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Messages - Sigmetnow

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Policy and solutions / Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« on: December 29, 2020, 09:54:03 PM »
 :o  ;D 
This is not CGI.
Do You Love Me?

“Happy New Year from Boston Dynamics.”

Policy and solutions / Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« on: December 28, 2020, 09:26:48 PM »
Lex Fridman (@lexfridman)12/27/20, 1:03 AM
Can you?

Elon Musk:  Good point
⬇️ Meme below.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 26, 2020, 06:05:11 PM »
Urs Hölzle (@uhoelzle) 12/10/20, 11:31 PM
Amazing graph from the [New England Journal of Medicine] paper on the Pfizer vaccine. For the first 10 days after getting the shot, vaccine and placebo perform the same, but after 10 days the vaccine group gets almost no new cases whereas the control group just keeps getting more.

The NEJM paper is here:

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: December 16, 2020, 05:18:05 PM »
Another missing part of this discussion is:  private car ownership needs in a few years will decrease as autonomous robotaxis take off — particularly in cities and dense housing areas where today the parking and charging are the most challenging.  One Tesla robotaxi could replace multiple private cars.  Not in all cases or all at once, of course.  Car sharing or rental will make more sense for those infrequent long trips.

Influential New York pension fund will drop fossil-fuel stocks, put pressure on utilities and auto makers to cut emissions
Dec. 9, 2020
New York’s $226 billion pension fund sets 2040 net-zero carbon emissions target
New York State’s $226 billion pension fund, one of the world’s largest and most influential investors, will eliminate many of its fossil-fuel stocks in the next five years, officials said Wednesday.

In addition to the split from oil, gas, oil-services and pipeline companies, the fund will sell shares in other companies that contribute to global warming by 2040, the state comptroller added.
“Achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 will put the fund in a strong position for the future mapped out in the Paris Agreement,” Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a release.

“We continue to assess energy-sector companies in our portfolio for their future ability to provide investment returns in light of the global consensus on climate change. Those that fail to meet our minimum standards may be removed from our portfolio,” DiNapoli said. “Divestment is a last resort, but it is an investment tool we can apply to companies that consistently put our investment’s long-term value at risk.”

New York’s fund, the New York State Common Retirement Fund, has historically invested about $12 billion in fossil fuels, the New York Times reported. The fund’s announcement comes after it moved to sell its stock in 22 coal companies last year.

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: December 05, 2020, 09:51:42 PM »
Huge storm south of Alaska just laughs at the “bombogenesis” event happening off the northeast U.S. coast.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: November 27, 2020, 10:19:11 PM »
11/27/2020, U.S. by state:
Illinois hits new COVID milestone:1 out of 1,000 residents dead today, per Worldometers
South Dakota hits COVID milestone: 1 out of every 1,000 residents dead
North Dakota’s COVID deaths continue to rise: ~1 out of every 850 of its residents are dead.

< “I live in SD. Not all of us are science deniers or maskholes. We’re just outnumbered by people who reject reality and insert their own beliefs. We’re stuck in an endless loop of denial, apathy, arrogance, and fatalism wrapped in the flag of Freedumb! FML”

⬇️ Below: First chart is weekly deaths per capita. Second chart is total deaths.

Stay The Fuck at Home with Samuel L. Jackson (FULL VERSION, Uncensored) - YouTube

(If you don’t get the joke, look up his “Snakes on a Plane” quote.)

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: November 05, 2020, 03:53:30 PM »
 McKinley Valentine (@mckinleaf)11/5/20, 3:05 AM

can't tell if this is hilarious or they're supervillains doing the thing conspiracy theorists always [think] organisations are doing (they put the secret symbol of their evil right in the name!!) 

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: November 01, 2020, 09:52:56 PM »
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): "Researchers have found that asymptomatic Covid-19 patients may have distinctive coughs. Indecipherable to the human ear, the differences can be picked up by artificial intelligence. Cellphone-recorded coughs could provide a convenient screening tool.”


Climate Reality: "A median of seventy percent of people across 14 countries say climate change is a major threat. Sixty-nine percent say the same about the spread of infectious disease.”


Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: October 28, 2020, 04:34:24 PM »
The amazing thing is that we're talking a viable 2022-2024 rather than never.

