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   Strategies & Market TrendsThe Financial Collapse of 2001 Unwinding


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From: Elroy Jetson5/22/2024 12:03:14 AM
   of 12812
 
Political analyst Jon Delano at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, today asked Donald Trump if he supports restrictions on a person's right to contraception.
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"We’re looking at that and I'm going to have a policy on that very shortly and I think it’s something you’ll find interesting," Trump said. "I think it’s a smart decision. We’ll be releasing it very soon."

Asked if that means he supports some restrictions on birth control, Trump said, "You know also, things really do have a lot to do with the states and some states are going to have different policy than others."
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Later today, someone used Donald Trump's account on his Truth Social website to type,

"I have never, and will never advocate imposing restrictions on birth control.
I DO NOT SUPPORT A BAN ON BIRTH CONTROL AND NEITHER WITH THE REPUBLICAN PARTY."

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To: Elroy Jetson who wrote (12718)5/22/2024 12:36:10 AM
From: elmatador
   of 12812
 
The state of Maryland wants to develop the former Alcoa aluminum plant in Buckseyetown into a data center park. Aluminum is called solid electricity as its cost is 70% electricity.

"Eastalco closed Buckseyetown's major operations on December 19, 2005 when its contract with a regional energy company expired and rates for their electricity would have tripled. Alcoa was unable to find what they deemed to be a cost-efficient source of power."

Now the Maryland government wants to implement an energy-intensive data center on the site. If there was no electricity to run the Alcoa aluminum plant, where would they get electricity to run data centers?

Led by former Terremark and CyrusOne executive Josh Snowhorn, Quantum Loophole has partnered with TPG Real Estate Partners (TREP) and is developing a 2,100-acre, gigawatt-scale data center park in Maryland’s Frederick County.

"An effort to reopen the Eastalco Alcoa Works stalled in 2007 after plans to build a dedicated power plant at the Indian Head Naval Surface Warfare Center in Charles County, MD, fell through. Alan Brody writes, "The approximately $1 billion plant would have created up to 200 permanent jobs, along with a stable energy supply and additional corporate tax revenues to Charles County." Alcoa decided that the cost was too great."

Looks like the place refuses to be revived.

Northern Virginia is home to almost 300 data centers, the highest concentration of these facilities in the world. But Maryland is looking to get in on the action, and the push to make the state a major hub for data centers is a top priority of Gov. Wes Moore (D) and will be part of his legislative package in the upcoming General Assembly session.

These are the types of plans governments are using to keep data centers piling up in the United States.

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To: robert b furman who wrote (12721)5/22/2024 12:47:05 AM
From: elmatador
1 Recommendation   of 12812
 
Hi Bob, The Chinese communist Party moved the capital from real estate and put it into manufacturing.

As they chose EVs, it struck right into the major exports of the Europeans. Cars and fuels. They panicked.

It might be the same case for the US as carmaking and fuels' industries would be decimated by cheap Chinese EVs' imports.

But those who want EVs and internal combustion engines banned are the Westerners. The Chinese just jumped at the opportunity.


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From: elmatador5/22/2024 3:10:48 AM
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The widening battle over Exxon's shareholder lawsuit



State of play: CalPERS,the nation's biggest public pension fund, on Monday said it will oppose all Exxon board members and CEO Darren Woods at the company's annual meeting next week.

Why it matters: The fund's public announcement is a high-profile response to Exxon's ongoing case against Arjuna Capital and Follow This over a climate resolution they have since withdrawn.

Friction point: CalPERS said the lawsuit's repercussions could be "devastating."

  • "If ExxonMobil succeeds in silencing voices and upending the rules of shareholder democracy, what other subjects will the leaders of any company make off limits? Worker safety? Excessive executive compensation?" they wrote.
The other side: The oil giant filed suit in January over the resolution that sought far more expansive climate targets. It alleges an "extreme agenda" that would force it to "change the nature of its ordinary business or to go out of business."

  • Exxon has said it's pressing the case because the current SEC process fails to exclude resolutions that would hurt companies, instead of boosting shareholder value.
  • "Far from having a chilling effect on shareholder proposals, our efforts are intended to get clarity on the rules to foster an environment for open and meaningful shareholder dialogue," Exxon said following CalPERS' move.
Catch up quick: Powerful business groups — including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable — joined the lawsuit on Exxon's side in February.

The bottom line: CalPERS move is highly unlikely to upend Exxon's ranks, but the vote tally will help gauge shareholders' views of the case.

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To: Elroy Jetson who wrote (12723)5/22/2024 6:45:19 AM
From: elmatador
   of 12812
 
Kenyan president aims to attract green investment during U.S. visit
William Ruto says the countries will foster clean energy production in Kenya, build supply chains for electric vehicles and attract plants using renewable energy.

