Climate change closes factories, prices will rise for all goods


Reading the news these days is not a task for the faint of heart. On the air you see how the usual way of life is being destroyed, and the climate becomes the culprit of these changes. I am sure that even if you have been to Antarctica, you have never seen pink ice, now such an opportunity presented itself.

Warm weather encourages the growth of algae, which turns the ice pink or green. Extremely high temperatures for Antarctica lead to ice melting, and the development of algae increases the rate of melting, the process accelerates. And this is only part of what is happening in the world.

Earthquakes in Japan, Armenia and other corners, the eruption of Mount Etna, which you can follow online without leaving your apartment or office. These miracles do not surprise us, they look familiar and expected. The climate is changing, and the speed of these changes is amazing, everything is happening before our eyes. The Baltic froze, the cold made its way to Europe, and a small number of Solaris electric buses stopped in Berlin. These 12-meter machines were supposed to be able to operate at temperatures as low as minus 11 degrees Celsius, but a check before entering the route showed that the batteries were discharged and the power reserve would not be enough for the entire route. Schedule delays, fewer buses on the route.

Climate change closes factories, prices will rise for all goods

Interestingly, these electric buses began to operate in December 2020, but the wear of the batteries in some of them is already noticeable, and they simply cannot withstand light cold weather. I am sure that Solaris did not expect that such a wave of cold weather would overwhelm Europe and their equipment would be forced to work on the verge of the set temperature range. It’s no secret that manufacturers often test completely new equipment and claim that it can withstand a certain temperature range. In electric vehicles, it will almost never be maintained if the batteries are badly worn out and the interior needs to be heated. This is so in any electric car, traveling in a Tesla across California, we always froze in the evening, but we tried to use the stove as little as possible, as the battery sat down before our eyes. And one question arose – freeze in the desert or still get to the station, which was a hundred miles away, and replace the batteries with new ones, continue the journey.

But it’s one thing when we talk about exploitation and the choice of technology, after all, there is no bad weather, there are clothes that are not suitable for it. So here, under the weather conditions, you can choose the equipment that will work in them, people live in the Far North in Russia and enjoy all the benefits of civilization. But climate change hits just the weak spots, where it used to be warm, it suddenly becomes cold. Roads in Texas, for example, are simply not designed for snowstorms, since it is easy to slide off them into a ditch, and the speed of movement drops sharply, and the number of accidents is growing. Many motorists do not even have the appropriate rubber on their cars, since the climate does not imply such a need.

For many years, Texas has developed green energy, such as windmills, which are supposed to generate electricity. In sub-zero temperatures, the wind turbines froze, they were not designed for use in such conditions. Whose fault is it? Perhaps, we can say that it is no one’s fault here, no one imagined that the climate would change and snow would fill the sky of this state, and at the same time there would be sub-zero temperatures. There were no prerequisites to increase the cost of generators, to protect them from bad weather. And as a result, the state received rolling blackouts, as it simply cannot handle the load. All media talk about the need to turn off household electrical appliances, refrain from watching TV and save energy as much as possible. Look at a map of US power outages.

Climate change closes factories, prices will rise for all goods

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The worst situation is in Texas, out of 12.5 million users offline and without electricity, 3.3 million. But the data is not very accurate, since there is no power, estimates may underestimate the estimate, plus power lines may be cut off due to bad weather. Texas today can be safely considered a natural disaster zone, when freezing temperatures brought the power system to its knees. But nothing of the kind happened there, just a week with snow, freezing temperatures, and a huge state suddenly experiences problems. Strange, don’t you think?

Climate change closes factories, prices will rise for all goods

In fact, the design of power systems did not take into account the possibility of such temperatures, they were considered unlikely. The system itself did not take into account the massive failure of individual components, the explosive growth in electricity consumption. Do you think that communication works there? In areas without electricity, there is practically no connection. Most American operators do not have diesel generators (expensive, and why are they needed, because nothing bad will happen!). So that you can assess the level of problems, I will say that T-Mobile has been limitedly alive since Monday evening in cities such as Dallas, Houston, Austin. Imagine for a moment that in St. Petersburg Tele2 suddenly lay down for all subscribers and this lasts for days.

Officially, T-Mobile advised using Wi-Fi calls to unload the cellular network, switch to SMS, since they do not load the network, there was no talk about mobile data, since the Internet practically did not work in Texas in the first days of the week. You can enjoy the advice here.

