caption People watch a wildfire raging in the town of Rafina, near Athens, Greece on July 23, 2018. source REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis Greece is in mourning. At least 80 people are dead, some who tried to flee into the water to save themselves, as wildfires raged through the countryside and town toward the sea near Athens, Greece this week. But the problem of dry and fiery conditions this summer isn’t just one for the Greeks. The entire European continent has been suffering through blistering heat waves, and fires have roared through regions from the Arctic Circle down to the Mediterranean Sea. It’s all part of a trend with no end in sight. In a report from climate experts to the European Commission, released earlier this year, scientists predict that dry, hot conditions will fuel aggressive wildfires that could spread more easily across the Mediterranean as the region dries up. The damage may not end at the fire lines, and could have a dangerous … [Read more...] about Greece is burning because dry, blisteringly hot conditions are hitting Europe hard this summer — take a look
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The cryptocurrency craze seems to have stagnated in recent months, following a peak at the end of last year that saw Bitcoin reach an all-time high of $19,783.06, and Ethereum and Ripple make percentage gains of around 9,200 percent and 35,000 percent, respectively, in 2017. Yet interest in digital currency remains notably high in several Eastern European countries, our research shows. The question is: why? My team at Investing.com examined global interest in cryptocurrency five months into 2018. Taking the percentage of our website’s visitors in each country around the world who used our cryptocurrency section, we found that the five countries most interested in cryptocurrency from January through May of this year were: Venezuela (67 percent) Kosovo (61 percent) Lithuania (58 percent) Belarus (52 percent) Georgia (51 percent) Venezuela’s spot on the list comes as no surprise, as the South American nation has long been documented as one of the world’s … [Read more...] about What’s behind Eastern Europe’s crypto boom?
Energy prices are once again in the news. British Gas is putting up the price of its dual fuel tariff by an average of 5.5 per cent at the end of this month. EDF, whose standard tariff is already one of the most expensive, will raise it by a further 1.4 per cent next month. In the longer run, the widespread hope is that we will be saved by alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind. And indeed, these have become much more efficient because of major technological advances. Read more: Londoners least satisfied with energy supplier in UK For example, in the US, since 2009 the prices of solar panels and wind turbines per watt of energy generated fell by a massive 75 and 50 per cent respectively. This must surely be an unequivocal Good Thing. But, like many things in economics, there are unintended consequences. A greater reliance on solar and wind power has led in general to higher, not lower, electricity prices. Michael Shellenberger of the California-based Environmental Progress … [Read more...] about No decent economist will be surprised to see renewables push up electricity prices
Byton is the newest electric car company that you’ve never heard of to use the Consumer Electronics Show, and its growing importance as de facto auto show, to spark some attention. The Chinese based car company unveiled its first concept all-electric vehicle on Sunday that it plans to start selling as a production model late next year. From the exterior, the Byton concept is not flashy, it’s almost downright boring, at least for a concept. If you can excuse the patterned lights on the car’s nose and keister, the vehicle’s design lacks the taunting flare typically associated with concept cars shown at CES. In a video of it driving around a parking lot before the reveal, under cover, it even looks a bit like the Mutt Cutts van from Dumb & Dumber. Unlike many of the other Chinese (or Chinese-funded) car startups we’ve seen in the last few years, Byton’s not trying to break any speed records. A fully-charged base model of this all-electric SUV will … [Read more...] about Byton’s electric SUV concept is another wild stab at the future of cars
Look at some of the autonomous vehicle concepts, predicting a future of us being able to treat a car as a lounge or work area when we don’t want to actually drive, and you’ll notice one thing: space. By that, I mean the space they take up on the road. Everyone seems to be designing a large, autonomous SUV because that’s what people want. Mercedes-Benz is guilty of the same thing, with its vast F105 Concept it showed a few years ago. Sleek, spacious and lounge-like, it’s one idea for a self-driving future. But its tiny Smart division has other ideas. Last month, transportation reporter Sean O’Kane got a “ride” in Smart Vision EQ Fortwo concept — Daimler’s idea of what a self-driving urban car should be. At CES in January, Smart CEO Dr. Annette Winkler told us that the Smart is on its own in the world. “No other car packs in so much into so small of a space,” she said, which has been a hallmark of the brand. “The … [Read more...] about The Smart car goes electric before it plans its autonomous future