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Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases again reaches record levels

Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the air we breath — such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide — continue to surge and reach new levels.

Reuters via CBC »

Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere hit a new record in 2018, exceeding the average yearly increase of the last decade and reinforcing increasingly damaging weather patterns, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Monday.

Matt McGrath, writing for the BBC »

What concerns scientists is the overall warming impact of all these increasing concentrations. Known as total radiative forcing, this effect has increased by 43% since 1990, and is not showing any indication of stopping.

“There is no sign of a slowdown, let alone a decline, in greenhouse gases concentration in the atmosphere despite all the commitments under the Paris agreement on climate change,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

“We need to translate the commitments into action and increase the level of ambition for the sake of the future welfare of mankind,” he added.

“It is worth recalling that the last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was three to five million years ago. Back then, the temperature was 2-3C warmer, sea level was 10-20m higher than now,” said Mr Taalas.


Video » Pattie Gonia’s powerful poem “Everything to Lose” about plastic

Right now, there are more plastic pieces in the ocean than stars in the Milky Way.

More from REI


“Everything to Lose”
by Pattie Gonia

Welcome to the planet, my dears

Wipe your feet, come on in
No more need for coats in your mother’s den
Take a look around
Take a taste of the waste we’ve found

This… is plastic
And this… is tragic
And it’s not going away

So let us sit
At the dinner table in the home we call nature
Come, let’s chat. I have an ice breaker

Are we still lighting candles while the house is burning?

While we throw flame and fight over who is right
our Mother does not bite, her tongue or sit in silence

Oh no, Mother Natch is pissed

You see, a woman knows when she’s been told
When the men in the boardroom think she’s being too bold
Too proud, too outspoken, too much to handle
When she’s been made the doormat instead of the mantle

Is this our message in a plastic bottle?
XO hugs kisses
I’ll try better tomorrow
Day after day we send our regards
Millions and millions of plastic discards

P.S. We don’t give a damn.
But we should really give a damn.

Now I know what you’re saying, “It’s just a drop in the bucket”
“It’s just one plastic bag, one straw, so suck it”
Well suck. On. This.
Right now, there are more plastic pieces in the ocean
than stars in the Milky Way
A billion plastic bags being used every single day

While we dress this mess in political gains and power change and profits made
Our mother says to go upstairs and put on something new
So come out of the closet and put on your boots
We’ve got a s**t ton of work to do.

So Queens, let me be straight
Father Time is ticking on
And what will be left is what we have done

Our mother is dying while we are out living
We must turn the tide from taking to giving
We will make a difference if we dare choose
It’s time that we act….
we’ve got everything to lose

Tesla Cybertruck will get up to 800 kilometers of range and start at US$40,000

Sean O’Kane and Andrew J. Hawkins  »

There are three versions of the truck available:

  • Single motor rear-wheel drive with 250 miles of range, 7,500-pound towing capacity, and 0-60 mph capabilities in under 6.5 seconds, for $39,900.
  • Dual motor all-wheel drive with 300 miles of range, 10,000-pound towing capacity, and 0-60 mph in under 4.5 seconds for $49,900.
  • Triple motor all-wheel drive with 500 miles of range, 14,000-pound towing capacity, and 0-60 mph in under 2.9 seconds for $69,900. (Though this version won’t start production until late 2022.)

The truck can seat a total of six adults, Tesla says. The body is made of ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless steel. Musk had Holzhausen demonstrate the body’s strength by smashing it with the aforementioned sledge hammer. The payload has a 3,500-pound capacity, with 100 cubic feet of storage space. The truck’s vault length is 6.5 feet, and it will have 4-inch suspension in either direction. A 17-inch touchscreen sits in the center of the dashboard, though images of the interior look slightly unfinished. (Is that dashboard made of formica?)

Read the whole story at The Verge »

More » Tesla, Autocar, Autoblog, The Detroit Bureau, SlashGear, The Mercury News, Engadget, The Next Web, Associated Press, Reuters, Ars Technica, Ars Technica again, TechCrunch

» NY Times calls it pointy

Oregon increasing taxes on electric vehicles and higher-mileage cars

Beginning January 1, 2020, vehicle registration fees in Oregon are increasing based primarily on the MPG rating determined by the DMV.

Meanwhile, in an effort to promote purchasing more fuel efficient vehicles,  France is considering adding a tax of up to €20,000 on the purchase of SUVs.

The emphasis of Oregon lawmakers is to pay for the roads with less consideration given for the climate.

Mark Brennan »

The cost to register a high mileage hybrid vehicle or an Electric Vehicle (EV) in Oregon will rise significantly on Jan. 1. The increased amount vehicle owners can expect to pay will depend on the fuel efficiency rating of the vehicle, which will now be the primary factor in determining the cost to register it.


“Drivers of more efficient vehicles will pay more to register and renew their tags so they contribute more for use of the roads,” ODOT said in a public statement released earlier this week. “That’s because these drivers are contributing much less (or nothing) in fuels tax while driving just as much.”


