Black Friday is over, Cyber Monday has passed, the leftovers from Thanksgiving have been eaten, and the assault of Christmas music has begun. BTW, has anyone recorded a new Christmas song, as opposed to covers of classics, in the last twenty or so years?
On to the links…
Don Young is an Ass–It is worth a moment to watch U.S. Representative Don Young (Republican-Alaska) make an ass out of himself during a hearing. Granted, historian Douglas Brinkley does a wonderful job of skewering this bully with forthright responses. Don Young deserves a Google bomb to associate his name with something appropriate.
There’s Arsenic in Your Kids’ Apple Juice–I do not know if I will be able to look at a juice box the same way again after reading about the arsenic content of apple juice. The failure to regulate this in a coherent way is why people distrust government. Granted, letting industry regulate themselves will just leave us drinking arsenic smoothies.
Secret Sara Lee Memo Leaked–Looks like a nice load of greenwashing to me. I guess if Tostitos can try and pass off industrial tortilla chips as “artisan” than Sara Lee can try to pass off the products of a brutal factory farm system as somehow wholesome. It is sickening what marketing hacks will appropriate in service to their corporate masters.
World’s Largest Marine Reserve Proposed–Australia has proposed creating the world’s largest marine reserve in the Coral Sea, site of some pretty ferocious naval battles in World War II. Additionally, this would be considered a “no take” area so fishing would be prohibited entirely. Between this and the carbon tax those folks down under are getting it done. Too bad that on a per capita basis they emit more carbon than any one else on the planet.
Landmines as a Tool of Preservation–On the other hand, there is the law of unintended consequences. This reminds me of reports on the pristine nature of the DMZ between North and South Korea. By forbidding humans to occupy and in most cases even transit an area for over 50 years nature has filled the void. Obviously, the bucolic nature of the DMZ or Bosnian landscapes is marred by the reality of what drove the lack of human presence.
Retirement Home for Orangutans–It may not be Boca or Sun City, but don’t these wonderful animals deserve some sort of home to call their own without having to worry about deforestation and predation? Just asking.
Natural Garden Enemies–The University of California-Davis has published a great poster of the beneficial insects in your landscape. These are not your enemies, but rather the enemies of the insects that you dislike because they ravage some part of your garden.
American Wrest Wrangles with Renewables–I wish people would stop using so many western metaphors when referring to anyplace that remotely smacks of rugged America. Judging by the issues surrounding drilling within city limits in Colorado the American West is wrangling with energy issues in general.
The Death of the Fringe Suburb–It is my belief that the death of the suburb is greatly oversold for the simple reason that people like the living arrangement. Sure, living an hour or more away from your job via a car based commute is insane. However, a lot of the suburban world does not live in that kind of arrangement.
The Myth of the Road Tax–As a cyclist this is one of my favorite arguments to have with car lovers who despise anything that does not belch fumes in copious amounts from a tailpipe sharing the road with their steel beasts. Every year someone will come up in a legislature to claim that cyclists are not paying their share for infrastructure, etc. However, neither are car users because the gas tax is so insignificant compared to the costs of the infrastructure.
Nowhere Else in the World is the Validity of Climate Science Debated–As the primary season heats up the rhetoric from the blowhard Republican candidates for President of the United States are sure to rally around the whole “climate science is not decided” camp. Too bad this is the only place in the world where the validity of the science is so commonly questioned by the relative mainstream. Ugh!
Don’t Buy this Jacket–Patagonia was really screaming at the rain on Black Friday when it ran this ad. There were still lines at the big boxes, pepper spraying for video games, and general silliness surrounding shopping. At least someone is trying to cut through the marketing and messaging to say something substantive.