Friday Linkage 4/5/2013

Damn, it’s April.  Where does the time go?

On to the links…

IMF’s ENERGY SUBSIDY REFORM: LESSONS AND IMPLICATIONS Report— This is one of those boring reads that is just loaded with information.  If you think for a moment that the fossil fuel industry in any way is self-sustaining you are either a moron or a Republican.

To Power Cars Solar is Orders of Magnitude More Efficient than Biofuel—When is solar not the best choice for generating electricity that is clean and renewable?  With the cost for panels coming down all the time the answer is getting to be never.

Online Solar Marketplace is Like eBay for Solar—Tapping the power of the investment community, even at a small scale retail investor, has the potential to pump billions into the solar market in terms of financing.  I think the tipping point for solar has been passed and we are in the off to the races stage of development now.

We’re Number One—The U.S. installed the most windpower in 2012, largely a function of projects racing to be completed before the expected expiration of the production tax credit, and GE was the number one supplier.  USA!  USA!

After Record 2012, World Wind Power Set to Top 300,000 Megawatts in 2013—Now, if we could just stop people from believing that renewables like wind and solar are incompatible with the grid we might get somewhere.  In the U.S. there is now enough installed capacity to power the equivalent of 14 million homes.  Damn.

Cape Wind Wins Financial Backing to the Tune of a Billion Dollars—Cape Wind has finally started to make real progress toward the goal of being the first U.S. offshore wind farm.  Too bad it is only going to be the 55th or 56th offshore wind farm in the world.  Although, the late mover advantage in play here may allow for Cape Wind to really benefit from the learning curve of European efforts.

How The Meat Industry Is Fueling The Rise Of Drug-Resistant Diseases—This is not a story that gets enough press.  We are creating deadly antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria because the current industrial system of animal husbandry is so awful.  It’s a completely synthetic problem in that we are raising so much meat in such horrible ways to feed people who do not need to eat so much meat.

Cost of Environmental Degradation in China is Growing—Someone may have claimed to find the fabled “portal to hell” in Turkey, but I believe that modern day China is about as close to hell as I can imagine.  It just seethes with pollution in a way that even the most dystopian visions fail to comprehend.

Throw Seeds at Your Garden—I am not about to take on this “low effort, high return” gardening method because I am a convert to the straw bale method, but it is enticing.

Maple Syrup Takes a Turn Toward Technology—I do possess a pretty romantic notion of sappers heading out into the woods to tap maple trees and cook down that gooey goodness.  Granted, I grew up with sappers in southeast Minnesota who looked forward to that magical time of year when the sap was running.

Tracking Graphene’s Move from Science Project to Money Maker—There is something about “wonder” materials that is inherently fascinating.  These simple materials seem to answer so many questions that it seems like modern day magic.  Too bad the promise never seems realized.

One in Four Americans Thinks President Obama might be the AntiChrist—How can anyone take an electorate seriously that imagines the president of the United States might be the antichrist.  Really?  Of course, 37% of the same electorate believes global warming is a hoax.  The part that really gets me is that only 14% believed in Bigfoot.  Huh?  I saw Harry and the Hendersons.  Sasquatch is rolling in the suburbs baby!

The Dark Side of Florida Gulf Coast University, March Madness Sweetheart— When you hear a story about corruption, bribery, and unbridled hubris in the face of nature what comes to mind?  For me it is always Florida.  There has never been a state so good at weaving the self-interests of corrupt government and corrupt business quite like Florida.  Remember, this is the state that elected Rock Scott as governor.  ‘Nuff said.

A Building Not Just Green, but Practically Self-Sustaining—I have been reading about the Bullitt Center in Seattle for a while now.  It is an amazing building and an amazing project.  I really wonder how much of a trailblazer that this building will be in a few years.

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