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Messages - Sigmetnow

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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.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 23, 2019, 08:05:24 PM »
Porsche says its EV factory walls absorb nitrogen dioxide – pollutant its cheating diesel cars were emitting

Mercedes-Benz announces new battery factory in Poland - but no battery cells - Electrek
“We will electrify the complete portfolio until 2022 and will be able to offer in each segment various electrified alternatives to our customers. This includes more than ten pure electric vehicles. We will produce batteries on our own, what we consider a significant success factor in the era of electric mobility. After the production of high-tech engines, we will establish additional future technology in Poland. The battery factory in Jawor is the second largest investment at this new Mercedes-Benz site.

Waymo planning Michigan factory to retrofit Chrysler Pacifica, Jaguar I-Pace w/ self-driving tech

Tesla Model S/3, Bolt EV and Ioniq efficiency test - YouTube

Anton Arnesen (@Arnesenanton) 1/22/19, 2:16 AM
The tide has turned in Norway. Most of the opposition to EVs is gone. Air is getting better by the day. Soon driving an ICE car is perceived equal to people smoking.

I agree. People generally have stopped being sceptical of EVs in Norway. The mood now is rather that having a big diesel SUV in a traffic jam is about as classy as smoking inside a kindergarten. The whole mood around ICE vs EVs really turned quickly. Progress!     
Chart of Norway car sales by drivetrain, attached below.

Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: January 23, 2019, 06:47:04 PM »
India is getting its own giant battery gigafactory for electric vehicles
“Our plan is to be the largest Lithium-ion Battery manufacturer in India, and we aim to be the first mover in one of the world’s largest markets. The interest this project is generating especially in the Indian automobile sector is very exciting.”

They are talking about a factory with a capacity of up to 30 GWh per year, which is comparable to what Tesla and Panasonic are producing at Gigafactory 1 at the moment. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Bikes, bikes, bikes and more...bikes
« on: January 23, 2019, 06:42:12 PM »
Ojo electric scooters offer Vespa-style alternative to Bird and Lime scooters
Image below.

Duties up to 79% imposed on Chinese electric bicycles imported to EU

“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.” ...

Consequences / Re: Heatwaves
« on: January 23, 2019, 06:23:35 PM »
Sydney suffers in heatwave as NSW temperatures soar past 46 degrees Celsius

Railway travel is affected, in part due to the risk of steel rails buckling in the heat:,2075.msg187077.html#msg187077

Policy and solutions / Re: Trains, Trams, Subways and Buses
« on: January 23, 2019, 06:19:57 PM »
Australia heat wave:

Train commuters are being warned to expect delays as fears grow the networks will buckle due to the severe heatwave battering the country.

Sydney commuters will be confronted by mysterious signs while travelling on the train network this week.  “WOLO” is not an acronym, but it means trains are travelling slower due to extreme heat conditions.

“There’s very little we can do when you’ve got this degree of heat hitting steel tracks (but) at the same time we want to make sure we’ve got the staff on board as quickly as possible to be able to respond.”

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: January 23, 2019, 05:36:45 PM »
Around 14 GW of coal was retired in the United States in 2018

US Coal Retirements In 2019 To Hit At Least 6 Gigawatts
The latest S&P Global Market Intelligence data shows that a total of 49 gigawatts (GW) of new power generation capacity will be added in the United States in 2019, but will also see the retirement of nearly 6 GW of coal.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 22, 2019, 05:24:47 PM »
Superchargers have been installed inside the gates at Pier 80 in San Francisco, where Tesla sends cars to be loaded onto “Roll On, Roll Off” vehicle carrier ships for overseas transport.  The GLOVIS ships have a capacity of 6,000 cars or more:

GLOVIS Captain is in the mid-Atlantic, due in Zeebrugge Belgium ~Feb 2 with a boatload of Model 3.
GLOVIS Cosmos is approaching the Panama Canal, reportedly headed to Norway with a larger load of Teslas than GLOVIS Captain.
GLOVIS Symphony (a larger ship) is currently docked in San Francisco. Destination as yet unknown.  (Possibly China?)
Grand Aurora is due in SF on 23 Jan.

Tesla's Model 3 Is Coming to Europe

Edit:  And yes, they are still making thousands of Model 3 for North America:
1/22/19, 11:37 AM
#Tesla registered 13,974 new #Model3 VINs. ~38% estimated to be dual motor. ~34% estimated to be International. Highest VIN is 265119. ...

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.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 21, 2019, 08:03:35 PM »
Porsche plans to produce an impressive 40,000 all-electric Taycan cars per year, report says
Previously, Porsche was reportedly planning to produce about 20,000 Taycan vehicles per year.

Petro Canada starts deploying its own electric vehicle chargers at gas stations
Each station has two plugs. The CCS has a label 200 kW and the CHAdeMO one is 100 kW.

