Author Topic: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales  (Read 2849 times)

johndoe

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 120
Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« on: June 28, 2020, 09:02:52 PM »
Saw these quotes in a few national stories:

“Fireworks sales have been unprecedented and stronger than ever in the history of my being in this industry and I’ve been in it for 50 years,” said Bruce Zoldan, CEO of Ohio-based Phantom Fireworks, which has approximately 80 stores throughout the U.S. and supplies thousands of retailers nationwide.

Since around mid-May when states started phased-in reopenings, Zolden said sales have shot up and have not slowed down. He said the company was planning on a 15% increase in sales this year, but estimates sales are around 115% higher than 2019."

"Point blank, period, I'll tell you where the money is coming from: the unemployment stimulus, the extra $600 they're getting a week, 100%, because I'm swiping those red cards all day," Weitzel said. He added that regular customers have been spending much more than they usually would on fireworks."

We're at historic levels of unemployment and economic strife.  What better time to splurge on fireworks?!  I know one persons' hobbies are anothers' "wasteful spending", but to me this is a perfect example of my fellow Americans' budgeting skills.  It's borderline unbelievable how dumb we are.  As if I weren't cynical enough...

ender

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5689
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2020, 09:06:56 PM »
It's not as if fireworks are good financial decisions regardless of covid.

The_Big_H

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 158
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2020, 11:27:03 PM »
I recall MMM writing something to the effect of
“If a motor, like a jet ski or 4 wheeler, excites you more than a day you might be dumb”

More or less the same with fireworks after young adult hood. They aren’t really different show to show and what you can buy legally are pretty boring after the first few.

I mean. Doesn’t help I live not to far from a place I can go SEE fireworks 365 days a year (WDW)

Dollar Slice

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6264
  • Age: 43
  • Location: New York City
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2020, 11:45:12 PM »
You'd be surprised how many of those "recklessly blowing their stimulus check on fireworks" types are actually black market entrepreneurs. Around here people drive across state lines, load up their car full of fireworks, and bring them back here (where they're illegal) to sell at a mark-up.

six-car-habit

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2020, 01:10:54 AM »
 will fireworks ever be restricted for being a waste of money or global warming contributors , I sometimes wonder.

 In this state we have fireworks stands that can be open for about a week prior to New years eve, and 4th of July. But otherwise you cannot get them throughout the year.  Have lived in NY also, and remember people queitly passing around lists and prices of available fireworks brought into the state, and available thru their cousin or friend.

chemistk

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 723
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2020, 06:30:10 AM »
I don't understand the appeal of home-fireworks, except maybe the sparkling fountain and smoke-bomb ones (mainly to give the little kids a fun show). Now, poppers and sparklers on the other hand? I always pick up a few packs of those - maybe I'm somewhat of a man-child in that regard but I could sit for a couple hours and toss poppers around.

lizzzi

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2156
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2020, 08:03:53 AM »
I can't stand fireworks when people set them off illegally in their yards around our apartment complex. They terrify my dog. All my neighbors with pets say the same thing--a bunch of yay-hoos set off fireworks near our complex, and all our pets head for shelter under the beds or wherever. Aggravating as all get out.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6197
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2020, 08:16:05 AM »
I don't understand the appeal of home-fireworks, except maybe the sparkling fountain and smoke-bomb ones (mainly to give the little kids a fun show). Now, poppers and sparklers on the other hand? I always pick up a few packs of those - maybe I'm somewhat of a man-child in that regard but I could sit for a couple hours and toss poppers around.

There are sky-burst fireworks going off a few blocks from my house (residential area), and NYC has been absolutely buried in fireworks / complaints.  https://gothamist.com/news/map-shows-where-fireworks-complaints-are-exploding-summer

YttriumNitrate

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1078
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2020, 08:31:29 AM »
You'd be surprised how many of those "recklessly blowing their stimulus check on fireworks" types are actually black market entrepreneurs. Around here people drive across state lines, load up their car full of fireworks, and bring them back here (where they're illegal) to sell at a mark-up.

