Friday Linkage 2/14/2014

During the winter residents of the Midwest who have lived here more than a few years are pretty stoic about the cold and snow.  This winter, with its epic cold snaps and constant moisture events, have made people look toward days where the temperatures sneak above 32 degrees Fahrenheit with a hunger bordering on salacious.

Next week’s anticipated temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit will feel downright tropical.

On to the links…

Sustainable Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough Raises Hopes for Ultimate Green Energy—Nuclear fusion is the holy grail of green energy development and would alter the face of the world if it could be made to work at a scale that was economical.  Every step forward toward that goal is important, even if it is incremental at best.

Company Has Yet To Stop Leaks That Have Been Spilling Tar Sands In Alberta For 9 Months—Do you want to know what the future looks like if we fully exploit Canadian tar sands?  Look no further than this leak in Alberta that has been occurring for the past nine months.  Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. should be ashamed but they will probably just use it as an excuse to push for more development in some twisted logic that only an oil man would understand.

Pipe Break At Coal Facility Contaminates West Virginia Waterway—Can’t West Virginia catch a break.  Not when your state is owned by coal interests.  It looks like Patriot Coal, the spinoff of everyone’s favorite coal villain Peabody Coal, is responsible this time.  The company will find a way to weasel out of paying any damages.

6 Ways Ted Cruz Wants To Increase Carbon Pollution, All In One Bill—Ted Cruz is really swinging for the fences as he attempts to position himself as the presumptive wingnut nominee for President of the United States.  Please run.  It could be worse, we could be hearing from Rick Santorum.

U.S. Average Fuel Economy Increases In January—Not all U.S. energy news was bad this week.  Fleetwide U.S. fuel economy increased to 24.9 miles per gallon in January 2014.  The surprising part of the statistic is that “green” cars like hybrids and EVs actually saw sales fall, but high mileage traditional engine cars made up for the decline with marked improvement in fuel economy.

Wind of Change Sweeps Through Energy Policy in the Caribbean—Aruba was spending close to 16% of its annual income on fuel imported from outside the country.  By 2020, the island nation hopes to be free of fossil fuel imports.  If a small island nation can commit to the transition why can’t more countries?

India Wants To Switch 26 Million Water Pumps To Solar Power Instead Of Diesel—We all love the idea of rooftops covered in solar panels, but there so many applications for solar that do not involve residential electricity.  What is the market for 26 million systems look like?

Interactive Map Shows 47,000 Onshore Wind Turbines in U.S.—Maps are cool.  Maps that show wind turbines are really cool.

California has One-Third of Nation’s Solar Jobs—This is not surprising given the scale of California’s solar programs and companies like SolarCity being established in the state.  It also gives hopes to other states that have great solar resources to exploit in experiencing job growth associated with a new industry.

I Spent 28 Hours on a Bus. I Loved It.—Meteorologist Eric Holthaus decided to reduce his personal carbon footprint.  The most significant single driver that he could impact was to cut out flying.  Read about trying to travel long distances in this country without using air travel.

14 Food Waste Facts That Will Make You Want to Change the World—One of the easiest changes that we can make on a personal level to reduce our carbon footprint is to stop wasting food.  The statistics about food waste are kind of mind bending.

7 Things Republicans Would Be Shocked to Learn About Ronald Reagan—For most Republicans Ronald Reagan stands atop the their personal Mount Rushmore even though a lot of his actions in office run counter to their current crop of ideals.  Taxes?  He raised them.  Illegal immigrants?  Amnesty.  Guns?  Regulated.  Tear down this myth already.

Amid Elephant Slaughter, Ivory Trade in U.S. Continues—Yes, the idea is that the ivory predates rules about the traffic in illegal ivory but it is impossible to enforce.  There should be a complete ban on the sale of ivory goods in the U.S.  Plain and simple.

Camels Had No Business in Genesis—One can never make the “Bible is literal” crowd believe because their default retort is impossible to assail even as it is the most asinine belief system in the world.  Science is just a lie to these people.  What amazes me, however, is how prominent many of these whack jobs have become.

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