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TSLA, biodiversity collapse & climate change

9837264723849

Member
Aug 24, 2014
948
3,760
France
This would solve a big part of climate change, for sure.
That's why I've invested all my savings into Tesla since 2012, for the record.

But by making all our energy renewable, we may introduce some big changes into the way we inhabit this planet.

If we can
  • travel and commute with almost-zero emissions
  • use our commute to work and play, thanks to FSD
  • build clean houses that are off-grid and super-efficient (thanks to solar roof, power-walls and Tesla HVAC)
  • enjoy low latency, high speed internet thanks to Starlink
then, many could choose to move out of dense cities and into large houses and with a nice garden, and live into the wild (as much as possible). Of course, many would prefer to live close to friends and family, but that has always beeen the case and with cheap autonomous transportation and digitization, the balance between our social closeness and our living environment can only increasingly favor the second (to the detriment of the environment).

Everywhere I look, I notice more and more people expecting clean energy and digitization to allow them to finally move to a bigger place and enjoy nature. You can look at all the early retirement threads and Cybertruck dreasm here on TMC or any Tesla fan community, for a start.

That would be fine, only if
  • few people had the means and desire for such a life (but it's getting more affordable to do -- as explained by Cathie Wood with her massive deflation thesis -- and no one talks about moving into more dense cities nowadays)
  • the collapse of biodiversity was not a problem that is at least as big as climate change
I recommend to read the summary of the IPBES' Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services to evaluate the risk of a collapse of natural ecosystems and compare the thread with climate change. Both may be irremediable, but the second may collapse faster than society will suffer from climate change.

Now, what does this have to do with TSLA?

IMHO, Tesla has managed to force all energy and transportation companies to embrace renewable energy (at least for cars, super cars, pickup trucks and, soon, semis and electricty generation)

But I don't know a company that has a similar influence on the biodiversity issue, which has little to do with renewable energy but more with humans' physical footprint on natural habitats (see Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services - Wikipedia). One can veggie (and there's Beyond Meat that is leading the charge on the business side), but very few businesses, for now, would gain financially from limiting our impact on biodiversity. Hey, we gotta make stuff and rebuild our infrastructure, right?

At some point, we may focus out attention from climate change to biodiversity, and Tesla could well we be perceived as a contributor to the rapid expansion of our footprint. Sure, the expansion would be "clean", it would still impinge on nature, with dramatic consequences on natural habitats -- even if you don't make noise and emit no CO2 (see Biodiversity loss - Wikipedia for all known causes)

I don't know when this will happen , but I'm sure this will happen sooner than later. See how long it took societies to do something about climate change. We move very slowly: we started decades ago and we keep emitting more and more CO2! The problem is that we have almost not started to work on the biodiversity thing, and the effects could be worst and felt sooner that the climate thing. So the switch will certainly be brutal (more than Elon's realization that bitcoin hashing is bad for the environment).

I'm worried that Tesla may not be able to mange those two things at once. For example, no Tesla products is well suited for a dense cities (I, for one, live in a tiny flat in Paris that has little to gain from a solar roof, and I don't ride in car but trains and bicycle). Tesla could benefit from serving the "urban" market, to make it as enjoyable as possible (versus the Cybertruck way of live) and to not pass of a contributor to the biodiversity catastrophe.

I also believe that future competitors of Tesla will take advantage of such a blind spot, sooner than later.

I'd like to read your thoughts on this, both as investors and a citizens of this liveable planet.
 

9837264723849

Member
Aug 24, 2014
948
3,760
France
Also, I'd appreciate suggestions of forums where this topic is discussed. I don't think many TSLA investors worry about this, but I prefer to focus on the very long term (I'm young enough for that 😅)
 

LightngMcQueen

Reject Irrationality
Nov 16, 2020
21
77
Canada
On related note... and possibly area of bigger impact than Tesla. What is the reception of plant based foods and in particular Beyond Meat in France ?

I did notice shift away from animal products in some European countries, however France has specific food culture.
 
