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Messages - Sigmetnow

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1
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: Today at 04:04:51 AM »
Authorities have reported 13 more fatalities from a blaze in Northern California that destroyed a town, bringing the total death toll so far to 42 and making it the deadliest wildfire in recorded state history.
Quote
7:35 p.m.
A woman who owns property near the location where a deadly wildfire started in Northern California says she got an email from utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co. last week. It said crews needed to come on her property because their transmission system was causing sparks.

It’s still not clear what caused the massive fire that has killed 29 people. PG&E said Thursday it experienced a problem on an electrical transmission line near the site of the massive fire, minutes before the blaze broke out.

It started in the area of 64 acres of land in Pulga, California, owned by Betsy Ann Cowley.

She said she had received an email on Wednesday, the day before the fire started, saying that crews needed to come to her property.  Cowley said the email said crews were coming to work on the high-power lines because “they were having problems with sparks.”

PG&E declined to discuss the email when contacted by The Associated Press.

California fire investigators were at Cowley’s property on Monday.
https://apnews.com/a848e5aae864417fae58cf8c8c0c841e

2
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: Today at 01:02:42 AM »
Immmediate preventative measures:
#NBC7 San Diego on Twitter: "FIRST ALERT WEATHER: Power has been shut off to dozens of San Diego-area communities during today's Red Flag Warning.
https://twitter.com/nbcsandiego/status/1062090925508308992


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

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

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

Where fires are crashing into towns, the real fuel is the built environment. Aerial photos of savaged suburbs tend to show incinerated structures and still-standing trees. The vegetation is adapted to fire; the houses aren’t. Once multiple structures begin to burn, the local fire services are overwhelmed and the fire spreads from building to building. This is the kind of urban conflagration Americans thought they had banished in the early 20th century. It’s like watching measles or polio return. Clearly, the critical reforms must target our houses and towns and revaccinate them against today’s fire threats. The National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise program shows how to harden houses and create defensible space without nuking the scene into asphalt or dirt. ...
https://slate.com/technology/2018/11/california-woolsey-camp-fire-trump-forest-management.html

3
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: November 12, 2018, 10:30:46 PM »
More on Tesla joining the S&P 500 (next year?) (see #906 above):

Quote
Peter explains that $TSLA only needs Q4 & Q1 *combined* earnings > ~$400M to be added to the S&P 500 in May, meaning all S&P index funds must then buy proportionate Tesla stock.
Q4 and Q1 earnings will *each* be more than $400M.
 #ShortBurnDeadline ...
https://twitter.com/icannot_enough/status/1061962067018739712
Refers to following article:

Tesla's Upcoming Inclusion In The S&P 500 Index
Quote
For years now, Tesla has enjoyed a market capitalization sufficient to distinguish it as one of America’s 500 most important publicly traded companies. The missing ingredient for Tesla’s inclusion in the granddaddy of all indexes, the Standard and Poor’s 500, has been consistent profitability. Now that Tesla has shown a profit of more than $300 million in Q3 of 2018 and its CEO Elon Musk predicts continued profitability ahead, inclusion in the S&P 500 index is extremely likely in the not-so-distant future. Let’s look at this event’s implications for Tesla and its stock price, plus consider the likely timing of such a move.
...
Consider, too, the effect of more shares of TSLA being bought and then more-or-less permanently held by funds mimicking the S&P 500 index. These shares are not going to be reduced in numbers as a recession approaches or threatening news appears on the horizon (which can happen with holdings by typical institutional investors when they see the need to transition to a more bond-heavy mix of securities). The net effect would be one of added stability to the stock price during negative times. These shares held by the index funds reduce the availability of shares to buy, but demand for buying has not been reduced, and from a simple supply and demand standpoint, there will be added pressure for price appreciation as Tesla grows and the stock price inevitably rises with that growth. ...
https://cleantechnica.com/2018/11/12/teslas-upcoming-inclusion-in-the-sp-500-index/

4
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: November 12, 2018, 09:52:30 PM »
Tesla extends ‘bug bounty’ to energy products, increases payout by 50%
Quote
In its continued pursuit of making the most secure internet-connected vehicles on the road, Tesla is upping the ante of its “bug bounty” program, which encourages security researchers to actively locate and report vulnerabilities on the company’s hardware and online services. As part of the program’s most recent update, Tesla has raised the maximum payout to $15,000 for vehicle or product-related vulnerabilities, while actively extending the initiative to the company’s energy products.
...
In a way, Tesla’s strategy towards its bug bounty program reflects the company’s Silicon Valley roots, considering that other tech giants such as Google also have active programs rewarding security researchers for finding vulnerabilities in their products. Amidst an internet landscape that is getting more and more concerned about internet security, Tesla’s security initiatives all but ensure that the company’s vehicles, while being consistently connected to the web, are as secure as possible.
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-bug-bounty-energy-products-increases-payout-50-percent/

5
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: November 12, 2018, 09:32:25 PM »
“Not since I left the Marines have I felt a sense of purpose like I have at Tesla. We’re not just making cars, we’re changing the world and history has its eyes on you.”

Tesla Makes Hiring And Supporting Veterans A Priority – CBS San Francisco
https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2018/11/11/tesla-makes-hiring-and-supporting-veterans-a-priority/

6
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: November 12, 2018, 09:19:21 PM »
Exxon: quick, get someone onto Fox News to tell Trump to stop tweeting that Saudi Arabia should maintain oil output!

U.S. crude weakens after Trump calls on OPEC to keep output
Quote
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. crude prices turned negative as U.S. President Donald Trump said he hoped there would be no oil output reductions, after Saudi Arabia said OPEC was considering cutting supply next year, citing softening demand.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 fell 18 cents a barrel to trade at $60.01 a barrel by 2:24 p.m. EST (1724 GMT). If the decline holds, the contract CLc1 is on track for its eleventh consecutive daily loss, the most on record since trading on the contract began in 1983, according to Refinitiv data.

Following four sessions of losses, Brent crude futures LCOc1 crude was up 16 cents at $70.34 a barrel, paring gains after trading as high as $71.88.

“Hopefully, Saudi Arabia and OPEC will not be cutting oil production,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Oil prices should be much lower based on supply!” U.S. crude turned negative and extended losses after the tweet. ...
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-oil/u-s-crude-weakens-after-trump-calls-on-opec-to-keep-output-idUSKCN1NH02I

7
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: November 12, 2018, 09:14:18 PM »
What I should have said is “music to Tesla shareholders ear” instead of Elon.  It will put GM further behind the curve and give them less chance of being a survivor in the coming/ongoing cutback in global vehicle manufacturers ..... and of course, gives Tesla a better chance (not that they needed any more help).

“ValueAnalyst” says Tesla wil be the only automaker to post a profit for 2019.  Will be interesting to see if this happens.

8
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 12, 2018, 08:49:05 PM »
CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE)
11/12/18, 2:34 PM
The #CampFire has produced an online interactive evacuation map for citizens to view. You can view the map at this URL:

Camp Fire - Evacuation/Repopulation Map
http://nifc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=41fe4499192a4e008a1d0c69a96d6284

https://twitter.com/cal_fire/status/1062066124454473728

Evacuation area currently extends to the edge of Oroville.

