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Messages - Sigmetnow

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1
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: Today at 02:19:06 PM »
Gavin Schmidt:  Explain to me again how fossil fuels don’t get subsidized in the developed world...
     https://twitter.com/ClimateOfGavin/status/942144072776667136
     Image below; from:

The GOP’s Corporate Tax Cut May Not Be As Big As It Looks
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-gops-corporate-tax-cut-may-not-be-as-big-as-it-looks/


2
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: Today at 03:30:55 AM »
#ThomasFire now approaching largest fire in California history at 267,500 acres this evening and 40% contained.  Largest previous Fire was the 273,246 acre Cedar Fire.  #VenturaCounty #SantaBarbara
     https://twitter.com/Info_CIIMT1/status/942215620963139584

3
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: Today at 03:28:40 AM »
VIIRS satellite fire detections show #ThomasFire's rapid spread to the west due to 12/16 strong winds. Red=newer, yellow=older. Green line is fire boundary late last night. Evacuate early if authorities notify you.
     https://twitter.com/bbdd333/status/942182173687267328
Image below.

4
Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2017
« on: Today at 03:10:11 AM »
Tropical Storm Urduja will continue to unleash life-threatening flooding rain and mudslides as it crosses the Philippines into Monday

Urduja unloads over 1000 mm of rain on Philippines; Life-threatening flood risk continues into Monday
https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/philippines-to-face-days-of-life-threatening-flooding-from-tropical-storm-urduja/70003544

5
Policy and solutions / Re: Solar Roadways
« on: Today at 03:03:53 AM »
Most of the arguments against Solar Roadways here seem to concentrate on the idea that road surfaces are not the best locations for solar panels.  That’s like saying that EVs make no sense because they can’t go 800 miles on a single charge.

The SR panels have the potential to do so much more than just generate solar power. Examples: Road flood control by diverting rainwater; burying utility cables underground; melting road/driveway/sidewalk/parking lot snow and ice; improved surface traction in slippery locations; interactive traffic warnings and markings; even new kinds of playground games.  There are many other uses for the product — perfect solar generation is not the primary goal.

6
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 16, 2017, 11:40:03 PM »
Half of the city of Santa Barbara is now under either a voluntary or mandatory evacuation due to the massive Thomas Fire.

New evacuation orders for Santa Barbara County as winds pick up, threatening hundreds of homes in Montecito
Wind gusts of up to 65 mph blasted south down the San Ysidro Creek drainage directly into Montecito.

‘Unfortunately they under-predicted this one,” Zaniboni said. “We weren’t expecting this severe of a wind event and we’re certainly getting the worst...This fire is two weeks old and here we are battling it like it just started again this morning.”
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-thomas-fire-ledeall-20171216-story.html

NWS Los Angeles: Red Flag Warning in effect for much of LA/Ventura counties tonight-Sunday due to #SantaAnaWinds gusting 35-55 mph and low humidities. Potential for very rapid fire spread #LAWind #LAWeather.
https://twitter.com/NWSLosAngeles/status/942144563568873477


7
Consequences / Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« on: December 16, 2017, 08:16:17 PM »
An Incomplete Timeline of What We Tried
Working back from human extinction.
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/xwvgeq/an-incomplete-timeline-of-what-we-tried

8
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 16, 2017, 08:08:10 PM »
CAL FIRE:  #ThomasFire - The Santa Barbara County Sheriff has issued mandatory evacuation orders and evacuation warnings for Santa Barbara county. 
http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents/incidentdetails/Index/1922

Full news release and other information at the link.

9
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 16, 2017, 08:00:08 PM »
VCFD PIO: #ThomasFire -"Fire Front Following" tactic will be used if the expected wind pushes the fire downhill into Montecito/Santa Barbara areas.
https://twitter.com/vcfd_pio/status/942087332986896384

Google:
Fire front following is a fast-paced, defensive tactic that allows firefighters to defend structures while continuously advancing, but staying just behind the fire front, in the black.

"Fire Front Following" is an extreme tactic designed to preserve firefighter safety when "the chances of success are impossible".
http://www.firerescuemagazine.com/articles/print/volume-11/issue-10/wildland-urban-interface/fire-front-following.html

     https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/942104607328821249

10
Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2017
« on: December 16, 2017, 07:55:38 PM »
I am at my most frustrated here when I am having a discussion with someone who dismisses the horrific impact that widespread destruction of built environments caused by climate change will have on the system of global capitalism. This physical structure has taken centuries to construct, represents the only real accumulation of wealth that supports commerce and cannot be easily replaced.

