Green Trucks May be Fraud

Another Green Energy dream product is looking like a swindle.  Despite California’s declaring an end to fossil fuel vehicles, these trucks are little more than smoke and mirrors.  Stef Shrader explains at The Drive Now the Justice Department Is Looking Into the Nikola Fraud Allegations. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The DOJ is joining the Securities and Exchange Commission’s probe into claims that Nikola misled investors with overblown claims about its own tech.

The U.S. Department of Justice has now initiated a probe into the allegations that electric and hydrogen truck startup Nikola made misleading claims about its technology to investors, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Justice Department is working with the Securities and Exchange Commission on the probe, who already started examining these allegations.

Federal prosecutors in the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office are looking into reports that Nikola misrepresented its progress in developing technology that was key to its upcoming models.

Nikola came out swinging with big promises, including a hydrogen fuel cell semi-truck capable of going 750 miles per fill-up and a 600-mile-range electric pickup that would beat even the recently unveiled EV range queen, the 517-mile Lucid Air.

The company’s initial public offering was in June, which went so well that the company rocketed up to a $26.3 billion market valuation, which made its CEO Trevor Milton the 188th richest person in the world.

Nikola has been in a back-and-forth fight this month with self-proclaimed short seller Hindenberg Research, who published a detailed report claiming that Nikola engaged in “intricate fraud” to inflate its company valuation to incredible heights for a truck company that hasn’t actually sold any trucks yet.

Hindenburg alleged that Nikola used rolling models in promoting the company instead of functional prototypes without defining them as such, made exaggerated claims about its battery technology, and that Milton engaged in nepotism to hire his brother to build out the company’s hydrogen network.

In response, Nikola threatened legal action against Hindenburg and hired an attorney, who contacted the SEC about the report on Friday, according to the Wall Street Journal. (I guess they got what they wanted—sort of?) The company admitted to using non-running but rolling trucks in a 2018 Nikola One advertisement and at the 2016 unveiling of the Nikola One, but notes that the company was privately held at the time, and that it had the necessary components to make the trucks run—albeit still in development.

Nikola lost over 20% of its valuation since Hindenburg’s report dropped last Thursday, the WSJ reports. Securities filings from Monday show that Milton increased his investment in the company to over 41,000 shares for $1.2 million, meaning that Milton now owns a quarter of the company. The company has also hired a crisis management firm, Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher.

That wasn’t the first allegation that the once-success story wasn’t what it seemed. A Bloomberg report in June claimed that Nikola led the public to believe that a show model of the Nikola One semi-truck was driveable when it was not. Milton also responded with legal threats against Bloomberg.

Even though none of these allegations directly involve any behavior on the part of Nikola partner General Motors, it’s still rather damning, as it insinuates that GM wasn’t able to see through Nikola’s allegedly overblown claims. GM agreed to take an 11% stake in Nikola in exchange for GM building the Badger pickup in one of its factories and GM supplying Nikola with batteries and fuel-cell tech in the near future.

Thus far, GM CEO Mary Barra has defended the company’s decision to partner with Nikola, telling the Wall Street Journal, “Our company has worked with a lot of different partners. We’re a very capable team that has done the appropriate diligence.”

According to the WSJ, Nikola announced Monday that it delayed the delivery of its first prototype truck from later this year to early 2021. That truck is destined to go to Anheuser-Busch, which Nikola says ordered 800 trucks in 2018. The company also claimed to receive an order for 2,500 trucks from waste company Republic Services in August.


via Science Matters

September 30, 2020 at 12:22PM

Why 2020 is so important


“Anyone still doubting what will happen if the Democrats take the White House and the Senate this November needs to look at what happened this year in Virginia. It was a relentless Leftist Juggernaut. Nearly every Leftist dream came true.”
– Scot Faulkner

“As political analyst Scot Faulkner observes in this eye-opening article, in 2019, for the first time since 1993, Democrats won the Virginia governorship and control of both legislative chambers,” writes Paul Driessen. “They had a 10-seat majority in the House of Delegates, but a mere 2-seat margin in the state Senate. That didn’t slow them for a minute.

