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Messages - Sigmetnow

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Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: February 13, 2019, 04:22:20 PM »
The logic of keeping coal plants open is getting weaker and weaker:

Trump intervenes in support of coal plant owned by major donor
...And why, pray tell, would Trump take time out of his crushingly busy schedule to lobby the Tennessee Valley Authority in support of a single aging coal plant? Because as Politico reported overnight, the president apparently wants to help one of his top supporters, who’s eager to keep the TVA as a customer.

[Trump’s] missive came just days before the TVA board is slated to vote on the future of Paradise Unit 3, a 49-year-old coal plant that the federally owned utility has said would be too expensive to keep operating.

The 1,150-megawatt plant gets the bulk of its coal from a subsidiary of Murray Energy, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. Robert Murray, the CEO of the mining company, is a major Trump supporter who has personally lobbied the president to take other actions to help the ailing coal industry, particularly in regions where he sells coal.

Murray is also, the report added, “a prolific GOP donor.” His support included exceedingly generous contributions to a leading pro-Trump super PAC in 2016. ...

TVA Tells Trump & McConnell To Take A Hike
For its part, the TVA assured the Hater in Chief that in fact it had done its due diligence and decided it had chosen the correct course based on business realities rather than ideological niceties. It said it actually had given “serious consideration to all factors” in making its decision. Some 16.9 GW of coal fired capacity were retired in the US last year, according to S&P. The coal industry is dying and there is nothing those two lunatics in Assington can do to stop the decline. That’s a good thing.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 12, 2019, 03:58:19 PM »
Admission of shame:
- Currently I'm driving about 10k miles a year for work
- Recently I had to get a new car after an accident
- For budget reasons I went for a small efficient secondhand 1.0L petrol vehicle with a combined MPG of 65 rather than an electric or hybrid. I intend to drive conservatively, liftshare, walk/cycle when possible etc, but still... not ideal.

A big factor in an individual’s EV transition is time. Many people simply can’t wait for the EV they want, because their current car died or they otherwise need a replacement right now.  Price is another reason.  Soon there will be cheaper options, including a more robust used EV market.  Kudos for your effort to be as sustainable as possible!

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: February 06, 2019, 06:34:26 PM »
Image below.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 04, 2019, 05:58:40 PM »
Private investment in charging infrastructure storage lowers the eventual grid upgrades needed.  I would not be surprised if the utilities offered VW an incentive, beyond the expected peak demand cost shaving.

Tesla reaches deal with Electrify America to deploy Powerpacks at over 100 charging stations
They announced today that they will deploy Tesla Powerpack systems consisting of “a 210 kW battery system with roughly 350 kWh of capacity” at over 100 charging stations. The system will be designed to be modular in order to increase the capacity if needed.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 31, 2019, 02:39:27 PM »
“It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future."

Those who disparage Musk for his timeliness should be even more upset with the reliability of doomsayers who have been promising Tesla will go bankrupt “next quarter” for over 10 years now. ;D

Policy and solutions / Re: Solar Roadways
« on: January 25, 2019, 05:35:33 PM »
”...what Solar Roadways has accomplished over the past, say, 12 years or so. ...

LOL.  Edison spent years finding 1,000 ways to not make a light bulb... before finding one that did.

Solar Roadways new Version 4 panels are scheduled to go into production by the end of this month.  Let’s see how they fare.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 24, 2019, 01:39:16 PM »
Cracks Appear in Record U.S. Oil Growth as Shale Slows for Now
- Shale output forecast to grow at slowest pace in nine months
- Well productivity in key plays have dipped in the past year
January 23, 2019
Cracks are emerging in the U.S. oil machine.
Shale oil’s relentless production growth is easing, with growth next month set to be the weakest since May, according to the Energy Information Administration. Increases in the Permian Basin, the largest area, will also be the slowest in nine months.

That would be a boon for OPEC, which is trying to boost crude prices but faces an immense challenge from companies pumping unprecedented amounts of oil in the U.S. Drilling activity in America has also been slowing, with the oil rig count plunging the most in almost three years last week, as the effects of the price slump at the end of 2018 linger. The price crash “hurt many of those companies and now is having consequences for expectations of U.S. shale oil output,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group Inc.

There are other signs of a slowdown. The amount of crude produced by new wells in three of the biggest shale plays has been declining for at least a year.

The Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico –- among the fastest-growing shale plays -- will produce 555 barrels a day of crude per rig in February, according to the EIA’s latest drilling report. That’s the same as in January, which was the lowest since August 2017 and compares with a record high 758 barrels a day in 2016. The Bakken and Eagle Ford plays have experienced similar slowdowns.

Shale remains a spectacular success story, and has often beaten pessimistic predictions. It has taken the U.S. close to energy independence -- unthinkable even 15 years ago -- and turned the oil world upside down. Total American output could even exceed Russia and Saudi Arabia combined by 2025, according to consultant Rystad Energy AS.

Still, crude’s steepest fourth-quarter decline since 2014 and pipeline bottlenecks are having an impact. The number of shale wells that are being started but not completed is rising, and will likely continue to increase until oil rises further or infrastructure constraints ease.

Much of whether shale will continue to top forecasts or finally take a breather will ultimately depend on oil prices. Crude’s volatility has unnerved investors, who are “much more cautious now” than they were previously, Occidental Petroleum Corp. Chief Executive Officer Vicki Hollub said in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday.

“Not as much money is going to be pouring into the Permian basin,” she said. “There’s going to be more discipline around how the Permian reacts to pricing.”

