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Messages - Sigmetnow

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1
Because lightning, flooding, derechos.  A weather explainer:

Mesoscale Convective Systems: Why Thunderstorm Clusters Are Both Important and Dangerous
Thunderstorms can be hazardous enough. Sometimes they combine into a large cluster spread over multiple states.

Known as mesoscale convective systems (MCS), these thunderstorm clusters are smaller than low-pressure systems with cold and warm fronts, but larger in scale than any single thunderstorm.

They may even grow large enough to affect the weather for the next day in the surrounding area....
https://weather.com/science/weather-explainers/news/mcs-thunderstorm-clusters-flash-flooding-high-winds-derecho

2
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: Today at 03:31:55 PM »
From the China thread:

Six Million People in China Just Went 100% Renewable for a Week
It's the first major test of renewable energy on the grid in China.
...
“Clean energy is the ultimate way,” Han Ti, general manager of the Qinghai grid company told local news outlet Xinhua. “We need to reduce reliance on fossil fuel, improve our energy structure, and reduce carbon emissions.”

The Qinghai province has 19.7 million kW of renewable energy installed, and makes up a little over 82 percent of all the energy production in the province. Qinghai is the fourth largest province in China, spanning the northeast part of the Tibetan plateau and has the headwaters of the two largest rivers in China, the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers. Most of the energy during the test week was produced by hydro-electric power, thanks to the major rivers. Because of its renewable energy output, and the fact that it is one of the most sparsely populated regions of China, it is the ideal place to test the using only green energy.
...
https://www.inverse.com/article/33426-china-renewable-energy-seven-days

3
Policy and solutions / Re: But, but, but, China....
« on: Today at 03:28:49 PM »
Six Million People in China Just Went 100% Renewable for a Week
It's the first major test of renewable energy on the grid in China.
...
“Clean energy is the ultimate way,” Han Ti, general manager of the Qinghai grid company told local news outlet Xinhua. “We need to reduce reliance on fossil fuel, improve our energy structure, and reduce carbon emissions.”

The Qinghai province has 19.7 million kW of renewable energy installed, and makes up a little over 82 percent of all the energy production in the province. Qinghai is the fourth largest province in China, spanning the northeast part of the Tibetan plateau and has the headwaters of the two largest rivers in China, the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers. Most of the energy during the test week was produced by hydro-electric power, thanks to the major rivers. Because of its renewable energy output, and the fact that it is one of the most sparsely populated regions of China, it is the ideal place to test the using only green energy.
...
https://www.inverse.com/article/33426-china-renewable-energy-seven-days

4
Policy and solutions / Re: Becoming Vegan.
« on: Today at 03:15:14 PM »
Veganism Skyrockets by 600% In America Over 3 Years To 6% Of Population
The report also touched on German consumers, showing that 44 per cent of this group now follows a 'low meat' diet - another huge increase from 2014's stat of 26 per cent.
https://www.plantbasednews.org/post/veganism-skyrockets-by-600-in-america-over-3-years-to-6-of-population

5
Policy and solutions / Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« on: Today at 02:54:12 PM »
I had thought that the principle cost in subways was the stations, not the tunnels. Is The Boring Company doing anything about that? It seems that their principle cost savings is from making smaller tunnels, and efficiencies from scale of digging a lot of tunnels.

The concept video, included in this article:
https://www.engadget.com/2017/04/28/elon-musk-wants-to-build-a-traffic-skipping-tunnel-utopia/
shows cars entering and exiting the tunnels using little more than a few parking spaces at street level.  No "stations" needed.  :)

6
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: Today at 02:45:58 PM »
From the Paris Agreement thread: the French government says “no new exploration licences for hydrocarbons”.

Macron meets Schwarzenegger and vows to stop oil and gas licences
The new French government has sought to further burnish its green credentials with the announcement it is to stop granting licences for new oil and gas exploration.

In his first major intervention since Emmanuel Macron’s election victory, the ecological transition minister, Nicolas Hulot, told the broadcaster BFMTV there would be “no new exploration licences for hydrocarbons”.

