Bloomberg: Elon Musk’s Wild Ride
Elon Musk recently took the stage in Guadalajara, Mexico for the performance he’s waited a lifetime to give. Sporting a new, oddly manicured mustache, Musk did his best shy Tony Stark impersonation, informing a crowd of space enthusiasts that, yes, he does plan to colonize Mars. Musk’s aerospace company, SpaceX, will send thousands of rockets and people to the Red Planet -- perhaps within the decade and perhaps at a cost of just $10 billion. Some of the astronauts will die as part of the experiment. Others will live out their days in... well, Musk was not very specific on that.
Musk continues to befuddle planet Earth. He’s part techno messiah -- a being sent here from the future to save mankind from itself -- and part charlatan -- a slick businessman dragging foolish investors along on ever grander, cash-burning bets. Every time one of his companies stumbles, Musk seems to have another spectacular thing to announce -- a new mode of transportation, the space internet, or a Martian colony -- to thrill and confuse. Is Musk trying to distract us from the troubling aspects of his companies, or are the doubters just the shortsighted, risk-averse people holding us all back from a fantastic future?
Reuters: Bolt Cutters Expose Vulnerability of North America's Oil Pipeline Grid
All it took was a pair of bolt cutters and the elbow grease of a few climate activists to carry out an audacious act of sabotage on North America's massive oil and gas pipeline system.
For an industry increasingly reliant on gadgets such as digital sensors, infrared cameras and drones to monitor security and check for leaks, the sabotage illustrated how vulnerable pipelines are to low-tech attacks.
On Tuesday, climate activists broke through fences and cut locks and chains simultaneously in several states and simply turned the pipelines off.
Guardian: Germany Takes Steps to Roll Back Renewable Energy Revolution
Germany is taking steps to curb its booming wind farm sector in what it claims is a necessary move to stop the renewables revolution from undermining its own success.
Critics, however, say the step will deal a blow to the country’s reputation as a leader in green energy.
According to leaked plans from the German federal network agency, published on Tuesday in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the government has had to halve its original target for expanding its wind farms in the gale-beaten northern flatlands because it cannot extend its power grid quickly enough to the energy-hungry south.
Climate Central: Sandy’s Surge Was Extreme. It Could Become Normal
The destructive force of storm surge was on clear display this weekend as Hurricane Matthew ripped across the Caribbean, Florida and the Carolinas. For some in New York, it may have brought back memories of Sandy, another destructive October storm that broke flood records and upended the metropolitan area.
Research published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that the risk posed by future storms like Sandy is only going to increase due to climate change. The potential for stronger storms and rising seas mean Sandy-level flooding could could occur once every 23 years as opposed to once every 400.
Auto Blog: Lexus Takes Aim at Electric Vehicles, Again
Lexus is once again taking aim at plug-in vehicles by emphasizing the perceived challenges of recharging batteries, rather than simply filling up with gas or hydrogen. Only this time, Toyota's luxury division appears to be zigging while everyone else is zagging. Of course, the nameplate can use all the help it can get when it comes to hybrid sales.
First highlighted by Green Car Reports, Lexus has added a banner to the website of its hybrid vehicles that says "Always Charged. Always Ready." That's a not-so-veiled shot at plug-in vehicles, a sector where Toyota has minimal exposure. Lexus also notes of its hybrid vehicles that there's "nothing to plug in."