9
Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: November 12, 2018, 08:01:35 PM »
Reality?  Meh.

10
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 12, 2018, 07:54:50 PM »
“We cling to the edge of the continent, shaken by loss, too foolish to run, or too much in love.”
One California calamity after another, and yet we always endure - Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-lopez-calamity-11112018-story.html

Terrifying tales of survival in Paradise, and horror for those who didn't make it out of the Camp fire
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-paradise-fire-survival-20181112-story.html

In pictures: The animals caught in California's wildfires
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46178230

11
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: November 12, 2018, 07:39:30 PM »
I see that GM says they won’t be in the “EV truck business for decades” (plural).  Those words are music to Elon’s ears.  I could also reference you to the year 2000 annual report of the Kodak Company, where the CEO was proclaiming that there was no better investment than Kodak, and he rattled off all the good metrics of the past year.  When you are IN the bubble .... it is BLINDING.

No, not “music to Elon’s ears.”  Musk’s goal is to accelerate the adoption of sustainable energy and transport — and not just from Tesla.  He’s disappointed in the slow investment of other companies into clean tech, despite his opening Tesla’s patents and offering Supercharger access.

12
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: November 12, 2018, 07:29:14 PM »
CleanTechnica reports on their recent EV survey.  They note a high degree of brand loyalty for owners of LEAFs, and Volt owners planning to buy a Bolt.
Quote
You’re going to be shocked — the electric car that respondents most frequently said they were most likely to buy next (or for the first time in the case of non-EV drivers) was the Tesla Model 3.

That said, the Tesla Model 3 didn’t account for the majority of answers, demonstrating that the electric car market is broad and goes far beyond the Model 3. Delving into the less desired models is perhaps more interesting than dwelling on the Model 3’s dominance, since they get much less attention but are still cars that many consumers are eager to place in their garages.
https://cleantechnica.com/2018/11/11/45-of-current-electric-car-drivers-plan-to-buy-a-tesla-next-cleantechnica-report/



Very well-written explanation:
Why don't bigger car companies such as Ford start producing electric cars, eliminating Tesla's presence in the emerging market, thus claiming said market share for themselves?
https://www.quora.com/Why-dont-bigger-car-companies-such-as-Ford-start-producing-electric-cars-eliminating-Teslas-presence-in-the-emerging-market-thus-claiming-said-market-share-for-themselves/answer/Bill-MacDonald

Real data on the endangered OEM ICE assets here:
http://tesla.dauger.com/disrupts/incumbentsshackles.html

13
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: November 12, 2018, 07:22:32 PM »
Jaguar I-Pace Sales Exceeded 1,000 In October
Electrification becomes the main force of growth for Jaguar.
Quote
Jaguar sold in October 1,200 I-PACE. It’s a new highest result, which brings total deliveries to 2,468.
When we look at Jag’s total volume of 13,764 (up 11.6%) for the month, we note that I-PACE not only accounted for 8.7% share for the brand, but almost the entire increase of sales for Jaguar fall on the I-PACE’s shoulders.
So far it seems that the introduction of I-PACE was a very smart move for Jaguar, which in the near future probably will try to utilize its platform to develop other models.
We believe there should be no problem in exceeding 2,000 units a month sometime soon.
https://insideevs.com/1200-jaguar-i-pace-sold-october/amp/

 
Diess did not give a timeframe:
VW could build up to 50 million electric cars
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-volkswagen-electric-ceo/volkswagen-capable-of-building-50-million-electric-vehicles-ceo-in-automobilwoche-idUSKCN1NH1BJ

 
“Expect our production to begin around the same time as our USA version in 2022-2023.”
Tesla Semi rival Nikola unveils third truck amid release of 11.5k deposit refunds
Quote
Last Monday, the company opened reservations (at zero cost) for a hydrogen-electric truck that’s specifically designed for European markets. Dubbed as the Nikola Tre, the vehicle boasts 500 to 1,000 HP, 6×4 or 6×2 configurations and a range of 500 to 1,200 kilometers depending on options. The truck, which arguably looks the most conventional among Nikola’s offerings, is also created to fit within the current size and length restrictions for the European region.
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-semi-rival-nikola-tre-release-11-billion-reservation-refunds/

Edit:
Maybe not:
Volkswagen CEO: 'We Have Sourced Batteries for 50 Million Electric Cars
Quote
BMW board member Klaus Fröhlich says that batteries will cost €100-150 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), and using the model of VW's smallest confirmed EV battery capacity of 48 kWh, VW's €50 billion would buy just over 10.4 million of VW's smallest batteries, powering barely a fifth of its forecasted EVs, and that's without any customers opting for larger 64 or 111 kWh packs.

A Bloomberg analyst predicts that lithium-ion battery costs will fall 52 percent by 2030, but even accounting for that reduction in costs, VW's €50 billion would be inadequate to purchase more than 21.7 million of its smallest EV batteries. If costs fall as Bloomberg predicts, VW will need at least €115.2 billion for batteries, but if battery prices remain where BMW forecasts they'll be, VW could need €240 billion to cover battery costs for its 50 million EVs.
http://www.thedrive.com/news/24853/volkswagen-ceo-we-have-sourced-batteries-for-50-million-electric-cars

14
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 12, 2018, 06:28:48 PM »
Tesla is working with Amazon to deploy more energy storage at distribution centers
Quote
After a deal to add Tesla Powerpacks to a UK facility earlier this year, now Amazon is working with Tesla again at another distribution center.

The last project included both a 4 MW solar array and 3.77 MW battery system installed at a large fulfillment center in Tilbury – east of London.

Amazon has hundreds of locations like this one around the world and at the time, it looked like if this project turned out to be successful in reducing energy costs, Amazon could decide to deploy Tesla Powerpacks at more locations.

A few months later, we’ve now learned that the internet retail giant is planning a similar project at their Coalville facility in Leicestershire. ...
https://electrek.co/2018/11/12/tesla-amazon-powerpack-energy-storage-distribution-centers/


Thus fueling the burning question:
Why Hasn't Amazon Ordered A Tesla Semi?
https://evannex.com/blogs/news/why-hasnt-amazon-ordered-a-tesla-semi

15
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: November 12, 2018, 06:19:26 PM »
Tesla on Track to Join to S&P 500: Macquarie
Quote
Electric vehicle industry pioneer Tesla Inc. (TSLA) is on track for consistent profitability by the second half of next year, and will be included in the S&P 500 index sooner than later, according to one team of bulls on the Street.

In a note to clients on Thursday, analysts at Macquarie wrote that the Palo Alto, Calif.-based automaker "checks all the boxes" except for one to allow it from joining the S&P 500, as outlined by MarketWatch.  While Tesla has maintained a market capitalization that distinguishes the company as one of America's 500 most important publicly traded companies, its inability to secure continued profits has held it back from inclusion in the index.

In Q3, Tesla posted a profit of over $300 million, causing the highly volatile stock to surge as investors cheered progress in the production of its first mass-market vehicle, the Model 3 sedan. CEO and founder Elon Musk, who has received mounting criticism from bears who view his nontraditional management style and high profile presence on platforms like Twitter and popular podcasts, says his firm is set to maintain profitability after a milestone quarter.

