The picture which accompanied one story on the BBC about Typhoon Muifa (梅花; Mandarin: Méihuā “plum blossom”) showed that Wuxi was within the zone of strong winds, and we certainly got them. As for the rest, we had a short-lived burst of very heavy rain a couple of days ago and a brief shower yesterday. The rest of the time, it’s mostly been sunny with some cloud, which is what it is again this morning.
According to the forecast, it’s going to be 33° for the next three days and thundery tomorrow.
I saw the final episode of the latest series of Top Gear on Tudou yesterday. The boys were wrong not to reveal that the batteries of the cars were not fully charged, but was the point to have just enough charge left so that they could reach Lincoln and then be left with the dilemmas of a.) finding somewhere to recharge them and b.) waiting for them to be recharged? The point? Partly that the infrastructure for recharging electric cars isn’t that widespread; partly that though the range of electric cars has improved, journeys would have to be planned carefully to avoid cars grinding to a halt in awkward places.
Both Clarkson and May were quite positive about the cars, which really only suffered because of the price (considerably more expensive than comparable petrol-powered cars; well outside my price range), and the Renault had fewer toys than the Nissan. They didn’t get back to the studio and say, “Electric cars are rubbish. Don’t ever buy one. Petrol will rule forever!” They did express doubts about the electric cars as the future of motoring and mentioned, once again, hydrogen. (On this last point, they sound like they read about hydrogen somewhere, but don’t really understand the details.)
Here, we have a lot of electric bikes and scooters. Wuxi is supposed to be their capital. A few years ago when I was in Chengdu, there was a campaign about disposing of old batteries because of the hazard they pose to the environment. What happens to the batteries which power electric bikes when they reach the end of their life? Can they be recycled easily and safely? What’s going to happen to the batteries of electric cars when (if) they become the dominant form of automotive transport?
A few of the comments on George Monbiot’s article in The Guardian came from people who had actually watched the episode of Top Gear; a lot of comments seemed to come from people who merely wanted to take a (self-righteous) poke at the programme, and Jeremy Clarkson as some right-wing oil-industry stooge.
I must admit that I haven’t liked Clarkson much in the past, and after watching every episode of Top Gear broadcast since it was relaunched (all on Tudou over the past couple of months or so), I’m not really any fonder of him now, but just occasionally, he might actually be right about something.