"Why electric cars still don’t live up to the hype"

The Washington Post somehow gives space to Charles Lane to smack down to the e-car hype.

Mass adoption of electric cars, however, cannot occur unless they can do everything gas-powered vehicles can do — including the ability to go hundreds of miles before refueling, and refueling easily — at a comparable total cost of ownership. Otherwise, electric cars will be a niche product for upper-income folks. And government subsidies for them will be a regressive transfer of social resources in return for little climate benefit, given that the U.S. power grid the cars draw from is 64 percent fueled by coal and gas.

Related: from early last year, "Electric Car-Owners Shocked: New Study Confirms EVs Considerably Worse For Climate Than Diesel Cars".


"The maddening saga of how an Alzheimer’s ‘cabal’ thwarted progress toward a cure for decades"

Interesting and sad, and offers another example of a very tough problem. Science needs to enforce standards against nonsense. There should be a very, very high threshold for believing claims of a perpetual motion machine. And for much else. (I once read that before the relatively recent proof of Fermat's Last Theorem a distinguished math professor used to regularly get "proofs" submitted to him. He got enough, in fact, that he printed some postcards and charged a grad student for sending them out. The cards read something like, "Dear Sir and/or Madam: Thank you for submitting your proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. Your first error appears on page ___, line ___." The grad student had to fill in the blanks.)

But thresholds against very unlikely things and nonsense should not develop into an awful groupthink that mindlessly claims authority where there is no good ground for claiming such authority. A theory of Alzheimer's that repeatedly failed but was stubbornly adhered at the cost of discouraging virtually all other theories is a good example.


"Never, Ever Forget Why Regulators Became Regulators"

John Tamny raises a fine point.

Regulators are those who mostly didn't rate acceptance at elite instiutions, plus it cannot be stressed enough that for the most part those who presume to regulate are the ones who couldn’t get jobs in the industries regulated.

Imagine then, what the above means to chief executives? While the businesses they run aim to achieve greatness by hiring the best of the best, they’re suddenly being “advised” on how to run their businesses, and most often being told how to run their businesses by individuals who could never hope to work for them in a normal world. It’s the equivalent of Goldman Sachs facing a requirement to hire a failed math student for a position on the arbitrage desk, or Saban being forced to play at quarterback someone who was a backup in high school.