Hulot said the government would extend Macron’s promised moratorium on fracking projects to cover all oil and gas exploration. He also hinted that the government would increase taxes on diesel and look to streamline decision-making on environmental issues so they could be made “faster”.
...
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/26/macron-meets-schwarzenegger-vows-stop-oil-gas-licences

7
Macron meets Schwarzenegger and vows to stop oil and gas licences
The new French government has sought to further burnish its green credentials with the announcement it is to stop granting licences for new oil and gas exploration.

In his first major intervention since Emmanuel Macron’s election victory, the ecological transition minister, Nicolas Hulot, told the broadcaster BFMTV there would be “no new exploration licences for hydrocarbons”.

Hulot said the government would extend Macron’s promised moratorium on fracking projects to cover all oil and gas exploration. He also hinted that the government would increase taxes on diesel and look to streamline decision-making on environmental issues so they could be made “faster”.
...
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/26/macron-meets-schwarzenegger-vows-stop-oil-gas-licences

8
Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: June 27, 2017, 10:01:44 PM »
 90-second video discussion on a possible hyperloop route in the UK, planned to include freight transportation:
https://mobile.twitter.com/hyperloopone/status/879751558304378880

Three Hyperloop Routes That Would Transform The UK Economy
https://hyperloop-one.com/blog/three-hyperloop-routes-would-transform-uk-economy

9
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: June 27, 2017, 09:30:35 PM »
California's triple-digit heat slows milk production, threatens crops and livestock
- Dairy farmers are using fans to help keep cows comfortable but milk production may still take hit.
- Some chicken producers sent birds to market early to beat the heat but may pay for it with lighter weights.
- Nut and citrus growers took urgent measures to avoid crop loss.
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/27/californias-triple-digit-heat-slows-milk-production-threatens-crops.html

10
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: June 27, 2017, 09:20:42 PM »
Oil prices may have finally hit bottom now that bullish hedge funds have thrown in the towel
Speculative bets that U.S. crude prices will rise surged earlier this year, creating a crowded trade that was eventually undercut by higher-than-expected output growth from U.S. oil fields and a slower-than-anticipated drop in global stockpiles. ...
...
Hedge funds and other money managers have cut their long positions, or bets that crude prices will rise, to the lowest level since November, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission covering the week through June 20. At the same time, short positions, or bets that prices will fall, have risen toward record highs.
...
The current number of short positions is unsustainable, and traders will eventually have to cover those positions, which should push up oil prices, said Tamar Essner, director of energy and utilities at Nasdaq Corporate Solutions.

"We are not yet at the highest level of short positions on record, but nearing it, which means we could start to move higher in the back half of the year," she told CNBC.

Benchmark oil prices rose more than 2 percent Tuesday as traders covered short positions.
...
The potential gains from shorting oil looked good when it was trading above $50, but consensus is forming around the notion that oil prices will bottom out in the upper $30 range, Kilduff said. With oil trading around $44 a barrel, potential rewards are getting slimmer, while a geopolitical shock that sends oil significantly higher would make a new short position costly.
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/27/oil-prices-may-have-finally-hit-bottom-as-hedge-funds-thrown-in-towel.html

Image: U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures (year to date), source: Factset

11
UPS Adding Green Vehicles, Looks to Cut Emissions 12% by 2025
Package delivery giant United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) has said it plans to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its fleet of delivery vehicles over the next three years by purchasing at least 25% of new non-conventionally powered vehicles. The company’s total ground fleet currently numbers about 114,000 of which about 8,300 are alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.

In the company’s latest Sustainability Report, released Monday, the company set a goal of a 12% reduction in GHG emissions across its global ground operations by 2025.

The company’s aircraft fuel GHG emissions comprise 58% of UPS’s total emissions, but the company said it is not setting a target for an absolute reduction in airplane fuel consumption because there is no economically feasible alternative available.
...
Carbon intensity — the amount of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions per package delivered — has dropped by 17.9% in U.S. small package operations, 9.1% in global airline fuel use and 30.9% in U.S. supply chain and freight operations.
http://247wallst.com/services/2017/06/27/ups-adding-green-vehicles-looks-to-cut-emissions-12-by-2025/

12
Policy and solutions / Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« on: June 27, 2017, 09:00:38 PM »
O'Hare airport to downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Rahm Emanuel, Elon Musk talk tunnel for O'Hare-downtown high-speed rail
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-rahm-emanuel-elon-musk-high-speed-rail-met-20170626-story.html

