Tag Archives: Earth Day

Friday Linkage 4/26/2019

Steve King, the white supremacist representative from northwest Iowa, is not a man of faith.  He uses his so-called faith as a shield for his vile beliefs and his lack of a record in Congress.  He is not like Jesus Christ, but he will waste no time in making the comparison if he thinks it will help him get elected.

This is the same strain of “faith” that allows people like Michele Bachmann to claim that Donald Trump is “godly.”

It is the same strain of “faith” that allows hucksters like Jerry Falwell Jr. to claim that Donald Trump can do no wrong in his eyes.

It is not faith.  It is naked lust for power.

On to the links…

Interior Department Watchdog Opens Ethics Probe Into 6 Agency Officials—Repeat after me, “This is the most corrupt administration in the history of the United States.”

This GIF Captures Just How Gigantic the U.S. Carbon Footprint Is—It’s kind of alarming to see this play out.

There’s an Amazingly Simple, Beautiful Way to Fix Midwestern Farmlands—This is the most impactful potential change I have seen proposed and it makes so much sense.  For too long the modus operandi has been to encourage farmers, at their own economic risk, to plant as much acreage as possible. What if the solution is to maximize the efficiency of capital relative to planted acreage?

10 Ways to Accelerate Progress Against Climate Change—We know what we can do in the near term to accelerate the fight against climate change.  None of these actions require breakthroughs in technology.  It just requires political will.

7 Things We’ve Learned about Earth since the Last Earth Day—Knowledge is power.

How America’s ‘Tree-to-Toilet Pipeline’ is Destroying Forests—We are literally wiping our asses with boreal forest.  There is a better way.

Eco-Friendly Solid Could Replace Conventional Refrigerants—No one talks about the damage refrigerants can cause because we think we beat this beast in the 1990s with bans on certain CFCs.  Nope and in a world where air conditioning becomes more prevalent the damage will be greater.

Could Hawaii Be Paradise For Hydrogen-Powered Public Transit?—Hawaii is our energy laboratory.  The hydrogen economy never really got off the ground because it was just a better idea to feed renewable energy into the grid instead of converting it to hydrogen and dealing with the attendant losses.  However, what if you have too much renewable energy at certain times?  Now it makes sense to think about hydrogen as a chemical battery of sorts.

The Problem with Online Shopping—I think the article could have stopped at the “problem with online” and answered a lot of questions.  The most frightening passage in the article is this:

Consumption has reached an all-time high in the United States. In 2017, people spent $240 billion on random stuff like clothes, shoes, phones, books, and toys – double what was spent in 2002, despite the population growing by only 13 percent.

What the hell?

Why You Should Join the ‘Do Nothing’ Club—Maybe we should all aspire to be Peter Gibbons.

Back to Earth: Washington Set to Allow ‘Human Composting’—Ashes to ashes and dust to dust…yeah, this is the way I want my family to deal with my mortal remains in the end.

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Friday Linkage 4/25/2014

I think that I hate Earth Day. I do not hate the fact that for at least one day people might pay attention to the environment. I hate the fact that it is usually observed in the most superficial ways. Look, I recycled my plastic water bottle. Big whoop, you shouldn’t be using a single use water bottle in the first place. Ugh.

On to the links…

11 Wins For The Environment Since Last Year’s Earth Day—Too often we focus on the bad things going on in the environment or to the environment. Sometimes we need to reflect on the good things.

America’s Urban Future—It would seem odd to anyone who was awake during the 1980s that America’s future might be in its cities. Just the pop culture references alone elicit memories of failing cities, corrupt governments, and general decay. Now it is where the most dynamic communities exist. Interesting.

A Polluted Superfund Site Is Now Home To 36,000 Solar Panels—Every time that I see a solar project go up in a green field development I want to puke. There are so many brown fields and other sites that could be utilized. Just look out the window on a flight near any major airport and look at the expanses of roofs that could be covered in solar panels. Just look at the video of this landing at LAX. At about the 2:15 mark you really see a lot of roofs that would be perfect.

Solar Roadways Puts up a Parking Lot, Launches Indiegogo Campaign—I want this product on my driveway right now. Think about all of the driveways in the U.S. that could be utilized to produce power. Or parking lots.

Wanna’ Know What Happened to the Gulf Coast Since the BP Spill? Read this Blog—BP may have recently declared cleanup efforts complete, but residents of the region know that it is a much different story. The recovery will play out over decades.

Monsanto GM Soy Is Scarier Than You Think—Basically, GMO soybeans appear to be carrying more chemical residue and are less nutritious. Next.

Swim to Sea? These Salmon Are Catching a Lift—Persistent drought and the modification of river flows, e.g. dams, have led to the requirement for herculean efforts on the part of wildlife management authorities to get salmon to spawning grounds. Isn’t there a better long term solution?

Unsustainable Seafood: A New Crackdown on Illegal Fishing—Apparently, the amount of seafood caught in our oceans is vastly underreported as illegal catches are stripping the seas of fish.

