Friday Linkage 11/11/2011

The weather really turned this week–waking up to snowfall and slush will make you feel that way–so old man winter is coming on hard.  Makes me want to curl up with a good book, a hot cup of coffee, and hide under a couple of layers of blankets.

Who Pays Taxes–Over the last three years, 30 major corporations in the United States paid nothing in taxes while making a combined $160 BILLION in profits.  Yep, these are the same people asking for more tax cuts and getting traction on the issue with Republican presidential candidates.  Of course, when the leading candidate right now is Herman Cain you know the field is grasping at straws.

Check out the chart:

$101 Billion in Profits for Big Five Oil Companies–The same people who tell us that subsidies are critical to their business have booked $101 BILLION in profits for the first nine months of 2011.  Yep, nine months of business equals over $100 BILLION dollars.  Sure, you guys need all the government help you can get.

Photo Tour of the Rainbow Warrior III–The Guardian has a nice interactive photo of the latest iteration of Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior.  Numbering the third, this has to be one of the coolest boats out there spreading the message about the perilous situation of our oceans.  I am not going to go all Paul Watson and accuse Greenpeace of being the “Avon ladies of the environmental movement.”

National Parks Chief Blocked Plan for Bottle Ban–Just sad that a multi-national corporation can meddle in the affairs of the National Parks in such a way that is detrimental to the preservation of the parks themselves.  Again, who runs the show?

Polluting Ferry Seeks Landmark Status–Nothing says landmark like a big boat that pollutes Lake Michigan.  Why is this even something that is being proposed?

You Might Not be Buying Honey–The innocuous honey bear may actually not contain any “real” honey because the product has been filtered so extensively to mask its origins.  This all comes back to concern over product safety and pricing from Chinese sourced products.  So, consumers are left to do the work themselves.  Just buy locally sources honey if possible.  It’s better all the way around.

How to Build a Solar Generator on Wheels–After watching the long saga of people on the east coast of the United States trying to get power back, it made me want to ensure at least some level of independence from the grid in an emergency.  A gas generator seems so wrong, but this might be the answer.  It would also be useful in the zombie apocalypse.

Solar Power’s Good News–The silver lining in the mess surrounding the implosion of Solyndra is that the business model no longer worked.  Why?  The price per watt for solar PV has been dropping steadily for years now and is increasingly on par with the price per watt of other electrical generation methods.  Heck, it might even be advantageous when one considers the infrastructure cost of power lines for massive power stations or wind farms.

How to Build a Pipeline:


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