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Moto X Phenomenon Axell “Slay” Hodges on UNLEASHED Podcast

By General Posts

  • Monster Energy’s UNLEASHED Podcast Welcomes Moto X Phenomenon Axell “Slay” Hodges for Episode 45
  • Broadcast Live on Twitch, Episode 45 of Sports Podcast Interviews 12-Time X Games Medalist /
  • Episode Now Available for Streaming on Major Podcast Platforms Including YouTube and Spotify

CORONA, California – November 22, 2022 – Get inside the mind of the most creative and progressive motocross athlete on the planet! Monster Energy is proud to welcome freestyle motocross innovator and 12-time X Games medalist Axell Hodges from Encinitas, California on Episode 45 of the sports and pop culture podcast UNLEASHED with The Dingo and Danny.

Recorded inside Monster Energy headquarters in Corona, California, the special episode was initially broadcast live on the Twitch platform on November 18th. As of today, fans can tune in to the official recording of Episode 45 of UNLEASHED on all major platforms, including Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube.

Episode 45 also features special guest Ash “Dirt Shark” Hodges, Axell’s brother and creative collaborator, as well as their father, Phillip Hodges.

In the episode, the 26-year-old athlete shares his creative process behind record-setting jumps and boundary-breaking tricks. “I always snowboarded and skated a bit. I had a lot of friends who skated and were better than me and had good style. I never really had that in skateboarding, so that’s where I kind of wanted to be a skater on my dirt bike and flow and have good style. So, skating and all that helped a lot on how I ride my dirt bike,” said Hodges on UNLEASHED.

Axell Hodges is a motocross rider with no need for introductions. Despite his young age, Hodges already holds twelve X Games medals, including four gold. The prodigy not only dominates competitions such as Best Whip and High Air but raises the bar with innovative freestyle tricks recorded in viral videos. His trilogy of “Slayground” motocross videos has garnered more than 14 million combined views… and counting. In the episode, Hodges dives deep into the high-stakes world of competitive freestyle motocross at the highest level.

Hear “Slay” tell the full story in conversation with the two podcast hosts, Australian action sports personality Luke “The Dingo” Trembath and professional snowboarder Danny Kass on Episode 45 of UNLEASHED. Also joining the interview, acclaimed painter, model, and UFC Octagon girl Brittney Palmer contributes questions and background information to the episode. Tune in right here.

Raised in a motocross family, Hodges discovered dirt bikes at a young age. Initially, the native of Southern California pursued a career as a racer. “I wanted to be a dirt bike racer and thought that was the only way when I was a kid. Like, you gotta race! And I did not want to do freestyle when I was younger.” But ultimately, his freestyle tricks would garner Hodges worldwide attention: “I raced from 14 to 18, and then filmed the first ‘Slayground’ video. That’s when I came out of racing and into more freeriding and social media,” said Hodges.

While also making his mark in motocross competitions such as the X Games, Hodges discovered the power of social media platforms to document his boundary-pushing tricks in his own online videos. “I never thought I would be able to call what I do my job, just post videos, and ride my bike. Just make up stuff on the regular,” said Hodges on UNLEASHED.

Fast-forward to today and the “Slayground” video series – filmed with brother and filmmaker Ash Hodges – has generated over 14 million views on YouTube. “I started the ‘Slayground’ series in 2015 at my parents’ house in Encinitas,” said Hodges. “That was my first video and what I was doing every day. Riding in my backyard and had my brother come film a sick line going through my parents’ house, and that’s where the ‘Slayground’ originated.”

In 2020, Hodges took the dream to the next level by building his own 40-acre “Slayground” facility in Ramona, California, as a place to practice and film the third installment of the video series. “This is what we did through Covid. Bought some property and built and tweaked all the jumps until we got it right then we filmed the video,” said Hodges.

For X Games 2021 and 2022, Hodges opened his legendary “Slayground” compound for competitions across five Moto X competitions as well as BMX Dirt. Aside from hosting the world elite of the sport, Hodges also pocketed one gold and two silver medals at X Games 2022, bringing his total count in the world’s biggest competition to 12 medals.

For his biggest moment of mainstream fame, Hodges attempted to set the long-distance jump record for the Guinness Book in 2019 for the ‘Evel Live 2’ event – hitting the ramp at 106 miles per hour – but suffered a life-threatening crash during practice. “I went 396 feet from ramp to ramp, but the next day I went there and ended up going down around 400 feet. I don’t really know if I hold the record or not. All I know is I went pretty far on my bike, and I’m satisfied with that.”

As his next challenge, Hodges has his eyes on more video projects. “I have a couple of things I want to check off,” the Moto X phenom said on UNLEASHED. But let’s hear it from “Slay” himself! Visit the landing page to access Episode 45 of the UNLEASHED with The Dingo and Danny Podcast featuring motocross trailblazer Axell Hodges.

Episodes of UNLEASHED are filmed on a special set inside Studio M at Monster Energy headquarters in Corona, California. The podcast is hosted by the dynamic duo of Australian action sports personality Luke “The Dingo” Trembath and professional snowboarder Danny Kass. Known for their deep roots in action sports culture, the two starred in the beloved cult TV show ‘The Adventures of Danny and The Dingo’ on Fuel TV for five action-packed seasons in the early 2010s. Both hosts have walked the walk as pro snowboarders and possess the interview skills to find common ground with guests from any type of background – sports and pop culture. Always look out for new episodes dropping bi-weekly on Mondays.

