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2018 Q2: A chronology in pictures and charts of selected developments in climate, energy, tech & the future of civilisation


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The state of play in deterioration of the global climate and efforts to address it, the global energy transition, the uses and abuses of tech, all as they relate to the prospects for humankind

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2018 Q2: A chronology in pictures and charts of selected developments in climate, energy, tech & the future of civilisation

  1. 1. 2018 Q2: A chronology in pictures and charts of selected developments in climate, energy, tech and the future of civilisation
  2. 2. “Wary shale investors warn against drilling at all costs” 7th Jan 2016 1st Apr 2018 Says one: “If you outspend cash flow on stupid investments & destroy capital, I’m not just going to be mad at you, I’m going to punish you…”
  3. 3. China’s Belt and Road grand plan: serious delays, ballooning debts, mounting sovereignty concerns 7th Jan 2016 1st Apr 2018 The Nikkei Asian Review and The Banker review the progress of the $1 trillion mega-project in 8 countries.
  4. 4. Underwater melting of Antarctic ice far greater than thought, ESA satellite altimetry study finds 7th Jan 2016 2nd Apr 2018 The base of ice has shrunk by 1,463 square km 2010 to 2016, an area the size of Greater London. The implications for sea-level rise are dire. Section through ice sheet in 2010 Section through ice sheet in 2016
  5. 5. “The world doesn't need a new Facebook, it needs a new internet” - Arjun Hassard 7th Jan 2016 2nd Apr 2018 “Without mature underlying infrastructure …a blockchain-based social network ‘for the people’ will struggle to retain users.”
  6. 6. “Russia’s $55bn pipeline gamble on China’s demand for gas” 7th Jan 2016 3rd Apr 2018 “Russia’s first eastern pipeline is the most striking physical manifestation of President Putin’s diplomatic pivot towards China”. It is a bet that China’s green energy tech won’t grow exponentially.
  7. 7. UK's first horizontal well completed in Lancashire shale, Caudrilla reports 7th Jan 2016 3rd Apr 2018 The driller now waits for government approval to conduct what would be the first frack since 2011. (The one that led to an earthquake).
  8. 8. The corrupt hide billions in shell companies. US & UK Beneficial Ownership Registries could stop them 7th Jan 2016 3rd Apr 2018 So suggest Panama Paper journalists Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer. The registries would show “ultimate beneficial owners.”
  9. 9. Portugal's electricity consumption was met 104% by renewables in March 7th Jan 2016 4th Apr 2018 Another first. Highest demand for 40 years met 97% wind & hydro, the rest solar etc. Average wholesale price €4 less than 2016 (39.75 €MWh).
  10. 10. Google owner Alphabet, biggest corporate renewables buyer, reaches 100% renewable power 7th Jan 2016 4th Apr 2018 $3 bn investment in wind and solar powers all data centres, where electricity use grows in double digits % each year.
  11. 11. “We believe that Google should not be in the business of war”: so say > 3,000 Google employees 7th Jan 2016 4th Apr 2018 An open letter to CEO, in the New York Times, urges the company not to work on a Pentagon ‘AI surveillance engine’ used for drone warfare. “Amid growing fears of biased and weaponized AI, Google is already struggling to keep the public’s trust. By entering into this contract, Google will join the ranks of companies like Palantir, Raytheon and General Dynamics. The argument that other firms, like Microsoft and Amazon, are also participating doesn’t make this any less risky for Google. Google’s unique history, its motto “don’t be evil”, and its direct reach into the lives of billions of users set it apart.”
  12. 12. “We believe that Google should not be in the business of war”: so say > 3,000 Google employees 7th Jan 2016 4th Apr 2018 An open letter to CEO, in the New York Times, urges the company not to work on a Pentagon ‘AI surveillance engine’ used for drone warfare.
  13. 13. Facebook improperly shared data of 87m people with Cambridge Analytica, company now says 7th Jan 2016 4th Apr 2018 This is 37m more than reported earlier. It also admits that data of most of its 2 billion users could have been accessed improperly.
  14. 14. For the first time, global solar capacity grew faster in 2017 than all fossil fuels and nuclear combined 7th Jan 2016 5th Apr 2018 The record 98 GW of new solar built in 2017 increased the world’s cumulative capacity by a third, to 399GW. Fossil fuels Solar Wind Hydro Other renewables Nuclear Global growth in net electricity generating capacity (i.e. including retirements of plants)125 100 75 50 25 0 GW 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
  15. 15. Solar was the biggest single sector for new global power capacity additions for the 2nd year in 2017 7th Jan 2016 5th Apr 2018 Source: UNEP / BNEF Solar 98 38% Wind 52 Coal 35 Gas 38 Large hydro 19 Nuclear 11 GW Net new power after retirements $160 bn of solar investment: the biggest sector in £280 bn total renewables investment.
  16. 16. 12.1% of world electricity is now generated by electricity – up from 11% in 2016 7th Jan 2016 5th Apr 2018 This corresponds to approximately 1.8 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions avoided. Source: UNEP / BNEF
  17. 17. Global investment in renewables grew only 2% to $279.8 bn 7th Jan 2016 5th Apr 2018 45% of the investment was in China: $126.6bn. Biggest decline was EU, 36%, primarily because of UK, down 65%. Source: UNEP / BNEF
  18. 18. Solar leads charge as global renewables build tops 2 TW (2,179 GW) 7th Jan 2016 5th Apr 2018 IRENA’s Renewable Capacity Statistics 2018 report shows 8.3% growth in capacity in 2017.
  19. 19. “IEA accused of undermining global shift from fossil fuels” 7th Jan 2016 5th Apr 2018 None of the IEA’s scenarios hit the Paris target, says OCI. They flag Shell’s involvement, via 2 IEA secondees on Shell payroll, in drafting. IEA Sustainable Development Scenario emissions vs targets (assuming no negative emissions)
  20. 20. Shell knew about the dire implications of climate change before the first IPCC report came out in 1990 7th Jan 2016 5th Apr 2018 Trove of papers released by Climate Investigations will be difficult to explain in liability class actions – actions which Shell foresaw!
  21. 21. “China Vows to Fight Trump Tariffs ‘to the End’ as Tension Rises” 7th Jan 2016 5th Apr 2018 Shares tumble as Trump considers a further $100bn of tariffs. If China played tit-for-tat, tariffs would be on all US exports to China.
  22. 22. AI experts call for boycott over killer robots project teaming a South Korea university with Hanwha 7th Jan 2016 5th Apr 2018 A UN meeting on autonomous weapons convenes in Geneva next week. > 20 countries have already called for a total ban on killer robots. The technology to make killer robots is already here
  23. 23. Carney warns once again of climate change threat to financial system, & imperative of risk disclosure 7th Jan 2016 6th Apr 2018 BoE Governor says new technology investments & long-term infrastructure projects will need financing at c. 4x the current rate.
  24. 24. “Why Zuckerberg’s 14-Year Apology Tour Hasn’t Fixed Facebook” 7th Jan 2016 6th Apr 2018 Zeynep Tufekci: “Facebook's CEO's constant apologies aren't a promise to do better. They're a symptom of a profound crisis of accountability.”
  25. 25. Twitter exec on Trump election: “We all had this ‘holy shit’ moment …Did we create this monster?” 7th Jan 2016 6th Apr 2018 It would still take months after the election for CEO Jack Dorsey to concede a responsibility to clean up the social media service.