Food for thought...

It took the British more than a century to build the infrastructure needed to integrate India into the emerging system of capitalism!

Tesla missed its 2016 delivery targets (with all the adverse effects that brings) due to a couple thousand of its cars sitting on ships outside the Chinese harbor in December because the smog made visibility too poor to allow ships to enter the harbor.  Just one more example of climate change disrupting capitalism.

More immediately than even sea level rise mitigation, tropical ports will need to be made hurricane-proof to survive.

11
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 16, 2017, 07:35:01 PM »
From ~one hour ago:

VCFD PIO: #ThomasFire -Fire intensity increasing in the Santa Barbara area.
https://twitter.com/vcfd_pio/status/942085986846044160
Photo below.

VCFD PIO: #ThomasFire The strongest N winds will occur across in a SB AREA this morning & the strongest NE winds will occur in Ventura, Sunday morning
https://twitter.com/vcfd_pio/status/942089058011852800

The #thomasfire is moving quickly today, as wind speeds pick up. It’s headed towards Montecito.
https://twitter.com/yamphoto/status/942086473234313217
Brief video at the link.

Update: #ThomasFire experiencing explosive growth on the western edge near #SantaBarbara , strong sundowner winds expected to develope this evening, could be a dangerous day out there. Don't wait to evacuate !
https://twitter.com/epn473/status/942086767909285890





12
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 16, 2017, 07:26:31 PM »
Tweets from yesterday:

Conditions will be suitable for rapid wildfire growth and extreme fire behavior in *Northern California* tomorrow.
Impossible to overstate how unusual this is for mid-December.
https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/941684353523908608

NWS Bay Area:  Critical Fire Weather conditions over portions of #CA the next two days.  @NWSSPC has elevated and critical areas highlighted.  Red Flag Warning remains in effect for #BayArea #cawx #cafire
https://twitter.com/nwsbayarea/status/941653277481029637

13
Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: December 16, 2017, 06:13:56 PM »
The coal miner’s president: Trump moves to weaken black lung protections
Trump praised coal miners on the campaign trail, but hasn’t been treating them well in office
President Donald Trump is considering weakening a regulation intended to protect the health of one of the demographics he has often claimed to care most about — America's coal miners.

A notice labeled "Regulatory Reform of Existing Standards and Regulations; Retrospective Study of Respirable Coal Mine Dust Rule" was published on Thursday by the White House for the Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail. The stated purpose of the reevaluation would be to determine how a 2014 rule passed under President Barack Obama regulating coal miners' exposure to coal dust "could be improved or made more effective or less burdensome."

When the rule was first implemented, it utilized new technologies and increased sampling in mines so that workers would have real-time information about dust levels. This would in turn allow both the miners and operators to minimize the chances that workers would be overexposed to coal dust, which has caused an epidemic of black lung disease among coal miners. ...
https://www.salon.com/2017/12/15/the-coal-miners-president-trump-moves-to-weaken-black-lung-protections/

14
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 16, 2017, 06:10:02 PM »
Once we get manufacturing volumes up for EVs we might want to think about a long term 'cash for clunkers' program which would give a nice credit toward a new or used EV in exchange for crushing a low MPG vehicle.

We should reach the point at which fuel savings will pay for a decent used EV but a "gift" up front might motivate a lot of people to make the move.

Bigger the gas hog, bigger the trade in value.

Say...  some time within the 2020-2028 (next U.S. Democratic administration) timeframe? ;) :)

15
Policy and solutions / Re: Solar Roadways
« on: December 16, 2017, 06:02:47 PM »
A.  They are still developing and improving the product — version 4 is mentioned above.  Rome was not paved in a day!  ;D

B.  They have mentioned partners, like the Ohio manufacturing company posted above.  And that they have projects with others whom they are not allowed to publicise yet.

See you in three months! ;)

16
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 16, 2017, 05:46:51 PM »
Although 2045 seems rather far out for their goal, don’t forget the costs of shipping all those new EVs to the islands makes it a more expensive proposition than most.

They're going to be shipping something to the Islands.  Might as well be battery powered.  And fuel costs are very high, you have to ship it for every mile you drive with an ICEV.  The saving grace is that there is not a lot of distance to be driven, but it does sting when you fill up.

I think Hawaii might be one of the places to be first to all EV sales.