How to Reinvent the School Lunch and Get Kids to Eat Better—I know that there is a lot of attention being focused on the delivery mechanisms and food choices, but I think the number one issue facing the prospect of better school lunches is time. My daughter, who is in kindergarten, gets less than 25 minutes to eat lunch. Who thinks that is a healthy habit?

5 Reasons Why Your Coffee Tastes Bad—Coffee can seem like such a simple beverage, but it is really a complex dance of innumerable variables.

Company Finds New Life for Old Car Batteries—If you have ever replaced a car battery in a car, you know the drill. You have to exchange the battery or pay a fee. Well, here is where batteries go to die in order to be reborn.

Friday Linkage 4/26/2013

I hate Earth Day.  Not the actual day itself or the activities that people get involved in because anything that raises awareness is probably a good thing.  No such thing as bad publicity, right?

What I hate about Earth Day is that it begets Earth week or some company claims it is green by changing its logo for a few days and putting some preachy PSAs on the airwaves.  Big freakin’ deal.  Not to get too negative, but the problems we face are about more than recycling or changing a light bulb.  It’s about trying to reorient our way of life to something that is more sustainable.

It would mean something if I saw a PSA that said eating meat is one of the most environmentally destructive choices that an individual makes in a day.  Too bad the beef and pork producers would be all over the network that airs that little tidbit.  Money talks and conscience walks.

On to the links…

Climate Activist Tim DeChristopher Released from Prison—Has there been a person more railroaded by the justice system than Tim DeChristopher?  If an oil company bid on leases and failed to pay no one would go to jail.  But because DeChristopher was unrepentant at trial the judge decided to put him away as an example.  An example of what?  How the system protects the interest of the oil companies over all others?  Pretty much accomplished that your honor.

13 Reasons to be Glad George W. Bush is not President Anymore—I wonder why the good folks at Think Progress stopped at thirteen.  This could have become one of those running memes, like Chuck Norris jokes, that evolves into entire websites.  I also think that they forgot to mention one critical reason I am glad W. is no longer president…we no longer have to hear the “leader of the free world” mispronounce the world nuclear.

What The House GOP Doesn’t Want You To Know About Wind Vs. Oil Tax Credits—Why we subsidize the most profitable industry in the history of the world is beyond me.  Sorry, I cannot figure it out.

Fast-Growing U.S. Solar Industry Now Employs Over 119,000—When does the realization that the solar economy is real hit people?  When someone in your neighborhood puts panels on their home?  When someone in your neighborhood is employed by a solar company?

Could an Artificial Leaf Power Your Car?—It sounds like the Holy Grail of biofuel—an organism that secretes the raw ingredients of biofuel—but researchers appear to be on the right track to developing or isolating organisms that do just that.

Electric Taxi Experiment to Begin in New York City—I cannot think of a more brutal proving ground for a vehicle than being a taxi in a major metropolitan area.  Okay, maybe being owned by a high school kid who is the only person with a license in their circle of friends is also a brutal proving ground.  The experiment may not be totally successful, but the lessons learned will be invaluable.

Europe’s Carbon Market is Sputtering as Prices Dive—I think the drive to establish complicated markets to trade carbon is a dead movement.  It’s much easier to tax carbon at the fuel level and let the economics work themselves out without complicated schemes.  Plus, given the insanity in securities markets I have no faith in the same people to do anything good with carbon markets.  Trust Goldman Sachs?  Sure…

Confused Koala Discovers His Home has been Cut Down—The pictures in this article just made me really sad because this little guy seems to be emoting.  Why do we still allow clear cutting when it has been established that healthy forest ecosystems can be maintained with selective logging?  It seems insane.

Giant Animal Invasions—What is it about Florida and invasive species?  If there is some nasty invasive species, chances are that will be prevalent in Florida or start in Florida or be Florida’s state creature.  That state really is Satan’s hemorrhoid.

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Make a Comeback—Here was a fish that people thought was extinct that is making a comeback.  If we are to preserve our natural world, humans need to take an active role in actually restoring what we have destroyed.  A passive approach will not work.

Colorado Program gets Dirty Autos Off the Road—This seems like a great program that could be replicated nationwide.  Granted, here in a state that gets snow and, therefore, uses salt on the roads rust tends to claim vehicles before they become rolling relics of a different era.

Natural Gas Use in Long Haul Trucks Expected to Rise—This is a great example of an appropriate technology being used in a targeted way.  It’s insane to think about recapitalizing all private automobiles and fueling stations to a new paradigm, but commercial trucks can make the conversion because the routes are more constrained, the purchasers more concentrated, and the economic imperative more immediate.

Chris Bianco Talks Pizza and His New Place in Tucson—Chris Bianco is the man!  I have been to his pizzeria in Phoenix once—it was worth the wait—and enjoyed every pie that we ordered.  Now with a sandwhich shop and outlet in Tucson his reach can be extended.  Purveyors of great food should get lauded every chance we get.

The New Modern Garden: Edibles, Chickens, and Creativity—It’s so awesome to see gardens moving beyond the sterile, tilled rows of my childhood.  There is something intrinsically beautiful about these gardens that embrace organic lines and chaotic structures.  Plus, chickens are kind of cool.