Even Tesla and Musk thought these “aggressive” goals could take up to ten years to accomplish*:

CEO Performance award, published 3/2018
Period of award: 10 years
At final market cap milestone:
   Total shareholder value created:  ~$600 Billion
   Revenue: $175B, approximately 15x 2017 levels
   Adjusted EBITDA: $14B, approximately 21x 2017 levels

edit:  *if accomplished at all

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« on: October 26, 2020, 06:19:01 PM »
Tropical storm Zeta is expected to hookup with winter storm Billy.  The two storms will converge around Nashville and soak the entire area from the Tennessee Valley through the mid-Atlantic states.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: October 26, 2020, 02:29:44 PM »
It’s Time to Talk About Covid-19 and Surfaces Again
In the early days, we furiously scrubbed, afraid we could get sick from the virus lingering on objects and surfaces. What do we know now?
“… the focus on fomites [virus particles on surfaces] has waned, and has been replaced by a focus on person-to-person transmission through respiration. The shift was based on epidemiological evidence. Experts knew all along that droplets passed by sneezing, coughing, or speaking were likely an important mode of transmission—that’s just how respiratory viruses tend to move.

Over time, it became clear that aerosols, which remain suspended in the air, can better explain why so many infections seemed to be passing between people who did not directly interact, but could have shared the same indoor air. That’s why public health officials now emphasize mask wearing and ventilation. The CDC’s most recently updated guidance, from early October, holds that “spread from touching surfaces is not thought to be a common way that Covid-19 spread.”

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« on: October 25, 2020, 04:57:40 PM »
Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) 10/25/20, 10:45 AM
We now have Tropical Storm Zeta.
⬇️ 8am map below.

Zeta is the 27th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season, 1 behind the record of 28 in 2005.
It's also the 4th storm to threaten the Yucatan peninsula this year, and the 7th storm to threaten Louisiana.

Hurricane Delta hit just two weeks ago:

Hurricane Delta at the human scale (with interviews from Cancun and Lake Charles)   - The Phoenix

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: October 23, 2020, 02:46:56 PM »
—- Lunar Starship mockup?
Austin Barnard (@austinbarnard45)10/22/20, 12:41 PM
NASA Artemis Moon lander anyone?
Austin Barnard: Yes this is real,
Austin Barnard: No this is not for flight, my best guess is this will be a mock up lunar variant for the starship presentation.

More photos:

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: October 19, 2020, 10:27:12 PM »
Tony Seba says self-driving AI is improving at double-exponential rates.  Anyone who thinks autonomous transport won’t be widespread until 2030 doesn’t understand this.  The cost of Transport as a Service will be 1/10 the cost of a new car. The automotive fleet will decrease by 80% by 2030 due to economic considerations alone.

Steven Mark Ryan:  “In this video I react to, discuss and share my opinions on clips of a brilliant Tony Seba presentation on disruptive technology and innovation as it applies to the future of transportation (autonomous vehicles -- Transport as a Service). I do this through a Tesla-centric lens.”

Source:  Tony Seba #CleanDisruption @ Robin Hood Investors Conference 2019 RHIC2019

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« on: October 12, 2020, 03:14:59 AM »
Hurricane Delta: Louisiana surveys damage as officials raise questions about federal aid
LAKE CHARLES, La. — As floodwaters from Hurricane Delta receded from this city, the largest in southwestern Louisiana to be severely hit by two hurricanes in six weeks, residents and city officials on Sunday were still surveying the damage of compounding crises — and wondering how much federal help they can count on.

Power had returned in many neighborhoods and some traffic lights were working again. Some outlying areas were still underwater after a double dose of storm surge from Delta on Friday and Hurricane Laura in August, though water levels had lowered across the city.

Statewide, almost half of all power outages stemming from Delta had been restored by Sunday afternoon, officials said, after peaking at nearly 690,000 — more than during Laura. But in a testament to the storms’ lasting devastation, more than 9,000 Louisianans remain in shelters, most of them people displaced by Hurricane Laura who still need temporary housing, authorities say.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency had previously promised to deliver alternative housing for residents whose homes were destroyed in Laura by mid-October, Mayor Nic Hunter said in an interview Sunday, and the agency said that will still be the case after Delta.

But how much financial assistance this besieged city of 78,000 residents will receive from the federal government is still uncertain, Hunter said. FEMA Administrator Peter T. Gaynor declined to provide assurances that the city will receive full reimbursement for municipal costs incurred during the hurricanes, Hunter said.

The federal government has provided full reimbursement in extreme cases before, the mayor said, including after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Michael, which made landfall in the Florida panhandle in 2018.