  26. 26. MIT researchers develop a device that can ‘hear’ words spoken in thought, via neuromuscular signals 7th Jan 2016 6th Apr 2018 The ‘AlterEgo’ device scores 92% transcription accuracy in a 10-person trial with about 15 minutes of customising to each person.
  27. 27. Elon Musk warns of prospect for “an immortal dictator from which we can never escape” 7th Jan 2016 6th Apr 2018 This in a documentary on AI and robotics out today, “Do You Trust This Computer?” Google’s DeepMind is a big step in this direction, he says. “If one company or small group of people manages to develop godlike digital superintelligence, they could take over the world,"
  28. 28. US Homeland Security to compile database for monitoring of journalists and ‘media influencers’ 7th Jan 2016 7th Apr 2018 “24/7 access to a password protected, media influencer database, including journalist, editors, ….social media influencers, bloggers etc.”
  29. 29. Facebook suspends data firm hired by Vote Leave over alleged Cambridge Analytica ties 7th Jan 2016 7th Apr 2018 FB says AggregateIQ “may be affiliated with SCL and may, as a result, have improperly received FB user data.”
  30. 30. HSBC becomes the latest bank to deploy AI to help spot money laundering 7th Jan 2016 8th Apr 2018 And who programmes the AI? Hopefully not the kind of HSBC staff who oversaw the “regrettable mistakes” of 2012?
  31. 31. The world's most valuable AI startup targets nationwide facial recognition 7th Jan 2016 9th Apr 2018 Co-founder of China’s $3 bn SenseTime Group Xu Li: “It will not affect privacy because only authorized persons can access it.”
  32. 32. Orban immediately targets Soros-backed NGOs after huge populist win in Hungarian election 7th Jan 2016 9th Apr 2018 OECD describes campaign as “intimidating, xenophobic”. In his previous term, Hungary’s corruption rating plunged to second worst in EU.
  33. 33. Governments meet in Geneva to consider global ban on killer robots, with an arms race underway 7th Jan 2016 9th Apr 2018 At least 381 partly autonomous weapon & military robotics systems are deployed or in development in 12 states, incl. US, Russia, China, UK.
  34. 34. “A Global Arms Race for Killer Robots Is Transforming Warfare” 7th Jan 2016 9th Apr 2018 Stuart Russell, professor of artificial intelligence at Berkeley: “We have an opportunity to prevent this, but the window to act is closing fast.”
  35. 35. AI experts call for boycott over killer robots project teaming a South Korea university with Hanwha 7th Jan 2016 9th Apr 2018 A UN meeting on autonomous weapons convenes in Geneva next week. > 20 countries have already called for a total ban on killer robots. The technology to make killer robots is already here
  36. 36. Apple reaches 100% renewable power for all its operations in 43 countries 7th Jan 2016 10th Apr 2018 Tim Cook, Apple CEO: “We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible ….because we know the future depends on it.” Solar roof on Apple HQ
  37. 37. EDF warns of yet more delay and cost over-run at Flamanville nuclear plant 7th Jan 2016 10th Apr 2018 150 “quality deviations” found in welding of pipes used to carry steam. Extent of addition to existing €10.5 bn bill due in May.
  38. 38. UK and US lawyers launch a joint class action against Facebook and Cambridge Analytica 7th Jan 2016 10th Apr 2018 US Stored Communications Act involves a minimum $1,000 penalty for any violation found by a court, meaning FB could face $70bn damages.
  39. 39. “Congress tried to crack Zuckerberg – but Facebook still has all the power” 7th Jan 2016 10th Apr 2018 “Zuckerberg may not want us to know where he slept last night, but his company sure as hell knows where the rest of us are sleeping.”
  40. 40. Retired BP executive, one the UK’s most eminent geologists, suggests The Carbon War is over 7th Jan 2016 11th Apr 2018 Bryan Lovell: “You might perhaps be expected to be in the ranks of those who have resisted the Anti-carbon Army. I’m not…”
  41. 41. Zuckerberg evasive on tracking, browsing, profiling, & need to change business model to protect privacy 7th Jan 2016 11th Apr 2018 Congressman Frank Pallone: “Our laws are not working” …”we need “comprehensive privacy and data protection legislation.” Congresswoman reads long list of Zuckerberg’s apologies, starting in 2003, as evidence that self regulation can never work
  42. 42. New Zealand bans future offshore oil and gas drilling in support of Paris targets 7th Jan 2016 12th Apr 2018 NZ currently has 5 operating offshore fields, and 22 active offshore exploration licences. Oil lobby expresses surprise and disappointment.
  43. 43. US green group EDF aims to launch a satellite to spot methane leakage from oil and gas operations 7th Jan 2016 12th Apr 2018 The tens of millions of dollars needed for launch in early 2021 will be raised from private donations. MethaneSAT
  44. 44. Shell sets out energy transition strategy, telling investors they see little chance of stranded assets 7th Jan 2016 12th Apr 2018 By 2030 75% of proved + probable oil & gas reserves will be produced, with demand higher than it is today. Oil demand still 50-60 mbd in 2070. Chad Holliday Chairman Ben van Beurden CEO
  45. 45. World's first electrified road for charging vehicles opens in Sweden: 2 km, but part of a national plan 7th Jan 2016 12th Apr 2018 Sweden’s target of achieving independence from fossil fuel by 2030 requires 70% reduction in the transport sector.
  46. 46. Bay Area ferry fleet will transition to 100% renewable diesel fuel, San Francisco mayor says 7th Jan 2016 12th Apr 2018 Fuel comes from vegetable oils and such sources. It is able to reduce greenhouse gases in engine emissions by more than half.
  47. 47. Shipping to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2050 under a hard-fought international agreement 7th Jan 2016 13th Apr 2018 A compromise which at least keeps alive the Paris-congruent goal of total decarbonisation by 2050, given review provisions.
  48. 48. World’s most powerful wind turbine installed off Scotland: 191 metres, 8.8 MW 7th Jan 2016 13th Apr 2018 Vestas for Vattenfall. Just one rotation of the blades can power the average UK home for a day.
  49. 49. Fast shale-well depletion means “the oil and gas infrastructure bubble is over”: John Dizard in the FT 7th Jan 2016 13th Apr 2018 Investors’ dilemma: “No matter how many years’ service the pipes and plants could provide, there will not be the production to fill them.”
  50. 50. “What Hearings? Advertisers Still Love Facebook” 7th Jan 2016 13th Apr 2018 Ad agencies expect FB’s $40bn 2017 revenue to rise steeply and FB & Google to take >65% of all 2018 ad revenue. “Too big to fail,” says one.
  51. 51. Shell urges investors to reject activists’ AGM motion committing to Paris-congruent emissions 7th Jan 2016 15th Apr 2018 CEO Van Beurden: “If society finds a way to go faster, we will go faster ….but we cannot do it single-handedly.”
  52. 52. US agencies & UK’s GCHQ blame the Kremlin for a sustained cyber-offensive in recent months 7th Jan 2016 16th Apr 2018 “Millions of machines” targeted in apparent effort to lay foundations for an assault on network infrastructure devices, they say. US Air Force video: The Making of a Cyberwarrior
  53. 53. French oil and gas giant Total takes another step into renewables 7th Jan 2016 17th Apr 2018 It buys 74% of Direct Energie and its 550 MW of operating renewables, plus 2 GW pipeline, for $1.7bn.