Over the next decade, the proportion of ICE cars being scrapped rather than resold should increase dramatically.  I imagine the auto scrapping/recycling industry has boom times ahead. :)

I am thinking about the “Talking Tesla” podcast project, where one of the hosts has promised to crush his old ICE car, eliminating the possibility it will ever consume fossil fuels again.  ICE owners who don’t need the resale income might make this a popular option — and the resale value of ICE cars may plunge so low that a small payment in return for for recycling may make it almost as good a financial option, anyway.

17
Consequences / Re: California weather extremes and climate
« on: December 16, 2017, 04:30:23 PM »
90, 180 and 365 day sea level pressure anomalies. Am I ill informed to be concerned by these trends? It is amazing to me that these high pressure anomalies are occurring over the oceans in both the southern and northern hemispheres. Is this the result of some natural oscillation?

It looks like the return of the "Ridiculously Resilient Ridge" off California.

18
Consequences / Re: California weather extremes and climate
« on: December 16, 2017, 04:21:15 PM »
And the Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI) from NOAA shows the effects of this persistent weather pattern with little to no precipitation. This is the wet season for California and it is behaving as the worst category drought.

Thanks, SH — I was not aware of that tool.

I found this backgrounder useful:
http://wwa.colorado.edu/publications/reports/EDDI_2-pager.pdf

Image: Example of EDDI compared to the usual NOAA drought map, showing the development of drought in the central U.S. in 2012.

19
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 16, 2017, 03:05:22 PM »
“There are tens of thousands of jobs on the line.”

Re the big Tax Reform plan currently being rammed through the U.S. Congress:


Tax Tool Crucial to Wind, Solar Appears Spared in GOP Deal
A $12 billion tax-equity tool that U.S. wind and solar developers depend on to finance projects appears likely to remain largely intact as part of the sweeping reform that Republicans were negotiating Thursday.

A tentative compromise would preserve most, but likely not all, of the value of renewable energy tax credits that developers sell to JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and other large financial institutions, said Senator John Thune, the chamber’s No. 3 Republican. Those credits are threatened by a provision in the Senate bill that would impose a minimum tax on foreign transactions, reducing the need for companies to buy credits.
...
https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2017-12-14/deal-reached-to-shield-renewables-from-tax-change-thune-says


Electrek says:
“So it appears the US Senate wants to alter a proposed tax structure in order to protect wind and solar deals. I’m betting the banks on the list below who are heavily invested in renewable technologies all had some influence in protecting wind and solar power. Has the renewable energy industry gained official clout? Straight up bankers defending the field.”
https://electrek.co/2017/12/15/egeb-us-solar-slowing/

20
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 16, 2017, 02:57:06 PM »
I was about to call you out on if being the First Solar Train, when I thought to check my sources.

...

Terry,

I’m pretty sure that’s why the headline had ‘World’s First’ in quotes. ;D  Blame it on the news release!
Although, there’s a strong Canadian presence amongst the editors at Electrek, so they likely knew about Calgary.  :)

21
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 16, 2017, 02:31:08 PM »
In other news... ;) :


In historic move, Hawai'i island leaders pledge to transition ground transportation to 100 percent renewable by 2045

Additionally, “The mayors of Honolulu and Maui also pledged to transition all of their fleet vehicles to 100 percent renewable power by 2035.”

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/in-historic-move-hawaii-island-leaders-pledge-to-transition-ground-transportation-to-100-percent-renewable-by-2045-300570554.html

Although 2045 seems rather far out for their goal, don’t forget the costs of shipping all those new EVs to the islands makes it a more expensive proposition than most.

22
Consequences / Re: California weather extremes and climate
« on: December 16, 2017, 02:12:16 PM »
New model run, same story. California is locked in an epic dry spell.
No rain until 2018.
     https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/941901703527485440
Image below.

23
Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2017
« on: December 16, 2017, 02:55:36 AM »
Puerto Rico, Day 86:
—Millions of people still w/o power
—Hundreds of thousands still w/o clean water
—Still a humanitarian emergency
Now, the @USACEHQ says it will be ~175 more days until power is fully restored. Unfathomable. ...
    https://twitter.com/EricHolthaus/status/941675770916868096

“Puerto Rico’s electrical grid is unlikely to be fully restored until the end of May 2018”
“75% ...by the end of January.
That should rise to 95% by the end of February, and 100% by the end of May...more than eight months after Hurricane Maria hit.”
    https://twitter.com/DavidBegnaud/status/941352629774536704

Puerto Rico Grid Fix Won't Meet Governor's Plan, Corps Says
https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2017-12-13/puerto-rico-grid-repair-won-t-meet-governor-s-pledge-corps-says


24
Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: December 16, 2017, 02:16:28 AM »
After the huge Democratic swing in recent state elections, Republicans in Congress may be evaluating the possible effects on their own re-election chances, given their abominable choices for some administration positions.

