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Messages - blu_ice

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Policy and solutions / Re: Ships and boats
« on: February 25, 2021, 04:40:11 PM »
Oil tankers are not very fast to begin with. Container vessels were much faster but adopted practices just before the financial crisis to cut high bunker costs at the time.

Nowadays container transit times are longer than fifteen years ago and new vessels are designed to lower cruise speeds.

There’s an obvious downside. Slower speed means more time at sea which means higher personnel and capital cost and less chargeable voyages.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: February 23, 2021, 09:59:54 PM »
Tech stocks are going down the most because they were seriously overvalued.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: February 23, 2021, 03:20:40 PM »
In the age of robocar there won't be Uber drivers of any kind. That's why Uber is designing it's own robocars.

Uber wants to count drivers as contractors, because that would move downside of not having rides to the drivers. All the upside is supposed to remain with Uber, of course.

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: February 22, 2021, 09:49:08 PM »
Well, no. Rather trade some efficiency to resiliency.

Connect TX grid with the rest of the US. Don’t build near sea level. Have a stock of essential goods instead of just-in-time deliveries. Maintain a proper health care system.

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: February 22, 2021, 03:16:43 PM »
I'd say it's about time people start to build their infrastructure, supply chains, institutions, well basically everything, to better withstand freak events.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Casual 2021 melting season predictions
« on: February 19, 2021, 07:11:17 AM »
My prediction is we will witness one or more occurrences of very weird weather around the Arctic (and elsewhere). Something like the record breaking Siberian heatwave or the GAAC of 2020.

Because in climate and weather, weird is the new normal.

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: February 18, 2021, 10:06:56 PM »
Tbh it must be awful being stuck in -15C temps in poorly insulated houses without power and water. It’s a life threatening situation.

A widespread blackout in mid-winter would be a national emergency up here in Finland and we are used to such conditions.

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: February 18, 2021, 05:34:01 PM »
I’m afraid pumps and pipes and valves in those solid frozen pools will need some fixing when the temperature rises.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cryptocurrency
« on: February 13, 2021, 12:01:51 PM »
Chamath Palihapitiya (@chamath) 2/9/21, 4:10 PM
Loss porn: In 2014 I bought an empty lot in Lake Tahoe for $ Bitcoin.  :'( ;D ;D ;D
Price adjusted for today, I paid $27.5M for it.…
Chamath Palihapitiya:
I got the math cost $128M. #FML 
A perfect example why bitcoin is useless as a medium of exchange, ie money.

Cryptos are for speculation without any practical use.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 13, 2021, 11:56:19 AM »
I wonder how much intra-day battery storage would cost in the NL? They need to transfer the solar output from noon time maximum to later afternoon and early evening. Batteries should be very good in that but gigawatt scale solutions do have a pricetag.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cryptocurrency
« on: February 10, 2021, 08:58:09 AM »
There is this famous tweet that describes Bitcoin pretty accurately:

imagine if keeping your car idling 24/7 produced solved Sudokus you could trade for heroin

It seems you can trade them for Tesla cars also but the basic principle remains the same. It's a useless waste of energy and computing power.

Also, cryptos are terrible medium of exchange because their value is volatile an mainly increasing. Why spend 1 BC for a model 3 if next year it will buy you two model S.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: February 09, 2021, 10:49:49 AM »
Does anyone else find it disappointing that Tesla have invested in something so energy intensive and wasteful as bitcoin?

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 05, 2021, 12:09:54 PM »
Energy company ST1 is building a deep geothermal plant in Espoo, next to Helsinki. Their goal is to drill two 6,5 km holes in the granite bedrock to get 110 C water back at the surface. Heat would be used for the local district heating network.

It's a pilot project. They are several years behind initial schedule and cost overruns are likely >100 MEUR by now. There's been complaints about local mini-earthquakes and noise. It's an interesting project nevertheless, go check it out.

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: February 03, 2021, 03:22:45 PM »
Not the most forgiving field of work, this rocket business.

But it was fun to watch regardless. The "belly flop" looks amazing.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 03, 2021, 08:06:31 AM »
What is our medical science literate members' take on the new variants, such as E484K? Based on what I've read in the news there is a real risk the virus will develop resistance to immunity, whether obtained by disease or vaccination

Even if Covid variants will become partly resistant to vaccines, we can kiss goodbye vaccination certificates for international travel etc.