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 23, 2019, 08:14:05 PM »
German subsidies, European loans:
As expected, the Tesla Model 3 has been added to the list of electric vehicles eligible for a €4000 subsidy in Germany.…
- This is important because people were holding back on ordering until they were sure it was eligible for that subsidy.

"Financial leases"/Car loans are now available in Europe on the Model 3, through Tesla, starting today.
Text image in French at the link.
Vincent (@vincent13031925) 1/22/19, 11:36 AM
Final thought of my current China trip: Spoke with many ppl in different cities, almost all of them are excited with Tesla GF3 development. Many ppl wanna have a Tesla in the near future, especially the Model 3. Local MSM are very positive about Tesla future.

And especially for Lurk ;) :
GLOVIS Symphony has departed San Francisco — headed for China!  Appears to be routed for a port near Hong Kong, with an ETA of 10 February. 
Now that GLOVIS Symphony has cleared the port, Grand Aurora has left her holding pattern out at sea and is headed in to dock in San Francisco, due in a few hours.

“What's my response when people say "we're f#cked" when it comes to climate change? Well here it is:
It's not binary. It is not ‘effed’ or ‘not-effed’. It's a matter of ‘how effed’ — that is left for us to determine. The more carbon we burn, the worse it gets." — @MichaelEMann on climate change
40-second video clip at the link.

Policy and solutions / Re: UN Climate Agreement - Paris 2015 and beyond
« on: January 23, 2019, 06:28:42 PM »
The world can meet the Paris climate targets at about a quarter of the cost of current subsidies for fossil fuels, according to a new climate study
The study, entitled Achieving the Paris Climate Agreement, is the culmination of a two-year scientific collaboration with 17 leading scientists at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), two institutes at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and the University of Melbourne’s Climate & Energy College.

It was funded by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and released by the scientific publisher Springer Nature. The model produced by the authors, called One Earth, offers a roadmap for surpassing the targets set by the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement,

According to Karl Burkart, Director of Innovation at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the One Earth climate model “is groundbreaking in that it shows the 1.5°C can be achieved through a rapid transition to 100% renewables by 2050, alongside land restoration efforts on every continent that increase the resilience of natural ecosystems and help to ensure greater food security.” ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 22, 2019, 04:53:40 PM »
May need to rethink those estimates of China and global growth in the next few years.

Oil drops nearly 2 pct as China slowdown bites
LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell nearly 2 percent on Tuesday on signs that an economic slowdown in China is spreading, stoking concerns about global growth and fuel demand.  The gloomy news from the world's second-largest economy and top oil importer pulled down financial markets across Asia.

China reported the lowest annual economic growth in nearly 30 years on Monday and its state planner warned on Tuesday that falling factory orders point to a further drop in activity and more job losses.

While China's oil imports have so far defied the economic slowdown, hitting a record above 10 million barrels per day (bpd) in late 2018, many analysts believe that the country has reached peak energy growth, with its thirst set to wane. ...

China’s Government is Worried About Social Breakdown
The Chinese leader stressed the need to maintain political stability in the face of economic challenges. The warning, which came at an unusual meeting of Chinese leaders, shows the ruling party's anxieties over the social implications of the slowing economy.

Wall Street Futures Trend Lower as Global Growth Seen Slowing, Trade Tensions Rekindled
Oil futures are moving steadily lower, pressured by news that Saudi Arabia's energy minister, Khalid Al-Falih has pulled out of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and will likely not hold talks with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plus other producing countries to discuss recent production cuts. Brent crude futures are down 1.53% from Monday's close.

U.S. shale boom set to cool in 2019
U.S. crude oil production will continue to grow through 2019 and 2020, but at a much slower pace than in 2018, according to the latest forecasts from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

But the agency forecasts growth will slow to just over 1.1 million barrels per day in 2019 and less than 0.8 million bpd in 2020 ("Short-Term Energy Outlook", EIA, Jan. 15).

Growth from the Lower 48 states excluding federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to slow even more sharply from almost 1.6 million bpd in 2018 to 0.95 million bpd in 2019 and 0.5 million bpd in 2020.

Surging U.S. production, mostly from onshore shale plays, contributed to the oversupply which emerged in the oil market during 2018 and the consequent fall in prices during the fourth quarter.

Edit: added top link.

Pentagon Confirms Climate Change Is A National Security Threat, Contradicting Trump
More than a year after President Donald Trump nixed climate change from his administration’s list of national security threats, the Pentagon has released an alarming report detailing how dozens of U.S. military bases are already threatened by rising seas, drought and wildfire.
“The effects of a changing climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to Department of Defense missions, operational plans, and installations,” states the 22-page document, which was published Thursday.

The congressionally mandated analysis looked at a total of 79 military installations around the country. The Defense Department found that 53 sites are currently vulnerable to repeat flooding. Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, for example, has experienced 14 inches of sea level rise since 1930. Additionally, more than half of the 79 bases are at risk from drought, while nearly half are vulnerable to wildfire. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: December 30, 2018, 06:43:43 PM »
They say that it looks like we are already starting to see reductions in ICE vehicles in the u.s. as people are delaying their new car purchase to get an EV in the near term.  They project that we will see increased sales of USED ICE vehicles as this transformation takes hold. 

Happy New Year!

That was a very interesting video, but they didn't discuss two things: the price of batteries, and what Big Auto and Big Oil will do to prolong the status quo as long as possible (for instance, by taking out Tesla).

