Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday Morning Links

1. Healthy polar bear count in northern Canada confounds the doomsayers.  There are 66% more bears than previous estimates, maybe more, and the population is growing, not declining.

2. Award-Winning Cuban Blogger Yoani Sanchez's Acclaimed Blog (Generation Y, which gets 14 million hits per month) Turns 5 Years Old. Congratulations Yoani!

3.  Study finds that nearly two-thirds of hybrid owners would not purchase another hybrid vehicle when it's time to trade in.   

4. Interactive Table: Average College Faculty Salaries, 2011–12 The Chronicle of Higher Education.

5.  The Williamsport (PA) Chamber of Commerce president said he never has seen an economic boom such as the one creating lines at local restaurants, no vacancies at area hotels and a general optimism among many capitalizing on the area’s expanding gas and oil industry. In the past three years, about 115 new businesses began operating in the area, including hotels, office buildings and restaurants, and about 2,000 people have been hired. 

6. Natural Gas Sparks a Manufacturing Renaissance:  "The rapid development of shale gas technology has helped reduce energy imports and, in some cases, encouraged companies producing petrochemicals, steel, fertilizers and other products to return to the United States after relocating overseas."

35 Comments:

At 4/11/2012 10:06 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

That chart about college faculty salaries is quite interesting. I wish it gave a range, though. I looked up my Alma mater (Framingham State University) and I can say that the average is about right, but it is a very wide range.

 
At 4/11/2012 12:16 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Jon, if its a public institution you can find wages for individuals online. You can then compare within each department, because these "averages" include far too many different departments to "mean" anything. And that's what you want...comparing departments, not entire universities.

 
At 4/11/2012 12:50 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I know, AIG. I happen to know the range for FSU. I was just wondering if the range was similar for other universities.

 
At 4/11/2012 1:07 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

How many regular car owners buy the same vehicle again?

 
At 4/11/2012 1:34 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

On small towns with "shortages" of hotel rooms, housing etc---how much of that do you suppose is local burghers making sure not too much competition pops up? LIke no putting trailers on your lot to house workers etc.

 
At 4/11/2012 1:45 PM, Blogger al fin said...

Hydra, you miss the point. It is not about buying the same vehicle again. It is about buying the same class of vehicle again.

It is a distinction between logical levels. Blurring that distinction is a logical fallacy.

 
At 4/11/2012 2:17 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Re: Polar Bears

Goddamn Findings Fail To Support Researcher's Hypothesis

 
At 4/11/2012 2:22 PM, Blogger Ken said...

How many regular car owners buy the same vehicle again?

Many truck owners buy trucks again. Many sedan owners buy sedans again. Many compact car owners buy compact cars again. Many sports car owners buy sports cars again.

The not buying hybrids again is on par with that, not buying "the same vehicle again".

 
At 4/11/2012 2:40 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

No. You are wrong.

First, if the Classes are Hybrids and Non-hybrids, hybrids only represent 2% of vehicles sold. For everything other than hybrids, the odds would be wildly in favor of a non hybrid owner buying anothe non-hybrid. In that case merely making the argument as stated is a logical fallacy.

Second, the article points out that the repurchase of other hybrid models is even lower, the successful Prius brings that average up to 35% for the class as a whole, signifying that the Prius as a model is an issue. This implies that the data was in fact gathered by model. Once you have detailed data, it is often a logical mistake to aggregate it, especially if done badly.

Third, even if that is the case and it is the class of car, saying that one third of hybrid owners would buy another does not tell us anything, unless we know what the frequency is for the other class. as stated, the implication seems to be that the buyers for hybrids must be becoming extinct. In fact, those 2/3s that exit the hybrid market are more than made up for by those that exit the Non-hybrid market, even if, as a percentage exitinting that is a small number.




Fourth, Hybrids have only been around for a few years. I have two, but that is probably only the case for really high mileage drivers, most people would not be in the market for another one, if the longevity of my first is any indicator.

