Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Arctic sea ice [image credit: cbc.ca]


This time researchers plan to get stuck on purpose, unlike several earlier notoriously over-ambitious climate-themed ship fiascos in the supposedly ‘vanishing’ polar sea ice in recent years, like this one. With such a massive budget this time, what could possibly go wrong? (That’s rhetorical of course.)

It’s being described as the biggest Arctic science expedition of all time, says BBC News.

The German Research Vessel Polarstern is about to head for the far north where it intends to drift in the sea-ice for an entire year.

Hundreds of scientists will visit the ship in that time to use it as a base from which to study the climate.

The MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) project is expected to cost about €130m (£120m/$150m).

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Los Angeles, CA


California was effectively acting as the national lawmaker by forcing carmakers to adopt its standards – or lose the right to sell new models in the most populous US state. It was enjoying the power of the role, until…

The White House has stripped California of its right to set its own vehicle emissions standards and banned other states from setting similar rules, reports BBC News.

The waiver allowed the state – America’s most populous – to set stricter standards than the federal government.

President Trump says the move will cut car prices and the impact on emissions will be minimal.

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Electric SUV concept car [image credit: motorauthority.com]


Marketing meets climate alarmism in the guise of sport. Don’t mention the ‘carbon emissions’ of all the travel and transport between venues.

Williams development driver Jamie Chadwick is named as one of four women to drive in Extreme E, which kicks off in Greenland in 2021, reports BBC Sport.

Extreme E – Formula E’s sister series – aims to highlight climate change in five remote locations as 12 cars go head-to-head in electric SUVs.

“Racing in incredible locations, raising awareness for climate change… what’s not to love,” said Chadwick.

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Whitelee wind farm, Scotland [image credit: Bjmullan / Wikipedia]


Another two week edition of the fantasy waffle-fest beckons, as imaginary solutions to imaginary man-made problems are chewed over by about thirty thousand climate botherers aka delegates. Most of them will arrive from all parts of the world in fuel-guzzling jets – just like they do every year, wherever the venue is. It’s the make-work scheme that never ends. Who’s paying?

A major United Nations climate change summit will take place in Glasgow, reports BBC News.

The UK has won the bid to host the 26th Conference of the Parties, known as COP26, following a partnership with Italy.

Up to 30,000 delegates are expected to attend the event at Glasgow’s Scottish Events Campus (SEC) at the end of next year.

It is designed to produce an international response to the climate emergency.

The UK will host the main COP summit while Italy will host preparatory events and a significant youth event, as part of the agreement.

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VW ID. model


H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

Let’s see what slice of the German car market goes to electric cars in the next few years. If most people don’t want them due to cost, range, battery life or whatever, where would that leave the manufacturers – and the politicians, with their beloved so-called ‘climate protection’ policies and arbitrary ’emissions’ targets? In trouble, surely.

Frankfurt’s biennial International Auto Show (IAA) opens its doors to the public Thursday, but major foreign carmakers are staying away while climate demonstrators march outside — forming a microcosm of the industry’s woes, says AFP.

“There have never been so many cancellations by carmakers,” said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer of the Centre for Automotive Research (CAR).

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E-bike grumbles echo in the Bavarian Alps

Posted: September 8, 2019 by oldbrew in opinion, Travel
Tags:

In the Bavarian Alps


Are power-assisted e-bikers on walking trails ‘cheating’ and/or a hazard to walkers? How many is too many?

Robert Werner and his wife Ursula usually make time to say a friendly hello to hikers as they ride their gently whirring e-bikes up trails in the Bavarian Alps, reports TechXplore.

But more often than not, their greetings are met with frowns.

“The first thing they look at when they see us are our bikes,” says hotelier Robert, 46, of his electric-powered bicycle.

“If we have an engine, they respect us less.”

While the Werners are convinced of the virtues of e-bikes which have pedals but also an electric motor that can assist the rider’s pedal power, others are less enthusiastic about the new revolution in cycling.

On their e-bikes, the couple powers up the 800-metre (2,600-foot) ascent to the summit of Herzogstand mountain in half an hour—without breaking a sweat.

Many purists believe exploits into nature should be powered by muesli bars, not the electricity grid, and regard the assisted cycling boom as another hi-tech intrusion into the great outdoors.

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Who in the end is paying for all these time-wasting, and – by their own definitions at least – polluting, freeloaders?

PA Pundits - International

From the team at CFACT ~

How does the United Nations convince people that they are super serious in their outrage about fossil fuels? How about flying 4,000 people from all over the world in fossil-fueled jet airplanes to isolated Salt Lake City to whine about it? Sounds like a good plan to the United Nations bureaucracy, which is sponsoring a sustainability and climate change conference this week in Salt Lake City.