Macquarie's Maynard Um noted that the S&P 500's methodology requires that the sum of a firm's four most recent quarterly earnings, as well as the most recent quarter, must be positive.  "While (Tesla) still has to prove it can sustain profitability, we believe the company will achieve this last eligibility requirement driven by steady demand for Model S & X, increasing production to meet Model 3 demand, and potential for meaningful (Zero Emission Vehicle) credit revenue,” wrote Um.

What's Next for Investors
The Macquarie analyst did acknowledge the fact that even if Tesla succeeds in checking off all the boxes, the S&P does not disclose how it decides whether a stock is added to the index after that.

Ultimately, the prospect of Tesla joining the S&P 500 should serve as a major tailwind for the EV pioneer, paving the way for new investment from funds that track the large-cap benchmark or have restrictions on which equities they can add to their holdings. Um looked at the 12 stocks most recently added to the index, noting that while their performance was varied, those not previously included in the S&P Mid Cap, which Tesla is also not a part of, saw an average stock price gain of 6.9%, compared to a 0.2% return for the S&P 500 on the day of the announcement.

While many loyal Tesla fans and younger investors already view the company as a significant business with massive disruptive potential, the S&P 500 inclusion should work to draw in more skeptical investors who have not yet shifted their perception of the auto company as a niche startup. 

Um, who rates Tesla at buy, expects the stock to gain 25% over 12 months to reach $430. Tesla stock is trading down nearly 2% on Monday morning at $343.83, reflecting a 10.4% increase YTD compared to the S&P 500's 3.4% return.
https://www.investopedia.com/news/tesla-track-join-sp-500-macquarie/

(Note: Entire market is down this morning; the Dow is currently off about 400 points.)

16
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: November 12, 2018, 06:10:24 PM »
I like this headline

Tesla Model 3 Performance sets fastest time at Global Attack event on track mode,
gets disqualified for ‘being electric’


https://electrek.co/2018/11/11/tesla-model-3-performance-global-attack-on-track-mode-disqualified-electric/

Meme:

17
With Democratic Majority, Climate Change Is Back on U.S. House Agenda
Fossil fuel supporters will still control the Senate, but the House will soon be able to turn a spotlight on climate change and Trump's retreat from responsibility.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/07112018/election-2018-climate-change-democratic-majority-house-congress-energy-senate-governors-initiatives



The number (and state origin) of Democratic votes in last week’s U.S. mid-term elections, if applied to presidential voting and the electoral college (that archaic system that made a winner of the loser of the 2016 popular vote) — would be more than sufficient to provide a Democrat victory in 2020.

Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) 11/11/18, 11:30 AM
So here's an updated map showing House popular vote winners, mapped onto the Electoral College. Dark blue/dark red means the party won by >= 5 points, light blue/pink means it was close.
https://twitter.com/natesilver538/status/1061657448719749120

ג'סיקה מונטל - جسيكا مونتل (@JessicaMontell) 11/11/18, 12:18 PM
@NateSilver538 Consider switching to a map of population rather than land. All that empty space painted red is very misleading. See @nytimes map
https://twitter.com/jessicamontell/status/1061669472266792961


18
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 12, 2018, 05:10:18 PM »
Neven,
There has been a significant outcry over Trump’s ignorant ‘forest mismanagement’ comment.  First, the federal government manages over 40% of California's land; the state, 30%.  The Forest Service has been asking for years for more money for forest management, but what money the federal government has allocated was earmarked for fighting fires, instead.  In addition, the Woolsey, etc. fires in southern California are not in “forests,” but in wildland-urban interfaces.  Grasses and weeds grow up quickly after brief periods of rain, then die in subsequent drought; susceptible to any spark.

Trump blames California wildfires on 'gross mismanagement of forests' -
https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-blames-california-wildfires-on-gross-mismanagement-of-forests-2018-11

https://variety.com/2018/politics/news/trump-wildfire-blame-backlash-praise-first-responders-1203025524/

It’s easier for news outlets (and, I suppose, forum commenters ;) ) to whip up clicks/outrage featuring politics rather than reporting on real events, but I assure you, people care more about this crisis than all the political blathering you may see.

19
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 12, 2018, 04:31:34 PM »
Robert Rohde (@RARohde)
11/12/18, 5:42 AM
This year, like 2017, California has had an unusually hot & dry fire season. Most of the largest and most destructive wildfires in CA history have happened under such conditions. Climate change is making this situation worse.
#CaliforniaFires #ClimateChange
[Image below]

I also created an animated version which helps to emphasize how weather conditions during California's fire season have evolved over time.  #CaliforniaFires #ClimateChange
https://twitter.com/rarohde/status/1061932207940530176
[GIF at the link.]

Weather data for these images is taken from @NOAA's Climate at a Glance Data Explorer, e.g. ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/statewide/….

20
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 12, 2018, 03:36:07 AM »
As of Sunday night, the Camp Fire has killed at least 29 people and destroyed 6,713 buildings in and around the Northern California city of Paradise, but those numbers could still increase as officials continue their surveys. More than 200 people remain missing, warned the local sheriff’s office.

It’s now the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history.


Woolsey fire:

City of Calabasas (@CityofCalabasas)
11/11/18, 8:33 PM
ENTIRE CITY OF CALABASAS NOW UNDER MANDATORY EVACUATION NOTICE. Please see statement from City Manager Gary Lysik
https://twitter.com/cityofcalabasas/status/1061794018508468226

21
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 12, 2018, 01:10:50 AM »
NWS (@NWS)
11/11/18, 3:18 PM
Strong offshore flow, promoting significant wildfire potential, will continue across much of southwestern California on Monday resulting in extremely critical conditions.
There is an elevated risk in northern California.
https://twitter.com/nws/status/1061714717675319297

22
Policy and solutions / Re: UN Climate Agreement - Paris 2015 and beyond
« on: November 11, 2018, 10:36:35 PM »
As it relates to global progress in action on climate change, I believe this good news belongs in this thread, as well!

Democrats won the majority of the U.S. Congress’ House in the mid-term elections last Tuesday, which means they will take over the leadership of House committees.  Scientists and climate-change believers are coming on board!

House Dems plan to bring back committee on climate change
Quote
Democrats are reportedly planning to revive a House committee on climate change after winning back control of the House.

The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was dissolved by Republicans in 2011 after the GOP took control, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will ask Democrats to reconstitute it, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The special committee, which was started by Pelosi, was not authorized to advance legislation, but the panel held hearings to address concerns about climate change, extreme weather events and global warming.
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/415723-house-dems-plan-to-bring-back-committee-on-climate-change

All eyes on top Democrat to bring science back to science committee
Quote
Environmentalists are hoping that Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) will bring science back to the House science committee when she takes over as chair in the next Congress.

Johnson, if elected chair, will be the first woman with a degree in a STEM field to hold the position since 1990. She was the first registered nurse elected to Congress when she won her first term in 1993, and she’s served as ranking member on House Science, Space and Technology Committee since 2011.