13
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: June 27, 2017, 06:13:09 PM »
Utah’s #BrianHeadFire has grown to the largest in the nation....
https://twitter.com/sean_breslin/status/879726619375661060

Utah's Brian Head Fire Now Largest Active Wildfire in U.S.; 13 Homes Burned
(Aticle also covers some other current western U.S. wildfires.)
https://weather.com/news/news/brian-head-fire-utah-latest-news

14
The conference concludes.

U.S. Conference of Mayors Back 100% Renewable Energy, Vow to Fill Climate Leadership Void
Vote to support quick electrification of vehicles and urged Congress to back the Clean Power Plan and Paris climate agreement.
As the nation's mayors closed their annual meeting on Monday in Miami Beach, they sent a clear signal that cities are looking for action on climate change and are eager to fill a policy gap created by the Trump administration.

The United States Conference of Mayors, which includes both Republican and Democratic mayors from cities across the nation, adopted a series of resolutions that are far more assertive than federal climate policy, including a pledge supporting cities' adoption of 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.
...
On Monday, Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, used the conference's closing luncheon to announce a new initiative of his philanthropy that will provide $200 million in grants over the next three years to support city initiatives on major policy challenges, including climate change, education and gun control.

"We'll expand our work to empower more mayors to lead the fight against climate change so that America can meet the goals it set in Paris, no matter what happens in Washington," he told the conference.

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/26062017/mayors-conference-supports-100-percent-renewable-energy-electric-vehicles-climate-change

15
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: June 27, 2017, 04:27:09 PM »
Due to land-use changes.

"Today EU biodiesel produces, on avg, 80% more CO2 than fossil diesel. The cure is worse than the disease!
Learn why #Deforestation #PalmOil "
Short video at the link:  https://twitter.com/transenv/status/879271385675247619

16
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: June 27, 2017, 04:18:58 PM »
"1 football pitch of food-based #biofuels powers 2.4 cars
1 football pitch of #solar panels powers 260 cars
More on biofuelsreform.org "

https://twitter.com/transenv/status/878651560137543683

17
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: June 27, 2017, 04:11:51 PM »
Kees van der Leun:  Over the past 3 days, Danish wind (dark blue) + solar PV (yellow) produced roughly as much electricity as the country used (red line).
https://mobile.twitter.com/Sustainable2050/status/879397139838849024

18
Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: June 27, 2017, 03:23:43 PM »
Any infrastructure program ran as a for-profit enterprise will naturally, and over a remarkably short period of time, devolve into a rickety mess barely held together by shareholder-beholden board of directors cutting every possible safety, efficiency, and quality corner possible in an effort to wring out every last penny. So much as I like and admire Mr. Musk, it's not difficult to foresee the day that he hands over the baton of leadership to someone who will turn the Hyperloop into the equivalent of the rapid transit systems in most American cities: high prices, horrible service, under-served populations, frequent breakdowns, crowded and unsafe conditions, and so on. (And, for the record, I can see the same happening with SpaceX, etc.)

Such are the ways of unrestricted capitalism...

 For the record: although Elon Musk came up with (or, re-popularized ;) ) the idea of the hyperloop, he is not involved in their build-out, other than providing a small-scale track to test pod designs.

19
One less charging network card needed in your wallet!  ;D

ChargePoint adds nearly 10,000 new electric car chargers to its network by taking over GE’s
ChargePoint, one of the largest electric car charging station maker and network supplier, announced today a deal with GE to take over the management of their charging network.

It results in the quick addition of more than 1,800 commercial and about 8,000 residential charging spots to its network.

The move will quickly solidify ChargePoint’s position as the largest charging network supplier by charging station with currently over 35,900 independently-owned charging spots.
...
Earlier this year, the company raised a $82 million round led by Daimler in order to finance an expansion in Europe. It has since announced plans to deploy 200 fast-charging stations in the UK using its recently unveiled 400 kW charging technology, which is the fastest electric vehicle charging system so far.

