Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.
This feature is published every day late afternoon New York time. For early morning review of headlines see "The Early Bird" published every dayin the early am at GEI News (membership not required for access to "The Early Bird".).
Some of this North American heat is a regular feature of every El Niño. (Indeed, I wrote about this El Niño-associated heat a few weeks ago.) But in the Arctic, this level of warmth is unprecedented. In order for this huge, hot storm to reach Iceland on Wednesday, it’s punching right through the Jet Stream, the atmospheric “river” that brings temperate weather to Europe. Yet El Niño should typically reinforce this current, explains the climate writer Robert Scribbler—for the Jet Stream to weaken is a sign that something else is going on.
While institutional science will take years, if not decades, to confirm a correlation between human-forced climate change and strong North Atlantic storms, Scribbler believes that Wednesday’s insane warmth at the pole resembles the southern incursions of the “polar vortex” that have been seen in recent winters. These changes are related to human-forced climate change, he writes: a sign that something in the atmosphere has gone “dreadfully wrong.”
Follow these "weird" events real time with the articles by GEI climate and weather economist Sig Silber every Tuesday.
Orson Welles’s Forgotten Masterpiece (The Daily Beast) Critics turned up their noses in 1966 at ‘Chimes at Midnight,’ Welles’s film about Shakespeare’s Falstaff. Now it’s being re-released and you can see what you missed.
Rochester Man Charged with Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL (United States Department of Justice) Emanuel L. Lutchman, 25, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. of the Western District of New York and Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen of the Federal Investigation Bureau’s (FBI) Buffalo Division. According to Assistant Attorney General Carlin:
“According to the complaint, as part of Emanuel Lutchman’s attempt to provide material support to ISIL, he planned to kill innocent civilians on New Year’s Eve in the name of the terrorist organization. Thankfully, law enforcement was able to intervene and thwart Lutchman's deadly plans.”
Nearly 150 Muslims fired for absences after prayer dispute at Colorado plant (CNN) About 150 Muslims were fired from their jobs at a beef processing plant in Colorado for failing to show up for work over a prayer dispute. Last month, a group of 11 workers at Cargill Meat Solutions in Fort Morgan wanted to go pray at the same time in a room in the plant that is set aside for prayer and reflection. Their supervisor asked that the group break up into smaller numbers to not affect production, according toCNN affiliate KCNC. The workers complied with the supervisor's request and went in smaller groups to pray. But after their shift ended, 10 of the 11 workers resigned, turning in their badges and hard hats, Cargill spokesman Michael Martin told CNN. News of the dispute spread to other plant employees, and about 150 Somali workers missed work for three days in protest. Based on Cargill's attendance policy, the company fired those who failed to come to work for three consecutive days without giving any form of notice, Martin said.
Historic Vatican accord with Palestine takes effect (AFP, France 24) The Vatican's first accord with the Palestinians -- an agreement that Israel has attacked as counter-productive to the Middle East peace process -- has come into force, the Holy See announced Saturday. The accord was signed in June, just over two years after the Roman Catholic Church recognised the Palestinian territories as a sovereign state in February 2013.
Saudi Arabia executes top Shiite cleric (France 24) Scores of Shiite Muslims marched through the Qatif district of Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province on Saturday in protest at the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric. Cleric Nimr al-Nimr and three other members of Saudi Arabia's minority sect were executed earlier alongside 43 Sunni jihadists. The protesters chanted "down with the Al Saud", the name of the ruling Saudi royal family, as they marched from Nimr's home village of al-Awamiya to the region's main town of Qatif, the only district in Saudi Arabia where Shi'ites are a majority. Most of those executed were convicted of al Qaeda attacks in Saudi Arabia a decade ago, but four, including prominent cleric Nimr, were Shiite Muslims accused of shooting policemen during anti-government protests in recent years. The executions took place in 12 cities in Saudi Arabia, four prisons using firing squads and the others beheading. The bodies were then hanged from gibbets in the most severe form of punishment available in the kingdom's Sharia Islamic law.