  54. 54. On current trajectory, the energy-related CO2 emissions budget will be blown in <20 years: IRENA 7th Jan 2016 17th Apr 2018 Cumulative emissions must at least be reduced by a further 470 gigatons by 2050 compared to current and planned policies. Source: IRENA’s “Roadmap to 2050”
  55. 55. Renewables must be scaled up at least six times faster to meet the Paris Agreement target: IRENA 7th Jan 2016 17th Apr 2018 Additional costs: $1.7 tn p.a. in 2050. But savings from < air pollution, < environmental damage, & > health = $6 tn p.a. in 2050. Source: IRENA’s “Roadmap to 2050” (85% in power sector)
  56. 56. Renewables & energy efficiency can provide > 90% of cuts in energy-related CO2 emissions: IRENA 7th Jan 2016 17th Apr 2018 Emissions expected to be flat in the business-as-usual Reference Case, but must be cut >70% in the Paris-congruent Remap Case. Source: IRENA’s “Roadmap to 2050” 94% of the >70% emissions cuts needed
  57. 57. IRENA’s energy transition would generate over 11 million additional energy sector jobs by 2050 7th Jan 2016 17th Apr 2018 Job gains in renewable energy and energy efficiency would greatly exceed fossil-fuel job losses. Source: IRENA’s “Roadmap to 2050”
  58. 58. 9 years on, the 9-state US carbon trading program is cutting emissions ….& boosting economies & jobs 7th Jan 2016 17th Apr 2018 The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative wasn't designed for economic development, but ….$1.4 bn of economic benefits in last 3 years.
  59. 59. “Shale Industry Drills More Debt Than Profit”: DeSmogBlog launches series on $280 bn debt pile 7th Jan 2016 18th Apr 2018 “The American oil and gas boom spurred by fracking innovations may be one of the largest money-losing endeavors in the nation's history.”
  60. 60. Paris targets will require UK cities to be 90% renewable powered by 2030 (C40), and < 1 in 3 LAs have solar in their environmental strategies. UK solar industry suggests local governments can and must solarize faster 7th Jan 2016 18th Apr 2018
  61. 61. UK clean energy projects stifled as energy networks' charge high fees for connection enquiries 7th Jan 2016 18th Apr 2018 Earlier Tory legislation enables them to do this. Charges are in the £2.5 - £10k range for small renewables projects – even if they don’t go ahead.
  62. 62. EVs to power the grid in biggest UK trial: 1,000 Ovo Energy customers will use Nissan V2G charging 7th Jan 2016 18th Apr 2018 The vehicle-to-grid chargers are part of Ovo’s VCharge range which also includes powerful home batteries, with or without rooftop solar. An example of Ovo Energy’s combative advertising …on Valentine’s Day
  63. 63. US trade spokesperson: “Greater access to American arms will ..reduce their reliance not just on Chinese knock-offs but also Russian systems.” Trump permits US weapons companies to sell laser- guided killer drones direct to other countries 7th Jan 2016 19th Apr 2018
  64. 64. In Congress, Zuckerberg dodged questions on whether he would apply GDPR to Americans, promising GDPR “controls” not “protections.” Facebook moves 1.5bn users out of reach of new European privacy law 7th Jan 2016 19th Apr 2018
  65. 65. Vince Cable: Facebook should divest itself of Instagram and WhatsApp as a condition for EU operation, creating 2 new social media networks. Former UK Secretary of State for Business calls for break-up of Google, Facebook and Amazon 7th Jan 2016 19th Apr 2018
  66. 66. Michael Mann et al’s temperature reconstruction from 1999 in blue. PAGES2K temperature reconstruction 2013 in green. Data record in red. The “hockey stick” of global average temperature 20 years on: when being right must hurt 7th Jan 2016 20th Apr 2018
  67. 67. This is causing falling production in multiple countries. Meanwhile “production challenges” are emerging in US shale. Schlumberger foresees oil supply challenges this year after “dramatic drop” in E&P investment 7th Jan 2016 20th Apr 2018 Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017 Consumption by regionProduction by region mbd mbd
  68. 68. Amanda Taub & Max Fisher on role of fake news: “Facebook’s newsfeed played a central role in nearly every step from rumor to killing.” “Where Countries Are Tinderboxes and Facebook Is a Match” 7th Jan 2016 21st Apr 2018 Buddhist mob burns a Muslim - owned shop in Sri Lanka, March 2018
  69. 69. Demand for new diesel cars fell by more than a third in March – normally the top selling month of the year. UK’s car industry faces post-Dieselgate crisis: falling sales & widespread job cuts at multiple companies 7th Jan 2016 21st Apr 2018
  70. 70. The ”crunch year” for strong oil prices will be 2019, one hedge fund says, emphasising underinvestment and Middle East geopolitics. “Hedge-Fund Investors Pour Into Oil as Firms Predict Surge to $80” 7th Jan 2016 22nd Apr 2018 Source:
  71. 71. “The US shale industry has been a money pit”: FT. Chart shows free cash flow per barrel produced for a sample of leading companies. As the oil price rises, some US shale drillers finally just about recoup the cost of their drilling 7th Jan 2016 22nd Apr 2018 $2 0 -2 -4 -6 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Source: FT
  72. 72. BYD’s first electric bus, just seven years ago, was seen as a joke. Now China’s e-buses are displacing 233,000 barrels of oil a day. Every five weeks, Chinese cities are adding 9,500 electric buses – the size of the London bus fleet 7th Jan 2016 23rd Apr 2018 Honda’s Asimo
  73. 73. So Bloomberg reports. Kindle appeared 10 years ago, Echo 4 years ago, and now a new bet, codenamed “Vesta”. Amazon has a top-secret plan to build domestic robots, possibly available to consumers by 2019 7th Jan 2016 23rd Apr 2018 Honda’s Asimo
  74. 74. Jason Calacanis will offer seven “purpose-driven teams” $100,000 each, aiming to build a billion-user platform that protects privacy. Tech investment pioneer launches competition to find and fund a social network to replace Facebook 7th Jan 2016 24th Apr 2018 Jason Calacanis criticizing Facebook’s privacy policy on YouTube in 2009
  75. 75. A third have renewable energy targets. “We need to see a significant increase in the level of ambition”, says CERES. 64% of US companies are pledged to act on climate, but only 36% have set targets, and 9% SBTs 7th Jan 2016 24th Apr 2018 Specific targets Food sector: 86% Transport sector: 50% Financial sector: 35% Utility sector: 25%
  76. 76. But Europe’s renewable-energy sector was No. 2 in the world in 2014, but it has now fallen to fifth, behind China, the US, Japan and Brazil. In 2017, 30% of EU’s power mix was renewable, 74% of Denmark’s & 30% of Germany’s 7th Jan 2016 24th Apr 2018 Renewables mix in power generation % Source:EuropeanRenewableEnergiesFoundation
  77. 77. 1.1 million Europeans now work in renewables, many more than coal. But the EU still imports 54% of its energy, costing >€200 bn a year. German citizen energy would rank within Europe’s top 15 largest energy retailers, if it were a company 7th Jan 2016 24th Apr 2018 Source:EuropeanRenewableEnergiesFoundation
  78. 78. Letter to O&G companies: major hydrocarbon releases “remain a concern because of their greater potential to lead to fires, explosions and multiple losses of life. There have been several such releases in recent years that have come perilously close to disaster.” Offshore UK OGI “perilously close to disasters” as a result of neglected gas leakage, HSE warns 7th Jan 2016 26th Apr 2018
  79. 79. 66% would be happy to have a large renewables project locally. 74% are concerned about climate change. UK Government poll finds a record 85% public support for renewable energy, and 87% for solar 7th Jan 2016 26th Apr 2018 Onshore wind: not so unpopular after all