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9837264723849

Member
Aug 24, 2014
948
3,760
France
On related note... and possibly area of bigger impact than Tesla. What is the reception of plant based foods and in particular Beyond Meat in France ?

I did notice shift away from animal products in some European countries, however France has specific food culture.
Difficult to say.

I've become vegetarian two years ago for environmental reasons (although I really loved eating meat, fish and shellfish). My girlfriend had been one for her whole life already so it was easy. We don't buy food specifically made for vegetarian though, we just cook meals with lots of lentils, peas, beans and some tofu occasionally.

My family is very traditional in gastronomy, so it's been quite a ride (my father was CEO of a major firm in the food industry). They seem not to want to understand what vegetarianism is, and they keep asking us if we eat meat, poultry or fish. They just forget, over and over for some reasons (ah, ignorance is a bliss!).

My (Parisian) coworkers are more curious and they've been reducing meat consumption significantly over the past 4 years, but none of us has to worry about the food prices as we're quite privileged and sensitized on the topic (so typical bobo). One is quasi vegetarian already and we've both became members of a local Community Supported Agriculture organization. We mostly eat at home these days thanks to WFH or do meal prep, so it helps too.

It's really easy to find veggie-compible restaurants in Paris these days. I don't look for them but quickly look at the menu to find meals without meat and that don't need it (they're used to modify the recette when you ask). It's harder in the provinces, especially the ones known for their meaty gastronomy (or when Parisian are not really welcome) but things are moving slowly (many big cities switch greens in the last municipal elections, with plenty of stupid, baseless scandals -- see in Lyon) . Anecdote: I've been assaulted by a chef once in Luberon just because I ask not to have duck in their so-called "veggie salad". I'll be going to Périgord next week for vacation, so it's should be fun too (I'll rent a Zoé there so we'll be asking for charging to add icing on the cake, lol).

I tried a Beyond Meat burger once in Paris, but had to look for it. It was "okay" but I'm avoiding heavily-processed food nowadays so I probably won't try again. I know a few McDonalds have had veggie options for years, even in Auvergne. In Paris, there are lots of small restaurants for bobos, so there's plenty of veggie, home-made options. I know often forget that my diet is not typical.
 
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9837264723849

Member
Aug 24, 2014
948
3,760
France
I found an article in French that covers the new Climate vs Biodiversity dilemma. It should translate well in Google Translate or DeepL:
#36 : Le piège de la focalisation sur le (seul) climat

English: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3


1*vDI8jT0kH5PztIdpj2FLWw.jpeg


Extracts
Confusion, with potentially serious consequences, has taken hold in the public debate about current environmental concerns. It consists in considering that climate change is the only environmental emergency, of truly global scope

(...)

On the environmental issue, biodiversity is the subject least understood by economists, who already have great difficulty in integrating the climate issueestimated in 2019 economist Gaël Giraud.

For Guillaume Sainteny, " the increasingly frequent monetization of climate change has the consequence of making it an" environmental object "more" serious "than others, [which would be] more difficult to quantify ". He adds that “this monetarization also contributes to transforming climate change into an economic issue [and therefore into an opportunity], potentially becoming more legitimate than other environmental issues ”.

Jean-Marc Jancovici, on the same line, completes the explanation: “ the climate has favorable elements to push the actors to look at the problem:
  • It has a long-standing one-stop-shop for access to scientific information (the IPCC)
  • There is a planetary threshold for emissions not to be exceeded (3,000 billion tonnes of CO2 cumulatively from 1850 to 2100),
  • The nuisance is monetized (carbon price but not only).
Biodiversity doesn't have that. Its IPCC (IPBES) is recent, the yellow frog equivalent tonne remains to be invented, and the quantifiable threshold is difficult to establish ”.

(...)

Decarbonisation must go hand in hand with the protection of biodiversity without the first ambition being deployed to the detriment of the other ; this imperative is still far from being sufficiently integrated. Priority should be given to measures that simultaneously help preserve the climate and biodiversity (and land), in particular by giving priority to “nature-based solutions” that promote natural carbon sinks.
 
