Friday Linkage 7/8/2016

I wish I could say that my lack of posts lately was due to working on something cool, but is just due to life getting in the way.  It is crazy how hectic a “lazy summer” can be between weddings, weekend trips to see friends, a few activities, and trying to keep up at a full-time job.  I know that most people do not want to wish summer away, but I am beginning to pine for winter’s cold embrace.

On to the links…

America Electric Car Market Expected To Grow 62% In 2016—Granted, that growth is off of a small base. However, with the pending introduction of the all-new Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3 in addition to a revised Nissan Leaf the market will finally have compelling longer range EVs at competitive price points.

UK Solar Energy Breaks New Record — Almost 24% Electricity Demand—Think about the United Kingdom generating almost one quarter of its electricity demand from solar.  Why can’t Arizona or Nevada do the same thing with ample solar resources and plenty of sites to exploit?

New Wind & Solar Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions & Cost Less Than Keeping Aging Nuclear Power Plants Running—Aging and cost inefficient nuclear plants are going to be shut down in the near term, particularly in the Midwest, replaced by renewables and natural gas.  However, many people are wondering if we should keep nuclear plants open via subsidies and close down fossil fuel plants.

California Solar Generation Grew 1,378% In 5 Years—Now those are some growth numbers.  I wish we could see that kind of growth across the country, particularly in sunny states like Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Florida.

Now There’s One Less Way for Big Coal to Screw Over Americans—Closing this loophole means that coal companies have to pay the correct amount for their leases on federal land.  Granted, the correct amount is still below market value but this is a start.  Now, about that self-bonding thing…

Congress vs. the Zombie Coal Amendment—Now here is something amazing.  Congress might actually close a ridiculous provision in U.S. law that forced military bases in Germany to be fueled by coal mined in Pennsylvania.  One less brick in the wall for coal to hide behind.

By the Numbers: Western Coal Mine Layoffs—For all the talk about the impact of coal mining jobs during this election cycle actually look at the numbers for a moment.  In Colorado, coal mining jobs now represent just over 3,000 jobs.  Compare that to an estimated 7,500 to 10,000 jobs in the legalized marijuana industry.  Granted, the jobs might not be comparable in terms of salary but there is no question that coal’s influence is waning when it comes to economic arguments.

ExxonMobil May Have Friends In High Places, But Fraud Is Not Constitutionally Protected—When ExxonMobil gets in trouble it calls its friends in high places.  Often times those friends are in the White House.  Do not believe me?  Read Private Empire by Steve Coll.

Can Kelp Save The Pacific Ocean?—Every little bit helps, right?

Don’t Be Blue; Cree Introduces Warm LED Street Lights—I was talking about this with my wife the other day.  Everything seems so harsh under light now that incandescents have been largely phased out.  I love the energy efficiency, but I miss the warmth.

It’s Time to Take Back the Streets and to Make Our Sidewalks Grand Again—I have always wondered if one of the reasons that people do not walk or cycle more is because the route options are so limited.  If you have ever taken a walk in a place designed for cars, e.g. a suburban office park, there are moments when you feel like you are being stalked by cars.

If You Want to Cut Back on Clutter, Keep It Out of Your Home to Begin With—Whatever mechanism stops you from buying stuff, awesome.  We, as a culture in the West, buy too much stuff and most of it is disposable crap.  Our homes and, by extension, our lives are filled with stuff that has become the defining element of our existence.

Which Supplements are Backed by Science and Which are Snake-Oil—The return of the infographic:



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