Tag Archives: EPA

Friday Linkage 1/22/2020

January 20th was a good day.

QAnon conspiracy theories?  Busted, again.

Protests at state capitols nationwide?  A joke.

Keystone XL Pipeline?  Dead. 

Paris Climate Accords?  The United States is back in the game. 

Staying in the WHO?  Fauci says it is true.

The Trump legacy?  We’re working on it.

Here is a nice rundown of what President Joe Biden—say that a few times just to feel good—did through executive actions on the first day in office. 

We all welcome back a little bit of sanity after four years of sheer craziness that became routine after a while, which is the scariest thing of all.

Stay safe out there.

On to the links…

The Path to States Going 100% Renewable—There is a reasonable path forward.  The technology exists.  The political will exists in many states.  With just a little help from Washington D.C. we could be there sooner than we imagine.

A Federal Court Just Struck Down Trump’s Attempt to Make Power Plants even Dirtier—Now, we go back to the ideals of the Clean Power Plan and make it the law of the land.

Coal-Fired Power Plant in Southern Illinois a Major Obstacle to Biden’s Push for Carbon-Free electricity by 2035—How do we get this power plant shut down?  The fact that a single power plant emits as much carbon dioxide as 2 million cars is just a wild and frightening statistic.

Florida Power & Light Puts an End to Coal-Fired Power Generation—If coal cannot win in Florida, it probably cannot win anywhere.

Regulator Finalizes Rule Forcing Banks to Serve Oil, Gun Companies—Remember, Republicans hate rules and regulations unless those rules and regulations force you to do something they support.  Like, say, guns.  Hopefully, this rule dies like so many other things with the Trump taint.

Slow Vaccine Rollouts Damage Energy Demand—File this under the law of unintended consequences.  Perhaps, lower energy consumption is a new normal that the energy industry is going to have to come to grips with in the near future.

Denmark to Trial Green Hydrogen Production using Offshore Wind Turbines—This might be a way to make hydrogen a part of the future energy mix.

Minnesota’s Forests and Land Offer Big Opportunities to Cut Greenhouse Gases—Nature based climate solutions offer an immediate way to sequester carbon and buy us some time to figure out the rest of the equation.  Plus, like I always tell people when it comes to reforestation, what’s the worst outcome?  We end up with more trees?

More and More Homeowners are Renovating Existing Homes to Make them “Net Zero”—You do not need to build a new house to make it “net zero.”  You can do it in the home you own today.

A ‘Forever Chemical’ Surprise Awaits Biden’s EPA—Ban these chemicals right now until we can figure out how to deal with the environmental and health impacts.

Trump Revokes Rule Barring Lobbying by Former Officials as he Leaves Office—Like everything Trump does there is the headline and then there is the reality.  Lobbying ban?  Not so much.  Successful businessman?  Not so much.

Friday Linkage 10/30/2020

Just.  Days.  Away.

I am hopeful that on Tuesday night we can go to sleep assured that our long national nightmare will be scheduled to end in January 2020.

Oh, I am very worried about what an unbound Trump will try to do with a few months in power.  However, it is my belief that any bad behavior will further reinforce the fact that Republicans are just enablers of naked power.

If you have not voted, please vote.  If you have voted, please make sure that everyone you know has voted.  Once that is done, sit back, and watch what happens.

Stay safe out there.

On to the links…

Denver’s Unique Sales Tax to Fight Climate Change could be a Blueprint for Future Action Nationwide—Watch what happens in Denver on this ballot measure on Tuesday.

White House Says Trump Has Saved Environment. His Record Says Otherwise.—This is some next level Orwellian shit.  Just keep telling the lies until everyone believes you.  Or you lose the election and have to figure out how to avoid the creditors beating down your tacky gold door.

While We Focus on COVID-19, Trump’s EPA Is Quietly Killing Us—Never let a good crisis go to waste.

Trump’s Pullback of Pollution Controls is Even More Hazardous than You Think—No matter how bad you think things are the reality is probably a little worse.

Republicans Put the Oil Industry Above Economic Growth—These guys have to make sure that the campaign contributions keep coming in so that they can double down on culture war issues while reaping the profits.  Rile everyone up about guns, gays, and God while on the other hand putting in place policies that harm the economic interests of the people who put you in office.  It’s the modern Republican electoral strategy.