The deployment of those stations will hopefully mark a change for the company, which has so far focused on slower level 2 chargers.
https://electrek.co/2017/06/27/chargepoint-electric-car-chargers-ge-network/

20
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: June 27, 2017, 02:00:12 AM »
"For those that say wind energy is not loved by animals.. "
https://twitter.com/bonnienorman/status/879359061552119809

21
Consequences / Re: Floods
« on: June 27, 2017, 01:40:40 AM »
"A full 62% of all @NWS Flash Flood Warnings issued from last Tuesday-Friday fell outside the cone of #Cindy"

Maps/GIF at the link: https://twitter.com/michaelrlowry/status/879371332391235584

22
Porsche makes low volume, expensive cars.  But that means the company can more easily make the switch to EVs.

Porsche changes its mind on electric vehicles, plans 50% of its production to be electric within 6 years
It wasn’t long ago that Porsche claimed all-electric powertrains didn’t offer enough performance to reach the level that their customers expect from the premium German brand.

As their work on their first all-electric vehicle progresses, they are now changing their view on the technology and CEO Oliver Blume now says that he expects half of Porsche’s production to be electric by 2023.

The Mission E will be Porsche’s first all-electric vehicle and it is planned to enter production in 2019.
...
https://electrek.co/2017/06/26/porsche-electric-vehicles-mission-e/

23
Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: June 26, 2017, 10:12:56 PM »
I don't know how you want to achieve this is a reasonable time.

What's a reasonable time?  I'm assuming that we've got a decent chance of being OK if we hit ~zero CO2 emissions by 2050.  How would we get there?

...

 Also, most arguments are based on renewable-power replacing fossil-fuel-power 1-for-1. But with demand-shifting, storage instead of peaker plants, and increased efficiency, total electricity needs in developed areas will actually decrease.

Edit:  Residential and commercial solar, new net-zero buildings, and microgrids will also decrease the amount of traditional grid power required.

24
Alphabet Inks Deal for Avis to Manage Self-Driving Car Fleet
Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Alphabet Inc., has reached an agreement for Avis Budget Group Inc. to manage its fleet of autonomous vehicles. It’s the first such deal in a field that’s still fledgling but exploding with partnerships. Avis shares surged.

The rental car firm will service and store Waymo’s Chrysler Pacifica minivans in Phoenix, where the parent of Google is testing a ride-hailing service with volunteer members of the public. Waymo will own the vehicles and pay Avis for its service, an arrangement that is set for multiple years but not exclusive. ...

De Shon said Avis will retrofit select facilities in the Phoenix area to accommodate Waymo’s minivans, including adding tailored tents to protect them from rain, and doesn’t plan to buy additional real estate. Avis will handle cleaning, oil changes, tire rotations and other vehicle services but will not be responsible for upkeep on Waymo’s specialized hardware, such as its lidar sensors.

Cars that drive themselves will, in theory, need more care than those that don’t. Waymo expects its vehicles will be constantly driving from user to user, adding wear and tear faster than cars parked for stretches of time. Krafcik, a former car executive, estimates Waymo vehicles will log around six times more miles per year than average cars. The Alphabet company is exploring multiple commercial models, including ride-hailing, logistics and personal car sales, and Krafcik said the Avis deal can support all of them.
...
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-26/alphabet-inks-deal-for-avis-to-manage-self-driving-car-fleet

25
"How long can Tesla afford keep losing money...."

Not 'losing.'  Spending, on increasing the business. :)  Tesla has reservations for more than a year's worth of Model 3 production.  So revenue is assured, which is why suppliers are willing to give them 30 or 60 days to pay, and banks are willing to lend millions.  The future looks bright.

Edit: a reference:
Tesla Model 3: Elon Musk sees the vehicle generating ~$20 billion in revenue with 25% gross margin (TSLA)
http://electrek.co/2016/07/26/tesla-model-3-elon-musk-generating-20-billion-revenue-25-gross-margin-tsla/


26
Tesla is paying for the deployment of destination AC chargers that all EVs can use
Tesla operates two different charging networks. While Tesla’s Supercharger network is made of DC fast-charging stations for long distance driving, the Destination Charging network consists level 2 chargers, more specifically the ‘Tesla Wall Connector’, installed at restaurants and hotels to charge once Tesla owners arrive at their destination, hence the name.

