Daily Digest 9/4 – Good News Friday: Reducing Wind Turbine Bird Deaths, Electric Trucks On The Way

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header “Good News Friday.” We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!


Steroids Can Be Lifesaving for Covid-19 Patients, Scientists Report (jdargis)

The new studies include an analysis that pooled data from seven randomized clinical trials evaluating three steroids in more than 1,700 patients. The study concluded that each of the three drugs reduced the risk of death.

JAMA published that paper and three related studies, along with an editorial describing the research as an “important step forward in the treatment of patients with Covid-19.”

Coronavirus vaccine trial begun by drug firms GSK and Sanofi (tmn)

“The initiation of our clinical study is an important step and brings us closer to a potential vaccine which could help defeat Covid-19”, said Thomas Triomphe, executive vice president and global head of Sanofi Pasteur.

“Our dedicated teams and partner continue to work around the clock as we aim to deliver first results in early December. Positive data will enable a prompt start of the pivotal phase 3 trial by the end of this year”.

See boy’s sweet reaction to getting bike after his was stolen (Sparky1)

A boy’s bicycle was stolen just nine days before his birthday. Then this local detective stepped in to help.

These Black Holes Shouldn’t Exist, but There They Are (JK)

“Another discovery from the worldwide gravitational-wave detector network that rewrites what we know about our universe,” Zsuzsanna Marka, an astrophysicist at Columbia University who works on LIGO, wrote in an email.

Janna Levin, a cosmologist at Barnard College who is not part of the LIGO group, added: “Yes! I’ve been waiting for something like this since I first became interested in gravitational waves.”

Facebook will ban new political ads a week before Election Day (tmn)

The tech giant will also remove posts containing misinformation about both COVID-19 and voting — the strongest step it’s yet taken to curb misinformation on the virus. It will attach a link to authoritative information about COVID-19 to posts that might use COVID-19 to discourage voting.

If any candidate or campaign tries to declare victory before the final results are in, the company says it will add a label to their posts, directing users to official results as reported by Reuters.

ConEd may sell pipeline stakes as it reconsiders gas transmission investments (Bill M.)

Dominion Energy Inc., which is targeting net-zero emissions by 2050, recently agreed to sell its gas transmission and storage business to Berkshire Hathaway Energy for over $9.7 billion. A driving force behind that decision was Virginia’s Clean Energy Economy Act enacted in April, according to Dennis Sperduto, principal analyst with Regulatory Research Associates, a group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.

“Legislation … requires 100% of the power sold to Appalachian Power Co.’s customers to be sourced from renewables by 2050 and 100% of the power sold to Dominion electric utility subsidiary Virginia Electric and Power Co.’s customers to be sourced from renewables by 2045,” Sperduto wrote Aug. 20.

Soon, the Kitty Litter Will Come by Electric Truck (Bill M.)

The rush to electrify, prompted by concern about climate change, a chance to offset growing delivery costs, government regulation and big advances in battery technology, is occurring as the coronavirus pandemic has caused a huge spike in package delivery. UPS, for instance, was delivering up to 21.1 million packages a day in the second quarter, a nearly 23 percent jump in average daily U.S. volume from a year earlier. Avery Vise, vice president for trucking at FTR Transportation Intelligence, said big increases in delivery truck orders hadn’t shown up yet, but they’re very likely coming.

Paint it black: Efficacy of increased wind turbine rotor blade visibility to reduce avian fatalities (Bill M.)

Applying contrast painting to the rotor blades significantly reduced the collision risk for a range of birds. Painting the rotor blades at operational turbines was, however, resource demanding given that they had to be painted while in‐place. However, if implemented before construction, this cost will be minimized. It is recommended to repeat this experiment at other sites to ensure that the outcomes are generic at various settings.

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