Finally, the argument frequently made is why spend the extra money when you can buy a 40 mpg compact.
My experience with renting such vehicles is that they do not average 40 MPG in the real world, whereas my Prius has real world mileage above 50 mpg. And, it is a nicer car all around than most of those less expensive high mileage models.

All of that said, I agree that fuel economy alone is insufficient reason to buy one, but making a lousy argument about who would buy another one is equally insufficient reason not to.

What is going on here is a vague slam at the technology and vehicle class (and maybe the snobbish yuppie environmentalist class of drivers, presumed to drive such vehicles), while doing nothing to clarify either the (red herring) argument being made, or the actual issues involved.


I think the real point is that a Hybrid makes sense if you run the car a lot of miles, or if you operate the car much of the time (stop and go city traffic). It has a rather narrow mission for which it makes sense. I can easily imagine that many people buy one and then realize that for their use pattern, it is a waste, so they do not need another.

But that is neither a reflection on the vehicles or the technology. Now, if someone points out that because of the battery issues,and the high tech global sourcing of components for the car, that it is far less green than advertized, then I probably would agree.

But a simple headline that says only 35% of hybrid buyers would buy anothes is a lousy and weak argument based on a misrepresentation of unimportant facts.

The fact that you bought into it, shows how effective really lousy arguments can be if all they need to accomplish is to reassure the nondiscerning public of their previously held convictions: all those yuppy greenie things are a waste of money.

 
At 4/11/2012 2:48 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"My experience with renting such vehicles is that they do not average 40 MPG in the real world, whereas my Prius has real world mileage above 50 mpg"...

LMAO! What?!?! Are you always driving downhill with a tailwind or something hydra?

 
At 4/11/2012 2:52 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Many truck owners buy trucks again. Many sedan owners buy sedans again. Many compact car owners buy compact cars again. Many sports car owners buy sports cars again.

================================

Ah yes, but how many is many? If "many" turns out to be 50% or less, as I suspect it might be, then 35% for this particularly narrow class might not be so bad.

Despite the fact that I am happy with my hybrids, this is not about that at all: I am just pointing out what I see to be a crummy argument, and it would be a crummy argument no matter what the product.

I also own four trucks, each with a different mission. Historically, I bought a hybrid, a truck, another hybrid, another truck, then sold two trucks.

I bought a hybrid and then another vehicle - twice. Does that mean the other vehicles are better, or that I prefer them to the hybrids? Of course not, but that is the IMPLICATION of the argument: people buy hybrids and don't like them, so they get something else. The hybrid market is dying.

In fact, the 2/3rds that exit the hybrid market are replaced by people who exit the ICE market.

 
At 4/11/2012 3:08 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

LMAO! What?!?! Are you always driving downhill with a tailwind or something hydra?

================================

Laugh all you want Juandos, that is a true fact. My last tank registered 51.8 MPG on the computer, 52.5 the one before that, and 50.9 so far on this tank. That kind of mileage is routine, and often it is higher than that.

Back checking the computer against actual gallons purchased shows it to be accurate, however, the speedometer/odometer is slightly optimistic, as most are.

One week I had particularly easy driving, and the thing actually racked up 59.3 MPG ove 350 miles.


When I am driving faster and more aggressively it will drop to 47 or 48 on my route, but you have to put your foot in it.

Yes, the trip to work is down hill and the trip home is uphill. I get noticeably better mileage going in than going home.


By comparison, my Ford Tempo claimed 33 mpg but was lucky to get 25. My Jetta claimed 32 (I think) but was lucky to get 25.

Both of those cars were bad enough I never bought another, but I'm not suggesting that VW is going out of business just because a lot of former owners bought something different next time.

 
At 4/11/2012 3:15 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

All of this digresses to characteristics of the vehicles. my original comment was about the argument made in the heaqdline, which I felt was weak and misleading.

So what if 35% buy another hybrid? What is a meaningful comparison for other groups?

 
At 4/11/2012 3:20 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Goddamn Findings Fail To Support Researcher's Hypothesis

================================

Umm, that is why it is called a hypothesis.


