Javan rhinos: is the Indonesian government lying? misleading? or being straight with the world.

It appears that the counters of the Javan rhino, have continued to count animals which have not been seen for years. Given how much poaching has been going on, this seems much more than simply misleading.

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 Unfortunately, this counting issue, takes the Javan rhino from a species which is recovering at an impressive rate, to a species which might disappear within a decade. In the latest count 3 rhino were included, which are known to have died back in 2019.

According to the official numbers, in 2011, when the cameras were installed there were 35 rhino, and that number has climbed steadily to a current number of roughly 72.


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Orangutan killings in Borneo still likely common

There is a serious problem in Borneo, that appears to be largely flying under the radar.

A survey of villages found that 30% of villages had evidence of orangutan killiing in the last 5-10 years. This is despite a taboo on killing the species.

The number of Borneo Orangutans is falling, and it is thought that the wild population will have fallen below 100,000 in recent years.

The telegraph has put out an article suggesting that homegrown food has 5 times greater carbon footprint than conventional: is that right? Should we all end our allotments?

Looking at the busy mass of growing green, it is hard to see how this is the most inefficient way to grow food…

The study that the article is based on comes from the university of Michigan, and is frankly badly, badly made. It is the quintessential study, where this is the answer, now how do we get there, sort of study.

So, what did they do? Well, they put gardens into 3 different categories

  • Backyard gardens – single occupancy
  • communal gardens (like the above)
  • Urban farms

Your backyard garden has about as small a carbon footprint as it is possible to have, it is possible that fruit or veg from here actually has zero carbon footprint. Community gardens can be a bit different – you have a small area, so you might use more compost or fertilizer, and it is possibly further from where you live, so you might drive to it. However, this kind of place also has a low carbon footprint.

It is essentially just the Urban farms which are a problem here: growlights and watering and temperature controls all add up to large quantities of energy.

This video shows this is an easy way to understand.

Do not be put off! If you have an allotment or a vegetable patch in your garden, this is almost completely carbon free food, it does bring down your carbon footprint.

It is unfortunately the kind of study you can find in a newspaper like the Telegraph; I do not think it would be a surprise for any readers to hear, that this is not the place readers go to find out about the new scientific studies of this kind.

Late last year Exxon spent $60 billion to by a shale gas giant – the deserve to go bankrupt

Exxon is like many other oil companies – they have buried their head in the sand, and have continued to deny the science.

There are still oil rigs littering our coasts, do we really want another rush to build more equipment, which will last long after the shale gas runs out?

What astounds me, is that, over the last 3 years, the price of Exxon shares has gone up 3 times over. This means that the majority of people who are investing in the market, believes either that there is a killing to be made from Exxon before it goes out of business, or climate change is wrong (it is true that investment in Exxon 3 years ago would have tripled, but a long-term investment is unlikely to be successful, as Exxon has to completely change its business model.

So, why is Exxon buying a shale giant?

Clearly, it thinks that there is money to be made, before the world transitions. The problem is that should Exxon be right, the world will suffer more global warming.

We already need to leave much of our known reserves of fossil fuels in the ground, Shale gas, is just more,

We need to be moving away from fossil fuels as fast as we can.

How is your family doing? As for us, we have bought a second had electric car, we have just installed our solar and thermal solar, and will in a couple of weeks, have a heat pump installed that will remove our last reliance on gas (these two moves, will have removed carbon from our travel and from our house running and heating – we also have zero carbon electricity). Obviously we still have a way to go, but we are making progress. Of course, from a finance point of view, it is a good move – it is true that our car was more expensive than anything we’ve had before, however, the purchase cost will only take 6-7 years to save back , and our house greening has a payback time of around 4 years- after that we should be several hundred pounds better off each month.

Exxon is still betting that there is more money to be made before the good times are over, however they are betting on our future.

It is foolish to invest in them, either they are right, and will make a fortune while the world suffers, or they are wrong, and this business venture will collapse.

Electric cars roundup: recent news

For a variety of reasons, over the last few months, I have not written as often as I would like. As such, I have accumulated quite a few articles that I wish to mention. While the animal articles require their own space, others do not. As such, this post will include electric car news from all over the world. Dates are a little muddled (and may be relatively out of date), and it is possible that with some of these, changes have been made. We are working hard on improving the website, which is taking much of our time, we hope to have a breakthrough soon. Below is a list of articles written, click on read more to read each of the articles listed.

-The Tesla s P100D has a 0-60 time of 2.28 seconds

Department of Transport in the UK has a new scheme which will help with the cost of installing charging points in places like schools and similar

 –China wants us to buy its electric cars

  –2023 best selling car was the Tesla model Y 

 –A new possible battery breakthrough would both cut the cost of batteries, and bring down the length of time it would take to charge to something similar to that of filling up a petrol or diesel tank 

 –when will all UK cars be pure electric 

Volkswagen is loosing the electric car race to China and Tesla 

EU has set a target of 30 million electric cars on its roads by 2030

 –The Chinese government is promising to rein in the number of electric cars its companies are making, so as to not flood the west

Freezing temperature are known for reducing electric car range, caused long queues for charging  

 –Autocar published an article looking at how green electric cars actually are

Paris Mayor plans to triple SUV parking tariffs to cut air pollution

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Ford has made clear its aim to take on Tesla and BYD by launching cheap electric cars

Is this news to anyone? It is known that the car industry is in a race to move to electric. Given the vast saving for the end line consumer, the huge reduction in pollution, and the fact that many countries have already set dates where combustion engine car sales will be banned, surely the response to this news is ” why have you not made this move before?