Another Trump Nominee Drops Out
EPA chemical safety nominee Michael Dourson, who has ties to the chemical industry and writes “science-Bible stories," has just withdrawn his nomination. He’s at least the 39th Trump nominee to drop out of consideration for federal government positions. ...
https://www.buzzfeed.com/zahrahirji/michael-dourson-withdraws-epa-chemical-safety

25
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 16, 2017, 01:42:24 AM »
‘World’s First’ Solar-Powered train to begin operation in Australia
The train was retrofit from a classic passenger train which used to have two diesel engines.  One engine was replaced by electric motors and batteries, and the other engine was kept for balance and as an emergency backup.  It can and will run completely on solar power, even during times of extended cloud cover, but one diesel engine was kept around just in case there’s a failure.

It has a 77kWh battery which is good for a full day’s worth of trips back and forth, and will be charged both by panels on the roof of the train and a 30kW solar array at the station.
...
https://electrek.co/2017/12/14/worlds-first-solar-powered-train-to-begin-operation-in-australia/

26
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 16, 2017, 01:28:18 AM »

27
Policy and solutions / Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« on: December 16, 2017, 01:20:55 AM »
85% aircon load reduction demonstrated by remote control of thermostats:

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/tendril-energy-management-platform-reduced-utilities-hvac-load-85-in-summ/513150/

sidd

I thought this sounded a lot like what a Nest thermostat does....  The original article mentions that:
“Additional smart thermostat partnerships have been formed with Nest and Honeywell.”
https://www.tendrilinc.com/resources/press-release/aep-xcel-tap-tendril

Can only see this becoming more common.

28
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 16, 2017, 01:12:29 AM »
As the Tesla fleet has increased, Tesla has been cutting back on the availability of “Unlimited Free Supercharging.”  Today the company addressed commercial use of the service — eliminating it for newly-purchased cars going forward.

Tesla introduces new ‘Supercharger Fair Use’ policy to focus on long distance travel and deter commercial use
Tesla is introducing a new ‘fair use’ policy for its Supercharger network today. This is to deter the commercial use of its charging stations, which has become a problem in some markets, and to focus on the original intended use of the Supercharger network: enabling long-distance travel in electric vehicles.

The automaker says that any new or used Tesla vehicles purchased after today and is used for commercial purposes cannot use any Tesla Supercharger worldwide.
...
https://electrek.co/2017/12/15/tesla-supercharger-fair-use-policy-deter-commercial-use/

From the Tesla legal page:
”We encourage the commercial use of Tesla vehicles while using appropriate charging solutions. Please reach out to your local sales contact to explore vehicle and charging options that suit your needs.”
https://www.tesla.com/en_CA/about/legal?redirect=no#supercharger-fair-use

29
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 15, 2017, 10:28:47 PM »
If you missed, or were disappointed in the quality of, the Tesla semi truck and roadster unveiling (the livestream/videos were ragged in spots), Tesla has finally released a cleaned up version. Here it is:

If you prefer a 9-minute supercut, Electrek includes one here:
Tesla releases full video of Semi and Roadster unveiling event
https://electrek.co/2017/12/14/tesla-full-video-semi-roadster-unveiling-event/

30
Policy and solutions / Re: Solar Roadways
« on: December 15, 2017, 10:12:46 PM »
Installation soon in Baltimore, Maryland: the Inner Harbor Visitor’s Center.  Temporary display; indoors. Larger permanent display to be installed outdoors later this spring.

Baltimore Area Supporters: Scott and our team member Alyssa will be in Baltimore next week installing a 6–panel display inside the beautiful Visitor’s Center at the Inner Harbor (seen behind us in this photo). There will be a larger permanent display installed at the Inner Harbor in the spring. The Sandpoint pilot installation of SR3s is doing its job of bringing forth glitches and areas to upgrade. Scott is already in the midst of designing SR4, so we decided to wait and install SR4s for Baltimore. The temporary display using SR3 panels will give east coast supporters a place to go to see the panels in the meantime.