Obviously it's possible to update the vaccines also, but the challenges in production and distribution remain.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 01, 2021, 01:43:34 PM »
I seem to have missed quite a lot this weekend.

The above is all true as an expectation. The major downside is that we simply do not know because they are all too new.

Many models are based on incomplete data.

Time is a luxury we do not have but certainty requires time. In the end it becomes a risk based evaluation on choosing certain technologies.

The risk is that 10-15 years from now we find the true cost of wind was underestimated. Apart from the obvious backbiting that will follow, there is a risk that opportunities to have a bigger, better, faster solution don't happen because the exploding cost of wind ate all the money.

Right now, don't know really does mean don't know.  It should not stop progress on renewables, but someone has to keep an eye on the ball as we do not have time to go down rabbit holes.
Exactly. Despite all the progress in renewables we haven't decreased global CO2 emissions.

Wind may be cheaper than FF nowadays, but we don't know if wind + grid scale storage is cheaper than FF, or cheaper than wind + FF.  However, we can be certain intermittency has a price tag which is likely to have a higher marginal cost when renewable share increases.

We should keep on building renewables. But don't count on time and technological silver bullet to take care of our emission problems.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: January 27, 2021, 10:18:26 AM »

Which makes my point.

It is not just rules on taxation of imports.  It is company law, financial law, ease of access, ease of setting up a business relationship.

I work regularly in the EU.  I have a UK limited company.  To set that up in the UK I need £150 and a UK registered address.  In Belgium I need a degree and put down a €16,000 deposit.

Commercial law is entirely different in different EU countries.  The UK has the most open commercial law in Europe and the least regulation over businesses.

To assume that a HUGE impact such as the UK, the 5th largest economy in the world, leaving the EU, would have little or no impact on the EU, even when the motor trade was heavily lobbying the commission to make an exception to vehicle parts, is a little disingenuous.

Ford manufactures 1.6m engines in Dagenham each year.  It sold 155k cars in the UK in 2020.  These engines will have up to 30 or 40 micro controllers in them.

To try and avoid rules of origin it is highly likely that EU vehicle manufacturers are trying to get more stock of micro controllers in order to fabricate out of the UK.

Now they are finding that supplier relationships, commercials and supply chain don't change in a few weeks.
Well, no. You said chips were imported to the EU via Britain because continental countries were more "hostile" towards Asian manufacturers. Nowhere have you shown any proof for this hostility. Commercial reasons don't require "hostility" elsewhere.

Most importantly the current microchip shortage is global, not restricted to the EU or the UK.
In Louisville, Kentucky, Monday, a Ford factory that assembles the Escape SUV began a weeklong shutdown because it doesn’t have enough semiconductor supplies. It has become the latest automaker to feel the impact of a global chip shortage.
There are many logistical bottlenecks around the globe right now. Most are Covid caused, Brexit is adding a local insult to injury.

BTW on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business index the highest ranking European country is Denmark, the global number 4. The UK is ranking second in Europe and 8th globally. Interestingly, 16 EU countries share the number 1 spot on Trading across Border section, while the UK is number 33.

But now we are getting off-topic.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: January 26, 2021, 10:23:40 AM »
Doesn't make sense and is therefore also not true. I'm working for one of those 'Asian' manufacturer of micro controller. Those are shipped neither via the UK nor via Rotterdam but always via air freight, a lot via Frankfurt but of course it depends on where the micro controller are used by the likes of Bosch, Continental and others. Not so much by the OEMs. Most manufacturing is done in Germany, but there is some manufacturing in France but also e.g. Ireland.
Those items have a far to high cost / weight ratio to send them via ship.
I work for a freight forwarder handling imports to Europe and fully agree with you. Reasons to import via another EU country are commercial or logistical, ie. a company in member state A has a supplier in Asia and they import all cargo first to their own country and then sell to their customers in member states B, C and D. This way they can either control the supply chain or get economies of scale logistically.

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: January 25, 2021, 03:24:13 PM »
Progress on Starship is pretty impressive.

Sigmetnow do you know when Spacex is planning to start test flights on the booster stage also? That will be impressive to watch.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: January 25, 2021, 03:16:01 PM »
Reality is that manufacturers like VW sucked in tens of millions of microprocessors through the UK as mainland EU countries have more "hostile" attitudes to Asian electronics.

That makes little sense to me, 
The single market makes goods acceptable regardless of port of entry and the port of entry for a significant amount of goods from the far east destined for the UK was Rotterdam.
I suppose Rotterdam was mostly a transit port only and the import to the EU was done in the UK.