“To have us go through what we are going through right now, and to be treated differently than Michael was in 2018, to me it’s going to be a slap in the face,” Hunter said.
With an economy heavily reliant on tourism, Lake Charles was already struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now the city and Louisiana have to recover from a punishing storm season, too. Laura and Delta are believed to have caused billions of dollars in damage across the state, including tens of millions in Lake Charles. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: October 11, 2020, 05:06:22 AM »
Archimid, people don’t give a whit about what Musk thinks about coronavirus.  What’s making news is the President being hospitalized, being crazy on talk radio for two hours; holding illegal rallies at the White House; and infecting his entire staff. 
If Musk’s opinions were affecting Tesla, the board would stop him from tweeting about it!  His tweets may upset you, but mainstream media and the general public don’t care, and clearly the board sees no harm in it.

Dana Nuccitelli: "Some good news from the Global Warming's Six Americas team - more Americans are now both Alarmed (26%) and Concerned (28%) about climate change than Disengaged + Doubtful + Dismissive combined (25%), and (rightfully) Alarmed is way up over the past 5 years.”
Graph below.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« on: October 10, 2020, 03:03:14 AM »
Mark Sudduth (@hurricanetrack) 10/9/20, 7:01 PM
You can literally see the storm surge coming in from the Gulf of Mexico on our Creole, Louisiana camera. #HurricaneDelta
45 sec vid at the link.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« on: October 09, 2020, 02:23:39 AM »
Michael E. Mann: 
When we run out of Greek names, we’ll start naming storms after fossil fuel companies

Bloomberg: Japan’s unemployment rate ticked up to a three-year high in August as the coronavirus continued to weigh on the labor market.

Geneva adopts what's believed to be the highest minimum wage in the world, at $25 an hour
According to government data, 58% of voters in the canton were in favor of the initiative set the minimum wage at 23 Swiss francs an hour, which was backed by a coalition of labor unions and aimed at "fighting poverty, favoring social integration, and contributing to the respect of human dignity."
While a $25 per hour minimum wage might look staggering from a US perspective, where the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, context is key.

Geneva is the 10th most expensive city in the world
according to The Economist Intelligence Unit's 2020 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey. The roughly 4,000 Swiss francs workers will now earn put them slightly above the poverty line of 3,968 Swiss francs for a household of two adults and two children under 14, as estimated by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office in 2018.

Switzerland is among the wealthiest nations in the world, but it wasn't shielded from the damaging impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its economy.

Mile-long lines at free food distributions in Geneva made headlines worldwide, and they continue to take place, according to Charlemagne Hernandez, the co-founder of Caravane De Solidarité, an activist group in Geneva that has been organizing these distributions throughout the pandemic.

Hernandez told CNN his group helped an estimated 6,000 to 9,000 people each week during the pandemic, distributing bags of fresh produce and dry goods sourced mostly through donations.

Hernandez said he believes the adoption of the minimum wage initiative in Geneva was "necessary," as unemployment represents an existential threat for so many low income workers in the city. "It will boil down to not having enough to eat," he said.

Geneva is known as the humanitarian capital of the world due to the presence of so many international organizations and UN offices focusing on humanitarian affairs. Hernandez said solidarity in the city "is much stronger these days than usual," as people respond to calls for donations in great numbers, helping the food distributions to continue. ...

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: September 28, 2020, 07:01:53 PM »
City of Fort Lauderdale taking action as high tides continue to cause flooding issues

Long-time readers of this thread will have noticed the shift in attitudes in Florida.  Early on it was, “What sea level rise?  We’re building these new condos!”

Then it was, “Nuisance flooding.  Meh, deal with it.”

Then, “Here’s the very expensive infrastructure changes we’re making to solve the problem.”

And now, “It’s only expected to get worse.”

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« on: September 28, 2020, 06:19:27 PM »
”This hurricane season has been defined by storms forming in strange locations that rapidly intensify and produce unusually heavy rains — a hallmark of what science says are some of the most clearly defined impacts of a warming climate. If it was 2040, we might not think it was unusual for two tropical systems to simultaneously threaten mainland Europe, but in my entire career as a meteorologist, I’ve sure as hell never heard of anything like that happening before.”

The 2020 Hurricane Season Is a Turning Point in Human History
by Eric Holthaus

Policy and solutions / Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« on: September 23, 2020, 05:37:41 PM »
BREAKING - Life-sized giant Gundam robot in Japan's Yokohama comes alive and is now in testing mode.
Video clip:
Image below.

Sure. Because in 2020, what could possibly go wrong?

Americans Say Tackling Climate Change Won't Hurt Economy: Poll
The report—shared exclusively with TIME—relies on a survey of 999 American adults between May and August and shows broad U.S. support for a range of climate policies. Significant majorities support tax incentives, carbon pricing and regulations as means to reduce emissions. More than 80% of Americans believe the U.S. should offer tax incentives for utilities that make power with renewable energy; more than 80% support key U.S. commitments under the Paris Agreement; and nearly two-thirds support a requirement for all cars to get at least 55 miles per gallon by 2025.
“It’s not like 52-48, or that kind of thing,” says Krosnick. “There are clear leanings.”

