Winter Weather Outlook in a La Nina

Earlier this month the Nation Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their winter outlook for this upcoming season. According to Weather.com, “La Niña is the periodic cooling of the equatorial eastern and central Pacific ocean. When sea-surface temperatures are cooler than average by at least 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit (0.5 degrees Celsius), along with consistent atmospheric indications for at least three consecutive months, La Niña is considered to be present…This is important because the interaction of this cooler-than-average water with the atmosphere can affect weather conditions thousands of miles away in the U.S. and around the world.”

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Renewable Energy Snatches Market Share

COVID-19 has hammered global energy markets, but renewable energy is taking the opportunity to capture a new record share of electricity generation. Energy producers everywhere have been hit hard by the enormous drop in electricity demand, but renewable energy has managed the declines the best, in part due to their lack of variable costs. Coal and natural gas tend to be pushed out of the market first due to operating costs, opening the door for renewables and potentially leading to the expediting of a transition from fossil fuels to renewables.

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The Other Community Spread

Companies far and wide are doing what they can in support of the global citizen by retooling their factories and supply chains. Auto manufactures, distilleries, home product companies, and others are all stopping production of their standard business products and shifting their expertise towards making items like masks, sanitizer, and respirators.

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States of Emergency

Over the last few days, the governors of Florida and Washington have declared a state of emergency for their respective states. Typically, a state of emergency is declared during times of natural disaster or in preparation for largescale weather-related events, but what does a state of emergency mean? According to the state of New Jersey, “The Governor declares a State of Emergency when he/she believes a disaster has occurred or may be imminent that is severe enough to require State aid to supplement local resources in preventing or alleviating damages, loss, hardship or suffering. This declaration authorizes the Governor to speed State agency assistance to communities in need. It enables him to make resources immediately available to rescue, evacuate, shelter, provide essential commodities (i.e., heating fuel, food etc.) and quell disturbances in affected localities. It may also position the State to seek federal assistance when the scope of the event exceeds the State’s resources.”

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Libya’s Oil Export Problems

Libya is an OPEC member nation in Africa, according to their information on OPEC’s website, “Libya is the 16th largest country in the world in terms of land mass, comprising around 1,760 thousand square kilometres. More than a quarter of the country’s six million plus inhabitants live in its capital city, Tripoli. Arabic is the main language. Apart from petroleum, Libya’s other natural resources are natural gas and gypsum. Its economy depends primarily on the oil sector, which represents about 69 per cent of export earnings. Moreover, the oil and gas sector accounts for about 60 per cent of total GDP.” Unfortunately, Libya is in the middle of civil war, starting in 2011 with the fall of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. The fight is between the United Nations-backed government seated in Tripoli and the Libyan National Army based in the eastern portions of the country, and unfortunately that leaves Libya’s National Oil Company sitting in the middle trying to remain a neutral party.

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Local Gains on Foreign Pains

For those of you who may not remember, in 2015 auto giant Volkswagen AG was found guilty of intentionally installing sensors to “cheat” or “pass” the Clean Air Act emissions tests. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports, complicit companies had to pay settlement monies out of over 10 billion dollars. Those dollars went in two directions, the first went to pay to remove all of the non-compliant from the road and the second went to produce green alternatives.

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Card Skimming Is On the Rise

Card skimming continues to become a growing problem with the card industry. Skimmers are small devices installed by criminals on fuel pumps and other devices to steal information from credit and debit cards. The rate of skimming occurrences have been on the rise nationally. Recently, articles have been published in Florida stating, that since 2015 Florida authorities have found over 2,800 skimming devices, and in the first half of 2019 authorities have found 259 skimming devices. This is a nation-wide concern, and there are a few simple ways to help prevent becoming a victim to card skimming.

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