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  • #30. 🌪️Weather whiplash | 🚢EU Shipping emissions | 🚕Zoox's robotaxis

#30. 🌪️Weather whiplash | 🚢EU Shipping emissions | 🚕Zoox's robotaxis

Plus: Bad terminology | Parking lots | LA oil wells | Largest landfill solar | Blown tires on AVs | CH's EV limitations


An interesting analysis that distinguishes between Knightian uncertainty and Knightian risk — named after economist Frank Knight — argues the the latter is preferable to the former for public discourse on climate change. Uncertainty in climate change means the range of possible outcomes of a real danger, not a lack of clarity about whether there is a danger at all. Hence, discussing risk rather than uncertainty is a more effective means of communication, even while uncertainty is technically worse than risk, probabilistically.

Weather whiplash is caused by Arctic warming that causes weather patterns to flip suddenly and get stuck without change. The result is both abnormal intensity in the weather and abnormally long duration of a particular weather spell. This was on stark display during the flip from excessive drought to torrential deluge across the US West Coast this year.

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Following France’s new law that requires all parking lots with more than 80 spaces to install solar panels, similar laws are expected to gain traction in the US. Local and state governments are creating mandates for renewable energy deployment, and major corporations are making commitments to solar power, including Target, Home Depot and Walmart. The cost of installing solar panels has fallen by more than 60% in the past decade


LA County is home to the largest urban oil production in the US with 26 oil and gas fields and 5,000 wells and once produced up to 38% of the country’s oil. The vote was decided unanimously 12-0.

Shipping emissions will be included in the EU Emissions Trading System — the oldest and largest program in the world — from 2024. This means shipping companies will need to purchase carbon permits for 40% of their emissions initially and a full 100% from 2026. The emissions include carbon, methane, and nitrogen to include ships running on liquid national gas (LNG).

A disused land fill in Mount Olive, New Jersey, is now covered with a 25.6 MW solar farm. The 56,000 solar panels produce enough electricity to power 4,000 households. The last five years have seen an 80% increase in landfill solar projects in the US.


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The Class 8 tractor truck demo shows successful autonomous control and stopping of the truck after complete tire failure to the front-left wheel.

She believes that AVs are following a similar trajectory to the development of the internet. She is also impressed by the passion and dedication of the founders of Zoox, who she says "truly felt" that they needed her expertise to help lead the company. Evans is focused on the long-term potential of autonomous vehicles and is not deterred by the challenges and setbacks that the industry has faced.

First, it’s just a draft of proposed legislation. Second, it’s unlikely, apart from outright war in which CH is involved — a historical improbability — that such drastic power measures would ever need to be implemented; 62% of its electricity already comes hydro and 29% from nuclear. Finally, even if EV use were temporarily limited, it would be but one of many other drastically more impactful curtailments on society.


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