Friday Linkage 10/24/2014

A week in central Florida will mess with your head. Never mind the artifice of Walt Disney World. The entire place is like a twilight zone of ‘Murica. Case in point, I saw more solar installations on rooftops landing in Detroit than I did landing in Orlando. WTF? Oh, and the governor of the state of Florida is Rick Scott. How embarrassing is that guy?

On to the links…

All 13 Of Obama’s New And Expanded National Monuments In One Map—In our uber polarized political times there is little reflection on the successes of the past six years of Obama’s presidency. Take a look at these new and expanded national monuments with a sense of achievement and hope. Heck, there are two more years to get some more done.

The GOP Intensifies Its Attacks On The National Science Foundation—The Republican Party hates science because it is evidence based and generally objective, which flies in the face of a party that wants to use selected portions of the bible as a guidebook for behavior. Ignorance is bliss for the GOP.

These Republicans Prove You Don’t Have To Be A Scientist To Have A Lot To Say About Science—If you’re a Republican the newest way to start a sentence is “I’m not a scientist, but…” What follows is usually some drivel about science that a fourth grader watching Mr. Wizard would find insulting.

US Energy Efficiency Ranks Released: How’d Your State Do?—Energy efficiency is the renewable energy that is cheapest, returns investment the fastest, and is just hard to argue with unless you’re a Republican. Then it just sounds like socialism. Iowa was in the top third or so, which feels about right.

Wind Power is Cheapest Energy, EU Analysis Finds—When you account for externalities, which any good economic analysis should attempt, wind is the cheapest form of energy. Externalities are like a subsidy that we give to fossil fuels that is off the books, so to speak.

Solar’s $30 Billion Splurge Proves Too Much for Japan—Damn, Japan, $30 billion dollars is a lot to dump into solar projects. In one year Japan installed more solar capacity than in all of Spain. Imagine that for a moment. What if the U.S. did something like this? Oh wait…

An Easy-to-Install Solar Charger That Juices Your EV Off the Grid—I found this to be an interesting and unique solution to providing more recharging stations for EVs. My guess is that EV adoption will outstrip the number of available charging spots away from the home in the near term, so quick and easy solutions will be required to keep pace.

U.S. Solar Is 59 Percent Cheaper Than We Thought It Would Be Back In 2010—Yep, solar is significantly cheaper than it was predicted to be just four short years ago. As the cost curve keeps bending lower the adoption rate will go up. Utilities beware because demand destruction is coming your way.

US Wind Industry Booming, Already Surpassing 2013 Levels—Wind is continuing its winning streak.

Earth to Cellulosic Ethanol: Glad You’re Here, Buddy, What Took so Long?—Cellulosic ethanol, like algae derived biofuels, are always around the corner in terms of commercial scale. It appears that a few projects are up and running that prove concepts of commercial scale plants. If workable, these plants could show a path forward to non-food based biofuels.

Turning to Darwin to Solve the Mystery of Invasive Species—As our climate changes and globalization marches on invasive species are a fact of life. Understanding the mechanisms by which these super competitors evolved is key to preserving some semblance of our ecosystems.

Are goats the answer to the reed choking US east coast marshes?—Got a problem with invasive species? Ask the goats to take care of the problem. These little guys are awesome!

This Is Your Teenager’s Brain on Soda—Soda may not be crack, but it is likely that it is a dangerous “drug” all the same. From obesity to memory problems to diabetes to whatever new study will uncover. The stuff is evil.

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