Besides that minor detail I agree with you 100%. If goods were good to import to the EU via UK, they were good to import via any member state.

Unlike duty, VAT is national but the importers can pass that on. And UK VAT rate wasn't lower than for example German VAT rate.

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: January 22, 2021, 04:05:49 PM »
This was textbook trolling.

Instead of Global Surface Air Temperatures people are now discussing whether there is a hiatus or not. Discussion was successfully derailed to a denier talking point.

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: January 22, 2021, 10:25:54 AM »
Could we drop the "hiatus" please? Everybody knows global temps are noisy. A new record year is not followed by a record year after a record year, even in a warming world. Variability is not hiatus.

Policy and solutions / Re: Ships and boats
« on: January 21, 2021, 08:29:49 PM »
Skou: Maersk will order first carbon-neutral ships within the next three years

Søren Skou, the CEO of AP Moller-Maersk, the group that controls the largest containerline in the world, has mapped out when he will put pen to paper to order the company’s first carbon-neutral ships.

Speaking in the latest episode of the Outrage and Optimism podcast, which focused on the future of shipping, Skou said Maersk would order carbon-neutral ships within the next three years, starting off with smaller tonnage ships aimed at regional trades, before taking the knowledge and experience from this landmark first generation of new ships to order a round of larger boxships.

“Three years from now, we expect to buy the first order,” Skou said, saying the initial series would be smaller ships that can operate in a defined geographical area, likely Europe.

“Then we can go out and make supply contracts with people that can provide, whether it’s ammonia or alcohol, methanol and ethanol,” Skou continued, saying the aim was then to order larger carbon-neutral ships before the end of the decade.

Maersk has eschewed new orders lately and has avoided going down the LNG-fuelled path of many of its rivals.

In December 2018, Maersk came out as the first major shipping line to pledge to be carbon neutral by 2050.

In October 2019 the Danish carrier identified three fuels to focus on in its decarbonisation drive, namely renewable methanol, biogas and ammonia.

“A ship has a life expectancy of between 20 and 25 years, so we need to start replacing ships by 2030 in order to be ready at 2050,” Skou told the podcast.

“This is really very encouraging, it’s just the level of ambition and commitment we need to see across the whole industry. It makes perfect commercial sense so I’d hope to see other shipping companies joining the race. What we really need is real zero emissions vessels in operation by 2030 to avoid catastrophic climate change,” Di Gilpin from the UK-based Smart Green Shipping Alliance told Splash today.

Greg Atkinson from Japan’s Eco Marine Power took issue with the terminology carbon neutral when contacted by Splash.

“Carbon neutral is a pretty vague term but if they mean CO2 neutral then this seems feasible depending on the size of the ship,” Atkinson said.

“The industry has come together to work on the decarbonisation issue, which requires collaboration across the value chain – from the fuel suppliers to the classification societies to the ports and shipowners,” commented Andrew Stephens, the executive director of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative.

“First movers are an essential part of this chain, investing into R&D for sustainable zero carbon fuels and setting their ambitions above what is expected and leading the way. We need industry leaders like Maersk to share research and learnings to enable and accelerate the industry’s transition to zero emissions,” Stephens said.

Last July, Maersk joined the likes of Nike and Mercedes-Benz as one of the nine founding signatories to the Transform to Net Zero initiative, which intends to develop and deliver research, guidance, and implementable roadmaps to enable all businesses to achieve net zero emissions.

Last month the European Commission presented its transport initiatives for the coming four years as part of longer terms plans to decarbonise the sector.

Under new goals set by Brussels, by 2030 zero-emission marine vessels will be market-ready with ports in a position to supply the requisite new fuel, and carbon pricing in place to ensure there is a strong uptake of these new vessels.

It should, but it isn't. If net zero goal is placed within a decade, people currently in power would have to make the tough decisions. They don't want to do that.

As net zero goal is placed further into the future, it's all business as usual until the powers-that-be conveniently retire. Technology may reduce some emissions so everybody can pretend things are being done, when in fact nothing isn't.

This is a rather simplistic and untrue explanation

Simplistic, absolutely. Untrue? I wouldn't be so sure about that.

I suppose most here agree that coal is yesterday's fuel and a revolution in energy is underway. But we disagree on it's pace. Global emissions keep on rising. We need a pandemic scale emission cuts every year.