The Democrat will represent a significant shift from the previous chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

Smith introduced controversial bills including the Secret Science Reform Act and worked in tandem with the Trump administration to introduce heavily criticized policies on science transparency to the Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department.
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/415589-all-eyes-on-top-democrat-to-bring-science-back-to-science-committee

 
Congress gains an influx of scientists as GOP science committee head leaves
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/10/congress-gains-scientists-lawmakers-midterm-elections

Also posted in the Trump Assaults on Science on the Science board, and What’s New in Climate Change Acceptance and Action.

23
Policy and solutions / Re: The Boring Company
« on: November 11, 2018, 10:17:38 PM »
Elon Musk on double-decker freeways, permitting, and building sewers
Water and electrical transport are also on the table.
Quote
Tesla, SpaceX, and Boring Company CEO Elon Musk is good at finding alternative markets for his products. He did this with the lithium-ion batteries he was building and sourcing for his Model S, X, and eventually Model 3 cars: by developing a line of stationary storage battery products, he tapped into another well of potential customers at little additional expense.

Similarly, Musk told mayors on Thursday that he wants The Boring Company to dig sewers, water transport, and electrical tunnels under cities, in addition to the transportation-focused tunnels he hopes to dig to house electric skate systems.

Musk mentioned this alternate use for his boring machines at the National League of Cities' City Summit, during a "fireside chat" with Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti. According to Forbes, Musk told the audience, "The Boring Company is also going to do tunneling for, like, water transport, sewage, electrical. We're not going to turn our noses up at sewage tunnels. We're happy to do that too."

The Boring Company is built on the premise that tunneling technology has not been adequately developed. Musk claims that his boring machines will tunnel faster than the industry's best machines.
...
In December 2016, the CEO tweeted that he hated traffic so much he was going to build tunnels. At Thursday's fireside chat, Garcetti said he received a text from Musk the day after Musk made that tweet. The text asked the LA mayor, "Do I need permits for this?" Garcetti, laughing, told the audience that he responded "yes, there are probably going to be some permits that you need."
https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/11/elon-musk-on-double-decker-freeways-permitting-and-building-sewers/

24
Democrats won the majority of the U.S. Congress’ House in the mid-term elections last Tuesday, which means they will take over the leadership of House committees.  Scientists and climate-change believers are coming on board!

House Dems plan to bring back committee on climate change
Quote
Democrats are reportedly planning to revive a House committee on climate change after winning back control of the House.

The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was dissolved by Republicans in 2011 after the GOP took control, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will ask Democrats to reconstitute it, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The special committee, which was started by Pelosi, was not authorized to advance legislation, but the panel held hearings to address concerns about climate change, extreme weather events and global warming.
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/415723-house-dems-plan-to-bring-back-committee-on-climate-change

All eyes on top Democrat to bring science back to science committee
Quote
Environmentalists are hoping that Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) will bring science back to the House science committee when she takes over as chair in the next Congress.

Johnson, if elected chair, will be the first woman with a degree in a STEM field to hold the position since 1990. She was the first registered nurse elected to Congress when she won her first term in 1993, and she’s served as ranking member on House Science, Space and Technology Committee since 2011.

The Democrat will represent a significant shift from the previous chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

Smith introduced controversial bills including the Secret Science Reform Act and worked in tandem with the Trump administration to introduce heavily criticized policies on science transparency to the Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department.
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/415589-all-eyes-on-top-democrat-to-bring-science-back-to-science-committee

Congress gains an influx of scientists as GOP science committee head leaves
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/10/congress-gains-scientists-lawmakers-midterm-elections

Also posted in the Trump Assaults on Science on the Science board.

25
Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« on: November 11, 2018, 09:11:08 PM »
Democrats won the majority of the House in the mid-term elections last Tuesday, which means they will take over the leadership of House committees.  Scientists and climate-change believers are coming on board!

House Dems plan to bring back committee on climate change
Quote
Democrats are reportedly planning to revive a House committee on climate change after winning back control of the House.

The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was dissolved by Republicans in 2011 after the GOP took control, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will ask Democrats to reconstitute it, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The special committee, which was started by Pelosi, was not authorized to advance legislation, but the panel held hearings to address concerns about climate change, extreme weather events and global warming.
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/415723-house-dems-plan-to-bring-back-committee-on-climate-change

All eyes on top Democrat to bring science back to science committee
Quote
Environmentalists are hoping that Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) will bring science back to the House science committee when she takes over as chair in the next Congress.

Johnson, if elected chair, will be the first woman with a degree in a STEM field to hold the position since 1990. She was the first registered nurse elected to Congress when she won her first term in 1993, and she’s served as ranking member on House Science, Space and Technology Committee since 2011.

The Democrat will represent a significant shift from the previous chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

Smith introduced controversial bills including the Secret Science Reform Act and worked in tandem with the Trump administration to introduce heavily criticized policies on science transparency to the Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department.
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/415589-all-eyes-on-top-democrat-to-bring-science-back-to-science-committee

Congress gains an influx of scientists as GOP science committee head leaves
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/10/congress-gains-scientists-lawmakers-midterm-elections

26
Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2018
« on: November 11, 2018, 08:40:35 PM »
Mark Sudduth (@hurricanetrack)
11/11/18, 1:43 PM
NHC indicates high chance of development now with tropical wave as it moves north of the Caribbean islands this coming week.
https://twitter.com/hurricanetrack/status/1061690997208477696
<< Still thinking it will turn?
MS:  Yes - only concerns I see would be shipping and cruise interests. Will discuss in detail during my video post tomorrow.

Image below.

27
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 11, 2018, 08:36:46 PM »
Dave Toussaint (@engineco16)
11/11/18, 1:23 PM
#CampFire Air attack ordering 5 very large air tankers (LATs) and 2 very large air tankers (VLATs). We also have two IR planes over the fire right now.
https://twitter.com/engineco16/status/1061685906954829824
Image below:  past tracks of two aircraft attacking the Camp fire 1 hour ago.

28
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 11, 2018, 08:14:30 PM »
Randall Gates (@rgatess)
11/11/18, 1:51 PM
The high amplitude meridonal jet stream flow we are now beginning to see more frequently is both a predicted effect of #ClimateChange and a factor influencing extreme weather events, including the current #CaliforniaFires h/t @MichaelEMann
https://twitter.com/rgatess/status/1061692842773368832
Image below; GIF at the link.

29
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: November 11, 2018, 07:19:30 PM »
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 11/10/18, 4:19 PM
We know we’ll run out of dead dinosaurs to mine for fuel & have to use sustainable energy eventually, so why not go renewable now & avoid increasing risk of climate catastrophe? Betting that science is wrong & oil companies are right is the dumbest experiment in history by far … 
(Link to 1 minute video clip with Dr. Michael Mann from PBS NewsHour)
<< Agreed. I would just add that some “oil companies” are taking (baby) steps towards renewables.
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 11/10/18, 4:26 PM
That is true & should be applauded. Right move is for oil companies truly to think of themselves as energy companies, but move rapidly towards clean, sustainable energy. Means lower profits short-term, but will make them stronger long-term.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1061369641908531200

—-
SEC form: Musk bought ~$20million in TSLA stock on 11/9/18
Vincent (@vincent13031925) 11/9/18, 9:23 PM
Another 56915 shares of $TSLA from @elonmusk
https://twitter.com/vincent13031925/status/1061081825949310976

——
First, they laugh at you.  Then they are left behind....

