Friday Linkage 6/24/2016

It has been a while since I have written about Steve King because the world has been consumed by Donald Trump.  However, ol’ Steve King decided to pop his racist and bigoted head up once again.  This time he wants to block any changes to the $20 bill, specifically to block the inclusion of Harriet Tubman in favor of a genocidal racist in Andrew Jackson.

King also weighed in on the gun control debate by, well, being Steve King on Twitter:

I’ve had it with the gun grabbing Democrats and their sit in anti 2nd amendment jihad. I’m going to go home and buy a new gun.

Remember, Democrats are asking the House to consider a bill that would bar people from the “no fly” list from buying a gun.  No one is “grabbing guns” or banning AR-15s or anything like that.  What an ass clown.

On to the links…

What Would a Global Warming Increase of 1.5 Degrees Be Like?—Considering how much climate change is already “baked in” we need to be asking ourselves what is the planet going to be like in a few years so that we can begin to prepare for such changes.  Scary.

EU Smashes 2020 Emissions Target Six Years Early—I do not understand why good news like this is not replicated in more developed countries like the United States, Canada, and Australia which all have abundant renewable energy resources.

How India’s Poorest Can Skip Power Lines And Go Directly To Off-Grid Solar Energy—There is no need to spend billions, if not trillions, of dollars on centralized power generation when the technology exists to put that capability in the hands of the people.

Cost of Clean Energy Seen Nosediving Into the Next Decade—The cost curve on renewables is amazing.  In some ways, it has already put coal out of business and we are just waiting for that dinosaur fuel to roll over in its final death throes.  Can you imagine solar power that costs nearly 60% less than today by 2025?  Bring it on!

The Swiss Have Upgraded a Hydroelectric Dam to Produce as Much Energy as a Nuclear Power Plant—In order to make renewables work on a large scale there will need to be some measure of energy storage and grid leveling.  Most often this is thought of as batteries, but pumped water can serve in the same role.  It is technology that is understood well and it scales.

Solar Thermal System Integrates Invisibly into Slate Roof—Solar thermal does not get a lot of love, but this integration into a slate roof is really stunning.

Illinois Coal’s Last Stand—Coal is a big deal in Illinois.  I lived in Carbondale for four years and remember kids whose relatives worked in nearby coal mines stripping the land for the black rock.  By the way, is the Chicago Reader just killing it lately with their reporting?  It has been an amazing read on a number of important issues.

U.S. Gasoline Demand Is Likely to Slide—20% less gasoline demand in the coming decades?  Wow.

How Fast Could the Market for Electric Vehicles Grow?—I do not know if I would compare an electric car to a VHS player, but there might be some parallels in the adoption of new technologies.

The Invasive Species that Nobody is Talking About—In my neck of the woods palmer amaranth is the invasive species we think no one is paying attention to, but in lake communities milfoil is just as bad.

Federal-Lands Ranching: A Half-Century of Decline—Grazing on open land in the American West has been a declining industry for over fifty years.  Right wingers would have you believe that it is the fault of the Obama administration or the BLM or the EPA, but the fact of the matter is that the world has changed.

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