As Trump Dismisses Renewables, Energy Sector Doubles Down—Who would you listen to: people with real money on the line or an orange buffoon who’s business experience includes bankrupting multiple casinos?

Report Reveals Auto Giants Knew About Car Emissions and Climate Change — in the 1960s—Color me shocked.  Oh wait, I am not shocked.  In the slightest.

It’s Official: Solar Is the Cheapest Electricity in History—Here is the scary thing.  Solar energy can get cheaper.

Electric Vehicle Market Hits Its Tipping Point—EVs are a better driving experience.  The two things holding back mass adoption have been cost and perceived range.  Cost has been coming down and almost no one needs the max range of even an older Nissan Leaf on a daily basis.  The future is now.

Big Oil’s Hopes are Pinned on Plastics. It Won’t End Well.—Plastics are oil rendered solid.  The derivative products made from refining (e.g. chemical feedstocks or plastic feedstocks) are actually the products that make oil refining so profitable.  Take away that profit center and the house comes tumbling down.

Will the Extraction Industry’s Economic Turmoil Blight Colorado?—This is what oil and gas companies leave behind.  There is no honor with these people.

Wyoming Is Using Dark Money To Help Keep Coal Plants In Other States Open—Remember this the next time you see a campaign to support coal fired power plants in your state.

Beef is bad for the planet. Can we make it better?—Or, can we just eat less beef?

Restoring Seagrasses Can Bring Coastal Bays Back to Life—The next step is restoration.  The opportunities are damn near endless.

The Nightmare Scenario for Florida’s Coastal Homeowners—Maybe we should not have built billions of dollars of real estate in an area we knew was susceptible to any number of climate change related phenomena.

Ted Cruz is Asked Why National Debt is Paramount to Republicans only when a Democrat is in the White House—This question needs to get asked of every “deficit hawk” Republican who will come out of the woodwork in January after spending four years licking Trump’s boots.

‘King of the Coal’ Robert Murray Dies at the Age of 80—Nothing else to say:

Friday Linkage 7/31/2020

The clip is old, but the good stuff just needs to be kept in the news cycle.

Maybe this is why he sticks to golf.  Like over $138 MILLION in costs associated with at least 128 trips to play golf.

The people at that website are doing the Lord’s work.

Stay safe out there.

On to the links…

Local Opposition to Alaska’s Pebble Mine Grows as the Project Reaches the Next Milestone—The Pebble Mine project needs to die.  The only people who are in favor are rich people…oh wait, I just realized why it will never die.  Rich people get what they want at the expense of everyone else.  Always have and always will.

To Save Cities, We May Need To Ditch The Car—If coronavirus has taught us anything it has been that commuter culture is just insane.  Now that we have spent the better part of four months not driving everywhere for everything it may make people realize that livability does not equal free parking and wide boulevards.

Environmentalism’s Radical Next Generation—Every generation thinks that the one that follows is more radical.  The old guard of the Sierra Club looked on in horror as its relatively gentle approach was replaced by David Brower’s confrontational approach.  That generation could not understand the approach of organizations like Greenpeace.  It is the nature of things.

Residents to Get New Decision-Making Powers in England Cycling ‘Revolution’—The humble bicycle answers so many questions.

Target Joins Walmart in Staying Closed for Thanksgiving this Year—I recognize that this probably has something to do with coronavirus, but can we all just take a moment to breathe a sigh of relief.  Maybe our lives are not just about how much we can consume.  Maybe we can be about something a little less vacuous.

Twenty Questions that Will Make you Rethink Trade—I can think of one question to rule them all: Do we really need any of this shit?

EPA Watchdog to Investigate Trump’s Tailpipe Emissions Rollback—Here is what they are going to find: corruption.

Revealed: New Evidence Links Brazil Meat Giant JBS to Amazon Deforestation—This is why moving away from animal food products is so important.  The system is broken and the players are corrupt.  There is no reform.  There can only be replacement.

Investors Drop Brazil Meat Giant JBS—The first step.

A Danish Energy Giant Has Switched to Wind Farms. Its Stock Is Blowing Higher.—The future is blowing in the wind.

