Friday, January 21, 2022

Tesla owners in Alaska and Canada say car heating systems are failing

To use the car's battery to produce heat directly would flatten the battery in double quick time so the car draws in heat from outside the vehicle using a heat pump. That works a lot of the time but when the temperaure outside is very low, the heat pump has to work hard to grab heat and can overload and fail when trying to do so. Electric cars are just not suited to the very cold environments often experienced in Northern North America.

Tesla owners living in Alaska and western Canada are being forced to drive their vehicles without heat in the cabin when temperatures are dropping far below freezing.

The issue, which has plagued Model 3 and Model Y vehicles since last winter, started when a new heat pump system was added to the vehicles and persisted with a software update.

Tesla owners have taken to Twitter to share this frustration, as Elon Musk is the only person on the company's customer service team, with one customer saying his family could have been killed.

Tyler Selvig explained in a tweet that the heat stopped working in his Model Y while temperatures had dropped to -40F.

'Our Model Y could have killed my family today when the heat stopped working in -40c Called service and the reset and auto didn't fix. Hour away from any service,' reads the tweet.

Musk, however, has acknowledged the issue on Twitter, saying fixing this issue was a 'high priority' at Tesla, and this weekend, he announced that the automaker is rolling out a software fix for it: 'Firmware fix to recalibrate heat pump expansion valve is rolling out now,' He posted.

However, some Tesla owners shared images of their vehicle's heat pump, which appears to be damaged or is just not working.

This suggested a simple over-the-air update may not fix the problem.

'Heat pumps are not designed for areas that get under 20F… the colder it gets there, the longer/more difficult it gets to draw heat. Add in wind and ice, and things really just don't work,' the tweeted.

Wick H continued to explain that refrigerant is unable to be transfer heat at such low temperatures.

Several customers plagued by the issue opted to have their vehicle serviced instead of waiting around for an update from Tesla.

Twitter user 'Tapic' tweeted directedly at Musk saying: 'Are you going to comment on the fact that my Tesla is completely useless right now. My heat pump not working at -20c and the next service date is Jan 28. Is this acceptable? Seems to be a common issue. FIX IT!'

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Transport Canada have also opened investigations into the defected heating system over 'potential safety concerns.'

NHTSA said it 'is aware of the issue and is continuing to gather information, discuss the issue with Tesla and evaluate potential safety concerns.'

And according to Transport Canada, the issue 'may affect windshield defogging/defrosting and therefore driver visibility.'


Greenies target PR and ad firms they accuse of spreading disinformation

More than 450 scientists on Wednesday called on the executives of major advertising and public relations firms to drop their fossil fuel clients and stop what the scientists said was their spread of disinformation around climate change.

They sent a letter to the executives of major global public relations and advertising firms, including conglomerate WPP, Edelman and IPG, as well as the CEOs of their clients who tout sustainability goals including Unilever, Amazon and Microsoft.

"As scientists who study and communicate the realities of climate change, we are consistently faced with a major and needless challenge: overcoming advertising and PR efforts by fossil fuel companies that seek to obfuscate or downplay our data and the risks posed by the climate crisis," the scientists wrote.

None of the advertising and PR firms or their clients were immediately available to comment on the letter.

There has been increasing scrutiny of the role that PR and advertising firms play in helping oil and gas companies to play down their role in exacerbating climate change or "greenwashing" with claims the companies offer climate solutions.

A U.S. House panel questioned oil company CEOs in October about their role in spreading climate change misinformation and subpoenaed them for documents related to money they spent on PR and marketing firms as well as social media firms.

The panel's investigation is expected to dig into these third party companies.

Several lawsuits accuse major oil and gas companies of "greenwashing," citing ad campaigns that make what the suits allege are unsubstantiated claims meant to deceive customers into believing products are environmentally friendly.

Climate scientist Michael Mann, a signatory to the letter, said the ad campaigns minimize environmental risks. “We climate scientists have been trying to raise the climate crisis alarm for decades, but we've been drowned out by these fossil fuel industry-funded PR campaigns,” said Mann.

A campaign led by Clean Creatives, a group pressuring ad and PR firms to drop fossil fuel clients, had called on Edelman to drop its oil and gas clients. Edelman said earlier this month it would not but said it would set up a panel of "external climate experts to offer input and guidance on strategy and on assignments and client situations of concern.”

