Corona-Climate Crisis & Europe's Warmest Winter

A newsletter for people woke on carbon and climate.

(source: Tom Toles/Washington Post)


Issue No. 17

Welcome to the latest issue of Carbon Creed! Last week our top two articles were What’s Behind the Billionaire Pivot to Save the Planet? & MIT’s 10 Breakthrough Technologies for 2020

My name is Walter McLeod, and I’m glad you’ve joined our tribe. We hope to hear from you as we navigate this weekly journey through the good, bad and ugly of carbon and climate. You can ping me anytime at mcleodwl@carboncreed.com.

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INSIGHTS

(source: napalitimes)

Why don’t we panic about climate change like we do coronavirus?

Short-term politics and human nature shape a bias to address only what’s right in front of us.  This is certainly true when we compare public perceptions of the threats posed by coronavirus and climate change.

Because “outbreak” and “pandemic” and any of a dozen high-stakes words accompany dispatches about the deadly novel coronavirus, it’s not surprising that the news media and financial markets respond with alarm to COVID-19.

Still, the critical response leaves scientists, environmental advocates and long-view money managers imploring: Where’s the outrage on any given day for pollution- and temperature-linked deaths (already adding up and projected to increase) from accelerating man-made climate change?

Part of the problem may be limited media coverage on the climate crisis.

According to a recent study by the organization Media Matters, news shows on the major networks aired only 238 minutes of climate crisis coverage in 2019, which was actually up from 2018 significantly, but as a whole still made up only 0.7% of overall broadcasts nightly and the Sunday morning news shows.

Perhaps one global crisis can inform the other.


Coronavirus is producing an enforced experiment in behavioral change, as increasing numbers work from home and reduce travel, environmentally friendly practices by most measure. Coronavirus response could also be a catalyst for structural investment as businesses review their resilience.

One thing is clear – while people may choose to ignore the warnings, there is no escaping the impacts of COVID-19 and climate change.  LINK


CLEAN TECH

(source: koenigsegg-gemera)

Electric vehicles will change the future of auto maintenance

MOVING from internal combustion to electric power does more than reduce tailpipe emissions: it will fundamentally shatter today’s auto maintenance and service sector.

The decline is mathematical. With one-fifth the number of powertrain parts and an almost total elimination of oil, the typical automotive dealer will suffer 35% declines in maintenance and service revenue, or roughly $1,300, for an EV versus an internal combustion engine vehicle over a five-year period.

But this disruption is not even. Two of the top three maintenance items — oil changes and brake service (24% and 5%, respectively, of all maintenance transactions in the U.S. market) — are reduced or eliminated entirely by the move to EVs.

Why are brakes impacted? EVs often use a process called regenerative braking, which slows vehicles down while also saving energy. The reduced wear on pads and rotors is striking: some Toyota Priuses are still operating on their first set of brake pads after more than 100,000 miles of use, whereas you’d normally assume pads would be replaced after about 30,000 miles.

Tires and glass emerge as dominant consumables of the EV era

One of the beneficiaries of electrification will be tire companies, with multiple positive tailwinds: cars are driven more each year. Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) is 3.25 trillion annually in the U.S. and is growing at about 1% year over year. Because consumers are keeping cars longer (11.1 years on average), this results in more replacement tires consumed throughout the ownership period.

The core growth drivers of the glass category are similar to tires (increased VMT and vehicle age).  The glass group includes all visibility products (windshield glass, wipers, cleaning fluids, headlights and bulbs), as they are increasingly tied to on-board technology like sensors and cameras. As more vehicles add sensors for advanced driver assistance features (ADAS), they won’t operate unless they’re kept clean. 

There will be more big investments across tires and visibility in the years to come. And you can bet that entrepreneurs who previously found fortune in quick lube shops will shift to tires and glass as the market moves beneath them.  LINK


TOP 10 electric cars from the [cancelled] Geneva motor show 2020

(source: czinger)

Cancelled due to fears of spreading COVID-19 (coronavirus), Geneva motor show 2020 pushed ahead without even opening its doors. Every year since 1905, the show has been seen as the moment for automakers to reveal their latest innovations, often amazing with extreme power, advanced technology and always jaw-dropping designs. 

For 2020, these debuts continued as ever as brands pulled the clothe off their cars online rather than onstage. These presentations, despite their geographical distances, shared at least one common theme: electricity. 

The trend built upon concepts from 2019, showcasing the diversity of production-ready, battery-powered mobility from seven-figure hypercars to day-to-day city cars and even one or two hybrids. 

Enjoy the show!  LINK


GOVERNMENTS & NATIONS


Europe Just Had Its Warmest Winter Since at Least 1850

The average temperature in Europe over winter's three months was 6.1 degrees Fahrenheit above average, topping the previous record-warm European winter of 2015-16 by about 2.5 degrees, according to a monthly report from the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).

This was staggering when considering temperature data averaged over an entire continent over a three-month period.

When comparing this C3S dataset dating to 1979 with a number of other datasets dating to the mid-19th century, C3S also said this was the warmest European winter going back to at least 1850.

It was the warmest winter on record in Russia, dating to 1891, according to a report issued Thursday from the Hydrometcenter of Russia.

Parts of western and central Russia were 10 to 14 degrees warmer than average from December through February.

The HoR report said Moscow's winter temperature, averaged from December through February, was above freezing for the first time on record.

It was also a record-warm winter inFinland, where no measurable snow was recorded from January through February in the capital, Helsinki, for the first time on record.

February monthly record highs were shattered in at least nine European countries in the last week of the month, as documented by Finnish Meteorological Institute researcher Mika Rantanen.

A prime reason for the warm winter was a persistently strong polar vortex high above the Earth in the stratosphere, keeping colder air fenced in near the pole, rather than plunging it deep into Europe and locking it in place. LINK


RESOURCES


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Curated by Walter McLeod, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Carbon Creed and Managing Partner with Eco Capitol Energy.

mcleodwl@carboncreed.com