There will be a press conference at the Visitor’s Center at 2:00 p.m. on December 18th and you all are invited to come by, see the panels and meet Scott and Alyssa. Mark Dixon of YERT will be there filming. Solar Roadways is included in their film (http://www.yert.com/film.php) about solutions to Climate Change and they are now working on a full length documentary about Solar Roadways (http://www.solarroadwaysfilm.com/). Visitors on the 18th may have an opportunity to be included in the film if desired.

Watch for lots of pics on our Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/official_solar_roadways/
...
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=post;topic=856.150;last_msg=135312

31
Policy and solutions / Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« on: December 15, 2017, 10:02:50 PM »
Progress on the U.S. Northeast corridor tunnel system.  Apparently there are indications the tunnels will be built to use the “skate” system, rather than a Hyperloop, at this point.

Elon Musk’s Boring Company is reportedly starting to dig 12.4-mile tunnel in Maryland next month
Now a new utility permit obtained by Capital News Service shows that the company plans to “begin digging two parallel, 12.4-mile transportation tunnels in January 2018.

“The document lists the start location as “immediately north of MD 175” and details a dig to “within 0.25 miles of intersection of W. Pratt and S. Paca” -about a block from Oriole Park at Camden Yards – with tunnels running under the approximate route of the Maryland-owned section of Route 295, or the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.”
...
https://electrek.co/2017/12/15/elon-musk-boring-company-tunnel-maryland-hyperloop/

32
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 15, 2017, 12:53:22 AM »
Seth Abramson tweeted:

“(THREAD) It turns out 24 paragraphs detailing 24 discrete Trump-Russia ties isn't enough to encompass how entwined Trump is with Russia, so in this thread—Part 2 in the series—I offer 23 more connections. A link to Part 1 is in the first tweet, below.

Hope you'll read and share.”

https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/941376110381731841

(THREAD) From Russian payments to Trump advisors to failing to register as foreign agents working for Putin allies—from perjury to illegal solicitation of campaign donations from the Kremlin—here's a non-exhaustive summary of known Trump-Russia ties. ...

33
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 15, 2017, 12:09:04 AM »
Tesla Semi and other electric trucks to be popular in Ontario with new $75,000 govt incentive
After Tesla started taking reservations for its new electric truck, a surprising number of those pre-orders were coming from Canada.  Now we learn that fleet operators and truck drivers in Ontario, Canada’s biggest province, are going to have access to an important incentive.

The Ontario government is about to announce the new program, reported Reuters:
“The program will offer buyers rebates of up to 60 percent of the incremental purchase cost of an electric truck, compared with an equivalent diesel vehicle, up to a cap of C$75,000 per vehicle, according to documents seen by Reuters.”

That’s the equivalent of an incentive worth up to $59,000 USD.   Ontario already has a significant EV incentive of up to $14,000 CAD for passenger cars, but with the new Green Commercial Vehicle Program, electric trucks would now be included.

Electrek’s Take:
Interestingly, the news comes just after BYD announced a new electric truck assembly factory in Ontario. The company is likely going to benefit from this new incentive. ...
https://electrek.co/2017/12/14/tesla-semi-other-electric-trucks-ontario-govt-incentive/

34
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 15, 2017, 12:01:33 AM »
Extreme fire behavior today at the #ThomasFire — one firefighter has been killed in the line of duty.
Rose Valley, California is north of Ojai.

#ThomasFire: Fire is now well established on the north side of Rose Valley. Crews are unable to control it.
https://twitter.com/vcscanner/status/941409502246584320

Was embedded with a crew on the Montecito side of the fire photographing a 1+ mile long firing operation. Left at 315am. The burnover allegedly occurred on the Fillmore side of the fire later in the morning. The fire is going crazy right now in Rose Valley. #thomasfire #lodd
https://twitter.com/stuartpalley/status/941410102027808768

I am very saddened to report that a firefighter fatality has occurred on the Thomas Incident. Please join me in keeping our fallen firefighter and his loved ones in your prayers. - @CALFIRE_CHIEF
http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/pub/cdf/images/incidentfile1922_3242.pdf
News release at the link.



THE THOMAS FIRE COULD BECOME THE LARGEST WILDFIRE IN CALIFORNIA HISTORY
Weather models continue to show absolutely no rainfall until December 30th at the earliest.
https://psmag.com/environment/thomas-fire-could-become-largest-in-california-history

35
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 14, 2017, 07:35:28 PM »
Starting to see more EV truck prototypes become production reality:

Daimler starts delivering all-electric trucks in Europe
The FUSO eCanter is meant for urban routes with a range of only 100 kilometers (62 miles) and a load capacity up to three and a half tons – depending on body and usage. The vehicle is powered by an electric powertrain with six high voltage lithium ion battery packs with 420 V and 13.8 kWh each for a total of ~83 kWh of capacity.
https://electrek.co/2017/12/14/daimler-fuso-ecanter-all-electric-trucks-europe/

36
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 14, 2017, 05:28:46 PM »
It's still early, but California's snowpack is running far behind schedule so far–just 37% of normal.
Continued warm and dry through at least Dec 30th.
    https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/941124618185736192
Image below.

