Elon Musk: We Must Revolt Against the Unrelenting Propaganda of the Fossil Fuel Industry

Elon Musk: We Must Revolt Against the Unrelenting Propaganda of the Fossil Fuel Industry

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During an interview at the World Energy Innovation Forum (WEIF) at Tesla’s Fremont, California factory Wednesday, Elon Musk criticized fossil fuel subsidies as well as the alleged “propaganda” tactics deployed by Big Oil and Gas to tarnish his companies, including Tesla, SolarCity and SpaceX.

“The fundamental issue with fossil fuels is … every use of fossil fuels comes with a subsidy,” Musk said in his talk with forum organizer and DBL Partners venture capitalist Ira Ehrenpreis.

According to the Tesla CEO, cheap oil and gasoline prices not only prevent drivers from switching their gas-guzzlers to electric cars, it also deters the fight against climate change.

Musk explained that the well-funded fossil fuel industry isn’t even paying for their contribution to environmental destruction.

“It would be like if you could just dump garbage in the street and not pay for garbage pickup,” he said.

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Citing data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Musk lamented he’s “competing against something that has a $6 trillion per year subsidy,” and that the low gas prices that subsidies create are “weakening the economic-forcing function to sustainable transport and clean energy in general.”

Musk suggested that a carbon tax would help curb Dirty Energy’s emissions but passage of such a policy would be “hugely politically difficult” and that politicians usually pick the easier path of providing subsidies for electric cars, “even though gas cars are getting a bigger subsidy.”

Although the electric vehicle maker said he was “encouraged by the Paris talks,” he still thinks that the transition to clean energy and sustainable transportation isn’t happening quickly enough.

Musk gave an example of how the fossil fuel industry has been feeding negative stories to the press about his many companies.

As Electrek explained:

The CEO implied that the LA Times article from last year that misleadingly asserted that Musk’s companies received $4.9 billion in subsidies originated from the fossil fuel industry.

Musk suggested that the report was planted to counter the IMF study that found that the fossil fuel industry was receiving the equivalent of ~$5 trillion in subsidy a year. Both reports came out around the same time.

“After the IMF came out with their study showing that fossil fuels are subsidized to the tune of $6 trillion a year [it’s was actually $5.3 trillion in 2015]–like $6 trillion per year,” Musk said. “Then some representatives from the oil and gas industry added up all the incentives that Tesla had received and will receive in the future, which happens to coincide with the $6 billion figure.”

“We need to appeal to the people–educate people to sort of revolt against this and to fight the propaganda of the fossil fuel industry which is unrelenting and enormous,” he concluded.

Earlier in his talk, Musk also predicted that autonomous cars are the future of transportation.

“It’s going to become common for cars to be autonomous a lot faster than people think,” Musk said, adding that half of all new cars will have self-driving technology within seven to 10 years.

“It’ll just be something where it’s odd if it’s not in your car. Like not having GPS or something like that, but even bigger. It’ll just be normal,” he said.

The entire interview was captured by Electrek in the video below. Musk’s discussion about the fossil fuel industry starts around the 18:30 mark.

Bike Washing Machine Gives Whole New Meaning to ‘Spin Cycle’

Bike Washing Machine Gives Whole New Meaning to ‘Spin Cycle’

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Want to get a good workout and get a mundane chore out of the way—all while not using electricity? Now you can, thanks to the Bike Washing Machine, designed by students at Dalian Nationalities University in China.

Colin Levitch of BikeRadar praised the concept:

“The Tuvie Washing Machine gives the term ‘spin cycle’ a whole new meaning. Targeted at the time-starved athlete or those wishing to cut down on their utility bills, it’s essentially a spin bike, where the front wheel has been replaced with a laundry drum. As you pedal, the drum spins and gets your clothing clean.

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We’re dreaming of spin class rooms filled with these, where patrons get a workout and a clean basket of clothing after their 45 minute session. Got a stubborn stain? We’re sure someone will create ‘stain intervals’ to see those gone.”

According to the designers, any excess energy generated would power the display screen or be stored for later use.

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Its small size would probably require multiple loads to complete your laundry, The Huffington Post pointed out. And Levitch noted there are a few key details missing: Do you need to run a water pipe to the bike or does it need to be manually filled? How do you drain the water?

Still, the concept offers a promising way to combine exercise and a carbon-free energy source to clean your dirty clothes.

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There are other pedal-powered washing machine designs, including one designed specifically for the billions around the world without access to running water or electricity.

Source: EcoWatch

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World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm to Provide 10 Million People With Clean Drinking Water

World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm to Provide 10 Million People With Clean Drinking Water

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England will soon be home to Europe’s largest floating solar farm, if not the world. The 6.3 megawatt array consists of 23,000 solar panels that sit on the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir at Walton-on-Thames, a suburb of London near Heathrow Airport.

According to The Guardian, the £6 million (about $8 million) project will help power local water treatment plants that provide clean drinking water to London and south-east England’s 10 million residents

“This will be the biggest floating solar farm in the world for a time—others are under construction,” Angus Berry, energy manager for Thames Water, the utility which owns the site, told The Guardian. “We are leading the way, but we hope that others will follow, in the UK and abroad.”

Thames Water said in a press release that their floating pontoon will cover around a tenth of the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir, the same area as eight Wembley football pitches (London’s famous 90,000-capacity soccer stadium).

It will be the largest floating solar farm on the planet before Japan’s mega-solar farm finishes in 2018, which will have a capacity of 13.7 megawatts.

Thames Water, which has goal of generating a third of of its own renewable energy by 2020, said that the low carbon, renewable energy produced at the facility is expected to generate 5.8 million kilowatt hours in its first year—equivalent to the annual power consumption of around 1,800 homes.

Floating solar panels has a number of benefits. For one, compared to mounted panels, floating panels are naturally cooled because of the bodies of water they sit on, therefore boosting power production efficiency. The panels also shade the water itself, and limits the growth of algae.

Berry also told The Guardian that the project makes use of a space that is not currently used for any other purpose, adding that the array will have no impact on the ecosystem.

Also, as as Quartz noted, a floating platoon is easy to assemble: “Rather than using heavy machinery required for ground-mounted installations, the panels are clipped together and pushed out from the bank of the lake.”

For instance, this 200 kilowatt floating solar power farm in Sheeplands Farm, Berkshire was constructed in one week:

European solar photovoltaic operator Lightsource is managing the installation of London’s new floating solar array.

“We’re delighted to have begun work on another ambitious milestone project for Lightsource with our first floating solar installation,” said Lightsource CEO Nick Boyle in a statement. “Over the last five years we’ve successfully completed ground and roof installations of all shapes and sizes, but this project has some obvious differences and has presented our team with a set of fresh challenges to overcome.

“There is a great need from energy intensive industries to reduce their carbon footprint, as well as the amount they are spending on electricity and solar can be the perfect solution. We’re therefore constantly evolving new skill sets to ensure that all of our projects deliver maximum energy generation over the lifetime of the installation.”

Source: ecowatch

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