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91
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« Last post by gerontocrat on January 17, 2020, 08:10:58 PM »
You can´t always Wir schaffen es on everything...  ::)
But what we need is less "Wir schaffen es" (we can do it) and more" Wir werden es tun" (we will do it)

Don't blame me if the translation is crap (mist?).
92
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« Last post by Florifulgurator on January 17, 2020, 08:10:27 PM »
Yes, I've seen it myself when chopping off the head of a chicken: A grown-up man went hysterical, but the children had no problem.

But I wouldn't force them to see the bloated corpses of cuddly Koalas and Kangaroos burnt alive.  :'( The fires are impressive and teaching enough.
93
Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« Last post by gerontocrat on January 17, 2020, 08:01:02 PM »
An article from wired.co.uk suggesting that the UK motor industry might be excluded from the production of EV's for the European Market, and therefore reduce the industry to, at best, a shadow of its current size.

I have spoken and posted, (but not on ASIF,) about what Brexit is likely to do to our automobile industry quite often over the last 3 years, and been met with scornful derision most times.

Cuts to subsidies,
Too slow about everything,
& Brexit.

But it will cut the UK's CO2 emissions. No energy required for a defunct industry.

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/gigafactory-uk-government
Tesla's gigafactory snub tells you everything about the UK's EV woes The government believes that a new £1 billion battery gigafactory can reanimate the UK’s ailing car industry. As Tesla has shown, it’s wrong
Quote
Last year began with 4,500 jobs lost at Jaguar Land Rover. Weeks later, another 3,500 jobs went at the Honda plant in Swindon. A few months later, 1,700 roles were slashed when Ford shut its Bridgend factory. But the losses were only the beginning of a trend that is likely to continue as supply chain and tariff pressures sparked by Brexit start to bite.

Given that depressing outlook, it's no wonder that a gigafactory could be seen as the solution. Electric vehicles, or EVs, have green credentials – the government wants all new cars sold in the UK from 2040 onwards to be zero emissions – they're favoured as the future of manufacturing by industry, and could bring some jobs back.

The chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) last year even proclaimed: "If batteries go out of the UK, then automotive production will go out of the UK."

But so far, the UK's efforts haven't convinced Asian battery makers to come to the UK. That will be a problem for the carmakers left here that are hoping to shift to electric, JLR included, and industry research suggests they'll need more than one gigafactory to meet that demand.

No surprise then that during the election Labour costed two or three plants at around £3 billion, while the Tories had already pledged £1bn to help fund R&D and make major investments in battery manufacturing. Before the election, the government set up the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre with a £28 million investment, hoping to provide "a stepping stone for our ambition for a gigafactory in the UK".

Will that be enough? Not based on money alone, especially compared to the £3.4bn gigafactory that Tesla founder Elon Musk is building in Berlin. Of course, the government money won’t just be there to build a gigafactory outright – though that may be an appealing idea, a joint venture may be more likely – but is only seeking to encourage one via investment and building out a supply chain.

But £1bn can't make up for Brexit. The looming threat of tariffs on supply chains and sales of finished products will spark reluctance amongst carmakers unwilling to take risks investing huge portions of their business in the UK.

This isn't supposition: Musk said it was at least partially behind the decision to build Tesla's first European gigafactory in Germany rather than the UK, and carmakers such as BMW and Vauxhall have already signalled they may pull out in the face of Brexit.

"The European market is of course much bigger, and that's why you're seeing initial investments going over there," says Ian Constance, CEO at the Advanced Propulsion Centre.
94
Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« Last post by Tom_Mazanec on January 17, 2020, 07:49:22 PM »
OK, keep pushing shared transportation here, but don’t whine  when people point out its problems.
95
Consequences / Re: World of 2030
« Last post by Tor Bejnar on January 17, 2020, 07:48:15 PM »
partial cross-post:
WEF Risks Report Ranks Climate Change as Biggest Global Threat
https://www.dw.com/en/wef-risks-report-ranks-climate-change-as-biggest-global-threat/a-51997420

In its 15th Global Risks Report published on Wednesday, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has said that for the first time in the report's history all of the "top long-term risks by likelihood" are environmental. While in the previous decade economic and financial crises were seen as most dangerous, the report has found that risk perceptions have shifted to extreme weather, environmental disasters, biodiversity loss, natural catastrophes and failure to mitigate climate change.

...

Quote
"The near-term impacts of climate change add up to a planetary emergency that will include loss of life, social and geopolitical tensions and negative economic impacts," the report says, adding that failure of climate change mitigation and adaption is the No. 1 risk by impact and number two by likelihood over the next 10 years.

With it comes the loss of biodiversity — ranked as the second most impactful and third most likely risk for the next decade — which has critical implications for humanity due to the likely collapse of food and health systems and disruptions of entire supply chains.

...
96
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« Last post by ArcticMelt2 on January 17, 2020, 07:33:16 PM »



Good news. This means that investments in wind energy are growing steadily, and solar energy is experiencing a slight decline.

It is bad that in general 2017 remains the year with the most investments in green energy.
97
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« Last post by vox_mundi on January 17, 2020, 07:24:43 PM »
Soybean Oil Implicated in Metabolic Disease and Genetic Changes in the Brain
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-01-america-widely-consumed-oil-genetic.html

New UC Riverside research shows soybean oil not only leads to obesity and diabetes, but could also affect neurological conditions like autism, Alzheimer's disease, anxiety, and depression.

Used for fast food frying, added to packaged foods, and fed to livestock, soybean oil is by far the most widely produced and consumed edible oil in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In all likelihood, it is not healthy for humans.

It certainly is not good for mice. The new study, published this month in the journal Endocrinology, compared mice fed three different diets high in fat: soybean oil, soybean oil modified to be low in linoleic acid, and coconut oil.