The UNLEASHED with The Dingo and Danny Podcast is here to celebrate the personalities behind the Monster Energy lifestyle. With each episode dedicated to a unique guest or topic, listeners learn about living on the edge and advancing the state of the art in the world of high-energy sports as well as music, games, and pop culture from individuals at the top of their game. More than a drink, Monster Energy is a way of life lived by athletes, sports, bands, believers, and fans – and the podcast is an extension of this unique DNA.

For more on Monster Energy and the UNLEASHED Podcast, visit www.monsterenergy.com. Also follow Monster Energy on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok for exclusive content and athlete features.

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Debate: 20 myths about fossil fuels, refuted

By General Posts

In Fossil Future I refute literally hundreds of myths about fossil fuels. Here are 20 myths that 11,000,000 people heard on Joe Rogan’s podcast this year from Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist/activist who misrepresented himself as an energy expert.

Tonight Andrew Dessler will be debating physicist Steve Koonin, author of Unsettled, whom Dessler unconscionably smeared on Joe Rogan as akin to a tobacco lobbyist. The debate will be live in NYC and streamed.

Order your tickets: Click Here

Myth 1: We can rapidly reduce fossil fuels at very low cost.

Truth: Fossil fuels are a uniquely cost-effective form of energy, which is why they are 80% of global energy and still growing. Rapidly reducing fossil fuels, in a world that needs far more energy, is catastrophic.¹

Myth 2: Solar and wind are cheap.

Truth: Solar and wind are unreliable, parasitical sources of energy that add costs to the grid.

Claims of “cheapness” are based on ignoring the full costs of solar + wind—above all the cost of a reliable grid that gives them 24/7 life support.²

Myth 3: Solar/wind is cheaper than fossil fuels because Lazard’s “Levelized Cost of Electricity” (LCOE) is lower for solar/wind.

Truth: LCOE, by Lazard’s own admission, doesn’t include many costs of solar/wind—above all the cost of a reliable grid needed for 24/7 life support.³

Myth 4: Solar and wind are “winning in the marketplace,” outcompeting fossil fuels and nuclear with superior economics.

Truth: Unreliable, parasitical solar and wind are only “winning” when given massive preferences—mandates, subsidies, and no penalty for unreliability.⁴

Myth 5: Renewable energy is projected to exceed fossil fuel energy by 2026.

Truth: This projection is of electricity (20% of energy) not all energy—and just refers to when sunlight and wind are at their peak, not most of the time. And it depends on massive political favoritism.⁵

Myth 6: We can have a grid with 75% solar and wind, with just 25% of hydro, geothermal, or nuclear.

Truth: No one has come close to even 50% unreliable solar/wind without huge dependence on reliable neighbors. And without the flexibility and scale that only natural gas provides.⁶

Myth 7: Anti-fossil fuel activists just want the most energy for the least CO2.

Truth: Anti-fossil-fuel activists are hostile to hydro and nuclear. E.g., Andrew Dessler said this year “I agree that hydro is not something to expand” and has attacked nuclear for years.⁷

Myth 8: Nuclear is too expensive, so we should use solar/wind instead.

Truth: Solar/wind can’t provide reliable energy; nuclear can. And nuclear is only expensive because it has, with the help of many “green” activists, been falsely labeled unsafe and effectively criminalized.⁸

Myth 9: Academics know how to cheaply power the world with mostly solar + wind.

Truth: All their untested schemes involve many ruinous, unaccounted-for costs—e.g., a crash program of unprecedented mineral/infrastructure development in an anti-development political environment.⁹

The academics who have supported fossil fuel restrictions based on the false promise that their untested schemes full of false assumptions could replace fossil fuels in a world that needs far more energy, are irresponsible cranks who have brought about a global energy crisis.¹⁰
Myth 10: The TX winter blackouts were a failure of fossil fuels, especially natural gas.

Truth: Fossil fuels perform beautifully in far worse winter weather than Texas had in February 2021. TX blackouts were caused by defunding reliable/resilient power in favor of unreliable solar/wind.¹¹

Myth 11: Hugely varying estimates of “the social cost of carbon” mean that economists warning about the costs of reducing CO2 can’t be trusted.

Truth: These variations show that little definite is known about any net harm from CO2. But the huge harms of reducing CO2 are certain.¹²

Myth 12: Replacing fossil fuels with solar/wind will make us more secure because we’ll depend less on hostile countries.

Truth: Not only are solar/wind incapable of replacing fossil fuels, but the control of their supply by China dwarfs any nation’s influence over fossil fuels.¹³

Myth 13: Climate changes from rising CO2 levels will require ruinously costly adaptation.

Truth: Speculated climate changes would be slow and thus affordable to adapt to—while rapidly eliminating fossil fuels would make billions far poorer, including more endangered by climate.¹⁴

Myth 14: Continued CO2 emissions will cause “irreversible” climate change.

Truth: At some point future technologies will enable us to reverse the rise in CO2 levels if we want. But nothing can reverse mass-death caused by trying to rapidly eliminate CO2 emissions.¹⁵

Myth 15: Because we could reduce CFCs without disaster, we can do the same for CO2 emissions.