I’m sure Big Auto and Big Oil would like to take out Tesla, but I think it is too late for that, now.  Their efforts weren’t successful when Tesla was smaller and more vulnerable, and now the EV genie is out of the bottle — people want them, and so do governments of polluted cities, states and countries.

What can BA/BO do besides spread FUD (which hasn’t kept Tesla from reaching record after record), and try to end EV subsidies/tax advantages (which tends to hurt Big Auto as well).  Musk has often said that ending all EV subsidies would be beneficial to Tesla, as it would level the playing field.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure they will try.  But the China government and people love Tesla (even Model X - themed weddings are a big thing there these days), and EU countries are jumping over each other to win the next Tesla gigafactory.  New huge utility battery projects are in the works all over the world.  And Tesla roofs are just taking off.  2019 will make it clear the tipping point has already passed, and local signs of oil decline will start to be noticed.  Big Oil will have bigger things than Tesla to worry about.

Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: December 15, 2018, 02:31:14 PM »
According to the document, a Tesla Megapack consists of long 23′-5″ (7.14m) x 5′-3″ (1.60m) battery system, which the company mostly installs back to back with another unit.

Tesla Megapack to debut at giant energy project in California
Tesla is listing the project as having a total capacity of 1,200 MWh, which would mean that each Megapack has a capacity of 2,673 kWh.

That’s more than 12 times the capacity of Powerpack 2 in a package that could potentially fit about 8 Powerpacks.

The total capacity of those 449 Megapacks represents more energy capacity than Tesla Energy deployed throughout its first 3 years of operation – all Powerpacks and Powerwalls combined. ...

Commissioned by PG&E at the Moss Landing substation.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: December 15, 2018, 12:10:37 AM »
Why Can’t OEMs Dial It Up And Overtake Tesla In The EV Race?
In what must be one of the longest headlines in history, Bill MacDonald asks, “Why don’t bigger car companies such as Ford start producing electric cars, eliminating Tesla’s presence in the emerging market, thus claiming said market share for themselves?”

The answer, as MacDonald reveals in a recent article published in Quora, is simple: Because they can’t.
Many have mocked Tesla for “bleeding cash,” although Tesla would probably rather describe what’s been going on as “investing in new products.” As the legacy automakers expand their EV offerings, they will soon be bleeding cash as well, as one after another Big Auto exec has admitted.

Shifting production from ICE vehicles to EVs can’t be done by simply flipping a switch on the assembly line. “New battery and powertrain tech has to be engineered,” MacDonald writes. “Manufacturing for those parts has to be established. Supply chains for new types of raw materials have to be established. Platforms that accommodate efficient EV operation have to be engineered. Branding and marketing strategies have to be figured out. Shipping, sales, and service logistics and training have to be established. And in the end, the product can’t just be any EV. It has to be competitive with a Tesla.”

The old-school OEMs can choose to bed down on a rock – build new factories and logistics networks for EVs – or on a hard place – dismantle existing facilities and retool them to produce EVs. Either option is going to require massive new investment. How much? MacDonald figures it will cost “roughly the time and money that Tesla spent, minus some savings for being more efficient about it than Tesla has been. Even if you can do it 30% more efficiently than Tesla has done it, you are still talking about 11 figures [tens of billions].”

If and when the automotive giants do start producing EVs in volume, their woes will be just beginning. The greenie and techie early-adopter buyers have already gone electric, so once the volume market gets rolling, every buyer of an EV will be one less buyer for a dinosaur-burner. That means the automakers will be cannibalizing the ICE business that they are still paying big money to operate. Right now, they’re enjoying huge margins on gas cars, especially trucks and SUVs, but they aren’t able to earn anything like those margins on EVs – indeed they’re lucky to make any profit at all.

MacDonald sees that situation reversing over time. “The minute your EVs become competitive, you will slowly start making less and less money on ICEVs, as the volume drops and economies of scale reverse. The margins on ICE will dry up much faster than the margins on EV will grow. There will be a gap. During this gap, you will still be pouring cash into EV factories and logistics, while your profits have suddenly dried up.”

The worst parts of the story for the majors have to do with battery supplies and sales and support logistics. Today, only Tesla and BYD have control over their own battery cell supply chains (although Daimler has taken a step in the right direction with its acquisition of German battery-maker ACCUmotive). In order to secure enough batteries at a competitive price, the legacy brands will have to make massive investments of time as well as money, long before they start seeing much profit from EV sales.

Furthermore, the majors’ business model is based on franchise dealerships, which MacDonald calls “a way of subsidizing the sales and support logistics of making cars, via the heavy cost burden of routine service and non-warranty repair.” But service revenues for EVs are sure to be much lower. As Tesla has shown, they may turn out to be virtually non-existent. How are the automakers going to respond when their dealers lose their most reliable income stream? “If they have a higher cost of routine maintenance than Tesla, their cars will be seen as inferior and people will buy Teslas instead. If they match Tesla’s lack of maintenance [requirements], their sales operations will go out of business and they will have to spend even more money to build a non-franchise sales and service operation just like Tesla had to do.”

In the end, the old guard will end up in the same situation they’ve been knocking Tesla for: “burning cash and being unable to generate profits, staring at a massive chasm of time and money that stands between them and re-established profitability.”

Tesla just barely managed to cross this Valley of Death three times, and the giant automakers, which have access to plenty of capital, should be able to do so as well. But some current trends are ominous. Auto sales are slowly contracting as more people opt not to own vehicles. Trade wars and high tariffs are also hurting, as are the costs of trying to keep up with rising emissions standards in some key auto markets. Some of the smaller and/or less well capitalized brands may disappear.