If, as some here claim, renewable technology is soon bringing emissions to net-zero, why are governments and corporations placing their net-zero goals decades into future? I doubt their leaders are stupid. Maybe they just don't want to be held accountable on promises they cannot keep?

the Us and Europe still talk like they should be aplauded for getting to net zerro by 2050. we need a ban on new ff infrastructure ice vehicles today. net zero by 2030 or 2035 should be our goal.
It should, but it isn't. If net zero goal is placed within a decade, people currently in power would have to make the tough decisions. They don't want to do that.

As net zero goal is placed further into the future, it's all business as usual until the powers-that-be conveniently retire. Technology may reduce some emissions so everybody can pretend things are being done, when in fact nothing isn't.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 15, 2021, 10:43:54 AM »
This thing will be mostly over by the end of May. 20-30% of the American/European population will have been infected by then and at least 20% will get the vaccine (even in Europe where there is a scarcity of vaccines). Since COVID is highly seasonal, summertime R is definitely lower than wintertime R. Last summer R was 1,2-1,5 in Europe with basically not effort, no masks, nothing. This means that even vaccinating 20% (plus 20-30% who got it before) will be enough to push it back into the shadows (because R will be lower than 1, even with the mutant version).
Then, during summer and autumn you will have to vaccinate the rest of the population which will happen.
Yep. Mortality should decrease even faster because risk groups are vaccinated first.

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: January 14, 2021, 10:54:40 AM »
be cause & gerontocrat:
I notice that the most cogent arguments you can make against my linked article are, basically, to foam at the mouth.
Tom, what kind of reaction did you expect?

Trump lost the election fair and square, then discredited the results, pressured election officials and when all this failed, sent his violent mob to the Congress to stop the legal process of declaring Biden the new president. Fortunately only 5 people died. Even more fortunate is the strength of the American democratic institutions, although I doubt we have seen the end of this.

To us living outside the US, Trump behaved like a caricature 1960's African dictator. (Apologies for all Africans, but the post-colonial decades were not very stable on the continent.)

The post you linked compared attempted coup to protests against police brutality. Stupid claims rarely get smart responses.

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: January 14, 2021, 10:33:55 AM »
A friendly suggestion: delete all Covid related threads.

The forum is built on topics related to arctic ice, climate and the environment.  We all share interest in those them, as well as somewhat similar worldview.

It should be obvious by now that the good members of the ASIF will never find common ground regarding the pandemic. The endless toxic discussion is destroying the forum.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 13, 2021, 02:18:37 PM »
But then again, I suppose nobody expected Tesla to conquer the market without ever facing competition.

Everyone expected the market to compete to kill Tesla before it became a threat.

Nobody expected that the market would keep on pushing out compliance cars until after Tesla became a force to recon with.

I'm sure it will become a classic business case study at the business colleges in the future.

It is quite possible that the incumbents thought that there would be no need for other than compliance cars until legislation forced it.  i.e. that EV's were too expensive and uncompetitive to become a mass market car without governments forcing the cheap and cheerful fossil burning planet killing cars of the road.

Seems they were wrong.
That is true of course, and some legacy car makers are still in denial. Toyota is a prime example with their hybrid cars and hydrogen fantasies.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 13, 2021, 11:06:26 AM »

I wouldn't rule out VW group yet. They have a decent BEV portfolio with ID.3 and ID.4, Audi E-Tron, Skoda Enyaq, Seat Mii, Porsche and so on. They are behind Tesla in software and electric drivetrain technology but they do know how to mass produce quality vehicles. Most importantly they sold very well in Q4 2020, overtaking Model3 in many European countries. In the end of the day it is sales, not reviews or "expert" opinion that counts. Something that Tesla has proven over the years.

The Koreans are also learning and it will be interesting to see how the new Ioniq will be received.

But then again, I suppose nobody expected Tesla to conquer the market without ever facing competition.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 12, 2021, 12:32:10 PM »
Gero, you are not mistaken.

And if too much money is squeezed off the company, one can always cut costs.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: January 12, 2021, 08:28:29 AM »

If Tesla does not pay investors, then the company is literally a ponzi scheme. it is illegal for a corporation to never intend to pay investors. Although the SEC is completely toothless, I understand, but eventually investors will pull out if they realize this.

You are badly mistaken here.