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: September 23, 2020, 03:26:40 PM »
Tesla Battery Day!  Speakers were on an outdoor stage, in front of a big screen… at the end of a parking lot filled with Teslas!
Attendees were each assigned a car, and the audio was broadcast over the radio — yes, Tesla Drive-in Theater!  (But the cars had PIN To Drive enabled, so no one could drive away. ;))  Attendees applauded and cheered by honking horns! ;D It was 95°, so the cars’ air conditioning was appreciated. 

My notes:
Goal: The world needs about 10 tWh/yr to transition to electric transportation and energy storage.  Today’s gigawatt-hr factories are too small.  The $/kWh curve has flattened.
Plan: Terawatt-hr battery production, on a smaller footprint than today’s gigawatt factories.  Make factory space more efficient. Cut the cost per kWh in half.
Tesla’s new cells are still cylindrical, but “4680” size.  [46mm diameter, 80mm length] Pilot plant now, expect about a year to ramp to 10 gWh, 100 gWh in 2022, 3 tWh/yr goal in 2030.
Improvements on Maxwell’s dry battery. New: powder onto film, eliminates massive chemical use and waste water.
Reduction of manufacturing line footprint by over 75% by this alone.
Lithium from clay. 10,000 acres in Nevada. “Remove a chunk of dirt, extract the Lithium (acid-free, saline extraction), replace the dirt.” 
“There’s enough lithium in North America to replace the entire U.S. fleet.”
Coming: Single-piece castings for entire front and rear of car (new aluminum alloy, strong without coating or heat treatment)
New batteries will form a part of the vehicle’s structure, without assembly into a pack.  Denser packing allows more distance between batteries and side of vehicle, lessening risk of rupture in a crash.

56% reduction in $/kWh
54% increase in Range
69% less investment per gWh
Will take 12-18 months to start realizing this improvement; ~3 years to fully realize.

Recycling - will increase as EV volume increases. Tesla expects to replace 20 million vehicles/yr.

$25,000 car in about 3 years! (They said this several times.)  “Will be fully autonomous.”

Cybertruck: over ~600,000 orders.  First version will be to U.S. specs, since U.S. is largest market.  Will eventually make a smaller version for other markets.

In other news: Model S Plaid opened for orders. $140,000 base price. Almost $100k cheaper than loaded Taycan Turbo S, and more than twice the range (520+ miles — slightly more than Lucid’s claimed 517).

Watch replay here:

Reflex Research:  Tesla’s new Fremont battery “pilot line” design capacity at 10 GWh is equal to >50% of the global Li-ion battery production in 2010.
I believe Tesla's single cell "pilot line" operating at Kato road Fremont would place in the top ten largest cell factories globally and contribute ~5% of 2019 global supply.…

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« on: September 22, 2020, 01:37:33 PM »
Tropical Storm Beta Becomes Record-Tying Ninth Mainland U.S. Landfall of 2020 Hurricane Season
• Four of those landfalls were hurricanes, roughly double the average for an entire season.
• Much of the East and Gulf coasts have been covered by a warning once this season.
Tropical Storm Beta became the ninth named storm to landfall in the mainland U.S. in the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, tying a record that had stood for over 100 years.

Beta's center inched ashore along the Texas coast on late Monday, Sept. 21, becoming the ninth tropical storm or hurricane to make landfall this season.

That tied the 1916 season, which previously stood as the lone record-holder for the most number of mainland U.S. landfalls in any season....
Only Florida's Upper Keys and the west coast of Florida, east of Apalachicola, has yet to be placed under a tropical storm or hurricane warning so far this season.

An average hurricane season after Sept. 21 delivers another five named storms, three of which become hurricanes. As September shifts into October, the area where tropical storms and hurricanes most often form shifts back to the west into the western Caribbean Sea, eastern Gulf of Mexico and western Atlantic Ocean off the East Coast.

So it's possible we're not done yet as far as U.S. impact is concerned, despite the landfall record tie.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: September 21, 2020, 04:31:27 PM »
Complaints about the Solar City purchase being financially detrimental miss the point that Tesla’s core mission of accelerating the transition to sustainability is, by traditional measures, financially detrimental.  “We’re gonna do it anyway.”

