reduce communication," which is counterintuitive to a lot of people. This is age-old in car manufacturing where Toyota has these cards that go between workstations and they tell you what to do. So people normally think of them as limiting inventory, but it also tells the worker exactly what they're supposed to be doing at what pace, at what time. The assembly line is like that too. You just know what to do because you're standing there and there's a part here and it needs to go on there, and it comes by at the pace you're supposed to work at.Austin Vernon (00:23:29):It's so extreme that there's this famous paper, by List, Syverson and Levitt. They went to a car factory and studied how defects propagated in cars and stuff. Once a car factory gets up and running, it doesn't matter what workers you put in there, if workers are sick or you get new workers, the defect rate is the same. So all the knowledge is built into the manufacturing line.Austin Vernon (00:23:59):There's these concepts around idiot-proofing and everything that are very similar to what you'll see. You had Uncle Bob on here. So Uncle Bob says only put one input into a function and stuff like that because you'll mix them up otherwise. The Japanese call it poka-yoke. You make it where you can't mess it up. And that's another way to reduce communication, and then software, of course you have APIs.Austin Vernon (00:24:28):So I'm really interested in this overall concept of reducing communication, and reducing how much cooperation and everything we need to run the economy.Dwarkesh Patel (00:24:41):Right. Right. Speaking of the Toyota Production System, one thing they do to reduce that defect rate is if there's a problem, all the workers in that chain are forced to go to the place where the defect problem is and fix it before doing anything else. The idea there is that this will give them context to understand what the problem was and how to make sure it doesn't happen again. It also prevents a build up of inventory in a way that keeps making these defects happen or just keeps accumulating inventory before the place that can fix the defects is able to take care of them.Austin Vernon (00:25:17):Right. Yeah, yeah. Exactly.Dwarkesh Patel (00:25:19):Yeah. But I think one interesting thing about software and complexity is that software is a place where complexity is the highest in our world right now but software gives you the choice to interface with the complexity you want to interface with. I guess that's just part of specialization in general, but you could say for example that a machine learning model is really complex, but ideally, you get to a place where that's the only kind of complexity you have to deal with. You're not having to deal with the complexity of “How is this program compiled? How are the libraries that I'm using? How are they built?” You can fine tune and work on the complexity you need to work on.Dwarkesh Patel (00:26:05):It's similar to app development. Byrne Hobart has this blog post about Stripe as solid state. The basic idea is that Stripe hides all the complexity of the financial system: it charges a higher fee, but you can just treat it as an abstraction of a tithe you have to pay, and it'll just take care of that entire process so you can focus on your comparative advantage.Austin Vernon (00:26:29):It's really actually very similar in car manufacturing and the Toyota Production System if you really get into it. It's very much the same conceptual framework. There's this whole idea in Toyota Production System, everyone works at the same pace, which you kind of talked about. But also, your work content is the same. There's no room for not standardizing a way you're going to do things. So everyone gets together and they're like, “All right, we're going to do this certain part. We're going to put it together this certain way at this little micro station. And it's going to be the same way every time.” That's part of how they're reducing the defect rates. If your assembly process is longer than what your time allotment is to stay in touch with the rest of the process, then you just keep breaking it down into smaller pieces. So through this, each person only has to know a very small part of it.Austin Vernon (00:27:33):The overall engineering team has all sorts of strategies and all sorts of tools to help them break up all these processes into very small parts and make it all hold together. It's still very, very hard, but it's kind of a lot of the same ideas because you're taking away the complexity of making a $30,000 car or 30,000 part car where everyone's just focusing on their one little part and they don't care what someone else is doing.Dwarkesh Patel (00:28:06):Yeah. But the interesting thing is that it seems like you need one person who knows how everything fits together. Because from what I remember, one of the tenets of the Toyota Production System was you need to have a global view. So, in that book, was it the machine or the other one, the Toyota Production System book? But anyways, they were talking about examples where people would try to optimize for local efficiencies. I think they especially pointed to Ford and GM for trying to do this where they would try to make machines run all the time. And locally, you could say that, “oh this machine or process is super efficient. It's always outputting stuff.” But it ignores how that added inventory or that process had a bad consequence for the whole system.Dwarkesh Patel (00:28:50):And so it's interesting if you look at a company like Tesla that's able to do this really well. Tesla is run like a monarchy and this one guy has this total global view of how the entire process is supposed to run and where you have these inefficiencies.. You had some great examples of this in the blog post. I think one of the examples is this guy (the author) goes to this factory and he asks, "Is this an efficient factory?" And the guy's like, "Yeah, this is totally efficient. There's nothing we can do, adopting the Toyota way, to make this more efficient."Dwarkesh Patel (00:29:22):And so then he's like, "Okay, let me look." And he finds that they're treating steel in some way, and the main process does only take a couple of seconds, but some local manager decided that it would be more efficient to ship their parts out, to get the next stage of the process done somewhere else. So this is locally cheaper, but the result is that it takes weeks to get these parts shipped out and get them back. Which means that the actual time that the parts spend getting processed is 0.1% of the time, making the whole process super inefficient. So I don't know, it seems like the implication is you need a very monarchical structure, with one person who has a total view, in order to run such a system. Or am I getting that wrong?Austin Vernon (00:30:12):Not necessarily. I mean, you do have to make sure you're not optimizing locally, but I think it's the same. You have that same constraint in software, but I think a lot of times people are just running over it because processing has been getting so much cheaper. People are expensive, so if you could save development time, it just ends up the trade offs are different when you're talking about the tyranny of physical items and stuff like that, the constraints get a little more severe. But I think you have the same overall. You still have to fight local optimization, but the level you have to is probably different with physical goods.Austin Vernon (00:30:55):I was thinking about the smart grid situation from a software perspective, and there's this problem where, okay, I'm putting my solar farm here and it's impacting somewhere far away, and that's then creating these really high upgrade costs, that cost two or three times more than my solar farm. Well, the obvious thing would be, if you're doing software, is like you're going to break all these up into smaller sections, and then you wouldn't be impacting each other and all that, and you could work and focus on your own little thing.Austin Vernon (00:31:29):But the problem with that is if you're going to disconnect these areas of the grid, the equipment to do that is extremely expensive. It's not like I'm just going to hit a new tab and open a new file and start writing a new function. And not only that, but you still have to actually coordinate how this equipment is going to operate. So if you just let the grid flow as it does, everyone knows what's going to happen because they could just calculate the physics. If you start adding in all these checkpoints where humans are doing stuff, then you have to actually interface with the humans, and the amount of things that can happen really starts going up. So it's actually a really bad idea to try to cart all this stuff off, just because of the reality of the physical laws and the equipment you need and everything like that.Dwarkesh Patel (00:32:22):Okay. Interesting. And then I think you have a similar Coasean argument in your software post about why vertically integrating software is beneficial. Do you want to explain that thesis?Austin Vernon (00:32:34):Yeah. I think it actually gets to what we're talking about here, where it allows you to avoid the local optimization. Because a lot of times you're trying to build a software MVP, and you're tying together a few services… they don't do quite what you need, so if you try to scale that, it would just break. But if you're going to take a really complex process, like car manufacturing or retail distribution, or the home buying process or something, you really have to vertically integrate it to be able to create a decent end-to-end experience and avoid that local optimization.Austin Vernon (00:33:20):And it's just very hard otherwise, because you just can't coordinate effectively if you have 10 different vendors trying to do all the same thing. You end up in just constant vendor meetings, where you're trying to decide what the specs are or something instead of giving someone the authority, or giving a team the authority to just start building stuff. Then if you look at these companies, they have to implement these somewhat decentralized processes when they get too complex, but at least they have control over how they're interfacing with each other. Walmart, as the vendors, control their own stock. They don't tell the vendor, "We need X parts." It's just like, it's on you to make sure your shelf is stocked.Dwarkesh Patel (00:34:07):Yeah. Yeah. So what was really interesting to me about this part of the post was, I don't know, I guess I had heard of this vision of we're software setting, where everybody will have a software as a service company, and they'll all be interfacing with each other in some sort of cycle where they're all just calling each other's APIs. And yeah, basically everybody and their mother would have a SAAS company. The implication here was, from your argument, that given the necessity of integrating all those complexity vertically in a coherent way, then the winners in software should end up being a few big companies, right? They compete with each other, but still...Austin Vernon (00:34:49):I think that's especially true when you're talking about combining bits and apps. Maybe less true for pure software. The physical world is just so much more complex, and so the constraints it creates are pretty extreme, compared to like... you could maybe get away with more of everyone and their mom having an API in a pure software world.Dwarkesh Patel (00:35:14):Right. Yeah. I guess, you might think that even in the physical world, given that people really need to focus on their comparative advantage, they would just try to outsource the software parts to these APIs. But is there any scenario where the learning curve for people who are not in the firm can be fast enough that they can keep up with the complexity? Because there's huge gains for specialization and competition that go away if this is the world we're forced to live in. And then I guess we have a lot of counter examples, or I guess we have a lot of examples of what you're talking about. Like Apple is the biggest market cap in the world, right? And famously they're super vertically integrated. And yeah, obviously their thing is combining hardware and software. But yeah, is there any world in which it can keep that kind of benefit, but have it be within multiple firms?Austin Vernon (00:36:10):This is a post I've got on my list I want to write. The blockchain application, which excites me personally the most, is reimagining enterprise software. Because the things you're talking about, like hard typing and APIs are just basically built into some of these protocols. So I think it just really has a lot of exciting implications for how much you can decentralize software development. But the thing is, you can still do that within the firm. So I think I mentioned this, if the government's going to place all these rules on the edge of the firm, it makes transactions with other firms expensive. So a few internal transactions can be cheaper, because they're avoiding the government reporting and taxes and all that kind of stuff. So I think you'd have to think about how these technologies can reduce transaction costs overall and decentralize that, but also what are the costs between firms?Dwarkesh Patel (00:37:22):Yeah, it's really interesting if the costs are logistic, or if they're based on the knowledge that is housed, as you were talking about, within a factory or something. Because if it is just logistical and stuff, like you had to report any outside transactions, then it does imply that those technology blockchain could help. But if it is just that you need to be in the same office, and if you're not, then you're going to have a hard time keeping up with what the new requirements for the API are, then maybe it's that, yeah, maybe the inevitability is that you'll have these big firms that are able to vertically integrate.Austin Vernon (00:37:59):Yeah, for these big firms to survive, they have to be somewhat decentralized within them. So I think you have... you're going to the same place as just how are we viewing it, what's our perception? So even if it's a giant corporation, it's going to have very independent business units as opposed to something like a 1950s corporation.Dwarkesh Patel (00:38:29):Yeah. Byrne