04/23/2018

News

The rise of electric cars could leave us with a big battery waste problem

The drive to replace polluting petrol and diesel cars with a new breed of electric vehicles has gathered momentum in recent weeks. But there is an unanswered environmental question at the heart of the electric car movement: what on earth to do with their half-tonne lithium-ion batteries when they wear out?

. . . in the EU as few as 5% (pdf) of lithium-ion batteries are recycled. This has an environmental cost. Not only do the batteries carry a risk of giving off toxic gases if damaged, but core ingredients such as lithium and cobalt are finite and extraction can lead to water pollution and depletion among other environmental consequences.

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A tableau of suffering’: seaside city of San Diego faces a dark homelessness crisis

A recent count found a dramatic 104% increase in “tents and hand-built structures” located downtown, for a total of 418, compared to 2016. Driving through East Village, a gentrifying neighborhood on the edge of downtown, it’s tough to find a street that doesn’t have a tarp or tent – or dozens. People with neither tent nor tarp fashion makeshift shelters out of shopping carts, storage bins and blankets.

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Elon Musk is building a robot army to work in Tesla’s ‘alien dreadnought’ factory assembling Model 3 cars

Tesla’s electric cars feature some of the most cutting-edge technology around, so it’s only fitting that the company’s production line is just as futuristic.

The company’s chief executive, Elon Musk, once said that Tesla’s factory will eventually look like an “”alien dreadnought””, and the latest pictures show it is well on its way.

There will be no people in the production process, but there will be people working in the factory to oversee the robots and make sure everything is running at peak efficiency.

“”You can’t have people in the production line itself, otherwise you drop to people speed,”” said Musk.”

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It’s a perfect storm’: homeless spike in rural California linked to Silicon Valley

The million-dollar home prices about 85 miles west, in San Francisco and San Jose, have pushed aspiring homeowners to look inland. Patterson’s population has doubled since the 2000 census. Average monthly rents have climbed from about $900 in 2014 to nearly $1,600 in recent months, according to the apartment database Rent Jungle, compounding the hardships of the foreclosure crisis, the shuttering of several local agricultural businesses and surging substance abuse rates.

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Only Sweden, Germany and France among EU are pursuing Paris climate goals, says study

Sweden, Germany and France are the only European countries pursuing environmental policies in line with promises made at the Paris climate conference, according to a new ranking study. . . “EU politicians portraying themselves as climate leaders should put their money where their mouth is by closing loopholes in the EU’s key climate law and pushing for more ambition,” said Femke de Jong, the EU policy director for Carbon Market Watch, a campaign group that co-drafted the EU Climate Leadership Board survey.

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‘The wild west of wind’: Republicans push Texas as unlikely green energy leader

Texas has 11,592 turbines and an installed wind capacity of 20,321 megawatts, according to the American Wind Energy Association: three times as much capacity as the next state, Iowa. (California is third.) For the 12-month period ending in October last year, wind provided 12.68% of Texas’s electricity production – equivalent to powering 5.7 million homes.

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Renewables could lose European power grid priority, documents reveal

Removing wind and solar power from priority dispatch may be intended to help reform the capacity market system, which currently pays gas generators to remain idle. Ironically though, it could lead renewable generators to demand an extension of the same mechanism to their own sector.

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McDonald’s: you can sneer, but it’s the glue that holds communities together

When many lower-income Americans are feeling isolated by the deadening uniformity of things, by the emptiness of many jobs, by the media, they still yearn for physical social networks. They are not doing this by going to government-run community service centers. They are not always doing this by utilizing the endless array of well-intentioned not-for-profit outreach programs. They are doing this on their own, organically across the country, in McDonald’s.

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LA unions call for exemption from $15 minimum wage they fought for

Los Angeles city council will hear a proposal on Tuesday to exempt union members from a $15 an hour minimum wage that the unions themselves have spent years fighting for.

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EU Set to Emit 2bn Tonnes More CO2 than Paris Climate Pledge

The EU is set to emit 2bn tonnes more CO2 than it promised at the Paris climate talks, threatening an agreement to cap global warming at 2C, a note from the European commission has revealed.

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Paris Climate Summit: Missing Global Warming Target “Would Not Be Failure”

The comments, downgrading expectations for a strong outcome at Paris, suggest that the architects of a global climate deal are already resigned to the prospect that governments will fail to aim high enough when setting out their targets for cutting greenhouse gas emission in the coming months.

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