“As I watched helplessly from 90 miles north of Richmond, they launched a relentless Leftist Juggernaut. During the 60-day legislative session, the Democrats passed 1,900 bills … and Governor Ralph Northam signed every one of them into law. “Nearly every Leftist dream came true,” Scot says.

“What happened in Virginia gives Democrats the profound hope that they will succeed in similar efforts nationwide. That possibility should scare every American who believes in this country to vote to defend our proud history, traditions, promises and opportunities.”

Why 2020 is so important

What happened this year in Virginia should scare every conservative into voting November 3

Scot Faulkner

Anyone still doubting what will happen if the Democrats take the White House and the Senate this November needs to look at what happened this year in Virginia.

In November 2019, Democrats won the governorship and control of both houses of the state legislature for the first time since 1993. While they had a 10-seat majority in the House of Delegates, their margin in the State Senate was a razor-thin two seats.

As 2020 dawned, the newly sworn-in Democrats moved with lightning speed on a broad legislative front. It was a relentless Leftist Juggernaut.

During the 60-day legislative session, Democrats passed 1,900 bills. The governor signed every one of them into law. Nearly every Leftist dream came true.

They eviscerated gun rights

First they eviscerated gun rights. The gun control bills were so groundbreaking that Governor Ralph Northam held a special signing ceremony. The bills expanded background checks to include private sales, created severe penalties for leaving firearms near children, including inside a private home, and limited handgun sales to one a month. They also created laws that will let anyone “red flag” others as being a “threat” to public safety and having their guns confiscated.

More importantly, as Virginia is a “commonwealth,” other new laws empowered local governments to regulate the possession, carrying, storage or transport of firearms, ammunition, components or any combination of those things, and to ban guns in public spaces, including public buildings, parks and recreation centers, and during permitted events.

Local governments are even authorized to establish stricter gun control laws than exist at the federal and state level.

The Democrats and Northam ignored the reality that gun-free zones ensure that only law-ignoring criminals will be armed in public places – giving killers time to maim and murder numerous law-abiding, innocent parents and children before police arrive. The Democrats did nothing to increase penalties for using guns in committing crimes.

A second wave assailed Virginia history and culture. Lee-Jackson Day was eliminated as a state holiday. All protections for Confederate monuments ended, even for soldiers who died during the Civil War.

Then came social legislation. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was ratified decades after its ratification deadline, providing the 38th state needed for final adoption, though court challenges may thwart attempts to force the ERA into the Constitution.

The “Virginia Values Act” added sexual orientation and gender identity to all Virginia anti-discrimination laws. It grants the attorney general the power to take action against anyone “engaged in a pattern or practice of resistance” to rights guaranteed by the new laws.

Abortion rights dramatically expanded

Abortion rights were dramatically expanded. New laws rolled back existing provisions, eliminated the 24-hour waiting period before an abortion, ended a requirement that women seeking an abortion undergo counseling and an ultrasound, eliminated the requirement that abortions be provided by a physician, allowing nurse practitioners to perform them, and abolished building code requirements on facilities where abortions are performed.

Virginia’s felony larceny threshold was raised from $500 to $1,000. Sponsors stated this will lead to fewer Virginians with felony convictions on their records.

Possession of marijuana was decriminalized and replaced with a $25 civil penalty.

The minimum wage went to $9.50 per hour. This will increase to $11 in 2022, $12 in 2023 and by another $1.50 in 2025 and 2026. The increases will likely cost thousands of jobs.

Virginia also increased its gasoline tax 5 cents a year for two consecutive years, while electric cars will continue getting subsidies, free use of highways and free access to HOV lanes.

New tax on plastic bags

The Democrats also established a new tax on plastic bags – just before businesses of every description began requiring them to prevent the spread of COVID from reusable bags.

They also imposed the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which will cover seascapes with hundreds of 850-foot-tall wind turbines and landscapes with hundreds of square miles of solar panels, backed up by thousands of half-ton batteries – all built with raw materials from China.

Finally, they changed the rules for voting. Virginians no longer need to show a photo ID to vote, and no longer need to provide a reason for wanting an absentee ballot.