Toyota and Panasonic are teaming up in massive EV battery cell venture, report says
The joint-venture would not only supply batteries to Toyota vehicles but also other partners like Mazda and Subaru.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 21, 2019, 03:22:50 PM »
Dear Terry,
Practically every launch encounters delays!  Space is hard; they trying to do things that have never been done before; there are so many pieces of hardware, technical support groups, and governmental bodies to deal with; and you only get one chance to do it right!

Was going to post a list… but just see the link below for a few of the delays we know about that are on the upcoming launch manifest.  SpaceX appears so often because, due to their success and innovation, so many companies have come to them to launch their satellites that SpaceX has surpassed Russia, and NASA, and now launches more rockets than anyone else!   Also, they are very transparent in their attempts.


Let's get back on topic, which is 'Tesla glory/failure'.

It seems that it's really important that Tesla starts producing those 'cheap' Model 3s asap, not only because of the company's bottom line, but also because this has always been the promise (first we build luxury cars to get attention and attract investments, then we produce for the masses). I wouldn't mind if they skip the Model Y, new Roadster and pick-up truck, and start making some minimalist cars that are super-efficient and last a long time.

- For the immediate future, people are going to drive cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks. 
- Smart electric vehicles offer lower emissions and lower rates of death, injury and disease (e.g., from neighborhood pollution) than the ICE alternatives.
- Tesla’s success has forced other automakers to introduce EVs much sooner than they otherwise would have, and has encouraged many new vehicle startups to make other EVs for people who can’t afford (or, puzzlingly, don’t want ;) ) a Tesla.

Clean Technica has updated their “Nasty Tesla Charts.”

30 Nasty Tesla Charts

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: January 21, 2019, 02:11:39 AM »
Brock Nanson:  “They actually did add colors. I have to question whether the country will eventually become unlivable. Excessive heat and droughts on an already dry land. There's a limit to what it can realistically support.”

Simon Donner: "Australia has to keep adding colours to its temperature maps. Pretty soon it'll just be a flame emoji.”
Image below.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 21, 2019, 01:59:23 AM »
Tesla is giving a Model 3 away to a hacker who can crack it
Tesla has been working closely with white hat hackers for years in order to make its vehicle software safer and now it’s taking an unprecedented step: it’s going to be giving away a Model 3 to a hacker who can crack the vehicle.

Over the past 4 years, Tesla has been running a bug bounty program and according to sources familiar with the effort, the company has given away hundreds of thousands in rewards to hackers who exposed vulnerabilities in its systems.

Tesla is going to be the first automaker to participate in a Pwn2Own hacking event, which is run by Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI).

At the event in Vancouver this March, the company will give away a Model 3 to the winner of the hacking contest.

David Lau, Vice President of Vehicle Software at Tesla, commented on the announcement:
“We develop our cars with the highest standards of safety in every respect, and our work with the security research community is invaluable to us. Since launching our bug bounty program in 2014 – the first to include a connected consumer vehicle – we have continuously increased our investments into partnerships with security researchers to ensure that all Tesla owners constantly benefit from the brightest minds in the community. We look forward to learning about, and rewarding, great work in Pwn2Own so that we can continue to improve our products and our approach to designing inherently secure systems.”

The Model 3 will be the target of hackers at the event along with several other products like Oracle VirtualBox, Microsoft Office 365, Google Chrome and more.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 21, 2019, 01:56:10 AM »
1/18/19, 4:43 PM
Model 3 has been approved in Europe! Homologation secured.
Additional background on European type-approval for those interested:
English information about typeapprovals, digital CoC's and vehicle safety | RDW

GLOVIS Captain, carrying the first shipment of Model 3 for Europe, is due in Zeebrugge, Belgium, on February 2.

“If you are going to call Tesla a small, insignificant, niche automaker that might not survive, you have to do the same for Jaguar and Porsche.”
Tesla Crushes Porsche & Jaguar Globally — 4th Quarter Sales Report
Bar chart below.

$TSLA Model 3 took 60% of US market for cars selling at $55k and above.
Was there any other single car model taking 60% of the market share at any price and any time in the automotive history?
Lowering starting price to $35k expands [Total Addressable Market] 5-fold

Darion G (@RaptorJesuss) 1/19/19, 2:06 AM
@elonmusk Hey Elon my mom got into a car accident that totaled her car tonight, she’s okay, but I suggested she get a Tesla next because of how long her commute is and how safe they are. She said “I’ll get one if Elon tells me to” can you please tell her to, my convincing failed?
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 1/19/19, 2:09 AM
@RaptorJesuss Tesla is the safest car according to US govt testing
< I'm so glad your Mom is ok!!
Darion G: Yeah she’s good I called her as soon as I got the tweet and she said “well looks like I have to now” ;D

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 21, 2019, 01:48:37 AM »
Tesla Announces Date for Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Financial Results and Webcast
Wednesday, January 30th, 2019
Time: 2:30pm Pacific Time / 5:30pm Eastern Time
Shareholder Letter (when published, on Jan 30):
Webcast: (live and replay)

IRS Form 8936 (the #EV Tax Credit for US buyers) is available in draft form and can be previewed though it should not be used for filing purposes. There is specific language referencing #Tesla and phaseout on the form! …

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 21, 2019, 01:40:56 AM »
“Our worst fears have come true,” VW Group exec wrote to Audi exec
On Thursday, a federal grand jury in Detroit, Michigan, indicted four Audi executives for playing a role in the diesel cheating scandals that rocked parent company Volkswagen Group in 2015 and 2016. The four executives—Richard Bauder, Axel Eiser, Stefan Knirsch, and Carsten Nagel—all worked for Audi in Germany, and they have not been arrested.