As MacDonald sums up, the legacy automakers are facing a hard choice: “Keep making ICEs and slowly watch your profits get eaten by Tesla, BYD, Nio, etc, or risk a dangerously expensive crossing through a transition period of cash burn and negative margins.”

Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: December 11, 2018, 07:21:55 PM »
By the Reno [Nevada] Gazette.

It's big, loud and secretive: We got a tour of Tesla's Gigafactory and here's how it works
With photos and video.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: December 08, 2018, 10:03:45 PM »
Exclusive: Tesla, smarting from trade war, seeks bids for China Gigafactory construction
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Tesla Inc has opened a tender process to build its Shanghai Gigafactory and at least one contractor has started buying materials, according to sources and documents reviewed by Reuters, the clearest indication that construction is imminent.

The details, previously unreported, reveal that state-owned Shanghai Construction Group Co Ltd is taking part in the bidding while a unit of China Minmetals Corp Ltd is preparing materials for the plant's foundations.

Tesla to start production at Gigafactory 3 within a year, says Shanghai Mayor after Tesla visit
The Shanghai government issued an official statement today following a meeting with Tesla executives and they said that the automaker should start production, at least partially, at Gigafactory 3 during the second half of 2019.

Tesla Model 3 production in Gigafactory 3 to begin in second half of 2019: report
Local media outlet noted that the factory is about to begin construction, particularly since the 864,885-square meter plot of land in the Lingang Industrial Zone has been leveled. In a post on its official WeChat account, the Shanghai government further indicated that Mayor Ying Yong and Vice Mayor Wu Qing have met with Tesla’s leaders in China while checking the company’s new vehicles like the Model 3. During their visit, the Shanghai officials reportedly encouraged parties involved in the project to expedite the construction of Gigafactory 3 even more. ...

EVs, and Teslas in particular, are becoming popular as police vehicles, given their lower cost of fuel and maintenance, and their quietness and quickness. Examples are listed in the first article below.

Tesla Model S becomes sneaky undercover police car

Watch a Tesla Model X electric SUV becoming a police vehicle

Policy and solutions / Re: Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
« on: December 04, 2018, 10:14:45 PM »

In other words, if a block breaks on the patio, the house will not fall down. Applications like reinforced concrete or mix poured from trucks are more complicated with more complex regulation and, thus, for down the road.

Has anyone ever heard of a house falling down because "a block breaks on the patio"?

This sounds increasingly like another Green Tech scheme to suck up more dollars from well meaning dolts.

In days gone by the pitchmen stayed close to the Big Top as the Circus wended it's way through rural America, relying on the Circus's mobility to protect them from mounting scrutiny. Increasingly they dangle their green tinged baubles in front of the credulous, believing that their evident good intentions will protect them from litigation.

I don't wish them well on their journey

The reasoning is that the new concrete can be used in non-support functions like pavers, to prove that the new process works, while not risking lives as part of a building or bridge!

If the pavers hold up well, more investment will be put into trying different mixtures and tweaking the process, and further testing that eventually allows the process to be used on much larger, load-bearing structures.  If the process works as CO2 storage and is structurally sound, the entire industry could change, thus significantly lowering its carbon emissions.

Pavers, then bricks, is the perfect way to test out what may become an industry technology upheaval.  If the new concrete starts to crumble after a few years, no harm done except to the pocketbooks of a few early adopters.

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: December 04, 2018, 07:42:57 PM »
You don’t need science fiction to build machines that directly affect the weather:

NWS Omaha: "It's been confirmed that this snow band is originating from 2 plants in Norfolk. The steam produced there is essentially acting to add moisture and warmth to the clouds creating the snow. Had reports of large flake and up to 1in. ...”
Image below; GIF at the link.

Consequences / Re: Volcanoes
« on: November 28, 2018, 07:33:46 PM »
This is fascinating, in a volcano/earthquake kind of way. :)
Apparently it was caused by movement of magma, rather than the usual abrupt tectonic shaking.

Strange earthquake waves rippled around Earth, and nobody knows why

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 21, 2018, 03:11:47 AM »
Significant rain in the forecast for southern California.  Los Angeles County has readied dozens of sandbag distribution sites for people to prepare for flooding and mud flows from the burn scar area.

LACounty Fire PIO (@LACoFDPIO)
11/20/18, 8:03 PM
#WoolseyFire *INFO* to help residents prepare for the coming rain we’ve put together a comprehensive list of sandbag distribution sites in both #LACounty and #VenturaCounty.
Text image at the link.

NWS QPF image below.

Edit: here’s the NWS warning:
NWS (@NWS) 11/20/18, 7:49 PM
Multiple rounds of heavy rain and mountain snow are forecast for the West from Wednesday through #Thanksgiving into Friday. There is an elevated concern for flash flooding, mudslides and debris flows near wildfire burn scars in #California. See for more.
Precip maps at the link.

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: November 19, 2018, 08:41:58 PM »
Dr. Kate Marvel: "If climate change was a hoax, an insurance company could undercut all the competition by offering lower rates. None of them do.”

“In the near future, insurance companies will likely stop insuring homes, buildings, farms, factories, schools, hospitals etc, etc, that they judge to be under imminent, inevitable and constant threat of damage because of climate change. We’re talking here about properties that are at risk of being permanently inundated by rising sea levels, but also those on river flood plains, those in forests that regularly burn and those on the edges of ever encroaching deserts.”

