Jun

22

 Can you mount a factual argument in support of the Paris agreement? Can you explain the fossil fuel industry's support of it?

All I have heard is (a) empty platitudes: "USA leaving is bad for the world", usually from people that fly private jets– and (b) extreme coercion in support of a deal whose stated outcome is to spend a lot of money and accomplish very little.

Fossil fuel industry support is likely explained by promotion of methane hydrates - an opportunity that Japan is pursuing with vigor. I personally am less enthusiastic about an undersea landslide enveloping us in a gigaton methane plume, however.

Consider too that the net impact of increasing EPA emissions standards has been to increase global emissions as industry is forced offshore to China with a grid that is several multiples dirtier than the US, and with 8,000 miles of round trip shipping added on. A disaster for the environment. Emissions targets in the Paris agreement perform a similar function.

The UN's green climate fund does not preclude investment in coal-fired plants, and green group's have already condemned their plans.In general I am skeptical that shipping boatloads of cash to unaccountable bureaucrats will fix anything. A feeling that is not assisted by knowledge that the UN's WHO spends more on travel (including first class flights) than it spends on Aids and Malaria.

Climate change is a problem that can only be solved by the invention and industrialisation of technology. I'm putting my money where my mouth is - I'm substantially overweight Tesla and am privately invested in promising battery and solar tech R&D. Deregulation of the energy grid, as voted for in Nevada, will provide room for these technologies to be adopted. Dismantling the petrodollar would help too.

Oct

10

 A very interesting article written by Lyft co-founder:

"The Third Transportation Revolution: Lyft’s Vision for the Next Ten Years and Beyond"

What are your thoughts? Any investment ideas in light of this?

One fact mentioned in the article is "The average vehicle is used only 4% of the time and parked the other 96%."

I guess it is tempting to fix this huge inefficiency, but unfortunately the 4% usage time is not arbitrary, probably 90% of people have concurrent usage time: to commute to/from work.

Jim Sogi writes: 

Not only that, but when it is used, only one person is in the car. Better to have a small form factor car.

David Lilienfeld writes: 

I keep thinking about the Segway. Wasn't it supposed to revolutionize transportation too?

Stefanie Harvey writes:

The issue I find with the Segway is battery life and time to become comfortable using it. I have a Ninebot mini Segway pro; it took two rides to get comfortable with it but I almost returned it after the first.

Navigating uneven roads and curbs are also a challenge. Weather is challenging and it's sufficiently heavy that carrying it on/off bus or train is suboptimal (heavier than a commuter bike.)

Jeff Watson writes:

My son and I were early adopters of hoverboards (a mini-Segway clone), a year before they got big. These days we don't ride them any more due to safety concerns, and quality issues. But then again, why would one ride a hoverboard, when one can ride a one wheel. My son and I got a couple of them in summer 2015 and haven't looked back. They will go anywhere, on any terrain, fast, dangerously fast. The boards are well made, fly like the wind, and one can even use them at the beach as long as they are not totally submerged. The battery charge lasts longer than one's legs. One Wheel's are seductively dangerous. My go to board that every day I ride around the neighborhood is still the boosted board. Expensive, but worth every penny.

Vincent Praver writes:

Many of the ideas in the blog post reflect common wisdom in the sector.

A recent presentation from morgan stanley's auto analyst [related link ] covers these ideas well.

Jim Sogi writes: 

I have 150 miles on my electric bike so far and now ride it everywhere under 10 miles. It does 25 mph and most of the roads around here are 25-30 mph so get there almost as fast as a car, and can maneuver in close, park at the door, and be out faster than a car. I can visit 4 places in the time it takes to park. It THE way to go. I put some grocery bags on the back. It has tail lights and headlights. Its great exercise and feels great to be in the out of doors. Mine has electric automatic continuously variable gears by Nuuvinci. I got the custom Moto wood laminate pedals with skateboard grip to ride in slippers. It has a 750W mid drive motor and a big battery.

The small factor electric vehicle is the wave of the future.

Vincent Paver elaborates: 

Three tidal waves of the future, breaking simultaneously:

electric vehicles

autonomous vehicles

shared vehicles

They are highly complementary to each other, empowered by software, and will fundamentally change transportation.

It's a question of when, not if. Will we substantively change in the next decade, or will it take 2 or 3 decades?

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