#10. 🏦 Banks and climate change | ☀️ Solar 10x cheaper than gas | ⚖️ New Pennsylvania AV law
🌡 CLIMATE CHANGE
Banks need to be climate change proof (long read)
Stable banks are vital to the world’s global (and local) economy. A study of 186 banks holding €25 trillion in assets concluded that 96% of banks cannot identify climate-related risks, prepare accordingly, set new policies into motion, or compensate for lost revenue streams.
Climate change could trigger the Congo peatlands to release billions of tons of carbon (long read)
Congo is home to the largest tropical peatland, water-logged terrain that prevents plants from fully decomposing. Captured by, and stored within the plant material and water is an enormous storage of CO2 that has served as a carbon sink for the past 2,000 years; some 5,000 years ago, a drying climate reversed the promise. And now, as climate change causes the peatland to lose water yet again, the CO2 is slowly being released.
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Microsoft president wants more training for workers to fight climate change (quick read)
Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, wants the software giant’s employees to be better educated on such matters as carbon accounting, green procurement, and also for optimizing supply chains for companies combatting climate change. According to a LinkedIn study (LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft) last year, the need for sustainability skills is increasing 8% year over year, substantially outpacing the actual qualified labor force which is growing at just 6% yearly.
🔋 CLEAN ENERGY
Solar will become 10 times cheaper than gas in Europe — study (quick read)
Rystad Energy, an Oslo energy company forecasts that solar will be 10 times less expensive than gas in the long run. Gas prices have currently increased 187%, to €134/MWh from €46/MWh, at a main Western European reference station based in Netherlands, and the winter hasn’t even arrived yet. And with the imminent launch of 50 GW of new solar and wind power by 2023, and 30 GW of additional nuclear power currently under maintenance, clean energy is ramping up quickly. By 2050, clean energy should exceed 2,000 TWh.
Batteries are dirty. Geothermal power can help. (quick read)
Producing lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries requires nickel which is largely sourced from Indonesia in a heavily polluting mining and manufacturing process. Because Indonesia sits on the active tectonic ring known as the “Ring of Fire,” geothermal alternatives could make cleaner the production of Li-ion batteries.
Net-zero plans exclude Africa (long read)
Global research for reaching so-called “net-zero” carbon emissions don’t take into account the approximately one billion people living on the African continent; specifically, research on Africa is lacking good data, models, and local expertise.
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🚗 AUTONOMOUS & ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Pennsylvania’s newest autonomous vehicle legislation is poised to become law. Here’s why it matters (long read)
Pennsylvania, arguably the epicenter of autonomous vehicle development anchored to Carnegie Mellon University, now requires only the governor’s signature to eschew the requirement of a safety driver in an autonomous test vehicle. If the law passes, Pennsylvania would join California and Arizona which passed similar laws in 2018.
Lasers can blind autonomous vehicles, endangering pedestrians: study (quick read)
Because most autonomous vehicles rely on LiDAR, an apparatus that utilizes lasers to scan the world and create a three-dimensional point cloud representing the world around the vehicle, an intentionally (and maliciously) targeted laser could effectively blind an AV’s LiDAR vision and cause it not to see pedestrians or other vehicles.
Tesla reluctantly gave Full Self-Driving Beta demo to DMV and critics (quick read)
A demo of FSD Beta has been provided by Tesla to the California DMV at its headquarters in Sacramento. Tesla didn’t want, or was at least concerned with the attendance of, certain of the test consultants whom Tesla believed were biased against the automaker.