Truth: While it’s sometimes non-disastrous to rapidly reduce something, it often isn’t. E.g., “green” attempts to reduce DDT and nuclear radiation killed countless millions.¹⁶
Myth 16: Rising CO2 levels will be bad for agriculture.

Truth: Rising CO2 levels will continue to come with the huge agricultural benefits of oil to power equipment and natural gas for fertilizer. And with GMO technology, higher CO2 can be leveraged to make crops grow even more.

Myth 17: We should be terrified of a 5°C temp rise, because that’s ½ the distance from an ice age.

Truth: Global temp rises are not the same kind of threat as global temp decreases, because human life, like most life, does better when it’s warm.

And 5° is extreme speculation.¹⁷

Myth 18: Melting permafrost could be a terrible “tipping point” that will lead to rapid, dangerous warming.

Truth: Significant methane release from permafrost is a very speculative and slow-paced potential impact that a more advanced world will be able to deal with if needed.¹⁸

Myth 19: Fossil fuels “kill” millions of people a year via air pollution.

Truth: This claim

1. Ignores how fossil fuels extend every life on Earth

2. Uses pseudoscientific speculation about pollution deaths.

3. Ignores the fact that fossil fuels can be burned very cleanly.¹⁹

Myth 20: The anti-fossil-fuel movement is leading to better sources of energy.

Truth: Anti-fossil-fuel activists like Andrew Dessler are responsible for artificially restricting the supply of fossil fuels and thereby causing a deadly, worsening global energy crisis.²⁰

Not only were 20 myths about fossil fuels dangerously spread on Joe Rogan to 11 million people by Andrew Dessler, Dessler has not corrected even one of them. This despite the fact that I have publicly refuted most of them in debates with him. (See the footnotes.)
Tonight Andrew Dessler will be debating physicist Steve Koonin, author of Unsettled, whom Dessler unconscionably smeared on Joe Rogan as akin to a tobacco lobbyist. The debate will be live in NYC and streamed. Order your tickets here from The Soho Forum.

While you’re waiting for the Dessler/Koonin debate to happen, watch my two debates with Dessler and see why neither he nor any other leading anti-fossil-fuel activist will agree to a long-form debate with me in a major forum.

Today’s energy crisis, which is threatening Europeans with freezing and industrial collapse this winter, and threatening 10s of millions with starvation, is the fault of the global anti-fossil-fuel movement. I will continue to debate/defeat these people until they are stopped.
If you want to learn the full truth about the future of energy, read my new book Fossil Future. It’s been out for 2.5 months and despite its phenomenal success not one advocate of fossil fuel elimination has even attempted to refute it. (They’ve just smeared or straw-manned me.)

“Energy Talking Points by Alex Epstein” is my free Substack newsletter designed to give as many people as possible access to concise, powerful, well-referenced talking points on the latest energy, environmental, and climate issues from a pro-human, pro-energy perspective.

Try the Climate Quiz by CO2 Coalition

By General Posts

The Great Climate Change Debate is one of the “hottest” issues before the public and policy makers today.

How much do you know about the subject?

Or possibly, the real question is one attributed to American humorist Will Rogers: “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble, it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

Find out your Climate IQ by taking our Climate Quiz: the answers may surprise you.

CLICK HERE To Take the Climate Quiz Now

The CO2 Coalition was established in 2015 as a 501(c)(3) for the purpose of educating thought leaders, policy makers, and the public about the important contribution made by carbon dioxide to our lives and the economy.

Energy Poverty Kills

By General Posts

From Center for Industrial Progress by Alex Epstein

Last week we looked at the need for a process of producing energy that is cheap, plentiful, and reliable—and we saw that solar and wind cannot produce cheap, reliable energy.

How Germany embraced solar and wind and ended up in energy poverty

Let’s take a look at this in practice. Germany is considered by some to be the best success story in the world of effective solar and wind use, and you’ll often hear that they get a large percentage of their energy from solar and wind.

You can see here on this chart how this claim was made and why it’s not accurate.

First of all, this is just a chart of electricity. Solar and wind are only producing electricity and half of Germany’s energy needs also include fuel and heating. So solar and wind never contribute half as much to Germany’s energy needs as this chart would imply.

But that’s not the biggest problem. What you notice here is that there’s certain days and times where there are large spikes, but there are also periods where there’s relatively little. What that means is that you can’t rely on solar and wind ever. You always have to have an infrastructure that can produce all of your electricity independent of the solar and wind because you can always go a long period with very little solar and wind.

So then why are the solar and wind necessary? Well, you could argue that they’re not and that adding them onto the grid will impose a lot of costs.

In Germany, electricity prices have more than doubled since 2000 when solar and wind started receiving massive subsidies and favorable regulations, and their electricity prices are three to four times what we would pay in the U.S. (Because of its low reliability, solar, and wind energy options require an alternative backup—one that’s cheap, plentiful, and reliable—to make it work, thus creating a more expensive and inefficient process.)

Nuclear and hydro

Fossil fuels are not the only reliable sources. There are two others that don’t generate CO2 that are significant and are more limited, but still significant contributors. Those are hydroelectric energy and nuclear energy.

Hydroelectric energy can be quite affordable over time, but it’s limited to locations where you have the right physical situation to produce hydroelectric power.