The four men have been charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, commit wire fraud, and violate the Clean Air Act.

The indictment offered some new details on how emissions cheating unfolded at Audi and VW Group, especially with respect to emissions control system cheats on Audi's 3.0L diesel vehicles.

Luxury specifications, budget emissions control
It all started with conflicting constraints on the design of a 3.0L Audi vehicle. Design began in 2006.

Reportedly, Audi engineers were struggling to make a car that could meet the US' diesel emissions standards and include a big enough AdBlue tank that the fluid would only have to be replaced every 10,000 miles. (AdBlue is a urea mixture that is injected into diesel exhaust to reduce the amount of nitrogen oxide that comes out of the tail pipe). To meet the 10,000-mile requirement, the AdBlue tank would have to encroach on some of the car's interior, and Audi wanted vehicles with a large trunk and a high-end sound system.

The indictment states that Bauder, the head of Audi’s Diesel Engine Development department, as well as previously indicted Audi manager Giovanni Pamio and other employees, "realized they could not calibrate a diesel engine that would meet the strict NOx emissions standards in the United States and the 10,000 mile refilling interval within the design constraints imposed by Audi."

Instead, the executives came up with a "dosing strategy" that regulated how the AdBlue was injected into the exhaust. When the car sensed it was attached to a dynamometer (a tool used for vehicle testing in the US), it "dosed AdBlue at higher levels, ensuring compliance with US NOx emissions standards," the indictment said. However, "during regular driving, the vehicle dosed AdBlue substantially less, which resulted in higher NOx emissions but ensured the AdBlue tanks would not run unacceptably low prior to reaching the 10,000 mile service interval." …

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 21, 2019, 01:36:54 AM »
Ford sees weaker-than-expected fourth quarter, uncertainty in 2019
On Tuesday, Ford and Germany's Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) said they would join forces on commercial vans and pickups and were exploring joint development of electric and self-driving technology in a bid to save the automakers billions of dollars.

Ford, which is cutting jobs globally, remains committed to its money-losing operations in Europe and South America, president of global markets, Jim Farley, said. Losses in China, where Ford has struggled, will narrow this year, he added.

Last week, Ford said it would cut thousands of jobs and look at plant closures in Europe, as part of its plan to return to a 6 percent operating margin in the region.

Toyota Chief Again Knocks On Electric Cars

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 21, 2019, 01:32:30 AM »
FullyChargedDanCaesar: "All alone in a Shell station today and to my surprise the staff behind the counter, said ‘is that an #ElectricCar?’ They were genuinely interested and open-minded about the technology despite the fact that it threatens service stations: “Much better for the environment” one said.

Tesla Semi trucks, Powerpacks, and solar to be used in new near zero-emission Frito-Lay facility
Tesla is partnering with PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay to design a new “near zero-emission” distribution facility that will involve a whole fleet of Tesla Semi electric trucks, along with a few other electric vehicles, a charging system, some Tesla energy storage systems and a solar array.      
The project is part of the California Air Resources Board and San Joaquin Valley’s effort to reduce air pollution, which has been a real issue in the region.
They have approved Frito-Lay’s $30,764,486 project and the state will contribute half the funds.
With the money, they plan to retrofit the company’s Modesto facility, one of Frito-Lay’s largest food facilities, to become “a bold and transformative effort that will yield a world-renowned showcase for economically and environmentally sustainable manufacturing, warehousing and distribution.”
They listed the new equipment that will be tested as part of the project in a filing:
   •   15 heavy-duty Tesla battery electric trucks
   •   6 Peterbilt e220 battery electric straight trucks
   •   3 battery electric BYD yard trucks
   •   12 Iron-Phosphate battery electric BYD forklifts
   •   38 Volvo trucks fueled with ultra-low carbon renewable natural gas
   •   On-site renewable energy generation (solar PV)
   •   Energy storage systems from Tesla
   •   Electric vehicle supply equipment
   •   A publicly accessible renewable natural gas fueling station

Meritor Reports 22 Truck Electrification Programs With Global OEMs — attracted 130 pilot orders
The truck industry around the world is finally gearing-up for electrification. Meritor announced that it is already engaged in 22 electrification programs with global OEMs.
The pilot project will result in putting at least 130 fully electric medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks on the road through 2020.