As we already knew, the company supplies those chargers for free, officially 2 chargers, but we’ve heard of busy locations where Tesla supplied more, including covering the cost of the installation.
...
Electrek has talked to several business owners with Destination Chargers and some of them revealed that Tesla suggested them to install a Clipper Creek Charger, along with the Tesla Wall Connector, at no additional cost.
...
The total cost of those installations can easily add up to several thousands of dollars after all the equipment and installation. Yet, Tesla doesn’t even have a formal contract with the business owners – only a letter of intent to confirm that the automaker will cover the cost of chargers and the installation, while the host will cover the electricity bill....
https://electrek.co/2017/06/26/tesla-destination-charging-other-evs/

27
Consequences / Re: Floods
« on: June 25, 2017, 04:18:28 PM »
California's snowpack decreased from 164% of normal on June 13 -- to 121% of normal on June 23 (most recent reading).

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/snowapp/sweq.action

28
U.S. and Canadian auto plants are seeing major layoffs and extended plant closures.

Automakers Are Making Production Cuts Faster Than at Any Time Since the Recession
...
The downturn reflects several factors, noted analyst Joe Phillippi, of Autofacts Consulting. The Malibu, for example, has fallen victim to the dramatic shift from sedans and other passenger vehicles to SUVs, crossovers and pickups. Light trucks, on the whole, now account for nearly two-thirds of total new vehicle sales in the U.S., a figure some believe could still rise another 5 percentage points before leveling off.
...
By shifting resources from cars to light trucks, automakers hope to keep consumers spending and buoy sales. Industry officials also insist that they can handily weather a dip that still keeps sales in the 17 million range. That’s a far cry from the sub-10 million low point hit during the last recession.

Nonetheless, with the auto industry struggling to maintain momentum, any other hit could prove doubly difficult for the economy to take, analysts warn. And auto sales are particularly sensitive to any weakening of the economy, so declines in housing, for example, could lead to an escalating, downward spiral. And that would send even more autoworkers lining up at the unemployment office.
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/automakers-are-making-production-cuts-faster-any-time-recession-n775956

29
Not a surprise....

China's road-straddling bus bites the dust
China's futuristic elevated bus will soon be a thing of the past.

Workers in the northern Chinese city of Qinhuangdao tore out the tracks for the road-straddling vehicle with jackhammers and shovels this week.

They're cleaning up the mess left behind by a project that caught global attention last summer when video emerged of the 26-foot-wide bus cruising over the top of cars during a test run.

Billed as a potential answer to China's crippling traffic problems, the vehicle instead became the source of bottlenecks in Qinhuangdao. Cars traveling in both directions had to crowd together on the other side of the road to avoid the barely used tracks and idle bus.
...
http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/23/news/china-elevated-bus-teb-tracks-removed/index.html

30
U.S. overall car sales remain low in June.  I bet EVs will continue their increase, however!  SAAR = Seaonally Adjusted Annual Rate.

“June 2017 would represent the fourth month in a row under 17 million SAAR, the longest period since a six-month streak from September 2014 through February 2015. After a record year of sales in 2016 and seven consecutive year-over-year sales increases, Kelley Blue Book’s forecast for 2017 calls for sales in the range of 16.8 million to 17.3 million units, which represents a 1 to 4 percent decrease from last year.”
New Car Sales Expected to Drop in June, but Volkswagen Will Surge
http://247wallst.com/autos/2017/06/24/new-car-sales-expected-to-drop-in-june-but-volkswagen-will-surge/

31
The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: June 24, 2017, 03:22:59 PM »
Because oil.

Ignoring Western governors, Interior Department looks to undo local conservation plans
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed a secretarial order on Thursday launching a review of dozens of Western state conservation plans. The plans played a critical role in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s determination that the now iconic greater sage grouse did not need the protection of the Endangered Species Act and instead included local coalitions in the creation of tailored conservation plans.

The secretarial order directs an interagency team to review the 98 existing land-use management plans created to preserve critical sage grouse habitat, with the intent of determining whether they should be altered or rolled back. The sage grouse is a native Western bird known for its elaborate mating ritual and, more recently, its threatened status: sage grouse population has fallen by at least 97 percent over the last several years.