Cars torched outside U.S. consulate in Tijuana: FBI (Reuters) The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mexican authorities are investigating who started a fire outside the U.S. consulate in Tijuana that destroyed four cars, a U.S. official said on Friday. The official said that another vehicle was partially damaged. There were no reported injuries. Local media reported the fire took place early Friday morning. The U.S. consulate in Tijuana, located across the border from San Diego, is one of the busiest in Mexico. A U.S. consulate worker in the border city of Juarez was killed by drug gang gunmen in 2010.
Mexico shooting: Mayor Gisela Mota killed in Temixco (BBC News) A newly-elected Mexican mayor has been shot dead on her second day in office. Gisela Mota was killed at her home in the city of Temixco, 85km (52 miles) south of the capital Mexico City, hours after taking her oath of office on Friday, police said. Reports said she was attacked by four gunmen. Police shot two of the attackers dead and arrested the others. A motive for the killing is unclear. Several Mexican mayors were killed last year by alleged drug traffickers. The left-of-centre former federal congresswoman, who was in her early 30s, had promised to try to clean up Temixco, an industrial city where problems associated with drugs and organized crime are rife.
America's Solar Energy Potential (Energy Independence) Every hour, the sun radiates more energy onto the earth than the entire human population uses in one whole year. This article states that "Solar power alone could provide all of the energy Americans consume." and that "The technology required to harness the power of the sun is available now." The article goes through the calculations to show that in the U.S. southwest, about 200 square feet of solar panels will provide more than enough electricity to power an average size home. In much of the northeastern U.S., Great Lakes area and eastern Canada double the number of solar panels are required. See first graphic below. The cost of solar electricity will be less than all other sources before 2020 and solar will be producing about 7% of all electricity globally in about five years. See second graphic below.
Adding Energy Storage To Home Solar: Does It Make Sense? (Clean Technica) The general consensus seems to be that adding storage systems to solar systems on individual homes today is still a bit dicey – payback times at current prices can be a decade or longer (see chart below for Victoria, Australia) – but that large scale use by utilities can offer significant operational and cost advantages. Of course payback depends on the size of the storage system, storage costs now and in the future, size and cost of the associated solar PV array, the structure of electricity tariffs and incentives, the regulatory environment, and the size of the solar resource. It is clear that utility scale storage will be have a much better economic case far into the future. See next article.
The future role and challenges of Energy Storage (DG ENER Working Paper, European Commission Directorate-General for Energy) This paper has a large section that discusses hydro-pumped storage. The paper describes the "field of play" thusly:
Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea
2015’s top 10 enemies of liberty (Personal Liberty) When you have Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, ISIS, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as five of the ten you really have a unique list. The other five are James Comey, head of the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), political correctness and the good old liberal media.
First workers, now managers: Bosses fret rise of automation (CNBC) For years, workers have feared how automation may threaten their jobs in the future. Now, their bosses may be feeling those same jitters. Consulting firm Accenture recently surveyed a wide group of managers about their attitudes on cognitive computing and the future of the workforce. The study — conducted in August and September of this year across 17 different industries — surveyed more than 1,700 managers and found that while many managers believe intelligent machines will make them more effective, some are concerned these machines may threaten their jobs in the future.
... theorising, like Einstein’s and Schrödinger’s, straddled physics and philosophy because the questions raised by the new quantum realities radically challenge taken-for-granted accounts of everyday life and being. Non- local causation and inseparable individuals contradict assumptions of atomistic individualism and zero-sum conflict between groups in social as well as physical life.
An entangled or co-operative economics would be far removed from the economic “rationalities” that dominate existing theory and practice. The euro zone crisis politically entangles Irish, German, Greek, and Spanish citizens.
Orson Welles’s Forgotten Masterpiece (The Daily Beast) Critics turned up their noses in 1966 at ‘Chimes at Midnight,’ Welles’s film about Shakespeare’s Falstaff. Now it’s being re-released and you can see what you missed. This is the film of which Welles said it was his favorite,
“This invention may also be used in connection with a door or window, so as to kill any person or thing opening the door or window to which it is attached.”
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