Tesla Model 3 Performance sets fastest time at Global Attack event on track mode, gets disqualified for 'being electric'
https://electrek.co/2018/11/11/tesla-model-3-performance-global-attack-on-track-mode-disqualified-electric/

Tesla Model X humbles Lamborghini Urus and Mercedes-AMG G63 in ultimate 4-way SUV drag race
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-model-x-lamborghini-urus-mercedes-amg-g63-range-rover-svr-drag-race/

—— ::)
Say it is very cold outside. How long should you run the motor of an electric car while staying still to let it warm up before driving? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/Say-it-is-very-cold-outside-How-long-should-you-run-the-motor-of-an-electric-car-while-staying-still-to-let-it-warm-up-before-driving

——
ValueAnalyst (@ValueAnalyst1) 11/11/18, 12:21 PM
#Tesla #Model3 search interest is averaging 5x of Bankrupt Motoren Werke 3 Series, which used to sell 100k+ units in the United States alone.
This is *before* $35,000 Standard
https://twitter.com/valueanalyst1/status/1061670181448151041
(Data on BMW 3-series and 4-series sales at the link.)

30
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: November 11, 2018, 06:20:32 PM »
Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
11/10/18, 12:10 AM
If Tesla can help people in California wildfire, please let us know. Model S & X have hospital grade HEPA filters. Maybe helpful for transporting people.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1061123924354875393
Edit:
Elon Musk authorizes Tesla employees to provide assistance for the California wildfires and 'not worry about payment'
Quote
California, Tesla’s home state, is currently on fire as the current wildfire season is proving to be particularly devastating.  CEO Elon Musk has authorized Tesla employees to provide assistance for the wildfires and not worry about payment....

Edit:  more:
Tesla's 'Bioweapon Defense Mode' is proving invaluable to owners affected by CA wildfires
https://www.teslarati.com/elon-musk-tesla-model-s-x-bioweapon-defense-mode-ca-wildfires/


Tesla makes Supercharging free for owners affected by California wildfires
https://electrek.co/2018/11/10/tesla-supercharging-free-owners-california-wildfire/

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

31
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: November 11, 2018, 02:55:28 PM »
Why invest in $TSLA
A 3-part post on the TMC forum
https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/why-invest-in-tesla-karenrei.134342/#post-3180355

From part 2 (scroll down from part 1):
Quote
Shorts inevitably launch into the "Meh, demand will dry up soon!" argument. But of course, it's the same nonsense argument they make every time. The reality is:
   ◦   Tesla is far from selling its cheapest version yet (independent teardowns suggest that the $35k Model 3 will cost $28k to make once production volumes hit their peak). Market size grows vastly as prices drop
   ◦   Tesla is only selling to a fraction of its global market (US + Canada)
   ◦   Tesla is not yet offering leases - the way that most people buy cars
   ◦   Stores are currently spread far and wide, as Tesla has had no need to push the vehicles more
   ◦   Much of the world remains entirely untouched by Tesla.
   ◦   Tesla does not advertise at all
   ◦   Most people prefer not to buy cars in their first model year or two
   ◦   Word of mouth spreads exponentially over time as the number on the roads grows.
Even the main thing that they hold against Tesla - the notion that the US (note: just the US) tax credit will start expiring for them isn't certain.

The best way you can tell how serious an automaker is about EVs, vs. just being hype, is their secured battery capacity. As batteries are everything to EVs. Gigafactory alone makes half of the world's total battery supply. And that fraction is growing. Add in the Panasonic 18650s that are exclusively made for Tesla and they have 60% of the world's total supply. How can you take the "competition hypothesis" seriously when one company so utterly dominates the market?

While the shorts have been out screaming "Tesla has been burning money", Tesla has been investing that money in tech and infrastructure. And it's payed off in a several year advantage over its next closest competitors. Check out the teardowns of the Model 3s; people seeing how they tick for the first time have been describing them like encountering tech from another planet. Nobody is even close. Now we keep seeing automakers targeting "where Tesla is today" with vehicles that will be out "several years from now". Except Tesla is not, and never will, just rest on its laurels; this show is only getting started. Unlike other automakers, Tesla does not pay a dividend, and will not until it's basically "taken over the world". This lets them redirect all of their profits into tech and growth.

32
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: November 11, 2018, 02:48:19 PM »
To get back on topic: Is it me or isn't there a lot of anti-Tesla propaganda lately? Perhaps not so much pro-stuff either.

I think you’re right.  Most pro-Tesla folks view the Q3 profit and ramping Tesla sales (and declining OEM sales) as proof of success, Q.E.D. ;D  While the anti-Tesla folks are scrambling to come up with new arguments, because of news like:

The recent “FBI investigation” was of fraud perpetrated upon Tesla, not by it….
Former Tesla Employee Charged With Embezzling $9.3 Million
A former Tesla employee was charged by a federal grand jury today of embezzling roughly $9.3 million from Elon Musk’s electric car company over the course of two years. The indictment comes as the result of an FBI inquiry.
https://gizmodo.com/former-tesla-employee-charged-with-embezzling-9-3-mill-1830328167/


Norway’s most vocal short seller admits he made a mistake shorting Tesla, says his fund was down by 5.5 % in October.
https://twitter.com/m_xalher/status/1060569658040950784


We have shorty cyber force, ground force and air force uniting to create more FUD because all the past truths have been exposed as lies.
https://twitter.com/mugenx86/status/1061146398303805440
They even have a shorty naval force now and a propaganda department who is literally called "PlugInFUD"
pic.twitter.com/UBQqeyq1Ly


A great answer to a Quora question:
Quote
Why don't bigger car companies such as Ford start producing electric cars, eliminating Tesla's presence in the emerging market, thus claiming said market share for themselves?
 
Answer:
Because they can’t.
They are in trouble. BIG trouble. Tesla has them between a rock and a hard place.

Lots of people have mocked Tesla for “bleeding cash”. But there are no free rides here. Making that volume of EVs is not as easy as flipping a switch on assembly lines currently making ICEVs.

New battery and powertrain tech has to be engineered. Manufacturing for those parts has to be established. Supply chains for new types of raw materials have to be established. Platforms that accommodate efficient EV operation have to be engineered. Branding and marketing strategies have to be figured out. Shipping, sales, and service logistics and training have to be established. And in the end, the product can’t just be any EV. It has to be competetive with a Tesla.

many of the major makers, again despite mocking Tesla, are in massive debt. Arguably, several of them are in even worse debt and cash flow positions than Tesla. The difference is, Tesla spent that money crossing the chasm of EV unprofitability, and is now arriving on the other side. Many of the major makers are already in worse financial shape, for their relative size, and they have yet to begin crossing that chasm. This means that to begin the crossing of that chasm is to take a major financial risk. If you don’t have the money to survive the crossing, you end up in the same bankruptcy abyss that so many predicted for Tesla. That’s a terrifying trigger to pull for an auto industry executive.