Dividend isn't the only way for a company to create monetary value to its shareholders. Stock buyback is a common method, and many growing companies decide to invest all revenue back into the business as they see this is the most effective way to increase shareholder value.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is famous for never paying dividend. Buffett believes his investors cannot make better return elsewhere making it unoptimal for paying dividend which would be invested elsewhere with lower return.

I suppose Tesla investors are quite happy with Tesla's strategy so far.

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: January 07, 2021, 06:21:16 AM »
Had Trump managed to get elected for four more years there's a good chance the USA would have never returned to the rule of democracy (such as it is anyway). Luckily, his power is not fully consolidated and many of the old guard in his own party oppose some of his crazier initiatives. Even so, the USA has tottered on the brink of anarchy in the last two months.
Yes. Four more years of Trump would have changed America into a quasi-democracy such as Hungary or even Russia. Elections are being held but they are not a real competition as power is de facto always held by the ruling party.

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: January 06, 2021, 11:41:54 PM »
The strongman in power loses elections, discredits the results and sends his mob to stop the transfer of power.

We’ve all seen this before. Usually somewhere in Africa or Latin America and sometimes in the less stable countries of Europe or Asia.

OK, so here comes your SSW (sudden stratospheric warming). See attached picture of T+2 and T+6 days.
We will have a strong warming over Siberia in the stratosphere by T+2 which will churn and turn and push around the polar vortex. It might split into two eventually, we don't know yet... GFS has been changing its mind in the latest runs as for the longer term outcome. This might bring some cold weather into NH mindlatitudes during mid Jan-end Feb
It’s gonna get cold in Europe after mid-January, says ECMWF extended forecast. Especially Scandinavia, the Baltics and Northwest Russia will be freezing if/when temps will go below average during the coldest time of the year.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 31, 2020, 01:57:21 PM »
For anti-vaxxers:

I don't know about your country but in my country infants get COMPULSORY multiple shots against a number of diseases. I can not fathom why adults would not get the vaccine. This is a classic case of freeriding for antivaxxers.
Every society has rules that you must adhere to and those rules were created so that we could all live a better life. If you drive a car after drinking half a liter of whiskey and go thru many red lights you will be arrested and put into jail - because you endanger everyone else. This is the same with the vaccine: if you don't get vaccinated you endanger everyone else.
Solution is simple: if you don't get vaccinated (have no "vaccine passport") then you don't get to fly, you can not go into any place where there are more than 10 people, etc. Your choice.

As for the "risk" of these vaccines: If for some weird reasons you don't trust the relatively new mRNA technology, you can choose from a variety of adenovirus vector vaccines (AstraZeneca or Sputnik V, etc) that have been around for much longer.
Excellent post El Cid.

Anti-vaxxing is all about me, myself and I.  Nobody will vaccinate me because I don't like big pharma corporations. I know medicine better than the experts and professionals. I care about my possible side-effects more than herd immunity protecting everybody. Me, me, ME!

Fortunately small pox was eradicated before social media influencers and internet conspiracy theorists came into being.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 30, 2020, 03:32:23 PM »
Well, now that they're trialing multiple "vaccines" on the general public, there will be a large enough sample size to determine whether or not any of them are actually effective.

What could go wrong? ;D
They are already approved, not in trial.

And yes, by the time I'm about to receive my dose probably hundreds of millions of people have already received their vaccinations.  That's why risk groups receive their shots first.

IMO the worst thing that can happen is that anti-vaxxer idiots refuse to get vaccinated in such numbers that herd immunity won't be reached and the virus will eventually mutate to a strain that the vaccination doesn't give protection. And the same circus just keeps on going.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 30, 2020, 01:59:37 PM »
The new strain is probably all over the place by now. Or will be, because it's even more difficult to stop than the original Covid-19. Which was proven unstoppable.

R0 will be higher than before causing exponential growth. Especially so because it is mid-winter in the NH, prime time for infectious diseases. On the upside, vaccinating risk groups will decrease fatality.

It's starting to look like it's either vaccination or infection for most people.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: December 22, 2020, 10:19:21 AM »
I google translated part of the article

Emphasis mine

The number of electric buses will increase fivefold in local traffic in Finland next year, says Marko Paakkinen, Head of VTT's research team at the Technology Research Center.

Currently, about 50 fully electric buses run on the streets of Finnish cities in Helsinki, Tampere and Turku. At the end of next year, there will be about 250 electric buses.

