Friday Linkage 6/1/2012

It’s June.  The change in the calendar from May to June does not really bring any dramatic changes with it, but June feels like the height of summer along with July and August.

We finally got a good day of soaking rain here in eastern Iowa.  The grass was getting a little parched and the plants were starting to wilt a little in the sun.  Now everything is waiting to green right up when the sun hits it over the next couple of days.

On to the links…

Mitt Romney and American Crossroads are Hypocrites and Asses—A new ad from Karl Rove’s love child American Crossroads is out disparaging solar energy.  You know the drill—Solyndra, failure, your tax dollars, Evergreen Solar…wait a second, Evergreen Solar?  Apparently, this company was so bad that a Massachusetts governor supported them with $2.5M.  Too bad for Mitt Romney that he was the governor at the time.  What do you expect from a guy who’s moral compass is as firm as the doodle on an Etch-a-Sketch?

$55M Came From Where?—If you did not think the Citizens United ruling was a big deal, wait until you read the story from the Los Angeles Times about the Center to Protect Patients’ Rights.  Who?  You already forgot the name of the organization?  That’s okay because that was the intent and Citizens United made it all possible.  Where does an organization that is so forgettable manage to get $55M?  Who knows?  Most people are guessing that it’s coming from the sleaze ball Koch Brothers, but it could be coming from China or Iran or North Korea.  Where there is no transparency there is always corruption.

If You Cannot Find Any Supporters Just Hire a Few—You have to love the fact that no one likes the coal industry enough to attend meetings on its behalf, so the spin meisters turn to Craig’s List in order to drum up some extras.  $50 and lunch to attend a meeting wearing a t-shirt supporting the coal industry.  Nothing says grassroots like that!

There’s an Energy Revolution Brewing in Bihar, India—Given the developed world’s slow deployment of a full portfolio of alternatives and continued support of fossil fuels through massive subsidies, the alternative energy revolution might have to be fanned by the developing world.  Why?  Because they are not wedded to the same grid of old solutions and infrastructure like the developed world.

Electric Cars Equal $1 Gallon Gasoline for Life—The title pretty much lays it out.

Painting Roofs White Could Help “Turn the World Off for a Year”—Low hanging fruit, like painting roofs white, exist.  In order to reduce the likelihood of catastrophic climate change everyone should be embracing these options.  Instead, you will get Republican politicians chirping that the color of one’s roof is a symbol of liberty and this represents government tyranny or some such eighth grade libertarian tripe.

Hawaii Bans the Plastic Bag—It’s not quite so simple—exceptions do abound—but Hawaii became the first state in the U.S. to ban plastic bags at checkout.  Here is to hoping that we can see more action like this in other states.

Bottled Water Sales Hit New High in U.S.—In 2011, bottled water sales hit new highs for volume after declining in 2008 and 2009.  Ugh.  When are we ever going to forgo the bottled water obsession in this country.  I suppose it’s better than everyone chugging down high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, and water in a bottle, but not by much.

Can BPA Make you Fat?—The more that is discovered about BPA (bisphenol A) the more that it looks like one of the worst chemical actors currently in common contact with our bodies.  Yet, there are companies out there defending the chemical to the ends of the earth.

How to Destroy the Planet from the Comfort of your Own Home—I found this series of articles enjoyable because it showed in the framework of a single home the massive changes that have taken place in a relatively short period of time.  Unlike most changes over time, a lot of these have been bad but are masked by modern convenience.  Granted, some things have gotten better like the removal of heavy metals and the reduction in personal coal burning.  If you get a chance check out the author’s net energy zero home.

How the Chicken Conquered the World—An interesting long form read from the Smithsonian Magazine about the relative dominance of the chicken in our culture and cuisine.

Last Weekend, Half of Germany Ran on Solar Power–Oh yeah, solar power cannot meet the demands of modern industrialized country.  Whatever clowns!  The infographic in the linked article just blows my mind considering that the U.S. has 3900% more sun power available for PV applications than Germany.  Huh?  Every time I see the word gigawatt I think of Doc Brown yelling “1.21 gigawatts!”


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