Hobart, by the way, has this really interesting post that you might enjoy reading while you're writing that post. It's type safe communications, and it's about that Bezos thing, about his strict style for how to communicate and how little to communicate. There's many examples in Amazon protocols where you have to... the only way you can put in this report, is in this place you had to give a number. You can't just say, "This is very likely," you had to say like, "We project X percent increase," or whatever. So it has to be a percent. And there's many other cases where they're strict about what type definition you can have in written reports or something. It has kind of the same consequence that type strict languages have, which is that you can keep track of what the value is through the entire chain of the flow of control.Austin Vernon (00:39:22):You've got to keep work content standardized.Dwarkesh Patel (00:39:26):So we've been hinting at the Coasean analysis to this. I think we just talked about it indirectly, but for the people who might not know, Coase has this paper called The Theory of Firms, and he's trying to explain why we have firms at all. Why not just have everybody compete in the open market for employment, for anything? Why do we have jobs? Why not just have... you can just hire a secretary by the day or something.Dwarkesh Patel (00:39:51):And the conclusion he comes to is that by having a firm you're reducing the transaction cost. So people will have the same knowledge about what needs to get done, obviously you're reducing the transaction cost of contracting, finding labor, blah, blah, blah. And so the conclusion it comes to is the more the transaction costs are reduced within people in a firm, as compared to the transaction cost between different firms, the bigger firms will get. So I guess that's why the implication of your argument was that there should be bigger tech firms, right?Austin Vernon (00:40:27):Yes, yes, definitely. Because they can basically decrease the transaction costs faster within, and then even at the limit, if you have large transaction costs outside the firm, between other firms that are artificially imposed, then it will make firms bigger.Dwarkesh Patel (00:40:45):What does the world look like in that scenario? So would it just be these Japanese companies, these huge conglomerates who are just... you rise through the ranks, from the age of 20 until you die? Is that what software will turn into?Austin Vernon (00:40:59):It could be. I mean, I think it will be lots of very large companies, unless there's some kind of change in inner firm transaction costs. And again, that could possibly come from blockchain like technology, but you probably also need better regulation to make that cheaper, and then you would have smaller firms. But again, in the end, it doesn't really matter. You'd be working in your little unit of the big bank of corporate, or whatever. So I don't know what that would look like on a personal level.Car ManufacturingDwarkesh Patel (00:41:40):Yeah. Okay. So speaking of these Japanese companies, let's talk about car manufacturing and everything involved there. Yeah, so we kind of hinted at a few elements of the Toyota way and production earlier, but do you want to give a brief overview of what that is, so we can compare it to potentially other systems?Austin Vernon (00:42:02):I think all these kinds of lean Toyota process systems, they do have a lot of similarities, where mostly you want to even-out your production, so you're producing very consistently, and you want to break it into small steps and you want to limit the amount of inventory you have in your system. When you do this, it makes it easy to see how the process is running and limit defects. And the ultimate is you're really trying to reduce defects, because they're very expensive. It's a little bit hard to summarize. I think that's my best shot at it there, quickly off the top of my head.Dwarkesh Patel (00:42:49):Yeah. The interesting thing about the Toyota system, so at least when the machine was released, is they talk about... that book was released I think the nineties, and they went to the history of Toyota, and one of the interesting things they talked about was there was a brief time where the company ran... I think, was this after World War II? But anyways, the company ran into some troubles. They needed to layoff people to not go bankrupt. They had much more debt on books than they had assets. So yeah, they wanted to layoff people, but obviously the people were not happy about this, so there were violent protests about this. And in fact I think the US written constitution gave strong protections to labor that they hadn't had before, which gave labor an even stronger hand here.Dwarkesh Patel (00:43:42):So anyway, Toyota came to this agreement with the unions that they'd be allowed to do this one time layoff to get the company on the right track, but afterwards they could never lay somebody off. Which would mean that a person who works at Toyota works there from the time they graduate college or high school till they die. Right? I don't know, that's super intense in a culture. I mean, in software, where you have the average tenure in a company's one year, the difference is so much.Dwarkesh Patel (00:44:13):And there's so many potential benefits here, I guess a lot of drawbacks too. But one is, obviously if you're talking in a time scale of 50 years, rather than one year, the incentives are more aligned between the company and the person. Because anything you could do in one year is not going to have a huge impact on your stock options in that amount of time. But if this company's your retirement plan, then you have a much stronger incentive to make sure that things at this company run well, which means you're probably optimizing for the company's long term cash flow yourself. And also, there's obviously benefits to having that knowledge built up in the firm from people who have been there for a long time. But yeah, that was an interesting difference. One of the interesting differences, at least.Austin Vernon (00:45:00):I mean, I think there's diminishing returns to how long your tenure's going to be. Maybe one year's too short, but there's a certain extent to where, if you grow faster than your role at the company, then it's time to switch. It's going to depend on the person, but maybe five years is a good number. And so if you're not getting promoted within the firm, then your human capital's being wasted, because you could go somewhere else and have more responsibility and perform better for them. Another interesting thing about that story, is almost all lean turnarounds, where they're like, we're going to implement something like Toyota production system, they come with no layoff promises. Because if you're going to increase productivity, that's when everyone's like, "Oh gosh, I'm going to get laid off." So instead you have to increase output and take more market share, is what you do.Dwarkesh Patel (00:46:00):It's kind of like burning your bridges, right? So this is the only way.Austin Vernon (00:46:05):The process really requires complete buy-in, because a lot of your ideas for how you're going to standardize work content come from your line workers, because that's what they're doing every day. So if you don't have their buy-in, then it's going to fail. So that's why it's really necessary to have those kinds of clauses.Dwarkesh Patel (00:46:22):Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. I think it was in your post where you said, if somebody makes their process more efficient, and therefore they're getting more work allotted to them, then obviously they're going to stop doing that. Right? Which means that, I don't know, do you ought to give more downtime to your best workers or something or the people who are most creative in your company?Austin Vernon (00:46:48):I was just going to say, if you're a worker at a plant, then a lot of times for that level of employee, actually small rewards work pretty well. A lot of people on drilling rigs used to give the guys that met certain targets $100 Walmart gift cards. So sometimes small, it's a reward, new ideas, stuff like that works.Austin Vernon (00:47:15):But because the whole system has to grow together, if you just improve one part of the process, it may not help you. You have to be improving all the right processes so normally it's much more collaborative. There's some engineer that's looking at it and like, "All right, this is where we're struggling," or "We have our defects here." And then you go get together with that supervisor and the workers in that area, then you all figure out what improvements could be together. Because usually the people already know. This is like, you see a problem at the top, and you're just now realizing it. Then you go talk to the people doing the work, and they're like, "Oh yeah, I tried to tell you about that two weeks ago, man." And then you figure out a better process from there.Dwarkesh Patel (00:47:58):Based on your recommendation, and Steven Malina's recommendation, I recently read The Goal. And after reading the book, I'm much more understanding of the value that consultants bring to companies, potentially. Because before you could think, “What does a 21 year old, who just graduated college, know about manufacturing? What are they going to tell this plant that they didn't already know? How could they possibly be adding value?” And afterwards, it occurred to me that there's so many abstract concepts that are necessary to understand in order to be able to increase your throughput. So now I guess I can see how somebody who's generically smart but doesn't have that much industry knowledge might be able to contribute to a plan and value consultants could be bringing.Austin Vernon (00:48:43):I think this applies to consultants or young engineers. A lot of times you put young engineers just right in the thick of it, working in production or process right on the line, where you're talking to the workers the most. And there's several advantages to that. One, the engineer learns faster, because they're actually seeing the real process, and the other is there's easy opportunities for them to still have a positive impact on the business, because there's $100 bills laying on the ground just from going up and talking to your workers and learning about stuff and figuring out problems they might be having and finding out things like that that could help you lower cost. I think there's a lot of consultants that... I don't know how the industry goes, but I would guess there's... I know Accenture has 600,000 employees. I don't know if that many, but it's just a large number, and a lot are doing more basic tasks and there are some people that are doing the more high level stuff, but it's probably a lot less.Dwarkesh Patel (00:49:51):Yeah. Yeah. There was a quote from one of those books that said, "At Toyota we don't consider you an engineer unless you need to wash your hands before you can have lunch." Yeah. Okay. So in your blog post about car manufacturing, you talk about Tesla. But what was really interesting is that in a footnote, I think you mentioned that you bought Tesla stocks in 2014, which also might be interesting to talk about again when we go to the market and alpha part. But anyways. Okay. And then you talk about Tesla using something called metal manufacturing. So first of all, how did you know in 2014 that Tesla was headed here? And what is metal manufacturing and how does it differ from the Toyota production system?Austin Vernon (00:50:42):Yeah. So yeah, I just was goofing around and made that up. Someone actually emailed me and they were like, "Hey, what is this metal manufacturing? I want to learn more about this." It's like, "Well, sorry, I just kind of made that up, because I thought it sounded funny." But yeah, I think it's really the idea that there's this guy, Dimming, and he found a lot of the same ideas that Toyota ended up implementing, and Toyota respected his ideas a lot. America never really got fully on board with this in manufacturing. Of course it's software people that are coming and implementing this and manufacturing now which is like the real American way of doing things.Austin Vernon (00:51:32):Because when you look at these manufacturing processes, the best place to save money and optimize is before you ever build the process or the plant. It's very early on. So I think if there's a criticism of Toyota, it's that they're optimizing too late and they're not creative enough in their production technology and stuff. They're very conservative, and that's why they have hydrogen cars and not battery cars, even though they came out with the Prius, which was the first large sales hybrid.Austin Vernon (00:52:12):So yeah, I think what Tesla's doing with really just making Dimming's ideas our own and really just Americanizing it with like, "Oh, well, we want to cast this, because that would be easier." Well, we can't, because we don't have an alloy. "We'll invent the alloy." I love it. It's great. Mostly, I love Tesla because they do such... I agree with their engineering principles. So I didn't know that the company would come to be so valuable. It's just, I was just always reading their stock reports and stuff so I was like, "Well, at least I need to buy some stock so that I have a justification for spending all this time reading their 10 Ks."Dwarkesh Patel (00:52:53):I want to get a little bit more in detail about the exact difference here. So lean production, I guess, is they're able to produce their cars without defects and with matching demand or whatever. But what is it about their system that prevents them from making the kinds of innovations that Tesla is able to make?Austin Vernon (00:53:16):It's just too incremental. It's so hard to get these processes working. So the faster you change things, it becomes very, very difficult to change the whole system. So one of the advantages Tesla has is, well, if you're making electric cars, you have just a lot less parts. So that makes it easier. And once you start doing the really hard work of basically digitizing stuff, like they don't have speed limit dials, you start just removing parts from the thing and you can actually then start increasing