In a statement to Reuters in December 2020, WPP said: “WPP recognizes the importance of its role in addressing climate change by applying rigorous standards to the content we produce and helping clients to accelerate the world’s transition to a lower-carbon economy.


Worldwide demand for solar panels presents global warming risk through aluminum production

As countries around the globe push towards net zero emissions targets, new research has highlighted an area of environmental concern in the production of solar panels.

An Australian study has found that to reach net zero milestones, the world will need almost 60 times more solar power, which will cause "concerning" levels of global warming.

Photovoltaic engineering researcher Alison Lennon said part of the problem was the emission-intensive production of aluminium, with solar panel components made with mostly aluminium frames, inverter casings, rooftop cells and mounts.

"The emissions that could be generated in producing that aluminium are really concerning," Professor Lennon said.

"Australia is actually the largest producer of bauxite, and one of the largest producers of alumina – so there's a real opportunity for Australia to play a big role in this growth of renewable energy."

The study revealed that for the global community to reach net zero by 2050, about 60 terawatts of solar power along with 480 megatons of aluminium would be required.

Currently, there is 0.8 terawatts, or 800 gigawatts of solar available globally.

Professor Lennon said that in coming years, as countries consider possible carbon border taxes, Australia's high-emissions aluminium will not be as competitive to the international market.

But if Australia could produce low-emissions aluminium, it would be a valuable export and manufacturing opportunity.

She said Australia has the upper hand over countries such as China when it comes to greening aluminium production due to the location of our refineries.

"In China, where most of the aluminium is currently produced, it's a little bit harder to do that because all their solar farms are way out west," Professor Lennon said.

"There's a lot of solar resources but their smelters and refineries tend to be on the east coast where it's not as sunny.

"In order to convert their smelters and refineries … they would have to build very large transmission lines from west to east."

Professor Lennon said Australia has four smelters, including one in Tasmania which is hydro-powered and produces less than five tonnes of emissions per tonne of aluminium.

She said all of the mainland Australian smelters are powered by coal, producing 'well over' 10 tonnes of carbon emissions per tonne of aluminium.

"That's an awful lot of emissions to produce and it's high because you need a lot of electricity to refine the alumina into aluminium."


The New Yorker’s OUTRAGEOUS Climate Nemesis: Refrigerators

New Yorker Staff Writer David Owen took a nosedive into eco-extremism. He argued that the refrigerator has become — wait for it — “an agent of climate catastrophe.”

Owen pontificated in a blog headlined, “How the Refrigerator Became an Agent of Climate Catastrophe,” that “[t]he evolution of cooling technology helps to explain why supposed solutions to global warming have only made the situation worse.” Specifically, he identified refrigerators, these unassuming little machines, as the vile culprits “of our unfolding climate catastrophe.”

Really? Owen wrote as if refrigerators are cartoon villains who chomp on cigars while they devise the destruction of the climate. But his article is, in typical liberal fashion, a truth “catastrophe.”

Owen continued fear-mongering that cooling “technology has directly contributed to the crisis…mainly because its history suggests a counterintuitive explanation for why combating global warming has proved to be so hard, and why some of our putative solutions are actually making our problems worse.” That is, beware! The modest “icebox,” home “freezer[s],” and “electric refrigerators” in homes across America may be more dastardly than they appear.

But it gets worse. Owen also fretted that refrigerants known as “hydrofluorocarbons [(HFCs)] are greenhouse gases with hundreds or thousands of times the warming potential of carbon dioxide.” However, as founder Steve Milloy explained in exclusive comments to MRC Business, villainizing HFCs is misleading.

The “notion that refrigeration is contributing to a ‘climate catastrophe’ is preposterous,” Milloy noted. He also pointed out that the leftist “war against refrigeration” goes all the way back to the 1970s. The “war” has since resurfaced under President Joe Biden’s push for ratification of the radical Kigali Amendment, which seeks to phase out HFCs on a global scale to fight climate change.

Milloy continued: “[W]hile Kigali advocates have the chemistry correct (HFCs are a much stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide), they have the environmental effects wrong as there are much lower levels of HFCs in the atmosphere and so HFCs make little difference to global climate.”




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