Tag Archives: biogas

Friday Linkage 7/28/2017

I have been a little lax on posting some things lately and I have no excuse other than work, children, life in general…you get the idea.  My hope is to have an update on my upcoming solar photovoltaic system soon and some thoughts on other ways to really embrace a lower carbon life here in middle America.

On to the links…

Vail Resorts Promises to Eliminate Emissions, Waste and Offset Forest Impact by 2030—Welcome to the party Vail Resorts.

Trump Nominates Sam Clovis, a Dude Who Is Not a Scientist, to Be Department of Agriculture’s Top Scientist—This is what happens when you elect people who profess to hate government and expertise in general to run the government.  You get people who are unqualified for the job screwing up and then claiming afterwards, “I told you government does not work.  See?”

The Quieter Monument Battles to Watch—Donald Trump and Ryan Zinke’s assault on our national monuments is, to put it mildly, monumentally unpopular.  Remember, this is a man who can lose the popular vote  by nearly three million votes and claim with a straight face that he had the most lopsided electoral victory in history.  Nothing is beyond the pale for these people.

As Outdoor Retailer Show Packs up for Colorado, Industry Flexes Political Muscle in U.S. Land Fight—The people who love the outdoors are being heard.  The companies who make money off the people who love the outdoors are making their voices heard.  This is no small change and it represents a viable path forward to protect our access to public lands.

Are Renewables Set to Displace Natural Gas?—Europe and the U.S. are very different places, so extrapolating upon trends from on to the other is dangerous.  However, I wonder what will happen if natural gas experiences price spikes like it has in the past.  Will renewables rush to fill the void left by coal as the second choice when natural gas gets pricey?

Seven Charts Show Why the IEA Thinks Coal Investment Has Already Peaked—Coal is in all kinds of death spirals right now.  The decline in investment is a long term impediment to their being any revival in coal’s fortunes.

“Clean Coal” Is A Political Myth, Says Coal Company Owner—Robert Murray is the gift that keeps on giving.  After John Oliver went after him using public statements and other records that were readily available he just keeps on opening his mouth.  Gotta’ love a rich man with no filter…oh wait, that is the clown we have in the White House.

Peeling Back the Red Tape to Go Solar—The run around and red tape dance has been the most frustrating part of getting my solar photovoltaic system installed on my roof.  Yet, I still have more hoops to jump through once the system is actually installed.  None of it is value added and all of it costs either money or time.  Ugh.

Straus Family Creamery Powered by Cow Gas—Why don’t we have a government program to install one of these systems at every dairy farm or other large livestock operation in the United States?

This Beautiful but Toxic Weed Could Make you go Blind—Giant hogweed is no joke.  I have friends with the burn scars from the sap to prove it.

Minimalism Is Just Another Boring Product Wealthy People Can Buy—I have always found it ironic that people buy books or attend seminars about minimalism.  Shouldn’t the idea be somewhat self-apparent with a little reflection?

Debunking What the Health, the Buzzy New Documentary that Wants You to be Vegan—Veganism has become the new snake oil for a lot of people.  It will not cure all that ails us and to pretend otherwise is to traffic in the same dreck that has gotten us into this mess.

Beer Sales are Down…Especially Among the Millennials—Millennials are trying to wreck everything.

A Cut Above: Two Axe-Throwing Venues Carve Out a Niche in Denver—Axe throwing venue?  Peak hipster?

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Friday Linkage 11/28/2014

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday enjoyed with the company of family and friends. I also hope that no one participated in the ridiculous shopping creep that has taken over the former holiday in the interest of more consumerism. This is the time of year when I tend to huddle indoors with my kids, wait for the worst to be over, and emerge on the other side of Christmas with the blank stare of apocalypse survivors.

On to the links…

Lean Times Ahead: Preparing for an Energy-Constrained Future—Look around and imagine what your immediate world would look like if energy were not available at the flick of a switch. What would it be like if you could not just turn up the thermostat a few degrees? It’s a possible future.

Wind Energy Provides More Than Two-Thirds of New US Generating Capacity in October—This is important because as older, dirtier plants go off line the generating capacity is being replaced with green energy. Even more telling is that for the balance of 2014 over 44% of new generation capacity has come from wind.

Biggest Ever Offshore Wind Energy Auction, Up To 5 Gigawatts—Now, let’s imagine some serious offshore wind power being sited near clusters of coastal populations.

Community Solar Prices at All-Time Low—Community solar is awesome because it gives people access to solar power who may not have the capital for an entire system or a site for a system. It also reduces the cost of the system per watt because the amount of solar being installed is so large. An economy of scale, if you will.

America Could Get 10 Percent Of Its Energy From Solar Power By 2030—Why does this need to wait until 2030? It’s not like America does not have enough roofs or parking lots to cover in solar panels. Make it happen.

UK’s First ‘Poo Bus’ Hits the Road—Once you get past the “ick” factor, biogas is a drop in replacement for natural gas. Considering the infrastructure already exists for natural gas it makes no sense why we are not making more biogas.