When those findings are repeated long enough, researchers will conclude that polar bears can in fact survive without polar sea ice, or with much less of it than previously.




Now, about that sea ice......

 
At 4/11/2012 3:34 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

My experience with renting such vehicles is that they do not average 40 MPG in the real world, whereas my Prius has real world mileage above 50 mpg.

Yeah I believe that. The Prius, I must say, is an amazing vehicle. If I could afford one, I'd buy it.

When you are cruising in the Prius, or at least not rapidly accelerating, the MPG is amazing.

 
At 4/11/2012 3:39 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Laugh all you want Juandos, that is a true fact. My last tank registered 51.8 MPG on the computer, 52.5 the one before that, and 50.9 so far on this tank. That kind of mileage is routine, and often it is higher than that"...

Yeah, sure I believe you hydra since you're so often the source of credible information... Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

 
At 4/11/2012 4:21 PM, Blogger AIG said...

whereas my Prius has real world mileage above 50 mpg

EPA lies!! :P I read VanegIV once on this blog, and he told me that this was all a lie. Then he showed me this youtube video, and this link from LewRockwel dot com, and I was like "whooo! The government's been lying to me dude!". And he was like "Ron Paul 2012!", and I was like "dude!"

So don't believe your car's computer Hydra. Its all an EPA lie. The EPA has forced Toyota to manipulate the computer mileage output on all Prius's, in order to allow Bernanke to print more money in order to finance GM and buy out all the gold. It's all true. Do your research. /jk

Yeah, sure I believe you hydra since you're so often the source of credible information... Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

It's not exactly a secret that a later model Prius will easily get those kinds of mileage. I don't know why you're laughing. http://priuschat.com/forums/attachments/gen-ii-prius-main-forum/8786d1209007774-prius-joy-prius-mpg-vs-mph.jpg

 
At 4/11/2012 4:40 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Hydra,

Umm, that is why it is called a hypothesis.

Did you even go to the link? Or do you simply lack a sense of humor?

Now, about that sea ice......

Ha! The ice is melting off Kilimanjaro!! It's not? Oh. Well it's going to be much warmer than average in the polar regions!! AGW activists retreated from polar regions because it was unexpectedly cold? Oh. Well the polar bears are dying!! They're not? Oh. Now about that sea ice...

Change the subject often enough and you're bound to find something to be right about. Maybe this'll be right. But you probably shouldn't hold your breath.

 
At 4/11/2012 8:33 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I don't suppose any evidence would convince you of actual true repeatable facts.

Further evidence of your rather limited and extremely erratic intellectual capacity.

 
At 4/11/2012 8:38 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Little defensive aren't you? I am agreeing with you. If the polar bear count continues to increase, and the poalar ice continues to decrease, then the hypothesis that polar bears cannot survive without sea ice will be disproven.

What is your problem?

 
At 4/11/2012 8:50 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I have to climb a long and steep hill, right out of my driveway. Dead slam cold in the morning, the Prius will climb that hill at 25 MPG. If I insist on climbing AND increasing speed it will drop to 10 MPG, momentarily. After I climb that hill, and the longer. It shallower one after, the next 20 miles are rural interstate which typically runs at 75 to 85 MPH.

It still gets the mileage reported.

You can get a good used one for $15k.
Hard to get a good used hay baler for that money.

 
At 4/11/2012 9:05 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

1. Healthy polar bear count in northern Canada confounds the doomsayers. There are 66% more bears than previous estimates, maybe more, and the population is growing, not declining.

This is old news. The research was showing that the bears were not threatened and that the population was at a historical high. The problem was the media, which ignored the facts and played up the lies told by Gore and his pals. The problem for them was that reality eventually intervened.

3. Study finds that nearly two-thirds of hybrid owners would not to purchase another hybrid vehicle when it's time to trade in.

Hybrids are too costly and not very good for the environment. Even pretentious fools figure it out eventually.

 
At 4/11/2012 10:58 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I don't suppose any evidence would convince you of actual true repeatable facts"...

That's your problem hydra, you're long on pendantic whining and short on substantive and credible material...