The Glacier Trust - Insuring the uninsurable

Policy and solutions / Re: Becoming Vegan.
« on: November 18, 2018, 06:41:32 PM »
Big Vegan Business

Bill Gates-Backed Vegan Burger Maker Beyond Meat Files for IPO
Beyond Meat Inc., the maker of vegan chicken and beef substitutes including the Beyond Burger, filed for a U.S. initial public offering.

The company filed with an initial offering size of $100 million, which is a placeholder that’s likely to change. The company’s backers include Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and Don Thompson, McDonald’s Corp.’s former chief executive officer.

Beyond Meat, based in El Segundo, California, was founded in 2009 and initially focused on a frozen-chicken substitute and has taken advantage of vegan diet preferences to go more mainstream. Now, it’s best known for the Beyond Burger, which is made to “look, cook and taste like traditional ground beef,” according to the company’s filing Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Its products are sold by grocers such as Kroger and Whole Foods, as well as appearing on restaurant menus for TGI Friday’s and A&W Canada, the company said in its filing.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 18, 2018, 04:12:37 PM »
Evacuation plan 'out the window' when fire hit California town
When a “megafire” engulfed Paradise, California, officials and residents had to abandon their evacuation plans and improvise new ways to save lives, learning lessons that could help the growing number of U.S. communities at risk to wildfires. ...

Southern California:
Why California Authorities Are Sharing This Terrifying Video of a Woman Escaping a Wildfire

California searches for 1,000 missing in its deadliest fire
Forensic recovery teams pressed their search for more victims in the flame-ravaged northern California town of Paradise on Friday as authorities sought clues to the fate of about 1,000 people reported missing in the state’s deadliest wildfire on record.

U.S. Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Joins Environmental Activists in Protest at Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Office
The proposed committee would, among other things, establish a 10-year plan to transition the U.S. economy to become carbon neutral, according to draft legislation that the activists presented to Pelosi’s office. The activists are also pushing Democratic leaders to reject campaign contributions from fossil fuel industry groups. “We need every person who is going to claim the mantle of Democratic leadership to take the no fossil fuel money pledge,” Prakash said at the sit-in outside Pelosi’s office.

Ocasio-Cortez’s decision to join the protesters and march on her own House leader sets a tone of urgency and combativeness that is rare on Capitol Hill. Walking into the Cannon House Office Building, she told The Intercept something new had to be tried. “The way things are done has not been getting results. We have to try new methods,” she said. ...

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 13, 2018, 07:40:30 PM »
Wildfires are likely to continue to outpace recent projections because the underlying global climate models used underestimate precipitation changes in California, including periods of prolonged drought.

California’s Wildfire and Climate Change Warnings Are Still Too Conservative, Scientist Says

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 13, 2018, 01:02:42 AM »
Immmediate preventative measures:
#NBC7 San Diego on Twitter: "FIRST ALERT WEATHER: Power has been shut off to dozens of San Diego-area communities during today's Red Flag Warning.

Long-term preventative measures:
Fueling the Fire
Controlling combustibles is a major reason we halted the routine conflagration of cities that afflicted America’s cities up to a century ago. Until then, towns burned as often as the surrounding countryside since both were made of the same materials and experienced the same drought and winds. In principle, a similar logic might apply to our rural and wild landscapes if we could agree on what we wanted and how to achieve it. Proper tinkering, many observers think, might allow us to promote the good fires we want and prevent the bad fires we don’t.

For members of the Trump administration, this reasoning leads to “forest management,” which they seem to equate with chain saws. They argue that big-tree logging can be a benign (and profitable) surrogate for fire. But while all fuel is biomass, not all biomass is available as fuel. What fire wants is particles with a lot of surface relative to mass; it wants what a campfire or hearth fire wants. If you wish a fire to flash and roar, put in pine needles, dry grass, and kindling. Add a freshly cut green log and the fire will go out.

Which is to say, logging and burning do different things. Logging physically removes biomass; fire chemically changes it. Logging takes the big stuff and leaves the little; fire burns the little stuff and leaves the big. After a crown fire—a fire that flashes through a forest canopy—what remains are the tree trunks that logging would have hauled off. Removing them earlier would have lathered the land with post-cut debris called slash—exactly the kind of volatile fuel that fire favors. Slash disposal, in turn, typically means burning it, which has its own hazards for escape fires and which fills the sky with noxious smoke. Up until recent decades, the great conflagrations of American history have, with almost preternatural cunning, trailed logging and land-clearing. This is a country that is good at startups, not so great at cleaning up after itself. But that doesn’t mean some kinds of active management can’t work.

Where fires are crashing into towns, the real fuel is the built environment. Aerial photos of savaged suburbs tend to show incinerated structures and still-standing trees. The vegetation is adapted to fire; the houses aren’t. Once multiple structures begin to burn, the local fire services are overwhelmed and the fire spreads from building to building. This is the kind of urban conflagration Americans thought they had banished in the early 20th century. It’s like watching measles or polio return. Clearly, the critical reforms must target our houses and towns and revaccinate them against today’s fire threats. The National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise program shows how to harden houses and create defensible space without nuking the scene into asphalt or dirt. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: November 11, 2018, 06:20:32 PM »
Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
11/10/18, 12:10 AM
If Tesla can help people in California wildfire, please let us know. Model S & X have hospital grade HEPA filters. Maybe helpful for transporting people.
Elon Musk authorizes Tesla employees to provide assistance for the California wildfires and 'not worry about payment'
California, Tesla’s home state, is currently on fire as the current wildfire season is proving to be particularly devastating.  CEO Elon Musk has authorized Tesla employees to provide assistance for the wildfires and not worry about payment....