There are no stockholder proposals concerning solar in tomorrow’s shareholder meeting.  Investors agree Tesla’s path is rocky but right.

Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: September 20, 2020, 05:35:14 PM »
Thread: The Sin of Wealth 
There's been much discussion recently about millionaires like @berniesanders and @rbreich, who live relatively luxurious lives, attacking billionaires like @elonmusk for their recent paper gains. The "sin of wealth" is not that "there's some high nominal asset value on paper".
It's that the world has a finite capacity to produce goods and services. Money is an IOU on goods and services. When you use this IOU to direct a wasteful amount of goods and services towards yourself, it's unavailable to other people.

Contrarily, money that's invested is not doing harm - just the opposite. It's not consuming goods and services, but rather, it's helping create more capacity for goods and services. Let me reiterate: *money that's invested is a good thing*.

The question comes as to what's done when these paper gains are transformed into a real gains - something that has to be done slowly and methodologically over long periods of time, or the supposed gains vanish. Do you use the real assets to flood yourself with goods and services?

Or do you dedicate them to good causes? This is the point of the Giving Pledge (to which Musk is a signatory): that the overwhelming majority of your assets will not be directed toward yourself, but towards good causes over the course of your life.

There is of course some nuance. "Overwhelming majority" != all, and billionaires - and yes, millionaires like Sanders and Reich - should be judged by how much of their assets they spend on themselves vs. how much they donate to charitable causes.

It's also certainly fair to judge the perceived value of said charitable causes to society, as reasonable people will always differ on this front - just like reasonable politicians disagree on the very same issue in terms of how to allocate tax money.

What's not fair is to insist that all paper gains be treated as instantly liquidatable real gains (they're not, and cannot be short-term liquidated for even a fraction of their value), or that it's even a good idea. Not simply because money invested in the market does good (creating goods and services), but because "charity dumps" are an inefficient way to spend money. Let's say that your main goal was fighting rainforest destruction. Which would be more effective - spending $20B all in one year, or $1,6B per year *indefinitely*?

Just like with realizing paper gains, maximum benefits to good causes are achieved with a long-term planned disbursement. This should be *encouraged*, not *scorned*. Indeed, where charitable goals consume goods and services, rapid spending is highly inefficient.

So by all means, support - as do I - more equitable wealth distribution. Support higher capitals gains taxes (e.g. on realizing paper gains). But don't be stupid about it. The sin of wealth is about *wasting resources on yourself* - not about some nominal dollar figure.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« on: September 19, 2020, 01:11:25 AM »
Sam Lillo (@splillo) 9/18/20, 3:28 PM
Aaand now updated for Beta.
23 named storms.
34 days earlier than 2005.
Image below.

Five States Have Filed Climate Change Lawsuits, Seeking Damages From Big Oil and Gas
Connecticut and Delaware have joined a growing list of states, cities and counties that have filed climate change lawsuits against the fossil fuel industry, claiming oil and gas companies knew their products caused sea level rise and stronger hurricanes and willfully misled the public about those and other dangers related to global warming.

Connecticut's lawsuit, filed Monday, named ExxonMobil as a sole defendant, while the lawsuit filed on Friday by Delaware named 31 fossil fuel companies and trade groups. They joined Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Minnesota as states that have filed such litigation. ...

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: September 17, 2020, 02:51:08 PM »
The cause of the Camp Fire that destroyed Paradise, California in 2018.
Tube Time (@TubeTimeUS)9/16/20, 6:28 PM
this electrical transmission tower has a little problem. can you spot it? actually, it's not a small problem--it cost us 16.65 *billion* dollars and caused the deaths of 85 people.
Image below.

Thread at the above link, or read the entire thread here:

Policy and solutions / Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« on: September 16, 2020, 08:55:59 PM »
“The Encyclopedia Galactica defines a robot as a mechanical apparatus designed to do the work of a man. The marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation defines a robot as ‘Your Plastic Pal Who's Fun to Be With.’"
- The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« on: September 16, 2020, 08:49:14 PM »
Hurricane Sally slams into Alabama and Florida, and rescues from widespread flooding are underway
A Category 1 Hurricane Sally is pummeling southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle after it crossed land Wednesday morning, prompting water rescues, sapping power, dropping trees and leaving serious flooding as it crawls at an agonizingly slow pace.

"We anticipate the evacuations could literally be in the thousands," David Morgan, sheriff of Florida's Escambia County which includes Pensacola, said of rescuing people in flooded neighborhoods.

Water rescues also were reported to be ongoing in Gulf Shores, Alabama, where homes flooded and trees toppled onto roofs, city spokesman Grant Brown said.