your rate of change even faster.Austin Vernon (00:53:55):It makes it harder to get behind if you have these old dinosaur processes. But I think there's a YouTube channel called The Limiting Factor, and he actually went into the detail of numbers on what it costs for Tesla to do their giga-casting, which saves tons of parts and deletes zillions of thousands of robots from their process. If you already have an existing stamping line and all that, where you're just changing the dyes based on your model, then it doesn't make sense to switch to the casting. But if you're building new factories, like Tesla is, well, then it makes sense to do the casting and you can build new factories very cheaply and comparatively and much easier. So there's a little bit of... they just have lots of technical data, I guess you could say, in a software sense.Dwarkesh Patel (00:54:47):Yeah. That's super interesting. The analogy is actually quite... it's like, Microsoft has probably tens of thousands of software engineers who are just basically servicing its technical debt and making sure that the old systems run properly, whereas a new company like Tesla doesn't have to deal with that. The thing that's super interesting about Tesla is like, Tesla's market cap is way over a trillion, right? And then Toyota's is 300 billion. And Tesla is such a new company. The fact that you have this Toyota, which is legendary for its production system, and this company that's less than two decades old is worth many times more, it's kind of funny.Austin Vernon (00:55:32):Yeah. I would say that, in that measure, I don't like market cap. You need to use enterprise value. These old car companies have so much debt, that if you look at enterprise value, it's not so jarring. Literally, I don't know, I can't remember what GM's worth, like 40 billion or something, and then they have $120 billion in debt. So their enterprise value is five times more than their market cap.Dwarkesh Patel (00:56:02):What is enterprise value?Austin Vernon (00:56:03):Enterprise value is basically what is the value of the actual company before you have any claims on it. It's the market cap plus your debt. But basically, if you're the equity holder and the company gets sold, you have to pay the debt first. So you only get the value of what's left over after the debt. So that's why market cap is... when Tesla has very little debt and a lot of market cap, and then these other guys have a lot of debt with less market cap, it skews the comparison.Dwarkesh Patel (00:56:34):Yeah, and one of the interesting things, it's similar to your post on software, is that it seems like one of the interesting themes across your work is automating processes often leads to decreased eventual throughput, because you're probably adding capacity in a place that you're deciding excess capacity, and you're also making the money part of your operation less efficient by have it interface with this automated part. It sounds like there's a similar story there with car manufacturing, right?Austin Vernon (00:57:08):Yeah. I think if we tie it back into what we were talking about earlier, automation promotes local optimization and premature optimization. So a lot of times it's better to figure out, instead of automating a process to make a really hard to make part, you should just figure out how to make that part easy to make. Then after you do that, then it may not even make sense to automate it anymore. Or get rid of it all together, then you just delete all those robots.Austin's Carbon Capture ProjectDwarkesh Patel (00:57:37):Yeah. Yeah, that's interesting. Okay. So let's talk about the project that you're working on right now, the CO2 electrolysis. Do you want to explain what this is, and what your current approach is? What is going on here?Austin Vernon (00:57:55):Yeah, so I think just overall, electrofuels right now are super underrated, because you're about to get hopefully some very cheap electricity from solar, or it could be, maybe, some land. If we get really lucky, possibly some nuclear, geothermal. It'll just make sense to create liquid fuels, or natural gas, or something just from electricity and air, essentially.Austin Vernon (00:58:25):There's a whole spectrum of ways to do this, so O2 electrolysis is one of those. Basically, you take water, electricity, and CO2, and a catalyst. And then, you make more complex molecules, like carbon monoxide, or formic acid, or ethylene, or ethanol, or methane or methine. Those are all options. But it's important to point out that, right now, I think if you added up all the CO2 electrolyzers in the world, you'd be measuring their output and kilograms per day. We make millions of tons per day off of the products I just mentioned. So there's a massive scale up if it's going to have a wider impact.Austin Vernon (00:59:15):So there's some debate. I think the debate for the whole electrofuels sector is: How much are you going to do in the electrolyzer? One company whose approach I really like is Terraform Industries. They want to make methane, which is the main natural gas. But they're just making hydrogen in their electrolyzer, and then they capture the CO2 and then put it into a methanation reaction. So everything they're doing is already world scale, basically.Austin Vernon (00:59:47):We've had hydrogen electrolyzers power fertilizer plants, providing them with the Hydrogen that they need. Methanation happens in all ammonia plants and several other examples. It's well known, very old. Methanation is hydrogen CO2 combined to make water and methane. So their approach is more conservative, but if you do more in the electrolyzer, like I'm going to make the methane actually in the electrolyzer instead of adding this other process, you could potentially have a much simpler process that has less CapEx and scales downward better. Traditional chemical engineering heavily favors scaling. With the more Terraform processes, they're playing as absolutely ginormous factories. These can take a long time to build.Austin Vernon (01:00:42):So one of the things they're doing is: they're having to fight the complexity that creeps into chemical engineering every step of the way. Because if they don't, they'll end up with a plant that takes 10 years to build, and that's not their goal. It takes 10 years to build a new refinery, because they're so complex. So yeah, that's where I am. I'm more on the speculative edge, and it's not clear yet which products will be favorable for which approaches.Dwarkesh Patel (01:01:15):Okay, yeah. And you're building this out of your garage, correct?Austin Vernon (01:01:19):Yeah. So that's where electrolyzers... Everything with electric chemistry is a flat plate instead of a vessel, so it scales down. So I can have a pretty good idea of what my 100 square centimeter electrolyzer is going to do, if I make it quite a bit bigger. I have to worry about how my flow might interact in the larger one and make sure the mixing's good, but it's pretty straightforward because you're just making your flat plate a larger area. Whereas the scale, it is different from scaling a traditional chemical process.Dwarkesh Patel (01:01:56):I'm curious how cheap energy has to be before this is efficient. If you're turning it into methane or something like that, presumably for fuel, is the entire process energy positive? Or how cheap would energy, electricity you need to get before that's the case?Austin Vernon (01:02:18):The different products and different methods have different crossovers. So Terraform Industries, they're shooting for $10 a megawatt hour for electricity. But again, their process is simpler, a little less efficient than a lot of the other products. They also have better premiums, just worth more per ton than methane. So your crossover happens somewhere in between $10 and $20 a megawatt hour, which is... I mean, that's pretty... Right now, solar, it's maybe like $25. Maybe it's a little higher because payment prices have gone up in the last year, but I think the expectation is they'll come back down. And so, getting down to $15 where you start having crossovers for some of these products like ethanol or ethylene or methanol, it's not science fiction.Dwarkesh Patel (01:03:08):I think in Texas where I live, that's where it's at right? The cost of energy is 20 or something dollars per megawatt hour.Austin Vernon (01:03:16):Well, not this summer! But yeah, a lot of times in Texas, the wholesale prices are around $25 to $30.Dwarkesh Patel (01:03:26):Gotcha. Okay. Yeah. So a lot of the actual details you said about how this works went over my head. So what is a flat plate? I guess before you answer that question, can you just generally describe the approach? What is it? What are you doing to convert CO2 into these other compounds?Austin Vernon (01:03:45):Well, yeah, it literally just looks like an electrolyzer. You have two sides and anode and a cathode and they're just smushed together like this because of the electrical resistance. If you put them far apart, it makes it... uses up a lot of energy. So you smush them together as close as you can. And then, you're basically just trading electrons back and forth. On one side, you're turning CO2 into a more complex molecule, and on the other side, you're taking apart water. And so, when you take apart the water, it balances out the equation, balances out your electrons and everything like that. I probably need to work on that elevator pitch there, huh?Dwarkesh Patel (01:04:31):I guess what the basic idea is, you need to put power in to convert CO2 into these other compounds.Austin Vernon (01:04:38):The inputs are electricity, water, and CO2, and the output is usually oxygen and whatever chemical you're trying to create is, along with some side reactions.Dwarkesh Patel (01:04:49):And then, these chemicals you mentioned, I think ethanol, methane, formic acid, are these all just fuels or what are the other uses for them?Austin Vernon (01:04:58):A lot of people are taking a hybrid approach with carbon monoxide. So this would be like Twelve Co… They've raised a lot of money to do this and 100 employees or something. You can take that carbon monoxide and make hydrogen, and then you have to send gas to make liquid fuels. So they want to make all sorts of chemicals, but one of the main volume ones would be like jet fuel.Austin Vernon (01:05:22):Let's see Formic acid is, it's the little fry of all these. It is an additive in a lot of things like preserving hay for animals and stuff like that. Then, ethanol there's people that want to... There's this company that makes ethylene, which goes into plastics that makes polyethylene, which is the most produced plastic. Or you can burn it in your car, although I think ethanol is a terrible vehicle fuel. But then you can also just make ethylene straight in the electrolyzer. So there's many paths. So which path wins is an interesting race to see.Dwarkesh Patel (01:06:13):The ability to produce jet fuel is really interesting, because in your energy superabundance paper, you talk about... You would think that even if we can electrify everything in solar and when it becomes super cheap, that's not going to have an impact on the prices to go to space for example. But I don't know. If a process like this is possible, then it's some way to in financial terms, add liquidity. And then turn, basically, this cheap solar and wind into jet fuel through this indirect process. So the price to send stuff to space or cheap plane flights or whatever––all of that goes down as well.Austin Vernon (01:06:52):It basically sets a price ceiling on the price of oil. Whatever you can produce this for is the ceiling now, which is maybe the way I think about it.Dwarkesh Patel (01:07:06):Yeah. So do you want to talk a little bit about how your background led into this project? This is your full-time thing, right? I don't know if I read about that, but where did you get this idea and how long have you been pursuing it? And what's the progress and so on.Austin Vernon (01:07:20):I've always loved chemical engineering, and I love working at the big processing plant because it's like being a kid in a candy store. If I had extra time, I'd just walk around and look at the plant, like it's so cool. But the plant where I worked at, their up time was 99.7%. So if you wanted to change anything or do anything new, it terrified everyone. That's how they earned their bonuses: run the plant a 100% uptime all the time. So that just wasn't a good fit for me. And also, so I always wanted my own chemical plant, but it's billions of dollars to build plants so that was a pretty big step. So I think this new technology of... there's a window where you might be able to build smaller plants until it optimizes to be hard to enter again.Dwarkesh Patel (01:08:21):And then, why will it become hard to enter again? What will happen?Austin Vernon (01:08:27):If someone figures out how to build a really cheap electrolyzer, and they just keep it as intellectual property, then it would be hard to rediscover that and compete with them.Dwarkesh Patel (01:08:38):And so, how long have you been working on this?Austin Vernon (01:08:42):Oh, not quite a year. But yeah, I actually got this idea to work on it from writing my blog. So when I wrote the heating fuel post, I didn't really know much about... There's another company in the space, Prometheus Fuels and I'm like, "Oh, this is an interesting idea." And then, I got talking to a guy named Brian Heligman, and he's like, "You should do this, but not what Prometheus is doing." And so, then I started looking at it and I liked it, so I've been working on it since.Dwarkesh Patel (01:09:08):Yeah. It's interesting because if energy does become as cheap as you suspect it might. If this process works, then yeah, this is a trillion dollar company probably, right? If you're going to get the patents and everything.Austin Vernon (01:09:22):I mean, maybe. With chemical plants, there's a certain limitation where your physical limitation is. There's only so many places that are good places for chemical plants. You start getting hit by transportation and all that. So, you can't just produce all the chemical for the entire world in Texas and transport it all around. It wouldn't work. So you're talking about a full, globe-spanning thing. At that point, if y