Zinke said the review will be guided by Trump’s “energy independence” executive order issued in March, aimed at removing environmental regulations governing the oil and gas industry. The agency’s review of sage grouse plans will include determining if the plans place a “burden” on energy development, even though the plans already make over 80 percent of areas with high or medium oil potential available for development.
...
“Secretary Zinke should be careful not to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory when it comes to sage grouse conservation,” said Brian Rutledge, the Audubon Society’s conservation policy adviser. “The existing conservation plans were designed with both flexibility and scientific rigor, guaranteeing maximum buy-in from Western communities and the best chance of success for the sage-grouse and more than 350 other species that depend on this landscape.”

Though Zinke said the current plans are “destroying local communities,” protecting the sage grouse habitat is not the economic threat that Zinke makes it out to be. Western economies rely on the roughly $1 billion a year in outdoor recreation spending fueled by protecting sage grouse habitat, and Western communities rely on the plans to ensure working landscapes are healthy for ranchers, sportsmen, and the 350 other species dependent on the sage grouse’s habitat.
...
https://thinkprogress.org/sage-grouse-conservation-review-26e06fb7bc45

32
World record hottest overnight low temperature: 111°F in Oman on June 17
A World Record Low Humidity? 116°F With a 0.36% Humidity in Iran
https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/world-record-low-humidity-116f-036-humidity-iran

33
Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: June 23, 2017, 11:00:22 PM »
It's So Hot In Arizona Right Now That Everything Is Literally Melting.  (Or baking.)
https://www.buzzfeed.com/terripous/its-too-darn-hot

"It's so hot that plastic mailboxes are melting, making them double over."

34
Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: June 23, 2017, 10:52:33 PM »
Extreme Heat Waves Will Change How We Live. We’re Not Ready
Heat waves are nothing new, but they have increased in frequency and severity in recent decades as a result of climate change. And each extreme heat event reveals another way our society simply isn't built for such high temperatures, from our transport systems to the agriculture industry.

"We’ve built entire infrastructures with particular temperatures in mind," says Matthew T. Huber, an associate professor of geography at Syracuse University. "When temperatures get really high, we don’t have the material capacity to deal with that."...
http://time.com/4830147/extreme-heat-climate-change/

35
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: June 23, 2017, 08:40:45 PM »
(Obama's Secretary of Energy) Ernest Moniz: I never left.
https://twitter.com/ernestmoniz/status/877870716460335104

Bloomberg: Ernest Moniz Is Back
- Ernest Moniz advisory group will continue his Energy research
- First order of business is a grid study to rival Trump’s
While President Donald Trump’s Energy Department is studying how to save coal plants, veterans from the administration of President Barack Obama’s Energy Department announced a new effort to figure out how to curtail carbon in the U.S. energy system.
https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2017-06-21/obama-s-energy-chief-returns-citing-leadership-void-under-trump

36
Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: June 23, 2017, 07:58:09 PM »
U.K. heat wave.  Desperate times call for desperate measures. :o

British schoolboys don skirts to protest shorts ban in heat wave
http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/22/europe/british-schoolboys-skirt-protest-heatwave/index.html

37
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 23, 2017, 04:16:27 AM »
John Oliver's Last Week Tonight show on coal, coal jobs, Trump, and Bob Murray. ;D
(Caution: Language)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aw6RsUhw1Q8&utm_content=buffer8d6d9


 Found myself checking three times to be sure this article wasn't satirical. ;D  It is not:

John Oliver sued by coal CEO claiming 'character assassination'
http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/22/media/john-oliver-coal-king-murray-lawsuit/index.html?

38
 Also great to see something other than a bunch of old white men involved in the decisions.  ;)

39
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 23, 2017, 02:32:48 AM »
Cross-post from India thread.  Seems we can't help but mention renewables when talking about coal these days.  :)

World's biggest coal company closes 37 mines as solar power's influence grows
The largest coal mining company in the world has announced it will close 37 mines because they are no longer economically viable.

Coal India, which produces around 82 per cent of India's coal, said the mines would be decommissioned by March 2018.

The closures, of around 9 per cent of the state-run firm's sites, will reportedly save around 8,000,000,000 rupees (£98m).

India's solar sector has received heavy international investment, and the plummeting price of solar electricity has increased pressure on fossil fuel companies in the country.

The government has announced it will not build any more coal plants after 2022 and predicts renewables will generate 57 per cent of its power by 2027 – a pledge far outstripping its commitment in the Paris climate change agreement.