A section of Pensacola's Three-Mile Bridge that connects to the city of Gulf Breeze is missing, thanks to the storm, Morgan said.

Sally made landfall as a Category 2 storm near Gulf Shores around 4:45 a.m. CT with sustained winds of 105 mph. It's since weakened inland, with winds at 75 mph as of noon CT.

With Sally's slow pace -- now around 5 mph -- some areas already have collected more than 24 inches of rain and could receive up to 35 inches [889mm] by storm's end. ...

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: September 16, 2020, 03:37:43 PM »
Birds 'falling out of the sky' in mass die-off in south-western US
Thousands of migrating birds have inexplicably died in south-western US in what ornithologists have described as a national tragedy that is likely to be related to the climate crisis.
Long-distance migrants flying south from tundra landscapes in Alaska and Canada pass over America’s south-west to reach winter grounds in Central and South America. During this migration it is crucial they land every few days to refuel before continuing their journey.

Unprecedented wildfires across the western states of the US could mean they had to re-route their migration away from resource-rich coastal areas and move inland over the Chihuahuan desert, where food and water are scarce, essentially meaning they starved to death. “They’re literally just feathers and bones,” Allison Salas, a graduate student at NMSU who has been collecting carcasses, wrote in a Twitter thread about the die-off. “Almost as if they have been flying until they just couldn’t fly any more.”

The south-western states of the US have experienced extremely dry conditions – believed to be related to the climate crisis – meaning there could be fewer insects, the main food source for migrating birds. A cold snap locally between 9 and 10 September could have also worsened conditions for the birds.

Any of these weather events may have triggered birds to start their migration early, having not built up sufficient fat reserves. Another theory is that the smoke from the wildfires may have damaged their lungs. “It could be a combination of things. It could be something that’s still completely unknown to us,” said Salas. ...

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« on: September 16, 2020, 01:37:46 AM »
Mark Sudduth: "Make no mistake, what Sally lacks in wind energy it will more than make up for in rain and flooding. Think Florence in [North Carolina/South Carolina] two years ago. Threatened to make landfall as a category four; did so as a 1 and was NC’s most costly hurricane ever."

Bill McKibben: "I think it's fair to say the message is starting to sink in. One wishes it hadn't taken this much time and this much trauma”
Image below.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« on: September 13, 2020, 11:28:00 PM »
Ricky Matthews (@wxrjm) 9/13/20, 12:26 AM
Reddit user u/Protuhj wrote a python script (available on Github) to make an image of all the NHC cones in one map. ...
“The image should update hourly (if there’s a change in the generated image(s)).“

Current image below.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: September 13, 2020, 09:06:23 PM »
jackie bryant (@jacqbryant) 9/11/20, 10:20 PM
I just filed a sad story about a hemp farm that burned to the ground in Jamul last weekend. BUT its owner sent me a picture of its stubborn pig, Bruce, who refused to evacuate and survived
Photo below.

Policy and solutions / Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« on: September 10, 2020, 03:06:19 PM »
Whatever Happened To ... The Instant Hospitals Built In Wuhan For COVID-19 Patients?
Huoshenshan and Leishenshan were among 40 hospitals in Wuhan designated for serious and critical care COVID-19 patients. Sixteen other makeshift hospitals were set up in converted gyms, convention and exhibition centers to isolate and treat mild cases, so those patients [didn’t] infect their families.

The vigorous efforts seem to have worked, because just a month later, on March 10, Chinese president Xi Jinping declared that the disease had been "basically curbed" in Wuhan and its province, Hubei. That day, the 16 makeshift hospitals were all shut down.

Huoshenshan and Leishenshan continued operating for another month, after which they sent their final batch of patients to regular hospitals and were officially sealed off and "retired" on April 15. According to state media, Leishenshan ended up treating a total of 2,011 patients over the two months it was operational. Government officials say there are no plans to demolish the hospitals yet, and they can be "reactivated at any time" if a second wave of infections hits. ...

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: September 08, 2020, 04:29:21 PM »
Dana Nuccitelli: “It's the first week of September and California has already broken its record for most acreage burned by wildfires, set a mere 2 years ago, by 10%. Lots of fires are currently burning, and the state is mired in yet another record heatwave”

Consequences / Re: Heatwaves
« on: September 07, 2020, 08:20:45 PM »
120°F = 48.9°C  California

John Lindsey: "I didn't think it was possible in San Luis Obispo, but the Santa Lucia winds' compressional heating has driven the temperature at Cal Poly to 120 degrees! These are unmatched measurements.”
Weather data and graphs at the link.