Nuclear is more interesting because nuclear doesn’t have the problems of hydro but it’s been very restricted throughout history so today in the vast majority of cases it’s considerably more expensive than say electricity from natural gas. This may change in the future and one thing we’ll discuss under policy is how we need to have the right policies so that all energy technologies can grow and flourish, if indeed the creators of those technologies can do it.

The reality of energy poverty: a story

To illustrate just how important it is to have cheap, plentiful, and reliable energy, I want to share a story I came across while doing research for my book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. This is a story about a baby born in the very poor country of Gambia.

The baby was born underweight and premature, but not in such a way that would be a big problem in say, the United States. In the United States, the solution would have been obvious: incubation. This technology would almost certainly bring this baby up to be completely healthy, and if you met the baby later in life you would never know that there had ever been a problem.

Unfortunately, in the Gambia, in this particular hospital, they needed something that billions of people in the world do not have, and that is reliable electricity.

Without reliable electricity, the hospital didn’t even contemplate owning an incubator, the one thing this baby desperately needed to survive.

Without access to this technology, the baby could not survive on her own, and sadly, she died. I think this story reminds us of what it means to have access to cheap, plentiful, and reliable energy, and how having more energy gives us the ability to improve our lives.

To summarize what we discussed, if you can’t afford energy you don’t have energy, and if energy is scarce or unreliable, then you don’t have energy when you need it. It’s not just enough to have energy, the energy and the process to create it has to be cheap, plentiful, and reliable.

Energy Clarity: Our need for cheap, plentiful, reliable energy

By General Posts

By Alex Epstein From Center for Industrial Progress

When making energy choices, there are three major criteria that need to be considered:

1. Is it cheap? Simply put, if you can’t afford energy, then you don’t have energy.

2. Is it plentiful? If energy is scarce, then many people will have little to no energy.

3. Is it reliable? If energy is unreliable, then you won’t have it when you need it.

In other words, energy is only valuable to the extent that it is cheap, plentiful, and reliable.
And to make it that way, we have to discover cheap, plentiful, reliable processes for generating energy.

Energy is a process

Energy is a process. Whether it’s coal, oil, gas, solar, wind, we describe them as materials, but they’re really processes. The materials are just one part of the process, but the whole process can include things like mining, refining, manufacturing, transportation, operation, maintenance, and disposal.

And then you have to look at how the whole process adds up. When we see something in the marketplace being cheaper or more expensive that reflects the whole process.

The general reason why certain forms of energy are not adopted is because the process to produce them is too expensive or it’s not reliable.

Let’s look at some examples of this.

Jimmy Fallon’s irrefutable case against “renewables”

For this first example, I’m going to let comedian Jimmy Fallon do the talking.

“New Scientist Magazine reported on Wednesday that in the future, cars can be powered by hazelnuts. That’s encouraging considering an eight ounce jar of hazelnuts costs about nine dollars. Yeah, I got an idea for a car that runs on bald eagle heads and Faberge eggs.”

So you may be thinking, “Isn’t hazelnut energy renewable? Doesn’t it come from the sun? Isn’t the sun free and forever? What’s going on here?” It’s all about the process.

While we don’t have to pay the sun, we do have to pay for the land, the labor, and many other inputs necessary to make hazelnut energy. And with hazelnuts, the process to produce them is very costly. The same turns out to be true for many alternatives.

Political Agendas on Electrical Vehicles Charge Up Emotions

By General Posts

by Colby Martin from SEMA Action Network (SAN) at https://www.semasan.com

GROUNDING THE “EV” BUZZ

Political Agendas Surrounding Automobiles Charge Up Strong Emotions

The impending arrival of electric cars and trucks has caused quite a stir. Sure, everyone shares the well-intentioned notion of a healthier environment. But constant announcements about the potential phasing out of new gas-powered vehicles have enthusiasts worried about the future of the hobby. Thanks in part to a 24-hour news-cycle, the automotive-minded are forced to ponder this great unknown with greater frequency. With the topic weighing heavier on many minds, the question arises: what’s to become of the tailpipe—and when? Clearly there are crossed wires needing to be untangled.

Acronym Soup

First, we must understand the common lingo used in automotive discussions. The gasoline-sipping internal combustion engine (ICE) has long been the motivator of choice. However, the low- and zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) categories have emerged and made significant improvements in recent years. There are several different models of these cars and trucks such as electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrids, and those running on hydrogen fuel-cells. With such competition, it may seem like traditional rides could have a tougher existence in a yet-uncertain future of alternative powerplants.

Government Directives

The latest update in the automotive world came from the nation’s top office: the Biden Administration. President Joe Biden signed the “Executive Order on Strengthening American Leadership in Clean Cars and Trucks” in August. In short, the measure calls for 50% of all sales of new cars and light trucks in the US be ZEV by the year 2030. “It is the policy of my Administration to advance these objectives in order to improve our economy and public health, boost energy security, secure consumer savings, advance environmental justice, and address the climate crisis,” said President Biden.

Biden’s action was preceded by California Governor Gavin Newsom’s controversial notice last year. That order instructed the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to draft regulations requiring that all new cars and passenger trucks sold in the state be zero-emissions by 2035. Once drafted, CARB’s proposed regulations will be subject to a lengthy regulatory process, including legal, economic, and environmental analyses, public comment, and hearings. The Governor’s order is also expected to face numerous legal challenges from opponents.

