It is time to decompress and enjoy the holidays. I know that the holidays are actually stressful for a lot of people—dinner arguments with drunk Uncle Carl who want stop saying “MAGA!” and “You’re all a bunch of snowflakes!” would take it out of any of us—but it is important to just stop for a moment.
Yes, the world seems like an unmitigated clusterfuck right now. For all intents and purposes the world is an unmitigated clusterfuck. However, it is important to remember that at almost any point in the history of the world things seemed like an unmitigated clusterfuck. Except the period from 1997 to 1999. That period of time was freaking awesome.
On to the links…
We’re Witnessing the Wholesale Looting of America—Washington D.C. is run by a bunch of sociopaths who want to take from the many and give to the few. The whole reverse Robin Hood thing is getting old real quick.
The EPA Spent $120,000 in Taxpayer Funds to Hire a GOP Public Relations Firm—Scott Pruitt may actually be the worst person in Trump’s administration. He is a paranoid party hack who scans his office for bugs, built a secret phone booth like something out of a 1960s spy movie, and he now is hiring partisan opposition research firms to message his mess of a policy platform.
E.P.A. Employees Spoke Out. Then Came Scrutiny of Their Email.—If you do not think we are living in an increasingly Orwellian state than Scott Pruitt’s EPA is here to make you nervous all over again. Remember, the president and all of his men like free speech as long as it is promoting their agenda of coal, tax cuts, foul air, dirty water, and MAGA.
Rick Perry’s Fake Grid Crisis just got Undermined by More Grid Experts—Rick Perry is the gift that keeps on giving. No matter how much he tries—the “smart guy” glasses are a good disguise—he is just a partisan hack from Texas who has no idea what he is doing when it comes to leading the department of Energy. His marching orders from the head Cheeto is to find out a way to pay back the coal barons who love America so much they want to blanket it in fly ash.
Global Coal Consumption Forecast to Slow—Other than India the world is trying to get off coal.
The World’s Biggest Coal Port is Now Preparing for the End of Coal—What happens when the market for coal dries up? It does not matter how much people like Donald Trump want to mine coal if there is no one to burn coal and no place to transport coal.
Burning Wood instead of Coal in Power Stations makes Sense if it’s Waste Wood—When the forests are managed for timber products, like in the southern United States, there is a lot of waste wood that does not get turned into lumber or pulp.
Tesla Responsible for Slide in U.S. Home Solar Sales—Have we entered the slow growth phase of residential solar installations? Or, is the business model used by companies like the former Solar City not up to long term stability?
Iowa Utilities Adding to State’s Wind Power Portfolio—Announcements like these are pretty routine in Iowa right now as Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy are putting the finishing touches on some serious wind energy expansion. Iowa is driving toward more than 50% wind produced electricity in the near term when you look at the aggregate numbers.
Germany Predicted To Set Renewable Energy Record In 2017—Take a moment to check out the chart:
Over 33% is coming from renewables and counting nuclear over 44% is carbon free. This is progress.
Meet the Microgrid, the Technology Poised to Transform Electricity—As our grid becomes increasingly brittle the solution to future resiliency may be a solution that looks a lot like the early days of electrification when small scale grids dominated.
Solar Power and Battery Storage could Topple 10GW of US Natural Gas Peaker Plants—Peaker plants are the necessary evils of the energy marketplace. When demand starts to spike in excess of baseload power these plants come on line fast to make up for the deficit. The downside to this rapid action is a severe lack of efficiency compared to traditional combined cycle generation plants. Replacing these plants with a renewable solution would be a very green thing kilowatt hour for kilowatt hour.
Unconventional Solar Panel Siting Saves Agricultural Land While Providing Plenty Of Power—Basically, there is a lot of potential space for solar panels that would not in any way imperil our ability to produce food. Just sock this away for that moment this holiday season when drunk Uncle Carl starts talking about how solar panels are taking away land from the farmers.
Food Waste is 20 Percent of Iowa Trash—Waste is bad. Twenty percent is crazy because it is just money in the dump.
One-Third of Forests aren’t Growing Back after Wildfires—Well, that sucks.
Wine Glasses are Seven Times as Big as they Used to Be—Given how messed up things seem lately I am surprised that the glasses are just seven times bigger than before.