NRG Energy Committed To Cut Its Emissions In Half—These are commitments without overarching government regulation. Change can happen. I just do not know if it can happen fast enough.

Merchants of Doubt Film Exposes Slick US Industry Behind Climate DenialI’ve suggested you read the book, but now you can sit down with a bellyful of food and soda to get the same message.

Can Whole Foods Change the Way Poor People Eat?—Can a single retail store change the behavior of an entire neighborhood? I do not know, but Whole Foods in Detroit can only be a good thing. What bad can come of it?

Grade 9 Blogger takes on Big Sugar at a School Presentation—There is nothing like corporations getting owned by adolescents.

A Power Plant in California Goes Quiet, but the Stacks Still Tower—I have relatives in Cayucos, so Morro Bay is a familiar site to me. The three smokestacks, while incongruous to the natural landscape, seem almost inseparable in an odd way.

Post-Apocalyptic Lego Homestead

On a random walk through the Internet, I somehow stumbled across the Lego model for a post-apocalyptic home:

Is this the vision for the world after the apocalypse—zombie, religious, or otherwise—or is it the vision for how we will live in a world ravaged by climate change—an apocalypse of a sort I guess?

A lot of the items that make this house seem like part of a ravaged world are the same things that can make a house self-sufficient and resilient today.  Alternative energy?  Check, although I would think that solar thermal and photovoltaic panels would be a better choice for most locations.  However, as the folks over at Otherpower have shown a wind turbine can be made out of pretty simple materials.  Small scale livestock?  Check, nothing is better at turning scraps into both fertilizer and calories like a pig or flock of chickens.  Rain barrels?  Check, gotta’ make sure that you can wait out a dry spell like we are dealing with right now across much of the U.S.

Heck, there even seems to be a rooftop garden:

I am glad to see that a bicycle was included.  One thing that always chaps me about any post-apocalypse or peak oil story is the sudden resurgence of horses and the complete lack of bicycles.  Really?  In my neighborhood I do not know of one horse, but I can probably put my hands on at least a dozen bicycles between me and my neighbors.  Heck, I have three well-maintained adult sized bikes in my own garage.  Bicycles represent fuel free—aside from the calories burnt by human motive power—transportation devices.

I guess that is too much of a hippie vision for people to accept.

If you want to see the entire gallery, check it out here.

Friday Linkage 7/13/2012

It’s Friday the 13th…and that means absolutely nothing to me.  Except for the memories of movies where Jason Voorhies would terrorize stupid teenagers at camp.  I digress.  On to the links…

Less Sitting More Living—Basically, if you sit less and watch less television you will live longer.  While this comes as no surprise it is nice to see that there is finally peer reviewed science that tells us to get of our asses and move!

Burtynsky’s Oil Photos Ported to the iPad—If you ever want to see the majesty and sheer destruction that our global thirst for oil has done to the planet, you must see Edward Burtynsky’s Oil photos in person.  The large prints will sort of blow your mind.  The next best thing is seeing the photos on the iPad.  It’s $10 well spent.

Rising Demand is Giving Biogas a Big Lift—I have always thought that biogas seemed like one of the few “win-wins” to exist in the modern world.  You take a notional waste product—usually a waste product that is dangerous in the case of biogas facilities that use animal manure—and turn it into easily burnt gas.  The technology exists, the technology to exploit the gas exists, and the country has more than enough waste produce to use as feedstock.  Why is this not a bigger deal?

1GW of Solar PV in California—California now has over 1GW of customer installed solar photovoltaic on the grid.  There are a lot of interesting stats and tables in the report.  Check it out.

Humane Society Files Lawsuits Against 51 Hog Operations—This story is receiving a lot of press here in Iowa—surprisingly neutral thus far—because we have most of the facilities named in the lawsuit.  Hopefully this lawsuit sparks a discussion and backlash against the way that CAFOs are allowed to operate in the state, which is to say above or outside the laws established to protect the health of the planet, people, and animals.

In Rooftop Farming, New York City Emerges as a Leader—The growth of urban farming operations on rooftops is amazing.  This is not something I imagined would have gained any traction a decade ago, but here we are discussing operations that are estimated to produce up to 1 million—yes that’s a million—pounds of produce per year.  Wow!

5 Surprising Ingredients Allowed in Organic Food—I remember one of the debates about the government’s creation of organic labeling standards was that it would allow for the creation of “big organic” that subverted the values of the organic food movement.  That is to say, organic food was always about more than simply producing organic food.  It was about a healthy, sustainable, and inherently honest system of food production.  Obviously that sentiment was lost in the chase to establish a government sanctioned standard.

What are Pullet Eggs?—I have run across signs for these at the farmers market, but I have never asked.  Now I know.

Kebab Flowchart—If it’s summer than a grilled kebab can never be more than a few nights away.  A trusty quick dinner, the kebab is an underrated companion to America’s favorite grilling champions of hamburgers, bratwurst, and beer can chicken:

8 Water Saving Tips—As drought grips more of the country saving water should be at the forefront of our home front efforts.