Out of curiosity, how far away is the closest state to NYC that sells aerial fireworks? Here in Northwest Indiana, we basically supply the whole of Chicago with fireworks. I can't imagine it would be very profitable to resell in Chicago since Indiana makes it super easy to buy. We have giant year-round fireworks stores located right on the interstates coming from Chicago, and about half the billboards are dedicated to advertising fireworks stores.

Dollar Slice

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6264
  • Age: 43
  • Location: New York City
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2020, 08:46:35 AM »
You'd be surprised how many of those "recklessly blowing their stimulus check on fireworks" types are actually black market entrepreneurs. Around here people drive across state lines, load up their car full of fireworks, and bring them back here (where they're illegal) to sell at a mark-up.

Out of curiosity, how far away is the closest state to NYC that sells aerial fireworks? Here in Northwest Indiana, we basically supply the whole of Chicago with fireworks. I can't imagine it would be very profitable to resell in Chicago since Indiana makes it super easy to buy. We have giant year-round fireworks stores located right on the interstates coming from Chicago, and about half the billboards are dedicated to advertising fireworks stores.

It's not that far (Pennsylvania - maybe a couple of hours) but I think lack of access to cars is the main issue for a lot of the people who are wanting to light fireworks in the city. I don't have actual data but I'm guessing (from what neighborhoods fireworks seem to be focused in) it's not adults with good jobs, or young rich kids whose parents have cars they can borrow who are setting off fireworks at 2AM, but rather teens and 20-somethings with a little extra cash to burn with their friends while all the movie theaters, bars, concerts, clubs, etc. are closed and there's nothing to do at night.

It's been dying down in my immediate neighborhood, thank goodness. Last weekend sounded like we were being bombed until 3:30-4AM every night. This weekend was a bit more normal "week-before-July-4" moderate firework levels.

Laserjet3051

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 852
  • Age: 92
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2020, 08:49:23 AM »
I don't understand the appeal of home-fireworks, except maybe the sparkling fountain and smoke-bomb ones (mainly to give the little kids a fun show). Now, poppers and sparklers on the other hand? I always pick up a few packs of those - maybe I'm somewhat of a man-child in that regard but I could sit for a couple hours and toss poppers around.

For the entirety of my life, home fireworks were/are synonymous with any and everything that could be made and sold. Right up to m80s, cherry bombs, pineapples and even larger explosives. Ive lived in all 4 "corners" of the usa and seen unrestricted access in each locale. From the fireworks loaded boats pulling into the docks in nyc, to the rural stands in the NW, folks have never had a hard time finding ways to blow stuff up on land or sky

Khaetra

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 689
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2020, 08:54:10 AM »
If you want to shoot them off on the 4th, go for it.  I'll even give you a pass on the 3rd.  NYE?  Hey, we survived another year so okay!  I don't appreciate them any other time though, like last night as I was just about to doze off when a mortar goes off over the house.

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4654
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2020, 01:53:45 PM »
LOL. I've been hearing fireworks for 2-3 weeks now, and given the 4th is coming up I expect there will be even more. Driving around the evening of the 4th you frequently can't see because of the smoke. I actually have some meds from the vet to give the cat if she flips out, but she seems to have decided that they're not going to eat her. We'll see how new kitty handles it, but so far she doesn't seem to care much.

@YttriumNitrate Hi neighbor!

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4280
  • Age: 29
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2020, 02:19:56 PM »
Ugh, great.  Glad I'm out living in the middle of nowhere now.  I can't stand fireworks.  Let's celebrate our country by making every neighborhood sound like a goddamn war zone.  Our dogs also get mortified each year, and when we lived in civilization on the Fourth I had to wait until well after midnight when shit dies down to walk them.  We had an asshole neighbor with his young kids shooting shit at a super dangerous 45 degree angle and landing way off his property.  I found a few firework butts in our back yard.  At least be careful if you're going to blow shit up like a middle school boy.

/get off my lawn

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8193
  • Location: United States
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2020, 05:53:15 PM »
I've heard some conspiracy theories that police are distributing fireworks to desensitize people to explosions.

