🌡 CLIMATE CHANGE
As climate change worsens, increased temperatures will increase the risk of avalanches, floods, landslides, debris flows, and lake outburst flooding, endangering mountain communities.
Coinciding with this week’s COP27 summit in Egypt this week, Meta released its approach to dealing with climate change in its various apps and products including a climate overview page. Meta’s new Climate Science Center is now available in 165 countries. Climate Inform Labels, a Climate InfoFinder tool, and Climate Science Literacy are also added to the mix.
Opening speeches at the COP27 summit include terms such as “highway to hell,” with binary options present to “cooperate or perish” in the global fight against climate change. Oil producing countries like the UAE for instance said they will continue to produce oil and gas as long as needed; others meanwhile argued for more equitable solutions since a rapid de-carbonization hurts poorer countries more.
🔋 CLEAN ENERGY
After failing on competitive pricing, since 2010, some 95% of Germany’s solar power cells now come from Chinese producers; but COVID containment policies risk supply chains.
Africa owns some 40% of the world’s renewable energy resources; but it also contains a lot of oil and gas. The world must not rush to Africa to the latter but rather tap it for the former.
Electricity generating windows? Swiss scientists design more energy efficient transparent solar panels (quick read)
Research on more efficient transparent solar panels for use in electricity-generating windows, and using a technology known as Grätzel cells, or dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs), are making progress.
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🚗 AUTONOMOUS & ELECTRIC VEHICLES
After numerous setbacks across the autonomous vehicle industry — Argo.ai, TuSimple, Comma.ai just to name a few — now Pony.ai, the most valuable AV company in China valued at $8.5B with investments from Sequoia, IDG, 5Y, Legend, Toyota, and FAW Group, finds itself at the brink with executives’ departures and various teams’ downsizing from California to China.
A manslaughter case about a Tesla crash in 2019 will ultimately decide liability against the operator of a Tesla vehicle with Autopilot engaged and Tesla itself, whether for technical shortcomings of its Autopilot functionality, or false advertising, or some combination thereof, or something else altogether.
Honda’s new CI Micro-Mobility vehicle is designed to “support the cooperation/coexistence of people, machines, and society” and is one of Honda’s few AV/EV product offerings slated for imminent release. The CI is targeting two ends of the age spectrum: the elderly and Gen Z, neither of whom can drive themselves.