Tag Archives: big oil

Friday Linkage 11/16/2018

California is on fire.  Venice is under water.  Glaciers in South America have retreated.  Famine in Yemen is accelerating.  It seems like this week has brought out the apocalyptic news.

On to the links…

The Zinke Effect: How the US Interior Department became a Tool of Big Business—Ryan Zinke is the robber baron that we deserve.

Interior Department Whistleblower: Ryan Zinke Hollowed Out the Agency—Rebuilding the federal government after the tragedy of the Trump administration is going to be a long, hard road.  This is what you get when you elect people to run government who happen to claim to hate government.  It is also what you get when you elect a serial philanderer who cannot stay out of bankruptcy court.

Trump Campaign Paid Millions to Trump Businesses During Midterms—This is what grift looks like in an era when there is no accountability.  Imagine if Barack Obama had paid himself for the use of a plane he owned from campaign funds?  Mitch McConnell would still be crowing about it and clutching his pearls.

In New Mexico, Public Lands Turned an Election Blue—It turns out that people like the idea of public lands being available for use by the public and not just a land trust for the use of fossil fuel interests.  Republicans will never understand this fact because it runs counter to their deeply held beliefs that oil and gas companies can do no wrong.

Why Nevada Upped its Renewable Energy Standards (and Arizona didn’t)—It was really a mixed bag for climate change related policies on the ballot during the midterm election.  Some states came through while others just toed the line.  Arizona has always struck me as the Florida of the west.  The state will act against its own self-interest time and time again in some misguided defense of “principles.”

Scotland’s Wind Turbines Generated ‘98% of Electricity Demand’ Last Month—It was not really 98% of electricity in a linear fashion all month.  Sometimes it was “only” ~65% of electricity demand while other times it was well over 200% of electricity demand.  Remember when people opposed to renewables said that the maximum would only ever amount to 5% or so of total demand?

Global Coal Use May have Peaked in 2014, Says Latest IEA World Energy Outlook—Despite what the orange despot in the White House says on the campaign trail, coal is not coming back.  Coal is not beautiful.  Coal is dead.

BNEF Confirms US Coal On Track For Record Capacity Decline—Every wind turbine and solar panel that we can deploy is another brick in the wall.

Big Oil’s Death by a Thousand Small Cuts—Every Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt or Nissan Leaf represents demand destruction for oil that is not coming back.

10% Of New Vehicles Purchased in California Are EVs—If I am an oil company or a car company without an EV this trend would scare the living crap out of me.

Spain to Ban the Sale of All Gas-Powered Cars by 2040—The Spanish plan is part of a larger initiative to break free from fossil fuels in our lifetime.  Now, imagine you are an international auto exec watching an entire country ban the sale of gas cars.

The Wheels on These Buses Go Round and Round With Zero Emissions—If I am in Congress the first bill I propose—ok, maybe not the first—is a program to help subsidize the purchase of electric school buses across the country.  Along with electric city buses, garbage trucks, and delivery vehicles.

Electric Tuk-Tuks Power EV Revolution In India—Sometimes the best conversion from fossil fuels to EV is a low tech swap.  Replace hundreds of thousands of two stroke tuk tuks in India with EV versions and you have made a real dent in air pollution.

Heat-Rejecting Film could Reduce Air Conditioning Costs—Anything that can reduce our demand for air conditioning, thus reducing our demand for the electricity to cool the air, is something worth pursuing.  Particularly, if the solutions do not require retrofitting buildings in expensive and labor intensive ways.

Impossible Foods Will Finally Sell Plant-Based Burger Meat in Grocery Stores—I have yet to try one of these burgers, but maybe if I can find a package in the grocery store I will take it home to compare with an actual ground beef burger.

Plot Twist! Elephants come up with a Foolproof Way to Survive Ivory Poachers—I have linked to similar stories in the past, but it really gives me a chance to post one of my favorite lines from blockbuster movies of the past:



Friday Linkage 6/16/2017

What will the mass shooting in Alexandria, VA this week lead to?  My guess is that Republicans will push for less stringent gun laws—although it is hard to see how much less stringent our non-existent gun laws could become—and a crackdown on political speech that is counter to their aims.  Do not believe me?  In the first few moments after the shooter was identified there were Republican operatives calling for the rhetoric regarding Donald Trump and his policies to be toned down.

WTF?  This is the single person responsible for more coarseness in our political discourse over the last eighteen months than anyone else and we are supposed to suddenly simmer down because of a completely unrelated incident?  Can’t stop, won’t quit.

On to the links…

These Five Charts Show the Seismic Shifts Happening in Global Energy—If there is anything that you can do to accelerate any of these trends do it.  Do it today.

In Trump Country, Renewable Energy Is Thriving—I live in “Trump country” as much as it pains me to say it and I still cringe every time I see someone sporting a bumper sticker, shirt, or freaking red hat.  However, renewable energy is a very big deal in this red state and it is a similar story in a lot of other red states.

When You’ve Lost Iowa: Wind-Loving Heartland State Says “Buh-Bye, Coal”—What allegiance to coal does a state like Iowa have?  We do not mine or produce any coal, so every dollar we spend on coal for power is a dollar that is leaving our state.  On the other hand we have a lot of wind and those dollars can stay home.

Coal Can’t Compete on its Own—Remove the subsidies and preferential policies makes coal an even bigger loser than it already is in today’s marketplace.  Now, supposed free market Republicans will never actually allow the free market to work when it comes to their beloved fossil fuels.

This is How Big Oil will Die—Imagine I could replace an essential machine in your house with over 2000 moving parts and filled with flammable or toxic fluids.  Imagine that the replacement machine would have 20 moving parts and no flammable or toxic liquids.  Oh, and it is cheaper to operate on a per mile basis.