  80. 80. The Market Stability Reserve (MSR) to be introduced in January 2019 will shrink the supply of carbon allowances (EAUs) as never before. The price of carbon is being driven up by EU policy: Carbon Tracker projects 2x by 2021 & 4x by 2030 7th Jan 2016 26th Apr 2018 After years in single figures, the carbon price has tripled in the last year
  81. 81. 3 million potential customers identified. Those in southern France can expect 100% of power needs met in summer. Those in the north 75%. Engie and sonnen partner on French solar-plus- battery storage residential offering 7th Jan 2016 26th Apr 2018
  82. 82. By 2020, they will have to charge based on such factors as affordability, reliability, transparency, renewable energy integration, efficiency. Hawaii adopts world-first law directing utilities to decouple revenue and capital expenditures 7th Jan 2016 26th Apr 2018
  83. 83. e.g. EOG Resources: $1.1 bn loss in 2016. Would have lost $0.7 bn in 2017 but for GOP tax handout of $2.2 bn. It is still $6bn in debt. US fracking companies tipped from yet more debt to profit by Trump tax law change at end of 2016 7th Jan 2016 26th Apr 2018
  84. 84. Data include only quality-verified pico-solar (<11 W) and solar home system products, c. 30% of all. Other 70% are generic products. Global solar lighting sales have essentially stalled since 2015 …despite steep rise in investment 7th Jan 2016 26th Apr 2018 0 1 2 3 4 5 H2 2010 H1 2011 H2 2011 H1 2012 H2 2012 H1 2013 H2 2013 H1 2014 H2 2014 H1 2015 H2 2015 H1 2016 H2 2016 H1 2017 H2 2017 million Data source: GOGLA / Lighting Global <35 million solar light sales in all > $600 m$207m$75 m$18 m$21 mInvestment:
  85. 85. Peter Diamandis: This is what we can do if private sector efforts work. The question is, where we all the data be stored. And he has an answer. “We’re about to see an influx of data from five billion new minds” 7th Jan 2016 26th Apr 2018
  86. 86. Today we produce over 44 billion gigabytes of data per day. In future we could in principle fit 215 million gigabytes into a single gram of DNA. By encoding data into molecules of DNA, we could in principle “fit entire data centers in a few flasks” 7th Jan 2016 26th Apr 2018
  87. 87. Following a crowdfunded challenge by Liberty, the 2016 Investigatory Powers Act, (the Snoopers’ Charter) must be rewritten within 6 months. High court rules the UK government mass data surveillance legislation is incompatible with EU law 7th Jan 2016 27th Apr 2018 Liberty director, Martha Spurrier: “Police and security agencies need tools to tackle serious crime in the digital age, but creating the most intrusive surveillance regime of any democracy in the world is unlawful, unnecessary and ineffective.”
  88. 88. “The explanations put forward by scientists range from the troubling to the truly hair-raising.” (OGI leakage & tropical wetlands, respectively). “Scientists struggle to explain a worrying rise in atmospheric methane” 7th Jan 2016 28th Apr 2018
  89. 89. He tells Alphabet shareholders of the “great inspiration” that also brings “new questions and responsibilities”, ….and quotes Charles Dickens. Google co-founder Sergey Brin joins AI concerns: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” 7th Jan 2016 28th Apr 2018
  90. 90. In the government-backed project, artificial intelligence algorithms scan the data for outliers that could indicate anxiety or rage. Chinese companies conduct ‘emotional surveillance’ of workers’ via hat or helmet sensors 7th Jan 2016 30th Apr 2018
  91. 91. Starship Technologies: compared to drones, these robots are quiet, “gently navigate the streets, and cause no inconvenience to people.” First-ever commercial use of robot delivery drivers: food deliveries on a Silicon Valley campus 7th Jan 2016 30th Apr 2018
  92. 92. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) says the SOURCE panels can produce 5 litres of clean drinking water a day. Solar panels capable of mining water from the air to be trialed at 150 sites across Australia 7th Jan 2016 30th Apr 2018
  93. 93. Thwaites already loses ice fast: enough to drive 4% of global sea-level rise, but it is pegged in on a seafloor bump, and it it detaches…. Major US-UK research project targets the world’s most dangerous glacier: Antarctica’s Thwaites 7th Jan 2016 30th Apr 2018
  94. 94. But the pace slowed in 2017, the LSE report warns. The few hundred court cases underway could potentially have a “significant impact.” All 197 signatories of Paris Agreement are now taking action, with >1,500 climate laws & policies 7th Jan 2016 30th Apr 2018
  95. 95. “Because so much energy comes from coal, slight fluctuations from year to year can wipe out massive gains in renewables.” The Paris challenge: renewables growth and retreat from coal too slow …& oil & gas continue to grow 7th Jan 2016 1st May 2018
  96. 96. The effect of current policies has the world heading for around 3 degrees of global warming by 2100. The Paris challenge: current policies come nowhere close to the target, and pledges fall well short 7th Jan 2016 1st May 2018
  97. 97. They must be finalised by the end of this year, at the annual climate summit in Poland. And old south-north frustrations are simmering. UN climate talks open in Bonn with the clock ticking on agreement of rules for the Paris Agreement 7th Jan 2016 1st May 2018
  98. 98. Including 3 billion people breathing deadly fumes from domestic cooking stoves and fires, causing an estimated 3.8 million deaths. Air pollution kills 7 million people a year, WHO reports, and 90% globally breathe polluted air 7th Jan 2016 1st May 2018
  99. 99. The search for a military edge is one driver. But both US and Chinese companies talk of new potential for open-source collaboration. “The AI arms race: China and US compete to dominate big data”: FT 7th Jan 2016 1st May 2018
  100. 100. The Economist: The NPT, INF, and START (due for renewal 2021) treaties are all under threat, thanks to “complacent, reckless” leaders. “Despite North Korea, arms control is unravelling” “a complacent world is playing with Armageddon” 7th Jan 2016 2nd May 2018
  101. 101. Echoes of history here: in 1930, 1,028 economists urged Congress to reject the protectionist Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. >1,000 economists warn Trump his trade views echo errors that led to the 1930s Great Depression 7th Jan 2016 2nd May 2018
  102. 102. Reuters analysis shows that the slight majority for the GOP during the 2016 election has grown significantly during the Trump Presidency. US solar and wind energy company donations are now going far more to Republicans than Democrats 7th Jan 2016 2nd May 2018 US windpower capacity installations by Congressional district
  103. 103. They blame poor quality source images and say the technology will improve with use. Welsh police used face scanning software that incorrectly flagged >2,000 as criminals 7th Jan 2016 5th May 2018
  104. 104. Yet another setback for EDF: a £120 million loss of revenue for the six months the reactor is (supposedly) offline for repairs. New cracks in a reactor core at Hunterston raise questions about reliability of entire UK nuclear fleet 7th Jan 2016 6th May 2018
  105. 105. Use of drones is the biggest growing trend among criminals, including smuggling gangs, drug cartels, and in robberies. A criminal gang has used a drone swarm to obstruct and spy on an FBI hostage surveillance operation 7th Jan 2016 7th May 2018
  106. 106. Berkeley and Davis have laws requiring citizen oversight of surveillance technology use and Oakland has a bill pending. California laws seek to keep smart city surveillance tech in check, especially re who accesses data 7th Jan 2016 7th May 2018
  107. 107. Study including supply chains for food, clothing, transport & hospitality makes the sector 8% of greenhouse emissions, more than construction. Greenhouse emissions impact of tourism could be four times larger than previously thought 7th Jan 2016 7th May 2018
