Friday Linkage 5/6/2016

The Republican nominee to become the President of the United States is Donald Trump.  Let that marinate in your brain for a moment.  The choice of Republican primary and caucus voters to be the “leader of the free world” is a man more known for berating D-list celebrities on a hokey reality television show than for any policy expertise.  This is a man who claims to possess the greatest trove of business knowledge in the world, yet has failed to make money in the casino business and been forced to declare bankruptcy several times.  You would not think that a worse candidate could have been created by the writers of a faux news show, but here we are just a few short months away from November.

On to the links…

After a Decade of Decline, Brazil’s Deforestation Again on the Rise—The ongoing political and economic crisis in Brazil is going to have far reaching environmental impacts as the government is forced to cut back on regulation and enforcement.

Why Methane Is Having a Moment—Methane is a bad actor when it comes to climate change and the regulation of the gas’ emission could have a significant impact on lessening the effects of forthcoming global warming.

U.S. Coal Use is Down in Nearly Every State—Unless you live in Nebraska and Alaska, your state is using less coal.  Nebraska always surprises me in not being a leader in wind energy development.  The population of the state is concentrated in the eastern third of the state and there is plenty of wind.  Nebraska’s neighbor to the east, Iowa, blows it out of the water when it comes to wind energy development.  I wonder why…oh wait, it’s a deep red state.

Solar Power is Contagious. These Maps Show How it Spreads.—Solar power as a contagion does have the same visceral impact as a zombie apocalypse, but it is still pretty mesmerizing to watch the spread:

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Rooftop Solar Power Blocked in 10 High-Potential States—Look at the list of the top 10 states blocking homeowners from deploying rooftop solar.  Notice a trend?  Only one state is not governed by a Republican.  Hmmm…

Texas Cities Lead on Solar, But Tapping The State’s Potential Has Just Begun—Texas is an odd place and it is getting more so as its demographics shift.  The state is generally seen as being deep red and in aggregate that is true, but its cities are increasingly liberal and, dare I say, progressive.

Top 10 Solar Utilities See Growth through Declining Prices, Favorable Policies—Although the price trend is fairly unstoppable, the favorable policies that are aiding solar photovoltaic growth could meet an untimely demise if the upcoming elections do not swing in a favorable direction.

Dubai Gets Record-Low Bid Of 2.99¢/kWh For 800 MW Solar PV Project—Dubai is sunny, but less than three cents per kilowatt hour is a really low price.

Illinois Can Meet its Clean Power Plan Targets in 3 Steps—Meeting the state targets under the Clean Power Plan gets lots of attention from the blowhards in the media without much attention paid to how those targets could actually be met.  Here’s a plan for Illinois.  Granted, the state would actually have to be able to pass legislation so this is definitely a bridge too far.

Wind Energy Setting Records in Minnesota—Iowa may be kicking ass when it comes to per capita wind production, but our neighbor to the north is doing quite well.

Shut Up with the ‘Sharing Economy’—The public library is a sharing economy.  Uber is just a taxi with a better app.  Staying with your friends on a trip across the country is the sharing economy.  AirBnB is just a hostel with a fancier user interface.

A Breakdown of How America Spends Every Food Dollar—If you want to know where your money goes when you buy food, here it is straight from the USDA:

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A Butcher’s Six Secrets for Saving Money on Meat—It’s best not to eat meat, but if you must than it is a good idea to save as much money as possible and use as much of the animal as possible.

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