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Reading 2 Phmn 9-10, 12-17 I, Paul, an old man, and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus, urge you on behalf of my child Onesimus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment; I The post Philemon, Actually Doing This Thing, and the Lady in the Prius | 23rd Sunday in OT 2022 appeared first on Love Speaks..

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Booking The Territory Pro Wrestling Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2022 113:09


Please stay safe and healthy! If you can afford it and love what we do, please consider supporting our show by becoming a BTT Podcast Patreon Member! Also, purchase a BTT Podcast t-shirt or two from our Pro Wrestling Tees Store!  This week's Time Stamps for our WCW Saturday Night on TBS recap from March 16, 1991 review are as follows: Opening Shenanigans, why is Harper late and is the Prius out of gas or needs a new battery? ( 0:01:08 )   Ric Flair was dehydrated during his last match and Doc wants to discuss. ( 0:09:11 )  Why does Doc want to discuss John Moxley, Effy, and GCW and Mike doesn't care. ( 0:17:20 )  Apple isn't censoring us! We're finally getting 5-star reviews again! Send in your 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and Podcasts Addict and we'll read it on air! ( 0:27:28 )  Patreon shout outs! And you can become a patreon member at https://www.patreon.com/BookingTheTerritory or tinyurl.com/PatreonBTT! You can sign up monthly or annual. When signing up for an annual plan you get 10% off which is a MONTH FREE! ( 0:29:35 )  Mike's been thinking about dropping the show early for Patrons on Monday mornings! What do you think? ( 0:31:55 )  We revisit Harper's rant: "One of the best gimmicks ever? Calaway!" ( 0:34:26 )  WCW Saturday Night on TBS recap from March 16, 1991! ( 0:36:17 )  Harper finally joins the show! ( 0:48:58 )  Reverse Ratings and Rolex Time and how to get a free trial on our Patreon! ( 1:47:07 )  Information on Harper's Video Shoutout, Life and Relationship. ( 1:48:57 )  1. First things first, email Harper with the details of what you want in your video shoutout or who the shoutout is too. His email address is ChrisHarper16Wildkat@gmail.com. Also in that email tell him what your paypal address is. 2. Paypal him $20. Harper's PayPal is, get your pen and paper out, cc30388cc@yahoo.com .  3. Harper will then send you the video to the email address that you emailed him from requesting your video shoutout. That's it! Don't email the show email address. Email Harper. If you missed any of those directions, hit rewind and listen again. Official BTT Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BookingTheTerritory BTT Facebook Group! (WARNING: Join at your own risk) https://www.facebook.com/groups/281458405926389/ Pay Pal: https://www.paypal.me/BTTPod Follow us on Twitter @BTT_Podcast, @Mike504Saints, @CJHWhoDat and Like us on Facebook.

Fightin' Words
EP146 - POST MORTEM | Joshua vs Usyk II

Fightin' Words

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 23, 2022 35:43


Thank You all for Listening. We appreciate all 72 of you.....SUBSCRIBE

SparkZen
Cloud & Water Priests: The Zen Practice of Wandering

SparkZen

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 21, 2022 53:08


In this episode, Rev. Kōkyō Henkel and I discuss how he and his wife Rev. Shōhō Kuebast’s became “cloud and water” priests—traveling to Zen centers to offer the Dharma, meditating amid the mountains, camping in off-the-grid places in their Prius, and being in the boundlessness of now. I hope you enjoy our conversation.Rev. Kōkyō Henkel has long been interested in exploring how the classic teachings of Buddha-Dharma from ancient India, China, and Japan can still be very much alive and useful here and now, to bring peace and openness to the minds and hearts of this troubled world. Kōkyō has been practicing Zen Buddhism since 1990 in residence at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, and No Abode Hermitage—all in the Sōtō Zen lineage of Shunryū Suzuki Rōshi—and a year at Bukkokuji Monastery in Japan (with Harada Tangen Rōshi). After living in these monastic communities for almost two decades, Kōkyō was then teacher at Santa Cruz Zen Center from 2010-2020, and has been studying and practicing with no fixed abode along with his wife, Rev. Shōhō Kuebast, since 2020.Kōkyō was ordained as a Zen priest in 1994 by Tenshin Reb Anderson Rōshi, receiving the Dharma name Kōkyō Yakai (Luminous Owl, Midnight Liberation 光梟夜解). He received Dharma Transmission from Tenshin Rōshi in 2010, becoming a 92nd generation lineage-holder authorized to guide others on the path. Kōkyō has also been practicing with the Tibetan Dzogchen (“Great Perfection”) Teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche since 2003, in California, Colorado, and Kathmandu. SparkZen is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support this endeavor, please consider becoming a subscriber. Thank you! Get full access to SparkZen at sparkzen.substack.com/subscribe

Fightin' Words
EP145 - PREDICITIONS | Joshua vs Usyk II

Fightin' Words

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 19, 2022 41:23


Thank You all for Listening. We appreciate all 70 of you.....SUBSCRIBE

Like a Bigfoot
SUMMER REPLAY -- Calvin Johannsen's "14er Project", 111 Mountains in 105 Days

Like a Bigfoot

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 19, 2022 151:17


OUR LAST SUMMER REPLAY FOR 2022!!! SUPER SIZED EPISODE!! Calvin Johannsen's Epic Quest to climb the 100 tallest mountains in the continental US in 100 days! In this episode, he recounts the highs and lows of solo travel, waxes poetically about how awesome it is to sleep in the back of a Prius, explains how he dealt with the post-adventure slump, and, of course, reveals about the trials and tribulations of climbing some of the most rugged mountains in the U.S. over 100 straight days.

Imma Come Clean
4 Sweaty Guys, 1 Prius - Santa Cruz Road Trip | Imma Come Clean #11

Imma Come Clean

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2022 57:47


We drove to Santa Cruz to film a documentary that Dylan is directing! Jared and Aldus had to pee the whole drive while Andrew questioned what our podcast was about. Follow Andrew Lambert (Photographer): https://www.instagram.com/niceworkandrew/ Edited by Dylan

The Clean Energy Show
United States Finally Fights Climate Change with I.R.A. Bill