Plans for nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations – about the same as the total amount in the UK – were scrapped in May, signalling a seismic shift in the India's energy market.
...
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/coal-india-closes-37-mines-solar-power-sustainable-energy-market-influence-pollution-a7800631.html

40
Policy and solutions / Re: But, but, but India...
« on: June 23, 2017, 02:30:05 AM »
World's biggest coal company closes 37 mines as solar power's influence grows
The largest coal mining company in the world has announced it will close 37 mines because they are no longer economically viable.

Coal India, which produces around 82 per cent of India's coal, said the mines would be decommissioned by March 2018.

The closures, of around 9 per cent of the state-run firm's sites, will reportedly save around 8,000,000,000 rupees (£98m).

India's solar sector has received heavy international investment, and the plummeting price of solar electricity has increased pressure on fossil fuel companies in the country.

The government has announced it will not build any more coal plants after 2022 and predicts renewables will generate 57 per cent of its power by 2027 – a pledge far outstripping its commitment in the Paris climate change agreement.

Plans for nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations – about the same as the total amount in the UK – were scrapped in May, signalling a seismic shift in the India's energy market.
...
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/coal-india-closes-37-mines-solar-power-sustainable-energy-market-influence-pollution-a7800631.html

41
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: June 22, 2017, 09:46:21 PM »
Oil Nears $40: Will US Drillers Halt Production Growth?
Crude is spiraling down again, this time it is close to $40-per-barrel psychological mark. In fact, Paul Ciana – a technical strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch – recently said that "Oil is in a downtrend and risks trending into the $30's”.I

n the wake of such a scenario where markets are expecting oil exploration and production businesses to run into losses, U.S. shale players have been flocking to crude resources. Crude has lost over 20% on a year-to-date basis but that hasn’t stopped U.S. drillers from pumping out more oil, adding to the woes of an oversupplied market.
...
It is to be noted that analysts at UBS Group AG in Zurich predict that most of the shale drillers in the U.S. will suffer at $45-per-barrel oil. If crude touches $40, there will unlikely be any rise in production for all the exploration and production companies in all the U.S. prolific oil plays. Even the Permian Basin, where cost of production is low and infrastructure is readily available, will see a halt in production growth when oil tanks to $40....
https://www.zacks.com/stock/news/265275/oil-nears-40-will-us-drillers-halt-production-growth

42
Tesla wants to produce cars in China, to supply that major market while avoiding heavy import duties.

Tesla confirms working with Shanghai Government to establish a manufacturing facility in the region
“Tesla is working with the Shanghai Municipal Government to explore the possibility of establishing a manufacturing facility in the region to serve the Chinese market. As we have said before, we expect to more clearly define our plans for production in China by the end of the year. Tesla is deeply committed to the Chinese market, and we continue to evaluate potential manufacturing sites around the globe to serve the local markets. While we expect most of our production to remain in the US, we do need to establish local factories to ensure affordability for the markets they serve.”
https://electrek.co/2017/06/22/tesla-factory-shanghai-china/

43
Oh, the irony!  8)

Former gas-guzzing Hummer factory in Indiana to become an electric car factory under Chinese company SF Motors
https://electrek.co/2017/06/22/former-hummer-factory-electric-car-sf-motors/

44
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 22, 2017, 03:40:03 PM »
Mississippi Regulators Veto Any More Money for Southern Company's Kemper 'Clean Coal' Plant in Stunning Vote
In a historic vote this morning, Mississippi state regulators slammed the brakes on the Kemper coal power plant, saying it will refuse to ask utility customers to pay anything for Kemper's non-functional multi-billion dollar “clean coal” gasification technology and will re-designate the plant as a natural gas facility.

In a joint press release explaining their unanimous decision, the three Mississippi Public Service commissioners said they seek a solution that “eliminates ratepayer risk for unproven technology and assures no rate increase to Mississippi Power customers,” and that they want Mississippi Power, the Southern Company subsidiary that built Kemper, to consider rolling back existing rates.

