Tag Archives: e360

Friday Linkage 10/2/2015

The Tesla Model X came out this week and I want one. But, at a starting price of $80K I might be better off looking at used Nissan Leafs costing under $10K. When will the Model 3 come out?

Note, there will be no Friday Linkage next week since I will be spending the week in Los Angeles evaluating suppliers for my job.

On to the links…

Coal Mine Starts Continue To Decline—This is the second step on the journey to the death of coal. If fewer mines are opening than fewer mines will be operating further eroding the ability of the fuel to be effectively and efficiently pulled from the ground. Let’s kick coal while it is down.

Is Cargill Backsliding on its Promise to End Deforestation?—Few large corporations are as hard to pin down on issues than Cargill. As a privately-held firm it is not beholden to the same reporting rules that allow shareholders to extract information from publicly-held firms. Perhaps public pressure can take some of the slack and get Cargill to be a good corporate citizen. I am not holding my breath.

Nearly Half of U.S. Seafood Is Wasted Annually, New Study Shows—Food waste is the single biggest environmental issue that we have control of in our own homes and through our consumption patterns. Every piece of food that we throw away is a wasted opportunity to reduce our impact on the world.

Batteries May Curb Sales by Power Companies, Moody’s Says—If the large scale deployment of energy storage technology is truly able to reduce peak demand power companies may lose a major source of profit. Power becomes very expensive and profitable for power companies when it comes at peak times.

Solar Hit ~7% Of Spain’s Electricity This Summer—Damn, 7% from solar is impressive any way you slice it.

Brazil Doubles Its Solar PV Target To 7 GW By 2024—What is the target in the good ol’ U.S.A.? Right, we do not have a national target for solar.

North Carolina Passes 1 GW Of Installed Solar—That seems like a lot of solar for one state that is not known as a particularly sunny locale.

Fracking has a Big Water Footprint, but That’s Not the Whole Story—The extraction of fossil fuels is a story about water. Without a lot of water it would not be possible.

Electric Buses Could Lead to Significant Savings Even for Smaller Cities—Why the government is not pushing electric buses and garbage trucks I will never understand. These vehicles seem like perfect candidates for conversion.

Saving Electricity—Spend a few minutes going through the various categories to see where you could be saving a lot of watts. Since I cannot get solar panels in the near term—thanks homeowner’s insurance—I am going to try and reduce my rolling twelve month usage below 300 kWh.

‘Thirsty’ Concrete Absorbs 880 Gallons of Water a Minute to Minimize Urban Floods—Why is this stuff not replacing hard concrete and asphalt in southern climes affected by heavy seasonal rains?

Friday Linkage 2/27/2015

February is almost in the books, but with about five inches of snow on the ground and more forecast over the next few days we should have good skiing into March. Just enough outdoor adventure to bridge until spring break.

On to the links…

Majority Of Republican Primary Voters Want To Violate The First Amendment—For people who tap little pocket copies of the Constitution every time they talk about President Obama, these clowns are pretty ignorant of the basic tenants of the document that they claim to hold so dear. Let me help them:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I do not think that the original intent of that amendment is very hard to interpret.  Even if your brain has been addled by countless hours of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

Noted Climate Contrarian in Hot Water—Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon, a noted climate change denier, has been completely “outed” as a shill for the fossil fuel industry as details of the big bucks funneled his way have come to light. Granted, truth and objectivity have never been traits the extreme right wing has looked for in its pundits.

Himalayan Ice Shows Chemicals Ban is Working—Stopping the distribution of these chemicals is a good thing. Science, the bugaboo of the right wing, works.

Wind Produced 10 Percent of Texas Electricity in 2014—Wow, 10% of Texas’—yes, Texas—electricity came from wind. Now, it’s a far cry from Iowa’s over 27% wind power percentage but we will cut them a little slack.

Wind Power Hits Record High In China’s Coal Hub—Usually when I comment about China it’s about dirty air or failed expectations, but this is good news. Shanxi is a polluted mess, but maybe things can be turned around with enough effort to deploy renewables.

India’s Air Pollution Is Cutting 3 Years Off The Lives Of Its Residents—Here is what is going to drive change in countries like India and China with regard to pollution. People will no longer accept ridiculous pollution as a prerequisite of development.

Diesel Braces For An Avalanche Of Solar Water Pumps—Solar is just awesome.