The same UCR research team found in 2015 that soybean oil induces obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and fatty liver in mice. In the study released this month, the scientists found pronounced effects of the oil on the hypothalamus, where a number of critical processes take place.

"The hypothalamus regulates body weight via your metabolism, maintains body temperature, is critical for reproduction and physical growth as well as your response to stress," said Margarita Curras-Collazo, a UCR associate professor of neuroscience and lead author on the study.

The research team discovered roughly 100 other genes also affected by the soybean oil diet. They believe this discovery could have ramifications not just for energy metabolism, but also for proper brain function and diseases such as autism or Parkinson's disease. However, it is important to note there is no proof the oil causes these diseases.

Additionally, the team notes the findings only apply to soybean oil—not to other soy products or to other vegetable oils.

Poonamjot Deol et al, Dysregulation of Hypothalamic Gene Expression and the Oxytocinergic System by Soybean Oil Diets in Male Mice, Endocrinology (2020)
https://academic.oup.com/endo/advance-article/doi/10.1210/endocr/bqz044/5698148
98
Consequences / Re: 2020 World Economic Forum: Global Risk Report
« Last post by vox_mundi on January 17, 2020, 07:12:25 PM »
WEF Risks Report Ranks Climate Change as Biggest Global Threat
https://www.dw.com/en/wef-risks-report-ranks-climate-change-as-biggest-global-threat/a-51997420

In its 15th Global Risks Report published on Wednesday, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has said that for the first time in the report's history all of the "top long-term risks by likelihood" are environmental. While in the previous decade economic and financial crises were seen as most dangerous, the report has found that risk perceptions have shifted to extreme weather, environmental disasters, biodiversity loss, natural catastrophes and failure to mitigate climate change.



"Climate change is a very real and serious threat to society," said Alison Martin, a senior member of Zurich Insurance Group, who helped compile the publication, alongside consultancy Marsh & McLennan and a number of renowned universities from across the world.

"Extreme weather events such as heat waves and flooding are becoming more commonplace and severe, leaving communities to deal with often devastating humanitarian and economic costs," she added.

Quote
"The near-term impacts of climate change add up to a planetary emergency that will include loss of life, social and geopolitical tensions and negative economic impacts," the report says, adding that failure of climate change mitigation and adaption is the No. 1 risk by impact and number two by likelihood over the next 10 years.

With it comes the loss of biodiversity — ranked as the second most impactful and third most likely risk for the next decade — which has critical implications for humanity due to the likely collapse of food and health systems and disruptions of entire supply chains.

... WEF describes the world we live in as rife with "geopolitical and geoeconomic uncertainty." Powerful economic, demographic and technological forces are shaping a new balance of power, in which states are increasingly viewing opportunities and challenges through "unilateral lenses."

As a result, alliance structures and multilateral systems are threatening to collapse under the pressure of "nationalist postures in pursuit of individual agendas and economic decoupling."

... Amid fraying global consensus about politics and economics, the WEF fears that 2020 will be marked by heightened economic confrontations and domestic political polarization, the report says.

In addition, weakening economic growth and rising financial inequality are increasing the risk of economic stagnation, while at the same time governments' space to stimulate economies with monetary and fiscal policy is narrowing.

Amid this darkening economic outlook, people's discontent with their political leaders is set to harden, leading to more public protests that are potentially weakening the ability of governments to take decisive action should a downturn occur.

But without economic and social stability, countries could lack the "financial resources, political capital or social support needed to confront key global risks."



Report: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Global_Risk_Report_2020.pdf
99
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« Last post by Ken Feldman on January 17, 2020, 07:01:24 PM »
How strong are the coal miner unions in Germany?  Do corporate donations to election campaigns play as big a role in German elections as they do in the US?

You see some states in the US (Ohio for example) where crass political considerations lead to subsidies to keep coal (and nuclear) power plants running when they would otherwise be replaced by cheaper renewables as they are in neighboring states (like Indiana).  What's the excuse in Germany?
100
Policy and solutions / Re: Water Resource Management
« Last post by vox_mundi on January 17, 2020, 06:55:02 PM »
‘It Tastes Like Clay’: Residents of Rio Alarmed by Murky, Smelly Tap water
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/16/brazil-rio-de-janeiro-tap-water-pollution

Just weeks before hosting its world famous carnival – and with summer temperatures soaring past 40C (104F) – Rio de Janeiro is on edge as residents across the city complain of murky and foul-smelling tap water.

Scores of neighbourhoods in the city of 6.7 million people, as well as six nearby towns, have been affected by the crisis, which has dragged on for nearly two weeks.

Social media feeds have been flooded with photos and videos of clay-coloured water, while supplies of bottled water have run low.

The city’s publicly-owned water company has said the strange taste was caused by an organic compound called geosmin (which is found naturally in soil), and insisted the water was safe to drink.

But residents have complained of falling sick after drinking the water, and environmentalists blamed the crisis on polluted rivers, a lack of basic sanitation and decades of mismanagement.



The water crisis in Rio de Janeiro is totally connected to the environmental collapse we are experiencing. The rush to buy drinking water to the point of running out of stock in some stores is a preview of what we can experience in the not-so-distant future.

https://twitter.com/milensbatista/status/1216020403958829057?s=20

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Main Water Sources that Supply Rio de Janeiro are Polluted, Expert warning
https://g1.globo.com/rj/rio-de-janeiro/noticia/2020/01/09/principais-mananciais-de-agua-que-abastecem-o-rio-de-janeiro-estao-poluidos-alerta-especialista.ghtml

"If the raw water is more and more polluted, it will reach a point that you will not be able to treat," said Uerj's sanitary engineer. Aerial images show the problem.

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