Friday Linkage 3/15/2013

I am a little perplexed by the sudden fascination with the Catholic Church.  Sure, a new pope was elected to replace a prior pope who had retired which in and of itself was somewhat historic.  However, where is the coverage of the actions of the Catholic Church when there is no smoke coming from a sad little chimney stuck on the roof of the Sistine Chapel?  Here is an organization with worldwide influence that fails, time and time again, in recent history to really speak out for the most vulnerable members of its flock.  Sad.

On to the links…

The Rare Non-Sucky Infographic on Climate Change—I am a sucker for the infographic:


Iowa and South Dakota Approach 25 Percent Electricity from Wind in 2012—That’s my state baby!  Okay, Iowa not South Dakota.  I do not want to take credit for South Dakota.  It’s too bad that a lack of coherent federal policy may stifle the growth of homegrown, clean, unlimited energy in the Midwest.

In Search of Energy Metaphors Debunking the Inadequecy of Renewables—If you cannot actually find reasons to oppose the technology, play the metaphor game to make people think things are not ready for prime time.  Sorry folks, but renewables are real.  Today.

How Crowdfunding Lowers the Cost of Solar—Crowdfunding of solar projects really captures my imagination, but I believe it will be a hard sell overall.  Why?  Because energy companies hate anyone getting to play in their sandbox.  Just spend an afternoon at a rate adjustment hearing.

Japan Says it is First to Tap Methane Hydrate Deposits—Methane hydrate has always been a science fiction energy source to me.  I remember reading about deposits of frozen methane on the sea floors when I was in high school, which was over 15 years ago.  Now, it looks like the Japanese might have cracked the code.

New and Improved Biofuels Report Predicts Cost Competitive Cellulosic Ethanol—Imagine a liquid bio-fuel that was cost competitive with gasoline and was not derived from foodstuffs.  Yeah, cellulosic ethanol does seem like science fiction but it is real.  The problem has always been scaling production at a cost that is competitive.  It appears that the technical hurdles are being overcome, which means that the remaining hurdles are operational or logistic.

What Steamships and Landlines can Tell Us About the Decline of the Private Car—I thought this was an excellent thought piece on why certain technologies endure so long after their obvious eclipse by superior technologies or systems.  It’s also a warning to not be complacent about driving change because the most visible markers might be lagging indicators of progress.

State Efforts to Retake Public Lands Linked to ALEC—Big surprise that a conservative effort to privatize public lands for private gain or exploitation is traced back to the ever evil ALEC.  Does an original idea every come out of the minds of modern day conservative politicians or are they merely mouth pieces for conservative think tanks?

Doubling Back for the Road Kill—Does road kill qualify as the ultimate in sustainable meat?  I have lived in rural or semi-rural communities almost my entire life and I do not remember a single person eating road kill.  Ever.  Sure, people would take a buck home that had a nice rack to mount if it had been struck on the road but never the meat.

Bees Love Caffeine as Much as We Do—Why can I just see some bees talking to each other about the sweet nectar of that plant over there that just makes you fly!

BPA Harmless?  Not so Fast—Why would anyone try and rehabilitate BPA?  Probably because there is a lot of money involved.  Always follow the money.

Hospitals are Not Prepared to Deal with Nightmare Bacteria—If you want to read something that will really scare you…click on the link.  We have an antibiotic use regime that has created a class of super-bugs.  And we are not prepared to deal with those super-bugs because our methodologies and medicines have not kept up.  Joy.

Does Amendment 64 Herald a New Era for Hemp?—People are trying to figure out what Amendment 64 means in Colorado.  Sure, it ostensibly legalized marijuana at the state level but what does that mean for the wonder crop, hemp?

Rains or Not India is Falling Short on Drinking Water—The statistics about losing 30 to 70% of water to leakage and theft just blew me away.  How long before we realize that the true investments we need to be making to address the changing world are education and infrastructure?


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