Elon Musk Slams Coal Baron: Challenges Him to 'Go to Zero' With Taxpayer Subsidies
In Elon Musk's "Master Plan Part Deux," he writes, "Given that we must get off fossil fuels anyway and that virtually all scientists agree that dramatically increasing atmospheric and oceanic carbon levels is insane, the faster we achieve sustainability, the better."Flickr
Musk, who is fully venturing into the renewable energy sector with his proposed SolarCity merger, also brought up the enormous subsidies the coal industry receives. He suggested that both companies compete without any taxpayer help.
"How about we both go to zero?" Musk tweeted.
The beef started when Murray appeared on CNBC's Squawk Box on Monday and accused Tesla of taking $2 billion from taxpayers and yet "has not made a penny yet in cash flow."
"Tesla is a fraud," Murray ranted.
Real fraud going on is denial of climate science. As for "subsidies", Tesla gets pennies on dollar vs coal. How about we both go to zero?— Elon Musk (@Elon Musk)1476109423.0
ardent Donald Trump supporter, said that Tesla benefits from subsidies from energy policies supported by Hillary Clinton. According to Murray, the Democratic presidential nominee is "supporting her friends," or wealthy individuals such as Musk, Warren Buffett and the Pritzkers, with subsidies that have "nothing to do with supporting the environment."
Murray then threw in his two cents about coal's effect on climate.
"By the way, you could close down every coal-fired plant in the United States today, and you would not affect the temperature of the Earth at all," he said.
Earth 'locked into' temperatures not seen in 2 million years https://t.co/Poxohz3Zej via @EcoWatch #climate… https://t.co/Dok5J9Ppjd— climatehawk1 (@climatehawk1)1475100061.0
not the first time Musk has attacked fossil fuel subsidies. In May, he urged people "to revolt against the propaganda of the fossil fuel industry which is unrelenting and enormous."
"The fundamental issue with fossil fuels is ... every use of fossil fuels comes with a subsidy," Musk said.
The Tesla honcho said that cheap oil and gasoline prices not only prevent drivers from switching their gas-guzzlers to electric cars, it also deters the fight against climate change.
Elon Musk: We Must Revolt Against the Unrelenting Propaganda of the Fossil Fuel Industry https://t.co/eGrR4QXjtT @BusinessGreen @CSRwire— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1462571118.0
CNBC pointed out that renewables actually get far more direct federal financial support for electricity production:
"In 2013, electricity production and federal utilities that rely on coal received $1.08 billion in direct cash outlays through federal programs, tax benefits, research and development funding, loans and guarantees, the [Energy Information Administration] found. That amounted to 6 percent of such funding. In the same year, electricity production from renewables received $15.04 billion in funding from the same sources—or 72 percent of federal support of that kind. Wind accounted for about 39 percent of the renewables subsidies, and solar attracted 35 percent."
Still, it's no surprise that Murray, the founder of the largest privately held coal company in the U.S., is speaking out against energy alternatives. Murray has filed multiple lawsuits against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over carbon regulations that he said would permanently destroy the coal industry.
Bloomberg wrote, "seismic changes in energy policy and competition from natural gas have pummeled coal miners, leading to bankruptcies and record production cuts ... Murray Energy announced earlier this summer that it was considering cutting more than 4,000 jobs, accounting for about 80 percent of its workforce, amid weak coal prices."
Here he is on Fox Business railing against Clinton's energy policies.
"It’s a tragedy what’s happening in the coal fields, with the destruction of lives, by Barack Obama" - Robert Murra… https://t.co/8kS3ZSK5pA— FOX Business (@FOX Business)1475601929.0
Sweden's reindeer have a problem. In winter, they feed on lichens buried beneath the snow. But the climate crisis is making this difficult. Warmer temperatures mean moisture sometimes falls as rain instead of snow. When the air refreezes, a layer of ice forms between the reindeer and their meal, forcing them to wander further in search of ideal conditions. And sometimes, this means crossing busy roads.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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