TheFrenchCat

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 164
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2020, 07:57:44 PM »
Ugh, great.  Glad I'm out living in the middle of nowhere now.  I can't stand fireworks.  Let's celebrate our country by making every neighborhood sound like a goddamn war zone.  Our dogs also get mortified each year, and when we lived in civilization on the Fourth I had to wait until well after midnight when shit dies down to walk them.  We had an asshole neighbor with his young kids shooting shit at a super dangerous 45 degree angle and landing way off his property.  I found a few firework butts in our back yard.  At least be careful if you're going to blow shit up like a middle school boy.

/get off my lawn

Do you have neighbors at all?  We live on a pretty middle of nowhere lake, but the people on the lake sure love their fireworks.  And then they all wash into the swamp.  When I lived in suburbia, we actually didn't have too many.  May have been because those neighbors would call the cops on you for it.  I love them though, apart from the trash, so this is reminding me to pick up some sparklers before the weekend.

stylesjl

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 56
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Sydney, Australia
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2020, 02:13:58 AM »

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13734
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2020, 07:26:14 AM »
will fireworks ever be restricted for being a waste of money or global warming contributors , I sometimes wonder.

 In this state we have fireworks stands that can be open for about a week prior to New years eve, and 4th of July. But otherwise you cannot get them throughout the year.  Have lived in NY also, and remember people queitly passing around lists and prices of available fireworks brought into the state, and available thru their cousin or friend.

Fireworks **are** restricted, as your post clearly indicates.  What you mean is that you want them to be further restricted (if perhaps out-right banned).

As for contributing to global warming... I'm a climate scientist and that's a tough sell even for me. Google tells me we sell 268 million pounds of fireworks per year (it's unclear whether this is the TOTAL weight of the firework, or just the compustible material within.  I'm assuming hereafter it's the black powder... but the figures would be much smaller if this includes the cardboard casing as well).  In contrast, we burn through 895,000MM pounds of gasoline during the same time period (less than 0.03% the amount of gasoline).

It's such a tiny amount that raising the fleet MPG by 0.1mpg would have a larger effect than a complete ban on all fireworks.

Just for S&G I decided to compare fireworks to civilian ammunition fired each year (both use black powder).  Apparently ATF estimates about 12B rounds are sold every year. On average bullets contain about 9.1g (0.002 lbs) of black powder (larger rounds use more), so back-of-napkin calculation shows all the civilian ammo shot off each year = 240.7MM pounds of black powder.

Ergo, restricting bullets would have a similar effect on global warming as restricting fireworks, on a percentage basis.  But both sources are rounding errors when it comes to actual climate change impacts.
Spoiler: show

..and since I've gone down this google rabbit-hole, I've learned that the US dropped 7.423 munitions ("bombs") in Afghanistan in 2019.  Apparently these things are well tracked.  Most of the munitions currently used by the US forces range from 500lb to 2,000lb payloads, with some smaller as well.  Even using the larger end of the spectrum, all the bombs likely totaled less than 14.8MM pounds of explosives, or ~5% of the total weight of all the fireworks exploded in the US.  Again, direct comparisons should not be made as the internal energy of black powder (used in fireworks) is less than TNT or RDX (used in military explosives).

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4280
  • Age: 29
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2020, 07:54:39 AM »
Ugh, great.  Glad I'm out living in the middle of nowhere now.  I can't stand fireworks.  Let's celebrate our country by making every neighborhood sound like a goddamn war zone.  Our dogs also get mortified each year, and when we lived in civilization on the Fourth I had to wait until well after midnight when shit dies down to walk them.  We had an asshole neighbor with his young kids shooting shit at a super dangerous 45 degree angle and landing way off his property.  I found a few firework butts in our back yard.  At least be careful if you're going to blow shit up like a middle school boy.

/get off my lawn

Do you have neighbors at all?  We live on a pretty middle of nowhere lake, but the people on the lake sure love their fireworks.  And then they all wash into the swamp.  When I lived in suburbia, we actually didn't have too many.  May have been because those neighbors would call the cops on you for it.  I love them though, apart from the trash, so this is reminding me to pick up some sparklers before the weekend.
We don't.  We're almost a mile off the road, and nobody for at least half a mile in every direction as the crow flies.  From the property, I can see one "neighbor" across the cornfield when the corn isn't grown tall, but Google Maps tells me they're about 0.75 miles away.

