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Mapmaker's Diary: February 2021


Elder Statesman
Oct 30, 2006
Bécs-Altstadt & Kispest
Coro (Skepps)
Mapmaker's Diary February 2021
Everything's Colder in Texas

As we continue with the mapmaker’s diary segment, I believe this has been going on long enough to consider it a thing, albeit not a thing that people look forward to yet. I continue undeterred! The map hasn't been released yet, but will be soon as it is finished. So I guess this time the diary entry is before the map instead of two weeks after it!

Welcome to the February update! Currently over 70% of the United States is covered in snow. I don’t think that’s ever happened before in my lifetime. Across the pond, at least in places I know they celebrate Fat Tuesday with delicious pastries. Everything else in the world is cancelled. While the pandemic and vaccinations dominate headlines in most places that aren’t Texas where they don’t have electricity because their power plants weren’t designed to operate in cold temperatures (seriously, this might be the dumbest oversight I’ve ever seen and people are dying because of it in some often Darwin Award type ways).

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Continuing on that tangent of winter in Texas, what has proven of interest is the state of politics in the United States. How so? Well the initial response to the power failures in Texas is the demand to find a scapegoat! What is the reason for Texan power troubles? Wind power of course! Damn environmentalists have ruined us again! Wind turbines can’t operate in this cold! Of course ignoring the fact that the wind turbines operate perfectly fine in colder temperatures in places as far as Denmark and as close as Iowa. (Photo: A floating wind turbine in cold, cold, Norway that works) The problem with Texan wind turbines not working is more because of cost cutting. Texans didn’t apply antifreeze to the moving parts, which is a requirement if you don’t buy the model with deicing heat coils on them. Keeping a windmill moving isn’t hard in the winter if you well… plan for winter.

What it really amounts to is there is no single place to blame the current crisis in Texas. This is a lot of problems compounding each other due to a singular event. Power isn’t being generated by natural gas, coal, or nuclear power plants either. What is in common with all those sources of power is that they all still use one basic chemical compound: water. The problem of course is that they all did not pay the extra price required to keep the water from freezing with insulation in their pipes. This is also why Texans are dying at home, their homes are not insulated either and without electricity they cannot keep their home’s warm. Usually in other states such as California which routinely has problems with power supply, electricity is imported from other states with a surplus. So no problem. Texas is cut off from the rest of the American electric grid because Texas things. So they cannot get help either. The result is the price of gas/petrol around the world will go up because Texas isn’t producing millions of barrels of day.

It’s a strange situation just looking at the raw situation on the ground without some kind of political agenda. It is also something all places around the world need to be prepared for. There is a reason we don’t call the current state of the planet global warming anymore. It was a misnomer. Instead climate change is the superior term, and having insane winters, or insane hurricanes, or insane tornados is the new normal in our climate changed world. In fact Texas had an ice tornado which killed 10 people earlier. Seriously, who wants to live in a place that can get ice tornadoes?

While the world obsesses about little things in helping fix climate change, I’ve found it a bit humorous how far environmentalists go without acknowledging the rest culprits of the problem. When you engage in Sweden’s favorite past time, flygskam or flight shame, you look silly. When covid grounded airplanes around the world our carbon emissions dropped 5% across the planet. Add in the rest of transportation like trains, buses, cars, boats, and whatever else gets you or something from point a to point b and that accounts for only 16% of all emissions. Those cows that environmentalists rage about when you eat your hamburger? 4% of all emissions. The juggernauts of CO2 emissions are not what environmentalists are raging at you personally for. If the goal was to reduce emissions by 20%, sure, but that isn’t the goal. The goal is zero emissions. Of course, that 20% matters but what I found interesting is that the real juggernauts as I alluded to just a couple of sentences ago are cement and steel. Just by finding a carbon neutral way to create steel and fertilizers, you’d reduce emissions by 30%. In my mind that is insane! What’s even more is that we all know that without steel and cement we’d not be able to build anything. Even more interesting is that we need steel and cement to be able to go carbon neutral and reduce our environmental pact. This is a strange catch 22. So how do we go forward? It’s not batteries as Elon Musk will tell you (although they are a decent solution for cars in warm climates, I’m skeptical in colder climates as my Nissan Leaf experience in Estonian winter suggested a decrease in more than 50% range). A lithium ion battery cannot generate the raw power required to create steel and cement. The future in this regard is hydrogen. At least not without the battery itself catching fire. (A lithium ion fire on an EV car is something else.)

As a result I’ve begun my own investments in hydrogen. While lower to middle-America practice diamond hands on risky retail options, I am looking at investments in a hydrogen future. I believe this is the place where you invested in Microsoft in 1986 and find yourself a multi-millionaire today. In fact, if my math is right if you invested $5k in Microsoft In their 1986 IPO, you’d have around $10.5 million in stock today. Of course this is a belief in hydrogen, so don’t bet your entire life’s savings… (and I’m not going to tell you which things to invest in, I am not taking that responsibility in your financials) but you I do think you should set aside some money. It’ll be a far more solid slow moving bet than diamond hands on GME. So after more than a page of literature where I’ve gone from Texan cold to stocks, I think I ought to talk about that map.

This edition of the map is very thin on changes. There is a reason for that. I am not making changes to the map on a major level because I am going to be moving it over to a new computer and new software. That means, I don’t want to make major changes that I cannot replicate on the new software. I’ve fulfilled mostly all requests. I believe I only gave Atheara only half of his island request. I did this because he has expanded a lot in pixels over the last three updates and that region he applied to is getting crowded.

I stated that I would address greening players in this diary entry and I’ve decided that players will be advanced to a warning list for one month, there after they will be placed on the inactivity list. Players with fewer than 1,000 posts will have one month before they are removed from the map when on the inactivity list. Players with 1,000 posts or greater, will be on the inactivity list for three months. Players that have two nations on the map will have their secondary nation removed immediately upon placement on the inactivity list. Colonies will also be removed immediately when on the inactivity list (although exceptions could be made for RP conflict areas). The inactivity list will be represented on the map as a greyed out country in the future. Members on the inactivity list can have their greyed out nation’s pixels subject to be theft by new projects/players upon public discussion.

I think this is pretty simple and not arbitrary as far as players privileges with seniority. The 1,000 posts number may change in the future, but it won’t happen without it being declared. Players with a declared absence will be subject to the inactivity list as well, but I’ll never delete their greyed out nation. Meaning, long term absent players can have some their pixels taken upon the needs of the community, but won’t be deleted.

I’ll be moving forward with this on the map, as my guideline. Nobody else really offered other ideas, but if they do exist, I’m more than happy to consider them.

As usual, feel free to respond to this post. I won’t respond to everything, but I do read all responses and consider all ideas given to me.
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