Green Deal

EU Plans One Trillion Euro ‘Green Deal’ For Net-Zero CO2 Emissions

The war on CO2 in the name of global warming is the worst case of mass hysteria ever experienced on planet earth. The EU has declared that it will sink a cool one trillion euros into its member states to be ‘net-zero’ by 2050. ⁃ TN Editor

The European Commission will propose on Tuesday (14 January) how the EU can pay for shifting the region’s economy to net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 while protecting coal-dependent regions from taking the brunt of changes aimed at fighting climate change.

The EU executive is to unveil details of its Sustainable Europe Investment Plan, aimed at mobilising investment of 1 trillion euros over 10 years, using public and private money to help finance its flagship project – the European Green Deal.

The “Green Deal” is an ambitious rethinking of Europe’s economy, transport and energy sectors aimed at turning the EU into a global leader on the clean technologies that will shape the coming decades.

Overall, the Commission estimates that an extra €260 billion in investments are needed per year to finance the switch to clean energy and reduced emissions.

But behind the sweeping rhetoric of the endeavour, that will be debated later today at a sitting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, are a number of knotty problems that have to be worked out.

€7.5 billion “fresh money”

A main one is how to set coal-dependent EU regions – think Poland, the Czech Republic, or parts of Germany – on the path of renewable energy.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has proposed a Just Transition Mechanism meant to bankroll the sort of deep changes needed, which would make available up to €100 billion a year. She also wants to review the EU’s strict state aid rules in order to seed investments into clean technologies.

According to early drafts, the Just Transition Mechanism will be composed of three pillars:

  • A Just Transition Fund established under the EU’s regional policy budget, staffed with €7.5 billion additional money. The new fund will reach an overall financing capacity of €30-50 billion when including other Cohesion Policy resources and national co-financing;
  • A dedicated investment scheme under the EU budget’s InvestEU plan, forrmerly known as the Juncker plan;
  • A new public loan facility managed by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

However, the extra €7.5 billion “fresh money” made available under the EU’s long-term budget (2021-2027) is considered insufficient by critics who argue much more cash is needed to finance the energy transition.

The Commission retorts that the fund will be augmented by money from the EU’s long-term budget, loans from the European Investment Bank and the InvestEU programme, using the principle of leveraging limited public funds to attract private cash by covering the riskiest parts of an investment.

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solar activity

Global Cooling: The Lowest Solar Activity In Over 200 Years

Any legitimate climate scientist knows that sunspot activity is the primary determinant affecting weather on earth. With sunspot activity dropping to a 200 year low in 2020, a mini ice-age is looming, and it will crush global warming hysteria. ⁃ TN Editor

As we move further into 2020, solar activity dwindles.  This year, solar activity will be marked as the lowest in over 200 years. The low in the sun’s 11-year cycle will also have at least some repercussions for the climate here on Earth.

On December 20, 2019, Iceland received one of the largest snow storms in its history. The so-called “10-year storm,” brought winds of 100 miles per hour (161 km/h), with one weather station reporting gusts of up to 149 mph (240 km/h), according to a report by Interesting Engineering. 

Iceland’s, Europe’s and North America’s weather have historically been tied to the sunspot activity of the Sun. According to NASA, in 2020, the Sun, which is currently in solar cycle number 25, will reach its lowest activity in over 200 years. That means “space weather” will be favorable for exploration beyond Eart, yet it could also very well mean we should prepare for odd or different weather patterns.

The solar cycle is a periodic 11-year fluctuation in the Sun’s magnetic field, during which its North and South poles trade places. This has an enormous effect on the number and size of sunspots, the level of solar radiation, and the ejection of solar material comprised of flares and coronal loops.Interesting Engineering. 

When solar activity gets really low, it can have the effect of a “mini ice age.” The period between 1645 and 1715 was marked by a prolonged sunspot minimum, and this corresponded to a downturn in temperatures in Europe and North America. Named after astronomers Edward Maunder and his wife Annie Russell Maunder, this period became known as the Maunder Minimum. It is also known as “The Little Ice Age.”