37
The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: December 14, 2017, 05:25:30 PM »
“Here's the most remarkable statistic about Tuesday's election in Alabama: The Democrat Doug Jones turned out nearly as many voters as Hillary Clinton did in the state last year, while the Republican Roy Moore got only about half as many as Donald Trump had.

There is no sign that Trump voters will be there when they are needed to help Republicans retain Congress — even if Trump tells them to show up.”
http://www.businessinsider.com/alabama-senate-election-doug-jones-2018-reason-to-worry-2017-12


“Republicans have now received fresh evidence that Trump can’t save their careers, even in the reddest of red states.”
http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/after-backing-two-failed-candidates-one-race-trump-loss

38
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 14, 2017, 05:10:21 PM »
CAL FIRE update, December 14, 2017 6:23 am

Thomas Fire
Acres Burned - Containment:   242,500 acres - 30% contained
Structures Threatened:   18,000 structures threatened
Structures Destroyed:   972 Structures Destroyed, 221 Structures Damaged

Now #4 largest California fire.  In December!  — well into what used to be the state’s rainy season.  Fire season is now year-round. :'(

39
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 14, 2017, 04:55:43 PM »
“Uber paid out $2.72 billion to driver contractors in the first half of 2015, just under 75% of bookings.”
https://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolomon/2016/01/12/leaked-ubers-financials-show-huge-growth-even-bigger-losses/


Which is no doubt why the Uber CEO was quoted as saying that in 2020, if Telsas are autonomous, he’d want to buy all 500,000 of the estimated 2020 production.  And that he has, reportedly, ordered 100,000 Mercedes self-driving cars.
https://electrek.co/2016/03/18/uber-order-mercedes-100000-autonomous-cars/


40
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 14, 2017, 04:39:21 PM »
Alexander555,
About the concern you have over using fossil fuel products to make clean ones:

Say you are building a housing development. You want to make them all net-zero-energy houses. Do you wait years until you can manufacture them entirely with clean energy and sustainable products?  Or do you build them now, with the most sustainable items and energy you can. The houses are going to be built anyway.  Making them net-zero now brings us that much closer to the future we need.

Say you are a farmer. You want to change your practices to make your crops be certified organic, but to do that your fields must be chemical-free for three years. Any crops you grow during that time will produce less, but you can’t sell them as organic, so you’ll lose money.  That makes it hard for farmers to go organic — and why there is a market for “transitional” crops, which are not certified organic, but are valued for their cleaner approach.  And we end up with more organic crops and less chemicals on the environment.

The Tesla battery Gigafactory in Nevada will eventually be run entirely on clean energy — solar panels on the roof (of the $5 billion building with the biggest footprint in the world), wind turbines on the nearby hills, thermal storage on-site.  But Tesla is already moving us closer to sustainable transport, by making batteries and parts for zero-emission cars in the 1/3 of the building that has been constructed so far.  The planet — and Tesla’s finances — can’t wait!  But the eventual result will be a cleaner future, sooner. With more and cheaper EVs, and fewer ICE vehicles!

We can’t switch to 100% sustainable energy in a day.  But we will continually decrease our need for fossil fuels — and increase our use of clean energy and clean products which are cheaper and more widely available than ever.

41
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 14, 2017, 02:56:54 PM »
Encouraging signs.  Tesla sent out the first notifications in late November for many “regular” Model 3 reservation holders (i.e., not Tesla employees) to choose the options they want on their cars.  Now some parts (gears, axles) are being shipped by air to ensure quick delivery.

Tesla Model 3 production is increasing to 5,000 units per week, say suppliers
Several Tesla suppliers are now reporting that Model 3 production is increasing rapidly and they are back to working on Tesla’s guidance of 5,000 units per week in December, which was delayed last month.

In October, a few days before Tesla’s earnings and the announcement of the Model 3 production ramp-up delay, Taiwanese auto component maker Hota Industrial Mfg. Co announced that Tesla slashed its orders for Model 3 parts by 40% (5,000 per week to 3,000).

