Friday Linkage 3/7/2014

Vacation is so close that I can almost taste it.  Which means that I am totally unproductive at work and I am trying to get creative with dinners so that there are no groceries left in the refrigerator over the course of the week we will not be home.

On to the links…

U.S. Lets 141 Trillion Calories Of Food Go To Waste Each Year—People might quibble with the math of 141 trillion calories, but regardless the number is going to be huge and it is a damn shame.  Wasted food in a country where millions of people go hungry is a moral crime.  Wasted food is also an ecological crime because of the resources used to produce food.

E.P.A. Set to Reveal Tough New Sulfur Emissions Rule—One of those boring, but very important stories.  Congress may not be able to act on any environmental protection legislation, but the President and his appointees do have agencies through which to act.  These rules will make the air cleaner, period.

How Europe Could Get 16 Percent Of Its Road Fuel From Garbage By 2030—Just imagine filling up with liquid fuel from garbage?  Or, you could just not make the waste in the first place.  Baby steps.

First Electric School Bus Hits The Road In California—Who does not remember the plume of black smoke coming from a school bus’ exhaust as a kid?  You never wanted to be behind one of those yellow smog machines back in the day.  Now there might not even be an exhaust pipe.  Sweet.

Solar Power Just Had Its Biggest Quarter Ever—Solar had a huge 2013, but I think when you look at the numbers you realize that wind got punched in the gut.

Hawaii Taps On-Bill Repayment Program for Clean Energy Financing and Job Creation—On-Bill Repayment (OBR) is a big deal because it is a financing vehicle for renewable energy at the consumer level.  Do not take this lightly.

Former Dolphin Trainer Speaks Out on the Horrors of Captivity—Is there any reason why, besides money, that we should keep healthy marine mammals in captivity?  All the evidence points to a system that is broken and harmful to the animals.

SeaWorld Has a New PR Nightmare: This Girl Who Was Bitten by a Dolphin—As if SeaWorld needed another blitz of bad PR, a girl was bitten or “mouthed” to use the politically correct animal captivity lingo.  Free these animals now.

Sea Turtles Are Endangered, But 42,000 Were Killed Legally Last Year—Just counting the legally captured sea turtles, it adds up to 42,000.  It’s probably a lot higher number when you count the illegally caught and by-catch deaths.  Ugh.

Idaho ‘Ag Gag’ Bill Signed Into Law By Gov. Otter—I cannot tell what the impact of these ag gag laws is going to be across the country.  I wonder if animal welfare activists will be motivated to push the envelope in hopes of using a court case to expose not just the cruelty but the machinations of industry to muzzle critics as well.

Deforestation of Kalimantan Rainforest – In Pictures—Remember, these forests were felled for palm oil plantations.  That’s it.

First Legally Sanctioned Grows of Hemp in Colorado—Legal grows of hemp will not get the attention that a line of people waiting for a bag of Bubba Kush, but it is a significant thing because it is another option for farmers to make money.  It is also a very versatile crop.

Soil as Carbon Storehouse: New Weapon in Climate Fight?—Soil has an amazing capacity to sequester carbon.  Degraded and marginal soils the world over are an amazing opportunity to improve the condition of the soil and help the climate.

Wendell Berry: A Strong Voice For Local Farming and the Land—Wendell Berry is a legend.  Anytime you get a chance to read or hear his thoughts on farming and sustainability you need to take the opportunity to listen.

EPA Moves To Block Massive Alaskan Gold And Copper Mine–The Pebble Mine in Alaska may not be dead quite yet, but with major investors pulling out and government regulators leery of the environmental cost the odds do not look good.  Then again, mines don’t make a lot of sense in a lot of places.

Sea Otters In Prince William Sound Back to Pre-Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Numbers—Finally, almost twenty five years after the Exxon Valdez oil disaster, sea otters are returning to their pre-spill levels in Prince William Sound.  So, naturally, the petro lobby will probably start the howls of drill baby drill at CPAC.

The GOP’s Unregulated Business-Climate Nirvana, in China—A friend of mine always used to say that a free market ideologue’s dream was a slum in Africa because there were no rules.  Maybe China is a better example because it is big business and its attendant government cronies run amok with no consideration for the wellbeing of the people or the environment.

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