Porsche starts preparing its Zuffenhausen site for the Taycan’s production ramp

China Is Building Too Many Electric Cars

Tesla May Have A Major Opportunity Related To Car-Sharing In China

We spoke to a Waymo One customer about how robot taxis get confused by rainstorms [The human drove. ;) ]
Several accessibility options in the Waymo app, including remote honking of the car’s horn on approach.  Car “timed out” in a busy Costco parking lot. 

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 20, 2019, 04:26:58 PM »
Largest ever solar farms for Google data centers to be built in Alabama and Tennessee
Collectively, the two solar energy companies will put up 1.6 million solar panels on the two parcels, representing the biggest solar installation in both Tennessee and Alabama and the largest solar farms ever built for Google. Combined, the two new facilities will be capable of generating up to 413 megawatts of electricity at peak periods from the sun.

The Alabama farm is 150 megawatts and will be built in Hollywood, Alabama by NextEra Energy Resources to power the nearby data center that Google broke ground on in April of last year. NextEra will sell the power to the Tennessee Valley Authority to power the data center, as Google mentioned in its blog post:

In the coming years, Google will purchase the output of several new solar farms as part of a deal with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), totaling 413 megawatts of power from 1.6 million solar panels—that’s equivalent to the combined size of 65,000 home rooftop solar systems.
Google notes that the benefits of these deals aren’t limited to just Google meeting its long-stated goal of powering all its operations with renewable energy. This means more carbon-free energy on the electric grid, and plenty of economic advantages to the surrounding regions as well.

Why we’re putting 1.6 million solar panels in Tennessee and Alabama

Policy and solutions / Re: Solar Roadways
« on: January 20, 2019, 04:15:25 PM »
Non-skid, easily cleaned, lights for safety.  Potential deck ice melter on foul weather ships?
official_solar_roadways:  Lately we have received increasing interest in using our Solar Road Panels on boats and ships, large and small. We love the idea and are excited that the applications for Solar Roadways appear to be endless.  To illustrate this application, graphic artist Benjamin Todd created this graphic for us to illustrate how panels might be used on a cruise ship: clean energy, LED lights for ambiance and safety, beautiful pedestrian texture.
<    How is surface temperature?
SR: Well that will depend on the weather obviously. It's not something we have focused on yet, but if heat proves to be a problem in some climates, we have some potential solutions in R&D
<    Don't forget the docks themselves.
SR: Good point, we have had customers ask about that too. ...
<     How to get @Amtrak on board?!?
SR: They have already contacted us.
Rendered image below.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 20, 2019, 03:51:51 PM »
"Everyone came to see if they could get a bit of gasoline for their car. There isn't any in petrol stations."

Mexico pipeline blast kills 73 and injures dozens more
What exactly happened on Friday?

Pemex, Mexico's state-owned petroleum company, said the fire had been caused by illegal tapping.

It is believed thieves drilled through the pipeline. Images before the explosion showed a large jet of liquid rising into the air. ...

Consequences / Re: Heatwaves
« on: January 20, 2019, 03:46:35 PM »
‘It’s like hell here’: Australia bakes as record temperatures nudge 50C [= 122°F ]
It was 48.9C last Tuesday in Port Augusta, South Australia, an old harbour city that now harvests makes solar power. Michelle Coles, the owner of the local cinema, took off her shoes at night to test the concrete before letting the dogs out. “People tend to stay at home,” she said. “They don’t walk around when it’s like this.”

It’s easy to see why: in the middle of the day it takes seconds to blister a dog’s paw or child’s foot. In Mildura, in northern Victoria, last week gardeners burned their hands when they picked up their tools, which had been left in the sun at 46C. Fish were dying in the rivers.

Almost every day last week a new heat record was broken in Australia. They spread out, unrelenting, across the country, with records broken for all kinds of reasons – as if the statistics were finding an infinite series of ways to say that it was hot.

The tiny town of Noona – population 14 – reached the highest minimum ever recorded overnight in Australia – 35.9C was the coldest it got, at 7am on Friday. It was 45C by noon.

A record fell on Tuesday in Meekatharra in Western Australia – the highest minimum there ever recorded (33C). Another fell on Wednesday, 2,000 miles away, in Albury, New South Wales – their hottest day (45.6C).

It was 45C or higher for four consecutive days in Broken Hill – another record – and more than 40C for the same time period in Canberra, the nation’s capital. Nine records fell across NSW on Wednesday alone. Back in Port Augusta, Tuesday was the highest temperature since records began in 1962. ...

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: The Boring Company
« on: January 20, 2019, 03:34:02 PM »
Sydney, Australia!

Elon Musk Tells Lawmaker The Boring Company Can Dig via Mountain for Cheap
Elon Musk wants to solve city traffic woes one tunnel at a time. The Boring Company founder, responding to an Australian state lawmaker via Twitter on Wednesday, stated the firm could build a two-way high-speed transit route through the Blue Mountains to connect Sydney and the west for a surprisingly low price.