Cause for Concern?

The concern surrounding EVs is understandable, but premature. Many of the proposed rules and legal mandates are far more symbolic in nature. For example, President Biden’s actions were merely issued as an Executive Order, meaning it is not a federal law and has no binding authority. In fact, the following disclaimer is included at the end of the Order:

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Directives like President Biden’s also tend to be highly aspirational with ambitious time frames for implementation. For example, many of the President’s proposed benchmarks extend beyond his time in office, giving him little say on the final product.

Realities: Supply vs. Demand

Perhaps the most direct impact to personal transportation will come from the automakers themselves. The evolving market is already experiencing highs and lows. While seeking to boost ZEV sales, major brands have been subject to factors beyond their control. Supply chain shortages and logistical issues have impeded production schedules, causing delays, and price surges. Additionally, massive investment of resources will be required for materials and retooling throughout the entire manufacturing process.

Many fundamental issues need to be resolved before any major shift to “clean” vehicles is feasible. Most importantly, more than 281 million rides share US roads—a small fraction of which are EVs. Such a massive fleet won’t be replaced anytime soon. Of course, the lion’s share are newer vehicles, which often have a life spanning a decade or longer. Also, the urge to trade-in for an electric model decreases without widespread options for “refueling.” Charging woes include long recharging time, charger availability, and standardization of hardware between brand offerings. Additionally, the U.S. electrical grid can hardly handle its current strain—let alone an entire nation needing to recharge at home or on-the-go. At this point, clear solutions appear far from sight.

Informed & Involved

Although the future of EV adoption remains to be seen, the SEMA Action Network (SAN) believes a balance can be achieved and has made this fight a top priority. Our community’s rich history of innovation should be celebrated as it continues evolving with emerging technologies. As always, the SAN opposes proposed efforts to ban the ICE and other such mandates impacting vehicles of all kinds—vintage collectibles and their fuel supply included.

With the ever-growing voice of advocates from our hobby, politicians are increasingly aware of how many passionate voters are paying attention to their actions. SAN contacts like you will receive details direct to inboxes as opportunities to act arise—stay tuned for further updates.

Meantime, please spread the word to get others involved in the good fight: CLICK semaSAN.com/Join

–IGNITED WE STAND!

About SAN: https://www.semasan.com/about

EDITOR’s NOTE:
“Here’s the wildest truth. Climate Alarmism or Climate Doom IS misinformation. Oops.” –Bandit

Largo, Florida police unveil all-electric motorcycles

By General Posts

by 10 Tampa Bay from https://www.wtsp.com

The city says it plans on having a totally-electric fleet by 2030.

Largo police officers are easing up on the gas as the department revealed a pair of all-electric motorcycles.

The two stylish bikes were unveiled Tuesday and will join the city’s growing alternative-fuel fleet, according to City of Largo officials. They say the motorcycles will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.

Largo officials says the bikes are part of the city’s commitment to have 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.

The city also plans on having an all-electric fleet by 2030.

Sacrificing Good American Nuclear Jobs For Cheap Chinese Solar Panels

By General Posts

by Michael Shellenberger

Democrats Must Stop Sacrificing Good American Nuclear Jobs For Cheap Chinese Solar Panels

China made solar panels cheap through coerced labor, not innovation.

The Biden Administration is promoting the participation of Chinese President Xi Jinping in a White House climate summit at a time when Congress is considering whether or not to halt the import of solar panels from China for human rights reasons.

“China’s Solar Dominance Presents Biden With an Ugly Dilemma,” read the headline of a New York Times article published yesterday. “President Biden’s vow to work with China on issues like climate change is clashing with his promise to defend human rights.”

The U.S. State Department in January 2021 called the Chinese government treatment of the Uyghurs “genocide.” The State Department says one million Uyghurs have been forced into concentration camps in Xinjiang province, or forced to work in factories, including ones that make solar panels, one of the region’s largest industries. “Shinta energy, East Hope Group, and GCL Poly-Energy Holdings have all been linked to a state-run employment program that,” reported Bloomberg earlier this week, “at times amount to forced labor.”

The Chinese Embassy in Washington called claims of forced labor in Xinjiang “a rumor created by a few anti-China media and organizations,” and insisted that all workers in Xinjiang freely enter into contracts without coercion. “There is no such thing as ‘forced labor,’” insisted an Embassy representative.

But Secretary of State Antony Blinken doubled-down on the genocide label in a statement last week, saying that the Chinese government’s treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang constituted “an effort to commit genocide.” And the U.S., Canada, and the European Union have already already banned imports of cotton and tomatoes and, according to Bloomberg, “The substance needed for solar panels could be next.”

For years, renewable energy advocates had claimed that radical cost declines of solar panels would come from improved efficiency in the conversion of sunlight into electricity. But it’s today clear that “the China price” stemmed in some measure from the coerced labor of Uyghur Muslims. “Xinjiang is known for low safety and environmental standards,” noted the Times. Forced labor “may be just part of the incentive package,” said a solar executive.

Even the best performing models of the most common types of solar panels only saw their efficiency rise by 2-3 percentage points over the last decade. As such, it is impossible that efficiency increases accounted for the two-thirds decline in the cost of solar panels over the same period.

