Friday Linkage 11/13/2015

Apparently Starbucks destroyed Christmas with its minimalist holiday cup. I did not know that the final straw to break the back of Christmas celebration in the United States was the lack of an overt Christmas message on the cups of overprice coffee. I guess I missed Jesus’ teaching on that issue. Damn.

On to the links…

Satellites Expose Just How Bad Indonesia’s Fires Are—Will climate change lead to a world on fire? If Indonesia is any kind of harbinger we better be ready for a smoky world.

Congress’ Chief Climate Denier Lamar Smith and NOAA Are at War—I applaud NOAA administrator Kathryn Sullivan for responding to Texas Republican Lamar Smith’s bluster with simple steely determination. It is high time that Congressional Republicans be called out for the chilling effect their rhetoric is having on scientific speech in this country.

Average US mpg for October falls—Gas is cheap, so people bought big cars that get bad mileage and drove more. We are so short sighted.

Bankruptcy Expected for Arch Coal, A Reflection of Industry Woes—Alpha Natural Resources declared bankruptcy and Arch Coal is expected to follow. Arch Coal used to have a stock price of over $3,400 per share. As of Thursday the stock was trading at ~$1.50 per share. Coal is dead.

One of the World’s Largest Coal Companies Misled Investors About Climate Change Risk, Investigation Finds—Coal companies lied and people died. Simple enough.

Solar Cheapest Electricity Option In Chile—Solar, and wind in a lot of countries, is now the cheapest option when it comes to installing new electrical generating capacity. Here is to hoping that the cost curve keeps bending downward and we can deploy even more demand destroying solar.

Prefer Your Meat Drug-Free? You’re the “Fringe 1 Percent”—Here is the playbook from the right wing: Label someone’s personal choice that is completely rational as something originating from the lunatic fringe. That way it sounds like it comes from the same pool of thought as the anti-vaccine movement and those creepy quiver full people. Oh wait, those are right wing pet causes. Whoops.

When a Supermarket Changes How a Neighborhood Feels About Itself—Interesting stuff about how small changes can lead to indirect changes in people’s behavior and attitudes. It makes you think about how the built environment contributes to attitudes and behaviors.

25 Sneaky Names for Palm Oil—Palm oil is bad stuff. It is driving deforestation in Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, which is imperiling orangutans and other at risk species. The problem is that stuff is in a lot of the products we use and producers are sneaky about not actually calling it palm oil, lest Girl Scouts get all nasty on them.

24 Mind-Blowing Facts About Marijuana Production in America—Marijuana is going to be mainstream in the United States within my lifetime. Heck, it may get there in the next couple of election cycles. Here are some facts about the production of your weed that may surprise you.

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