Virginia also became part of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, awarding the state’s electoral votes to the national winner of the presidential popular vote, instead of the state’s own popular vote.

Wish list: Green New Deal

Democrats have an even longer wish list at the national level: a “Green New Deal” that would replace all fossil fuels with wind, solar, biofuel and battery power; higher taxes; higher minimum wages; national gun control measures; and more.

They are invoking racism and advancing the “1619 Project,” which asserts “America is a slave nation,” to promote reparations and other laws that will eliminate America as we know it. The Left wants to erase freedom of speech in favor of “woke” sensibilities and political correctness and, of course, erase the right to bear arms and protect ourselves and our families from rampant, growing violence.

The biggest national movement of all is ending “systemic, institutional racism” and “white privilege.” But they also want to eliminate the Electoral College, make U.S. Senate seats based on population, grant statehood to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and pack the Supreme Court.

Designed to solidify the Left’s power forever

Every one of these “reforms” is designed to solidify the Left’s power forever.

The only thing standing in the way of Democrats recreating the Virginia Juggernaut at the national level is the U.S. Senate’s filibuster. That’s why they are already crusading to end the filibuster. Even though it has been integral to the Senate since its founding, it is being portrayed as a recent racist manifestation.

The filibuster is the only protection for minority rights in Congress. Up to now, both parties have embraced it, as they know one day they may be out of power and need it.

The Left is banking on the November election giving them eternal power.

What happened in Virginia gives them profound hope that they will succeed. It should also scare every American who believes in this country to vote this year to defend our proud history, traditions, promises and opportunities.

Scot Faulkner is the former Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives and author of the bestselling political memoir, “Naked Emperors.” 

(As further background: Faulkner is also Vice President of the George Washington Institute of Living Ethics, and provides political commentary for ABC News Australia, Newsmax, and CitizenOversight. He previously served as Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives, Director of Personnel for the Reagan Campaign, and on the Presidential Transition Team and Reagan White House Staff. He also held executive positions at the Federal Aviation Administration, General Services Administration and Peace Corps. He earned a Master’s in Public Administration from American University and a BA in Government & History from Lawrence University, and studied comparative government at the London School of Economics and Georgetown University.)


The post Why 2020 is so important appeared first on Ice Age Now.

via Ice Age Now

September 30, 2020 at 12:02PM

Wild Claim: ‘Someday, even wet forests could burn due to climate change’

From the Climate Change overrules fire science department comes what could very well be the most ridiculous climate scare headline of the year so far. We don’t have an “oxygen-rich atmosphere”. – Anthony

by Kelsey Simpkins, University of Colorado at Boulder

Rainforests filled with steam and moisture, Khao Yai National Park

Millions of years ago, fire swept across the planet, fueled by an oxygen-rich atmosphere in which even wet forests burned, according to new research by University of Colorado Boulder scientists.

The study, published today in Nature Geoscience, provides geochemical evidence showing that forest fires expanded dramatically, potentially burning up to 30 or 40 percent of global forests during a 100,000 year interval more than 90 million years ago. While today’s fires are exacerbated by dry conditions, they found that forest fires during this period increased even in wet regions due to changes in global climate.

“Studying this period in Earth’s history can shine light on how the modern and future Earth might behave under global change,” said F. Garrett Boudinot, lead author and recent PhD graduate in the Department of Geological Sciences.

Boudinot analyzed samples from a rock core that spans what is known as the Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2) in the Cretaceous period, about 94 million years ago. He found that an increased amount of carbon buried in the oceans at the start of this event was associated with indications for the occurrence of wildfires, which might have been caused by an increase in oxygen in the atmosphere.

“One of the consequences of having more oxygen in the atmosphere is that it’s easier to burn fires,” said Boudinot. “It’s the same reason you blow on embers to stoke a fire.”

Large amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere–much like what Earth is projected to experience by 2100–kick-started this cycle.

