Thursday, February 27, 2014

It will all be OK....just take a deep breath. No wait, DON'T take a deep breath.

This is what Beijing, China has looked like for the past 7 days....smog so thick you can barely see across the street.  This is what China's 20-year unbridled growth spurt (tsunami?) has brought them.  And they say the average days aren't much better, either.  Yikes! 

Air pollution numbers registered this as 533 "Somethings" (my tech speak), with 20 Somethings being considered OK to breathe.  A reporter got on a train and traveled south from Beijing and it got even worse, topping out 480 miles down the line at 610 Somethings.  They had to travel over 900 miles south before it dropped to "only" 83 Somethings, still over 400% above the level deemed still healthy to breathe.

Where am I going with this?  We here in the West are worried to death about the rise of the Chinese Tiger.  Before long their economy will overtake ours experts say.  We already owe them over a Trillion dollars.  WE'RE DOOMED!

Or are we?  Wouldn't you imagine many of their 1.35 BILLION people will sooner rather later be dropping dead from breathing this soup?  I doubt that will be good for morale.  If I was the average Chinese guy I'd be sweating bullets, assuming I could somehow suck in enough oxygen for my brain to comprehend my dire predicament.

New topic:

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the heyday of the automobile industry may be behind us.  Yes, right now our automakers are enjoying record sales, up to 16m sales from a low of just 10.4M at the depth of The Crooked Banker Depression of '08.  But a lot of this is just satisfying pent up demand from the past few probably won't be a lasting boom.

The news reports in recent years have led us to believe that the Chinese auto market is insatiable, and that they will buy more than enough cars to keep the automakers afloat long term.  Really?  See above story.

Here's the scary part to me:  many young people don't even like cars anymore.  *GASP!*

When I was a kid it was a rite of passage to spend the pre-dawn hours of your 16th birthday camped out at the DMV, waiting to take your drivers test and get your license.  Today only 69.5% of 19-year-olds have even bothered getting a drivers license.

This is how kids spend their time today.  I'm not sure if this is a B&W picture or if the kid is really just that pale?

Listen up you little f__kers!  Turn off your computers....learn to drive....get a car.  'Cause if you don't buy 'em they won't have the R&D money to keep making cool cars for me, and I like cool cars!

Ummm....well, turn off your computers and go out and learn to drive after you finish reading my blog.  :)



  1. Beijing is what the Republicans want for us by doing away with environmental laws.

    Automakers only have themselves to blame with their generic car designs. I mean all those car shows you go to with the old cars that was back when they had unique designs. The only way nowadays a car company makes anything slightly different is by aping those models from the 60s-70s. It's no wonder cars aren't cool anymore.

    But as my brother has found out since his wife is one of those young people who doesn't have a license, it can be pretty annoying once you start a family unless you live in a big city with a subway system or you can afford to take taxis everywhere.

  2. Interesting post. The China situation is scary. Glad I don't live there. I'm with you, drivers license at 16 was a big thing. I wouldn"t want to be 16 today, In China or anywhere else. I'll do my best to enjoy the time I have left.

  3. Apparently China's air got all that bad making stuff to sell to Americans. How long before they start blaming us?

  4. Interesting that GM is recalling 7 models of cars for an ignition switch failure. Wonder how much that will cost them. Tough break after we taxpayers just bailed them out (Taxpayers recouped about $39 billion of the $50.1 billion pumped into GM in late 2008 and 2009 - Forbes).

  5. PT - What are the specific environmental laws Republicans are trying to do away with? I have not read about this in the news...Oh, and your windmills are killing Eagles...what to do, what to do.

    Sorry Scott, I promise that is the last time I will ever read one of his comments. This guy is the most negative person on the planet.

  6. Oh, interesting post again. I only hope China fixes this problem before it drifts over to US. Even though I lean to the right, I kind of don't like dirty air and water.

    The car thing is interesting. My 16 YO just got his learners permit so kids still want to drive. And I like today's cars. The fins were cool in a way but really they are kinda stupid. Funny how when you design a car to be fuel efficient and aerodynamic to meet regulations (which I agree with most PT...sheesh) the designs tend to be similar...must be some sort of rule of physics or something or maybe it is just stupid car designers who are run by evil corporations, yeah that's it PT!

    Sorry again Scott, that nimrod just chaffs my butt even though I know that is the intent of these no idea naysayers.

  7. Unfortunately, ten percent of that Chinese smog blows here to the United States. Many folks in Southern California are breathing Chinese smog.

  8. I wonder if those young kids are on to something. Cars are expensive to buy, insure, run, and maintain. While I believe that here in the States, in most areas, you're stuck/screwed/isolated without a car, I admire that two of my four siblings in Germany have gotten along all of their lives without ever owning a vehicle.

    1. Yeah, but you can't get excited driving a BUS! Seriously, I was in London a few years ago and I enjoyed the tube (subway). In dense urban environs mass transit is great, but not in big, spread out modern cities like Dallas.

    2. Don't diss the busses now! Sitting on the top of a double decker bus, in the front - BEST. THING. EVER! That's how I saw London.

      I totally agree with you that the infrastructure here in the States is tailored to people owning cars. Spread-out suburbs, miles away from the jobs, do not make for efficient mass transit. As I said, without a car you're screwed here. Which is really sad, but that's just the way it is - and it would take a long, long time to make any sort of change.