Aunt Petunia

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1257
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2020, 08:10:09 AM »
Haha I remember going to Indiana to buy fireworks as a child. I think most of the appeal was because they were "illegal". My stepdad would pick up a couple cartons of cigarettes too because the tax was lower. Funny how some laws are enforced and others not.

 I now find personal fireworks slightly annoying and idiotic, but I've never complained about them.  I do like watching the large public displays.

Dollar Slice

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6264
  • Age: 43
  • Location: New York City
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2020, 08:22:23 AM »
I now find personal fireworks slightly annoying and idiotic, but I've never complained about them.

I don't mind them in appropriate places, but I live in Manhattan and the other day someone set off aerial fireworks a 30-second walk from my front door (of a 10-story apartment building) for 20+ minutes at 1AM on a weeknight, until the fire department showed up with four trucks because I guess all the smoke set off a fire alarm somewhere. This has been happening all over the city this year - several fires have been started, some serious, and a number of people have been badly hurt, including a homeless person who someone threw a lit firework at on purpose, and a 3-year-old who was hit by a firework when some asshole decided to light them off outside his apartment building and one came flying in his window.

So yeah. I'm complaining about them.

Aunt Petunia

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1257
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2020, 09:08:00 AM »
I now find personal fireworks slightly annoying and idiotic, but I've never complained about them.

I don't mind them in appropriate places, but I live in Manhattan and the other day someone set off aerial fireworks a 30-second walk from my front door (of a 10-story apartment building) for 20+ minutes at 1AM on a weeknight, until the fire department showed up with four trucks because I guess all the smoke set off a fire alarm somewhere. This has been happening all over the city this year - several fires have been started, some serious, and a number of people have been badly hurt, including a homeless person who someone threw a lit firework at on purpose, and a 3-year-old who was hit by a firework when some asshole decided to light them off outside his apartment building and one came flying in his window.

So yeah. I'm complaining about them.

I agree that many things which are a mere nuisance in a suburban/rural area can be quite dangerous in a big city. Fireworks definitely have no place in a densely populated area like NYC. Yikes.

I certainly was not defending fireworks and would not be upset if they were banned entirely.

I hear a lot of complaints from relatives in a rural part of Illinois that they can't do this or that "because of Chicago". I try to stay out of these conversations. It is difficult to be fair to everyone and implement common sense safety measures at the same time.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 09:16:54 AM by Aunt Petunia »

talltexan

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3979
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2020, 06:29:34 AM »
Given that we are in the midst of a pandemic where medical care systems are already strained, I've been wondering if county governments aren't quietly trying to reduce fireworks sales. I'm not saying this is you, but I imagine there's a surge of ER visits following the fourth of July because of people being injured by their pyrotechnics.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16886
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2020, 07:34:44 AM »
Fireworks are really nice when they're set off as part of a regulated and safe program.  Personal fireworks have always seemed to be the domain of assholes who want to irritate those around them by setting off crappy tiny displays unsafely and usually at inappropriate hours.

I guess you can add me to the #getOffMyLawn crew.  :P

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4477
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2020, 09:23:19 AM »
Given that we are in the midst of a pandemic where medical care systems are already strained, I've been wondering if county governments aren't quietly trying to reduce fireworks sales. I'm not saying this is you, but I imagine there's a surge of ER visits following the fourth of July because of people being injured by their pyrotechnics.

A neighbor who is a paramedic said in general you have more ER visits in the summer and especially summer holiday weekends.

When it's cold people stay home and do less stupid stuff.

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4654
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #25 on: July 03, 2020, 09:51:21 PM »
Well, reporting from northwest Indiana. The fireworks today started about 5 pm, infrequent. Starting about 8:30 or 9pm, they became pretty constant, though not all are close by. As I type this, it's 10:50pm, fireworks are still going regularly. I expect them until at least midnight, though it is starting to slow. Tomorrow will be worse.

Cats are mostly unbothered. I also have the house closed up. New kitty Rosie had a few moments of being worried, but luckily Arwen has decided that the fireworks aren't going to kill her, so between Arwen's blase attitude and my calm, Rosie decided it was ok. Currently sleeping on my lap. Tomorrow's noise will probably convince everyone to panic so I'll be dealing with that.