Offshore Wind Power Now so Cheap it Could Pay Money Back to Consumers—The term is negative subsidy and it is real.  These are wind farms paying money back to the government.  It is almost the dream of electricity too cheap to meter.

What Do a Durango Coal Mine and the Border Wall Have in Common?—If you picked Trump and corruption, victory!  It takes a special kind of Trumplican to want to invest in a coal mine in this political and environmental climate.

UK’s Biggest Pension Fund Begins Fossil Fuels Divestment—Uh oh.

‘E-Highways’ Could Slash UK Road Freight Emissions—Think about this as a system where trunk lines—heavily trafficked roads for freight—have overhead cables for electric propulsion.  The local deliveries could be handled by traditional ICE vehicles or electrified last mile solutions.

The SolarEdge Smart EV Charger Makes It Easy To Drive On Sunshine—I absolutely want one of these when we purchase our next electric vehicle.  My house is already “net positive” when it comes to solar production versus electricity consumption, but if I could match solar production to EV charging I could reduce the amount of electricity I pull from the grid.

The Big Rebuild: One-Week Zero-Carbon Home Makeovers and Setting New Comfort Levels—It seems so simple sometimes that it makes me wonder what is getting in the way.  Then I remember we are talking about human beings who will act in bizarre ways.

Conservationists Cap 30-year Preservation Effort with Protection of Banded Peak Ranch in Southern Colorado—It is not all bad news out there.

This Is the “Most Economically Important” Fern on Earth—Cover the Earth in green.  It can be little ferns.  It can be grasslands.  It can be trees.  Just get more green out there.

This Country Regrew its Lost Forest. Can the World Learn From It?—We can learn, but we probably will choose not to learn.

Dying Coral Reefs are Being Saved by Automation—Maybe our robot overlords will not be all evil.

Why Are the Cubs Making It So Hard to Be a Cubs Fan?—The title should actually be “Is the Ricketts Family Only the Second Worst Family in America because the Trumps are Still a Thing?”  These people, especially the kids, think that because they have billions of dollars—all from daddy’s bank account—that somehow they are important and likeable.  No, you are just rich douche bags.

The Surprising Reasons Why People Ignore the Facts About Climate Change—When I read articles like this I feel like Kristoff from Frozen.  Reindeer are better than people…

Friday Linkage 5/29/2020

Just when you thought things could not go from bad to worse in 2020 the Minneapolis police came to the rescue to reignite the storm over police killings of men of color.  Oh, and the prototype for “Karen” really outdid herself with that show in Central Park.

How is it that it is acceptable for men to cosplay as insurgents, publicly threaten duly elected officials, and verbally threaten police officers all while armed with weapons similar to what is carried by uniformed members of the military with nary a summons while protesters—also exercising their Constitutionally protected right to freely assemble—are met with fully equipped riot police?  Oh wait, one group is mostly comprised of middle-aged white men and the other is comprised of a heterogeneous slice of non-Trump America.  Got it.

Stay safe out there.

On to the links…

US Lets Corporations Delay Paying Environmental Fines Amid Pandemic—In the final eight months of the most corrupt presidential administration in American history—yes, I am projecting how history with judge Donald Trump and the rest of his enablers—there will be a lot more actions like these.

What The Post-Pandemic World Needs Is A Solar Energy Revolution—How about we just subsidize every rooftop solar project in the United States?  Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people put to work installing clean, green solar electricity that will pay dividends for the next twenty five years.  That’s right, nothing like this will ever happen with the McConnell-Trump axis of corruption in Washington D.C.

Coronavirus Cost Colorado’s Solar Industry Thousands of Jobs, but There’s One Bright Spot—Bring in some stimulus subsidies and watch the jobs follow.  All that extra rooftop solar would just be a bonus.

The Climate Case for the Four-Day Work Week—Post-pandemic I hope that we reexamine the behaviors that we took for granted pre-pandemic.  Is this the death of commuting culture in the United States that has driven so much post-World War II development?

It’s Time to Have a Conversation About Smarter Meat Eating—It took coronavirus for us to finally consider the impact of our insatiable desire for meat.  It is killing the planet.  It is killing the workers who process the meat.  It is damaging our health.  Is there anything or anyone it is not harming.