In traffic in the Helsinki region, the number will increase from about 40 electric buses to more than 160, 47 new electric buses will be introduced in Turku in addition to the six already in use, 17 in Lahti and 13 in Kuopio.

In addition, in 2022, at least 13 electric buses will be introduced in Joensuu.

- The phenomenon is happening a bit everywhere: we are bidding on bus lines and getting more electric buses than required in the bidding. Electric buses are starting to be competitive with diesel buses, Paakkinen says.

According to Petri Auno, CEO of Nobina, who will bring more than 100 electric buses to public transport in the Turku and Helsinki region next summer, the purchase price of the electric bus will be about double compared to the diesel bus.

Paakkinen estimates that next year, electric buses will account for about half of all new buses.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: December 21, 2020, 02:23:19 PM »
No worries Neil, they will work it out. Everybody knows Germany is not the easiest place for a massive industrial green field investment but they are making steady progress nevertheless.

I have full confidence in Tesla to make Giga Berlin a success and the market seems to agree. Later on, it will be a major advantage for Tesla to sell Made in Germany electric vehicles for the European market instead of American cars built in some cheap labour country such as Slovakia.

United Kingdom isn't an option for obvious reasons. They may or may not be behind a duty barrier in ten days. Nobody knows for sure and hasn't known for four and a half years.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 21, 2020, 11:07:15 AM »
Hopefully words will be followed by actions, but difference to Trump administration is already huge. No more climate change denialists and FF lobbyists in high positions.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: December 16, 2020, 10:24:57 AM »
EV advantage is that you can plug it in for the night and wake up every morning with a full "tank".

Low kW charger is enough for this, but the problem is city people need to have chargers on the streets where they park for the night.

High kW chargers are needed on the road for long distance driving. Most people rarely drive long distances, even in sparsely populated countries.

Remember how people were hoarding all sorts of things last spring? Waiting for the global supply chains to fail due to the pandemic? Well it didn't happen then but it is happening now. 

UK is the worst hit country thanks to self-inflicted brexit injury. The nation that invented free trade has to learn it's benefits the hard way.

The rest of the world is not far behind, though. Expect shortages.

Ikea latest firm to suffer shortages and delays due to clogged UK ports
Swedish chain says it is struggling to meet demand and apologises to customers

Zoe Wood and Joanna Partridge

Sat 12 Dec 2020 07.00 GMT

Ikea has become the latest victim of the UK’s gridlocked ports, with the retailer blaming delayed orders and stock shortages on the congestion, which is now also derailing food imports.

The Swedish chain said it was experiencing “operational challenges” as shipments of its flatpack furniture are held up at clogged ports. The hold-ups came as Ikea struggled to meet increased demand for home furnishings, which has soared this year as Britons have switched to homeworking.

Ikea’s social media channels have been besieged by angry customers, venting over late and missing furniture deliveries. The situation was made worse for some by long periods spent on hold to its contact centres.

One customer, Kathy Hall, said she had received her wardrobe doors but was told the frame would not be in stock until February. “If you don’t sort yourselves out and concentrate on giving a good customer service you will be out of business soon,” she tweeted.

The problems at Ikea came as Richard Ballantyne, chief executive of the British Ports Association, said the congestion issues were “cascading” beyond the container ports. He added that delays and queues at lorry ports on the east coast were now increasingly common.

Ballantyne said: “We are seeing a big increase in traffic, which is now cascading across the wider ports industry. This is the result of a perfect storm of a global surge in container movements, the traditionally busy pre-Christmas period and people moving more goods before the UK’s Brexit transition ends. This is putting pressure on the logistics and storage sectors both in the UK and abroad.

Dublin port, the gateway to Ireland’s economy, is also bracing for post-Brexit delays that could cause knock-on hold-ups in UK ports. The director of port operations for Stena, which operates Holyhead port in Wales, has expressed concern that congestion at Dublin will disrupt ferry schedules in Welsh ports, where Ireland-bound trucks face pre-clearance to meet Irish regulations.

Ikea told the Guardian it had been faced with “unprecedented” demand for its products, which include bestselling lines such as the Pax wardrobe and Billy bookcase.

However, the strong sales had come at a time when Ikea’s “supply chain, including the ports and goods terminals where our products are received, has been impacted by Covid-19. Our product availability has been affected as a result,” it said.

Ikea declined to say which ports it relied on but the most congested ports are the container ports of Felixstowe, Southampton and London Gateway, according to the supply chain risk advisory firm Resilience360.