Rock and a hard place - keep making ICE and slowly watch your profits get eaten by Tesla, BYD, Nio, etc., OR risk a dangerously expensive crossing through a transition period of cash burn and negative margins.
https://www.quora.com/Why-dont-bigger-car-companies-such-as-Ford-start-producing-electric-cars-eliminating-Teslas-presence-in-the-emerging-market-thus-claiming-said-market-share-for-themselves/answer/Bill-MacDonald

33
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: November 11, 2018, 01:56:41 PM »
Railroad oil tanker cars are limited and expensive.  So let’s wrap bits of Canadian crude in plastic and ship them in gondola cars!

Oil pucks and pellets; Canada eyes new ways to move stranded crude
Quote
Pipeline pressure has pushed more crude onto trains owned by Canadian National Railway Co and smaller rival Canadian Pacific Railway Limited. But crude movement by rail is costly and prone to spills and sometimes disastrous accidents, such as the 2013 derailment at Lac Megantic, Quebec that killed dozens of people.

Enter CN’s patented Canapux product, which is solidified crude encased in plastic, named to evoke the country’s most popular sport, hockey. The railroad argues that solid crude, never before commercially shipped in the world, can be transported more cheaply, efficiently and with less environmental risk than liquid crude in tank cars. Since it floats, Canapux is easier to recover from a spill into a water body.
...
CN is seeking commercial partners to build a pilot plant that will process 10,000 barrels per day of undiluted heavy crude into Canapux.

The plant, to be built either at the Alberta crude storage hub around Edmonton or on an oil producer’s site, is estimated to cost less than C$50 million ($37.8 million). It could be running as soon as 2020, Cairns said.

CN’s oil pucks would move in gondola cars, which weigh less than tank cars, allowing the railroad to load them with more crude. They also do not require diluent, an ultra-light oil that is mixed with crude when it is shipped in liquid form by rail or pipeline. ....
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-canada-crude-solids/oil-pucks-and-pellets-canada-eyes-new-ways-to-move-stranded-crude-idUSKCN1NG0FB

34
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 11, 2018, 01:26:40 PM »
Death toll in California wildfires climbs to 25
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/deaths-suspected-california-wildfires-winds-set-pick-back-n934846

This was Paradise: ‘How do you quantify everything being gone?’
Quote
The Camp Fire sparked around 6:30 a.m., near Camp Creek Road off Highway 70. The sky turned yellow first, which was alarming, but residents here are used to smoke. Northern California had been on fire all summer. In July, darkness had cloaked the sun for days as the Carr Fire roared in Redding.
Then everything went black.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office issued a red-alert to 23,682 contacts over email, text and phone call. More than 1,038 people calls clogged the 911 line, and more than 600 requests for welfare checks were made. As the Camp Fire roared into Paradise, the California Highway Patrol reversed the in-bound lanes on Skyway Road and Highway-32.

Officials had planned for this — 11 evacuation zones and more alerts. But the Camp Fire moved faster than humans can, burning nearly an acre per second.

Chaos ensued. Cell service cut out in much of the town. Headlights barely pierced the midnight smoke. Residents sheltered in the Walgreens and K-Mart parking lots, waiting for county buses to rescue them. Some drivers abandoned their cars in the gridlock of traffic, running down Skyway Road or pushing their loved ones in wheelchairs down the sidewalk. ...
https://www.sfchronicle.com/california-wildfires/article/This-was-Paradise-How-do-you-quantify-13381061.php


A dozen or so articles on people, pets, and devastation in the Paradise (Camp) fire in this thread:
https://twitter.com/sfchronicle/status/1061268837855830016

35
Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: November 10, 2018, 09:42:40 PM »
Australia

A new Tesla 'shared Powerbank' launches as a community alternative to individual Powerwalls
...

Now online, three months early!

Tesla battery will power unusual community storage project in Western Australia
Quote
A community storage pilot project using Tesla batteries went live this week in Western Australia, three months ahead of schedule. The 105KW/420KWh pooled storage will act as a sort of locker for excess power produced by homes with solar panels.

The project is an unusual one because it pools battery capacity for homes with solar panels. It was funded by energy company Synergy and government-owned Western Power, which sought 52 customers with solar panels on their homes as participants. The 52 shares of the project were snapped up in two weeks, far more quickly than expected, which accelerated the project's timeline.

Participants will each be allotted 8kWh of storage, which they will "fill" with excess power created by their rooftop solar panels during the day. (This is in theory, of course. Solar-generated electricity can flow back onto the grid, but there's no guarantee that the battery will be charged with solar-generated electrons.) In the evening, customers will "be able to draw electricity back from the PowerBank during peak time without having to outlay upfront costs for a behind-the-meter battery storage system," says a press release from the government of Western Australia.
https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/11/tesla-battery-will-power-unusual-community-storage-project-in-western-australia/

36
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 10, 2018, 08:33:04 PM »
Photos from the Camp fire.

Photographer captures devastation from the front lines of the Camp Fire
Quote
Edelson has photographed California wildfires for more than 10 years and says the fast-pace of the Camp Fire resembled the Carr Fire that blackened 229,651 acres near Redding in the summer.

"I've been doing this a long time, and they wildfires have gotten a lot crazier," he says. "It used to be relatively predictable. Now, you don't know what to expect. Every year, a new fire breaks out that defies all the rules and behavior of fires. Every year is the new normal, the new extreme. More deaths. More destruction."
https://www.sfgate.com/california-wildfires/article/Camp-Fire-Josh-Edelson-Photographer-Paradise-13377948.php

More:
Paradise lost: Before-and-after photos show a town devoured by a raging wildfire
https://www.sfgate.com/california-wildfires/article/Camp-Fire-Paradise-before-and-after-photos-13378605.php

37
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: November 10, 2018, 07:54:23 PM »
Unfortunately I can’t find the tweet, but I’ve seen a photo of an EV parked and charging on the side of a back road rounding a steep hill, where a power tap had been installed because there was no driveway!  Where there’s a will, there’s a way. :)

There are kerbside solutions out there.

However, it's really difficult to see them working in narrow, parked up, urban residential environments. My daughter lives in a typical, now fashionable, Victorian terraced street in Bristol (UK), a popular location for young professionals and just the right demographic to support the growth in EVs. These  streets and houses weren't built to cater for car owners but everyone now has one or sometimes two and just parking can be a nightmare. Even with massive investment in the appropriate infrastructure, and that's not going to happen any time soon in the UK, it's really difficult to see the lack of kerbside chargers in residential areas not being a drag on the uptake of EVs.

Things are different in town and city centres where longer term onstreet parking used by commuters and visitors would provide a good location for kerbside charging points.

But, as you say, where there's a will there's a way and where there's an unmet need someone will surely find a solution.

In the meantime my daughter has solved the problem the old fashioned way. She walks the mile and a half to work and back every day!

People with such circumstances will be the early adopters of ride-share cars.  They’ll love not having to worry about parking, or struggling with a charging solution!

38
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: November 10, 2018, 06:48:05 PM »
Stock-market investors wrestle with a glut of bearish signs as oil prices plunge
Quote
...the decline in oil has been precipitated by a glut of supply that isn’t expected to be matched by demand, when the opposite had been expected just a few weeks ago.
...
Now, oil futures are unraveling, down at least 20% after putting in a 52-week high early last month. And it isn’t so much the descent into bear-market territory—as the recent slump for crude can be characterized—as it is the celerity of the selloff that has market participants unsettled.