Now the same supplier, which makes gears and axles, told Taiwanese media that Tesla increased the demand for parts back to 5,000 units per week this month.

Chairman Shen Guorong even said that they now have to mobilize the whole company and work overtime in order to comply with the change and that they are even shipping parts by airplanes instead of boats.

The report also cites other Taiwanese suppliers for Tesla’s Model 3 saying that production is now increasing following the bottlenecks. ...
https://electrek.co/2017/12/14/tesla-model-3-production-increasing-to-5000-units-per-week-suppliers/

Automation!  Get those humans off the production line, and let ‘er rip. ;D

42
U.S. President Just Signed Bill That Says Climate Change a National Security Risk — But Does He Know That?
WASHINGTON (December 12, 2017)—President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law today. The act would require the Pentagon to do a report on how military installations and overseas staff may be vulnerable to climate change over the next 20 years.

The following language was included in the act: Climate change is a direct threat to the national security of the United States and is impacting stability in areas of the world both where the United States Armed Forces are operating today, and where strategic implications for future conflict exist.

Below is a statement by Angela Ledford Anderson, director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

“Does President Trump know that with a stroke of his pen he just confirmed what climate scientists and military officials have been saying for years: climate change is a major threat to U.S. national security and our armed forces overseas?

“The reality is that climate change couldn’t care less about political party affiliation, which is why legislators on both sides of the aisle—especially those on the frontlines of climate change impacts—fought to retain this language in the final bill. ...
https://www.ucsusa.org/press/2017/president-just-signed-bill-says-climate-change-national-security-risk-does-he-know


Because a day later, the Government Accounting Office issued a report saying the Department of Defense isn't doing enough to prepare for climate change:

CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION:
DOD Needs to Better Incorporate Adaptation into Planning and Collaboration at Overseas Installations
https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-18-206

43
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 14, 2017, 01:26:55 AM »
Fracking Study Finds Low Birth Weights Near Natural Gas Drilling Sites
Researchers examined over 1 million birth records in Pennsylvania and found links between babies' health and fracking proximity. Pinpointing which aspect is harder.
Babies born near hydraulic fracturing sites are 25 percent more likely to have a low birth weight than those born only a few kilometers away, a new study of more than 1 million births in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region concludes.

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, provides some of the most compelling data to date linking the process of hydraulic fracturing to negative health effects. It found that babies born within 3 kilometers of fracking sites were less healthy than those born farther away, and that babies born within 1 kilometer saw the largest effects.
...
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/13122017/fracking-health-infant-birth-weight-study-air-water-stress-natural-gas

44
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 14, 2017, 01:18:22 AM »
“It's December. This is the rainy season on the West Coast. In California, it's missing right now.

Total rainfall forecast for the next 15 days:
Not a drop over Southern California.

The #ThomasFire is now 8x the size of San Francisco, and likely to grow further.”

     https://twitter.com/EricHolthaus/status/940962960654004224
Image below.



45
Policy and solutions / Re: UN Climate Agreement - Paris 2015 and beyond
« on: December 14, 2017, 12:13:53 AM »
World Bank to end financial support for oil and gas exploration
Bank announces in Paris it ‘will no longer finance upstream oil and gas’ after 2019 in response to threat posed by climate change
The World Bank will end its financial support for oil and gas exploration within the next two years in response to the growing threat posed by climate change.

In a statement that delighted campaigners opposed to fossil fuels, the Bank used a conference in Paris to announce that it “will no longer finance upstream oil and gas” after 2019.

The Bank ceased lending for coal-fired power stations in 2010 but has been under pressure from lobby groups also to halt the $1bn (£750m) a year it has been lending for oil and gas in developing countries.

The Bank said it saw the need to change the way it was operating in a “rapidly changing world”, adding that it was on course to have 28% of its lending going to climate action by 2020. At present, 1-2% of the Bank’s $280bn portfolio is accounted for by oil and gas projects.

In exceptional circumstances, the Bank said it would consider lending for oil and gas projects in the very poorest countries but only where it helped the poor get access to energy and the project did not conflict with commitments to reduce greenhouse gases made in the 2015 Paris climate change accord.
...
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/dec/12/uk-banks-join-multinationals-pledge-come-clean-climate-change-risks-mark-carney

46
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 13, 2017, 07:24:24 PM »
Major CEOs of power companies have suggested that peaker plants will go away entirely by 2020 in the USA.