Oregon currently has approximately 27,000 EVs registered.

Read the whole article at Siuslaw News »

To be fair, vehicle owners that drive less may benefit by registering their vehicle in the OReGo program that offers a lower yearly registration fees. Owners then need to track their mileage and pay an additional a 1.7 cents per mile tax.

The new Oregon taxes for registering a vehicle for two years starting January 1 »

  • Passenger Registration 0-19 mpg: $122
  • Passenger Registration 20-39 mpg: $132
  • Passenger Registration 40 + mpg and not enrolled in OReGo: $152
  • Passenger Registration 40 + mpg and enrolled in OReGo: $86
  • Passenger Registration Electric and not enrolled in OReGo: $306
  • Passenger Registration Electric and enrolled in OReGo: $86


Ontario right-wing government has already spent $231 million to scrap green energy projects

It’s astonishing how much money Ontario’s Conservative government is will to spend on not fighting climate change.

Mike Crawley »

Provincial documents show the Ford government spent more than $230 million to cancel renewable energy projects that included a partially-built wind farm in a cabinet minister’s riding.

The spending was revealed Tuesday in question period by the opposition NDP, who accused the Ford government of throwing away money on scrapping energy projects as the Liberal government did earlier in the decade.

The province’s public accounts for 2018-19 show spending of $231 million by the Ministry of Energy on unexplained “other transactions.”

Read the whole article at CBC »

Energy startup achieves solar breakthrough

Matt Egan »

Heliogen, a clean energy company that emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday, said it has discovered a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to reflect so much sunlight that it generates extreme heat above 1,000 degrees Celsius.


The breakthrough means that, for the first time, concentrated solar energy can be used to create the extreme heat required to make cement, steel, glass and other industrial processes. In other words, carbon-free sunlight can replace fossil fuels in a heavy carbon-emitting corner of the economy that has been untouched by the clean energy revolution.

Read the whole article at CNN »

10% of new passenger vehicle sold in British Columbia are Zero Emission Vehicles, well above the national average of 3.5%

Karin Larsen »

New numbers released by Electric Mobility Canada show that a full 10 per cent of all new passenger vehicles sold in the province fall into the the ZEV category, well above the national average of 3.5 per cent. Quebec is the next closest province at seven per cent.

Al Cormier, founding president of Electric Mobility Canada, said B.C.’s unique combination of incentive programs, policies and legislation around ZEVs has been effective.

“All that has provided incentives and encouragements to buyers of vehicles in B.C., to researchers, to companies. So generally there are great conditions to promote electric vehicle sales and it’s working,” said Cormier.

Read the whole article at CBC »

Two of America’s biggest coal plants closed this month

Michael J. Coren »

First the dirtiest ones began shutting down. Then it was the old ones. Now it’s some of the biggest. America’s coal plants are turning off the boilers, facing brutal economics and customers fleeing for natural gas and renewable energy.

This week, Arizona’s 2.25-GW Navajo Generating Station burned its last load of coal after no buyers turned up during a two-year search. Trade publication Utility Dive reports that the fate of the financially ailing plant was sealed after a bid to force an Arizona water agency to buy its electricity failed. The Navajo station emitted about 20 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, equivalent to 3.3 million cars. It’s one of the biggest retirements in a year of massive shutdowns.

The second is Pennsylvania’s 2.7-GW Bruce Mansfield unit. The plant’s bankrupt owner began shutdown on Nov. 7, almost two years ahead of schedule. It was the state’s largest coal-fired plant, operating for 40 years.

Read the whole article at Quartz »

Wind power developments in Germany

Tobias Buck »

In the first nine months of 2019, developers put up 150 new wind turbines across the country with a total capacity of 514MW — more than 80 per cent below the average build rate in the past five years and the lowest increase in capacity for two decades. The sharp decline has raised alarm among political leaders, industry executives and climate campaigners.

“For the fight against climate change, this is a catastrophe,” said Patrick Graichen, the director of Agora Energiewende, a think-tank in Berlin. “If we want to reach the 65 per cent renewables target we need at least 4GW of new onshore wind capacity every year. This year we will probably not even manage 1GW.”

The problem was two-fold, he said: “The federal states have not made available enough areas for new wind turbines, and those that are available are fought tooth and nail by local campaigners.”

Read the whole article at Financial Times (paywall) »

VW CEO says new ID.3 car 40% cheaper to build than electric Golf

Electric vehicles are currently substantially more costly and out of the reach for many consumers. Lower production costs would translate to lower consumer prices.

The battery in the new ID.3 can be used to add structural rigidity to the body and the modular layout of the battery allows for advantages in packaging and economies of scale.


This cost reduction is one of the reasons that Volkswagen is confident it can shift from making combustion-engined to electric cars without eroding the company’s profit margin, VW said.

Read the whole article at Reuters »

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