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Okay. Now it’s a heat wave

The interior of Southern California has been slow-roasting [1], like everybody else in the U. S. of A. It’s so bad, people are being told to use their A/C less, to let their houses go all the way up to 78°F (25°C). The utilities have been moaning about having barely enough power to meet needs

They’ve been bewailing the temporary shutdown of the San Onofre nuke like the loss of the last drop of drinking water. (The thing has cracks in hundreds of steam pipes [2] due to design flaws.) It provides 2200 Megawatts. It’s loss is terrible. We’re all dying out here.

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

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

view of Pt. Mugu

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

Ormond Beach Generating Station

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

Mandalay Generating Station


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

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

3 Comments (Open | Close)

3 Comments To "Okay. Now it’s a heat wave"

#1 Comment By katiebird On 17 Aug, 2012 @ 14:51

Oh, for heaven’s sake….

We have kept our air conditioner set at 81 in the summer and heater at 63 in the winter. And we are perfectly comfortable all the time. OK… little dog walks over to the kitchen vent a couple of times a day for a cool nap — but the rest of us are fine.

And I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve looked at our patio thermometer to see it at over 100 this year. (A couple of months ago one of the weather announcers said, “It’s 107 outside but it feels like 108” — it’s THAT kind of year…

Anyway, I’m always shocked when I hear how much some people play with indoor temperatures. I think furnaces and air conditioners should be supplemented by clothes (or fewer clothes) and blankets.

(rant off)

#2 Comment By quixote On 18 Aug, 2012 @ 21:34

I know. Honestly.

Although I, personally, don’t really have any right to slag people off for keeping their houses cool. Mine’s at about 72°F courtesy of the Arctic current along the Pacific coast here. Today it went all the way up to 77 and I was suffering! (I’m a total wimp.)

Oh, and hi katiebird 😀

#3 Comment By katiebird On 19 Aug, 2012 @ 11:59

(waving) Hi!!!

As soon as I hit ‘send’ i felt bad… but, at least I labeled it as a rant. I don’t really care where other people set their thermostats… I just think it’s funny that many people seem to set them at the exact opposite of my seasonal settings. Our next door neighbors for example have their air conditioner going before we turn off our furnace!