The Clean Energy Show

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2022 69:13


The U.S. looks to pass the largest climate spending in history, providing incentives for electric vehicles, manufacturing, solar, wind and many surprising home upgrades. Massive oil fire at a storage facility in Cuba. James outlines clean energy-related stories from his vacation.  Chinese cars are invading Japan. Are Chinese cars the new Japanese cars? Brian describes his new e-bikes. Thanks for listening to our show! Consider rating The Clean Energy Show on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen to our show. Follow us on TikTok! Check out our YouTube Channel! Follow us on Twitter! Your hosts: James Whittingham https://twitter.com/jewhittingham Brian Stockton: https://twitter.com/brianstockton Email us at cleanenergyshow@gmail.com Leave us an online voicemail at http://speakpipe.com/cleanenergyshow Tell your friends about us on social media! ***TRANSCRIPT OF THIS EPISODE*** Okay. Yeah, sorry I was gone for a bit there, but I'm ready to go for episode 126. It's 127. No, I checked. It's the last episode. Yeah. No, it's 126 now. Brian, I did a show yesterday. I did an interview show yesterday with B NEF. That's not possible. You can't do a show without me. Well, it went really well. It's in my contract. You can't do a show without me. Well, you were there in spirit. What? You son of a hello, and welcome to episode 127 of the Clean Energy Show. I'm Brian Stockton. I'm James Whittingham. This week. I apologize to Joe Mansion. He's clearly a saint. After approving the largest climate action in US history, the Inflation Reduction Act, a massive fire has been spreading at an oil storage facility in Cuba. Our only hope now is that the fire spreads to a Cuban cigar factory so we can all enjoy the sweet, smooth, smoky aroma. And I outline everything clean energy related for my vacation. And as Brian predicted in the last episode, I did, in fact, almost die. Chinese EV maker BYD is entering the Japanese market with three models. Japanese car makers have stated publicly that they're not worried. Privately, they stated, oh, yeah, we're totally doomed. All that and more on this post vacation edition of The Clean Energy Show. Brian, when I got back from your cottage, I wanted to record a podcast. I was not ready to put my feet up anymore. I can't stand it. I don't know what I'm going to do if you die, if you get run over by a bus. I'm just not going to be able to expound my clean energy thoughts. I'm desperate. I'm booked on this now. Yeah, well, maybe you could improvise with you could pretend that I'm doing two voices. Like do a dumb voice for you, like a public voice, something like that. It seems to work well. Yeah. So we got a fat overblooded show for you this week to get everything out of our system. So listen to it at two times speed if you have to. Yes. And of course, we had prerecorded our last full episode because you were taking a week off and with the hope that nothing major happened. And it did kind of wait until you were back, but lots of major things happened, and so much so that you recorded an episode without me. And then here we are to do another one. Yes. So the episode without you is episode 126. It is the interview with two analysts from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Terrific conversation with those people. I hope you listen to it. It's not just about the United States, as we learned throughout the podcast, it is for the world that this is very important, and not just for the reduction of emissions, but because it influences the rest of the world. The United States taking action is a linchpin for everyone else to do action on climate change. Yeah, no, I did hear the show. It was awesome. And yes, I think it's true. Lots of symbolic value as well as dollar value. You have a little bit different sound this week. Yeah. Look at this. I got James a new microphone. Can you believe it? I'm stunned, Brian. I'm stunned. We now have matching microphones. Did you ever see that documentary Metallica some Kind of Monster? I watched some of it a little bit. Yeah. This is the microphone. They use the microphone in the film, so you know it's got to be good. Yeah, I saw it on I don't know, my daughter is watching a Taylor Swift document. You see it all over the place. It's a very common microphone. What is it? The A. Sher SM seven B. And it's a bit of a cliche as a podcast microphone, but that's probably because it's the best. You know I've been watching. Only murders in the building. You haven't been watching that? No, I have. I love it. Really love it. Yeah, I love it, too. It's different podcasts people talk about because the storyline is that they're podcasting a true crime podcast as it happens in their building. Yeah, but only in their building. Yeah, steve Martin, Martin Shorts, and there's a murder in their building. And they make a podcast about it while they're doing it. So, yeah, I'm always kind of looking for the podcast elements, which are semi realistic. Like they're always kind of pulling out a phone and recording something. They're sort of doing it just enough to make it believable. I think it was kind of funny, though. If you watch the premiere, the initial episode of the series, they start with really bad mics and they constantly go up. And Martin Shorts character is the one doing the buying because he's the enthusiastic one, but he doesn't have any money because he's an out of work Broadway director and he owes money on his building piece. So he says he's going to take them back after 30 days, but he keeps getting better equipment and they've got boom mics at the end and different things, and they record it in the closet. Yeah, my 14 year old daughter is watching it with us and she's just loving it now, too. And terrific shows. If we're lucky, they'll be some kind of murder nearby. And we can include that on the show. Yes. Spin off. Only murders on the podcast. And did you get your bike yet, your second wife? Yes. So I did want to update you on that. We got the second one. So my partner and I have matching bikes. This is the ride. One up roadster, v two gravel edition electric bike. And we ordered them online from the company. Ride One Up. So, yeah, we got the second one. We've been going out on bike rides. Absolutely love it. This bike really so great. I have nothing but good things to say about it. It's just super fun to ride. It's the right kind of size and shape for a bike for me. Like, this is the kind of bike that I like. It's very light. In terms of an electric bike, I think it's £33. Wow. That's about as light as they come, I think. So for electric bikes, the batteries integrated into the frame, so it's not the biggest battery, but we don't go on particularly long trips, so, like 20 miles, 30 km is kind of the max. But we've come nowhere near to hitting that. I got it up to 22 miles an hour, the speedometers in miles, and so that's about 35 km an hour, which is about as fast as you can do because it is only one gear. It's got a belt drive with only one gear and the gearing is not really tall enough to go any faster than that. But who needs to go faster than 22 miles an hour? That's plenty fast. Tons of fun. And my only other sort of maybe quibble about it is that there's not much of a battery management system, so they recommend in the literature not to leave it plugged in. It's the kind of thing where yeah, mine did the same. Yes, when you plug it in to charge it, they recommend, like, set a timer on your phone to unplug it after an hour, or whatever you need, because it's not good for the battery if you just leave it plugged in. So I've been doing that and also trying to keep it they recommend keeping the battery between 30% and 80%. That's hard to do because there's no precise kind of measurements, but basically go for a bike ride, leave it plugged in for 20 minutes or something like that, and then make sure to unplug it. But yeah, absolutely love it. Nothing but good things to say. Mine says that you may need to run it down all the way and then charge it full in order for the computer, the onboard computer, to understand the range and charge. Not the range, but the charge percentage. Mine didn't say that, but even with a laptop, it's sort of recommended that you do that every once in a while, just to kind of recalibrate the battery to get it down to zero. Having said that, my portable drill and portable weed whacker has battery management of the charger and knows when to stop. So I'm disappointed that electric bikes don't. They're smaller batteries, mind you, I'm not sure why. And also, this is definitely on the low end of price, but again, that's one of the reasons I love the bike. Like, it's $1250. Getting it here to Canada was maybe one $800 for each bike, which is definitely on the low end, so you don't expect maybe all the bells and whistles. But this is the gravel addition, so it's a slight upgrade from the regular roadster, which is that one is like $1,050, so you can even get a slightly cheaper one. This one has upgraded tires and I think maybe a slightly upgraded belt drive or something like that. But yeah, it's great. Did you go for a romantic bike drive ride with us? Definitely, yes. And this is the kind of electric part of it is like, we went out on our bike path here in town. We have a nice bike path that goes through the city and long ways. We started coming back and we realized, okay, well, we'd like to get home now, so maybe we'll go off the bike path and drive through the city streets because that's the shortest route to get home. And then we realized, oh, no, wait, we'll just put the speed onto number five, take the long route, stay on the bike path. It's twice as long, but there are five power levels, and so if you want to go quickly or you're feeling lazy, just put it up to number five. So we were able to take the scenic ride home and arrive in kind of the same amount of time, but power level like one, two, and three is kind of the general range where I put it. It's a bit like shifting gears. Like level one is fine for flat terrain and no headwind or anything and a bit more of a workout, but if you've got a headwind or you're heading up a hill or something, you can just pop it up to level two or three. What happens to your other bike, your folding bike, your first bike Ebike you bought? Yeah, I'm just going to keep that one as a sort of a specialty bike because you can fold it and put it easily in the trunk of the car. So I think we discussed I'm actually going up to Saskatoon on Friday because I have a Tesla service appointment. I've got a squeaky steering wheel and a bit of squeaky suspension, and they're going to take care of that there. So I'm going to throw the folding Ebike into the trunk and be able to sort of ride around Saskatoon when the cars dropped off. Okay, well, that's good. Are you going to take the bikes to the lake at all? Yeah, I mean, it's almost the end of the season, and we're not sure when we're going to get out there again, but that's the hope. We originally kind of bought them for the lake. Are you going to disassemble them and put them in the back of your three or what? We could definitely fit one in the back of the three. I don't know. We sometimes take two cars out to the lake, so that might be the case because I don't have a bike carrier, and I don't really like bike carriers. I don't want to go through that. Hassle you got burned by a bike carrier one? Yeah, but it's definitely going to be my main bike because I really like it. All right, enough of this, Brian. Let's get to my vacation. I didn't have much of a vacation. It was a short vacation. I went to your cottage, which we were very generous to lend us. And by the way, I asked you if you're going to keep anything from your cottage for sentimental reasons, for the new cottage that you're going to not really know you didn't want to. And I told my son this, and he was offended. He says, oh, my God, I have more emotional attachment to that place than Brian does. My kids really have, to my shock and surprise, an emotional attachment to your cottage. Wow. It's hard for them to leave. Even when they want to. They start taking pictures and looking around like it's the last time they'll ever see it. In this case, it might be true, it might be and just capturing the thing. And we took two cars out. My kids went together in the Prius and we of course, my partner packed the kitchen sink and a few other things. Honestly, you would have been shocked. And I threatened to show that I was going to show you what all the things, because it's a cottage, it's not camping in the woods. You have most of what you need. Why do you have to we literally pack to an SUV in a car full of, like, telegram and then still, I had to come back and get something because I forgot it. And she did. And, yeah, we were late, so they got there half hour early and they found we were able to get in and sort of put their feet up on the deck and really just had it as their own. And you could tell that they were really enjoying the adult experience of having their own place in nature for even if it's just a half an hour. So, yeah, they had a good time. And my son went on as he does. He took the My Ebike, my 55 pound mountain bike. It was £55 when I got it, but I actually changed a few things, like, the forks were really heavy, so I saved a few pounds, actually, by changing the forks to better ones. He likes to go off because there's so many paths out there and he just loves exploring. This is something that goes back to his early childhood. He still likes doing it. And he came back and usually when he comes back from these things, he's really happy. It's like the happiest I ever see him is when he comes back from a trip up there. And this time he was a bit off. And I said, what's wrong? And he says, There was a cows. And I said, well, why? I ran into a herd of cows and they were mean to me. They moved at him and offended him somehow. So he says, I don't feel bad about eating meat anymore. He's come to the conclusion that he doesn't like cows because they were mean to him. Yeah, well, I think that area around the park is public grazing land that you can if you're a cattle rancher, there's public grazing land that you can use. He continued on after the cows because the herd eventually fled. But what if there was an angry bull in that? That might be as dangerous as, like, running into a bear or something you don't really, really expect to run into. It's a provincial park, by the way. He wanted to go to the edge of the park, the end of the park, and he did. And about a kilometer before the end of the park, he ran into oil rigs in the park and took pictures. So there are oil rigs in Kenosis Provincial Park in San Diego, in Canada. So you did not know that. I guess I didn't know that either. They'd be sort of toward the edge there. Yeah, but yeah, that's wild. Yeah. So he ran into things he didn't expect. But no, he did have a good time and he probably would have done more, but it really rained that night and then never stopped. It just kept raining. And the roads get to be impassable out there after a while because they're made of dirt. So my partner went kayaking. When she comes back from kayaking, it is the happiest I ever see her when she goes to the lake. Right. This time, not happy. Was it cows? No, she didn't really tell me because I went into the side of Little Kenosey Lake into the shore, and there's these little picnic areas there and I chose one of them that had a view of the lake and I could see her coming because I was worried. She actually was gone a long time and I thought, great, she's having a good time or she's dead either way. And she comes back and she doesn't tell me. So I get to the shore, to the docking station. By the way, they got this great thing for loading kayaks now, this wooden thing at Little Kenosis. It's got little rollers on it and it makes it so easy for novices like us who do it once a year because you could just sit in your kayak and just give it a little touch and it'll just go right into the water. And if you hit it right, you can come and come on shore. You just need somebody to smash that bottle of champagne on it and that's enough to have it slide into the