The elevation of Liz Truss to the UK Prime Minister this week comes against a backdrop of a dual energy and fiscal crisis that is sure to raise the profile of the climate vs. cost debate in the post-war period.Boris Johnson time. Elsewhere in Europe, as it enters election season and a gas crisis this winter, the climate issue is largely behind concerns about crime, foreign policy and even fascism.
Sweden, home of Greta Thunberg, kicks off the season on September 11 with elections to the 349-member parliament, or Riksdag, who will then elect the Prime Minister. The leading Social Democrats in the polls have included a pledge to increase renewables in their plans while the Moderates want to push for more nuclear power. To the extent that the weather has played a role, it is to stoke tensions in advance, partly due to a scandal involving a broadcaster accused by law of changing the design of weather maps to exaggerate the impact of global warming.
In Switzerland, a slew of referendums are taking place on September 25, with the only climate-related one being in Lucerne asking residents to vote on a plan to halve energy consumption by 2025 or accept a watered-down version. . Slovenia is holding a presidential election in October in which the burgeoning freedom movement (formerly the Greens), which did well in last spring’s parliamentary elections, just lost its candidate last week. And in Italy, which has elections on September 25, we talk, as usual, about fascism.
The lack of energy policy discussion is surprising given the expected gas and oil shortages as Russia holds back exports. It also undermines Europe’s claim to be a leader in the fight against climate change, at least at EU level. Perhaps because there is broader agreement on the need to switch to clean energy than in the United States, it is less of a hot political topic.
In any case, this election season proves once again that even in a world collectively suffering from extreme heat, floods and wildfires, all politics remains local.
– With additional research over the past few weeks by Madeleine Callaway, my niece and a student from Georgetown.
More information below. . . .
Zeus: Flying Candela’s Electric Boat in San Francisco Bay, Electric Vehicle Promise Takes Effect
. . . . Swedish electric boat builder Candela is seeking an early lead among more than 100 companies working on electric watercraft with a new model that uses battery-powered motors made by Polestar to create a feeling of flight on hydrofoils. David Callaway takes one of the existing models for a test drive off Sausalito. . . .
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. . . . What do Tunisian dates and Californian cannabis have in common? Drought. In about 25 years there will be 2 billion more people on Earth, all of whom need food. But the effects of global warming – droughts, heat, floods, pollution, etc. – may make this difficult. Read more. . . .
. . . . When it comes to climate change, California has it all. Extreme weather conditions. The largest number of electric vehicles. Etc. And now he’s shown the pros and cons of dealing with power shortages as the state grid battled unprecedented heat this week: a cellphone alert system that worked so spectacular and a backup battery system that did not work. Learn more here. . . .
. . . . The world is in for a double whammy — climate change is making the world warmer (causing more energy consumption) and the war in Ukraine is causing fuel shortages. From China to France to the state of California, politicians are using proven ways to keep the power going while singing the renewable energy song. Here are three examples of climate policy in a rapidly warming world. Learn more here. . . .
Editor’s Choice: Hurricanes? In California?
Hurricanes feed on warm ocean temperatures. Kay won’t like the cold Pacific water upwelling along the California coast. pic.twitter.com/GJVlUtNzrm
— NWS Bay Area 🌉 (@NWSBayArea) September 8, 2022
Time change: From last week’s record-breaking extreme heat wave to the possibility that Hurricane Kay, or its remnants, could bring heavy rains, thunderstorms and flash flooding to Southern California, the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center monitor California and the Southwest.
Porsche, on its way to IPO, adds new electric vehicle models
The sports icon Porsche, hand in hand with the announcement of an impending initial public offering, is also preparing to launch a second generation of its successful Porsche Taycan EV. That will be joined by an electric version of the Porsche Panamera, according to a report by British publication Autocar. The publication says the moves are “part of a new ‘electrified luxury’ plan” for no less than six new electric models by the end of this decade. The two new electric vehicles are based on a sporty version of the Volkswagen Group’s Scalable Systems Platform (SSP), developed by Porsche. Volkswagen (XE:VOW) announced this week that it will pursue an IPO of 25% of its non-voting preferred shares in Porsche, which will be listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The timing is late this month or early next, depending on market conditions, Porsche said.
Need for lithium collides with water stress
Growing demand for lithium, an essential component of electric vehicle batteries, is driving mining operations in dry locations. Mining the material could pose a risk to water-sensitive regions where the metal is abundant, Taylor Kuykendall wrote in an article for S&P Global Market Intelligence titled CO2 Reduction Meets Water Use Tension in Lithium Hunt. Kuykendall notes, “Of 435 active lithium mining projects analyzed by S&P Global Market Intelligence, 189 are in areas expected to face medium to high water stress by 2030 or in arid regions with low water consumption. water, as defined by the World Resources Institute. There are 23 projects in regions expected to face extremely high water stress by the end of the decade, including parts of the western United States, South America and Australia.
Words to live. . . .
“The benefits of such actions will not be there for all of us here today: we, none of us, will live forever. But we are not doing it for ourselves but for our children and our children’s children. – Queen Elizabeth IIaddressing world leaders at COP26 last year on the urgency of action to tackle the global climate catastrophe.