Friday Linkage 12/18/2015

The weather has got everyone here in Eastern Iowa acting all weird. It’s been unseasonably warm—due to a change in the flow of air from the arctic, think reverse polar vortex—so it just does not feel like Christmas is one week away. Of course, in my household my daughter watches the weather apps for mentions of snow and keeps her eye on the Colorado snow report like a hawk. Eight years old and she is already a powder hound.

Note: There will be no Friday Linkage on December 25th or January 1st because I will be in Colorado hoping for powder days. Enjoy the holidays!

On to the links…

Is the West Prepared for Climate Change?—I am surprised that California rates so high, but it must be an effect of having spent the last few years in a fairly extreme drought. The next time around the state will have the tools in place to deal with the impacts of climate change.

House Votes to Ban Tiny Polluting Microbeads From Your Face Wash—It’s a start. As of Friday morning the bill had been received in the Senate, but it had not yet been put on the calendar. Call your senator today and get this moving.

Solar Farm Rejected Amid Fears It Will ‘Suck Up The Sun’s Energy’—Not to pick on people, but do these people understand how the sun works?

Slavery, Child Labor tied to Shrimp Global Supply Chains, including Wal-Mart, Red Lobster—You want to know how Red Lobster gets enough cheap shrimp for an endless shrimp promotion? Slaves. Simple.

Grid Operator: 70% Solar + Wind On German Grid Before Storage Needed—This is important because one of the sticking points for grid operators in the U.S. with regard to more renewables is the need for storage to “level out” the peaks and valleys of production and demand. If Germany can prove out a different scenario than roadblocks are removed.

U.S. Could be Run on 100% Renewable Energy by 2050—According to a recent study the technology is mature enough that in thirty five years we could be free of fossil fuels. Can we make it happen?

Risen Energy Begins Giant 55 MW Solar Carport For 20,000 Cars—Why isn’t every parking lot in the world a candidate for a solar carport?

India Approves 27 Mega Solar Power Parks With 18.4 GW Capacity—India is betting big on solar. I hope that they are not betting big on coal as well.

Oregon Is The Latest Target Of Right-Wing Effort To Get Rid Of National Forests—Defending our public lands is a full time job when the right wing wants nothing more than to give it away to private industry to be logged and mined into oblivion.

Dallas Launches Innovative Streetcar—This is a really neat solution to a particular problem that could be extended to other similar issues when it comes to proliferating mass transit into modern cities.

New E. coli Strain Resistant to All Known Antibiotics—Now, in news that should frighten the shit out of you, there is a strain of e. coli that is resistant to all known antibiotics. Thanks agri-business.

Small Breweries Are Literally Running Out of Beer Cans—If you do not think that recent mega-merger and craft brewery acquisitions will make it harder for small brewers to operate I give you a can shortage. Which customers are going to be at the front of the line when it comes time to divvy out cans? It’s not going to be the guy with the 30 barrel brew house when AB-InBev-Miller-We Own All the Beer Brands is standing in line.

2 Surprising Reasons Why Japan Won’t Stop Hunting Whales—I was going to go with one: a cultural stubborn streak. However, I think Tom Philpott has nailed the answer to the question.

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