Friday Linkage 7/22/2016

Heat dome, believe it.  It was mid-90s here in eastern Iowa on Thursday with the humidity tickling 80%.  You can tell me the heat index was 105 degrees or 115 degrees, I do not care because at a certain point it is just miserable.  Today is supposed to be worse and it is sapping everyone’s will to be productive.  Mine included.

On to the links…

The Republican Vision for the Environment is Not a Pretty Sight—The Republican “vision” in 2016 for almost everything is not a pretty sight.  If you do not think elections matter, please imagine Donald Trump or people appointed by Donald Trump in charge of the National Park Service.  Got it?

Government Abandons 54.5-mpg CAFE Standard—When is a standard not a mandate, but an estimate?  When it comes to automobile gas mileage I guess.

As Solar Floods California Grid, Challenges Loom—As California and other states move toward an increasingly higher share of renewable energy new challenges will emerge, particularly in demand regulation and power production.  The interesting thing in this article is that rooftop solar arrays, more than 537,000, in the total renewable energy picture.  If you want to get an idea what is happening in real time with regard to California’s electricity grid check out this site.

You’ll Never Believe How Cheap New Solar Power Is—Solar energy’s expansion in the U.S. is not a miracle.  It is the market at work.  Every professor of economics is salivating at the beauty of this chart:


Did An Entire Region Of The U.S. Just Disincentivize Renewables? This Lawsuit Says Yes.—This falls into one of those boring, but important categories of news and/or developments.

In India’s Big Solar Energy Drive, Insurance Policies Against Monkeys—You think we have challenges deploying solar in the U.S.  In India monkeys are a problem.  Yes, freaking monkeys.

The Future of Biofuel Isn’t Corn—It’s Algae—Stop me if you have heard this before: Algae will be the future of biofuel.  Okay, it’s a story as old as biofuel.  Almost.  However, there is promising work being done and the economics might make sense when you consider the potential for other products to be made from what is left over after oil production.

Methane Pollution Is About To See A Serious Cut From This Stinky Source—Stopping or greatly reducing the emission of methane gas into the atmosphere might be the best of the low hanging fruit we have to take care of in an effort to slow down and eventually abate climate change.

Original Hybrid Batteries Still Charged Up 15 Years Later—Apparently, the batteries were overbuilt and the charging programming was conservative.  I remember naysayers telling owners of first and second generation Toyota Priuses (Prii?) that in a few years when the battery wore out the car would be nothing more than a junky golf cart.

The L.E.D. Quandary: Why There’s No Such Thing as “Built to Last”—No company wants to sell you the “last” of anything because it represents a major flaw in their business model.  With no returning customers the company is forced to acquire new customers, which is always a more costly endeavor than retaining existing customers.  Is this why all of our appliances are so janky now?

The Exciting Future of Sustainability—We are pretty “doom and gloom” a lot of the time when it comes to the future.  What is things were just a littler sunnier, so to speak:



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