“I think it's high time we finally turn the corner on this project and also strongly protect our ratepayers, who should only have to pay for what actually delivers electricity,” said PSC chairman Brandon Presley in an interview. Presley was, until recently, the lone opponent of a bloated, runaway project that saw costs jump from $2.3 billion in 2010 when work began to $7.5 billion now. ...
https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/06/21/mississippi-regulators-veto-any-more-money-southern-company-s-kemper-clean-coal-plant-stunning-vote

Electrek says:
A $7.5B experiment with tax payer money to create ‘clean coal’ has failed. Now, regulators are telling the company to convert to gas from coal and that no more costs overruns will be passed onto electricity rate payers. Clean coal doesn’t exist. We’ve been trying to clean it since the beginning of the industrial revolution. There’s a coal plant that pumps the CO2 underground – but is this really a smart policy?
https://electrek.co/2017/06/22/egeb-clean-coal-kemper-doe-perry-study/

45
Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: June 22, 2017, 03:04:46 PM »
Eric Holthaus:  In Tucson, the wildlife are feeling the heat, too.
Here's how to help:
http://tinyletter.com/sciencebyericholthaus/letters/today-in-weather-climate-hottest-in-tucson-history-edition-thursday-june-22nd

Walking outside today felt like another planet. My wife rescued a pigeon that she said seemed very out of it and had stumbled onto our front porch. She set out a bit of food and water and it was gone a few hours later. Some other animals here haven't been as lucky. A friend said he personally knew of several people whose backyard chickens had died overnight. The local wildlife rehab center has seen four times the number of distressed animals as usual this week.


https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/877768979514773504

46
https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/877036967224983552

"The legislation-signing ceremonies in Sweden are a bit different than in the White House."

"#Sweden plans to be #carbonneutral by 2045 bit.ly/2sOvzTT New legislation sets goal 5 years earlier than originally agreed"
https://twitter.com/unfccc/status/876807680488353792

47
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: June 22, 2017, 02:46:57 AM »
Millet.

Birdseed Turned Superfood May Help Curb India's Diabetes Scourge
...
Byregowda is spearheading a campaign involving chefs, nutritionists, doctors and food businesses to bolster demand for a grain he grew up eating as “ragi mudde” — finger-millet flour cooked and shaped into soft mounds and served with leafy greens in a spiced gravy.

His farmer-ancestors grew it not just for its nutritional benefits: the crop needs a third of the rainfall of rice. Yet, millet and sorghum production have declined by a combined 51 percent in India and rice and wheat output has almost quadrupled since the 1960s, when a Green Revolution introduced modern seeds, chemicals and irrigation to boost harvests and stave off hunger.

Drought-induced crop failures in recent years in southern India have convinced the 44-year-old American University graduate of the need to return to growing millet.

“In these times of climate change, it made sense to encourage farmers to switch to climate-smart crops rather than cultivate the water-intensive rice,” Byregowda said in an interview. “The post-Green Revolution planning left millet farmers, like my family, in the lurch.”
...
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-21/birdseed-turned-superfood-may-help-curb-india-s-diabetes-scourge

48
Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: June 22, 2017, 02:07:52 AM »
"Before last year, Tucson had reached 115°F only four times in history. Today's the third time in three days."
http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/twc/climate/tus.php

https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/877672465610166272

49
A new bill to make gas stations install electric car chargers introduced in the UK
A new “Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill” is being introduced by the government in the UK in the Queen’s Speech.

It includes some interesting measures, including mandatory installations of electric car chargers at motorway services and gas stations.

Similar initiatives have been proposed elsewhere, like in Russia, while gas stations have also started adding electric car charging stations without any mandate, like Tesla Superchargers at QuickCheck gas stations or Shell’s initiative to had chargers to its own gas stations.
...
https://electrek.co/2017/06/21/electric-car-charging-gas-stations-uk/

50
Very interesting that the Chinese, and now the US, manufacturers seem to be getting it. Why the Japanese should be such laggards is an interesting question.

I've never heard a definitive reason but I think Japan got derailed over the discovery of large amounts of methyl hydrates just offshore.  There was a lot of talk about Japan becoming energy independent by sucking up the slush and using the hydrogen.

And I'm guessing that the tendency to 'follow the leader' made it less likely for people to introduce the problems with selling FCEVs to the rest of the world even if Japanese drivers fell in love with them.  (Which they seem to not have done.)

Japan may have been striving for options that did not involve additional strain on the power grid at a time when electricity generation was at a premium -- after they closed, with much public support, most of their nuclear power plants after the Fukushima disaster.

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