Friday Linkage 3/29/2013

It finally feels like spring with the mercury tickling 50 degrees and the sun coming out for long stretches at a time.  It’s the perfect weather to put a vest on and chase the kids around outside for a change.

On to the links…

How The EPA Could Help Cut Carbon Emissions 17% By 2020—There seems to be so much room for the government to affect climate change without resorting to the swamp that is Congress it makes you wonder how much of a stomach the President has for this kind of action.  It’s not like he is running for office again.

Life After Oil and Gas—This opinion article got a lot of play over the last week and it should have because it gets at the central fallacy of fossil fuels.  Is the use of fossil fuels a need or a choice?  When the question is asked, the argument is on.

Rising Solar Power Production In U.S. Likely To Make It Second-Largest New Source In 2013—For anyone who does not believe that solar photovoltaic is a real and viable technology, just look at the stats.  The part of the story that often does not get told about solar is that it is generally generated near the point of consumption, so no costly infrastructure is needed for deployment.

Chasing Green: Going Solar by Paying Your Utility Bill—All of these different financing vehicles for deploying renewables are fascinating.  I saw a project in Breckenridge where individuals could purchase “plots” in a solar PV “garden” instead of deploying panels on their own homes.  It’s getting real folks.

Agriculture Giants Use Emergency Budget Bill To Sneak In Big Gifts For Themselves—Surprise, surprise that big companies would use their lobbying power to sneak “gifts” into emergency budgets meant to avert a government shutdown.  I love how biotech firms are allowed to willy-nilly deploy unproven seeds into the marketplace without proving safety and now the government is trying to shield them further.  Shameful really.

Are Agriculture’s Most Popular Insecticides Killing Our Bees?—I always love how it is treated like a revelation when the use of chemicals by humans is found to have a detrimental effect on nature.  You mean to say that after millions of years of evolution there might be a reason why these compounds do not exist naturally?  Shocking!

The Sly Coyote Becomes a Hunter’s Target in Utah—We always want to blame nature’s predators for things when the problem really lies within our own actions as humans.  Just look at what the state of Oregon is doing to sea lions in the name of salmon.  Never mind that human interference is leaps and bounds more damaging to salmon populations than sea lions ever could be.

SS Badger and EPA Reach an Agreement—I find this agreement to be pathetic.  Allowing the dumping of any waste into Lake Michigan is deplorable and allowing it to continue is nothing short of weakness.

Grasping at Straw—I saw this article and another similar story on Root Simple.  I fell in love with the concept and ordered the book by Joel Karsten right away.  So cool.

Heating Homes With Switchgrass Pellets Could Save Northeasterners Billions And Cut Their Carbon Emissions—I am fascinated with pellet stoves and switchgrass.  Combine the two and I think I might be in love.

Kraft Mac & Cheese Is Nutritionally Equivalent to Cheez-Its—The good old standby in the blue box is having a tough go of it lately.  First, the online world is abuzz that the dyes used in American Mac & Cheese are not used globally because of concerns about long term safety.  Now, it’s being compared to the symbol of nutritional absence—the cheese cracker.

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