Other retailers are also struggling to get stock into stores in time for the critical Christmas period. Toy stores, stores that sell electrical goods and builders’ merchants have all reported shortages and delays in receiving stock. The delays are also affecting other industries, with Honda forced to halt production at its Swindon plant this week due to a shortage of car parts.

In recent weeks the congestion at container ports has prompted vessels to “cut and run” – either partially unloading or skipping UK calls altogether to offload cargo at mainland European ports such as Antwerp, Rotterdam and Zeebrugge.

Until now the delays have not hit businesses bringing food to the UK but that is changing as goods destined for supermarket shelves end up marooned at foreign ports.

The rerouting of cargo has affected produce suppliers such as Minor, Weir and Willis, which said it had two container loads of ginger stuck in Zeebrugge. They could be driven to the UK within 12 hours but the company told the Grocer magazine that the paperwork could take days, a situation the company described as “maddening”.

Ikea said it was working hard to resolve the stock issues and had hired additional staff on its customer helplines: “These continue to be extraordinary times and we apologise unreservedly for the inconvenience caused to our customers. We fully understand their frustration and want to assure them that we are working intensively to resolve these challenges as soon as possible.”

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: December 14, 2020, 02:59:46 PM »
To improve EV adaptation European cities must build charging infrastructure along streets where people park their cars for the night. I wonder who's gonna pay for that when most people still drive ICEs.

And if those charger spots are for EVs only, where shall all the ICEs go? City parking space is usually in short supply.

Expect lots of heated and emotional arguments.

Meanwhile in the container freight market. Massive demand for Chinese goods are putting the logistics chain on the brink of collapse. Rates are all time high. It really is mad.

Container freight rates from Asia surge to new highs – 'it's gone mad'

By Mike Wackett 11/12/2020
Container freight rates from Asia continued to surge this week, reaching highs far in excess of long-term sustainable levels.

Today’s Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) cumulative reading hit a new record of 2,311.71, representing a 162% increase on the same week last year.

After initially lagging behind the massive rate gains seen on the transpacific, spot rates to North Europe now lead the rate race in terms of percentage increase, 230% higher than a year ago.

The North Europe component of the SCFI jumped 24% on the week, to $2,948 per teu, while spot rates to Mediterranean ports put on 29% to breach the $3,000 mark, at $3,073 per teu.

However, reports to The Loadstar this week imply that actual rates paid by shippers to secure containers and the last remaining slots to Europe are significantly higher.

Lars Jensen of SeaIntelligence said anecdotal evidence suggested the exact rates shippers were paying on the Asia-North Europe tradelane could be up to $5,000 per teu.

“In this context, it should be noted that the market is at a point where the SCFI is, in some cases, significantly underestimating the actual rates paid, as there are additional fees related to equipment and space availability,” explained Mr Jensen.

One UK forwarder confirmed to The Loadstar this week that rate quotes had hit the $10,000 per 40ft high-cube on Asia-North Europe.

“It’s gone mad,” he said.

Moreover, the actual rates could be irrelevant if other carriers follow the lead of CMA CGM. The French carrier has advised its Asia-North Europe customers of a “booking freeze” for weeks 49, 50 and 51, “due to the strong demand for containers from Asia and the backlog in recent weeks”.

And another carrier has told Asia-North Europe customers this week it was looking to implement a $1,000 per teu fee if a shipment is cancelled within two weeks of the loading date.

Meanwhile, after several weeks of stable (but high) rates on the transpacific, the SCFI recorded an increase of $104 for spot rates to the US east coast, to $4,804 per 40ft, representing a 91% hike on the same week of last year, while rates to the west coast were flat this week, at $3,984 per 40 ft, which is, nonetheless, a vast 188% increase on the SCFI reading of a year ago.

And there appears no easing in the surge of cargo heading for the US west coast, with the port of Los Angeles’ Signal volume forecaster expecting 48% and 44%, respectively, more containers on ships in the next two weeks.

The pressure on the LA and Long Beach terminals from the enormous leap in throughput is intense – the Signal prediction for total Q4 volume at Los Angeles is up 40% year on year to over 850,000 teu – and vessels are waiting up to six days at anchor in the San Pedro Bay.

Jon Monroe, of Washington state-based Jon Monroe Consulting, said: “This Covid consumer recovery has legs. Retail sales posted strong gains over Black Friday, up 21% over last year, and if you have not already booked merchandise to ship pre-Chinese New Year, you may already be too late.”

