Friday Linkage 5/20/2016

It finally feels like summer arrived in eastern Iowa, even if it is only spring.  The weather gods finally gave us sun and mild temperatures.  It just means the grass grows at a clip that is somewhat short of sci-fi horror plant, but I digress.

On to the links…

Portugal Runs for Four Days Straight on Renewable Energy Alone—Portugal is not a huge country, but is in the developed world and running for 107 hours on renewable energy is pretty amazing.

Protests Against Drilling on Public Lands are Escalating—Keep it in the ground.  The simplest step that the federal government could take to help combat climate change is to stop fossil fuel extraction from public lands.

Why Hillary Clinton’s Coal Gaffe Shouldn’t be a Big Deal—We need to get past the convenient narrative of coal miners.  While coal related employment in Kentucky is estimated at approximately 70,000 people less than 20,000 of those are actual miners.  These are communities that have been pandered to every election cycle and forgotten in the intervening period.  Enough.

Coal workers get screwed, their bosses get bonuses—There must be no better job in America than to be a CEO or executive level manager.  You can run your country and industry into the ground, yet still you will get a raise.  Never mind the thousands of people you will screw out of jobs and pensions or the damage to the land, you got paid.

One Building Is Saving $1 Million A Year On Energy. What Would Happen If The Whole World Was More Efficient?—The most cost-effective energy strategy is to use less energy.

Young Forests Can Store ‘Enormous’ Amounts of Carbon—Second growth or young forests can be part of the climate solution.  We need to work on remediation or restoring degraded forest lands.  Like right now.

Forget Cars: Cows And Fertilizer Could Be A Big Pollution Problem—Agriculture is a he contributor to climate change, but those practices can be changed for the better.  As someone from Iowa, I know firsthand how big of an impact farms can have on the surrounding quality of life.

Colorado Legalizes Rain Barrels—Bizarre nineteenth century laws regarding water rights have kept laws banning rain barrels on the books for far too long.  Free the rain barrels.

The Real Value of Urban Farming. (Hint: It’s not Always the Food.)—We need to stop focusing all of our arguments about food production on the end product.  It’s a food system, so there are benefits all along the chain of events.  It’s something that people miss about organic and it’s something that people miss about local food.

Here’s What 9,000 Years of Breeding has Done to Corn, Peaches, and Other Crops—This is not your ancient daddy’s maize:


I’m an Obesity Doctor. I’ve Seen Long-Term Weight Loss Work. Here’s How.—Guess what?  The answer is not the Biggest Loser.

America’s Hoarding a Huge Stash of Uneaten Cheese—Now that I live with someone who is lactose intolerant an d changing the entire household’s diet for the better I am somewhat aghast at the level of cheese consumption in this country.  Does everything need to be slathered with cheese?  Now, cheese makers are hoarding enough cheese to make mutually assured destruction a gooey reality.

German-Made Bearings Blow Away China’s in This Simple Test—People wonder why I insist on buying high-quality bearings from a manufacturer I trust for my bicycle.  Well, check out this test and you will understand why.


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