I like the professional shows. the little ones are no fun.

Michael in ABQ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
    • Military Saints
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #26 on: July 03, 2020, 10:32:09 PM »
will fireworks ever be restricted for being a waste of money or global warming contributors , I sometimes wonder.

 In this state we have fireworks stands that can be open for about a week prior to New years eve, and 4th of July. But otherwise you cannot get them throughout the year.  Have lived in NY also, and remember people queitly passing around lists and prices of available fireworks brought into the state, and available thru their cousin or friend.

Fireworks **are** restricted, as your post clearly indicates.  What you mean is that you want them to be further restricted (if perhaps out-right banned).

As for contributing to global warming... I'm a climate scientist and that's a tough sell even for me. Google tells me we sell 268 million pounds of fireworks per year (it's unclear whether this is the TOTAL weight of the firework, or just the compustible material within.  I'm assuming hereafter it's the black powder... but the figures would be much smaller if this includes the cardboard casing as well).  In contrast, we burn through 895,000MM pounds of gasoline during the same time period (less than 0.03% the amount of gasoline).

It's such a tiny amount that raising the fleet MPG by 0.1mpg would have a larger effect than a complete ban on all fireworks.

Just for S&G I decided to compare fireworks to civilian ammunition fired each year (both use black powder).  Apparently ATF estimates about 12B rounds are sold every year. On average bullets contain about 9.1g (0.002 lbs) of black powder (larger rounds use more), so back-of-napkin calculation shows all the civilian ammo shot off each year = 240.7MM pounds of black powder.

Ergo, restricting bullets would have a similar effect on global warming as restricting fireworks, on a percentage basis.  But both sources are rounding errors when it comes to actual climate change impacts.

..and since I've gone down this google rabbit-hole, I've learned that the US dropped 7.423 munitions ("bombs") in Afghanistan in 2019.  Apparently these things are well tracked. Most of the munitions currently used by the US forces range from 500lb to 2,000lb payloads, with some smaller as well.  Even using the larger end of the spectrum, all the bombs likely totaled less than 14.8MM pounds of explosives, or ~5% of the total weight of all the fireworks exploded in the US.  Again, direct comparisons should not be made as the internal energy of black powder (used in fireworks) is less than TNT or RDX (used in military explosives).

I can confirm. I am literally responsible for every single bullet issued to my Soldiers. I have to sign a form every time we use anything from a mortar round down to a single pistol bullet certifying that it was "consumed" on a certain date and exactly which type of ammunition it was (there are probably a thousand or more varieties) and which production lot it came from.

I was a bit jealous watching an episode of the Pacific where they just ran over and grabbed boxes of ammunition in the middle of a battle - no paperwork to worry about.


I enjoyed fireworks as a kid and my friends and I would sometime use black powder and plastic bottles to make our own. As an adult I think I've spent maybe $50 total on fireworks ever. Last year we bought a small amount to light off in the street with the kids. Just simple fountain ones or sparklers. Albuquerque is surrounded on three sides by Indian Pueblos (reservations) so whatever the state laws may be are meaningless as they can sell whatever they want there. Most years we just find a good spot to watch people all over the city shoot mortars that explode up in the air.

six-car-habit

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2020, 02:27:58 AM »
will fireworks ever be restricted for being a waste of money or global warming contributors , I sometimes wonder.

 In this state we have fireworks stands that can be open for about a week prior to New years eve, and 4th of July. But otherwise you cannot get them throughout the year.  Have lived in NY also, and remember people queitly passing around lists and prices of available fireworks brought into the state, and available thru their cousin or friend.

Fireworks **are** restricted, as your post clearly indicates.  What you mean is that you want them to be further restricted (if perhaps out-right banned).

As for contributing to global warming... I'm a climate scientist and that's a tough sell even for me. Google tells me we sell 268 million pounds of fireworks per year (it's unclear whether this is the TOTAL weight of the firework, or just the compustible material within.  I'm assuming hereafter it's the black powder... but the figures would be much smaller if this includes the cardboard casing as well).  In contrast, we burn through 895,000MM pounds of gasoline during the same time period (less than 0.03% the amount of gasoline).