By Katharine Houreld

May 17, 2024 at 2:00 a.m. EDT

NAIROBI — Kenya will launch an initiative with the United States next week to develop a green manufacturing base in Kenya, accelerating the country’s production of clean energy, building supply chains for batteries and electric vehicles, and encouraging investment by U.S. companies seeking factories powered by renewable energy, according to President William Ruto.

In an interview ahead of his state visit to Washington starting Wednesday, Ruto said the deal will draw on Kenya’s green energy production to help U.S. companiesshrink their carbon footprint.

“The use of Kenya’s green energy resources and America’s technology can unlock huge potential, especially with data centers and artificial intelligence,” he said. He did not detail the cost or timeline for the initiative.

More than 90 percent of the country’s power now comes from renewable sources, according to Kenya Power and Lighting Co., including solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric. Ruto put the figure at 93 percent, ranking Kenya in the top five countries in the world.

Although Ruto announced plans this month for a one-gigawatt data center that would soak up all of Kenya’s spare generation capacity, government officials have promised that more power generation from renewables is in the pipeline. Investors have cautioned that Kenya needs to adopt changes, including cutting red tape, to unblock stalled power projects.

Ruto said he wants to see economic activities shifted to Kenya from countries more reliant on fossil fuels, including the production of apparel and steel, refining of minerals and metals, and manufacturing of green hydrogen, a gas used as fuel or to make fertilizer.

But Kenya has already found a niche: carbon removal. Ideally, carbon-capture plantsshould be set up in countries that have excess renewable energy, thus avoiding the use of fossil fuels to power the plants or competition with other industries for renewables.

The United Nations announced five years ago that carbon removal, which includes direct air capture, is vital to meet global climate goals. The fledgling technology sucks carbon dioxide out of the air and often pumps it deep underground permanently. In Kenya, carbon dioxide can be liquefied and injected in the Rift Valley’s porous basalt, where it slowly turns into rocks; abundant geothermal energy can power carbon-removal plants.

The United Nations says carbon removal is not a substitute for cutting emissions but can help mitigate emissions from sectors such as aviation and agriculture. The United States is investing heavily in the technology.

Kenya is already running in that race. Nearly two years ago, three young entrepreneurs — one Austrian and two Kenyans — founded the start-up Octavia Carbon. They built their first carbon-capture machine on a kitchen table and plan to open the first phase of Octavia’s plant this year. It aims to remove 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year once complete.

Dozens of young engineers are now perfecting their prototype in a warehouse emblazoned with a mural of Kenya’s top marathon runner, Eliud Kipchoge, U.S. writer Octavia Butler and the slogan “No human is limited.” The company’s goal is to achieve scientifically measurable, permanent carbon removal at $100 per ton. It’s still a way off. The cost now ranges from $600 to $1,000 per ton of carbon dioxide removed but could fall as the technology is more widely adopted.

“This machine takes up the same space as a tree, and it can suck out the equivalent carbon of 2,000 trees annually,” said Octavia’s head of product, Duncan Kariuki, proudly patting its shiny flank.

So far there are only two large carbon-capture facilities in the world, both in Iceland, which has similar geology to Kenya, and is run by the Swiss company Climeworks, which is also in talkswith the government to open a plant in Kenya.

“We’ve got the abundant green energy, the geology and the young talent,” said James Mwangi, whose fund has invested in the developer Great Carbon Valley, which is working with Climeworks in Kenya. “An ecosystem is starting to come together.”

Among the direct-air-capture companies planning to open plants in Kenya are Israel’s RepAir Carbon, Belgium’s Sirona, Germany’s Carbon Atlantis, Germany’s Greenlight Technologies and Octavia. All have partnered with the U.S.-based carbon-storage company Cella, which will store the concentrated carbon they extract from the air.

If green investment booms in Africa, it will need to develop even more renewable energy. Energy consumption is already set to spike because the continent’s population is projected to double by 2050. New technologies, such as more efficient methods of cooking and transportation, could limit the increase in energy consumptionto a 50 percent rise, a 2023 report by McKinsey found.

Green Kenyan companies still struggle to attract financing — a point that Ruto hammers repeatedly.

The lack of financing hobbles entrepreneurs such as Linda Davis, a former mountain guide whose brass earrings danced as she pitched her start-upto a U.S. venture capitalist this month. Davis holds a doctorate in microbiology focusing on ethanol production systems, was a director of two U.S. alternative fuel companies and was drawn home to Kenya by the booming cookstove industry. Ruto’s government wants a third of households to cook with ethanol in a bid to save its forests — a 16-fold increase — but the nation imports 98 percent of its ethanol.

Davis’s start-up employs women to farm cassava on unused, semiarid land for refining into ethanol. But it took her five years to raise her initial capital.