  108. 108. Negotiators became bogged down in the detail, with differentiated commitments between rich and poor countries an enduring issue. Extra climate talks scheduled for September in Bangkok after stalemate in Bonn 7th Jan 2016 8th May 2018
  109. 109. France, Germany and UK express their “regret and concern” and emphasise their “continuing commitment” to the deal. Trump violates the Iran nuclear agreement, imperiling the global non-proliferation regime 7th Jan 2016 8th May 2018
  110. 110. So the FT reports. China is vulnerable, spending more on imported silicon than oil, prompting a scramble to expand domestic chip supply. US-China tech wars threaten ‘economic carnage’ as US seeks to rein in growing power of Chinese tech 7th Jan 2016 8th May 2018
  111. 111. IRENA reports 500,000 new jobs in 2017, up 5.3%, with the potential for 28 million by 2050 if the global energy system is decarbonised. More than 10 million people now work in renewables for the first time, 3.4 million in solar 7th Jan 2016 8th May 2018
  112. 112. Wind and solar tariffs have fallen to around Rs 2.4 per unit. Coal averages Rs 3.7. Of India’s 197 GW of coal plants, c. 40 GW are stranded. “Cheap renewable energy is killing India’s coal- based power plants” – 20% of plants are stranded 7th Jan 2016 9th May 2018
  113. 113. Standard market rate for a 10-panel system lowered from £4.6k to £3.2k via partnership with IKEA and synergistic action by local government. Solarcentury wins tender to install thousands of group-purchased discount solar roofs across London 7th Jan 2016 9th May 2018
  114. 114. Energy Commission explains its decision by saying the typical $10k extra building cost would be earned back and more by energy savings. California poised to be first US state to require solar panels on new homes, starting in 2020 7th Jan 2016 9th May 2018
  115. 115. Good news stories from Kentucky show that “mine work today requires mechanical and technical skills that are transferable to new industries.” Wind, solar, & storage companies are “recruiting coal miners for their work ethics & high-tech skills” 7th Jan 2016 9th May 2018
  116. 116. An update report by CERES sees realistic opportunities in the tens of trillions across an array of asset classes in multiple sectors. The “clean trillion” - the extra c. $1 tn p.a. needed through 2050 for Paris 2˚C - is “eminently feasible” 7th Jan 2016 10th May 2018 Summary of conclusion in the original 2014 CERES report on closing the clean energy investment gap
  117. 117. “Isn’t a computer voice that can trick you into engaging in conversation destined to become the political robocall from hell?” “Google’s AI fest offers an ominous glimpse of the robot future”: Richard Waters in the FT 7th Jan 2016 10th May 2018 Screenshot from demo at Google’s annual developer conference of the new virtual assistant, Duplex, booking an appointment at a hair salon
  118. 118. Electric vertical take-off and landing (Evtol) technology can provide transit at same price as current car rides, they say, …if enough are built. Uber reveals plans for flying taxi-service to be launched by 2023 - with no vehicles yet built 7th Jan 2016 10th May 2018
  119. 119. Aeisha Mastagni: “Who is it that holds Mr Zuckerberg to account?” One share should equal one vote. “Facebook, it is time to act like an adult.” “Facebook’s dual-class share structure is akin to a dictatorship”: Calstrs portfolio manager in the FT 7th Jan 2016 10th May 2018
  120. 120. At least a dozen U.S.-designated terror groups use Facebook, Bloomberg discovers, and when banned soon reappear with slight modifications. “Terrorists Are Still Recruiting on Facebook, Despite Zuckerberg’s Reassurances” 7th Jan 2016 10th May 2018
  121. 121. “In many areas, the country is so far from Mr Putin’s 2024 goals that his plans appear to be not just ambitious but outright utopian.” Russia is only 12th in the global economic league table, and not likely to move up soon: FT 7th Jan 2016 10th May 2018
  122. 122. A Singularity University article posits revolutionising of ecological research, with no discussion of net upsides / downsides from new tech. “From Drone Swarms to Tree Batteries, New Tech Is Revolutionizing Ecology and Conservation” 7th Jan 2016 11th May 2018 Masayoshi Son, Softbank founder and CEO
  123. 123. With $64 bn raised by all VC funds in 2016, the implications include supercharging a small number of companies: an enormous bet in itself. The $100bn Softbank - Saudi Vision Fund is placing huge bets in those it favours across the tech world 7th Jan 2016 11th May 2018 Masayoshi Son, Softbank founder and CEO
  124. 124. Victor Tangermann: an ‘accessibility aid for the impaired’ sells a lot better, than a ‘walking death machine, with a machine gun mounted.” “You'll be able to buy a Boston Dynamics SpotMini soon, please don't teach it to kill”: Futurism 7th Jan 2016 11th May 2018 Masayoshi Son, Softbank founder and CEO
  125. 125. Schroepfer told MPs that targeted ads had not been used by Russian agencies. New evidence released by US Congress shows it was. Facebook mislead UK Parliament over Russian interference in Brexit vote, MPs say 7th Jan 2016 12th May 2018 Masayoshi Son, Softbank founder and CEO Mike Schroepfer, Facebook CTO
  126. 126. Offshore wind will provide most of the growth from 2017 to 2025, WWF suggest, but HMG could & should also use onshore wind and solar. UK on track to phase-out coal by 2025 without the need for any new large gas plants: WWF report 7th Jan 2016 13th May 2018 Masayoshi Son, Softbank founder and CEO
  127. 127. RR aims for its first EV within 10 years, but will phase out its existing engines over several decades. Prediction: not fast enough. Rolls-Royce to go ‘fully electric’ by 2040, calculating UK and France will not be alone in banning ICE sales 7th Jan 2016 14th May 2018 Masayoshi Son, Softbank founder and CEO
  128. 128. The election hate campaign now leads to “Stop Soros” legislation that requires NGOs to have a government licence to represent refugees. Hungarian government repression forces Soros Open Society Foundations to retreat to Berlin 7th Jan 2016 15th May 2018 Future Today
  129. 129. University of Washington researcher frees the mini-robot of power wires. Uses include pollution monitoring. No mention of assassination. Fly-sized robots can now be powered by a laser and tiny solar photovoltaic cell: a new first in robotics 7th Jan 2016 15th May 2018 Future Today
  130. 130. With Iranian exports soon to be hit by Trump sanctions, some analysts predict $100 oil again. Energy stock prices are surging. Collapsing Venezuelan oil exports push oil price to $78, highest level since the big drop in 2014 7th Jan 2016 15th May 2018 Masayoshi Son, Softbank founder and CEO
  131. 131. The Spanish oil company “is the first among its peers” to do this, Bloomberg reports. Production will be limited to current levels. Repsol will end pursuit of oil and gas growth and chase energy transition instead 7th Jan 2016 15th May 2018 Masayoshi Son, Softbank founder and CEO
  132. 132. Solarcentury is the behind-brand delivery partner. Meanwhile, EVs are reaching a tipping point in the UK. Large-scale V2G not far off? “Nissan's Following Tesla Into Solar Power and Home Batteries” 7th Jan 2016 16th May 2018
  133. 133. NASA’s Grace satellites show that areas in northern and eastern India, the Middle East, California and Australia in particular danger. Water shortages likely to be the key environmental challenge of the century, Nasa warns 7th Jan 2016 16th May 2018 Future Today