Musk has been gradually providing more details about his tunnel-digging venture, founded two years ago with the aim of resolving Los Angeles traffic, which hosted a press event in December 2018 to unveil its 1.14-mile initial test tunnel in Hawthorne, California. Jeremy Buckingham, a member of the New South Wales parliament’s upper house, asked Musk how much it would cost to build a 31-mile tunnel through the mountains to stop Sydney “choking with traffic.” Musk responded that it would cost around $15 million per kilometer for a bi-directional high-speed tunnel, equating to $750 million for the whole route. Musk also stated that stations to enter and exit the tunnel would cost around $50 million each. ...

The polar vortex splits, sending frigid air howling into the U.S., Europe.
  Conditions could remain into March.

The big picture: The switch to a cold, snowy pattern from the Midwest to the East Coast has its roots in an event that took place in December and early January at about 100,000 feet above the Earth's surface.

Temperatures in the stratosphere suddenly spiked, in what's known as a "sudden stratospheric warming" event. This gradually disrupted the polar vortex, much like a person bumping a spinning top and causing it to spin off balance, slow down and meander drunkenly across a table.

Experts told Axios that what's happening now — with a major winter storm about to cross the country from west to east, dumping 1–2 feet of snow in the Northeast and opening the gates to Arctic air behind it — is indicative of a weather pattern triggered by the stratospheric warming event and polar vortex split.
Some of the biggest East Coast snowstorms on record, ones that paralyzed the big cities from Washington to Boston, occurred when such blocking weather patterns were in place.
The bottom line: Get your cold weather gear ready. Tens of millions from the Midwest to the East Coast and over into Europe may be in for a wild ride during the second half of the winter.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 16, 2019, 04:47:01 PM »
Tesla Powerwall gets a massive boost in Australia with ~50% subsidy for up to 40,000 homes
Some public tenants who received a Powerwall as part of the virtual power plant initiative are reporting savings of over $300 per quarter on their electricity bills. Households with higher energy needs could see even more savings.

Tesla already had a long backlog of Powerwall orders, in Australia and globally, but demand is expected to also increase now that it’s being included as part of this incentive. Tesla is talking about a 12-week lead time for the Powerwall in South Australia.

The government program also offers the discount on other home battery pack solutions, like sonnen’s sonnenBatteries. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: January 16, 2019, 04:39:49 PM »
... then Sharing.  And Kindness.

Restaurants across the country are feeding furloughed government workers for free
This isn't the first time Richard Skorman and his wife, Patricia Seator, are offering free food during a government shutdown.

The couple have co-owned Poor Richard's restaurant in downtown Colorado Springs since the early 1990s and have done their part to help struggling workers each time the federal government has come to a halt.
"It's something we like to do because people are really struggling financially, working paycheck to paycheck. Government workers are often not making huge amounts of money and they really appreciate it," Skorman said.

He said customers have included federal employees from all kinds of positions -- airport security agents, employees from the forest service, homeland security and food stamp office. So far, he said the restaurant has served more than four dozen families and they've all expressed great appreciation. ...

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: January 16, 2019, 04:30:15 PM »
Female Ranchers Are Reclaiming the American West

As men leave animal agriculture for less gritty work, more ranches are being led by women — with new ideas about technology, ecology and the land.

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: January 16, 2019, 03:58:47 PM »
Robot is operating in a greenhouse. Tough to design one that can handle your typical farm field.

Might need to adjust plant density a bit, yes.  But maneuverability should not be a problem. ;)

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 16, 2019, 03:42:50 PM »
If we must have cars — and right now, today, we do! — it’s better that they be zero-emission.  Opportunities to recharge using renewable energy are growing right along with them.

“It took 60 months for the first million EVs to find buyers.
It took 17 months to get from 1 million to 2 million
10 months to get from 2 million to 3 million.
5 million mark will arrive about 6 months from now.”

America's No. 3 Coal State Sets Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets
The Pennsylvania governor’s goal matches the U.S. commitment under the Paris accord, but he’ll need the Republican-controlled legislature’s help to meet it.
In Pennsylvania, a coal-mining state where the fracking boom has also pushed natural gas production to the second highest levels in the nation, Gov. Tom Wolf is launching into his second term with a conspicuous move on climate change.

Wolf issued an executive order on Tuesday to set the state's first economy-wide targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

His goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent by 2025 compared to 2005 levels mirrors the commitment the U.S. made as part of the Paris climate agreement. And his longer-term target—an 80 percent reduction by 2050—is in line with the decarbonization that scientists have said will be needed to keep global temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

But meeting that target is easier said than done with Republicans in control of both chambers of the legislature, as the Democratic governor pointed out. ...

