Tag Archives: BMW

Friday Linkage 11/29/2019

It’s Black Friday.  I hope that you are doing something today that is not shopping related.  Please.

On to the links…

Keystone XL: Police Discussed Stopping Anti-Pipeline Activists ‘by any means’–That is right, your freedoms as guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States mean nothing when an oil company wants to build a pipeline on your land.  The government is in bed with the oil companies.

Global Use of Coal-Fired Electricity Set for Biggest Fall this Year–We keep fighting and we keep pushing for a coal free future.  Our literal lives depend on it, literally.

Coal Knew, Too–Surprise, surprise.  The coal industry is almost universally a bad actor.  The coal industry treats communities, individuals, and the environment horribly in pursuit of a few extra dollars.

What A $108/kWh Battery Pack Would Mean For Tesla–I do not remember what the magic number in terms of cost was supposed to be for battery packs in EVs to speed mass adoption.  Maybe it was $100 per kWh. Maybe. Regardless, Tesla appears to be getting close on a decent level of scale. Now imagine millions of battery packs being manufactured by lots of players.  Scale brings cost down.

BMW Spends Billions to Secure Batteries and Drivetrains for its EVs–This is a sign that EVs are mainstream.  It is important to remember that many automobile manufacturers plan along 5-10 year time horizons given the lead times for things like stampings, etc.

Strike for Sunshine–Everyone on the left keeps waiting for a revival of organized labor in America.  Maybe the ideas behind the Green New Deal can spark a revival, but I am skeptical.  I do believe, however, that old school shoe leather organizing of workers across the industrial spectrum is what is needed.  Imagine a better world where Amazon warehouse workers, WalMart employees, and whoever else are unionized.

Clean Energy Technology was Thought to be Uninvestable. One Fund Thinks Otherwise–I am very leery of the “smart money” of Wall Street.  However, access to lots of capital may help speed development of clean energy.  I just hope that this is not a Faustian bargain.

How Bamboo Building Can Cool the Climate–Bamboo is just cool.

Kids In Finland Ride Their Bicycles To School In -17°C Weather–People at work look at me strangely when I go on a walk outside in weather that just hovers around freezing.  Imagine what they would say if I let my kids bike to school in even colder weather. Oh wait, my son walks to school year round.

Coca-Cola Sweden First Market To Adopt Fully Recycled Plastic–This is the absolute bare minimum that we should accept from packaged food makers.  If you cannot package your product in 100% recycled materials you cannot put your product up for sale.  Simple.

Friday Linkage 9/13/2019

On Friday the 13th I want to “pour one out” for a site that has gone dark.  Think Progress and its companion site Climate Progress were linked to frequently from my blog.  The reporting was always well done and backed up by copious well documented sources.  Editorial factionalism and a bitter unionization battle probably contributed to the demise of the site.  The same problems have plagued other “new media” operations as well over the years, but this is a lost nonetheless.

On to the links…

25 Books That Teach Kids To Care About The Environment—The children, they are the future right?  Well, we should be helping them to understand just how amazing, precious, and threatened this planet of our is in the modern age.

There’s a $218 Billion Design Problem Sitting in Your Fridge Right Now—You want to know the real reason why this will not change?  It’s the same reason that I cannot get parts for an appliance that is just a few years old or why a small part for a car costs hundreds of dollars.  The manufacturers of these products want to sell you a new product.

Why Industry is Going Green on the Quiet—This is a sign of the polarized times that we live in.  If a company can produce the same product using less destructive methods why does it need to be kept secret?  Probably because a reactionary slice of the population will react like their hair is on fire at the mere mention of environmental concern.

A Decade of Renewable Energy Investment, Led by Solar, Tops USD 2.5 Trillion—This gives you an idea about the potential scale of the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables.  If you want to create jobs in the United States you would support renewables at every juncture.  Imagine trillions of dollars more being spent to deploy solar and wind across the United States.

30 Million Acres of Public Land in Alaska at Risk of Being Developed or Transferred—Your public lands are being sold off by the most corrupt and criminal presidential administration in the history of the United States.

Trump Campaign is Cashing in on the Alabama ‘Sharpie’ Controversy he Keeps Complaining About—Every time I think we have reached the height of Trump’s unique combination of stupidity and hubris I am surprised by a new event.  Remember, Trump totally did not change that map.  Trump totally does not know who drew the limp circle showing Alabama in Hurricane Dorian’s path.  However, you can totally “own the libs” by giving his slush fund…er, campaign $15 for a freaking Sharpie.  Get some Trump branded straws to complete you MAGA look for fall.

Department of Justice to investigate BMW, Ford, Honda and Volkswagen—Remember, the right wing is all about states’ rights as long as those states’ rights are about unlimited access to firearms, restricting access to health care, gutting social programs, and in general making the world safe for rich people.  God forbid a state, which has the precedent to set its own emissions standards, would contradict the federal government.

Hydrogen Could Replace Coke In Steelmaking & Lower Carbon Emissions Dramatically—Steel production, like concrete, is a carbon nightmare.  However, steel is essential to modern civilization so any decrease in its carbon intensity is a win for the planet.

Pulling CO2 Out of the Air and Using it Could be a Trillion-Dollar Business—It is doubtful with Moscow Mitch in power that we will ever see a price put on carbon emissions in the United States.  However, what if we could create a market that placed a value on carbon dioxide.