What I find more that a bit humerous is that you're quick to repeat something anyone can hear on television commercials that are played coast to coast...

BTW hydra you really should take a better look at polar ice instead of parroting the hysterical claims of AGW proponents...

 
At 4/12/2012 9:17 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Here is true and credible and material:
My prius routinely turns in gas mileage of over 50 MPG. This is a material, obervable, repeatable fact, which you merely laugh at and dismiss. You have not suggested any evidence that would allow you to change your mind on this subject.

It makes me question your grip on reality. No whining or pedantics involved.

Neither have I parroted any claim of AGW proponents (alarmists). This is simply another fact you choose to ignore. All I said was that if the polar bears continue to increase, someone's hypothesis will be disproven.



Some people have claimed that polar bears wil not be able to survive without polar sea ice. there is at least one count of polar bear population that suggests polar bears are increasing.

Eventually we will learn some kind of truth, which you will no doubt be as incapable of assimilating as you are the facts about my Prius mileage.

If polar bears are increasing in number AND there is no decrease in polar ice, then there is no news in the fact that bear numbers are increasing, is there?




" As rising temperatures melt Arctic ice caps, the U.S. Coast Guard is ramping up for deployments in northern seas that are emerging as a new maritime frontier.

The Coast Guard has been stepping up Arctic operations gradually as it the melting polar ice opens shipping lanes. Since 2008, it has deployed boats and aircraft to small communities on Alaska's coast, where the guard is looking to build up relationships with villagers by providing training on boating safety.

This summer, as part of an operation called Arctic Shield, the guard is planning full-scale deployments of several cutters, helicopters and small craft. A 225-foot buoy tender will test the Coast Guard's oil spill recovery system for the first time in the Arctic."

Offered without comment. You can choose to see this as more government meddling where it is not needed or you can see it as new maritime activity where there used to be only ice. Or both.

 
At 4/12/2012 9:47 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Hybrids are too costly and not very good for the environment. Even pretentious fools figure it out eventually.

================================

I do not deny the first sentence.
Although, as you have remarked before, "too costly" is a value judgement,as is "not very good for the environment".


I do not see that the second one follows either from the first or from the premise before that.


Two thirds of all hybrid buyers do not buy a second hybrid: this much we know. We also know that the proportion of Prius buyers that buy another is much higher than that number. "Removing that car from the model shows a repurchase rate under 25-percent."

If Prius has 64% of the hybrid market then 42% of Prius drivers purchase another one, for example.

We also know that hybrid sales as a % of the total auto sales have increased every year from 2001 to 2009, with a slight dip in 2010 and 2011, and running at an increased rate again in 2012.

From this we can conclude that the pretentious fools that choose another model next time are more than made up for by a new supply of pretentious fools that opted not to buy some other type a second time.


It is not about whether the cars are good or bad, it is about whether the argument is good or bad.


I think it is well established that in order to get the lowest overall cost of ownership and operation it is important to get a car with low capital cost, which lets the hybrids out if that is the only criteria.

 
At 4/12/2012 9:56 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Here is true and credible and material:
My prius routinely turns in gas mileage of over 50 MPG. This is a material, obervable, repeatable fact, which you merely laugh at and dismiss. You have not suggested any evidence that would allow you to change your mind on this subject.


What is also clear is that two thirds of hybrid users do not think enough of their vehicles to purchase hybrid vehicles again. Hype aside, real world conditions matter. If you need to use a lot of A/C and drive a fair amount you do not get the claimed mileage. If you live in a climate of extremes you also do not get the claimed mileage because batteries are far less efficient when they are operating in cold or hot conditions. I am not even bringing up the higher depreciation costs and the damage done to the environment because of the total manufacturing process.

Some people have claimed that polar bears wil not be able to survive without polar sea ice. there is at least one count of polar bear population that suggests polar bears are increasing.

Suggests? In the 1970s the bear populations were around a fifth of the current level. The northern communities report many more bear sightings than before. That suggests that there is no polar bear crisis and calls for a healthy dose of scepticism about other unsupportable AGW claims.