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: December 08, 2020, 12:54:15 PM »
Tesla to sell 5 billion worth of their (record high) stock

Tesla stock drops after $5 billion stock offering plan
Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 6:33 a.m. ET

Share sale agreement comes after price surge to a record boosts market cap to over $600 billion

Shares of Tesla Inc. dropped Tuesday after the electric vehicle market leader filed for the sale of up to $5 billion worth of stock.

The share sale plan comes after the stock shot up 12.8% over the past three days to Monday’s record close of $641.76. That rally boosted Tesla’s market capitalization to $6.08 billion, enough to make it the sixth most valuable U.S. company.

Don’t miss: Tesla’s market cap zooms past $600 billion.

The stock TSLA, +7.13% slid 1.8% ahead of Tuesday’s open. The stock has soared 94.4% over the past three months through Monday, and 667.1% year to date, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.19% has gained 14.3% this year.

Telsa said it entered into an equity distribution agreement with a number of Wall Street banks, including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Barclays, BNP, BofA Securities, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, SG Americas and Wells Fargo.

Shares will be sold from “time to time” through an “at-the-market” (ATM) offering program.

The offering follows another $5 billion offering completed three months ago, when a large shareholder also sold off some of its stake, and before the stock is added to the S&P 500 index on Dec. 21.

Based on Monday’s stock closing price of $641.76, the offering plan could represent about 7.79 million shares, or about 0.8% of the shares outstanding.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: November 26, 2020, 10:36:51 AM »
My prediction based on myself alone is that before the end of this decade Russian economy will hit a brick wall because of all the built-in fossil fuel dependency. Oil, their main source of income will be hit particularly hard.

Oil prices may recover post-pandemic but road transportation electrification is already underway. Road transportation consumes appr. 50% of oil globally. Assuming an average 50% decrease in consumption per vehicle per year equates to 25% decrease in global demand for oil. Yes, there will be more vehicles, but OTOH -50% is a rather conservative estimate as BEVs oil consumption is zero. Hybrids also have an effect.

12-15% is consumed by aviation and shipping which is likely to remain more stable. Their consumption is unlikely to grow for many years though, as aviation will have hard time reaching 2019 figures.

Good luck opening Arctic oilfields.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 17, 2020, 10:52:33 AM »
The only thing limiting greater adoption of renewable energy today is resistance from vested interests in fossil fuels. Sorry but you have been fed a line of shit(intermittency is readily solvable today).
But is it really that simple? I'm not saying it cannot be done but I doubt it is that easy. 

Yes, there are a number of technologies available to tackle the intermittency issue, but they all have a cost and they all waste energy during conversion.

Data shows us wind & solar are growing rapidly in developed economies where demand growth is slow and available (fossil) backup capacity plentiful. Developing countries OTOH are building lot of wind & solar AND fossil fuels. Maybe this is all caused by vested interests or maybe the economics of wind & solar  + grid scale storage aren't yet attractive enough.

The future is obviously non-fossil but are we getting there fast enough?

The politics / Re: Elections 2020 USA
« on: November 06, 2020, 11:12:29 AM »
Yes, with his speech last night, what some are calling the most dishonest in his presidency (which is saying a lot), the don when full out criminal.

Basically he sounds like a football team who is loosing in the second half, so insists that they won because they were briefly ahead in the first half.

It's such a blatantly fraudulent 'argument,' that I can't believe that even most of his supporters are buying it...but then...
He's very good in creating an alternate reality but isn't this going a bit too far? It's just so amazingly ridiculous and being a sore a loser never looks good on anyone.

The politics / Re: Elections 2020 USA
« on: November 06, 2020, 09:22:31 AM »
I support a higher minimum wage and voted for Trump.
People vote this way because they pick the candidate who is closest to them on a variety of issues important to them, not the one identical to their views on all issues. If we only voted for the person who is identical to our views on all issues there would be 100 million candidates who each got one vote...their own.
Tom you gave your vote to a candidate who is trying to get only his votes counted. Throwing lawsuits left and right, spreading misinformation and whatever. And we knew he would because he has said so himself.

I'm sorry but I cannot understand this at all. Your crybaby of a president is acting like it's impossible for him to lose a fair and square election.

The point in democracy is peaceful transition of power. You cast your votes, then you count them and then we see who won. If republicans lose the White House, there will always be new elections to win. Trump is trying to break the system.

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