Friday Linkage 6/6/2014

The trip to Colorado was good, considering the circumstances behind the trip. It is hard to believe that both of my parents are gone and their ashes are spread to the winds west of the Continental Divide.

It’s also hard to believe that I will be heading back again in about a month, but this time it is with the family and for an entire week. If I could knock off six Front Range breweries in one day imagine what I could do with a week? Hmmm….

On to the links…

Australia Experiences Hottest Two Years Ever Recorded—Australia, a huge per capita emitter of carbon dioxide, seems to be bearing the brunt of the bad news on the climate front. One year it is floods, the next year it is fires, and it is getting to be so gosh darned hot all the time.

Meeting Renewable Energy Targets Turns Out to be Inexpensive—So, with the new emissions rules being rolled out and the predictable right wing response of “High cost!” and “Job killer!” out of the way let us look at some facts. Conveniently, the NREL has taken care of that for us already.

U.S. Residential Solar Just Beat Commercial Installations For The First Time—I am so close to pulling the trigger on an ~5 kw solar photovoltaic array on my home after getting a pair of estimates. I hope to join this trend soon.

Average New-Vehicle MPG Climbs yet Again, to 25.6—Automobile fuel efficiency keeps on going up as manufacturers roll out increasingly efficient vehicles to meet government set targets. Hmmm, could the new carbon emissions targets work the same way?

Silent Rooftop Wind Turbines Could Generate Half of a Household’s Energy Needs—I am really skeptical about small scale wind. It never seems to work once prototypes are deployed into the field. I would love to be able to incorporate a small, silent wind turbine on my house to supplement my proposed solar array because of the near constant wind we have here in Iowa.

A Price Tag on Carbon as a Climate Rescue Plan—When something finally has a price a market can be built around that something. In the U.S. things without prices are not accounted for properly because we have a hard time dealing with the commons or externalities in a concrete way.

How to Cut Carbon: Change the Way Utilities Make Money—Utilities are operating under the most archaic business model possible. It’s amazing.

U.S. Imposes Tariffs of up to 35% on Certain Solar Panels Made in China—Given the dire straits that our climate is in right now we need as many solar panels as possible as cheaply as possible. A trade war around solar panels will hurt the consumer more than it will change government policy.

How Weeds Could Help Feed Billions in a Warming World—I am hopeful that we will finally look to the adaptive mechanisms of weeds for help in figuring out how to adapt our food crops to a warmer planet. Why? Weeds represent the sum total of selection through natural and unnatural stimuli.

What Happens When You Build A Playground For A Bunch Of Rescued Elephants?—I love animal sanctuaries. This is just awesome to watch.

A Close Up Look Inside New Glarus Brewing Company—The New Glarus Brewing Company has something of a cult following here in the Midwest owing to the distribution only being in Wisconsin and a history of making damn good beer.


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