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: January 15, 2019, 10:08:07 PM »
Watch this robot pick a peck of peppers with a tiny saw
Farming worker shortages are getting worse. In a survey by the California Farm Bureau Federation last year, 55 percent of the 762 farmers surveyed said they had experienced employee shortages. That's why researchers are now trying to tackle this problem with robots.

Also of use when extreme heat makes it dangerous for humans to work in the field.  (Assuming the crops are still harvestable.)

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 15, 2019, 09:51:19 PM »
Mexican fuel shortage stretches into second week
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is urging the country to remain patient as gasoline shortages stretch into their second week while he battles to stem fuel theft at pipelines

Mexican auto production falls nearly 10 pct in December, exports up
MEXICO CITY, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Mexican automobile production fell 9.67 percent in December compared with the same month last year while exports rose 2.33 percent, data from INEGI statistics agency showed on Thursday.
Auto production in 2018 fell 0.61 percent while exports grew 6.0 percent, according to INEGI.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 15, 2019, 09:43:28 PM »
NOVEMBER UPDATE – 4 Automakers Closest To Losing U.S. Federal Tax Credit
Tesla and GM have surpassed 200,000 electrified car sales in the U.S.
If recent sales rates continue, Nissan will hit that number near the end of 2019.

1. Nissan – 126,875

2. Ford – 111,715

3. Toyota – 93,011

4. BMW Group – 79,679


Nissan gives new Leaf major range, performance boost
The Leaf Plus relies on a 62 kilowatt-hour battery pack, about 50 percent bigger than the 2017 model and the mere 24 kWh pack in the original, 2010 Leaf. Like the earlier versions, however, the latest battery-electric vehicle will remain air-cooled, rather than the more advanced liquid cooling found in its key competitors. Nissan claims the approach requires few compromises but means a less complex — and thus less expensive — product.

The automaker won't release final pricing until the Leaf Plus goes on sale in early spring. But at a starting price of $29,990, the current model is one of the least expensive all-electric models on the market.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 15, 2019, 09:20:31 PM »
Kees van der Leun: "On Saturday, wind power produced 20% of Europe's electricity!
Denmark 68%
Germany 53%
UK 30%
Portugal 30^%
Spain 27%
Austria 27%
NL 23%
Belgium 20%
(Ireland's data still seem to be missing)"
Image below.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: January 14, 2019, 03:35:46 PM »
PG&E CEO to Leave With Utility at Brink of Bankruptcy
... The company has seen two-thirds of its market value wiped out since November’s Camp Fire -- the deadliest wildfire in California’s history. Investigators have been probing whether the power giant’s equipment ignited the fire, along with its potential liability for blazes that devastated Northern California’s wine country in 2017 -- costs that may tally as much as $30 billion. Its debt has been downgraded to junk and state regulators have called for a management shakeup.
The company’s deepening financial crisis has forced California regulators and policy makers to consider a bailout package and PG&E is weighing whether to file for bankruptcy. The utility is planning to notify employees as soon as Monday that it may make a Chapter 11 filing within 15 days, people familiar with the plan said Saturday. Such a notice would be required by state law.
Under Williams, PG&E spent millions of dollars trying to convince state lawmakers to change a legal doctrine known as inverse condemnation, under which utilities are liable for damages if their equipment is found to have sparked a wildfire, even if they weren’t negligent. Williams called the doctrine bad public policy that made utilities the default insurer in the state. She said the wildfires were a symptom of climate change with hotter and drier conditions sparking more frequent and intense blazes. ...

Consequences / Re: Heatwaves
« on: January 14, 2019, 01:30:07 AM »
Heatwave to send weather records tumbling across Australia
Parts of northern South Australia are expected to suffer in five days over 45 degrees [113°F], when they might normally only get five to 10 in a year.

Broken Hill in New South Wales could spend a week over 40, while some north-western NSW towns would reach the high 40s.

Mildura in northern Victoria is expected to hit 46 degrees two days running. Its all-time record is 46.9 degrees. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 13, 2019, 09:43:42 PM »
Study: Volkswagen’s excess emissions will lead to 1,200 premature deaths in Europe
Countries hit hardest by automaker’s emissions scandal include Germany, Poland, France, and Czech Republic.
In September 2015, the German Volkswagen Group, the world’s largest car producer, admitted to having installed “defeat devices” in 11 million diesel cars sold worldwide between 2008 and 2015. The devices were designed to detect and adapt to laboratory tests, making the cars appear to comply with environmental standards when, in fact, they emitted pollutants called nitric oxides, or NOx, at levels that were on average four times the applicable European test-stand limit.

While Volkswagen has issued recalls of affected vehicles in both the U.S. and Europe, scientists at MIT and elsewhere have found the excess emissions has already had an impact on public health. The team previously estimated that the excess emissions generated by 482,000 affected vehicles sold in the U.S. will cause approximately 60 premature deaths across the U.S.