 
At 4/12/2012 10:46 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Although, as you have remarked before, "too costly" is a value judgement,as is "not very good for the environment".

Fair enough. I should have said more costly than other alternatives. That is not a value judgment but a statement of fact. As I pointed out, you can get a much lower cost per mile with many diesel vehicles.

I do not see that the second one follows either from the first or from the premise before that.

But the data says otherwise. Many of the pretentious fools who bought hybrids seem to have had a bout of buyer's remorse.

If Prius has 64% of the hybrid market then 42% of Prius drivers purchase another one, for example.

That is still a terrible result. Given the various incentives having less than half of previous purchasers go back and get the supposedly best model is a problem. And when you consider the sales that take place due to government and corporate edicts for symbolic purposes the results suffer a further erosion. If the Prius did what it was supposed to and was as useful as advertized you would see three quarter of buyers go back and get another hybrid.

 
At 4/12/2012 11:19 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

That is still a terrible result.

================================

We do not know if this is a terrible result or not. That is the basis of my argument.


We do not know, from this source, since it gives us no insight as to what other comparable groups there are or what the results would be if we studited them using the same methodology.


All we know is that some buyers did not buy a second one. We do onot know if this is buyers remorse, or whther they bought a horse van or camper to tow.


And sales are not down by 66% so someone is buying the vehicles. A pretentious sucker is born every minute? Those same new buyers people must have chosen not to buy a second vehicle of the type they have.


=================================

If the Prius did what it was supposed to and was as useful as advertized you would see three quarter of buyers go back and get another hybrid.


Where is your basis for this? I believe that repeat buyers for most vehicles are below 50%.


****************************

Here is an example of the argument made:

"For many, it's hard to justify paying thousands more when you can get just as good gas mileage from non-hybrid car that costs less. That goes double for all-electric cars like the Leaf and Chevy Volt."


Just look at that. There is no non hybrid car that gets "just as good" on mileage. However, if you start up your hybrid and drive it only for short trips, and not very many of them, then you will find that the hybrid does not buy you much on fuel savings.

I am not arguing against the fact that, for many, the additional capital cost will not be justified by fuel savings alone. That is a fact that is patently true, as far as it goes.

No doubt some discover that the hard way and do not buy a second one, but that does not mean they were pretentious fools.

 
At 4/12/2012 11:29 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

you can get a much lower cost per mile with many diesel vehicles.

================================

How do you figure? In my area diesel is more expensive than gas and the Diesel Jetta costs nearly as much as the Prius and gets only 33 MPG?

Mind you, I liked my old Rabbit diesel, even if it was a dog.

But like the Prius, it is not for everyone. And, when my wife drove it, she managed to get half the mileage and wear out the brakes twice as fast.

Again, I am not arguing about the vehicles, I am arguing about how the argument was made: based on what was presented, I don't think any reasonable conclusion can be made.


Look, automatic transmissions cost more than manuals and got worse mileage. They got off to a rocky start, also. Were they purchased only by pretentious fools?

 
At 4/12/2012 11:34 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

"Lloyd's of London, the world's biggest insurance market, has become the first major business organisation to raise its voice about huge potential environmental damage from oil drilling in the Arctic.

The City institution estimates that $100bn (£63bn) of new investment is heading for the far north over the next decade, but believes cleaning up any oil spill in the Arctic, particularly in ice-covered areas, would present "multiple obstacles, which together constitute a unique and hard-to-manage risk"............

The far north has become a centre of commercial attention as global temperatures rise, causing ice to melt in a region that could hold up to a quarter of the world's remaining hydrocarbon reserves."



Offered without comment.

 
At 4/12/2012 11:44 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

"In the first half of the 20th century, mechanized and overpoweringly efficient methods of hunting and trapping came into use in North America as well.[94] Polar bears were chased from snowmobiles, icebreakers, and airplanes, the latter practice described in a 1965 New York Times editorial as being "about as sporting as machine gunning a cow."[94] The numbers taken grew rapidly in the 1960s, peaking around 1968 with a global total of 1,250 bears that year."