  134. 134. So an international group of scientists warn, after the most comprehensive study yet: geographic ranges of 31,000 insect species. Climate change will cause “major insect wipeout” with “far-reaching disruption to life on Earth” 7th Jan 2016 17th May 2018 Future Today
  135. 135. The conclusion of an international group of scientists systematically working through the counter-arguments of a pro-nuclear group. “There are no roadblocks on the way to a 100% renewable future”: all issues solvable at low cost 7th Jan 2016 17th May 2018 Future Today
  136. 136. Investment fell 56% in 2017. Meanwhile government is to consult on dropping planning permission for seismic work and fracking in shale. UK green investment falls to lowest in a decade ….government moves to make fracking easy 7th Jan 2016 17th May 2018
  137. 137. Unprofitability of fracking means the industry must keep borrowing new debt to pay back existing debt: “…the very definition of a Ponzi Scheme.” “How Lousy Shale Economics Will Pull Down The U.S. Economy”: SRSrocco Report 7th Jan 2016 18th May 2018 Future Today 2015 2016 2017 • Plotting production decline by year of first flow shows just how fast the decline rates are • This plot is of the Permian, the biggest oil basin, showing e.g. 60% decline in 2 years from beginning 2016 to end 2017 (red circles) • Replacing that decline requires taking on another massive increment of debt to bankroll new production 1 2 million barrels / day 1.5 0.5
  138. 138. CTI’s latest concludes: ”A 2°C pathway means that some companies will lose, but current scenario analyses see everyone winning.” Carbon Tracker on oil companies’ climate business- risk assessments: “a large gap remains” 7th Jan 2016 21st May 2018
  139. 139. A US National Bureau of Economic Research study suggests they added fully 3.2% to the Trump vote and a crucial 1.76% to pro Leave. Twitter bots may have altered outcomes of both Trump and Brexit elections by targeting margins 7th Jan 2016 21st May 2018
  140. 140. So estimates a Stanford University economic study published in Nature. Cost of action to hit the target: $0.5 tn globally in next 30 years. Hitting 1.5˚C Paris target vs 2˚ will save the world c. $30 trillion in climate-related damages this century 7th Jan 2016 23rd May 2018 Future Today
  141. 141. Up from 80%, with a new interim target for 2020 of a 56% compared with the existing goal of 42%. NGOs wanted net zero by 2050. Scotland sets one of the toughest greenhouse-gas targets in the world: a binding cut of 90% by 2050 7th Jan 2016 24th May 2018 Future Today
  142. 142. A clear warning: this bubble will burst. Debt began to soar in 1970: from there, conventional oil production & EROI fell, cost of production rose. From 2000 - 2017 US GDP grew $10tn to $19.7tn ...while US all-sector debt grew $27.2tn to $68.6tn 7th Jan 2016 24th May 2018
  143. 143. A clear warning from Steve StAngelo in SRSrocco Report: this mountain of debt will crash the global economy – it is not a matter of if, but when. In 2017, the global economy grew $3.9tn to $79.3tn ....and global debt grew $21tn to $237tn 7th Jan 2016 24th May 2018
  144. 144. 28 governments of the EU implement a new privacy law: the General Data Protection Regulation 7th Jan 2016 25th May 2018 Valdis Dombrovskis, EC VP: “time is running out” It applies to non-EU companies that process personal data of individuals in the EU. The world watches for the first uses of this regulation….
  145. 145. The warning follows a court order that allows the FBI to seize a website that the hackers planned to use to give instructions to routers. FBI says Russians hacked hundreds of thousands of home and office routers in more than 50 countries 7th Jan 2016 25th May 2018 Future Today
  146. 146. So argues a report by the RAND Corporation. “Mutually Assured Destruction” policy requires rapid response, and militaries may use AI. AI increases risk of nuclear war because of risk of hacking of military communications in time of crisis 7th Jan 2016 28th May 2018 Future Today
  147. 147. They are solar, lighting, data centres and networks, and EVs. Particularly problematic is that energy efficiency improvements have slowed. IEA publishes a new monitoring tool showing only 4 of 38 energy sectors are on track with Paris targets 7th Jan 2016 29th May 2018 Future Today On track: 4 Much more effort needed: 23 Significantly off track: 11
  148. 148. They hope to sell the Trans Mountain pipeline later. Analysts doubt they can. Protestors label PM Trudeau a climate criminal. Canadian government bails out a stranded Kinder Morgan oil pipeline system for $4.5 bn 7th Jan 2016 29th May 2018 Future Today
  149. 149. New Jersey, New York and California invest a collective $1.2 bn in charging stations and other EV support. In a single day, the electric car boom is given a billion-dollar boost in 3 US states 7th Jan 2016 29th May 2018 Future Today
  150. 150. “Especially storms of previously unobserved strength.” Very bad news for the insurance industry, and all who live in cyclone belt. “Global warming is making tropical cyclones stronger”, renowned climatologists conclude 7th Jan 2016 30th May 2018 Future Today
  151. 151. The chart shows all those YouGov polls grouped into monthly averages. Opinion of Brexit has been negative, on average, for 9 straight months. “A 14th straight YouGov poll shows Britain wishes it had never voted to leave the EU” 7th Jan 2016 31st May 2018
  152. 152. 150 more weld failures mean the nuclear plant scheduled online in 2012 at €3.5bn is now probably delayed to 2020, at €10.5bn and counting. Nuclear regulator fears “epidemic” safety-culture collapse at Flamanville: disaster looms for EDF 7th Jan 2016 31st May 2018
  153. 153. Frederic Samama, co-head of institutional clients: “Until recently, that question was not on their radar screen. It’s changing, and super fast.” Europe’s largest asset manager Amundi sees a “tipping point” in climate-risk aware investing 7th Jan 2016 31st May 2018 Future Today
  154. 154. Beijing “is committing some of the most extensive, and neglected, human-rights violations in the world” against Muslim Uighurs. “China has turned Xinjiang into a police state like no other” 7th Jan 2016 31st Jun 2018 Future Today
  155. 155. China “is ramping up spending on surveillance as it cracks down hard on restive parts of the country, including Xinjiang.” And bankrolled by? “World's Biggest AI Startup Raises $1.2 Billion in Mere Months”: Bloomberg on Sense Time Group 7th Jan 2016 31st May 2018 Future Today
  156. 156. “You Broke Democracy”, a plane-towed banner reads. But no sign of investors voting with their capital. And still MZ has absolute control. Zuckerberg and his board suffer a barrage from investors and protestors at Facebook’s AGM 7th Jan 2016 31st May 2018
  157. 157. 71% of US 13-17 year olds used FB in 2015, 51% today. Analyst: this demographic shift is a “greater existential threat” than privacy concerns. Teens are abandoning Facebook in dramatic numbers, a Pew Research Center poll finds 7th Jan 2016 1st Jun 2018
  158. 158. Many smart appliances send data to their manufacturers, and third- parties like advertisers, with scant regard for permissions or security. UK homes vulnerable to a “staggering” level of corporate surveillance, a Which? survey finds 7th Jan 2016 1st Jun 2018 Future Today
  159. 159. Four Greenpeace activists abseil from the ceiling just as Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné begins his presentation. Protestors opposing oil drilling off Brazil and French Guiana make their point in Total’s AGM 7th Jan 2016 1st Jun 2018 Future Today
  160. 160. Proposals in a leaked memo include forcing utilities to buy electricity from coal and nuclear operators for 2 years. Trump orders emergency federal action to stem coal and nuclear plant shutdowns 7th Jan 2016 1st Jun 2018 Future Today