The UK’s CO2 Emissions Dropped To A Hundred-Year Low During Lockdown—This image just blows my mind:

5ec906e5240000510f8eb5a1

Renewables Crushing Coal in the USA— Won 100 Days Already In 2020—The white space represents a day or days when the production of electricity via renewables was greater than the production of electricity via coal:

US-renewables-vs.-Coal-2019-vs.-2020-YTD-UCS-from-EIA-1-1024x281

Renewable Energy May be Switched Off as Demand Plummets—Think about phrases like “record low consumption.”  How do we carry forward some of these behavioral changes post-pandemic?

Nearly 85% Of Power Capacity Added In India In Q1 2020 Was From Solar & Wind—The problem in India is that there is still a lot of coal being burned alongside a lot of other industrial pollution.

US Wind Power Plants Show Little Decline With Age—Looks like even older wind turbines are still cranking out a lot of the electricity that they were rated for when new.  I guess this kills another old say about the deterioration of generating capacity over time.  How is that shale oil well doing in Year 2?

Will Floating Turbines Usher in a New Wave of Offshore Wind?—Imagine placing a wind farm offshore of the eastern seaboard of the United States with each turbine generating the equivalent of thousands of homes’ electricity demand.  This is major change.

Rooftop Solar & Grid-Scale Storage Move Forward In Hawai’i—Hawaii is our great laboratory for renewable energy.  Due to high prices, an isolated grid, and social pressure there is a chance that Hawaii will go 100% renewable in the near future.  What they learn on the islands are lessons that can be brought over to the mainland.

Xcel Exploring Renewable Natural Gas Options—If this is an economically viable solution, why could it not be scaled across the United States?

World’s Largest All-Electric Aircraft Set for First Flight—It’s a relatively small first step, but anything that can reduce air travel’s emissions is a step in the right direction.  Or we could just stop flying.

The Recycling Dilemma: Good Plastic, Bad Plastic?—The only good plastic is one that does not end up in the waste stream, recycling or otherwise.

Toxic Coast: Cleaning Up a Century of Industrial Waste in New Jersey—New Jersey has been the butt of toxic waste jokes for fifty years and, apparently, with good reason.

Grenfell Fears Prevent Timber Building Boom—Is it not ironic that a disastrous fire caused in part by petrochemical-based building cladding is causing delays in the construction of wood buildings?  Never mind study after study showing mass timber construction to have a fire-retardant effect inherent in its design.  Facts never got in the way of a good industry lobby.

Threat to Billions of Ash Trees by Deadly Beetle Could be Thwarted as Scientists Identify Protective Genes—This reminds me of people looking for genes to aid in the fight against chestnut blight in the United States.

A Pizzeria Owner Made Money Buying his Own $24 Pizzas from DoorDash for $16—You have to love “new money” business models.

Friday Linkage 2/7/2020

What a week.

First, the Iowa caucuses fell flat on their face.  In the end I do not believe that anything really bad happened.  If you consider that there was an issue that was realized as the vote tallies were being made, so the party made a decision to delay reporting results and get the numbers right.  With a physical paper trail it was possible for the party to take its time and check its work.  Isn’t this a course of action that should be applauded?

Second, to no one’s surprise Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate.  Whatever.

Third, Nancy Pelosi is my new spirit animal:

NancyGif-1

On to the links…

Mountain Athletes Push Progress over Perfection in Climate Fight—Climate change is the fight of our lives and, for that matter, future generations’ lives.  Too often the environmental movement gets stuck on reaching for a perfect solution in place of progress.  Every step forward counts.

EPA Readies a Present to the Coal Industry—This is just another example of why the 2020 election is so important.  Big pollution, which includes industries like coal mining, is standing arm in arm with the corrupt and criminal Trump administration in an attempt to destroy the integrity of our air and water.  It really is the best government that money can buy if you want to poison people.

10 US Oil Refineries Exceeding Limits for Cancer-Causing Benzene—Does anyone think there would be any enforcement of this by the Trump administration?  Didn’t think so.