Solar panel makers have in recent weeks sought to reassure lawmakers and journalists that they will quickly and easily relocate their facilities out of Xinjiang to somewhere else in China, and thus that there is no need for the White House and Congress to ban the importation of their panels. Over 200 solar companies so far have signed a pledge to relocate from the region. “Our understanding is that all the major suppliers are going to be able to supply assurances to their customers that their products coming into the U.S. do not include polysilicon from the region,” said a solar industry spokesperson.

But supply assurances is very different from supplying solar panels assured to be free of coerced labor. And even moving some factories out of Xianjiang would not address the genocide, noted The Times. “Some Chinese companies have responded by reshuffling their supply chains, funneling polysilicon and other solar products they manufacture outside Xinjiang to American buyers, and then directing their Xinjiang-made products to China and other markets.”

But solar panel making is a heavy industry which could take years to relocate. Factories would need to be located near to where its core material, polysilicon, is made. And relocating tens of thousands of workers, not just equipment in buildings, as well as the housing and infrastructure they all require, would require enormous social disruption. Proof of this comes from the difficulty experienced by clothing and footwear companies to relocate from Xianjiang for the same reasons.

And there is no independent way of confirming that manufacturers have shifted production to regions free of genocide and persecution, since there is no free and independent monitoring of the Chinese solar panel makers. Earlier this week Bloomberg Quicktake aired a special investigation, “Why Secrecy Haunts China’s Solar Factories in Xinjiang.”

Bloomberg quoted a Chinese government saying his government welcomed media investigations. “We welcome foreign media to visit and to see with their own eyes the achievements there. We also call on media outlets that are committed to objective and not biased reporting as well as professional ethics to tell the true story.”

But when two Bloomberg reporters attempted to do so they were followed by Chinese secret police and rebuffed by understandably fearful solar panel workers. “We’re told, on the one hand, ‘Come visit. We want journalists to come.’ But the reality is just so starkly different,” one of the Bloomberg reporters said. The solar panel workers, he said, “had obviously been well-trained by the company to respond, should somebody from the outside, whether it be a journalist or a diplomat, ask them questions about what’s going on in the factory.”

Another difficulty will be the higher cost of energy outside of the region. “Xinjiang has a lot of relatively cheap coal,” said another Bloomberg analyst. “And cheap energy means cheap polysilicon,” the main feedstock for solar panels.

But even if the Uyghur Muslim workers, their housing, and the solar panel factories were relocated, China’s genocide against them would continue. “Episodes of forced labor have also been reported in Chinese facilities outside Xinjiang,” noted the Times, “where Uyghurs and other minorities have been transferred to work.”

The issue, in the end, is not producing solar panels in the region of Xinjiang. The issue is China’s genocide against, and the use of the coerced labor of Uyghur Muslims, which could continue anywhere in China.

Democrats Opt for Chinese Solar Over American Nuclear

The Democrats’ climate infrastructure legislation in Congress proposes a national Clean Energy Standard, which would require electricity providers to generate 80% of their power from zero-emissions resources by 2030 and 100% by 2035. That Standard appears to include nuclear and, theoretically, should help nuclear plants on the verge of being closed and replaced by natural gas and renewables.

But the broader legislation, and President Biden’s proposed budget, would heavily subsidize solar and wind, including its enabling infrastructure, but not nuclear plants. As such, the combined impact of the legislation could be to accelerate the premature closure of nuclear plants around the U.S.

To a significant extent this is already happening. In Congress and across the U.S., Democratic lawmakers are advocating and overseeing the closure of nuclear power plants, and their replacement with both China-made solar panels and natural gas, in California and New York, and will do so in Illinois, if legislators fail to act to save the nuclear plants scheduled to prematurely close later this year.

Sitting Democratic governors have used behind-the-scenes efforts, including ones that involved illegal donations from natural gas firms, to pressure nuclear plants to close prematurely, as well as state mandates and credit programs, similar to the ones Democrats are proposing in their climate change and infrastructure legislation.

In 2019, U.S. Congressional Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, “The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change,”but a few months later advocated the closure of Indian Point nuclear plant, which at the time provided carbon-free electricity for roughly three million New Yorkers.

Ocasio-Cortez got her wish and Indian Point is in the process of being shut down and being replaced by fossil fuels, as well solar panels. “After one of Indian Point’s two working reactors was permanently shut down last summer,” reported the Times last week, “the share of the state’s power that came from gas-fired generators jumped in 2020 to about 40 percent, from about 36 percent in 2019, federal data show.” Emissions are likely to rise further after the second reactor is closed in a few weeks.

In California, even anti-nuclear advocates today acknowledge that emissions are likely to rise if Governor Gavin Newsom of California follows through on his promise to close Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in 2024 and 2025. Last summer, California lacked sufficient electricity by roughly the same amount as had been provided by the nuclear power plant that California’s Democratic leaders forced to close prematurely in 2013.

Democratic elected officials have said that solar and wind can replace the lost nuclear, but the Timesnoted that “each of Indian Point’s reactors had been producing more power than all of the wind turbines and solar panels in the state combined.”

The same problem has afflicted California. “People wonder how we made it through the heat wave of 2006,” said the CEO of California’s electricity grid operator.. “The answer is that there was a lot more generating capacity in 2006 than in 2020…. We had San Onofre [nuclear plant] of 2,200 megawatts and a number of other plants totalling thousands of megawatts not there today.”

