Friday Linkage 12/20/2013

Not to get all “War on Christmas” on you, but I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season as we head into the week of Christmas.  The only reason that I center my holiday season around Christmas is because my employer has a holiday shutdown with Christmas as the center piece of the week off.  Therefore, I am a Christmas guy.

Enjoy the season with your loved ones and remember the people who are gone from our lives too soon.

On to the links…

In the Belly of the Beast—I forget that Rolling Stone is still in publication and that is a shame because occasionally they put out some drop dead good journalism.  There is nothing groundbreaking in this piece about factory farms, but it encapsulates so many of the issues surrounding our meat obsession that it makes a good primer for those people you know who are less informed.

Factory Farms Fed Cows the Mess from Bottom of Chicken Cages—Here’s a nice and appetizing story about the feed for cows made from the “mess” in the bottom of chicken cages.  Just nasty.

Hawaii’s Growing Solar Industry Fighting Uphill Battle With Energy Industry Over Threats To Grid—Hawaii’s solar growth should be an unmitigated success story, but as the utilities on the island begin to push back the story is getting slightly less rosy.  Granted, there are issues with the islands’ archaic grid but that seems like an opportunity to move forward with improvements rather than stick to the status quo.

The Export-Import Bank Stops Funding Coal Projects Abroad—This is one of those “boring but important” news items that shapes the direction of large macro trends.  If the Export-Import Bank stops financing these projects than it will be even harder for coal to compete.  Hurray!

Interactive Map Tracks Lac Megantic’s Tragic ‘River Of Burning Oil’—This story is just awful.  The town was basically wiped off the face of the map by a river of burning oil.  What price our obsession with cheap fossil fuels?

The U.S. Is A Gas-Guzzling Horror Show—This one chart shows just how bad we are when it comes to consuming fuel for our transportation “needs.”  It also shows that we could cut a lot of that use and not really impact our quality of life.

13 Major Clean Energy Breakthroughs Of 2013—2013 was not all bad.  Here is a list of thirteen big happenings in the world of clean energy.

Cyclists are the New Enemies of Right Wing Politicians—There just must be something socialist about someone on a bicycle, says the right wing whack job.  Why aren’t they in a big American truck, says the zealot on Fox News.  Different strokes for different folks you clowns.

Scientists Turn Their Gaze Toward Tiny Threats to Great Lakes—The threats to the Great Lakes are many and the attention is a fraction of what is paid to the oceans.  It’s a shame because these gigantic bodies of freshwater are a resource like no other in the entire world.

What’s That Clinging To The Towering Wall And Why Doesn’t It Fall Off?—Now for something a little more light hearted.  Check out these goats, alpine ibexes to be exact, clinging to the side of the damn.  What’s even more amazing is watching them move along the sheer face to get a lick of salt.  Goats are so cool.

The Temperfect Mug—If this mug is half what it claims to be it would be sweet.  I want one.

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