Friday Linkage 12/7/2012

It’s December.  If I thought the holiday spirit of crass commercialism, bad songs, and even worse parties was in full gear last week it’s like a double barreled blast of nasty in my face now.

On to the links…

Tim DeChristopher Blocked from Doing Social Justice Work—What a joke.  Considering that he was imprisoned for protesting something that was later ruled invalid is just the beginning of this sordid tale.  At the end of the day the U.S. federal government has appeared to be nothing more than a petty bully.

Cornstalks Everywhere, but Nothing Else—It is sad to drive past acre after acre of corn planted in fields realizing that none of it is really “food” in the traditional sense.  It’s not like I can take an ear of field corn and consume it or get any nutrition from it.  It appears that is true for the natural world as well.

Tree Puts on More Wood at 3,200 Years Old Than Younger Trees–Amazing, simply amazing.  The more we learn about the natural world the more I am convinced that we have not explored the potential that is present.  But, we have managed to produce Honey Boo Boo so humans are doing something right.

Countries Spend Five Times  More on Fossil Fuel Subsidies than Climate Aid—This really should not surprise anyone.  For all the talk about how dynamic the oil and gas sector is in the economy, it truly is one of the most subsidized and supported industries in the modern economy.  About the only thing worse is the military industrial complex.

Will India Surge Ahead of the West in Renewable Energy?—India seems to be the new laboratory for renewable energy because the current infrastructure is so decrepit that the hope is India can leap beyond the step of a centralized system—a la the West—and to a distributed generation model.  Hmmm….

U.S. Energy Outlook: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly—With all due apologies to Sergio Leone, the U.S. energy future is a mixed bag.  A lot of this depends on one thing: the price of natural gas and the ability of companies to continue fracking.  If natural gas gets a lot more expensive than renewables become even more attractive vis a vis coal due to the truly brutal negatives for coal generated power.

Chevrolet Volt Owners have Driven 100 Million Electric Miles—The Chevrolet Volt seems like one of the most interesting stories in next generation automobiles.  Every day there is a story about the insane amount of data that is being collected about the driving behaviors of the owners that speaks volumes more than any anecdote ever could.

Good News for Coffee Drinkers: It’s Basically a Nutrient—Essential for my daily life, but a nutrient?  Sweet.  Now all those late nights and early mornings at my “real” job can qualify as wellness improvement.

A New Day is Coming for St. Paul’s Union Depot—The Twin Cities really seem to have it going on lately.  First, the cities are amazing biking destinations even when you factor in the brutal winter.  Second, mass transit is really happening in a lot of places with the light rail expansion, North Star commuter rail, and the reopening of St. Paul’s Union Depot.  Plus, the city is a great destination for beer drinkers.

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