What is clear, is that ford is developing a smaller and cheaper EV platform. Well this is great, but everyone is trying to create small affordable electric cars.

Now, how many of these small cars is ford aiming to sell? Currently, ford makes a $28,000 loss on each electric cars. Which means that they need to bring this down, or 2 million electric cars sold my ford would cause a huge loss.

Tesla is making progress on their own cheap model – the so called tesla model 2. This is aimed to hit the target of $25,000, or around £18,000, and they are expecting to make millions of this model, which does not seem unreasonable.

We need to remember, that while we look on ford as an old car company (and they are) at the current moment, they are not bigger than tesla. So in 2023 tesla sold 1.81 million vehicles, all electric, while ford sold 1.99 million, however only 72,000 of these were electric. If in the future, only electric cars count, then perhaps we should already be looking at ford as the minnow in a pond with a huge shark that is tesla. If we look at profit, this might make this clearer, Ford made profits of $4.3 billion, while Tesla made profits of 15 billion.

So, is Ford a tiny electric car maker, or not? Is it going to become one of the most profitable electric car makers, or is it going to become a small car maker? Time will tell, however, the problem is that the 2 million small electric cars that ford says its is targeting, is also the same number that Tesla is going to be targeting. Can the world demand sustain 2 million from each? Possibly, in the future, but Ford may well find that diving into the pond of small Electric cars is a hard place to make money, and finding enough demand for 2 million electric cars may well prove to be the harder part of the transition.

Time will tell, but they certainly have their work cut out for them.

Should Hertz dumping 20,000 electric cars be a warning to car buyers?

So Hertz is downsizing its electric car fleet, just a few years after buying them. Should this put off electric car buyers? Well, I would argue no, and I suspect that Hertz will live to regret this day.

So have Hertz abandoned electric cars? Nope, it is true that in the current climate, they have scaled back their electric buying car program from 100,000 cars to just 50,000 cars, but this is still a significant number.

Given that in the USA they own around 500,000 cars (elsewhere it is mostly franchise so they do not own the cars) suggesting that at the current time, Hertz will have around 10% of its fleet as electric.

What has prompted this? Well, largely a higher cost of repair cost.

The problem for Hertz is simple. They get paid a rate, to rent the car, they save nothing by it being electric, on the other hand, the renter, might save plenty of money, as refueling can be far cheaper (though admittedly, with currently high electric prices on this side of the Atlantic, public chargers are often just as expensive as petrol.

So, no, this does not (as business insider suggests) mean the end of the electric car. In fact, given that they are selling around 20,000 electric cars, it is quite likely that it will boost the number of electric cars in public hands.

It is true, that some fixes are far more than they should be (we have found that) but it is also clear that overall, electric car owners save money. Whether this will accelerate the change or slow it down, time will tell. It is often the case that once experienced few want to go back to a fossil fuel car, so renting them is useful. Unfortunately, given the price, Hertz treated them as premium, which meant this had less affect than might otherwise have been the case.

I think they will come to regret this, the world is going electric, and the transition is accelerating around the world. It seems likely that they will have to reverse this change within a decade.

In 2021 the USA emitted 13.49% of world emissions, but if Donald Trump gets re-elected, it can only get worse

Do Americans really want to go back to this for 4 more years?

In 2021, the year after Donald Trump left the white house, the USA emitted roughly 13.49% of the world emissions. To put that in context, it is over twice the emissions from the 27 members of the EU and the UK combined (this is despite the USA having a population of 330 million vs almost 500 million across these 28 countries). So, how could Donald Trump make that worse?

Well, in the first Trump term, he was largely finding his way, and by shunning anyone with experience, it took quite some time. This will not be the case during a second time.

So what has happened since he left the white house, and what can he do.

During the last 4 years, major climate legislation did a number of things. These include reversing a move to end a crackdown on governmental climate scientists (because you dont want expert advisors working for the government?) a frenzy of oil and gas drilling permets, and making sure that the Paris climate accords were not only dead, but buried.

So what is expected of Donald Trumps second term if he gets in?

Just to start:

  • Driving forwards on fossil fuel production (as electric cars and heat pumps make these cheaper and far more efficient)
  • Side-lining mainstream climate scientists
  • Undoing and eliminating any rules about reducing planet-heating gases including carbon-dioxide and methane among others.

He is also likely to undo all the good moves that have occurred under president Biden (perhaps of highest priority, getting rid of the Inflation reduction act, which cost 370 billion dollars and was there to support clean energy and electric cars – without a single republican vote, and looked on as the biggest defeat republicans have had.

The American first Policy Institute (pro trump) critisized Bidens “apocalyptic green fantasies” and said “Our nation needs a level regulatory playing field for all forms of energy to compete, Achieving this level playing field will require the repeal of the energy and environment provisions withint the Inflation Reduction Act”. The act has already been gutted by the house, which is currently controlled by the Republicans (this as republicans continue to turn up for ribbon cutting occasions paid for by the act in question). Thankfully, though, these projects are so popular, it would appear impossible to fully get rid of them.

The stupidity of this move – aiming to undo what little progress has been made, should mean Trump being elected would be impossible, though whether it will is another matter. Global warming will hit America hard, furthermore, Americans could each save thousands through taking on these new ideas.

It is also not true that there is a war on oil and gas production, with record levels reached under Biden last year.

It would be a clear shot in the foot, and would likely lead to the USA returning to being a Pariah on the world stage. Whether the American population will be able to hear and understand this is a different question.

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