Renewable Energy At Risk In Rural Electric Cooperative Tax Snafu—The Republican tax debacle of 2017 is the gift that keeps on giving.  So to speak.  This piece of garbage legislation that was rushed through because no one actually wanted the details to be public is creating messes just about everywhere.  Wasn’t this the signature legislative accomplishment of so-called policy wonk Paul Ryan’s speakership?

How Much Photovoltaics (PV) Would be Needed to Power the World Sustainably?—I like the thought exercise, but this is not about a single technology.  Freedom from fossil fuels will come as a result of deploying a portfolio of renewable energy technologies combined with greater efficiency.  It is not rocket science.

50 Years Ago a Nuclear Bomb was Detonated under the Western Slope to Release Natural Gas. Here’s how Poorly it Went.—This was someone’s bright idea.  Heck, it was probably the idea of a group of fairly smart people.

It’s Time We Treat Some Forests Like Crops—Let’s just make sure that we do not treat trees like corn or soybeans.  Those crops have been a disaster for Americans.

Invasion of the ‘Frankenbees’: The Danger of Building a Better Bee—What could possible go wrong?  It’s not like scientists have been wrong about making drastic changes to our environment before.

Today’s Special: Grilled Salmon Laced With Plastic—Our love affair with plastic and our inability to deal with its waste is a great, unregulated public health experiment.

The Definitive Superfood Ranking—Can we just stop with the superfood nonsense?  Seriously, you can eat all the kale you want and you will still not be healthy.

Chicago’s New Tool Library Is Awesome, Exactly What It Sounds Like—I own a lot of tools—some bought and some acquired through family—but a lot of my tools just sit for extended periods of time.  This is true even though I use my tools a lot to build furniture and fix things.  For the average user my guess is that tools get used a couple of times at most.

mountainFLOW Launches Plant-Based Ski Wax—I want some.

Friday Linkage 8/2/2013

It’s August…wow!  My daughter starts kindergarten in less than three weeks, so that is kind of mind blowing.  Where did all of that time go?  Where did that little girl go?

On to the links…

World Solar Power Topped 100,000 Megawatts in 2012—Just look at the graph in the first part of the article that shows the cumulative solar installations since 2000.  It’s amazing.

Thai Beaches Blanketed in Crude—And if you want to see what our future holds if we continue to be reliant on petroleum, witness the coast of Rayong.  Nice, huh?

A Plan to Save Yosemite by Curbing Its Visitors—I have not made it to Yosemite National Park yet, but I have read enough articles to know that the crush of tourists in the summer can be a little much.  So much so that it almost destroys the awesome beauty of the place.  Almost.

A Race to Save the Orange by Altering its DNA—Apparently there is a disease called citrus greening that is devastating the citrus fruit industry.  The interesting statement that I found in the article was that there was no proof of immunity in all of the cultivated citrus.  What about all citrus?  You know, including the citrus that might not be cultivated.  Just saying.

Too Much Rain in the South means Too Little Produce on the Shelves—Man, the southern U.S. cannot get a break.  First it was drought and now it is too much rain.  Keep electing those climate change deniers guys.  It’s working out really well.

New York Is Pretending Factory Farms Aren’t An Environmental Problem For The Sake Of Greek Yogurt—Basically, the state of New York changed the rules on regulating dairy farms so that the facilities that produce milk for Greek yogurt could escape expensive CAFO regulations.  Nothing like money to grease the wheels of government.

City of Los Angeles says Parkway Gardens Need to Go—Yep, because when I have been to Los Angeles the number one problem I saw was people planting some gardens in the parkways.  Actually, it was horrible to see some green in the landscape on a long overlooked piece of land.  How awful!

Tour of an Oyster Farm—I do not eat oysters.  Something deep in my soul is scarred after watching my parents slurp down a whole lot of them when I was a child.  Nonetheless, how these bivalves are grown or farmed is pretty interesting.

Pro-Hemp Group Seeks Sen. Mark Udall’s Support—With Amendment 64 passed in Colorado and other states taking a more liberal stance on marijuana, I am hopeful that industrial hemp will get a second look as a viable crop.  I do not think it is a miracle plant like some proponents, but it is intriguing for a number of applications.

Cannabis in Your Car Doors, But not to Smuggle It—Speaking of applications, the newly introduced BMW i3—which I am digging as an EV—uses kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) in the door panels.  Dig it.

Sailing Barge Launches in Vermont to Test Carbon-Neutral Shipping—There is something really romantic about the notion of sailing barges plying the Great Lakes to move cargo.  Boats harnessing the wind to deliver goods without the loud, dirty engines of the massive cargo ships.  Interesting.

Could Planting Trees in the Desert Mitigate Climate Change?—This idea has some merit, but the jatropha tree seems like snake oil.  It was supposed to be a miracle tree as an oil producer but that did not pan out when people realized that planting trees on marginal land would yield marginal results.

Nepal’s Tiger Population on the Rise—It was not all bad news this week.   It looks like there are now more tigers in Nepal than anytime since the 1970s.  If we could bring back Nehru jackets to celebrate things would be sweet.

The Medium Chill—A friend of mine like to quote that there is a leisure class on either end of the wealth spectrum.  It’s the people in the middle range who seem to be stuck in a never ending cycle of work.  I think that examining what really makes you happy is essential and that a lot of people would be surprised to find out what truly makes them happy.

How to Make the Perfect Hipster Label in 6 Easy Steps—Is there anything more annoying than the overwrought artisan movement?  Yep, hipsters involved in the overwrought artisan movement are more annoying.  I love artisan products, but there is a bland sameness to many of the products now that it almost seems like these things come from a hipster artisan private label manufacturer.