With nuclear plants generating nearly 20 percent of U.S. electricity, and solar and wind just half of that, the Democrats’ legislation could ultimately raise rather than lower emissions by continuing to eliminate emission-free nuclear power generation that solar and wind cannot adequately replace.

Why Biden Must Opt for American Nuclear Over Chinese Solar

China decides its energy policy based on politics internal to the Politburo, and various industry lobbies, and is simply using the issue of climate change to manipulate the West, say some experts. “Xi’s bullish talk of combating climate change is a smokescreen for a more calculated agenda,” wrote two experts at the U.S. Naval War College and Rice University in Foreign Affairs.

“Chinese policymakers know their country is critical to any comprehensive international effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions, and they are trying to use that leverage to advance Chinese interests in other areas.”

Neither China nor Russia are sincere in their promises, agreed the vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “What is striking to me,” she said, “is that while both Beijing and Moscow are speaking the language of climate change before international audiences, at home, they are putting their foot on the accelerator to increase global carbon emissions.” She pointed to Russia’s exports of natural gas to Germany and much of Europe, and of China’s increasing reliance on coal plants to make low-cost products like solar panels.

The climate summit with Xi, closing nuclear power plants, and refusing to apply the same standard to solar panels as governments have applied to tomatoes and shoes, are a bad look for Biden and the Democrats.

It’s not too late for action. Republicans in Congress introduced a bill that would ban the import of Chinese-made solar panels into the U.S. But Democrats have not cosponsored it.

Some know better. Moderate Democrats like Rep. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania recognized after the 2020 election that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s anti-nuclear “Green New Deal” made the party look extreme. He should see that Democrats including President Biden are at risk of appearing to value Chinese solar jobs over American nuclear ones.

The people closest to the issue express the most fear and anger over what is happening to minorities in China. The researcher who broke the story of coerced Uyghur labor being used to make solar panels unequivocally condemned those who continue to buy Chinese solar panels today. “I would say you are complicit in perpetuating this Chinese industrial policy that suppresses and disenfranchises human beings.”

The replacement of good nuclear jobs with Chinese solar panels will be felt in working-class communities. Nuclear power plants can run for 80 years or more and sometimes employ three generations of families who earn comparatively high wages, thanks to the high-tech nature of atomic energy.

Such will be the case in New York. The Indian Point closure will also deprive the local community of $32 million in annual contributions from the plant’s operator including $24 million that went directly to schools.

Also lost will be 1,000 good, high-paying jobs. By contrast, the largest new solar farm in the U.S. will create just six permanent jobs.

Europe’s Electric Motorcycle Market Surges

By General Posts

2020 is an IDTechEx estimate based on Q1 – Q3 2020 data. Source: ACEM, IDTechEx

Press Release: IDTechEx from https://www.scoop.co.nz

IDTechEx expects electric motorcycle sales in Europe to grow at least 50% year-on-year in 2020, building on the momentum of recent years. This is driven by continued policy support from governments alongside start-ups and incumbent OEMs entering the market with new model releases, finds the recent report from IDTechEx.

Growth is also being boosted by consumer awareness and acceptance in Europe of the benefits of electric motorcycles. Besides the low cost of ownership, electric motorcycles improve the riding experience, taking away the noise, fumes, vibration, shifting, and clutching from the user experience, alongside the environmental benefits of low emissions. The result has been strong growth on par with the electric car market since 2017.

How are electric motorcycles different? Electric motorcycles are unique, serious machines with power and energy requirements orders of magnitude higher than other common types of electric two-wheelers such as electric scooters, both the standing kind – think Lime – and the sitting kind – think Vespa.

Indeed, electric motorcycles typically utilize electric motors beyond 40kWp, which is more comparable to those found in electric cars than electric scooters, in a much more restricted space. This high-power need, coupled with the limited space on the motorcycle, means manufacturers rarely use off-the-shelf parts and design motors in-house from scratch. The situation is the same for the battery packs, which actually take up the most space in boxy designs unconventional for the moto industry (even when utilizing high-energy automotive-grade Li-ion cells). In contrast, low energy, cheap LFP packs sourced from China can be used for the low energy needs of electric scooters.

Zero Motorcycles, the global market leader for electric motorcycles based out of California, USA, is a good example. It uses locally sourced NMC pouch cells in a custom pack and has an impressive custom-built permanent magnet AC motor (passively air-cooled). The motor has no transmission and is direct drive to the rear wheel, with instant torque.

The result is that electric motorcycles are expensive compared with equivalent combustion models, and start-ups often focus on developing competition or racing bikes, which are less price-sensitive markets. So, while the market is growing, the price remains the main hurdle: a motorcycle with a 14kWh battery pack sells for over $15,000 today. The issue is exacerbated by the fact that electric motorcycles have the most appeal to environmentally conscious millennials who tend to have less purchasing power than older generations preferring loud pipes. In fact, young people are less inclined to buy a motorcycle in general, which is an existential problem the overall industry is grappling with. The high price of electric motorcycles should naturally improve as battery costs continue to decline from the economies of scale of the automotive industry, which may be enough to entice a new, younger audience.

