Tag Archives: CARB

Friday Linkage 2/15/2019

It’s not a polar vortex in February, but for some reason I would take the cold temperatures over what we have had the past two weeks.  How does an inch or so of ice that gets topped off with nearly a foot of snow and capped with a little wintry mix?  Add in the drifting from 40 mile per hour winds and temperatures that swing thirty degrees in a twenty four hour period.  That is what February has been like so far in eastern Iowa.

Now you know why I am dreaming of spring.

On to the links…

Uniquely American’: Senate Passes Landmark Bill to Enlarge National Parks—Good things can happen.  This is an unalloyed win for advocates of public lands.  Granted, it still requires a signature from individual number 1 but I have to imagine that even he is inclined to go with the flow on this.

What’s Missing from the Green New Deal—I think that the most important thing is that we are having a conversation about the Green New Deal.  Could you imagine this happening just two years ago following Trump’s “victory” and the ascension of a completely Republican controlled Washington D.C.?  Nope.

Priorities: Where Do You Start with the Green New Deal?—If it were me, I would start with a nationwide reforestation effort focused on degraded lands.  It could be lands impacted by mining in Appalachia, beetle kill in Colorado, and wildfire in California.

Is Renewables’ Production Tax Credit Bullet Proof?—I have to imagine that in this political climate the production tax credit for renewables is going to get renewed past 2020.  Some red state Republicans support the PTC and Democrats are in favor, so the odds are favorable.

Trump Administration will try to Exempt Specialty Bulbs from Energy Efficiency Standards—Of course the Trump administration will try to roll back new energy efficiency standards.  Try is the operative word.  BTW, can we just kill the Edison bulb trend?

USDA says Filler once Known as ‘Pink Slime’ can be Labeled Ground Beef—Of course the USDA would allow pink slime to be labelled as ground beef.  It is like we live in a dystopia where the president feeds visitors to the White House fast food…oh shit, we do live in Idiocracy now.  Damn.

China is polluting California’s air—Pollution is both local and global.  The air may be horrible in China and India, but those same pollutants will impact other countries.  Even countries an ocean away.  Just because we have outsourced our pollution does not mean that we have avoided our pollution.

Coal Developers Take Note: Climate Change Killed This Coal Mine—Climate change is real and people are really starting to take notice.  If a judge uses this as a reason to stop coal development we may have finally turned a corner.

War on Plastics May Stunt Oil Demand Growth Projections—Take a look at the chart:

Plastic Pie Chart.jpg

Thirty six percent of the demand for plastic is for packaging.  Buy less stuff to save money and reduce the demand for disposable plastic.

Another Way To Power Electric Cars: “Refillable Technology”—Flow batteries and related technologies, which this particular article deals with, seem like a great way to get around the problem of quickly charging EVs.  I wonder if there is a way to get the best of both worlds.  Make an EV that you charge at home most days, but have the option of refilling with charged electrolyte when on a trip far from home.

How EV HVAC Use Impacts Range Much More Than Extreme Temps—If there is a negative article about EVs you can bet the press is going to pounce.  Here is the thing, even with reduced range an EV will handle your daily commute.  Why is this even a story anymore?  And another thing, where were the articles about traditional ICE cars not being able to start in the polar vortex?

California to Transition to 100 Percent Electric Buses by 2040—Why can’t we make this a goal for 2030?  If transitioning 12,000 busses is the equivalent of 4 million cars we should be all over this effort.

Bottle Recycling in Oregon Hits 90 Percent Record High—I live in a state with a bottle deposit law and it works.  I imagine that if we adopted a nationwide ten cents per bottle deposit law that recycling rates for cans and bottles would increase accordingly.

How Big-Box Stores Bilk Local Governments—Here is why our governments—local, state, and federal—do not have the money to implement programs people care about: businesses have manipulated the tax code with loopholes to avoid paying any tax.

Solar Jobs Climb in Iowa—Most of the news around solar in the U.S. has been a downer lately as the Trump tariffs have bitten the industry.  However, Iowa solar jobs were up which is a good thing.