It's such a tiny amount that raising the fleet MPG by 0.1mpg would have a larger effect than a complete ban on all fireworks.

Just for S&G I decided to compare fireworks to civilian ammunition fired each year (both use black powder).  Apparently ATF estimates about 12B rounds are sold every year. On average bullets contain about 9.1g (0.002 lbs) of black powder (larger rounds use more), so back-of-napkin calculation shows all the civilian ammo shot off each year = 240.7MM pounds of black powder.

Ergo, restricting bullets would have a similar effect on global warming as restricting fireworks, on a percentage basis.  But both sources are rounding errors when it comes to actual climate change impacts.
Spoiler: show

..and since I've gone down this google rabbit-hole, I've learned that the US dropped 7.423 munitions ("bombs") in Afghanistan in 2019.  Apparently these things are well tracked.  Most of the munitions currently used by the US forces range from 500lb to 2,000lb payloads, with some smaller as well.  Even using the larger end of the spectrum, all the bombs likely totaled less than 14.8MM pounds of explosives, or ~5% of the total weight of all the fireworks exploded in the US.  Again, direct comparisons should not be made as the internal energy of black powder (used in fireworks) is less than TNT or RDX (used in military explosives).


  You can bet when adding in the bombs we drop in other places than Afghanistan, Sell to the Saudi's to drop into Yemen, etc - the # goes up. Especially if you add in the # of bullets, bombs, and artillery rounds used for training each year for the US military.  Thanks for your quick calculations - I would have thought fireworks would contribute more. 
   I suppose the amount in pounds of fireworks pollution would equal a rounding error per your calculations, but i wouldn't consider it having zero effect.
 Anyhow i may be a bit jaded, as today we watched a long documentary on Vietnam war, and the amount of explosives used there was incredible, and one could argue a big waste of money / resources/ lives.
   
« Last Edit: July 04, 2020, 03:03:22 PM by six-car-habit »

blue_green_sparks

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 143
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2020, 08:01:49 AM »
I went to a party and the host had hired a 'pro' to do a fireworks display from his dock on the river. I noticed the fireworks guy had about 6.5 fingers. Yep...something suddenly went very wrong, everybody was running for cover and then I saw a boat and dock on fire and burned down to the water.

Michael in ABQ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
    • Military Saints
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2020, 09:43:46 AM »
will fireworks ever be restricted for being a waste of money or global warming contributors , I sometimes wonder.

 In this state we have fireworks stands that can be open for about a week prior to New years eve, and 4th of July. But otherwise you cannot get them throughout the year.  Have lived in NY also, and remember people queitly passing around lists and prices of available fireworks brought into the state, and available thru their cousin or friend.

Fireworks **are** restricted, as your post clearly indicates.  What you mean is that you want them to be further restricted (if perhaps out-right banned).

As for contributing to global warming... I'm a climate scientist and that's a tough sell even for me. Google tells me we sell 268 million pounds of fireworks per year (it's unclear whether this is the TOTAL weight of the firework, or just the compustible material within.  I'm assuming hereafter it's the black powder... but the figures would be much smaller if this includes the cardboard casing as well).  In contrast, we burn through 895,000MM pounds of gasoline during the same time period (less than 0.03% the amount of gasoline).

It's such a tiny amount that raising the fleet MPG by 0.1mpg would have a larger effect than a complete ban on all fireworks.

Just for S&G I decided to compare fireworks to civilian ammunition fired each year (both use black powder).  Apparently ATF estimates about 12B rounds are sold every year. On average bullets contain about 9.1g (0.002 lbs) of black powder (larger rounds use more), so back-of-napkin calculation shows all the civilian ammo shot off each year = 240.7MM pounds of black powder.

Ergo, restricting bullets would have a similar effect on global warming as restricting fireworks, on a percentage basis.  But both sources are rounding errors when it comes to actual climate change impacts.
Spoiler: show

..and since I've gone down this google rabbit-hole, I've learned that the US dropped 7.423 munitions ("bombs") in Afghanistan in 2019.  Apparently these things are well tracked.  Most of the munitions currently used by the US forces range from 500lb to 2,000lb payloads, with some smaller as well.  Even using the larger end of the spectrum, all the bombs likely totaled less than 14.8MM pounds of explosives, or ~5% of the total weight of all the fireworks exploded in the US.  Again, direct comparisons should not be made as the internal energy of black powder (used in fireworks) is less than TNT or RDX (used in military explosives).