To learn more, the new IDTechEx report “Electric Two-wheelers 2021–2041” (www.IDTechEx.com/E2W) addresses and forecasts electric two-wheelers with pure electric modes under 4kW (‘electric scooters’) and over 4kW (‘electric motorcycles’) with historic data back to 2015 and forecasts to 2041, with insight into the drivers and uptake by region (China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, EU + UK, US, RoW). The report further explores key technology trends, such as the transition away from lead-acid and the reliance on permanent magnet motors for all power classes. Market shares of companies are provided regionally, based on primary interviews with market leaders.

This research forms part of the broader electric vehicle and energy storage portfolio from IDTechEx, who track the adoption of electric vehicles, battery trends, and demand across land, sea, and air, helping you navigate whatever may be ahead. Find out more at www.IDTechEx.com/EV.

Monster Energy Kawasaki Leaves Denver with Mile Wide Smiles

By General Posts

Foothill Ranch, Calif. (April 14, 2019) – Round 15 of Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship returned to the mile high city of Denver for the first time since 1996. Home-state hero, Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo both captured victories at Broncos Stadium at Mile High in their respective classes, each earning their fifth win of the 2019 season.

With frigid temperatures and snow flurries throughout the day, Tomac kicked the day off by pushing through the snow and qualifying with the fastest lap time while his teammate Joey Savatgy was close behind in third. The Kawasaki teammates came out in front of the pack in 450SX Heat 2 with Savatgy in second and Tomac in fourth. Tomac challenged his title contender as they raced side-by-side for multiple laps until finally the No. 3 KX™450 of Tomac made a clean pass and continued making his move to the front. By Lap 7, Tomac was able to catch Savatgy and pass him for second, where he would go on to cross the finish line. Savatgy fell back to finish fourth.

As the gate dropped on the 450SX Main Event, Savatgy launched out of the gate to another second position start, while Tomac was not far behind in fifth. Similar to the heat race, there were great battles going on up front where Savatgy held a top-3 position before being passed by his teammate and two others, but still earning another impressive top-5 finish. Meanwhile, the crowd came to life as the Colorado native was riding with confidence, resulting in a dominant performance; nearly three minutes into the race, Tomac had blasted by each rider in front of him and began checking out from the rest of the field. Tomac went on to lead the remaining 23 laps and crossed the finish line with nearly an eight-second margin of victory.

Despite the roller coaster weather, over 50,000 Colorado fans filled the stadium and made sure to extend their warm welcome back to the city as they stood on their feet all night chanting “Tomac!” With the encouragement from the crowd, Tomac was able to gain some valuable points and now sits in second place, 18 points out of the top spot in the 450SX Rider Point Standings with two rounds remaining.

#3 Eli Tomac
1st Place

“Wow, tonight was like something I dreamed of; this was the loudest crowd I have ever heard and it was so special for me to kind of repay them with this win. It has been such a great weekend and I mean, it wouldn’t be Colorado without some snow! I’m thankful for my entire Monster Energy Kawasaki crew and proud of all the progress we’ve made throughout the season. We’ll continue to work hard and keep pushing to close the gap on the title for the next two rounds, it’s not over yet!”
– Eli Tomac

#17 Joey Savatgy
5th Place

“I wasn’t sure how this weekend was going to go after hurting my shoulder last weekend, but I was determined to get back out there and give it my all. It wasn’t easy, but overall I’m proud to put Kawasaki up front again and thankful for my team’s support. I got more experience running up front with the top contenders and I’m still shooting for a podium finish, but another top-5 is good, especially given the circumstances. I’m looking forward to a weekend off and allowing myself to rest up and get ready for New Jersey.”
– Joey Savatgy

In the 250SX class, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders also rode great in qualifying with Cianciarulo clocking the fastest lap time and Garrett Marchbanks with eighth position. Cianciarulo carried that speed into Heat 2 as he started in third, quickly took over the lead by Lap 4 and then went on to take the checkers.

The 250SX Main Event saw Cianciarulo running in second, stalking the leader and strategically maneuvering his KX™250 to find his way around. He played cat and mouse for a few laps before making the pass stick and going on to lead the remaining 15 laps. Cianciarulo secured his fifth win of the season and extending his lead in the 250SX Western Region Rider Point Standings with only the East/West Shootout in Las Vegas remaining in the series.

Marchbanks struggled throughout the night and was forced to compete in the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) after not being able to finish his heat race. He went on to lead every lap and get the job done in the LCQ. Despite a poor gate pick for the Main Event, Marchbanks rocketed off the start and nearly grabbed the holeshot, but unfortunately collided with another rider mid-air before the first lap was complete causing an early end to his night.

Cianciarulo and Tomac’s win in both 250SX and 450SX classes in Denver give Kawasaki their fifth event sweep of the season.

#92 Adam Cianciarulo
1st Place

“I am so pumped to get this win! I felt so good all day and just synced with my KX250 perfectly tonight, so it ended up being such a good race. Plus, the energy of this crowd here in Denver was incredible throughout the race. I love this type of racing where we’re all throwing it out on the line and the crowd is going crazy, especially since we’re close in points. Now I just have to get the job done in Vegas.”
– Adam Cianciarulo

#61 Garrett Marchbanks
22nd Place

“I’m thankful I’m not badly injured and I’ve got a great team that will help me get back to where I need to be. I know where I belong out there and we’ve made a lot of progress this season. I’ve learned a lot, so I’m looking forward to finishing out the season in Las Vegas in a few weeks. ”
– Garrett Marchbanks