Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for August 9th, 2022

Pale pentagon

with 11 comments

After not having taken any nature pictures for a week and a half, I inaugurated August by going out onto the Blackland Prairie in northeast Austin. The first thing I found on that first day of the month—and for only the second time ever—was a plant that does things in fives: Mirabilis albida, known as pale umbrellawort, white four o’clock, and hairy four o’clock. Local botanist Bill Carr notes that it is “an extremely variable species found in a broad range of woodland to disturbed open habitats.” The USDA map shows this wildflower growing in places as far apart as Quebec and southern California.


☙        ☙        ☙


A University of Texas at Austin study found that subsidies per megawatt-hour of electricity amount to roughly 50 cents for coal, $1 to $2 for oil and natural gas, $15 to $57 for wind and $43 to $320 for solar.

That’s from an August 7th editorial in The Wall Street Journal. It explains the boasting claim that electricity from solar and wind in the United States is now cheaper than electricity from fossil fuels. Remove those enormous subsidies and the claim collapses. Also conveniently seldom mentioned in conjunction with the claim is that most solar panels are made in China, which overwhelmingly uses fossil fuels to manufacture them and then to ship them to the United States—just as fossil fuels are predominantly used to mine and process the rare earth elements necessary to make solar devices function, and to ship those elements to China from the places in other parts of the world where they’re mined.

It’s important to have all the relevant facts and statistics when evaluating something.


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 9, 2022 at 4:30 AM

%d bloggers like this: