Tag Archives: coral

Friday Linkage 8/30/2019

It is my belief that the last couple of weeks represent the turning point in the Donald Trump era of American politics.  Between proclaiming himself to be the “chosen one,” blatantly violating the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution by promoting his janky resort as a host site for a future G7 summit, and in general being an incoherent gas bag this is where the vast majority of the American public realizes that our time in the dark valley is near an end.

Perhaps it is the same across the globe as Brazilians realize their current leader is a corrupt profiteer, as Italians wake up from their decades long dysfunction to recognize the threat posed by nationalists, and as the United Kingdom comes to grips with the political calculus of Boris Johnson’s coup via the Queen.

Nothing is complete nor can anything be taken for granted, but within the next eighteen months I believe that we can put down this ugly episode like the diseased dog that is has become.

On to the links…

We Now Have the Technology to Create a Grid of Cheap Fully Renewable Electricity—These are opinions being written for sites like Forbes, Marketwatch, and CNBC.  This is hardly the opinion of green eyed dreamers anymore.  The reality is that the future is possible and it is incumbent upon us to demand that it happen soon.

Hawaiian Electric Companies Issue Largest Clean Energy Procurement to Date; Aim to End Coal Use, Replace Oil—Hawaii, due to its remote island location, is the United States’ energy lab for the future.  When Hawaii goes 100% renewable it will provide the blueprint for the rest of the country and, by extension, the rest of the world.

Energy Lobbyists Changed Politicians’ Official Letters Supporting Gas Project—To get to the ideal future we are going to have to deal with the fact that legislators and regulators literally have fossil fuel lobbyists write the opinions on projects.  This is not politics.  This is corruption.

EPA Plans to Abandon Regulations on Methane Emissions, Reports Say—Industry is breaking with the Trump administration on this and other proposals because they realized that the backlash that is coming is going to be brutal.  It will be even more so due to the Trump administration’s brazen gutting of anything that even looks like it might be beneficial to the environment.  What incentive does a Democratic lead government have to help an industry that was so in bed with Trump?  None.  Furthermore, the logic the Trump administration is using to gut these regulations works in reverse so the change will be quick, fierce, and dramatic when change comes to the White House.

These Are the Cities That Should Be Worried the Most About Climate Change Disaster—Is it any surprise that Florida is at risk and not prepared?

Can Solar Panels Handle the Heat of a Warming World?—It is a valid question, but does it really matter in a world where we need to stop burning fossil fuels?

The $30 Billion Exodus: Foreign Oil Firms Bail on Canada—The “smart” money in the investment community is turning against oil and gas investments that are seen as vulnerable in a world where there is an emerging political consensus to keep the dirtiest fossil fuels in the ground.

Coal Sector Outlook Drops from ‘Stable’ to ‘Negative’: Moody’s—Despite the Trump administration’s best efforts, which is really about the same as your kid putting all his toys under the bed when he “cleans” his room, coal is seen as a loser by people who actually have to put their money where their mouth is.

Australian Thermal Coal Exporters Warned of Falling Demand from India—India was the great hope of the Australian coal industry, but a softening global economy will reduce demand.

Offshore Oil and Gas Rigs Leak More Greenhouse Gas than Expected—The story about fossil fuel emissions is much more complex than just what is released when these fuels are burned to produce energy.  At every stage of production and consumption there is a contribution to the emissions of potent greenhouse gases.

The Surprisingly Great Idea in Bernie Sanders’s Green New Deal: Electric School Buses—Why is this not a standalone idea for all potential Democratic presidential candidates?  The benefits are well established and this could serve as a seed for a wider adoption of electric commercial vehicles.

‘World’s First’ Solar-Powered Rail Line Opens in the UK—I actually believe that there is a short line railroad in Australia that beat the Brits to the punch, but who is counting amongst friends?

This New York Agency Cut Its Energy Usage By 40%, & So Can You—Now, imagine a world where we took the initiative to reduce our energy usage by 40%.  It’s not hard and the tools exist.   All that is lacking is will.

