Friday Linkage 8/5/2016

It is less than 100 days until some of the ski resorts in Summit County start turning lift lines.  That seems so close, yet so far away when the heat index is over 100 here in Iowa.

On to the links…

90-Year-Old RAGBRAI Rider Draws Lots of Attention—If I am lucky enough to get to ninety years old I am hopeful that I will still be turning the cranks.  Just not on RAGBRAI.

7 Charts that Make it Clear Climate Change is Already Here—It is real and it is changing our daily lives.  How bad it gets is up to us.  If you do not think elections matter, imagine a world in which Donald Trump is weighing in on climate change from the bully pulpit of the presidency.  Frightening.

UK’s Carbon Footprint Rises 3%–Damn.

The Northeast Is Considering A Major Extension To Its Emissions Program—There is little chance that national carbon pricing and regulation will emerge due to the logjam that is a Republican Congress, but states are making some progress.  Nine northeastern U.S. states have done an admirable job of reducing the carbon intensity of electricity generation.

Opening The Floodgates On Clean Energy Deployment In The U.S.—Tax policy is not something that usually gets mentioned in terms of the environment, but it is a central piece of the puzzle when it comes to financing and developing power projects.

6 Signs The Big Global Switch To Solar Has Already Begun—Each new announcement seems to be a record of some kind or a new opportunity.

First Half of 2016 Shows a Wind Boom Underway—The part of this article that really hits home for me is that wind power project costs have dropped 66% in the past 6 years.

Salt Lake City Commits to Renewable Energy—100% renewables by 2032 in a deep red state like Utah.  Yeah, times they are a changing for renewable energy.

Will Replacing Thirsty Lawns with Drought-Tolerant Plants make L.A. Hotter?—Not Paris Hilton hot, but hellish drought-scape hot.  The counterpoint to the argument that lawns cool Los Angeles is that lawns will all die without supplemental irrigation, so the built environment will be even hotter is the landscape is totally desiccated.

Here Is the Mysterious High Roller Donald Trump Wants to Put in Charge of Our Food—I think that everyone with half a brain and a mild concern for the future of the United States can agree that Donald Trump is unfit to be President of the United States.  If you needed another reason to believe that a Trump administration would be nothing more than an ATM for corrupt businessmen see Charles Herbster.

Globalization isn’t Killing Factory Jobs. Trade is Actually Why Manufacturing is up 40%.—What has changed is that low-skill level manufacturing jobs were replaced with automation and the remaining jobs are highly skilled.  Heck, in Cedar Rapids there are companies that will help pay for a two-year technical degree because they cannot find enough people to work in manufacturing.  Another thing that Trump gets wrong.

260,000 Hikers Scramble up Colorado’s 14ers Each Year, Spending Big in Nearby Towns—This is why we need to protect our natural spaces.  People love to be in nature and people are willing to spend some pretty serious money to do so.

What Bombs did to Rotterdam, Parking Lots did to Houston—The comparison boggles the mind for a moment because one is violent and the other is insidious, but the end result is eerily similar.

Turning Iowa Farmland into Butterfly, Bee Habitat—Farming practices for the past thirty or so years have devastated habitats for pollinators.  It looks like Iowa got the message and got to work.

5 Charts That Illustrate The Remarkable LED Lighting Revolution—Do you remember in 2008 and 2012 when Republicans tried to make an issue out of the conversion from incandescent lights to CFLs and LEDs?  Yeah, that one needs to stay in the dust bin of history along with Sarah Palin’s political ambitions, Mitt Romney’s tax returns, and Paul Ryan’s P90X routine.

Average American 15 Pounds Heavier Than 20 Years Ago—I do not know what to say.

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