Daniel Swain: "Incredible heatwave across coastal California, w/multiple locations setting new all-time records (many spots breaking monthly/daily records). @extremetemps thinks San Luis Obispo's 120F reading may be hottest on record for so close to an ocean *anywhere in the Americas! #CAwx “

National Weather Service: "The heat wave continues for one more day across the Southwest and California today. Well below and even record low temperatures are forecast in the Central U.S. by Wednesday.”
Max/min temperature maps below.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: September 03, 2020, 05:14:42 PM »
Sigmetnow, I am not imagining things.

I understand your view, (however wrong it is ;) ) and you are welcome to it.  But now, rather than repeating your thoughts, please give a link to even one article or tweet that provides evidence Musk has influenced virus response in a negative manner.  This thread was created to feature such varying Tesla-related viewpoints from different sources, for the express purpose of limiting posters’ personal arguments for or against posted opinions, which get repetitive, generally go nowhere, and rarely shed further light on the topic.  Thank you for helping!

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: September 02, 2020, 02:44:40 PM »
You have to wonder where Tesla would be today if it had taken a similar approach when it decided to  create, almost single handedly, a mass market for high volume EV's which would replace your normal vehicle.

I'd contend that Tesla would be nowhere.

Going back to Ford, one wonders where they are going with this approach. Given that there are very few (read none that can guarantee the volume), to supply their need even at today's volumes.

Nowhere would seem to be the answer.  If they are going nowhere, when they get there, they are not going to survive.

Musk has said that in the beginning, when they calculated what would be needed in order to produce the number of EVs they planned, they saw they would require what was then the entire global supply of batteries, just for Tesla.  And so they built the first gigafactory.

It’s easy for an ICE car manufacturer, who really doesn’t want to make electric vehicles anyway, to justify not spending the money to make their own batteries for a small number of EVs.  Thus guaranteeing they will never make more than a small number of EVs.  A “Kodak moment.”

New COVID-19 layoffs make job reductions permanent
The Wall Street Journal
As companies brace for years of pandemic-related disruption, thousands of furloughed workers are told they won’t be coming back. A new wave of layoffs is washing over the U.S. as several big companies reassess staffing plans and settle in for a long period of uncertainty.

The latest layoffs come as there have been glimmers of an economic recovery. Many employers have rehired some workers after cutting jobs this spring, pushing the U.S. unemployment rate down to 10.2% in July after it nearly touched 15% in April, according to federal data. Some salaried workers and executives are seeing their pandemic pay cuts restored. That has led some to theorize that the economy is increasingly proceeding on two tracks, as companies modifying operations or shutting down entire divisions determine that they need fewer people, especially lower-income workers.

A survey of human-resources employees released by Randstad RiseSmart found nearly half of U.S. employers that furloughed or laid off staff because of Covid-19 are considering additional workplace cuts in the next 12 months.

“Companies that thought they could either cut wages temporarily or cut costs temporarily or hold on are now finding out that the weakness of the pandemic is now longer than they hoped,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton.

The union that represents United’s pilots called it tragic that the carrier hasn’t provided more options to allow pilots to leave voluntarily.

Hundreds of furloughed workers at C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. , one of the largest freight companies in North America, won’t be put back on the payroll, in part because their positions have been automated, the company told investors on a recent earnings call. The job cuts will become “permanent cost savings from our investments in tech,” said Bob Biesterfeld, chief executive of C.H. Robinson.

Many employees furloughed in the spring who haven’t been brought back to work most likely won’t have a job to return to, said Daniel Sternberg, head of data science for Gusto. That is because many small businesses have only partially reopened or have had to roll back reopening plans and sales are nowhere close to pre-pandemic levels.

“There’s not much evidence to suggest that there is going to be this massive bringing people back on the payrolls,” Mr. Sternberg said. “Businesses are also retooling in a lot of situations, and the way they are retooling requires lower head counts. They are trying to do what they can do to survive long term.”

Millions of Americans have been jobless for several months, suggesting it will take a while for the U.S. economy to recover from the damage wrought this spring. The number who were unemployed between 15 and 26 weeks rose to 6.5 million in July, the highest reading for records that go back to 1948, according to the Labor Department. The number of Americans reporting themselves as unemployed because of permanent layoffs was about twice as high in July as in March, when the pandemic struck.

“It’s becoming harder and harder to imagine that these people will be brought back in,” said Josh Wright, chief economist at Wrightside Advisors, an economics consulting firm.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 28, 2020, 09:26:26 PM »
The “not reasonable that the differences are due to in vivo evolution” simply means that he or she was infected two different times with two different variations of SARS-CoV-2, and that it was not the same virus somewhat hosted by the patient during all those weeks in between (correct?).