Why One Solar Power Project In South Dakota Will Rule Them All—South Dakota apparently gets a lot of its power from hydroelectric, which means that maybe its additional renewables can be fed into the grid to replace coal power elsewhere.  Is a single big project in South Dakota the tipping point for the region?

Can The US Wind Industry Beat The Coming Headwinds?—Yes.  Why?  Cost.  This one graphic shows where wind is already the cheapest additional kWh:

Wind Map

Change the assumptions a little and a lot of the natural gas counties become wind counties with a few solar counties in the sunnier places.

The Future Of US Solar Is Bright—It’s a future so bright we should all wear shades.

Costa Rica Is At Nearly 100% Renewable Energy For Electricity—Sure, Costa Rica is a small and has abundant hydropower.  Regardless, 100% renewable energy is a big deal.

U.K. Government Plans to Bring Petrol and Diesel Sales Ban Forward to 2035—The end of fossil fuel powered vehicles is approaching.

Fossil Vehicle Sales In France Crash By 25% As EVs Quadruple To 11% Market Share—The market is speaking and it wants EVs.  Remember, France is the eight largest car market in the world.  This is not small potatoes.

Norway Hits 64.4% EV Market Share In January, Up 24% Year On Year—Almost two-third market share for pure EVs and plug-in hybrids is insane.  The future is now.

ChargePoint Teams with U.S. Truck Stops to Expand Electric Vehicle Adoption—I use ChargePoint operated charging stations frequently on trips to Iowa City, about twenty five miles from my house, and when I need a top off at work.  I have never had a problem save for not being able to use the charging station because someone beat me to it.  What blew me away about this article was that ChargePoint has places to take their network from ~108K charging stations today to ~2.5 million charging stations in 2025.  Wow!

Americans Still Love Libraries—Libraries are still an important part of our cultural landscape.  Support your libraries.

Let’s Play Chicken—How would anyone know if a chicken nugget did not actually contain any chicken?  It’s like Whit Castle going with an Impossible Burger patty.  The meat is really not the point of the product.  It’s a vehicle for condiments.

Colorado Marijuana, Beer Industries Partner to Recycle CO2—Synergy baby, synergy.

Friday Linkage 9/13/2019

On Friday the 13th I want to “pour one out” for a site that has gone dark.  Think Progress and its companion site Climate Progress were linked to frequently from my blog.  The reporting was always well done and backed up by copious well documented sources.  Editorial factionalism and a bitter unionization battle probably contributed to the demise of the site.  The same problems have plagued other “new media” operations as well over the years, but this is a lost nonetheless.

On to the links…

25 Books That Teach Kids To Care About The Environment—The children, they are the future right?  Well, we should be helping them to understand just how amazing, precious, and threatened this planet of our is in the modern age.

There’s a $218 Billion Design Problem Sitting in Your Fridge Right Now—You want to know the real reason why this will not change?  It’s the same reason that I cannot get parts for an appliance that is just a few years old or why a small part for a car costs hundreds of dollars.  The manufacturers of these products want to sell you a new product.

Why Industry is Going Green on the Quiet—This is a sign of the polarized times that we live in.  If a company can produce the same product using less destructive methods why does it need to be kept secret?  Probably because a reactionary slice of the population will react like their hair is on fire at the mere mention of environmental concern.

A Decade of Renewable Energy Investment, Led by Solar, Tops USD 2.5 Trillion—This gives you an idea about the potential scale of the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables.  If you want to create jobs in the United States you would support renewables at every juncture.  Imagine trillions of dollars more being spent to deploy solar and wind across the United States.

30 Million Acres of Public Land in Alaska at Risk of Being Developed or Transferred—Your public lands are being sold off by the most corrupt and criminal presidential administration in the history of the United States.

Trump Campaign is Cashing in on the Alabama ‘Sharpie’ Controversy he Keeps Complaining About—Every time I think we have reached the height of Trump’s unique combination of stupidity and hubris I am surprised by a new event.  Remember, Trump totally did not change that map.  Trump totally does not know who drew the limp circle showing Alabama in Hurricane Dorian’s path.  However, you can totally “own the libs” by giving his slush fund…er, campaign $15 for a freaking Sharpie.  Get some Trump branded straws to complete you MAGA look for fall.