How Copenhagen Plans to Reach Carbon-Neutral Status in Just Six Years—I applaud just about everything that happens in Copenhagen, but what I really want to know more about is this place:

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Betting the Farm on Drought—As a group, farmers may lean toward conservative politics and not be great believers in the science behind climate change.  However, the reality on the ground is forcing farmers across the world to figure out what adaptions must be made in a changing climate.

Getting Coral To Reproduce—Is there going to be a time when the default question about music to get animals into the mood does not involve the smooth baritone of the late Barry White?

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Friday Linkage 2/6/2015

New York gets some snow and people freak out. Boston gets some snow and it is the first sign of the pending apocalypse. The upper Midwest gets some snow and a few planes get rerouted, school gets cancelled, and everyone goes sledding. Just saying.

On to the links…

Even If Your Kid Doesn’t Get Measles, It’s Gonna Cost You—Seriously people, we nearly eradicated measles as a threat to public health. Freakin’ Mississippi had a vaccination rate for measles that is over 99%. WTF is going on in California? Get your kids vaccinated. It is one of the home run success stories of modern medicine.

I Don’t Vaccinate My Child Because It’s My Right To Decide What Eliminated Diseases Come Roaring Back—The Onion may be a false news site with a satirical bent, but the tone of this pretend letter to the editor is spot on when it comes to the attitude of most non-vaccinating parents. The reasoning is a mish mash of pseudo-science that would find itself at home on fringe message boards and late night talk radio. The problem is that ignorance is a threat to everyone’s health.

Some Farms Tried To Keep Their Abuse Secret. Then The Drones Arrived.—Ag gag laws are bad and corporate farms will stop at nothing to stop you from exposing their dirty laundry. They have even attempted to reverse long standing precedence regarding taking photographs from public property. We need to keep pounding away on these awful companies.

Solar & Wind = 53% Of New US Electricity Capacity In 2014—I am waiting for the day when this number is 100% and the retirement of fossil fuel plants increases, but more than half is encouraging. Bring on the sun and wind. I am getting high on that funky yellow sun.

FutureGen Dead Again: Obama Pulls Plug On ‘NeverGen’ Clean Coal Project—This boondoggle clean coal project is finally dead after two presidential administrations and zero real progress. Coal cannot be clean. Ever.

Latin America Solar Market Grew 370% In 2014—Granted, it’s from a small base. However, the growth is real and it is a great start. Developing countries are great places for solar and other distributed renewables to leapfrog the paradigm of centralized power production because the infrastructure was never built.

Algeria Doubling Renewable Energy Target, Now 25 GW By 2030—Algeria is not a country that comes up often when speaking about renewable development, but it is blessed with abundant sun and a relatively concentrated population. Seems like a winner to me.

Most Of Hawaii’s Coral Recover From Mass Bleaching Event—There is hope that our ecosystems can recover from our stupidity, but the first step is allowing these ecosystems a breather. Instead we are doubling down on emissions and speeding toward ruin like a runaway train full of oil.

The Pro Dumpster Diver Who’s Making Thousands Off America’s Biggest Retailers—These stories always remind me about moving day in college. You could wait until the early evening and pick out some real treasures in the pile of stuff just tossed aside as students moved out of the dorms. Stereos, furniture, and more. We are a wasteful and stupid society.

The Wild Deer That Roam a Japanese City’s Streets—Why can’t our relationships with wildlife be more like this all over the world?

Friday Linkage 8/15/2014

Moving to a new job is interesting. I have not had a job change in six years, so it kind of feels like a milestone but it is odd at the same time. Who knows what next week will bring?

On to the links…

Sales of Shark Fin in China Drop by up to 70%–I hope that international pressure and the realization that the soup really tastes like warm snot is starting to make people reconsider this outdated practice. Again, it could be just some spin from China’s PR machine.

China Will Install More Solar This Year Than The U.S. Ever Has—Is solar taking off? Well, here is one little stat to make you think about the volume of deployed solar. Remember, solar PV destroys demand.