Now the researchers have looked closer to Volkswagen’s home base, examining the health impact from the 2.6 million affected cars sold in Germany under Volkswagen Group’s brands VW, Audi, Skoda, and Seat. In a paper published today in Environmental Research Letters, the team reports that the manufacturer’s emissions in excess of the test-stand limit value have had a significant effect on public health not just in Germany but across Europe.

The researchers estimate that 1,200 people in Europe will die early, each losing as much as a decade of their life, as a result of excess emissions generated between 2008 and 2015 by affected cars sold in Germany. Of these premature deaths, 500 will likely occur in Germany, meaning that more than 60 percent of premature mortalities stemming from those German-sold cars will occur in neighboring countries, most notably Poland, France, and the Czech Republic.
Barrett says that it’s not surprising that Germany, and Europe as a whole, incur higher health impacts from Volkswagen’s excess emissions, as compared to the U.S. Not only were more affected cars sold in Germany (2.6 million) than in the U.S. (482,000), differences in population density, driving behavior, and atmospheric conditions also help explain the aggravated health impacts across Europe.

For instance, Europe’s average population density is about three times higher than the U.S. average, and historical data has shown that diesel cars in Germany are driven on average 20 percent more, in terms of annual mileage, compared to the average American car that was considered in the U.S. study. In other words, there are more affected cars on the road, generating emissions that affect a higher concentration of people. ...

Edit:  this article is from 2017.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 13, 2019, 09:17:01 PM »
China launches subsidy-free solar and wind power
BEIJING/SHANGHAI, Jan 10 (Reuters) - China will launch a series of subsidy-free wind and solar projects this year to take advantage of a rapid fall in construction costs since 2012 and tackle a gaping payment backlog, the country's top planning agency said on Thursday.

Last year, the government was forced to suspend all new subsidised solar capacity approvals after a record 53-gigawatt capacity increase in 2017 left it with a backlog of at least 120 billion yuan ($18 billion) in subsidy payments.

The new subsidy-free projects will generate renewable power for sale at the same prices as non-subsidised coal-fired power plants, and will not have to comply with capacity quota restrictions, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced on Wednesday. It added that the projects would, however, receive support on land and financing. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 13, 2019, 09:13:12 PM »
A Volkswagen spokesman said internal quality controls for diesel cars with 1.2 liter engines, model EA189, had revealed irregularities which were now being analyzed.

VW could face recall of more cars over emissions: report
(Reuters) - Germany's Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) is considering recalling more Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) cars due to its emissions, scandal, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday.

The KBA has opened an investigation into whether a software update for 1.2-litre engine cars, including the popular Polo, enabled them to cheat emissions tests, the newspaper said, without naming its sources.

The Bild am Sonntag said prosecutors were preparing charges against unnamed Volkswagen managers for suspected fraud, noting that the company had given assurances in 2016 that the 1.2 liter engines did not use illegal emissions cheating defeat devices.

VW has had to recall hundreds of thousands of cars around the world since it admitted in Sept. 2015 to installing illegal software in diesel engines to cheat strict U.S. anti-pollution tests.

The KBA was considering forcing 30,000 affected cars in Germany off the road, although it was more likely just to order further remedial work, the newspaper said. There are 370,000 of the models under investigation in Europe in total. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Aviation
« on: January 13, 2019, 07:48:11 PM »
I see the attraction for wireless and autonomous charging, but, in-air? 
I guess that feature would allow recharging stations to be set up in places where a flat landing surface might be difficult to install, such as over steeply sloped or glass roofs, or in rugged or mountainous areas where landing a drone to charge would make it too vulnerable to wildlife (or humans).

Wireless charging hotspots lets drones fly forever through in-air recharges

U.S.:  Hundreds of environmental groups pressure Congress by backing Green New Deal
Hundreds of environmental organizations signed a letter Thursday backing a rapid transition away from fossil fuels in the United States.

The groups, led by organizations like Friends of the Earth and the Climate Justice Alliance, told members of the House in the open letter that lawmakers should pursue the Green New Deal, a climate change-fighting concept that calls for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035 and the decarbonization of other major industries.

“As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently warned, if we are to keep global warming below 1.5°C, we must act aggressively and quickly,” the groups wrote.

Their specific asks include an end to all new fossil fuel leasing on federal land; transitioning the power sector completely to renewable energy; phasing out fossil fuel-powered cars; and helping workers transition out of the fossil fuel sector. ...

Florida’s new Republican governor softly nudges the state forward on climate change
As a candidate, Ron DeSantis toed a line on climate change, promising to prioritize the environment and acknowledge the problems posed by sea rise without bowing to “the church of the global warming leftists.”

On Thursday, Florida’s newly anointed Republican governor put his words to action, announcing plans to open a new resiliency office as part of a sweeping environmental rollout that includes an extra $1 billion for Everglades restoration and water cleanup — without mention of climate change or carbon emissions.