Edit:  more:
Tesla's 'Bioweapon Defense Mode' is proving invaluable to owners affected by CA wildfires

Tesla makes Supercharging free for owners affected by California wildfires

“Tesla has also released additional battery capacity to those cars with software-limited battery packs in the areas affected by the fires, just as they did during Hurricane Florence.  The additional capacity will also be reverted in mid-December.”

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 09, 2018, 01:33:57 AM »
Dave Toussaint (@engineco16)
11/8/18, 5:12 PM
#CampFire if we go off of the heat signature, know fire locations it's probably close to 40K acres. PIO just now said 17K acres, so this map may not be far off. [ Image below.]
- #CampFire Clark x/Skyway units advising they're running out of water, need water tenders. They have 150 people in a building with several buildings and a gas station on fire next to it.
- #CampFire sending strike teams of engines to help, 10 engines. Clark x/Skyway.

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: November 07, 2018, 07:51:11 PM »
NOAA NCEI Climate on Twitter: "Alaska had its warmest October on record with a statewide average temperature of 34.5°F, 9.0°F above the long-term average...”
Image below.

Alaska had its warmest October on record with a statewide average temperature of 34.5°F, 9.0°F above the long-term average. This surpassed the previous record of 34.0°F in 2013. Both Anchorage and Bethel experienced their warmest September followed by the warmest October on record. The warm temperatures also led to below-average snowfall for interior locations, with Fairbanks receiving only 0.7 inch of snow during the month. This tied with 2013 and was the second lowest October snowfall since 1926 for the city.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: November 04, 2018, 05:51:16 PM »
Stock news and predictions/discussion:

#StanphylCapital [notorious TSLA short] down another 7% in Oct according to @markbspiegel's "investor" letter.
All losses due to $TSLA
YTD down -15.5% while the S&P $SPY is up 3% …
(More at the link.)

Edit:  Here’s a timely article on Mark Spiegel’s Tesla predictions since 2013:
5 Years Of Incorrect Claims & Forecasts About Tesla From TSLA Bear Mark Spiegel

ValueAnalyst’s predictions for Tesla earnings for Q3 were higher than anyone’s on Wall Street — yet were much lower than the actual results.

ValueAnalyst (@ValueAnalyst1) 11/3/18, 5:44 PM
Even bulls deemed the following Aug 24 prediction "enthusiastic," but it will actually prove conservative.

ValueAnalyst (@ValueAnalyst1) 8/24/18, 12:17 PM
#Tesla Prediction
$1B in GAAP profits
$2B in Free cash flow

$5B in GAAP profits
$5B in Free cash flow

<< 5B GAAP profit in 2019 translates to $30 EPS. This is 50% higher than the highest estimate from Wall Street.
VA:  Yes
<< After your bold Q3 $1 EPS call, I have to believe everything is possible now.  $30 EPS is conservative in your view.  I will take a wild guess. Let’s say $40 EPS. Times 50 multiple which translates into $2000 target price in 2019. Bears are going to have heart attack with this.

Consequences / Re: Oceanic anoxia
« on: October 29, 2018, 05:48:58 PM »
SteveMDFP, I believe the link below is the one you meant to post.  Indeed, it is shocking.

Coastal Pacific Oxygen Levels Now Plummet Once A Year
Scientists say West Coast waters now have a hypoxia season, or dead-zone season, just like the wildfire season.

Hypoxia is a condition in which the ocean water close to the seafloor has such low levels of dissolved oxygen that the organisms living down there die.

Crabber David Bailey, who skippers the Morningstar II, is rattled by the news. He remembers a hypoxia event out of Newport, Oregon, about a decade ago. He says it shows up "like a flip of a switch."

"It shows up like a flip of a switch," he says. "If there are crabs in the pot, they're dead. Straight up," Bailey says. And if you re-bait the pots, "when you go out the next time, they're blanks, they're absolutely empty. The crabs have left the area."

A hypoxia event will kill everything that can't swim away—animals like crabs, sea cucumbers and sea stars.

"We can now say that Oregon has a hypoxia season much like the wildfire season," says Francis Chan, co-chair of the California Hypoxia Science Task Force.  ...

Policy and solutions / Re: UN Climate Agreement - Paris 2015 and beyond
« on: October 16, 2018, 12:26:42 AM »
It's Time For The Adults To Take Charge — 100 Corporations Responsible For 71% Of Carbon Emissions

Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2018
« on: October 14, 2018, 05:29:56 PM »
“70 forecast advisories issued over a 20-day period......summed up in 10 short seconds. I feel like forecasters at the @NHC_Atlantic deserve a medal or something (or at the very least, a round of applause). Nicely done sir. #Leslie”
Ten-second video at the link.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: October 14, 2018, 01:02:40 PM »
Again in September, the Tesla Model 3 generated more revenue than any other passenger car in the U.S., at any price.

Congratulations, @elonmusk and @Tesla on the #1 selling car [by revenue] in the U.S. in the most recent quarter, beating the 2nd place Toyota Camry by more than $1 billion!

Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2018
« on: October 12, 2018, 01:50:52 PM »
The second video in this article has an amazing extended section of winds on the ground during the eyewall.