For 50,000 years before the OAE2 began, algae and land plants drew down this carbon into the oceans through photosynthesis, causing microbial respiration to increase, which led parts of the oceans to become low in or even devoid of oxygen, known as anoxia. This same process exists today in waters where too many nutrients end up in one place, like the mouth of the Mississippi River, where excess fertilizer runoff accumulates and feeds algae–which are then eaten up by microbes that consume oxygen, creating a dead zone. In these kinds of anoxic waters, the organic carbon that is stored from the atmosphere is buried in sediments, while the oxygen that was part of the carbon dioxide (CO2) is released to the atmosphere.

After 100,000 years of this ocean anoxia event–which was intensified by warming temperatures–oceans sediments around the globe had stored enough organic carbon that the atmosphere became rich in oxygen, so much so that it might have facilitated the burning of up to 40 percent of forests across the planet, even in wet and humid regions.

The planet is undergoing a similar transformation today as it did at the beginning of this cycle, with carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere and nutrients building up in the ocean. If these same patterns continue, history could repeat itself in the future, only centuries to millennia from today.

“It highlights that putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and nutrients into the ocean doesn’t just potentially increase global temperatures. It has significant impacts on the fundamental biogeochemistry or ecology of the planet, like how forests respond to fire,” said Boudinot, who now works in outreach at the Colorado Wildlife Council.

A mystery in Earth’s history

Boudinot never intended to analyze the rock core, drilled in Utah, for remnants of forest fires. It was drilled to better understand other various elements of OAE2, including how marine ecosystems responded to global change at that time in Earth’s history.

But he was also running another experiment at the same time, using an analytical method to identify molecular tracers of forest fires in rock samples from other times and locations. These tracers are called polycyclic, aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs–sometimes known as “pyro PAHs.”

Within the Utah rock core were black shales laden with organic matter preserved from almost 94 million years ago, when that part of the country was covered with sea. So Boudinot thought why not? And ran these same tests on the OAE2 rock core, finding there were a significant amount of these pyro PAHs in it.

“These organic molecules basically serve as molecular fossils,” said Julio Sepúlveda, senior author on the study, professor of geological sciences and fellow in the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research.

These molecules are also related to the temperature of the fire itself. They indicated high temperature fires, created by forest fires.

The interval of OAE2 with more fires has also been something of a mystery to geologists. Not only is this new geochemical data rock solid, but it also represents a detailed evolution of the event–with each data point representing a smaller period of time. This gives scientists a clearer understanding of how carbon storage in the oceans is related to oxygen levels in the atmosphere and global temperatures, and the pace at which these climate feedbacks can occur.

While scientists suspect volcanic activity as the reason there was so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere before this event in Earth’s history began, Boudinot sees parallels to how much carbon dioxide humans are emitting today.

“This finding highlights the prolonged impacts of climate change. The climate change that we’re causing now, it’s not something where if we don’t fix it, only our grandkids will have to deal with it,” said Boudinot. “The history of climate change in Earth history tells us that the impacts are really long lasting.”


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September 30, 2020 at 11:29AM

Germany: First CEO faces trial over ‘Dieselgate’ scandal

Revelations that engineers for German car giant Volkswagen and its subsidiaries used technology to cheat emission regulations shook the industry. Five years on, those at the helm during the scandal are standing trial.

Former-Audi CEO Rupert Stadler on Wednesday became the first top executive to stand trial in Germany for his role in an enormous emissions-cheating scandal.

Stadler, 57, appeared before the Munich district court to answer charges of fraud, falsifying certifications and false advertising.

Former Audi and Porsche manager Wolfgang Hatz and two Audi engineers are being tried alongside Stadler, facing charges of fraud.

German car giant Volkswagen — whose subsidiaries include Porsche, Audi, Skoda and Seat — admitted in September 2015 that it had installed software to rig emissions in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.

Criminal proceedings have taken place in the United States over the scandal, leading to the imprisonment of two Volkswagen employees. In Germany, there have been no convictions over the scam.

Prosecutors opened the proceedings on Wednesday by reading aloud an over 90-page indictment.

The trial is expected to last more than two years. If found guilty, the defendants face up to 10 years in jail.

Full story

The post Germany: First CEO faces trial over ‘Dieselgate’ scandal appeared first on The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

via The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

September 30, 2020 at 09:42AM