In a state threatened by saltwater intrusion and suffering from red tide and toxic blue-green algae blooms, DeSantis’ green platform received bipartisan applause. He’s opposing fracking, creating a new office to integrate scientific research into the state’s environmental policies and pushing to quickly begin the process of cleansing the state’s distressed Lake Okeechobee.

For some environmentalists and Democrats, the proposal fell short of hopes. But even so, DeSantis still managed to exceed critics’ expectations by indicating that a state where former Gov. Rick Scott banned environmental regulators from using the phrase “climate change” is now willing to work to at least combat the symptoms of an existential problem.

“DeSantis has done more in two days than Scott did during his entire eight years in office,” said Laura Reynolds, an environmental consultant. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 12, 2019, 08:44:08 PM »
“My overarching concern right now is the economic development. Tesla put 150,000 new Model 3s on the market. That’s 150,000 cars that don’t consume gasoline. And it’s not just Tesla.  Porsche, Audi, and BMW are all coming out with all-electric vehicles in 2019. So the inelasticities of demand in this market are fundamentally changing.”

The Tesla Model 3's effect on the oil industry gets recognized by Wall St veteran

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 12, 2019, 08:27:55 PM »
...Million$ we've spent subsidizing vehicles...

The subsidies (in the form of tax breaks, etc.) for oil and gas companies are much, much larger than the subsidies for EVs.  Imagine how much more could be done if that oil money was spent on solutions, rather than continuing to make the problem the more affordable choice — for industry, and for consumers.

Couldn't agree more.
We need to subsidize clean mass transportation. Any money spent propping up personal transportation represents negative energy that must be overwhelmed before we see an end to the traffic jams that require even more paved spaces.

Ontario couldn't afford HSR, but we could afford $14,000 for each BEV sold in the province. Our buses are slow, unreliable and few in number - consequently the ridership is low and costs are high. If we continue to spend what money we have on improving our highways and subsidizing our parking we'll never see what Beijing and Dunkirk already enjoy.

Sounds like what you are requesting are more and better busses — electric busses, of, course — really big EVs. ;)
Which are too expensive for municipalities to buy enough to serve all the populations and locations that need them.
Which offer only limited flexibility as to scheduling and routing, or changes due to special events or circumstances.
Which don’t address the problem of last-mile transportation and how riders get to and from the bus, if walking or bicycling isn’t an option.

However, there is such a thing as “personal mass transportation.”  As you say, municipalities don’t have the money to invest in it.  But instead:  allowing, and helping, individuals to make the major investment in EVs that will someday make up a mass transportation fleet... is a less expensive option, one which serves the twin requirements of reducing emissions today while providing needed forms of transportation.

Tesla Network could bring radical change to the way we own cars

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 12, 2019, 06:36:38 PM »
I have a feeling VW is going all in. $91 bn is a serious amount of money (annual sales are about $200 bn). Hopefully this means that at least the transport sector is relatively quickly going electric.

Remember that part of this spend is penance for lying about Diesel emissions causing earlier deaths in the thousands world wide.

When looking at the sum being spent, it is also worth looking at the country/city timeline for banning ICE vehicles or fuelled vehicles at all.

$91bn is a reflection of the late entry and the sum required to catch up.  Tesla, on the other hand, is already in profit and has the potential to leverage the tens of billions already invested to forge ahead.

It costs you twice as much to catch up rapidly as it does to evolve gradually.

So now it’s “spending” —— and not “burning cash, and about to go bankrupt”? ;) ::) ;D 8)

A Reuters analysis of 29 global automakers found that they are investing at least $300 billion in electric vehicles, with more than 45 percent of that earmarked for China.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 12, 2019, 06:21:39 PM »
Cadillac will become GM's lead electric-car brand

For electrification, GM says that Cadillac will become the company's "lead electric vehicle brand." Cadillac will introduce a new model on GM's new EV platform. The flexible EV architecture will be able to be configured for front-, rear- or all-wheel-drive configurations, while its battery capacity will be "adjustable" for different applications.

No mention of continued Bolt sales, except as autonomous fleets. Rememer, GM loses several thousand dollars on each one sold to the public, and the US tax rebate on them will be cut in half to $3,750 in April, making a Bolt that much more expensive to the consumer.  It seems unlikely GM will support a price cut to help make up the difference, especially in non-CARB states.  Switching electrification to the higher-priced Cadillac brand should at least give them more margin to play with.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 12, 2019, 02:08:26 AM »
Logistical solution for the truck driver shortage?  Uber Freight has an app for that — which lowers costs, as well.
Their thirty thousand drivers can each pick routes most efficient for them and which get them back home when they want.  Minority populations are particularly well-served.  25% of Uber freight loads are booked within 30 minutes, compared to days using traditional booking methods.

Uber Freight is already lowering trucking costs after just 20 months
Jim Cramer and Lior Ron, the head of Uber Freight, address inflation in the trucking industry and how Uber's tech-forward approach is cutting logistics costs.  Video.

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