Friday Linkage 12/23/2011

You know the world has gone all wacky when the EPA releases emissions rules 20 years in the making and people complain about the “invisible boot” of government.  After 20 years you would think that the forthcoming rules were very well understood and that the process had allowed sufficient time to prepare.  Alas, if you do not agree you must be a Republican running for President of the United States.

The world has also gone wacky when the emission of mercury, an extremely toxic elemental metal, is stacked against the cost.  When is it okay to release a highly toxic substance into the atmosphere that endangers the health of all Americans?  That’s right, never.  The public health effects of mercury in the atmosphere cannot be weighed against the economic cost because the two are not comparable.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Fabulous Festivus, and whatever makes your days bright.  On to the links…

I Want a Vertical Bike Rack—For anyone who has ever gotten to campus or work to discover the bike racks overflowing this is for you:

I love how the town of Aalborg has “just” 20% of its trips taken by bicycle.  20% in the U.S. would make the car lovers in the U.S. run to the succor of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh to cry of a UN conspiracy.

Darrell Issa is an Ass—In what is getting to be a theme, I am designating someone as an ass on a weekly basis.  Representative Darrell Issa (Republican, California) is using his power as chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to inquire into the process by which the new fuel economy standards were reached.  Really?  This is the best use of government resources?  Oh wait, if he actually wanted to root out government corruption he might have to look in a mirror first.  Corruption thy name is Representative Darrell Issa.

States with Most Installed Wind and Solar See Least Increase in Electric Rates—  Portfolio theory says that as you diversify your assets, the amount of risk you carry as an investor decreases because you are increasingly less exposed to the ill effects from one single asset declining in value.  The same thing could be said for power generation.  Increase the availability of multiple generation options and the exposure to swings in the price of generating that power are not amplified.  It’s simple business school education.  You’d think the guys who ladle praise on the “job creators” would have learned this lesson.

Record Year for Scottish Renewables—By the end of 2011, Scotland could produce almost one third of its electricity from renewables.  Yep, one third.  Even more amazing is that the goal of producing 100% of Scotland’s electricity from renewables by 2020 is on track to be achieved.  Renewable portfolio standards in the U.S. of 20% by 2020 seem lame by comparison.

German Renewables Surpass Nuclear and Hard Coal Electricity Production—As if to make us feel even more lame by comparison, Germany now gets almost 20% of its power from renewables surpassing hard coal and nuclear generation for the first time.  Renewable energy is up to 20% share from 16.4% the prior year.  Not too shabby.

Seattle Finally Bans Plastic Bags—After failing in 2009, the city of Seattle has finally banned the scourge of our time—the single use plastic bag.  This ban is a little more far reaching than others because it includes more locations than just supermarkets.  As our retail options proliferate, our regulatory environment needs to adapt to accommodate.

Guerilla Grafting—So many street trees represent so many opportunities to produce food that is hyper local.  Just think about the potential in America’s landscaped boulevards and office parks.  Hmmmm……

Veggie Broth from the Vegan Zombie—When the apocalypse meets the need to make soup, only the mad genius behind the Vegan Zombie can save you.  With my father converting to veganism after turning 63 for health reasons, I am always looking for help trying to figure out how to accommodate his new diet.  If it involves slaying the walking dead, so much the better.

Getting Back into the Kitchen—I think the single most subversive thing that someone can suggest is that we teach ourselves how to handle ourselves in the kitchen.  I am not talking about learning how to unroll some crescent rolls and turn on the oven, but a return to an emphasis on the skills of real home economics.  Our future may depend on it.

53 Years of Backyard Farming—As if gardening on a large scale were something new, these people have been doing it for over one half of a century.  In Iowa canning or gardening is not a trend because people never stopped canning or gardening.  For a lot of people, these skills were never lost.

Eating Well from a Dumpster—Sometimes even my embrace of extreme eco living has limits.  Dumpster diving is one of those things, but the amazing bounty that can be found in what we throw away is truly disheartening.  This is radical home economics at its most extreme and dedicated.

Rebuild the Dream—Sometimes the simplest answers are staring us right in the face but we lack the political will to execute.  When it’s in an infopgraphic it seems even easier: