Sonny and Cher: The beat goes on (HQ Version) – YouTube

Enjoy some music as you read today.

For newer readers, some of what I am going to cover today may be new to you.  But for those of you who have been getting this newsletter for longer, I am simply going to provide you with the current status on several of the usual topics I report upon regularly. Today’s list includes:

  1. Climate change’s impact on human health specifically mental health.

  2. The geopolitical threat poised by climate change.

  3. The continuing evolution of battery technology that is advancing in leaps and bounds.

  4. The continued acceleration (pun intended) of the conversion from ICEs (internal combustion engines) to EVs.

  5. The impact of climate change on the availability of insurance.

  6. The impact of climate change on home real estate values.

  7. And finally, a very cool video on cleaning up the oceans of plastic.

That’s a lot to cover so let’s get at it and check out what might be of interest to you.


The Unseen Toll oof a Warming Planet

The New Your Times March 9, 2022

“Climate Change is…inflicting a growing, unseen toll on mental health.  This is how Americans describe the stresses and strains of life on the from lines of a changing climate”

“In February, a major new study highlighted the mental health effects of climate change for the first time, saying that anxiety and stress from a changing climate were likely to increase in coming years.”


U.S. Intel Report Sees Climate Change as Rising Threat

E&E News March 8, 2022

“A new government intelligence report predicts that climate change will increasingly exacerbate risks to U.S. national security”

“”Climate change will increasingly exacerbate risk to U.S. national security interests as the physical impacts increase and geopolitical tensions mount about how to respond to the challenge,” …”That’s putting it mildly.”

Conflicts over water and migration issues will also likely increase due to climate change especially after 2030″


3.  Not only are automotive manufacturers falling all over themselves to come out with more and more EVs but the battery technology is advancing such that in a few years the cars will drop dramatically in price, range and have much shorter charging times…

The prize: batteries that would be cheaper, faster to charge and less vulnerable to raw material shortages. Whoever gets there first will have a major advantage.
The New York Times March 7, 2022

Factorial Energy and other U.S. start-ups, such as Solid Power and QuantumScape, are aiming to revolutionize the way batteries are constructed, not just change their ingredients. Batteries today rely on a liquid solution for the electrolyte that allows the flow of electricity between different components.”

“Solid-state batteries don’t have a liquid electrolyte and, thus, will be lighter, store more energy and charge faster. They are also a lot less likely to ignite and, therefore, need less cooling equipment.

Most major carmakers have placed big bets on solid state technology.”

Panasonic Readies New Battery Tesla Sees as Key to $25,000 EVs

New ‘4680’ battery delivers more power, helping lower costs Production to start around 2023, Panasonic battery head says

“Panasonic Corp. is gearing up to become a major manufacturer of a new, more powerful battery championed by Tesla Inc. that the Japanese electronics maker says meets the demands of its high-flying customer.

Over the past year and a half, Panasonic has been working to develop a bigger “4680” battery it intends to sell to the American electric carmaker. Because of the battery’s larger volume, fewer cells and related parts are needed to power an electric vehicle, leading Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk to tout the technology as the key to unlocking $25,000 EVs.”


New Kia EV Plans Include Two Pickups

Kia will deliver 14 electric vehicles globally by 2027, three more than it originally planned.
March 04, 2022

Kia Corp. is expanding its global electric vehicle ambitions.

The Korean automaker said Wednesday that it will deliver 14 electric vehicles globally by 2027 — three more than it promised earlier.


5.  As I continue to point out, it is developments like this in the business world that are going to provide one of the strongest incentives for the transition to a fossil free energy sector and world.

Insurance Giant AIG Restricts Fossil Fuel Underwriting

The company will immediately stop insuring projects involving thermal coal, oil sands and Arctic drilling.

“American International Group Inc., a major underwriter of coal projects, said yesterday that it would stop insuring or investing in new thermal coal, oil sands and Arctic drilling projects. It also pledged to meet net-zero emissions in its underwriting and investment portfolios by 2050.

AIG’s announcement came one day after a United Nations report warned that human and natural systems are buckling under the influence of global warming — with some approaching the limits of their ability to adapt.

It’s part of a growing trend in the insurance industry to limit support for coal and oil sands, two fossil fuel sources associated with exceptionally high emissions of planet-warming gases.

“AIG is focused on the realities of climate change,” Peter Zaffino, the company’s chairman and CEO, said in a press release. “The data about climate change is unambiguous and we believe that AIG can be a catalyst for positive change as it relates to sustainability advancements and renewable energy expansion.””


Climate-Driven Flood Risk Could Trigger Mortgage Defaults

A new paper says U.S. single-family homes are overvalued by $520 billion — or about 2 percent — because homebuyers are ignoring climate-driven flood risks.

“Climate change and increasing flood risk could trigger billions of dollars of mortgage defaults by driving down property values, according to new research that says the U.S. housing market is substantially overpriced because buyers are ignoring climate-driven flood risk.

A recent paper by Milliman Inc. risk analysts says that if homebuyers start to account for climate change and flood risk, the recalibration would reduce values on millions of properties and cause a growing number of mortgage defaults. Homeowners sometimes stop paying mortgages when they owe a lender more money than their property is worth.”

7.  And finally this…good news.  Check out this short video.

The Ocean Cleanup  System 001 during testing in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, October 2018
  • A Dutch non-profit, The Ocean Cleanup has devised a system for “vacuuming” many tons of plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Although they have had to overcome many obstacles they claim it’s working successfully and plan on a fleet to scale the concept. Check out this fascinating video.

  • A similar (but even more effective) method is capturing the waste at river mouths, the source of most of the plastic.

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