Stacked Solar Cells could make Solar Power Cheaper than Natural Gas—Even cheaper solar power would be sweet. It’s already cost competitive, but if it were cheaper that makes the adoption curve go crazy.

Wind Farm Powering A Million Homes Nears Approval Deep In Coal Country—Considering that Wyoming is coal country this is a big deal.   3,000 megawatts of power would put this single wind farm on par with all but a few states total wind generation capacity. Damn.

Carbon Dioxide ‘Sponge’ could Ease Transition to Cleaner Energy—Here is the thing that climate deniers and opponents of the new EPA regulations forget, their vaunted market will come up with cost effective solutions because the demand is present.

When Did Republicans Start Hating the Environment?—When did Republicans start hating everything? Seriously, what does the party stand for as opposed to what it stands against? It’s a party devoid of big ideas.

20 Big Profitable US Companies Paid No Taxes—As you read this list, remember that Republicans want corporations to pay even lower taxes. The thing that kills me is that if corporations are people why don’t they pay taxes like people?

Absurd Creature of the Week: This Goofy Fish Poops Out White-Sand Beaches—A parrotfish is an amazing thing to watch when you are snorkeling. You can watch little puffs of white sand come out from their rear ends. Cool and gross at the same time.

Judge Refuses To Throw Out Challenge To Utah’s ‘Ag-Gag’ Law—This is important and should be followed by anyone with an interest in activism and free speech. If “ag gag” laws are allowed to stand there will be a chilling effect on speech and it will encourage industry to promote even more restrictions on our rights.

America Now Has Over 3,000 Craft Breweries—and That’s Not Necessarily Great for Beer Drinkers—The beer aisle is crazy now. How many IPAs and amber ales and bocks and sour ales and whatever else can a beer drinker choose from effectively? As I read more and more articles I believe a shakeout in the industry is coming.

Fermenting Beer Time Lapse Shows one Beautiful Breathing Sludge Monster— These open fermentation tanks are crazy mad scientist stuff:

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Friday Linkage 12/30/2011

This week is going to be a little light because I am getting my new computer up and running as well as dealing with the inevitable chaos of the holidays.  Who ever thought that having a week off of work could be so hectic?

EPA Boosts Production Goal for Cellulosic and Advanced Biofuels–Ethanol has me in a pickle.  On one hand, it is a domestically produced alternative fuel that is renewable.  On the other hand it has a host of environmental and social downsides.  However, if so-called advanced and cellulosic methods can be brought to industrial scale those downsides should be eliminated.  At least Congress is going to let the subsidies for corn based ethanol die.  Now about thos oil and gas subsidies…

Why are We More Boozy?–Apparently residents of the upper Midwest rank high in per capita consumption of alcohol.  There are probably a dozen intertwined reasons why, but I am going to put my chips on long winters, the ability to cover winter’s weight gain with sweatshirts, and a general conviviality.

Large Scale Solar Continues to Proliferate–Regardless of the bad press from Solyndra and other poorly performing solar companies, the mainstream story in 2012 is going to be the increasing commonly nature of solar photovoltaic as a power generation option. I remember the same thing happening to wind.  It went from fringe to mainstream option in about five years.

Vermont Plans for 90% Renewable Power by 2050–Why not 100%  Maybe there is a technical hurdle, but stopping at 90% thirty-eight years in the future seems like sandbagging.  At least Vermont is putting themselves out there.  I do not see Texas doing anything like this.  Big surprise.

Electrified Cages Revive Near Dead Corals–It is not all bad news when it comes to the future of coral reefs.  As this project shows, it is possible for humans to have a positive impact.

USB Outlet for Home–Currentwerks has come out with a great option for the home charging of mobile devices.  Skip the plug in wall warts and just use the USB cord plugged directly into a special outlet.  In January I am going to install one of these in my kitchen for charging phones, cameras, etc.

15 Money Saving Tips for Cooking and Shopping–Everyone needs a little help or inspiration when it comes to saving money in the kitchen or at the grocery store.  Resorting to a week of living on instant ramen and peanut butter toast does not qualify as frugal eating.  It’s just plain nasty.