Video from the hurricane hunter plane:
Michael at landfall. The normal "stadium effect" was more like a cylinder, a straight vertical wall 50K ft high. Saw 175 mph flight level winds, ~155 mph at surface. Entered eyewall at 10K ft, ended up in eye down at 8K! Need another tweet to explain what that felt like… “

The four Category 4 U.S. #hurricane landfalls in less than 14 months. #HurricaneMichael #Michael
Image below.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2018
« on: October 12, 2018, 12:53:20 AM »
”FEMA has no idea of the likelihood of rescuers finding survivors, or bodies, said spokesman Ignatius Carroll.  "We can't search every pile of rubble."
Rescuers look for survivors after Michael obliterates Florida beach town

Massive relief and recovery effort unfolding on US 231 S. coming into Panama City.
Video clip at the link.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: October 08, 2018, 01:39:25 PM »
Wow!  Safety is a prime factor in car-buying choice for many people.  Tesla just gave them another reason to go to their brand.

Model 3 achieves the lowest probability of injury of any vehicle ever tested by NHTSA
The Tesla Team October 7, 2018
Based on the advanced architecture of Model S and Model X, which were previously found by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to have the lowest and second lowest probabilities of injury of all cars ever tested, we engineered Model 3 to be the safest car ever built. Now, not only has Model 3 achieved a perfect 5-star safety rating in every category and sub-category, but NHTSA’s tests also show that it has the lowest probability of injury of all cars the safety agency has ever tested.
In addition to its near 50/50 weight distribution, Model 3 was also designed with an extremely low polar moment of inertia, which means that its heaviest components are located closer to the car’s center of gravity. Even though Model 3 has no engine, its performance is similar to what’s described as a “mid-engine car” due to its centered battery pack (the heaviest component of the car) and the fact that Model 3’s rear motor is placed slightly in front of the rear axle rather than behind it. Not only does this architecture add to the overall agility and handling of the car, it also improves the capability of stability control by minimizing rotational kinetic energy.

Tesla Model 3 achieves lowest probability of injury of any vehicle ever tested by NHTSA

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: October 04, 2018, 10:11:41 PM »
Tesla has begun publishing quarterly safety data, as promised.

Q3 2018 Vehicle Safety Report | Tesla
At Tesla, the safety of our customers is our top priority, which is why it’s critical that we design and build the safest cars in the world. Not only do we conduct extensive in-house testing and simulation to ensure our vehicles achieve top safety performance before they ever reach the road, we are also uniquely positioned to leverage the hundreds of thousands of miles of real-world data our fleet collects every month to continuously improve our vehicles and develop a more complete picture of safety over time.

Because every Tesla is connected, in most instances we are able to learn immediately when a Tesla vehicle has been involved in a crash. Additionally, our non-traditional sales model allows us to have a direct relationship with our customers for the lifecycle of ownership, providing an avenue for us to supplement our records and gain even more insight as needed. In contrast, automakers whose cars aren’t connected and who utilize networks of third-party franchised dealers may never know when a vehicle is involved in an accident. Through traditional channels, it can take months or even years for lawsuits or claims to be filed that provide automakers with insight into an accident that allows them to draw meaningful conclusions and improve safety.
Here’s a look at the data we’re able to report for Q3:

Over the past quarter, we’ve registered one accident or crash-like event for every 3.34 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged.

For those driving without Autopilot, we registered one accident or crash-like event for every 1.92 million miles driven. By comparison, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) most recent data shows that in the United States, there is an automobile crash every 492,000 miles. While NHTSA’s data includes accidents that have occurred, our records include accidents as well as near misses (what we are calling crash-like events).

Moving forward, we will publicly release these accident figures on a quarterly basis.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: October 02, 2018, 08:52:39 PM »
Can a Tesla bull PLEASE explain to me the following four things:

Clearly we can’t.  ;D

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: October 02, 2018, 03:13:31 PM »
Tesla Q3 production and delivery results announced

Tesla delivers 83.5k vehicles for Q3 2018, Model 3 production hits 53,239
During the third quarter, Tesla produced a total of 80,142 electric cars, 50% more than the company’s prior all-time high in Q2 2018. Tesla produced 53,239 Model 3, as well as 26,903 Model S and X vehicles.

Deliveries for Q3 totaled 83,500 vehicles, comprised of 55,840 Model 3, as well as 14,470 Model S, and 13,190 Model X. With these figures, Tesla’s Q3 deliveries alone corresponds to 80% of the company’s entire deliveries last year. The electric car maker also delivered about twice as many Model 3 in the third quarter as all previous quarters combined.

The third quarter saw Tesla transition from its self-imposed “production hell” and well into what Elon Musk describes as “delivery logistics hell.” Even before the Q3 results were released, expectations from Wall Street analysts already pointed to the electric car maker hitting its target of producing and delivering 50,000-55,000 Model 3 in the quarter. Even Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino, who has long been a Tesla skeptic, released a note stating that he expects the company to achieve its Q3 production and delivery targets.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: October 01, 2018, 10:21:32 PM »
What about the Not-A-Flamethrower, which made $10 million for the Boring Company?

And SpaceX’s autonomous drone ships, named, “Of Course I Still Love You” and “Just Read the Instructions,” after the Culture Ships in Iain M. Banks’ science fiction novels.  Not to mention the waypoint once assigned to the Falcon 9’s fairing-catcher ship “Mr. Stevens” of “Your Mom’s House.”  Did you know the Falcon 9 was named after the Millenium Falcon, of Star Wars? 

Or Tesla’s “Ludicrous speed” mode, from the movie “Spaceballs.”  Or “Mad Max” lane change mode....