About five weeks: That’s all it took for bulls to pivot from cavalierly pondering if $100-a-barrel oil was a genuine possibility before the end of 2018 on the back of Iranian oil export sanctions imposed by the U.S. on Nov. 4, to wondering how ugly the current implosion in black gold could get before finding a bottom.
...
Friday’s reading of U.S. wholesale inflation in October represented the biggest increase in six years and affirmed to some that the Federal Reserve would lift interest rates for a fourth time in 2018 next month and perhaps thrice more in 2019.

That fact, combined with a slowdown in China’s economy and the hand-wringing around the Beijing-Washington trade dispute, have led some strategists to believe that the market is heading for a bear-market slide.

“The sharp correction in equities in October has raised concerns about the prospects of the end of the cycle and the risks of a prolonged bear market,” write analysts at Goldman Sachs, including Peter Oppenheimer, in a research note dated Nov. 9. ...
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/stock-market-investors-wrestle-with-a-glut-of-bearish-signs-as-oil-prices-plunge-2018-11-10

39
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: November 10, 2018, 06:27:16 PM »
Why These Top Oilfield Services Stocks Dropped More Than 14% in October
Quote
It's all about the price

As with many energy companies, the price of oil has an outsized influence on the performance of oilfield services stocks. When oil prices rise, it becomes more profitable to drill for oil, and oilfield services companies can charge more for the equipment and services they offer. When oil prices are down -- as they were during the oil price slump of 2014-2017 -- oilfield services companies feel the pinch. That's what led to General Electric (NYSE:GE) merging its oil and gas division with Baker Hughes to form Baker Hughes, a GE Company.

For much of the year, crude oil prices had been on an upward trajectory. In fact, both Brent crude (the benchmark that governs most international oil sales) and WTI crude (which governs most domestic oil sales) hit three-year highs at the beginning of the month. Brent crude was trading for $85 per barrel, and WTI crude topped $75 per barrel.

But in October, both those benchmark oil prices declined. The Brent crude spot price dropped 9.5% during the month, to $74.84 per barrel, while the spot price for WTI crude fell by 10.7% to end the month at $65.31 per barrel. That made October the worst month for oil prices this year. It's not surprising that the market reacted to punish oilfield services stocks.

Baker Hughes may have a GE problem

In addition to the declining oil price, Baker Hughes -- whose share price fell further than those of its main competitors Halliburton and Schlumberger -- may have been hurt by the ongoing woes at parent company General Electric. Although Baker Hughes is a stand-alone company, GE retains a 62.5% ownership stake, which GE has announced plans to sell as part of an ongoing streamlining effort.

It's been another rough year for General Electric. Continuing underperformance from its flagship power segment led the company to revise its 2018 guidance downward (again). An aggressive turnaround plan by then-CEO John Flannery did nothing to stop the stock's precipitous fall, and that got Flannery abruptly ousted by the board on Oct. 1. Flannery's plan included divesting GE's stake in Baker Hughes over the next two to three years, but new CEO Larry Culp hasn't addressed this issue directly. That uncertainty may be weighing on Baker Hughes' shares. ...
https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/11/10/why-these-top-oilfield-services-stocks-dropped-mor.aspx

40
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 10, 2018, 05:58:25 PM »
Want to help fire victims? Don’t send any more stuff
Quote
Cash is best, disaster aid groups say, because it can be spent on what disaster victims need at the moment they need it.

Following the Carr Fire, for instance, a mother of three young children needed a car seat and gas, so volunteers used donated funds to buy her a new one and fill up her tank, said Dusty Steele, a Shasta County volunteer who’s helping distribute donations to victims.
https://www.sacbee.com/latest-news/article215793825.html

Send cash and gift cards; not stuff. After every disaster, huge piles of donationed goods just get thrown out.

41
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 10, 2018, 05:50:49 PM »
CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE)
11/10/18, 11:16 AM
#HillFire [update] at Hill Canyon Rd and Santa Rosa Rd, Santa Rosa Valley (Ventura County) is now 4,531 acres and 25% contained. Unified Command: CAL FIRE and @VCFD
vcemergency.com
https://twitter.com/cal_fire/status/1061291434068783104
Image below.

42
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 10, 2018, 05:39:59 PM »
LACounty Fire PIO (@LACoFDPIO)
11/9/18, 10:52 PM
#WoolseyFire *UPDATE* Approx. 35,000 acres, 0% contained, very significant number of homes in the operational area damaged or destroyed by fire. More than 200,000 residents and 75,000 homes under mandatory evacuation. 0700 @CAL_FIRE type 1 IMT 5 will assume command of this fire.
https://twitter.com/lacofdpio/status/1061104371910332416

Edit: now 70,000 acres, per CALFIRE.

43
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 10, 2018, 05:21:14 PM »
The CAMP fire is now 100,000 acres and 20% contained, according to CALFIRE this morning.  It is threatening several additional cities, including Oroville.
http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents/incidentdetails/Index/2277


Camp Fire grows to 100,000 acres, threatens Oroville
Quote
The Camp Fire is threatening the city of Oroville, Cal Fire warned Saturday morning.

“The fire will continue to burn to the southwest toward Big Bend, Berry Creek and threatening the city of Oroville,” Cal Fire said in its incident information report for Saturday morning.

“The expected strong northeast wind event has the potential to drive fire across Lake Oroville threatening the city of Oroville,” the agency said.

Fire officials said engines and crews will be “prepositioned in preidentified locations in anticipation of the wind event.”

Meanwhile, firefighters are continuing to patrol Paradise, Concow and Magalia.
https://www.redding.com/story/news/2018/11/10/donald-trump-threatens-federal-funding-california-fires-camp-fire/1951713002/

44
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: November 10, 2018, 03:39:38 PM »
...
The issue created by the unforgivable lack of local infrastructure is for visitors coming here unaware that we're an EV charging laggard. This extends also to the considerable number of Victorian terraced properties that have to rely on street parking and have no ready access to home charging.

The sooner we get some local fast chargers in the town the better but in the short term I'm able to use my EV efficiently without them.

Unfortunately I can’t find the tweet, but I’ve seen a photo of an EV parked and charging on the side of a back road rounding a steep hill, where a power tap had been installed because there was no driveway!  Where there’s a will, there’s a way. :)

45
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: November 10, 2018, 02:14:38 PM »
Lurk wrote:
Quote
BMW hits 2017 sales record but Mercedes keeps lead

2017 is ancient history. :)  2018 is the year of the Tesla Model 3 ramp — and other automakers’ slide.

BMW U.S. October 2018 sales:
Rough month.
https://twitter.com/ecoheliguy/status/1058149844886290432
Table of data in image below.