==================================

Maybe it is not surprising that the number of bears has increased since the 1970's, when hunting restrictions began to take hold.

 
At 4/12/2012 1:30 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Where is your basis for this? I believe that repeat buyers for most vehicles are below 50%.

LOL...You made up the number, not me. You have absolutely zero facts to back up your claim and ask me for my basis for the response.

I would argue that Prius buyers, were the bulk of the hybrid market because there were few viable alternatives prior to a year or two ago. This means that most Prius owners chose not to purchase another hybrid. Next time you post check your assumptions and your math please.

How do you figure? In my area diesel is more expensive than gas and the Diesel Jetta costs nearly as much as the Prius and gets only 33 MPG?

Sorry but the Jetta kills the Prius under real world conditions when you look at the cost per mile driven.

Jeremy Clarkson caught on quite early in the game as he noted that Prius sales were driven by the need to signal by the politicians and the econuts rather than by economics or practical use consideration. About a half a decade ago he wrote, And what’s so good about the Prius anyway? It does 45mpg, which makes it thirstier and dirtier than most diesels, it has two engines, which means two filthy production lines and imagine what it would look like alongside Berlusconi’s Quattroporte and Merkel’s Merc? A Prius would make Mr Blair look like an even bigger berk than he already is.

And at 33 mpg you are not looking at a Jetta but an Audi A6, which goes 0-60 in 6 seconds can tow 4,600 lbs, and tops out at 150 mph. Try doing any of that in your little Prius. Of course, the Audi engine will last 500,000 miles. By that time you will have to change your battery packs five times at a cost of $5K or so each time and will probably have to replace your engine twice.

If you want credibility, which would be hard to get given your ignorance, try doing some research, sticking to the facts, and doing some thinking before posting.

 
At 4/12/2012 1:56 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Look, automatic transmissions cost more than manuals and got worse mileage. They got off to a rocky start, also. Were they purchased only by pretentious fools?

No, because they were useful to drivers who did not want to bother with manual shifting. But if the point of a hybrid is to save money or help the environment it makes no sense to buy one. I noted before that if you drove quite fast, as you usually do on a highway, a Prius does even worse than a BMW M3.

You and find a slightly harsher review here. Note the comments about the poor safety of the vehicle. Because Toyota was more concerned about fuel economy it made the car as light as possible. That means that your chances of surviving a crash are much better in the diesel vehicle than in your Prius. Which is one reason why owners of hybrids do not want to tempt fate and choose something more practical and a hell of a lot safer.

 
At 4/12/2012 2:31 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Maybe it is not surprising that the number of bears has increased since the 1970's, when hunting restrictions began to take hold.

It isn't at all. Bears do not die from having an extra two weeks of open water. In fact they do not like extremely cold conditions and had no problem surviving the ice free summer conditions during the Holocene Optimum. (Something that the AGW alarmists keep ignoring.) Polar bears have far more trouble with people hunting them with bullets. And given the lower mortality rates due to hunting plus the fact that some of the northern communities offer a source of food (via garbage dumps) the bear populations have exploded.

The warmers knew this because the population numbers have been available for years. But they still played the ignorance card and lied to the general public which trusted what they said and the media reported. Fortunately that strategy has failed and the alliance between corporate rent seekers and anti-market zealots is now in rapid decline.

 
At 4/13/2012 10:48 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"My prius routinely turns in gas mileage of over 50 MPG"...

Coming from hydra it automatically makes it at best suspect...

"Ha! The ice is melting off Kilimanjaro!! It's not?"...

Let me guess, you didn't know that Kilimanjaro is a volcano even though its last major was some 100K years ago, right?

I've been to the top three times and each time it was outgassing...

"Change the subject often enough and you're bound to find something to be right about. Maybe this'll be right. But you probably shouldn't hold your breath"...

You're right hydra, you can't be perfectly wrong... Sooner or later you'll hit on something you'll be correct on but only through sheer statistical chance...

 

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