Yes, not the same virus that evolved in the patient and acquired the new genetic variations.

Yes.  It may also mean that plasma/antibody treatment will be effective in fewer patients than expected, and that a successful vaccine will need to target multiple strains, and perhaps need to be redesigned each year, like flu shots.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 28, 2020, 06:12:19 PM »
Twitter thread re a paper:  Proven SARSCoV2 re-infection in a 25 year old... from a different genetic strain... which antibodies from the first infection did not protect against.  And the second infection caused illness much worse than the first.
Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) 8/28/20, 11:04 AM
Huge—ANOTHER PROVEN RE-INFECTION—This one is much more serious than Hong Kong reinfection. 25-year-old patient from Nevada got sick March 25th, recovered (2 neg tests), but got *EVEN MORE SICK* May 28th & hospitalized. Key—completely distinct  #SARSCoV2 coronavirus lines!
Text image below.
3) “patient required ongoing oxygen support and symptoms: myalgia, cough and shortness of breath. A chest x-ray was performed on 6/5/20 and compared to that of 5/31/20 with the development of new patchy bilateral interstitial opacities suggestive of a viral or atypical pneumonia”

5) While A and B cases part of same general clade, case A had 5 further single nucleotide variants (SNVs) compared to reference . Sequence of case B show 6 extra SNVs and a mutation at position 14407,”
➡️ RNA of viruses different. [Image below.]
7) Basically, while virus case A and B part of general clade group, they are diff. “For A to experience mutations to become case B, the virus would have had to exhibit a rate of 83.64 substitutions per year, a rate exceeds that of 23.12, currently observed” by 3x—ie unlikely same
9) More importantly—unlike Hong Kong reinfection case where 2nd infection was asymptomatic mild, this Nevada person’s reinfection was SERIOUS that it needed hospitalization in June whenever the first March infection did not need hospitalization!

10) Study thus notes: “An implication of this finding is that initial exposure to the #SARSCoV2 virus may not result in a level of immunity that is 100% protective for all individuals”

11) BOTTOMLINE: A young 25 year old got sick twice, from two different #SARSCoV2 viruses that were  distinct. And the second infection (the reinfection) yielded #COVID19 illness much worse than first, despite recovering in between. Recovery from 1st didn’t protect from 2nd.

12) Another key point I forgot to highlight—“On 6/6/20 (hospitalization day) the patient was tested for IgG/IgM for SARS-CoV-2 and was positive”. Usually antibodies takes weeks to develop. So these antibodies were likely from the first March/April infection. Yet didn’t protect.
13) Authors acknowledgement: “Nevada IDEA Network of Biomedical Research (INBRE) for supporting this work and the publication was made possible by grants from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the NIH.”
Link to article:…

25% of U.S. malls are expected to shut within 5 years. Giving them a new life won’t be easy
What is going to happen to America’s dead malls? That’s a million-dollar question plaguing retailers and real estate developers.

“One cannot simply build industrial buildings in areas zoned for commercial use,” he explained. “Often, that requires rezoning areas — a long and tedious process with a low probability of success.”

“State and local governments typically tax industrial properties at anywhere from half to two-thirds the rate of commercial properties, so municipalities have little incentive to rezone areas from commercial to industrial use, as they will collect less tax revenues,”…

About 90% of occupants in U.S. malls are either experiential tenants like movie theaters, or department store chains and apparel retailers, according to the Coresight analysis. This makes malls the most vulnerable type of shopping centers to the Covid-19 impact, it said, compared with other properties like strip centers that have grocery stores and outlet centers that offer consumers bargains.

So, if not warehouses and entertainment complexes, analysts have pondered other potential use cases for so-called dead malls: Churches, medical facilities, office spaces and even apartment complexes.
But even office space is a risky bet now, as the working-from-home trend could become permanent for some. …

Another new report out this week from Coresight Research estimates 25% of America’s roughly 1,000 malls will close over the next three to five years, with the pandemic accelerating a demise that was already underway before the new virus emerged.

CBL & Associates, a Tennessee-based mall owner that has a number of B- and C-rated malls in its portfolio, has said it plans to file for bankruptcy by Oct. 1, highlighting just how much pressure these landlords are facing.

Even high-end malls are under pressure, though. No one is really immune. An upscale mall owner in Miami, Bal Harbour Shops, is currently moving to evict the luxury department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue for not paying rent since mid-March. It owes Bal Harbour roughly $1.9 million, according to court documents. …

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