anyway, what was wrong was just where I was looking at her at these little picnic areas. The next picnic area over there was a nude photography shoot. Okay. You did not see that coming, did you? No. Is that kind of thing allowed with the sanctioned I don't know. I posted on Facebook and I prevented you from seeing it because I wanted to have a natural reaction on the show. So I spent time waiting around there for a long time, so I knew who was there, who wasn't. And I did not see this with my own eyes, but I saw the people, like a woman photographer and a woman model of some sort going there. And the woman was half naked and holding a beer can. She was posing with an ear can, a beer can. So keep it classy. Saskatchewan. Yeah. So I had follow up DM's questions on that for my male friends. Yeah, she got more nature than she bargained for. So you may see some what is it? Only fans erotica with my partner in the background looking confused in a kayak. Yes. I told my son this. He said, dad, you don't understand. This is what people do nowadays. It's instagram accounts. Yeah, but they seem to know what they are doing. And they seem to but from the dialogue that she repeated to me, they seemed to be a professional outfit. But there was a sleazy guy hanging out by the dock and the truck that said Monster on the side. So I don't know if he was because he was flirting with them earlier. I don't know if he was sticking around to get a view. But me without my binoculars on that day, what else did I do? Well, the morning after my kids bike trip, it was raining, so it wasn't much we could do. It was kind of cool, which was nice because it was hot the first day, by the way. I preferred the cool. And we didn't have a breeze. I hate it when there's no breeze. It's always windy. It's always hurricane forest wind where we live. And then when you need a breeze, it's never there for you. So there was nothing there. It was a little warm. It wasn't as bad as last year, but it was just one day. So we took off. We did a little drive through Red versus Catch One, which is home to the Nazi Party of Canada, or at least the Nationalist Something Party. And he was always talking about it. The teacher came from that town. So we went through there and we kept on going into Manitoba. We saw this incredible infrastructure of oil just across the border in Manitoba. You don't think of oil in Manitoba, but we saw literally hundreds of pump jacks in a very condensed space. The most condensed I've ever seen. So I'm thinking it's fracking because there's like four of them in a row and they're going off in different directions. And there was practically a refinery there. Like, it wasn't a refinery, but it looked like a refinery because it all had all these huge storage tanks and there was no cell service, there was no town, there was nothing there. So it was kind of a weird little drive we had into Manicoba Twilight Zone episode that something weird was going to happen. Well, believe me, it's crossed my mind. Yeah. And then later on, we did a day trip in the Manitoba. Decided to have some adventure because it was only 4 hours to Winnipeg. So we took off to Winnipeg for a day. Nice. And we stayed in a nice little hotel there in a bad part of town, but it was a nice little trip. We did a few things. Should have done more, perhaps. The drivers are terrible in Manitoba. If you're listening to Winnipeg, you have terrible drivers. The speed limit there is a bit faster than most places. We were down by the Forks where the rivers meet, and we saw a bike accident right in front of us. This woman was driving, riding a bike and suddenly just went right into the ground for no reason. She just said she didn't turn sharp enough and just completely fell over and wrecked all of her clothing. And Jen, who had just taken a first aid course, ran up to her and she said her face was bleeding and all kinds of things. And the woman was just knowing, get away, I'm fine. People get embarrassed by these things. Totally. God knows I've been there. But it wasn't good for her. I have no idea why it happened. Right. So it wasn't a collision I was expecting with the terrible windowga drivers. Collision. There was a story going around online a couple of weeks ago that police in Toronto were actually giving out speeding tickets to cyclists. Did you hear that story? Oh, yeah. I don't there's a speed limit for cyclists. I believe it was Toronto's High Park. And they were literally out there with a radar gun giving out tickets to cyclists for going too fast. And sure, there's probably better things for the police to be doing with their time, but I do know it is oftentimes on those shared paths, the cyclists often do go too fast. So who knows? It was on a shared path. I believe so, yeah. Like a biking trail. It could have been you. It could have been me, yeah. My new bike can go faster than our school zone speed limits. And that's what my daughter, who took the bike out just before the vacation, was so thrilled when she came back. Dad, I broke the law because only 30 km an hour. What is that in miles? Like 22 or 20, something like that. So it's not very much. Also, I had a whistle dog as a and W brought back the whistle dog. It was a perfect vacation. Hot dog. It was wonderful. They're doing it better than they used to for the hot dog aficionado. Well, it's more like for my childhood memories, Brian, because I used to have the whistle dog platter come with a little close lawn, a plastic tray. Those were the days. Simpler times. Simpler times. So my hotel room had power lines right outside the window. So we are on the second floor, and if the window open, you could touch them. Okay? And like, there was two of them right there, like less than a foot away from the window. That's where they decided to put them. And if you were going to rescue me in the fire, it couldn't be done. So I questioned that and I thought I'd mention that because I've never seen anything like that before. They have a nice hotel. I popped into a Chevy dealership, the biggest in Manitoba, in Winnipeg. Winnipeg is a city of almost a million people, 900,000 or something like that. And I thought, I keep seeing an auto trader that they're getting Chevy bolts in. But apparently I went there and didn't go well. I went to the front desk. I said, Cockily, is there anyone that knows anything about EVs that I could talk to? And she just went on the intercom and said, Sales to the front. Sales to the front. The first yahoo came up. Young guy said, do you know anything about EVs? And he says, I know a few things. Good. But when we drove in, there was a bolt EUV. This is a little bigger version for about $80 more right where you drove in. So I said, Great. We can sit in the seats. We can try out the seat. This is really what we want to do in case we want to order one. And we did, and they were good. They were firm, but the foam was firm. But you weren't sitting against hard plastic. But it was fairly firm. Probably not that different. Actually, I think it did have fake leather, so it's kind of leather seats sort of get packed in a bit tighter. So it was fine. I don't think there's going to be they're not as nice as my Leaf. They're not as nice as the Prius, but they're okay. They'll do fine. But the guy was like, I know everything. And he said, no, we've hardly sold anything. Maybe three of these. I've seen three come through your thing in the past month, let alone the past, what, five years that they've been selling them? Maybe four in that particular place. So he's full of crap and discouraging me from Eve. He didn't try to sell me something else. He did say at one point, they're great. They got a low center of gravity. Lots of people are ordering the Blazer, which is the SUV that's coming next year. So I think he's starting to come around. And that sounds like what a lot of the GM employees are starting to do. But we got into an argument because he said I asked him about the charging, because it's supposed to come with a dual voltage charger. So you can plug into a normal 110 volts outlet here in North America, or you can plug into a dryer plug. Maybe you have one in your garage, maybe you can have one installed for it. You don't have to pay anything, you just have to pay for the electrical work. And actually, GM is paying for that electrical work to around $1,000 US. I think he claimed it didn't come with one. So I was taken through the trunk and I found the charger, and then I found a detached dryer Volt ponytail plug on it. And I said, well, look, here it is. He said, wow, they must have paid the extra $800 for that option. And I said, no, it comes with it. He said, well, you learn something every day, I guess.   He did say it would be $600 to ship at 550 km over here. He said, it's no problem for Dubai out of Province, they would write as a check for the extra sales tax because I have to pay sales tax here. And people are sort of craving all wheel drive, which is coming in the Blazer. But, yeah, he was just and he didn't want to tell me. I was thinking, okay, he's going to take my number. Didn't do it. I offered it, he didn't take it. I'm not going to be honest with you. We're not going to get any he told me three years, which is bull crap, it's a lie. The local people aren't doing that. And he said, well, the local people must be getting more. But we're in a small city. Compared to them, it's just crap. I mean, I'm sure there is a somewhat limited supply and they're advertising them. I can't watch a baseball game without seeing five ads for them. How could they advertise something that's not available unless they're only going to be seeing the bigger markets like they would in the states that have? Ontario is where I watch my Blue Jays games, and they seem to advertise for Ontario, and Ontario doesn't have any incentives. Well, they would certainly have more gasoline cars on the lot, so that's probably what they try and sell you. All right, well, let's get on with some things here. Brian, I can't take up the whole show with my own life. You know that Toyota, the wheels are falling off from electric. You said on a previous episode that it was just the lug nut issue. Well, it's actually more than that. They're literally falling off and they can't fix it. They're telling people not to drive them. Well, thank you, Toyota, for this great endeavor into electric vehicles. For the first time in Toyota history, they've made something that they can't literally keep the wheels on and people can't drive them. This is worse than the Bolt. The both they made them park outside of the garage and only charged 80%. Well, you buy this wonderful new car and you can't drive it. No. And they're offering to even buy them back from the owners. Right, right. Or give them a $5,000 fuel credit. And it's stupid. And this is a segment of. What James learned, because it's interesting. I learned something I always like to share with the listeners when I learned something. Something called profit parity. So EVs may be more expensive than internal combustion engines to buy, but they also make more money for car makers. And Audi says that that moment is now. So we talk about sales. EV parity, like it'll have the same price tag on it as like, Comp. And they say that it's starting to happen now with the premium vehicles. Well, Audi is saying that the point where they make profit is at parity now with what they make profit on other vehicles, like gas vehicles. Interesting. So that means you know what that means, right? It means they're going to make them. It means that the onus is now on them. They want to make money so that they start taking the reins of the EV revolution. And that is a fantastic thing, although still less to be made in terms of maintenance and for the dealers, like oil changes and stuff like that. Yeah, that's certainly true. Gosh. I hate oil changes. There's a small town Saskatchewan person who posted on a local Facebook Easy Group page, melville Tesla owner, he said he bought a Tesla and it was showing it off, as people do on these pages. But he was in Melville, which is a small town in town. Yes, I've some redneck relatives there. So I asked him how the townspeople are reacting to his electric car, and I had to laugh at his response. He says it's like a weird science experiment that's driving around if you ask that. Also, I just got a YouTube comment that I saw from a couple of episodes ago, and it says, this is from John. Can you upload just one version of the podcast? Because we have a video live version. I would prefer the ones with the video. It's kind of annoying to sport when you watch and listen to one version. Then you have the live version with the people in it come in the middle of the night. I don't know. There's not anything I can do about that except for starting a separate channel for the audio, which some people recommend you do. I wish you could subscribe to a playlist because it's on different playlists, but do you have any thoughts? Yeah, I mean, I'd be fine with just putting the one version on there, like the video version. When people tune into YouTube, they prefer to have visuals with it. So can't we just do that? Well, we do have a fairly good audience of people who just like the audio. Maybe it's because that comes first. I don't know. But when you listen to Lipson and other people who are on the server side, they say that there is a good demand for there are people who listen to audio only podcasts on YouTube. And that is a good way to get people in because it's a different way of expanding your audience and people finding you, because it is hard for people to find podcasts in this day and age. This is from Bloomberg on Tuesday. The UK government is preparing for a winter energy crisis that includes a reasonable worst case scenario. This is because they have less energy because France isn't exporting. They've only got half their nuclear. That's one reason. There's some other countries that may not be able to export electricity into the UK. Bloomberg hasn't exclusive on this and they think that they're planning they're planning for a bad case scenario where for four days in January, the peak demand could surpass their capacity. And this is what we talked about for a summer heat wave, which we haven't really gotten here in our province, where they might have been planning for that as well. But this would include organized blackouts for industry and even households. So you could have rolling blackouts in the UK this winter if there's a cold snap. Yes. And of course, the dispute continues with Germany and Russia. There's still not the full amount of gas flowing to Germany, not a huge amount of developments there. Gas is going through from Russia to Germany, but at a reduced amount. And there's still a bit of a standoff, a stalemate over how to resolve that. This is the Clean Energy show with Brian Stockton and James Whittingham. Brian, the Inflation Reduction Act was passed and it is a consequential, bloody miraculous piece of legislation that we did not see coming. In fact, there was this computer chip manufacturing in the US bill that the Republicans were going to support, but only if Mansion didn't support the Climate Act. So he said, there's no way in hell this is mid July that I'm ever going to support the Climate Act. So they passed the Chip Act and managed it about Face, which shocked the hell out of absolutely everyone, including the EV analysts and energy analysts that we talked to on the last episode of Bloomberg New Energy Finance in New York. They were flabbergasted as well. Anyway, Brian, this does a lot for EVs. It does a lot. It's a bill that does a lot of different things. Of course, it's supposed to reduce inflation. We'll get to that in a moment. But it also does a lot for the climate. Close to up to 40% reduction of emissions by 2030 in the Isa, which is groundbreaking. No, it's remarkable. And of course, we talked about this extensively, like, I don't know, a year ago or something, when it was called the Build Back Better bill. And we talked about it then because it seemed like it was likely to pass. And I felt like a chump for having spent all this energy thinking about it and talking about it, and then to have it just die like that was very disappointing. And, yeah, complete surprise to