The UN brags that up to 4,000 people are likely to attend, representing more 300 nongovernmental organizations (read, environmental activist groups) and more than 80 countries. There is no compelling agenda, no compelling actions items, and no expected meaningful outcome from the conference. It is simply an opportunity for leftist global activists to get together and express outrage about economic freedom and the existential global climate disruption that is the greatest crisis humanity has ever faced –…

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Ex-drone, somewhere in Siberia


Incontinent pigeons could be the least of pedestrians’ worries if any of these headline-seeking flights of fancy come to fruition. Election soon?

Funding will support new technologies including electric passenger planes, flying urban taxis and freight-carrying drones, says Energy Live News.

Up to £300 million of investment has been announced for the development of cleaner and greener forms of transport in Britain.

The government will provide £125 million of funding, which will be supported by industry co-investment of up to £175 million for new technologies including electric passenger planes, flying urban taxis and freight-carrying drones.

It is part of a new Future of Flight Challenge announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, which will be delivered by UK Research and Innovation.

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‘You first’ might be one response. Once again the BBC, like a lot of the media, tries to frame ‘greenhouses gases’ and ‘pollution’ as the same thing, which confuses the reporting even more. Note the capital letters: ‘Zero Carbon’. All part of the make-believe future they are trying to sell to the public, but now exposed as unrealistic.

MPs say people will have to stop driving if the UK is to meet its Zero Carbon goals by 2050, reports BBC News.

The Science and Technology Select Committee says technology alone cannot solve the problem of greenhouse gas emissions from transport.

It says the government cannot achieve sufficient emissions cuts by swapping existing vehicles for cleaner versions.

The government said it would consider the committee’s findings.

In its report, the committee said: “In the long-term, widespread personal vehicle ownership does not appear to be compatible with significant decarbonisation.”

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Solar panel road [image credit: Wattway]


The rotting leaves didn’t help, says ScienceAlert. Neither did the local tractors. Solar panels should be angled towards the Sun anyway, but that kills the whole road idea.

In July, the French daily newspaper Le Monde reported that the 0.6-mile (1 kilometre) solar road was a fiasco.

In December 2016, when the trial road was unveiled, the French Ministry of the Environment called it “unprecedented”. French officials said the road, made of photovoltaic panels, would generate electricity to power streetlights in Tourouvre, a local town.

But less than three years later, a report published by Global Construction Review says France’s road dream may be over.

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Tesla model X [image credit: IB Times]


In a world where car makers can remotely change the characteristics of a vehicle after selling it, obviously nobody wants the result to make the car less attractive to own than before. Did that happen here?

A Tesla owner has filed a suit against the carmaker claiming the company used a software update to deliberately reduce the battery range of his vehicle in an attempt to avoid a recall due to faults in these batteries, reports OilPrice.com.

Reuters reports the suit was filed earlier this week, with the plaintiff seeking class action status on the grounds that “thousands” of other owners of older Model S and X cars could have been affected.

In some cases, according to the allegations, the range reduction came in at as much as 40 miles.

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Image credit: thecount.com


H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

Some stories of Londoners stumbling around in the gloom or stranded on non-moving trains here. Obviously any emergency back-up either wasn’t there or proved ineffective.

Enappsys, an energy consultancy, said the blackout may have been caused by the unexpected shutdowns of the Hornsea offshore wind farm and the Little Barford gas-fired power plant, reports The Guardian.

Large parts of England and Wales have been left without electricity following a major power cut, electricity network operators have said, with a serious impact reported on rail and road services, including city traffic lights.

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So, a meeting of some of the world’s top climate experts? Not quite – more like a jet-set summerfest, but hosted by an internet tech giant. What was that about ‘carbon footprints’?

The Duke of Sussex gave an impassioned speech on the environment to an elite audience of business leaders and celebrities gathered at Google’s top-secret annual retreat in Sicily, reports the Evening Standard.

Prince Harry is understood to have insisted climate change is a humanitarian issue, not a political one as he gave the address – while reportedly barefoot.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Naomi Campbell are understood to have been among the crowd of VIPS and and power-brokers at the summer conference dubbed ‘Davos-on-Sea’ with Katy Perry, Harry Styles, Karlie Kloss and Bradley Cooper also said to have been on the confidential guest list.

Chris Martin gave a performance at night amid the brightly-lit ruins.