  161. 161. The company will publish an ethical framework for use of AI later this week. Critics want and expect it to go far beyond military uses. Google reacts to internal and external pressure and drops Pentagon project for facial recognition AI 7th Jan 2016 3rd Jun 2018 Future Today
  162. 162. Meanwhile Orban’s state-controlled media pump out scare stories about migration-linked crime and terrorism, and the “Soros network”. Hungarian government tables new law that could jail lawyers advising migrants of their rights 7th Jan 2016 3rd Jun 2018 Future Today
  163. 163. Rana Adib, exec secretary of REN21, warns of “complacency” …“we are coasting along as if we had all the time in the world. Sadly, we don’t.” REN21: Renewables growth in heating, cooling, and transport well behind electricity generation sector 7th Jan 2016 4th Jun 2018 Future Today Renewable energy in total final energy consumption, by sector, 2015 Source: REN21 Renewables 2018 Global Status Report
  164. 164. 51 GW of the 98 were added in China, where solar PV was the single biggest new source of electricity capacity addition for the first time. The 98 GW of new solar PV added in 2017 increased global capacity by almost one third 7th Jan 2016 4th Jun 2018 Future Today Global solar PV capacity and annual additions 2007 - 2017 Source: REN21 Renewables 2018 Global Status Report = >40,000 solar panels per hour all year
  165. 165. Asia added 75% of all new solar PV. The EU was down to just 6 GW. India added 9.1 GW, 3rd in the world, and 6th in cumulative capacity. By end 2017, every continent had installed 1 GW of solar PV and at least 29 nations had 1 GW or more 7th Jan 2016 4th Jun 2018 Future Today Global solar PV capacity 2007 - 2017: main countries Source: REN21 Renewables 2018 Global Status Report
  166. 166. This is 3x the investment in fossil fuel generating capacity and more than 2x fossil-fuel and nuclear power capacity combined. ….But not enough. Investment in renewables in 2017 was less than it was in 2011 …it has essentially been flat since then 7th Jan 2016 4th Jun 2018 Global investment in renewable power and fuels Source: REN21 Renewables 2018 Global Status Report excluding hydro >50MW …at least $310 bn if included
  167. 167. Total cost, to be shared with Hitachi and Japanese government: £16bn. Price of power: £75-77 MWh …much more than solar & wind. UK government agrees to £5bn public stake in Welsh nuclear power station in policy U-turn 7th Jan 2016 4th Jun 2018
  168. 168. A US survey suggests 49% of men would be open to sex with an “enhanced, hyper-realistic” doll. No studies yet of social impacts. 4 companies in $30 billion sex technology industry now sell robots, one with AI “conversation” 7th Jan 2016 5th Jun 2018
  169. 169. Subsidies cut, installation capped at 10 GW. Solar manufacturers’ stock prices plunge. Developers overseas anticipate lower prices, but… Chinese government slams the brakes on domestic solar, and the global industry braces for the impact 7th Jan 2016 5th Jun 2018 Solar PV capacity and additions 2017: top ten countries Source: REN21 Renewables 2018 Global Status Report
  170. 170. Jerome Pecresse, GE Renewables: “We are inventing things that we did not even imagine three years ago …renewable baseload is coming fast.” “Utilities dispel all doubts about renewables' ability to power planet”: Recharge on Eurelectric summit 7th Jan 2016 6th Jun 2018 Francesco Starace, Enel CEO: electrifying the transport sector “is not only a winning strategy, it’s a must.”
  171. 171. Trump’s hopes to save America’s failing coal-fired power plants are “all about the base” 7th Jan 2016 6th Jun 2018 “The plan would benefit a handful of firms the president favours at the expense of consumers” …c. $12bn worth of “cash for cronies.”
  172. 172. The development will be made public at a virtual reality conference in August in a paper that has just one sentence on ethical concerns. AI can now manipulate people's movements and speech in photorealistic fake videos 7th Jan 2016 6th Jun 2018
  173. 173. 10 years ago China spent $35 bn on defence. Now $230 bn. Silicon Valley started out on DoD largesse. Now tech firms distance themselves. People’s Liberation Army and corporate China “draw ever closer” as military budget rises: FT 7th Jan 2016 6th Jun 2018
  174. 174. New Facebook revelation: data shared with four Chinese consumer-device makers, including Huawei 7th Jan 2016 6th Jun 2018 Ren Zhengfei, ex Chinese Army, Huawei founder and CEO New questions arise. Has data gone to Chinese servers? Have back doors been created for Chinese hacking? And users were not told….
  175. 175. Google sets limits on its use of AI, but will work with the military in “many areas”, and self-police 7th Jan 2016 7th Jun 2018 No work on AI for weapons, CEO Sundar Pichai says. Nor surveillance technology “violating internationally accepted norms of human rights.”
  176. 176. With bees scarce, a drone pollinates an apple orchard for the first time ….results yet to be seen 7th Jan 2016 7th Jun 2018 Dan Robitzski of Wired: It is “like putting a bandage over a big, gruesome cut that we didn’t even clean first.” New York state
  177. 177. Expect “another wave of oversupply, low profitability and consolidation” then solar “even more competitive across new markets.” 2018 global solar demand to increase 11% to 105 GW despite China cuts, IHS Markit forecasts 7th Jan 2016 8th Jun 2018
  178. 178. c. €180bn p.a. new investment needed until 2030 to hit EU share of Paris targets. Changes include green labels. Axa is a driving force. Brussels changes rules to boost Paris-congruent financial products & disclose climate risk of others 7th Jan 2016 9th Jun 2018 Valdis Dombrovskis, EC VP: “time is running out”
  179. 179. “Civilisation requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilisation,” the Pope tells heads of BP, ExxonMobil and others. Pope Francis invites oil bosses to the Vatican and tells them that they must switch to clean energy 7th Jan 2016 9th Jun 2018 Valdis Dombrovskis, EC VP: “time is running out”
  180. 180. Shell: “even if all one-time use plastics were eliminated globally it would only reduce demand for chemicals by 3-4%.” Oil groups say backlash against plastics will not derail the industry’s huge bet on petrochemicals 7th Jan 2016 10th Jun 2018 Valdis Dombrovskis, EC VP: “time is running out”
  181. 181. They can be installed much quicker than onland …and will be renewable-powered, in this case by tidal, wind and solar. Microsoft begins to put data centres under the sea, seeking energy efficiency, beginning off Scotland 7th Jan 2016 10th Jun 2018 Valdis Dombrovskis, EC VP: “time is running out”
  182. 182. US start up Anduril tests AI surveillance tech on the Mexico border that acts as a virtual border wall 7th Jan 2016 11th Jun 2018 They use tower-mounted sensors to monitor anyone within 2 miles. Customs say they have helped in 55 arrests of unauthorized crossers.
  183. 183. Anduril founder Palmer Luckey, also founder of Oculus, aims to develop a range of AI military tools 7th Jan 2016 11th Jun 2018 He is a funder of the alt-right and a Trump supporter. Investors include Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire with the same credentials.
  184. 184. Democracy has regressed in multiple countries since 2007, and liberal democracy especially 7th Jan 2016 12th Jun 2018 In 1941 there were only a dozen democracies; by 2000 only 8 states had never held a serious election. But since the financial crisis of 2007-08….
  185. 185. Now AI can be used to track movements of people through a wall, and model what they are doing 7th Jan 2016 13th Jun 2018 WiFi reflections are unscrambled by machine learning. After 100 people train the AI, 83% of them can then be recognized by style of movement.