Elon’s fans love the humor, just as we take very seriously Tesla’s goal to accelerated the advent of sustainable energy and transport.  And Tesla’s success is proof that humor doesn’t get in the way of important progress, and in fact makes life a little bit more worth living. :) 

Science / Re: ICESAT-2
« on: September 30, 2018, 08:19:59 PM »
NASA ICE (@NASA_ICE) 9/30/18, 1:53 PM
The #ICESat2 laser is on, and has fired its first photons!
10,000 pulses each second, hundreds of trillions of photons with each pulse- all to measure the height of earth’s surface.

Consequences / Re: Sea Level Rise and Social Cost of Carbon
« on: September 27, 2018, 07:20:50 PM »
Prepare for 10 Feet [3.1 m] of Sea Level Rise, California Commission Tells Coastal Cities
California coastal cities should be prepared for the possibility that oceans will rise more than 10 feet by 2100 and submerge parts of beach towns, the state Coastal Commission warns in new draft guidance.

The powerful agency, which oversees most development along 1,100 miles of coast, will consider approving the guidance this fall. A staff report recommending the changes was released last week.

Earlier commission guidance put top sea-level rise at 6 feet by 2100. But according to the new report, there’s the “potential for rapid ice loss to result in an extreme scenario of 10.2 feet of sea level rise” by the end of the century. ...

Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2018
« on: September 19, 2018, 06:28:01 PM »
North Carolina is still closed, almost a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall.

9/19/18, 12:00 PM
Here's a look at road closures (currently 850), including major routes such as I-95 and I-40. Travel is still not advised to these regions due to rivers that haven't crested, debris, downed power lines and more. For info. on routes, visit #FlorenceNC
Image below.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2018
« on: September 18, 2018, 01:35:02 PM »
Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) 9/18/18, 1:16 AM
Interstate 40 -- Wallace, North Carolina
Before and after Florence
Images below.

919 risk pool (@oneduran)
9/18/18, 1:49 AM
@EricHolthaus trying to get word out in Piedmont NC communities about airdrops of supplies occurring from RDU near Raleigh to severely impacted communities like Lumberton & Wilmington, this thread summarizes what organizers on-site are being told is desperately needed.

Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill: #HurricaneFlorence organizers with A JUST FLORENCE RECOVERY/ OPERATION AIRDROP are coordinating multiple flights daily bringing hurricane relief supplies from RDU into severely impacted areas like #Lumberton and  #WilmingtonNC

They are in touch with folks in those communities, who have stated there is a desperate, urgent need for infant formula, especially in #Lumberton. Clean water is accessible, and liquid is heavy, so powdered formula is preferable.

Other needs are for disposable baby bottles with liners (due to lack of sterilization facilities) and diaper rash cream (due to humidity combined with limited washing facilities). Use the 'no parking' area in front of the building where supplies are being held for unloading.

Non-perishable foods & basic first aid supplies are also urgently needed so please donate what you can, but a top priority right now for Lumberton is powdered infant formula. Bottled water is not needed since it’s too heavy to fly efficiently. Thanks for helping out & sharing. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: September 17, 2018, 03:27:52 AM »
New Jersey approves new home solar initiative. Program eliminates up front costs and creates a net-zero monthly electric bill.

NJ Brings No Cost Solar to Homeowners

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: September 15, 2018, 06:21:56 PM »
Entry-level luxury cars.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: September 15, 2018, 03:00:22 PM »
#Tesla's Model S remained W-Europe's top selling luxury model according to @AIDNewsletter data
It remained ahead of S-Class/7-Series/A8 in their own backyard during H1.
Model S sales expected to rise in H2 thanks to tax change in The Netherlands then slow next year

“People are sick and tired in Europe of small cars with poor performance engines. Tired of paying 7$ a gallon . Tired of crazy taxes they pay for those small boxes . When Tesla puts the foot in Europe properly then Asia the support encountered will be unseen .”


Base $35,000 Tesla Model 3 Production To Start In 8 Months

Tesla threat to auto makers to grow dramatically in ~8 months with the $35,000 Tesla Model 3
@Toyota Camry XSE  $34,950
@BMW 3 Series >$34,900 @Mercedes-Benz C >$40,250
@Audi A4 $36,000

Meanwhile in Fremont, cost of building Teslas going down every day.  (30% decrease in labor per car, after lessons learned during the first 5,000-Model-3 burst week last June.)

The Tesla Model 3 was the best selling car in the US in August, by revenue. 
(Wait for the Model Y to take on the SUVs, and the Tesla pickup truck to enter the truck market!)

Tesla’s positive growth is organic, word-of-mouth support, not ad-company blather.

Ethan Shapiro (@DJFrustration) 9/13/18, 11:01 PM
Big props to @Tesla @elonmusk and @woodhaus2 on designing the safest SUV, ever. My wife was rear ended (hit & run) in Miami today. She was shaken, but should be ok. First responders said, “as soon as they heard to look for a white Tesla, they knew she’d be ok.” Thanks guys.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2018
« on: September 14, 2018, 12:57:05 AM »
Hurricane Florence: storm surge due to the large wind field.

NHC 5pm update Thurs Sept 13:
“Water levels are increasingly quickly on the western side of Pamlico Sound.  A gauge at Cedar Island, North Carolina, recently recorded a water height of about 4 feet above normal levels.”

Flooding at North Topsail Beach.
Image below.

Road/river flooding caused by storm surge reported 90 miles inland:
Photos at the link.

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