have it suddenly brought back under a different name. It felt like Joe Manchin was stringing people along and saying, junk, no, I'm not going to ever do anything but trying to appease me. Now, there is some stuff in here for fossil fuels, including a pipeline in his own state, of course. Yeah. But the consensus is that that's minor. The CO2 that adds is minor compared to the biggest spending bill in US history on climate, and it's a huge thing. So, yes, the $7,500 tax credits that people get for EVs have been used up by Tesla, GM and Toyota, believe it or not, further plug in electric hybrids. So, yeah, there was a 200,000 vehicle cap on that. But now that's all gone, they'll be able to do it again as long as the criteria is met by the automakers, which is sourcing a lot of that stuff locally or within their free trade zone. So there's also a used EV credit of $4,000, both at a point of sale, if you buy it from a dealer, if you don't have to wait for the tax time. Yeah, I think both these things can be supposedly done at a dealer plugin. Electric vehicles qualify with batteries of at least 7 kw, which is not much. Yeah, that's unfortunate. It's a battery that small where it doesn't cost very much, so it's a rather large subsidy for it's. A few Ebike batteries. Yeah, for not doing much. So that's one of the more unfortunate things, that this will maybe prolong the life of the plug in hybrid, which we need to move away from and from inside EVs. This pushes US automakers to become more independent from China. In order for cars to qualify, they have to source materials in North America or a country that has a free trade agreement with North America or with the US. Rather. The percentage of these materials increases over the years of this. This goes to 2032, which I brought up with the Bloomberg people is a bit absurd. I mean, if we hit price parity for all vehicle segments saying 2028 and they go down from there, and then you're giving a rebate in 2032 might be a little bit weird. Yeah. Although a great response on that, which is if this is largely about carbon emissions reduction, then why not keep it out to 2032? And $840 to offset the cost of a heat pump, closed, dryer or electric stove. So, yeah, that's pretty good. I mean, I wish I had that. I'd probably go get one. Yeah, those are both that'd be great. $8,000 for a heat pump for your house. $4,000 for an electrical panel upgrade, which is interesting, isn't it? Because a lot of people need an electric panel upgrades like you do. No, and as I said, mine costs about 6000 Canadian, which is not much more than that. That's great. $2,500 for improving electrical wiring in your home if you need it. That might qualify for what you did because you had to change your connection to the grid. Yeah, I think that might have covered the whole thing. As I said at the time, this is something like, everybody in my neighborhood is going to have to do this in the next ten years or so. Many neighborhoods are just 100 amp service, and that's just not going to fly in the era where we electrify everything. So these are the kinds of things that I haven't heard of before, the kind of incentives. So it's interesting to see how it plays out. One thing about this is that they're trying to bring solar manufacturing to the United States. And almost all the chips for solar panels are made in China. They're made cheaply there. The United States seems like the last country that can compete with manufacturing on an economic scale, so we'll see how that works. But the Bloomberg people did point out that wind turbines, which will also be big, so it's good to make them local, even though the blades have to be I don't know about the turbine, the actual generator itself, but we'll see about that. Anything big and heavy. So this was originally called build Back Better. It's now called the Inflation Reduction Act, which is, I guess, the flavor of the moment. But the question is, and it's really a climate and infrastructure spending bill, and not maybe that it matters, but is this actually an inflation reduction? Well, I've read several pieces on this saying that it is. I've read a couple of saying that it's not. I've read a lot more saying that it is. I think this is still a lot of analysis going on here, but they made some arguments that are above my pay grade. Just clean energy in general is a reduction of inflation because electricity, for example, costs less. So that reduces things, right? Yeah. And the way that fossil fuel prices have spiked recently because of the war in Ukraine, that's a large part of the inflation that we've been having. So, yeah, in theory, if you cut demand for oil and gas, that should bring down inflation because it'll bring down prices. If all this goes through 40% reduction in emissions in the US. By 2030, like, that's a remarkable amount. And yeah, that should hopefully ease up demand for oil and bring the price down. Okay, well, Ups is given some money, right? Yeah. USPS. Postal Service. Not us, different organization. And this is a story we've talked about before. Many people upset with the US Postal Service for not going fully electric in the new fleet of vans, delivery vans that they've been planning, and they've kind of increased the amount a couple of times, but they were still planning to buy lots and lots of gas powered vehicles for the US. Postal Service. But this new bill includes $3 billion for the US. Postal Service to buy electric trucks specifically, which was kind of the figure that they asked for it's like, oh, we'd need $3 billion to do that. And yeah, guess what? They've got it. And hopefully now this means all electric for the US. Postal Service. So again, we talk about this extensively with people who are about as expert as you can get from Bloomberg, a new energy finance. One is Tom Rowlands Reese, who is the head of research for North America, and the other is an EV analyst, Corey Cantor. This is an episode 126, which we dropped yesterday. So it's just behind this episode. It's a good interview and good information from people who absolutely know their stuff. And we will cover that act more extensively there with those experts. And I encourage you to listen to it. I also encourage you to give us feedback if you're interested in interviews. We did one before, right? We did one with Yuri, Yuri territory from the street pipes. And we got some good feedback on that. People seem to enjoy listening to that. So yeah, we could probably do that from time to time. And in addition to the show that we normally do. Okay, so there has been a massive fire in Cuba and an oil storage facility. And this is from a lightning strike. Not something you hear about necessarily all that often, but oil is flammable and therefore susceptible to things like lightning strikes. So this is turning out to be a huge problem there's. Now a fourth tank has caught on fire at this facility. So it's a massive fire burning out of control. And speaking of like brownouts and blackouts and electricity system, cuba was already predicting that they were going to have electricity problems this summer and they actually already have planned blackouts for Havana. And this is potentially going to be worse because of this because this oil storage facility was supplying oil to be burned at thermoelectric plants for some of the electricity system. So Cuba already in trouble in terms of their electricity system. Now it's going to be worse because of this fire, which is still not out yet. But the other thing that sort of brought to mind to me was just that we're at this inflection point where we're switching to clean energy. But we're also at this inflection point where just a lot of the infrastructure I think. Is really aging. Like all over the world. Certainly in North America here. Like our electrical grid and our province. They put up a zillion power poles 50. And guess what? 50, 60 years later, they're all kind of starting to fall over. And I think a lot of the grid structure in North America and really all over the world is kind of on its last legs. And maybe the clean energy revolution is not going to come fast enough because these are sort of coinciding issues. But it sounds like Cuba was in a bit of a problem already. Aging infrastructure was kind of bringing things down and then, boom, a lightning strike. And now they could be in trouble. Yes. And people will go around saying that clean energy will bring down the grid and have rolling blackouts. No, actually we keep seeing information and studies saying that the clean energy will eventually make the grid more stable, that it'll be more reliable that those batteries than people's EVs working in a two way function. Everything is going to be more stable once we finally get it figured out. We're just in this transition period where anytime there's a grid problem, the ProClean energy people are going to say, hey, it's the fossil fuels that are the problem. And the anti clean energy people are going to say, no, it's the windmills that are the problem. Windmills? They're not windmills. Well, that's what they'll say. That's what they'll say, but they'll be wrong. Idiots. Brian, there is one crucial bit of information for my vacation that I overlooked that this reminded me of. Yeah, you might say, james, what did a Cuban oil refinery or oil storage fire remind you of for your vacation? Good question. If you had asked that, I was minding my own business, driving to your cottage in beautiful Kenosi, and we went through the town of Kipling, as one does, and we slowed down because there was a lower speed limit in town and there's a few bunched up cars in front of us, so we're going slow. And then suddenly I see this river of fluid flowing across the road from left to right along gravitational lines. And I'm thinking, okay, it's a clear liquid and it's just flowing like a river. Like, what is this water main break or something? And just as I'm about to drive over it with my hot exhaust, I look over and there's these two guys in a pickup truck trying to get this tank desperately back onto the back of a truck. Oh, no. And it smelled horrible. And I'm fairly certain that it was diesel. And I didn't go too slow, so the guy kind of gave me a dirty look, but what the hell was I to know? And this is this instant frame capture, second moment of time that burns in your mind. And that's what I saw. I think some yahoo was taking some diesel, a big tank of it, back to the farm or whatever. That probably happens. Other people are doing that during this trip. And it fell off and spilled everywhere. Like probably $2,000 worth of it, I would guess, at least. But the thing is, if you're driving over and it splatters up on your exhaust, your hot exhaust, which I had an SUV, gas powered SUV, which, by the way, $2 a gallon or $2 a liter, and it went down through the trip, the gas prices were falling fast, by the way. Yeah, but yeah, that could have set me on fire and set him on fire and it was just a dangerous, stupid what the hell? Where did this come? But my car smelled like that the whole trip on the outside. If you walk near it to get a bike or something off the rack, then it was like, it still smells, and it's like this horrible smell. And I kept checking Twitter to see if anybody was tweeting about if there was a subsequent explosion, but this is an environmental catastrophe. What were they going to do, just run away and just leave it into the groundwater, the well water, and it was going to come back in the well water of this town or something? I mean, I don't know where they get their water, but it could be yeah. So that's the James almost died. So there's always some way of me almost dying on a trip to your cottage. But I often say, like, fossil fuels are often the most unpleasant thing about the cottage because even though you're supposed to be commuting in nature, everybody's got these giant SUVs and jet skis and everything, and then your car has to drive through a bunch of diesel and then stink the whole time or maybe burn down and I have to breathe it, too. So it was a long weekend. It was the August long weekend in Canada, and I've been there in the July long weekend. And that's where people party and there's thousands and thousands of boats out in the river or the lake rather, and people blasting music. So, yeah, I look forward to an electrified future. I told my son that because of course he wants to buy a cottage now, thanks to you. So I don't know where he's going to get one, but they're hard to come by now. Yeah. And I said, well, maybe it'll be quieter when you have one. Because of modification. Forbes magazine says electric car batteries are lasting longer than predicted, and the automakers were ramping up for recycling programs, but they've all been delayed because I'm an example of that because I have one of the earliest EVs that have been mass produced, and it's going strong, and it's also a terrible battery. So there's only better batteries than what I have, even if I crashed it. And the modules could be used for various things, they still have a value before the recycled. So almost all of the electric car batteries, according to Nissan executive Nick Thomas, are still in the cars. And people this is one of the naysayers things that people say all the time, and he says, we've been selling them for twelve years. Wow. I'm just going to leave it at that. But the deal is the EV batteries will last. The car people don't get. Even EV buyers don't get that. Yeah, but that's the deal. And there's lots of reasons why. And there's usually a second step, as you say. The car gets totaled, you can still take the cells out, you can put them in home storage. There's a second use before you get to the eventual, which is to crack it all open and take the minerals out and recycle them. So my car has lost some of its range over the ten years that has existed. But what some companies do is buy a pack at a record, say from another Nissan Leaf. We'll take the best modules out of there and replace the worst ones in your car, and then they'll send the rest of the recycling. But what people don't realize is electric cars have sophisticated battery management systems that guard the long term health of the batteries. Most manufacturers offer warranties of eight years, or 100,000 miles even. And there's an industry expectation that EVs will last longer than that. So they should not live the cars. Yeah, and they're definitely going to get better. They're only going to get better. Like, Tesla is talking about million mile batteries and 1.5 million mile batteries. So we'll see what happens in the next ten years. Yeah, you can expect a bit of degradation, but your battery should last for the life of the car. I mean, right now, people trade in their cars after three years, five years, your EV should be able to go a lot longer than that. Okay. A story here from Drive Tesla, Canada. This is a couple of weeks old, but I thought it was important just because we talked about the Japanese car manufacturers quite a bit, and that is that BYD is planning to enter the Japanese car market. This just struck me as a really big deal. I'm a person who grew up on Japanese cars in the that's all I was interested in owning was Japanese cars. And now here we are. BYD from China is going into the belly of the beast, as it were. This is a very interesting development, Mr. Stockton, isn't it? This is very symbolic in many ways, isn't it? That's what I thought. They're going into Toyota Nissan's backyard, and they're just going to scoop up market share. That says so much. The Japanese automakers I see thriving with their plug in electric hybrids, but people really don't want them anymore. There's some places that do, but people generally want the full meal deal. They want a battery electric vehicle. And you see that with many of the sales reports in most places. In a lot of places. What do you think? Brian, it's time for what do you think? And let's breathe through this quickly, please. This is where I ask you, what do you think of things that I'm not sure what to think about? So Tesla is not going to only add eight new factories, which is entirely possible by 2030, but increase average volume production capacity from the 450,000 average to cross the four current factories to 1.66 million