Climate change closes factories, prices will rise for all goods

The snow storm that swept America is not something familiar to those places, it is literally a natural disaster. All engineers in different companies lived with limited budgets, could not lay an additional margin of safety, as a result, different systems fell apart one after another. And everything turned into a disaster, because, in addition to T-Mobile, everyone, without exception, had problems.

Now imagine that you have a house in Texas, your electricity went out on Monday, you want to go somewhere to a big city, for example, to Dallas. Your Tesla has a range of 100 miles from power, you didn’t have time to charge the car. And what to do? The answer is simple – nothing. From now on, you are tied to a place, you must wait for the electricity to be restored, and only after that you can do at least something. Without energy, without light, in a cold house, moreover, without any connection with the outside world. The prospect is not very bright, and certainly no one wants to get into such conditions.

This is what happens in the moment in the life of ordinary people. But in the same Texas there are many industries, including those related to electronics. Often, production facilities are located where there is a consumer of their products. For example, there are two Samsung factories in Texas, they produce RAM for computers and servers, SSD, mobile processors. In the absence of energy, they switched to diesel generators, were able to stop the conveyors. A day of downtime for such a factory means that the company is suffering millions in losses, but the global market is facing an even greater memory shortage than before. In total, there are more than a dozen factories and factories in the field of semiconductors in Texas, many seem to be nonsense, but there are also giants, for example, NXP Semiconductors, Infineon Semiconductors, Samsung. All these factories do not work today, they stand without electricity.

We are used to considering natural disasters in Southeast Asia, where there is a huge concentration of industries, as a threat. After each natural disaster, an audit of who was affected begins, how the volume of a particular component in the global market will decrease. But nothing like this has happened for the United States before, now we see that there are no safe havens in the world. The climate is reshaping all supply chains, which will exacerbate the component shortages caused by the trade war, which means that the prices of all goods will go up. And this applies to any electronics, including cars or household appliances, where certain semiconductors are also used. You can irony about what is happening for as long as you like – the snow was scared, is it frost? But the fact is that the world is very fragile, and international integration is such that we depend on individual countries in one area or another. Something unusual happens, for example, a blizzard in Texas, and the whole world, without exception, pays for it. We are forced to buy goods at different prices or not buy them at all, since they cannot be released.

Another change for business will be that most major manufacturers will now stockpile large quantities of components to avoid the impact of disasters, changes in the political landscape. And this is a return to the origins, an increase in the cost of products, since the content of large warehouse stocks automatically falls on the cost of goods, increases it.

What we see at the beginning of 2021 can be described as a new normality, and these are only flowers, further the level of problems will only grow. As in a computer game, where with each level everything becomes more and more difficult. But life is not a game where you can save yourself and return to the very beginning if something does not work out. Flirting with green energy, unresolved problems with greenhouse gases – all this leads to problems that more and more come to the surface. We often even stop noticing these problems, they are so fed up. Look at the Olympic medals that the Japanese created.

Climate change closes factories, prices will rise for all goods

They are made from recycled, recycled electronics. There are already so many electronics in landfills in the world that we can create new things out of it for decades, but almost no one is doing this. We multiply electronics every year, no one thinks about ecology as such, although there is a lot of talk about it out loud. And there is something to think about, because climate change will lead to the fact that old electronics will become an expensive commodity before our very eyes. The cost of all goods, without exception, will rise, and the old electronics were “mined” in the heyday, when they cost a penny. And therefore, the recycling of such old electronics will become justified, we will see fundamentally different approaches to the market. But there is also bad news, the era of cheap things is gradually coming to an end, from now on all goods will grow in price. This will cause many social upheavals in all corners of the world. But the climate is to blame. Although, on the other hand, it was we who changed the climate so that we passed the point of no return, and we will be stormy for the coming decades. I can say with complete confidence that the old world order is over, a new era begins for humanity. How comfortable it will be for us depends only on what we will do. So far, there are no preconditions that the standard of living will remain at the same level.

PS I don’t know about you, but I want to have time to see what will soon be in the past, to have time to different parts of our country (the world has already managed to see it in full). The mood is cheerful, as tickets to the first row of this performance were unwittingly received and now it remains to watch what is happening. I can promise you one thing for sure – it will not be boring, there will be enough fun for everyone.

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