Solar + batteries prepping to take over 10GW of US natural gas peaker power plant market
When NextERA CEO Jim Robo said back in 2015 that there wouldn’t be another peaker plant built after 2020, he was taking a risk when energy storage was more than double today’s current price – and solar was 30-50% higher. Now Mr. Robo looks wise.

In yesterday’s presentation, @shaylekann said that of the 20GW of gas peaker plants that are projected to be built between 2018-2027, 10GW of that market might be consumed by energy storage. Mr. Kahn suggested there’s the possibility that no new peaker plants are built after 2025. ...
https://electrek.co/2017/12/13/solar-batteries-to-take-10gw-natural-gas/


“A report in Minnesota suggested that right now, the net cost of a solar power plus storage power plant is cheaper than a natural gas peaker power plant – as seen in the right two columns in the graph below. In fact, energy storage alone – without the cheap electricity coming from a renewable plant – is almost the same cost as a peaker plant.”

47
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 13, 2017, 04:10:12 PM »
Toyota plays catch-up, after betting for too long on hydrogen vehicles.

Toyota courts Tesla’s battery partner Panasonic ahead of electric car push
Panasonic has risen to the top position as a battery cell supplier for the auto industry through its partnership with Tesla, which has become the largest battery consumer in the world.

Now Toyota is courting the company for a battery partnership as the major Japanese automaker is playing catch up in the EV space.  The two Japanese companies announced today a deal to “begin studying the feasibility of a joint automotive prismatic battery business.”

They described the agreement in a press release today:

“This agreement between the two companies aims to help find solutions to pressing societal issues such as global warming, air pollution, the depletion of natural resources and energy security. Furthermore, this agreement is intended to address growing demand and expectations for electrified vehicles. In order to realize these objectives, Toyota and Panasonic target further advancements in automotive batteries, which are crucial technologies in electrified vehicles.”

Toyota has been entrenched in the development of hydrogen fuel cell powertrains and never focused on battery-electric vehicles.  Until recently, their biggest effort in the space was a partnership and investment in Tesla that led to the California-based automaker developing the all-electric powertrain for the Toyota Rav4 EV, which has since been discontinued as the Japanese automaker sold all its Tesla shares.

Now, Toyota plans to build its first all-electric vehicle from the ground up and it is expected to come to market in 2020 – making the company late to market compared to the rest of the industry.
...
https://electrek.co/2017/12/13/toyota-tesla-battery-partner-panasonic-electric-car-push/

48
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 13, 2017, 04:00:38 PM »
Renewables: “monster,” or art form?  :)

Beverly Neighbors Outraged Over Front Yard Solar Panels
http://boston.cbslocal.com/2017/12/05/solar-panels-angers-beverly-neighborhood/

Wind Turbines as Artistic Canvas
https://artistsandclimatechange.com/2017/11/21/wind-turbines-as-artistic-canvas/

49
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 13, 2017, 03:48:11 PM »
Article from Bob Wallace’s post in the Coal thread:

A Hand Writing on the Wall for Natural Gas
GE has itself put the blame for its layoffs among workers making gas turbines on low-cost solar, wind power, and batteries.
...
We have seen a steady growth of natural gas generation on this basis for quite a while. That is what happened, until September of 2016, when there was almost no growth. But that was the last month in which natural gas generation exceeded what it had been for the same month of the previous year. Since September 2016, every single month has seen a decline in generation from natural gas, compared to the same month in the previous year. (Visit this EIA webpage and look near the bottom of the spreadsheet.)

And this is not just a matter of the industry not growing. It has been in consistent decline, month after month. And, overall, the average growth has been nearly -10%.

Try taking that to a bank and see what your loan rate is.
...
https://cleantechnica.com/2017/12/12/hand-writing-wall-natural-gas/

50
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 13, 2017, 03:30:41 PM »
Additional evacuations along the southern California coast, and urgent warnings about the dangerous air quality.

Calmer Winds Allow Crews To Get Strategic While Feverishly Protecting Montecito Mansions
Red Flag warnings for fire danger due to Santa Ana winds and a critical lack of moisture were extended into the week instead of expiring Monday afternoon as was initially forecast.

“It doesn’t get much drier than this folks,” the National Weather Service Service tweeted, adding that more than 80 observation sites in the region reported afternoon relative humidity levels between just 1 and 9 percent.

On Monday, ash fell like snow and heavy smoke had residents gasping for air in foothill towns near Santa Barbara, the latest flare-up after a week of wind-fanned wildfires throughout the region.
http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2017/12/12/santa-ana-winds-santa-barbara/

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