per factory to reach 20 million per year. What do you think? Yeah, I think this is entirely possible. They've been saying for a while that 20 million vehicles per year is their goal, and this would be way more than anybody's currently doing. The Tesla factory in Shanghai is at a run rate approaching a million vehicles a year just at that one factory. They haven't done that for a full year, but their current run rate, and they just had some more upgrades and they've opened a new line. So just in the past month after their shutdown, they had a shutdown for Covet, then they had a shutdown to upgrade the factory. And it's only been a few weeks, but they appear to be producing vehicles at a rate so far unheard of for Tesla. So they're definitely on track for a million vehicles out of the Beijing factory, and no reason to think that they can't replicate that. They're looking for maybe a dozen factories to make 20 million a year to take the crown of the world's biggest automaker away from Toyota, which they're already kind of on the verge of doing with the Toyota Corolla. It seems a bit weird because they really don't have that many models. They've got the model Y and the model Three Those are the mass market ones. But the cyber truck is coming. The Tesla Semi is coming. They started teasing like some kind of a van or a people mover vehicle. So there'll be probably some more announcements of different form factors for the car. So I think that's what the naysayers are mostly questioning. It's like, well, how are they going to make 20 million? Because they've only got a couple of models and they'll keep it small, they don't need that many models. But, yeah, it seems entirely possible. And there should be a new factory announcement soon, possibly Canada, which is the next thing on your list here for things to ask me about. We don't really know the details other than Tesla had to release that they've been lobbying, I believe it was the Ontario government in Canada, the province of Ontario. Whenever you do lobbying of the government, it has to be announced. So they did that. So it could be a factory in Canada, but they could also just be lobbying for battery materials or mining or something like that, too. But yeah, I think potentially good news for Canada. Musk has teased it too. He has teased Canada. So we'll have to see. I wouldn't be surprised because the government is pointing all the stops to get EV manufacturing here, which is good because it is the future and we do need jobs. Yeah, I think our government would be on board with that. And there is a history of automotive manufacturing, particularly in Ontario, but also Quebec. We make a lot of cars here. A lot of the American branded cars are made here in Canada. So there is the kind of base of knowledge yeah, to start that here, for sure. So the California Public Utilities Commission makes california, the first state in the nation to allow EV owners to measure an EV's energy use independently from the owner's main utility meter through submetering. Any thoughts on that? Yeah, it's an interesting idea. I mean, we often talk about the coming smart grid. It hadn't occurred to me that this could be one of the uses of a smart grid, but there could be some useful parts of monitoring your grid use separately. EVs could then be kind of modeled out in your electricity bill and be somehow treated differently. Maybe that's where they could put, like, a gasoline tax. Gasoline tax? Where everyone is wondering why we're not going to be getting our gasoline taxes anymore. Depends on how they want to treat. That would be the sort of bad news, is maybe that's where they'd put the gasoline tax, as it were, onto your EV bill. Yeah, it depends on how they want to treat. As temperatures rise, shifts and travel patterns are likely to become more common in Europe, with researchers describing as a hotspot for severe summer heat. So many travelers are setting their sites on Scandinavia or switching to the spring and fall for traveling as a person. Yeah, we talked about my trip to Europe, which turned out time to be the hottest summer on record for Europe. It's been surpassed since then, but yeah, it's not very pleasant traveling somewhere when it's blistering hot like that. So, absolutely, this makes a lot of sense. We're all going to maybe have to start thinking differently about when and where we travel. And speaking of tropical vacations, hawaii has received their final shipment of coal, all new at six. One month to go until Hawaii no longer burns coal for electricity. Tonight, a closer look at the final shipment from Indonesia arriving in Kalai. Long a huge milestone as experts believe we have enough renewable resources coming online to meet Oahu's energy needs. There's no use for coal for electricity anywhere in the world. Yeah, I just wanted to include this because, especially with an audio clip, it just seemed like a really great good news story of Hawaii has been using coal as part of their electricity generation. But as they start to move to more renewable sources, they have literally received their last shipment of coal that's going to be burned for electricity. And this will take a while to get through. And I suppose there's a danger in the next year or two of maybe, oh, we made a mistake, we did this too quickly and maybe we'll need more coal, but I don't think so. And as we know, renewables are fairly quick to put up, and as long as they've made all their plans correctly for the grid needs the last shipment of coal, this is just fantastic good news. That's amazing. You also want to have kind of energy autonomy. There should be no reason to ship anything into Hawaii to burn to make electricity. You've got. All the sunshine and wind that you need to be independent and you don't have to worry about your shipment of coal getting wiped out by a tsunami or something. About your shipment of coal getting wiped out by a tsunami or something. All right, Brian. The show would normally be over by now, but no, due to vacation. We've got so much to give, so much to get out. We have a mail item here. Reminder, though, the coming up is the lighting headlines briefly, but let's dip into the mail bag from the maggot. He wrote us a couple of weeks ago. He says on your show yesterday, there was a discussion about wasteful. Normally your team, that you and me, Brian, we're the team is super odd point, but I have to disagree this time. The old wave of environmentalism was miserly moral kind. The old wave of environmentalism was the miserly moral kind. I must suffer to save the world. People are advised to adjust their circumstance. Drive small cars or slow cars, eat less. But the new technology environmentalism is a focus on solving problems completely, rather than doing slightly less bad things through efficiency. So when people see this new view as a threat to their lifestyle, they grow up throughout barriers. Climate denialism isn't just about science. People just basically don't want to change. But he says that this is something we talked about for the future. Cheap power. Free power, cheap heat for your home. This is all about the story leaving the doors open at shops in France with the air conditioning running. And you don't like wastefulness. But yeah, we're not there yet, are we? No, that's the only point. Yeah, this is an absolutely valid point. I think that is definitely our future. But for the time being, especially in this era when Europe facing energy shortages, they're having problems with some of their nuclear, there just isn't the kind of excess power on the grid that there used to be. So particularly for the next couple of years in this transition, they still have to close the doors on those shops in France. And there was another story, I think, from Italy, where they're regulating the amount of electricity. You're not supposed to set your AC lower than 27 Celsius or something like that in Italy. So we're still in a power crunch. We still need to conserve. But absolutely, this is our future. This is going to be an abundant future, particularly what Tony Siba talks about from Rethink X. He thinks it's going to be a super abundant future with essentially free electricity is kind of where we're headed. Yeah, we're just not there yet. He makes a good point, and I take that point because it is hard to get your head wrapped around that. But that is our future, and it will affect the way I talk about things a little bit as we move forward. It's just hard for people to wrap their head around it unless you're on the forefront of this. And that's the thing. But yeah, I don't think my neighbors would understand anything I was talking about if I said we're going to get free electricity in the future. You'll be able to leave your door open in winter and just let the fresh air in if you wanted to because don't tell your neighbors they'll call socially. We'd love to hear from you. So thanks for leaving us that email. Contact us at clean energy show. Write us right now. Cleanenergyshow@gmail.com. We're on Twitter. You can get updates to our show schedule there. If we change our show schedule around at all or have special episodes like we did this week, ticktock, we're there. Clean Energy Pod is the handle for TikTok and Twitter. Even if you're not a Twitter user or casual Twitter user, I recommend you follow us to get the latest. Don't forget to check out our YouTube channel for talking heads video of us doing the show unedited, so leave us a voicemail at speakfight. Comcleanrgy. Lightning rounding round five minutes, ten minutes ago. It's time for the lightning out, but here we go. Brian, hang on. Buckle in. This is a fast look of the rest of the week's headlines and clean energy that I wanted to talk about. Rainwater everywhere on earth is unsafe to drink due to Forever chemicals. That was the name of my alt rock pan in the 80s. Forever Chemical. There was a movie damn. And I forget the name of it. I just watched a movie on the furry of our chemicals lawsuit. This is like frying pans and nonstick and how they stick around and they are making people sick in some place in the southern states. So University of Stockholm study finds that this is true for drinking water even in the Antarctic. These per and poly floral alkal substances are PFAS are large family of human chemicals that don't occur in nature. They don't go away. And yes, don't drink the rainwater, people. Tip from the clean energy show. A new study by Stanford University says that prices would immediately drop and all of upfront costs for switching to 100% renewable energy will be paid back in six years. So if we suddenly right now switch to 100% renewable energy, it would pay back itself in six years. Yeah. And this is the other thing that your neighbors probably wouldn't understand and they would call you crazy if you said that. But it is absolutely cheaper to just ditch this stuff as soon as possible. Go clean energy. That's the way to go. So up in Nordic space, the world's first subsidy free offshore wind farm has started to produce power. Just that I mentioned that because it's kind of a milestone to have subsidy free wind farm start. They didn't even ask for subsidies when they put in the bid. That's cool. So the failure in French nuclear is increasing electricity prices all over Europe, not just in France. France already had more nuclear than they could use themselves in the past and was a net exporter during nighttime and low French demands. Now France has a huge electricity import, further increasing the prices have gone out of control in France. France is an interesting case study right now. Yeah. The UK is also in a bit of a power crunch, and it's partly because they've often relied on France to send them some excess power. So, yeah, lots of potential shortages and brownouts and blackouts coming in the UK and other places. Brian, it's time for a surprise new feature, the Clean Energy show, Fast Fact. That's right. I'm going to randomly insert fast facts into the show now. From time to time, electric vehicles require fewer workers to assemble than gas or diesel vehicles, according to The New York Times. Wow, that's pretty cool. And just one more reason. Is it maybe just the evolution of these things? I mean, car factories are just getting more automated over the years. If you look at a combustion vehicle, the hoses and the clamps and the welding and the exhaust pipes yeah, I can see I can see how it would be here's. Another 175 of the 180 nuclear power projects examined in a study found the final cost exceeded the initial budget by an average of 117%. I hope you were sitting down for that. And took an average of 64% longer than projected. So that is a study that has proven that nuclear never comes in on time or on budget. Why don't we have another facet? The land requirement for the world to go carbon neutral is less than that of the current energy infrastructure. That's remarkable. So putting up people say, my son even says, where are you going to put all the solar panels? How about on the oil wells? Lands. On the refinery? Land? On the pipeline? Land? Come on. So we don't often talk about that, but all of this or that oil storage facility in Cuba that we were talking about earlier, it's not just a fire hazard, but it's a massive, massive place that could easily use that land for solar. And apparently you wouldn't even need that much from our friends at Bloomberg. I think we can say that now. Francis EDF utility is lowering its nuclear power output because the temperature of the river it relies on for cooling is getting too hot in a heat wave this summer driven by climate change. You know, everything fits together, Brian. Everything we talk about, it all fits together like a perfect puzzle. It's all connected. Yeah. Nuclear, even nuclear. I mean, this is after Reuters reported that the Rhine in Germany, its main shipping artery was getting too shallow to transport coal to power stations. It's almost like God is saying, Hurry the hell up. Nature is acting back. There's these loops of things that are happening no. In the Hoover Dam in the US, which I believe it's Lake Mead, which is backed up by the Hoover Dam. The water level has been dropping for years. They may not be able to generate electricity there at some point. This is from Eco Watch, hot off the fresh. A new study has found that as climate warming increases overnight temperatures these hotter nights could increase mortality risks in heat waves by as much as 60%. Because remember, we were talking about this a couple of shows ago. It's not just about the temperature of the day, it's the temperature at night. Which is why we have heat warnings based on nighttime temperatures in Canada because you don't get any relief from it. Your house doesn't cool down. And that was the case last summer here where we live. It just was not cooling down at night. So it was definitely the hottest summer that I've had living in this house this year. Fortunately, it's kind of acting more like the old days and it has been cooling down at night. We've had maybe one night this summer where it was difficult to sleep. But yeah, it's been cooling down at night and it's been an absolute dream. It's been okay not to have air conditioning this summer. And finally this week on this fat overstuffed show from the journal Nature rapid battery cost declines accelerate the prospects of an all electric inter regional container shipping routes. So as battery prices of $100 US per kilowatt hour as they approach that, the electrocution of interregional trade routes of less than 1500 km, which if you ask me is still pretty significant, is economical with a battery ship with a minimal impact to the ship carrying capacity. So that is to say it's not displacing much of the ship's capacity to stuff it with batteries because of the cost and including the environmental costs. That's not including the environmental, but if you include them, the economical range increases to 5000 batteries achieve a $50 per kilowatt hour price point which we expect them to sometime next decade, maybe earlier than later. The economical range nearly doubles to up to 10,000 or 3000 without the environmental impact. So that means that shipping is 14% of pollution in the states of US is coming from shipping. So yeah, it's no