Hurricane Ian Just gave us a wakeup call

Before I start I should say I don’t live in a tropical area … I have never lived through a cyclone, typhoon or hurricane. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live through the absolute fury and unimaginable energy that nature has the means to unleash. Everything from here on, is what I would like to think is a balanced perspective on the warning that nature just gave us and an opportunity to avoid some painful future lessons.

There’s no way around it, technology and engineering have become extremely closely tied to politics – particularly when it comes to energy. There is a global rush toward going ‘Green’.

It is a personal view point of mine that the transition to renewables isn’t as ‘utopian’ as the lobbyist claim. Many of the analysis only look at the product, not the end-to-end cost of production through to end of life recycling or disposal. The point is everything is skewed … to an extent even this perspective. That’s how balanced I can try to be.

But Hurricane Ian should be regarded as a case study & warning in how quickly infrastructure can be repaired in times of natural disaster. Here’s why.

Energy is life!

There is nothing more to say about it. Energy underpins every part of modern, western & 1st world life. So when nature comes barreling in at category 4 strength, winds at >240kp/h (>150mp/h – freedom units), horizontal rain, storm surges, floods, flying debris … I just saw the reports … not much is left standing.

But the when the storm passes, it’s time for the clean up to begin. Now the real (industrial) problem starts. You see the power is out, transformers have blown, lines are all but gone … wind turbines are damaged, unbalanced or even toppled, solar arrays are heavily damaged or even blown into the updraught … energy generation capacity has been smashed.

I cannot and will not claim to know any statistics about the scenario above, but it has to be said that this is a point of civil consideration.

The utopian view of 100% renewable energy, stable and ideal weather patterns is a pipedream. Tropical storms have existed before man walked the earth, they are literally a force of nature. No amount of politics or industrial transition will change it. The naivety is absurdly worrying.

When the lights go out, water gets cut off … we have to go back to basics. Water needs to be boiled, fridges need power, transportation and plant equipment needs to run. When the solar cells on your roof have been ripped off and you the grid is down, unless you have batteries, you’re going to be a pretty poor situation.

Remarkably, the gas powered generator that didn’t get flooded or destroyed outright, works …. Or sputters to life with the help of a screw driver. Now … you can start to act. Now you can buy yourself some time, and you can bring fuel in a container to keep it going.

Related: Its time to talk about energy.

This here isn’t about wanting to politicize a natural disaster or use it as an opportunity to demonize renewables, that is not the intent here. it is about reminding all of us, that nature can throw more at you in a day that you will ever throw at her in a hundred lifetimes, and that our future requires far more consideration involving present day conventional solutions, rather than placing all our bets on a future that will take no less than two decades to build … and a future that can be taken away in less than a week.

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Can Rising Interest Rates Stop Inflation?

When it comes to the markets, things have been a bit all over the place … so much so trying to make sense of things is frankly maddening. But its safe to say that the topics that have been dominating have been Inflation and the federal reserve … and its commitment to fighting inflation.

But investors and traders themselves are doing their bit … seemingly on a day to day basis. You don’t have to look through too much history (re: the S&P 500 index) just in the last few months to see whiplashing movements in both directions, where each downward movement is followed by some article about ‘Worries of inflation pushes markets lower …’, each upward movement followed by trailing headlines, ‘Worries of inflation easing …’

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Why is it so hard to start a business?

Time and time again, I see questions pop up, either in my mail box from various forums or other sources from the public asking things along the lines of, ‘I want to start a business, what should I do?’ or ‘I’m thinking of wanting to start a business, what is something good to start?’

At this point aside from being perfectly legitimate questions, in my opinion, there is simply no good, simple or clear answer to them.

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It’s Time to talk about Energy

It only takes a cursory look through the blog roll here to see that to date there have been two primary topics of discussion; ‘Education for Business’ and ‘Financial Independence for wealth.’ Hardly two interests that you would expect to find under a website or company with ‘Industries’ in its name.

Education frankly (as the web traffic highlights) isn’t a sexy subject, and personal finance is a deeply polarizing subject, particularly when we weigh up personal values in concert with the ‘have’s’ and the ‘have nots’. My personal interest in finance actually has far less to do with having more of it, than the ability to leverage it as a tool – to use it for bigger and better … ‘Industrial’ things!

However in recent times, bigger things have taken centre stage – and at the foundational level we get to the matter of ‘Energy’.

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Could Crypto Show its Darker Side?

Full Disclosure: The Author [Richard Ronc] has no cryptocurrency holdings.

Chronologically, it’s about time for my annual crypto bashing session … well not really.

Crypto currencies just do their own thing … or do they? (referencing Bitcoin and Ether only) the last 6 months of history does appear to show some insight into not just what crypto currencies do, but what they might also do in future. But at a rudimentary level, there are some interesting things to look at.

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