  You can bet when adding in the bombs we drop in other places than Afghanistan, Sell to the Saudi's to drop into Yemen, etc - the # goes up. Especially if you add in the # of bullets, bombs, and artillery rounds used for training each year for the US military.  Thanks for your quick calculations - I would have thought fireworks would contribute more. 
   I suppose the amount in pounds of fireworks pollution would equal a rounding error per your calculations, but i wouldn't consider it having zero effect.
 Anyhow i may be a bit jaded, as today we watched a long documentary on Vietnam war, and the amount of explosives used there was incredible, and one could argue a big waste of money / resources/ lives.
 

A 500-pound bomb contains about 200 pounds of explosive. A 2,000 pound bomb contains about 1,000 pounds of explosive. When it comes to artillery rounds the ratio of explosive to round weight is even lower as the shell casing has to withstand the much higher pressure of being shot out of a cannon vs. dropped from a plane. Partly that's by design too as the exploding shell creates the metal shrapnel that will impact the enemy. A 95-pound 155mm artillery shell contains about 15 pounds of explosive. A 35 pound 120mm mortar shell contains about 7.5 pounds of explosives - a greater percentage due to the lower firing velocity for mortars vs artillery.

And just for curiosity I looked up the amount of bombs dropped in recent wars. This doesn't include artillery which would definitely be a big factor in WW2, and to a lesser extent Korea and Vietnam. So assume around 40% of that weight was actual explosives. I don't know the chemical reaction for military explosives (typically RDX which is O2NNCH2) compared to black powder (2 KNO3 + S + 3 C → K2S + N2 + 3 CO2.) so it's possible that one or the other creates far more CO2 and other gases than the other. That's ultimately what an explosion is, a very rapid chemical reaction that creates a lot of hot expanding gas.

Gulf War - 88,500 tons
Vietnam War - 7,600,000 tons
Korean War 635,000 tons
WW2 - 3,400,000 tons

penguintroopers

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 291
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #30 on: July 05, 2020, 11:06:21 AM »
I personally wouldn't be surprised if sales this year were up because people who would have ordinarily gone to professional shows are now staging small ones at home. We never bought fireworks as adults, but I was thinking about picking up a small bag of sparklers/fountains and the like to take to the in-laws house before we canceled the trip last minute.

We discovered our poor dog isn't too much of a fan. She hadn't been bothered by the random couple ones leading up to the fourth, but last night she just went to hide from desk to desk until we cleared out a space under the bed for her and set up the boxfan. She still doesn't want to go outside and walk around either. :(

Just Joe

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4210
  • Age: 125
  • Location: Just past the red barn on the left.
  • Here to learn.
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #31 on: July 06, 2020, 08:00:59 AM »
Fireworks are really nice when they're set off as part of a regulated and safe program.  Personal fireworks have always seemed to be the domain of assholes who want to irritate those around them by setting off crappy tiny displays unsafely and usually at inappropriate hours.

I guess you can add me to the #getOffMyLawn crew.  :P

Ever heard a dog cuss? I'm pretty sure our dog said some choice words this weekend...;)

I think our nearest neighbor through the trees was leading an assault on an enemy beach or something (we live in flyover country, no beaches here).

Someone on line said there were likely amazing sales on fireworks: buy 1 get 5278 for free judging by the chaos where they live.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2020, 08:04:57 AM by Just Joe »

The Guru

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 242
  • Age: 65
  • Location: Great Lakes
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #32 on: July 09, 2020, 07:51:19 AM »
Where i live (PA) fireworks regulations have been relaxed in recent years, causing at least one legislator to concede that maybe they had overestimated the public's ability to use them responsibly. Mrs. Guru and I enjoy a good public display but elected to pass due to the close quarters we'd likely experience. Turns out we didn't need too go anywhere anyway since we were surrounded by the things.  It sounded like the aforementioned war zone and looked and smelled like the gates of Hell had been thrown open. The cats were terrified.