An Innovative Congestion Charge That Could Help Fix Our Crumbling Infrastructure—U.S. infrastructure is screwed right now. It’s in bad shape and national politicians have no plans to address the situation. At the state level things look a little better—heck, Iowa just passed a gas tax increase to address the shortfall in road repair revenue—but solutions are needed to bring in more revenue.

Despite Low Gas Prices, Car Buyers Still Want Higher-MPG Vehicles—People understand that today’s low gas prices will likely be gone by summer, but a vehicle is a choice you have to live with for years. No one should buy an SUV expecting sub-$2 gas for anything longer than a week or two.

Proterra’s New Electric Bus can go 180 Miles Between Charges—I do not know what the average daily mileage is for a city bus, but this is an interesting development.

Cow Manure to Ethanol Plant Switches On in California’s San Joaquin Valley—Why not? I would totally fill the tank with some ethanol from cow shit.

Is the Junk-Food Era Drawing to a Close?—The government is finally coming around to the evils of added sugar and people are voting with their wallets.

Pol: Spy On Food Stamp Users to Make Sure They’re Acting Poor Enough—Glenn Grothman is just the worst. The absolute worst this side of Steve King. Steve King is really the worst.

Could Hops Help Fight Cancer?—Maybe that dry-hopped IPA is more than just a palate wrecker on a Friday night. Maybe it’s medicine. Dig it.

Chickens Help Small Brewery Dispose of Used Grain—I have imbibed at Lion Bridge more than once, so I have helped to feed these chickens.

Friday Linkage 8/9/2013

You know the worst part about being busy with work and family?  You get a moment to breathe and you kind of realize all of the stuff you want to get done, but you really just want to lay down for a nap.  No one told me about this part of getting older.

On to the links…

Some Prosciutto Fans Turn to Iowa—I am so glad to see the great people behind La Querica getting some national press.  Here is a company in Iowa producing knock down outstanding prosciutto.  I buy it whenever I get the chance because it is a genuine delicacy.

‘Frack Gag’ Bans Children From Talking About Fracking, Forever—Does this seem a little over the top?  If there is “nothing to hide” like fracking proponents tell everyone within earshot, why are the companies doing the fracking going out of their way to restrict the speech of minors in perpetuity?  Just asking.

Life in a Toxic Country—China is messed up when it comes to pollution.  Regardless of what the government says the air, water, and soil is so contaminated with a devil’s brew of pollutants that it is going to cripple the country eventually.  It’s already playing out like a dystopian young adult novel.

Solar Could Provide One-Third of Western U.S. Electricity by 2050—Dig it.  Choose the right renewables for each region and you end up with a very compelling argument to deploy even more renewables.  I am not going to push solar as the answer in Iowa because we rock at deploying wind power.

Time Lapse Map Shows Growth of U.S. Wind Power—Craziness.  In 1992 there was enough windpower online to power ~315K homes.  By 2012 there was enough to power 15M homes.

Wind Energy Prices Hit Lowest Level In 8 Years As Industry Explodes—It does not matter that the federal government cannot get its act together or that ALEC is trying its hardest to get renewable energy standards rolled back, wind energy is on a roll.  The thing that bums me out is how far behind China we are in total installations.  That is just un-American.

Arizona’s Biggest Utility Wants to Tax Solar—You know that utilities are worried when they start asking utility commissions to enact taxes.  Everyone hates taxes, right?  So, everyone should hate something being taxed, right?  I don’t know if the Grover Norquist-esque logic will hold.  Check out the picture of the solar PV arrays in the article’s picture.  Those things are sweet.

Cuba is Finally Embracing Solar Power—It’s good to see Cuba breaking free of its usually centralized method of doing everything for a distributed model.  Not being reliant on imported oil, gas, and coal is also a good thing for an island nation that has a hard currency problem.

Recycling’s ‘Final Frontier’: The Composting of Food Waste—I do not get why composting of organic waste is such a non-starter for so many communities or individuals.  The end product is great for so many uses and the diversion of organics from the waste stream is a huge benefit to municipal waste systems.

Your Go-To Guide for Choosing Healthier Grains—The Greatist has produced an awesome infographic that helps you choose between amaranth and kamut:

Your Go-To Guide for Choosing Healthier Grains

Groundwork Laid, Growers Turn to Hemp in Colorado—Here’s to hoping that industrial hemp gets a fair shake.  My guess is that some people will rush in, the infrastructure to support processing will not be mature, and the first generation of proponents will wash out fairly fast.  It’s the second generation you have to watch out for.