Last edited:
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LightngMcQueen

Reject Irrationality
Nov 16, 2020
21
77
Canada
Difficult to say.

I've become vegetarian two years ago for environmental reasons (although I really loved eating meat, fish and shellfish). My girlfriend had been one for her whole life already so it was easy. We don't buy food specifically made for vegetarian though, we just cook meals with lots of lentils, peas, beans and some tofu occasionally.

My family is very traditional in gastronomy, so it's been quite a ride (my father was CEO of a major firm in the food industry). They seem not to want to understand what vegetarianism is, and they keep asking us if we eat meat, poultry or fish. They just forget, over and over for some reasons (ah, ignorance is a bliss!).

My (Parisian) coworkers are more curious and they've been reducing meat consumption significantly over the past 4 years, but none of us has to worry about the food prices as we're quite privileged and sensitized on the topic (so typical bobo). One is quasi vegetarian already and we've both became members of a local Community Supported Agriculture organization. We mostly eat at home these days thanks to WFH or do meal prep, so it helps too.

It's really easy to find veggie-compible restaurants in Paris these days. I don't look for them but quickly look at the menu to find meals without meat and that don't need it (they're used to modify the recette when you ask). It's harder in the provinces, especially the ones known for their meaty gastronomy (or when Parisian are not really welcome) but things are moving slowly (many big cities switch greens in the last municipal elections, with plenty of stupid, baseless scandals -- see in Lyon) . Anecdote: I've been assaulted by a chef once in Luberon just because I ask not to have duck in their so-called "veggie salad". I'll be going to Périgord next week for vacation, so it's should be fun too (I'll rent a Zoé there so we'll be asking for charging to add icing on the cake, lol).

I tried a Beyond Meat burger once in Paris, but had to look for it. It was "okay" but I'm avoiding heavily-processed food nowadays so I probably won't try again. I know a few McDonalds have had veggie options for years, even in Auvergne. In Paris, there are lots of small restaurants for bobos, so there's plenty of veggie, home-made options. I know often forget that my diet is not typical.

Thank you @9837264723849 for your detailed explanation! This information is extremely useful - doubling down on positive $TSLA experience of last 5 years, I have invested significantly in BYND. I am very positive about its prospects, and believe BYND SP growth prospects for next 10 years are ~2X those of TSLA for the same time frame.

I have been eating mostly plant based in the last ~15 years ... from what you describe France seems to go through similar changes as North America, but maybe lagging the cultural transition wave by around 10 years. I have been following developments in other European countries, and was particularly surprised by the speed at which vegetarian options gain acceptance in Germany and even Italy .. land of the veal.

Since you were so kind sharing useful information I have some follow up issues to explore. First, I would like to qualify that the level of processing in BYND Meat is comparable or in fact of lower to that of baguette (gridding, mixing and cooking of vegetable ingredients) and in fact BYND burger is definitely less processed and has fewer additives and processing by products than say baguette with ham and ripened cheese.

Lets assume for a moment that it will take several years for this fact to become accepted, as it took many years to accept that EVs are not polluting more "because electricity is from coal".

How important will be the price for average French shopper?
BYND will reach price parity and undercut meat within ~3 years, given the simplicity of the ingredients and the largely automated process it is really no brainer. How do you think the meat substitutes like BYND will be received by general population which is facing having bigger day to day issues than "caring for the future"? In North American or German culture cheaper food substitutes are traditionally very well accepted (as in American "cheese" or German Ersatz's)
Do you think that undercutting price of meat by 10..20% would unlock significant demand in France ?

How aware are the French of actual conditions of factory meat industry, I am talking not just cruelty, but contamination, antibiotics and hormone use, animal waste disposal etc. ? Is there a concerted industry effort to hide this behind AgGag legislation like we see in North America?

What are the attitudes of French farmers to the transition? Do they see it as a threat or an opportunity ?
 

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