Predictions for solar cycle #25 made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), NASA and the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) anticipate a deep minimum and a maximum that will occur between the years 2023 and 2026. During that maximum, they predict the Sun will have between 95 and 130 sunspots.

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Hinsdale 5G

Moms Fight 5G In Hinsdale, IL over Safety Issues

Three angry moms demand health data before allowing 5G cell towers in their neighborhoods. In turn, hundreds of others are following suit. In fact, there are ample studies documenting the adverse effects of radiation, but 5g cell carriers deny and/or suppress such information, pleading ignorance or shifting responsibility off on the government. Either way, these moms are livid because they perceive that the carrier companies don’t care about the safety of their children. – TN Editor

Downloads will improve and cell service will get better, so everyone wants 5G faster internet – right?

Wrong.

5G internet also means more cellphone towers – which will appear every 12 homes in some neighborhoods. As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported Monday night, some in west suburban Hinsdale are not on board because they question the health risks.

In Hinsdale, wooden sticks are already in the ground where cell companies intend to put up cellphone towers. But the towers will not be 20 or 30 feet high and soaring over all the houses, and that is leaving some believing there is a bigger price to pay for downloading faster.

Paige Glendinning, Christine Trainer, and Fariha DiPasquale are all Hinsdale moms. The trio is on a mission to stop 5G from coming to town.

“This could be really bad,” DiPasquale said.

They said the 5G proposal does not just affect Hinsdale – Western Springs, Naperville, and Schaumburg would also be affected.

A few months back, those wooden sticks popped up in yards throughout the western suburbs.

“That was placed here by Verizon as a proposed site for a 5G transmitter,” Glendinning said.

Wireless companies insist 5G is expected to be 100 times faster than current speeds. But in order for the bands to travel, more transmitters are needed in closer proximity, and thus, the signal will be carried on smaller towers that can fit on top of a light pole.

“We are not against technology,” Trainer said.

But the Stop 5G group questions just how safe all these smaller towers will be for those who walk and live nearby.

“But before we become sort of the canary that is subjected to all of this, we want to actually have that data on safety be proven,” DiPasquale said.

Many of the towers are expected to be near schools.

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zume

Fired: It’s Been A Bad Week For Zume Pizza Robots In San Francisco

Zume Pizza made headlines in 2016 when it became the first fully-automated-by-robots pizza delivery service; today, trucks are gone, robots are powered off and human employees are laid off. Other competitors continue to operate. ⁃ TN Editor

Zume Pizza, the Mountain View company that used robots to make its pizzas, has made its last delivery.

In filings with the state Employment Development Department, Zume said it is cutting 172 jobs in Mountain View, and eliminating another 80 jobs at its facility in San Francisco. Zume Chief Executive Alex Garden made the annoucement about Zume in an email to company employees on Wednesday.

“With admiration and sadness, we are closing Zume Pizza today,” Garden said in his email “Over the last four years this business has been our invention test bed and has been our inspiration for many of the growth businesses we have at Zume today.”

Zume was known for using for robotic technology to put its pizzas together, as well as its red delivery trucks that operated around Mountain View and parts of San Francisco. Adam Ezzat, an employee at Boss Barbell Club, which shared a parking area with Zume on Polaris Ave. in Mountain View, said it looked like things weren’t right at Zume when he was at work Wednesday night.

“At around 8 or 9, I saw their trucks leaving, which was earlier than they typically did,” Ezzat said. “I came in today around noon, and all of their trucks were gone.”

The Bay Area job cuts are part of a larger restructuring at Zume, as the company is reducing its headcount by a total of 360 employees. Zume said it intends to put its focus on its food packaging and delivery systems.

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xenobot

‘Xenobots’: Scientists Use Stem Cells To Create First Living Robots

Xenobots represent a new life form and proof of concept. Initially, stem cells from frogs have been used, but stem cells from any living organism, including humans, could potentially achieve the same results. An ethical battle is certain. ⁃ TN Editor

Be warned. If the rise of the robots comes to pass, the apocalypse may be a more squelchy affair than science fiction writers have prepared us for.

Researchers in the US have created the first living machines by assembling cells from African clawed frogs into tiny robots that move around under their own steam.