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It seems switching to an EV can only scratch the surface of the clean air problems due to motor transport. Since their batteries make them heavier than fuel-burning cars they should have greater tyre wear, creating more road debris. Of course the parallel claim is that there will/would be some noticeable (presumed beneficial) effect on the climate in the long term due to lower CO2 emissions, but as we’re also told there’s little time left and sales of EVs are minimal, that doesn’t look good for climate alarmists either.

A new report released by the Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) in the UK recommends as an immediate priority that non-exhaust emissions (NEE) are recognized as a source of ambient concentrations of airborne PM, even for vehicles with zero exhaust emissions of particles, reports Green Car Congress.

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Porto Santo airport


This tiny island near Madeira has an area of 16.28 square miles but gets a flying visit from the BBC’s leading climate alarm advocate Roger Harrabin, no doubt in a fuel-burning aeroplane or two. Has he checked his ‘carbon footprint’ lately? 😎
The idea was to give a plug (sorry) to an electric car experiment, but with such a tiny surface area it all looked like much ado about next to nothing. Not exactly a gamechanger, but he’s probably boosted their tourism – meaning more of those naughty flights.

Surprised this morning to find that the island of Porto Santo was featuring on BBC Breakfast, where it was described as “aspiring to become the first energy independent island by eliminating the use of fossil fuels altogether”, reports Madeira Island News.

The report started by showing diesel generators fuelling pollution, and moved on the detail the efforts being made to use reversible car batteries to recharge the electric grid.

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Teslas in Norway [image credit: Norsk Elbilforening (Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association)]


Norway is one of the world’s largest exporters of oil, also of natural gas. Loss of revenue from fuel taxes seems not to be a problem for them, but high demand by car users for electricity at certain times of the day could be. Are other countries ready for such issues?

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s power grid is likely to need an 11 billion crown ($1.27 billion) upgrade over the next 20 years to meet demand from the country’s growing fleet of electric cars, with consumers likely to have to foot the bill, a study has shown.

Electric car (EV) sales in Norway reached a record-high in March, with almost 60% of new cars sold fully electric, a result of state policy to exclude such vehicles from certain taxes and offer free or cheaper road tolls, parking and charging points.

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Mars-Earth comparison
[image credit: Wikipedia]


A manned trip to Mars is not looking like a good idea from a health point of view, according to this report.

An astronaut on a mission to Mars could receive radiation doses up to 700 times higher than on our planet—a major showstopper for the safe exploration of our solar system, says Phys.org.

A team of European experts is working with ESA to protect the health of future crews on their way to the Moon and beyond.

Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere protect us from the constant bombardment of galactic cosmic rays—energetic particles that travel at close to the speed of light and penetrate the human body.

Cosmic radiation could increase cancer risks during long duration missions.

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Tesla model X [image credit: IB Times]


Can electric car companies ever be financially viable? The Tesla example isn’t looking too good since government subsidies were withdrawn, pushing up prices. This article asks if Tesla is running out of buyers for its vehicles.

Late last year, Tesla Inc. was fully charged and cruising down the highway on Autopilot, says Phys.org.

Shares were trading above $370 each, sales of the Model 3 small electric car were strong and the company had appointed a new board chair to rein in the antics of sometimes impulsive CEO Elon Musk.

But around the middle of December, investors started having doubts about the former Wall Street darling’s prospects for continued growth, and the stock started a gyrating fall that was among the worst in company history.

For the year, the share price is down around 40%, largely on concerns Tesla is running out of buyers for its vehicles, which range in price from a base $35,400 Model 3 to a larger Model X SUV that can run well over $130,000.

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Nissan Leaf electric car on charge [image credit: drive.co.uk]


Oh dear. Bribes not big enough any more? No sign of mass market take-up anyway.

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association says 2018 sales of EVs were more than twice as high in France and Germany than in the UK, says Energy Live News.

That’s the verdict from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), which has published a new report showing the UK sold a total of 15,510 fully electric cars last year, a rate of 13.8% growth on 2017.

However, it highlights that average growth across the continent between the two years was 48.2%, rising to 53.2% among just EU member states.

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Towing is not suitable for EVs


All wheels should ideally be off the ground when moving EVs from point to point. But now a diesel rescue van can generate enough of a boost charge to enable stranded drivers to get to the nearest charge point in their own EV – in parts of the UK at least.

In readiness for the UK’s expected electric vehicle boom, the RAC has developed its EV Boost system – the first lightweight mobile EV-charger capable of giving stranded out-of-charge cars a power boost from one of its standard orange roadside rescue vans, says NextGreenCar.

The bespoke solution can be rolled-out to hundreds of patrol vehicles ensuring the RAC can match the scale of demand as electric vehicle ownership grows in the coming years.

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