The crazy part is, the mayhem started well BEFORE dark*, and was largely over before it got really dark enough to enjoy them. So maybe people really did blow through  a limited "entertainment" budget.

*The exception being the neighborhood gun worshipper who let off a volley of semi-auto gunfire about 11:45 PM.

YttriumNitrate

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1078
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #33 on: July 09, 2020, 08:36:38 AM »
Starting at dusk till around 11 pm a near continuous volley of explosions could be heard in my little part of everything-is-legal Indiana.

While we normally put our 2 and 5-year old down to bed around 7 pm, we realized that wasn't going to work out too well for the 4th and just let the kids stay up as late as they could. Around sunset, we walked around the town looking at the fireworks being set off, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. There's a family one town over that puts on a rather impressive aerial display over the lake and we were able to see it pretty well.

Overall, thanks to our youngest getting older the experience of the 4th is getting much better. Two years ago, the 4th with a newborn was definitely not fun.

Hi Sibley!

Just Joe

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4210
  • Age: 125
  • Location: Just past the red barn on the left.
  • Here to learn.
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2020, 10:07:03 AM »
We neither attended the town show nor purchased any fireworks. Geez, I can't remember the last time we ignored the fireworks entirely. Didn't want to sit shoulder to shoulder to watch them this year. Didn't buy any b/c our critters would be very unhappy.

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4654
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #35 on: July 09, 2020, 11:44:45 AM »
Starting at dusk till around 11 pm a near continuous volley of explosions could be heard in my little part of everything-is-legal Indiana.

While we normally put our 2 and 5-year old down to bed around 7 pm, we realized that wasn't going to work out too well for the 4th and just let the kids stay up as late as they could. Around sunset, we walked around the town looking at the fireworks being set off, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. There's a family one town over that puts on a rather impressive aerial display over the lake and we were able to see it pretty well.

Overall, thanks to our youngest getting older the experience of the 4th is getting much better. Two years ago, the 4th with a newborn was definitely not fun.

Hi Sibley!

Hi back!

Similar at my house for the 4th. I did hear fireworks well past 11pm, though it had definitely calmed down. But I heard some around 1am. I couldn't see much due to trees though.

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2348
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #36 on: July 09, 2020, 12:45:27 PM »
We neither attended the town show nor purchased any fireworks. Geez, I can't remember the last time we ignored the fireworks entirely. Didn't want to sit shoulder to shoulder to watch them this year. Didn't buy any b/c our critters would be very unhappy.

Agreed. The Venomous Spaz Beast doesn't really like fire and she's been trained to alert me to loud noises. Most of the neighbors were setting fireworks off in the street so since she didn't know what was going on I took her outside. The loud noises caused her energy level to rise, so I brought it down again. By the time we were halfway around the block she didn't want to be held and insisted on walking. She went right by fireworks displays, as in within about eight to ten meters, as they were going off.  She alerted-- obviously-- and she particularly disliked the crackling ones, but she still had enough presence of mind to walk up her favorite people and ask for pettings from the children. We got back to the driveway, signaled her to sit, and she was a little bit wigged out because she lay down in a ready position instead, facing the source of the noise. She held a hard platz even when I dropped the leash and moved a short distance away. Then we went in and she did her normal things that she usually does before bedtime: some fetch, some pupsnuggling, a snack, and at bedtime a shared leftover bratwurst. I think the VSB could pass Schutzhund 1 if it weren't for the meter-high wall. Obviously level 2 is out of the question since any bite training invalidates her service dog status. But it makes me wonder if I *could* get a larger, athletic Chihuahua through that kind of program.

AMandM

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1148
Re: Covid19: great time for fireworks sales
« Reply #37 on: July 09, 2020, 08:21:12 PM »
While I sympathize with those of you whose pets freak out at fireworks, I have to say that from a purely personal perspective I loved this year's 4th!  I live All along our block and in the park at the corner, there were neighbours picnicking, setting off fireworks, waving sparklers, snapping glow sticks, turning cartwheels, dancing,.... It was a spontaneous, grassroots, multiracial, multilingual party.