One of the most successful creations has two stumpy legs that propel it along on its “chest”. Another has a hole in the middle that researchers turned into a pouch so it could shimmy around with miniature payloads.

“These are entirely new lifeforms. They have never before existed on Earth,” said Michael Levin, the director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. “They are living, programmable organisms.”

Roboticists tend to favour metal and plastic for their strength and durability, but Levin and his colleagues see benefits in making robots from biological tissues. When damaged, living robots can heal their wounds, and once their task is done they fall apart, just as natural organisms decay when they die.

Their unique features mean that future versions of the robots might be deployed to clean up microplastic pollution in the oceans, locate and digest toxic materials, deliver drugs in the body or remove plaque from artery walls, the scientists say.

“It’s impossible to know what the applications will be for any new technology, so we can really only guess,” said Joshua Bongard, a senior researcher on the team at the University of Vermont.

The robots, which are less than 1mm long, are designed by an “evolutionary algorithm” that runs on a supercomputer. The program starts by generating random 3D configurations of 500 to 1,000 skin and heart cells. Each design is then tested in a virtual environment, to see, for example, how far it moves when the heart cells are set beating. The best performers are used to spawn more designs, which themselves are then put through their paces.

Because heart cells spontaneously contract and relax, they behave like miniature engines that drive the robots along until their energy reserves run out. The cells have enough fuel inside them for the robots to survive for a week to 10 days before keeling over.

The scientists waited for the computer to churn out 100 generations before picking a handful of designs to build in the lab. They used tweezers and cauterising tools to sculpt early-stage skin and heart cells scraped from the embryos of African clawed frogs, Xenopus laevis. The source of the cells led the scientists to call their creations “xenobots”.

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Renewables Were Never Meant To Power Modern Civilization

To produce the same amount of energy, solar farms take 450 times more land than nuclear plants and wind turbines take 700 times more land than natural gas wells and associated environmental damage is immense. ⁃ TN Editor

Over the last decade, journalists have held up Germany’s renewables energy transition, the Energiewende, as an environmental model for the world.

“Many poor countries, once intent on building coal-fired power plants to bring electricity to their people, are discussing whether they might leapfrog the fossil age and build clean grids from the outset,” thanks to the Energiewende, wrote a New York Times reporter in 2014.

With Germany as inspiration, the United Nations and World Bank poured billions into renewables like wind, solar, and hydro in developing nations like Kenya.

But then, last year, Germany was forced to acknowledge that it had to delay its phase-out of coal, and would not meet its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction commitments. It announced plans to bulldoze an ancient church and forest in order to get at the coal underneath it.

After renewables investors and advocates, including Al Gore and Greenpeace, criticized Germany, journalists came to the country’s defense. “Germany has fallen short of its emission targets in part because its targets were so ambitious,” one of them argued last summer.

“If the rest of the world made just half Germany’s effort, the future for our planet would look less bleak,” she wrote. “So Germany, don’t give up. And also: Thank you.”

But Germany didn’t just fall short of its climate targets. Its emissions have flat-lined since 2009.

Now comes a major article in the country’s largest newsweekly magazine, Der Spiegel, titled, “A Botched Job in Germany” (“Murks in Germany“). The magazine’s cover shows broken wind turbines and incomplete electrical transmission towers against a dark silhouette of Berlin.

“The Energiewende — the biggest political project since reunification — threatens to fail,” write Der Spiegel’s Frank Dohmen, Alexander Jung, Stefan Schultz, Gerald Traufetter in their a 5,700-word investigative story.

Over the past five years alone, the Energiewende has cost Germany €32 billion ($36 billion) annually, and opposition to renewables is growing in the German countryside.

“The politicians fear citizen resistance” Der Spiegel reports. “There is hardly a wind energy project that is not fought.”

In response, politicians sometimes order “electrical lines be buried underground but that is many times more expensive and takes years longer.”

As a result, the deployment of renewables and related transmission lines is slowing rapidly. Less than half as many wind turbines (743) were installed in 2018 as were installed in 2017, and just 30 kilometers of new transmission were added in 2017.

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