  186. 186. Sea level rise due to Antarctic ice melt has tripled in the past five years, satellite measurements show 7th Jan 2016 13th Jun 2018 The international Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise, using multiple satellites, shows most mass change in West Antarctica.
  187. 187. “Oil must face its future as a declining industry”: Legal & General Investment Management in the FT 7th Jan 2016 13th Jun 2018 The CIO and a commodities specialist suggest that rather than transition to renewables, oil companies stop investing and return cash.
  188. 188. EU strikes deal on 32% renewable energy by 2030 target, including strong solar provisions 7th Jan 2016 14th Jun 2018 The deal includes an upward review clause by 2023 at the latest, no charges for solar prosumers and much easier connection to grid.
  189. 189. UK police face legal action over use of automated facial recognition cameras, if they don’t stop 7th Jan 2016 14th Jun 2018 Cases from Liberty and Big Brother Watch would be based on lack of regulation and “dangerously authoritarian” privacy violation.
  190. 190. Of the top 50 tech startups by value, 26 are Chinese and 16 are American, with none from Europe 7th Jan 2016 15th Jun 2018 Of the top 20, 11 are Chinese, 6 are American and 2 are Indian. As a Sequoia Capital partner puts it: “China is winning the global tech race.”
  191. 191. UK tech leaders say scale of government’s visa cap removal is not enough to fix skills shortage 7th Jan 2016 15th Jun 2018 This as Brexit and “hostile environment” policy scare away overseas talent. “This is the best of the best talent …They have a lot of options.”
  192. 192. Police link dozens of murders and serious assaults to rumours spread on WhatsApp in India 7th Jan 2016 17th Jun 2018 With the platform being used to spread lies in other countries, and 1.5 bn users globally, encrypted fake news now emerges as a problem.
  193. 193. Clean energy investment must be 50% higher for 1.5˚C global warming cap than for 2˚C 7th Jan 2016 18th Jun 2018 IASA-led study is the first to compare capital requirements of 1.5˚C & 2˚C. Annual investment in global energy was $1,700 bn in 2016 (IEA). 132 To 2030 To 2050 303 458 229 1,052 1,567 NDCs NDCs 2˚C 2˚C 1.5˚C 1.5˚C Average annual investment gap $ bn in RE & EE1,750 1,500 1,250 1,000 750 500 250 0
  194. 194. HMG gives UK pension funds green light to dump fossil fuel investments if they see risk of stranding 7th Jan 2016 18th Jun 2018 DWP says proposed regulations “are intended to reassure trustees that they can (and indeed should) take account of financially material risks.”
  195. 195. IBM AI holds its own against human debaters, including jokes and accusations opponents are lying 7th Jan 2016 19th Jun 2018 “Debater” had no foreknowledge of topics and assembled arguments in real time searching hundreds of millions of articles for evidence.
  196. 196. Battery cost-down will mean wind and PV at a combined 50% of global power by 2050: BNEF 7th Jan 2016 19th Jun 2018 New Energy Outlook 2018: LCOE of new PV down a further 71% by 2050 and onshore wind 58%, fueling 15x growth in PV and 6x in wind.
  197. 197. As global solar capacity soars in 2017, new solar in the UK halves for a second year running 7th Jan 2016 19th Jun 2018 21 of the 28 EU markets showed growth, but this wasn’t enough to compensate for UK losses resulting from subsidy cuts in 2015 and 2016. Newsolarcapacity,GW
  198. 198. Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, a VW board member since 2010, is arrested over diesel cheating scandal 7th Jan 2016 19th Jun 2018 VW’s board had asked Stadler to put it in writing that he knew nothing of the fraud. After raids at work and his home, police think he did.
  199. 199. Trump's separation of immigrant children from parents creates a storm of protest in Silicon Valley 7th Jan 2016 20th Jun 2018 But, argues Wired’s Emily Dreyfuss, protest is selective: there is as yet insufficient reflection on the role of technology in wider societal ills. Employees objected to contract with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to use Microsoft’s Azure cloud services. President Brad Smith calls for an end to zero tolerance immigration policy CEO Mark Zuckerberg raises money for organisations working at the border etc CEO Tim Cook calls the policy inhumane CEO Chuck Robbins calls on Trump to end the policy
  200. 200. Methane leaks from the US oil & gas industry c.60% higher than government estimates: new study 7th Jan 2016 21st Jun 2018 9-basin estimate incorporating aerial data suggests 2.3% leakage well- to-power plant. EPA suggested 1.4%. 2.7% makes gas worse than coal.
  201. 201. 7th Jan 2016 22nd Jun 2018 There is a growing “crisis of liberalism”, the Economist laments – but it can be fixed The liberal elite has “over-reached” in philosophies, institutions, and self-enrichment. Reforms must include an end to free movement.
  202. 202. Employees and American Civil Liberties Union demand Amazon stop facilitating gov’t surveillance 7th Jan 2016 22nd Jun 2018 Employees write imploring Bezos to stop selling Rekognition AI facial recognition software to government agencies and police.
  203. 203. 7th Jan 2016 22nd Jun 2018 In a boost for privacy rights, US Supreme Court rules police need warrant to track phone data Chief Justice notes the facility would give police “near perfect surveillance, as if it had attached an ankle monitor to the phone’s user.”
  204. 204. 7th Jan 2016 22nd Jun 2018 Solarcentury sends a gentle message to opponents of mltinationalism on both sides of the Atlantic
  205. 205. 100,000 protestors in London insist on a final peoples’ vote on Brexit deal, with option to reject it 7th Jan 2016 23rd Jun 2018 x.
  206. 206. Only one new community energy group added to the UK’s 228 in 2017 as subsidies went to fossil fuels 7th Jan 2016 23rd Jun 2018 So Community Energy England reports in its annual survey. Subsidies to FF are 30x higher, including >£3bn in 2017 through the capacity market.
  207. 207. Erdoğan narrowly wins Turkish election in “climate of fear”, assuming quasi-dictatorial powers 7th Jan 2016 24th Jun 2018 A pro-government television station accidentally aired election results 3 days before the polls ..showing the 53 % that Erdoğan actually achieved.
  208. 208. Two federal judges rule against and for hearing of cities’ suits versus oil companies over climate costs 7th Jan 2016 25th Jun 2018 One throws out San Francisco and Oakland’s case, another rules cases of San Mateo and other cities can be heard in state court.
  209. 209. UK democracy under threat, says electoral regulator, calling on government for urgent reform 7th Jan 2016 26th Jun 2018 Recommendations include: no spending by foreign organisations and individuals, transparency on who pays for online ads, ++
  210. 210. BP, expecting 140k EVs to grow to 12m by 2040, buys UK's biggest electric car charger for £130m 7th Jan 2016 28th Jun 2018 The rebadged BP Chargemaster will add to the existing 6,500 charging points fast-charging on all 1,200 BP forecourts over the next year.
  211. 211. Facebook patents a system that can use your phone's microphone to monitor TV habits 7th Jan 2016 29th Jun 2018 An audio fingerprint embedded in TV shows or ads, inaudible to human ears, would trigger the phone to turn on the microphone and record.
  212. 212. “Why Tech Worker Dissent Is Going Viral” 7th Jan 2016 29th Jun 2018 “People who signed up to be tech heroes don’t want to be implicated in human rights abuses”: Google employee.
  213. 213. California passes broadest digital privacy law of any US state, somewhat like GDPR, to enter force 2020 7th Jan 2016 29th Jun 2018 But even its supporters say it will need revising before then, having been completed hurriedly in the face of the changing politics of privacy.