“I’m not a Silicon Valley bro who can do a family, friends and fools [funding] round,” she said ruefully. Eventually she raised enough to begin farming and is now fundraising to expand and build a 15 million-liter factory.

It’s hard for young start-ups to get loans from private banks: Rampant government borrowing drives up interest rates, and most banks would rather lend to the government than a potentially risky new company.

But bigger energy companies have a different complaint: government red tape. Power companies say Kenya has had a de facto moratorium on independent power purchase agreements since 2020, which means that power producers, including renewable energy companies, can’t sell power to the state-owned utility or its existing customers.

Ruto said that’s not true, arguing that Kenya must just make sure demand matches supply or risk taxpayers being on the hook for power it cannot use. Kenya’s generation capacity is at three gigawatts, but peak demand is currently only two.

Milele Energy, an owner of Africa’s largest wind farm, the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, could more than double its capacity on its existing land if it had an agreement with either the utility or directly with industrial customers, said chief executive Erik Granskog. Ruto said it’s welcome to supply new companies but can’t cannibalize the utility’s customer base.

Kenya also lacks the type of single consolidated office that countries such as Rwanda and South Africa set up to streamline paperwork and attract green investment. “It is something that I’m focused on fixing,” Ruto said.

Severalcompany officials said they contacted Ali Mohamed, the president’s climate envoy, through back channels to resolve bureaucratic problems. Mohamed sits in the president’s office and meets with Ruto daily to remove obstacles. He has a mischievous side: When a white paper laying out ambitious climate goals was quietly removed from a ministry website, Mohamed had the goals inserted into Ruto’s public speeches anyway. When Kenya hosted an Africa climate summit, Mohamed arrived at State House with an electric car for Ruto to drive and followed on a locally assembled electric bike, surrounded by a deeply annoyed security detail on hastily requisitioned electric motorbikes.

“President Biden and President Ruto are agreed on one thing,” Mohamed said. “Climate change is an existential threat, but it’s also an economic opportunity.”

washingtonpost.com © 1996-2024 The Washington Post

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From: Elroy Jetson5/22/2024 1:45:37 PM
   of 12812
 
Following the Dow Jones Industrial Average's first-ever close above 40,000

49% of Americans say stocks are down for the year, 72% say inflation rising marketwatch.com

The Harris Poll says this is largely a story about misinformation.

"Too many people gather their information from social media and Fox News rather than from traditional news media, or financial news outlets.

These popular social-media sources skew toward political figures who stand to benefit from painting a bleak picture of the economy, so their followers end up thinking the markets and the economy are in rough shape.

These popular Russian-leaning social media sources “are there to confuse Americans,” said the Harris Poll CEO.

Even guest billionaires on CNBC have been pushing the message that America may experience a violent civil war if Medicare benefits are not greatly restricted or eliminated.

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To: elmatador who wrote (12597)5/22/2024 2:12:30 PM
From: Snowshoe
   of 12812
 
Craziest tornado footage I've ever seen...

INSANE TORNADO PIPE intercept with windmills toppled near Greenfield, Iowa! (Posted May 21, 2024)




How ‘Kitty Cats’ Are Wrecking the Home Insurance Industry (Published May 16, 2024)
gizmodo.com

Supercharged thunderstorms and tornadoes are ravaging the Midwest, driving insurance costs to record highs.

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To: Snowshoe who wrote (12729)5/23/2024 5:59:51 AM
From: elmatador
   of 12812
 
Scary the power of nature. I saw the fiber optic routers crossing Alaska and northern Canada with a submarine cable wrapping around.
Impressive!


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To: elmatador who wrote (12725)5/23/2024 12:19:24 PM
From: robert b furman
2 Recommendations   of 12812
 
Hi EL,

My long time position on EV's has been they are an urban niche product.

China of course has many huge cities, so there is great demand.

I doubt very much that their vast rural lands ever give up ICE's.

The mandated laws on EV's will be reversed or struck down as unconstitutional.

They are a vast overreach of government control.

The next r4eal President will wipe out those laws.

Bob

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To: E_K_S who wrote (12722)5/23/2024 12:34:31 PM
From: robert b furman
   of 12812
 
Hi EKS,

Totally agree.

With reshoring, many products can be brought back and produced with the best quality in the world.

With 5 G and robotics we can beat any low wage/quality global producer.

100% defect free inspection and robots don't take vacations or get sick.

AI will add to the build of manufacturing quality.

It is a very solid long term plan.

AI is a huge umbrella of events.

Started out as machine learning.

Then Hewlett Packard called it automatic Intelligence.

It all gets buried in artificial intelligence.

It could well over time, as apps evolve, be as productive as the internet has been.

I remember in 2000 getting excited about wireless routers and now I have one in every building I own that act as not only information and trading, but also security.

It just took 20 years. (and we're getting old too!)

Just think how many small manufacturing plants we could have in 20 years!

Bob

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