“Globally, not a single German EV model makes it on to the top 10 list dominated by Tesla, Nissan, and Chinese producer BYD.”
Edit: “Tesla actually outsold Mercedes and BMW in terms of all vehicles in the US in September.“
https://cleantechnica.com/2018/11/04/will-german-automakers-survive-iphone-moment-for-cars-aka-the-tesla-effect/

September U.S. small + midsize luxury car sales graph below is from:
https://cleantechnica.com/2018/10/21/18-nasty-tesla-charts/

46
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: November 10, 2018, 01:49:23 PM »
Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
11/10/18, 12:10 AM
If Tesla can help people in California wildfire, please let us know. Model S & X have hospital grade HEPA filters. Maybe helpful for transporting people.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1061123924354875393
<< Not the Model 3?
EM: Good, but not hospital grade. S & X were designed to be proof against an actual bioweapon attack. Requires a giant filter with separate acid & alkaline gas neutralization layers. Not enough room in Model 3.

Edit:
Elon Musk authorizes Tesla employees to provide assistance for the California wildfires and 'not worry about payment'
Quote
California, Tesla’s home state, is currently on fire as the current wildfire season is proving to be particularly devastating.  CEO Elon Musk has authorized Tesla employees to provide assistance for the wildfires and not worry about payment.

Several wildfires have been extremely destructive in California this week.  The one that destroyed the northern California city of Paradise has been deemed “the most destructive in state history in terms of structures burned” and several people died, according to news reports.  Today, thousands of people have been evacuated in Southern California due to different wildfires.

In an email sent to all Tesla employees tonight and obtained by Electrek, Musk told that if Tesla can help they should go ahead and provide assistance:

“If there’s any way for Tesla to be helpful, please provide assistance and don’t worry about payment.”

Tesla has often provided help in disaster situations. For example, it quickly shipped Powerwalls to Puerto Rico after hurricanes destroyed the local electric grid.  Now there are disasters in the company’s own backyard. Tesla has several facilities and tens of thousands of employees in California.

After sending the email to employees, Musk suggested on Twitter that Tesla could help transport people through problematic areas with Model S and Model X vehicles due to their air filtration system. ...
https://electrek.co/2018/11/10/tesla-elon-musk-employees-assistance-california-wildfires-hepa-air-filter/


Edit:  more:
Tesla's 'Bioweapon Defense Mode' is proving invaluable to owners affected by CA wildfires
https://www.teslarati.com/elon-musk-tesla-model-s-x-bioweapon-defense-mode-ca-wildfires/

47
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: November 10, 2018, 01:31:16 AM »
Oh, dear.

Layoffs, furloughs, auctions and shutdown at Faraday Future's EV factory
Quote
Things are growing grimmer for Faraday Future as the company has had to shut down its electric vehicle factory in California. Some employees have been laid off, others placed on furlough while the startup is trying to secure funding to save the company.

As we reported last month, it seemed like the startup was finally out of the woods after a large Chinese holding company promised a massive $2 billion investment in Faraday Future, but after a fallout with the investors, the company recently had to lay off employees and cut salaries.

FF is running out of cash again and it is looking for new investors. But in the meantime, things are getting even more difficult for the company.

Most of the employees at the Hanford factory, where FF was gearing up to build the FF91, its first all-electric production car, have been laid off or put on furlough, according to local news reports. FF told employees on furlough to not expect work until at least next year.

ABC reports that about 40 people were laid off and 60 were furloughed over the last month, leaving only about 10 managers and directors at the factory. ...
https://electrek.co/2018/11/08/faraday-future-ev-factory-layoff-shutdown/

48
Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: November 10, 2018, 01:21:40 AM »
California

Tesla and others to deliver over 2 GWh of energy storage in California project to replace 3 gas plants
Quote
The California Public Utilities Commission approved this week a very important proposal from PG&E to deploy over 2 GWh of energy storage capacity from battery systems by Tesla and other companies that will replace three gas plants.

We first learned of the project at PG&E’s Moss Landing substation when they submitted it to CPUC and the company was in talks with Tesla earlier this year.

It involves four separate energy storage projects and two of them should become the world’s largest battery systems.

Dynegy is going to deploy a 300 MW / 1,200 MWh project on PG&E’s grid while the Tesla project will be a 182.5 MW / 730 MWh, which could eventually go up to 1.1 GWh.

When Tesla completed its giant Powerpack project in Australia, it became the largest battery in the world, but these new ones are several times larger. ...
https://electrek.co/2018/11/09/tesla-pge-giant-energy-storage-replace-gas-plants/

49
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 10, 2018, 12:54:57 AM »
Geoff Cornish on Twitter: "A dessicating, gusty wind has led to explosive fire behavior in California. The Camp Fire in Butte Co has grown to 70,000 acres (at least 5 killed). The Woolsey Fire has consumed 14,000 acres, threatens Malibu. Hill Fire burned 6,100 acres. #CampFire #WoolseyFire #HillFire #cawx”
https://twitter.com/StormOfCorn/status/1061014266906636288
Image with peak wind gusts at the link.

Jon Passantino on Twitter: "Malibu officials say they can't remember such a widespread evacuation of the coastal community ever happening before. 200,000 people now under evacs in the area.”
https://twitter.com/passantino/status/1061016675548463104
Buzzfeed article with many vids:  https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/buzzfeednews/california-wildfires

Dozens of links in this article:
Entire cities evacuate as hellish wildfires whip through California
https://grist.org/article/entire-cities-evacuate-as-hellish-wildfires-whip-through-california/

Even away from the flames, the smoke is so thick it turns day into night and reduces visibility to near zero, making it impossible to see where the fire is:
Whitney Ashton on Twitter: "Terrifying scene as @PatrickNBCLA reports from Broad Beach in #Malibu. Follow our continuous fire coverage here on @NBCLA: https://t.co/Lc81NUiFGp #WoolseyFire”
https://twitter.com/whit_ashton/status/1060989598375936000

50
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 09, 2018, 01:52:04 PM »
CAMP fire:
Firefighters worked Thursday night to prevent the Camp Fire from burning into Chico, although flames destroyed homes on the outskirts.  Evacuations extended to the north (Magalia).  15,000 structures threatened.  20,000 acres.
https://www.redding.com/story/news/2018/11/08/evacuations-underway-paradise-camp-fire-rages/1930719002/

CALFIRE page:
http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents/incidentdetails/Index/2277



VCFD PIO on Twitter: "#Woolseyfire update - 30,000 homes threatened. Multiple structures damaged/ destroyed. No fatalities or severe injuries. Fire threatening to cross Highway 101 at Westlake Blvd. Unified Command: @VCFD @LAFD @LACoFDPIO @lacountysheriff @LAPDHQ @VENTURASHERIFF”
https://twitter.com/VCFD_PIO/status/1060842581137883136

LACounty Fire PIO on Twitter: "#Woolseyfire *UPDATE* Fire is at approx. 8000 acres. 0% Containment. New Mandatory evacuation orders south of 101 fwy north of Potrero rd. between Westlake bl. &amp; Wendy dr. Evacs. in Hidden Hills area of LA County and @LAFD operational area have been down graded to voluntary.“
https://twitter.com/LACoFDPIO/status/1060847403266277376

VCFD PIO on Twitter: "#WoolseyFire Multiple structures reported burning Erbes Rd. and Moorpark Rd.”
https://twitter.com/VCFD_PIO/status/1060845736231763968

VCFD PIO on Twitter: "#Woolseyfire incident fact sheet [at the link]
https://twitter.com/VCFD_PIO/status/1060835661475852289

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