Friday Linkage 7/22/2011

Don’t know what happened last week, but the links from 7/15 were published yesterday.  Probably an artifact of the heat affecting my brain.

It has been nothing short of brutal here in Iowa this week.  The heat wave that is broiling most of the middle of the United States has really settled in and everyone is getting a little squirrely.  Heat index readings in excess of 110 degrees will do that to people.  I guess now would be a bad time to ask Congress to think about taking up a bill tackling climate change.  Clowns.

A Way to Save America’s Bees—The decline of the honeybee population in the United States is well documented even if the causes are not.  Solutions have been proposed, but the answer posited by this article is elegant in its simplicity: let rangelands serve as vast homes for pollinators.  Interesting.

Midwest Economy Would Get Boost From Clean Energy Investment—I file these sort of studies under the “Duh!” category because it seems so simple.  Maybe I am jaded by seeing wind farms being constructed in Iowa and knowing people who work in facilities across the state producing components for these very same farms.

Conservative Media Misled Light Bulb Consumers—t has been a bad week for Rupert Murdoch and his media empire.  Considering that the repeal of new light bulb efficiency standards is a dead letter in the Senate and it would not get past President Obama’s veto pen there is little threat.  However, the case illustrates the lengths that conservative media will go to in order to demonize anyone who disagrees even tangentially with their worldview.  Too bad for them most of the world disagrees with their worldview.  This cartoon nails it:

 

MediaMatters also has a great mash-up of Fox News personalities—I hesitate to call them journalists or anything dignified—in full demagogue mode about the specter of energy efficient light bulbs.

Plastic: the good, the bad, and the ugly—Mike Sanclements spent the past two weeks trying to purge plastic from his life.  No easy task.  In the end, I think his assessment of plastics falling into three categories is totally spot on.  Too often, we demonize plastic in general rather than focusing purely on the disposable or single use plastics that are truly evil.

Car Makers Oppose Fuel Standards—Never mind the future savings for consumers, how about the fact that the U.S. taxpayer is the one who bailed out the auto industry thus enabling GM and Chrysler to even be standing here today.  My bad, it’s necessary for a giant corporation to get a handout but when it comes to saving consumers money it’s a government overreach.

Soap Harmful to Teens—Soap containing a pesticide…who thought this was a good idea?  Apparently the geniuses at Bath & Body Works, that emporium of infinite scent variety, thought that it would be grand to include triclosan in one of its summer varietals.  Never mind that triclosan does not make the soap more effective than just regular soap and water.  Or, that triclosan can act as a hormone disruptor.

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