Earlier this year I took a chance in politics and I didn’t win. I didn’t even place. But what I learned was useful. I learned that you can’t run an election campaign in 6 weeks. I learned that you need even just a little bit of money behind you to do it. I learned that Northern Ireland is trapped in the past and even those who are apolitical will work to maintain the status quo.
But my hope is not deterred. Nor am I entirely dissuaded from the path.
For all of the talk, our education system is failing more and more children; our healthcare system is beset by paper pushers and front line staff are taxed beyond belief; our public services are failing with uncleared drains, broken street lamps and reduced refuse collection.
I believe that while the two men at the head of the party were deeply flawed, petty and ultimately couldn’t be trusted to do the right thing; the idea of NI21 was absolutely on the money.
I’m tired of hearing nothing but whataboutery when the DUP and SF are given the mic. I’m also tired of hearing from the UUP/SDLP/APNI about how they’re ultimately powerless in the Executive where they serve because of a divvy of power between the two big parties. I’m tired of hearing parties in a government coalition constantly blame each other for the troubles of the day.
I’m sure others agree. I’m sure a load of people think that nothing will change. But this is where they (and Russell Brand) are wrong.
Brand is right that the second clause of
“Don’t vote; there’s no one to vote for”
is actually the most poignant part. So let’s find some people to vote for. Let’s pick them and help them raise their deposits and get them into Westminster. And then let’s pick more for the Assembly.
Let’s base it on sustainable economy; sustainable environment; sustainable education. Let’s change the world because we’re sick of the way things are.
When I sleep at night I am rewarded with visions of electric vehicles. The cars we have received from automobile manufacturers are not much further developed than the car you see below.
Electric vehicles are awesome. You may not realise how awesome but they are beset with some issues which are resisting general acceptance.
Range Anxiety and Charge Time
Consumer-grade electric cars tend to be limited to around 100 miles. Only the electric super-cars (like Tesla) have the range that we expect from cars. My diesel has a range of around 300 miles on a full tank that takes about three minutes to replenish. The Tesla still takes about an hour to charge (at a SuperCharger) and while the cars with 100 mile ranges can get an 80% charge in 20 minutes on a turbo charger.
A supercar like a Ferrari F40 has a range of 750 miles.
Cost to Buy, Cost to Run
Electric cars are expensive. My diesel, with all of the mod cons and dead-cow interiors cost me 50% less than a Nissan Leaf which has a range of 120 miles on a full charge. But it’s hard to deny that electric cars are cost-effective to run. With operating costs of 2 pence per mile, the Leaf is excellent. My car has a 300 mile range on a £60 tank of fuel – which works out at 20 pence per mile.
The operating costs of internal combustion engines, including wear and tear, tend to be higher too.
An Assault on Battery
Batteries are awkward. They’re heavy, they’re expensive.
The lithium-ion battery pack in a Tesla Roadster weighs about 1,000 pounds (453.6 kg). That’s a lot of weight to carry and it can greatly reduce the car’s range. However, the designers of the Roadster have offset this battery weight with a light frame and body panels. The entire car only weighs 2,690 pounds (1220.2 kg)
One of the advantages of a heavy battery is that if you put it at the bottom of the car, it really lowers the centre of gravity.
A New Way Of Thinking
Any one want to help me re-think personal electric transportation?