Friday Linkage 8/2/2013

It’s August…wow!  My daughter starts kindergarten in less than three weeks, so that is kind of mind blowing.  Where did all of that time go?  Where did that little girl go?

On to the links…

World Solar Power Topped 100,000 Megawatts in 2012—Just look at the graph in the first part of the article that shows the cumulative solar installations since 2000.  It’s amazing.

Thai Beaches Blanketed in Crude—And if you want to see what our future holds if we continue to be reliant on petroleum, witness the coast of Rayong.  Nice, huh?

A Plan to Save Yosemite by Curbing Its Visitors—I have not made it to Yosemite National Park yet, but I have read enough articles to know that the crush of tourists in the summer can be a little much.  So much so that it almost destroys the awesome beauty of the place.  Almost.

A Race to Save the Orange by Altering its DNA—Apparently there is a disease called citrus greening that is devastating the citrus fruit industry.  The interesting statement that I found in the article was that there was no proof of immunity in all of the cultivated citrus.  What about all citrus?  You know, including the citrus that might not be cultivated.  Just saying.

Too Much Rain in the South means Too Little Produce on the Shelves—Man, the southern U.S. cannot get a break.  First it was drought and now it is too much rain.  Keep electing those climate change deniers guys.  It’s working out really well.

New York Is Pretending Factory Farms Aren’t An Environmental Problem For The Sake Of Greek Yogurt—Basically, the state of New York changed the rules on regulating dairy farms so that the facilities that produce milk for Greek yogurt could escape expensive CAFO regulations.  Nothing like money to grease the wheels of government.

City of Los Angeles says Parkway Gardens Need to Go—Yep, because when I have been to Los Angeles the number one problem I saw was people planting some gardens in the parkways.  Actually, it was horrible to see some green in the landscape on a long overlooked piece of land.  How awful!

Tour of an Oyster Farm—I do not eat oysters.  Something deep in my soul is scarred after watching my parents slurp down a whole lot of them when I was a child.  Nonetheless, how these bivalves are grown or farmed is pretty interesting.

Pro-Hemp Group Seeks Sen. Mark Udall’s Support—With Amendment 64 passed in Colorado and other states taking a more liberal stance on marijuana, I am hopeful that industrial hemp will get a second look as a viable crop.  I do not think it is a miracle plant like some proponents, but it is intriguing for a number of applications.

Cannabis in Your Car Doors, But not to Smuggle It—Speaking of applications, the newly introduced BMW i3—which I am digging as an EV—uses kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) in the door panels.  Dig it.

Sailing Barge Launches in Vermont to Test Carbon-Neutral Shipping—There is something really romantic about the notion of sailing barges plying the Great Lakes to move cargo.  Boats harnessing the wind to deliver goods without the loud, dirty engines of the massive cargo ships.  Interesting.

Could Planting Trees in the Desert Mitigate Climate Change?—This idea has some merit, but the jatropha tree seems like snake oil.  It was supposed to be a miracle tree as an oil producer but that did not pan out when people realized that planting trees on marginal land would yield marginal results.

Nepal’s Tiger Population on the Rise—It was not all bad news this week.   It looks like there are now more tigers in Nepal than anytime since the 1970s.  If we could bring back Nehru jackets to celebrate things would be sweet.

The Medium Chill—A friend of mine like to quote that there is a leisure class on either end of the wealth spectrum.  It’s the people in the middle range who seem to be stuck in a never ending cycle of work.  I think that examining what really makes you happy is essential and that a lot of people would be surprised to find out what truly makes them happy.

How to Make the Perfect Hipster Label in 6 Easy Steps—Is there anything more annoying than the overwrought artisan movement?  Yep, hipsters involved in the overwrought artisan movement are more annoying.  I love artisan products, but there is a bland sameness to many of the products now that it almost seems like these things come from a hipster artisan private label manufacturer.

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