Renewables Provide More than Half UK Electricity for First Time—So, during mid-day renewables were knocking out over 50% of the U.K.’s electricity needs.  Who says that we cannot deploy more wind and solar?

Three Nations Plan 500% Increase in Global Offshore Wind—That is a big increase.  Once the basic technologies are even more mature and cost effective the adoption rates will soar.  What would happen if the people working in offshore oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico were deployed to develop offshore wind?

A Quarter Of EU’s Electricity Demand Could Be Met By Offshore Wind At €54/MWh—The future may be out to sea.

Chevrolet Bolt Will Hit Remaining Dealer Lots in August—It’s going to be available nationwide a month or so earlier than forecast.  Here is to hoping that sales follow availability.

Resistance to Last-Ditch Antibiotic has Spread Farther than Anticipated—This health crisis is happening because we demand cheap meat.  There is no other reason to feed farm animals huge amounts of antibiotics which breeds antibiotic resistant bacteria.  We are literally staring into the precipice of going back to the dark ages in terms of fighting infections.

Trump Wants to Cut EPA’s Scientific Research in Half—Of course the ignorant buffoon wants to cut research staff.  These are people who spend their careers trying to actually discover answers to hard questions rather than watching Fox News constantly.

In Praise of ‘Scruffy Hospitality’—We just need to put the smartphones away and stop posting everything to Instagram or Facebook.  We need to get back to enjoying the analog moments of life.

Friday Linkage 8/8/2014

A little light on links this week. Not a lot of stories seemed super interesting.

On to the links…

Big Oil Companies Pay Just A 11.7 Percent Tax Rate, Report Finds—Modern oil companies are some of the most profitable companies in the history of the world. Not the most profitable of the past few years or decades. These are historically profitable companies compared to any other in human history. The fact these companies pay so little in taxes, as a percentage of income, is disgusting.

We’re Moving Beyond Energy Efficiency Into ‘Demand Destruction’—Demand destruction is a big deal. It means that consumers disappear from the marketplace entirely. You cannot induce a missing consumer to buy more because you are no longer in their consideration set. It’s essentially a death spiral.

Shattering Myths to Help the Climate—Finally, there seems to be a growing consensus that the risk of climate change is so much more costly than any mitigation that to do nothing is a fool’s choice. No wonder certain members of the GOP are still advocating a climate change denier’s stance.

Gear Companies Go Local—Local is the buzz word for the foods we eat and the beers we drink, but the gear we use in the backcountry is often made in far off places. I remember a time when people were fiercely loyal to bikes made in particular places—I was a Bontrager guy before Keith sold to Trek—but that is all but gone as a lot of production has moved offshore.

Should We Return The Nutrients In Our Pee Back To The Farm?—I am big proponent of returning nutrients to the soil and a promoter of using your household urine around the house. The question is not whether we should be returning our urine back to the soil, but how quickly can we get more people to take part.

Group Earns Oil Income Despite Pledge on Drilling—It’s always disappointing when an organization notionally dedicated to conservation chooses an easy money fix over a hard choice. Oh well, that’s life.

The Virtues of Old-School Car Camping—Not everyone wants to have an ultralight backcountry experience. There is something to be said for getting out into nature any freaking way that you can.

Behind Toledo’s Water Crisis, a Long-Troubled Lake Erie—Lake Erie may be the troubled body of water that the Cuyahoga River was in the 1970s—c’mon it was on fire—but the history of one of the largest bodies of freshwater in the world is disheartening.

Friday Linkage 8/3/2012

Sorry for the late post…work actually got in the way.  I guess I have to work sometimes.

On to the first links of August…

The Terrible Tragedy of the Healthy Eater–This is one of the best pieces on healthy eating I have read in a while and it has been making the rounds through email of a lot of my friends.  Pass me the paleo diet please…

A Day in the Life of Big Oil–In case you were wondering what it would be like to be the most profitable companies in the history of the world:

The Real Deal on Subsidies: Fossil Fuels $72B vs Renewables $12B–If you thought it could not get any better for the oil companies, dig this:

Koch Funded Study Confirms Human Centric Global Warming–It must suck to spend millions on faux science only to have your own money fund research that confirms the opposite of what you hoped would happen.  Karma is a bitch, but I wish it would get to these clowns faster.

Natural Gas Industry Paying Off Scientists–I do not know why I am surprised to find out that the fracking industry is paying off scientists to keep quiet or alter research, but I am.

U.S. Could Install 200,000GW of Solar–Not saying that we would or that we should, but we could…

Amazon Deforestation Falls for Another Year–It’s a long, slow battle to halt the rate of deforestation in the Amazon, but there at least appears to be progress according to Brazilian officials.

San Jose Installs a Cycletrack–I want some of these installed on roads around Cedar Rapids so we actually have some more places to ride unmolested by morons in steel coffins.  I digress…

$9 Cardboard Bike is A Smooth Recycled Ride–Then I could ride my DIY $9 cardboard bike.

Any Car Could be a Plug-In Hybrid for $3000–If you have to use a car at least make sure it is a plug-in hybrid.

Stay-at-Home Dad Wins Fight to Save Front Yard Garden–I love how the city officials are all ticked off that he used the rules to save his garden.  They only want that to happen when it supports their own viewpoint.  Fight the man!

What Happens to Unplanned Zoo Babies?–It seems crazy to me that zoos would euthanize endangered animals because the offspring was unplanned or did not fit into the genetic pool plan.  Is there not a better solution?

A Year in the Life of Quail Hill Farm–Take a moment and just enjoy the series of pictorials about the year on Quail Hill Farm in New York.