Department of Justice to investigate BMW, Ford, Honda and Volkswagen—Remember, the right wing is all about states’ rights as long as those states’ rights are about unlimited access to firearms, restricting access to health care, gutting social programs, and in general making the world safe for rich people.  God forbid a state, which has the precedent to set its own emissions standards, would contradict the federal government.

Hydrogen Could Replace Coke In Steelmaking & Lower Carbon Emissions Dramatically—Steel production, like concrete, is a carbon nightmare.  However, steel is essential to modern civilization so any decrease in its carbon intensity is a win for the planet.

Pulling CO2 Out of the Air and Using it Could be a Trillion-Dollar Business—It is doubtful with Moscow Mitch in power that we will ever see a price put on carbon emissions in the United States.  However, what if we could create a market that placed a value on carbon dioxide.

Renewable Energy At Risk In Rural Electric Cooperative Tax Snafu—The Republican tax debacle of 2017 is the gift that keeps on giving.  So to speak.  This piece of garbage legislation that was rushed through because no one actually wanted the details to be public is creating messes just about everywhere.  Wasn’t this the signature legislative accomplishment of so-called policy wonk Paul Ryan’s speakership?

How Much Photovoltaics (PV) Would be Needed to Power the World Sustainably?—I like the thought exercise, but this is not about a single technology.  Freedom from fossil fuels will come as a result of deploying a portfolio of renewable energy technologies combined with greater efficiency.  It is not rocket science.

50 Years Ago a Nuclear Bomb was Detonated under the Western Slope to Release Natural Gas. Here’s how Poorly it Went.—This was someone’s bright idea.  Heck, it was probably the idea of a group of fairly smart people.

It’s Time We Treat Some Forests Like Crops—Let’s just make sure that we do not treat trees like corn or soybeans.  Those crops have been a disaster for Americans.

Invasion of the ‘Frankenbees’: The Danger of Building a Better Bee—What could possible go wrong?  It’s not like scientists have been wrong about making drastic changes to our environment before.

Today’s Special: Grilled Salmon Laced With Plastic—Our love affair with plastic and our inability to deal with its waste is a great, unregulated public health experiment.

The Definitive Superfood Ranking—Can we just stop with the superfood nonsense?  Seriously, you can eat all the kale you want and you will still not be healthy.

Chicago’s New Tool Library Is Awesome, Exactly What It Sounds Like—I own a lot of tools—some bought and some acquired through family—but a lot of my tools just sit for extended periods of time.  This is true even though I use my tools a lot to build furniture and fix things.  For the average user my guess is that tools get used a couple of times at most.

mountainFLOW Launches Plant-Based Ski Wax—I want some.

Friday Linkage 7/5/2019

With July 4th falling on a Thursday this year it makes for a rather strange week.  If you are not taking vacation, like half of my building it seems, you get a day off near the end of the week and have to come back for a Friday.

It’s like a ghost town in the office right now.

On to the links…

What Will Our 2040 Energy Future Look Like?—These forecasts have a way of being very wrong when market forces and technology collide to change the paradigm.  However, when a relatively conservative news outlet like Forbes is sounding the death knell for certain fossil fuels you know something is up.

There’s a New EPA Air Sheriff in Town, and She’s Got a Shaky Grasp on Climate—Where is the Trump administration finding so many barrel bottoms to scrape these political appointees from?  How soon before Sean Hannity is appointed to be Secretary of State or some such BS?

The Sack Of Washington—Oh wait, it is like a concerted plan by the most polluting industries to destroy the EPA from within.  I was giving ol’ Donnie Two Scoops too much credit.  [LINK: https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/two-scoops%5D

For the First Time Ever Renewables Beat Coal in the US—23% of U.S. power in April was generated by renewables. 23%!

Market Efficiency, Not Regulation, Is Driving People from Coal—Nothing Donald Trump does can stop this from happening.  His actions can slow down progress, but come January 2021 the game us up.

As Trump Attempts to Prop Up the Struggling Coal Industry, Illinois is Taking Another Step Away from its Dirtiest Source of Electricity—Illinois is merely pushing over a tottering industry.  The article states that the eight coal fired power plants at risk for closure are already uneconomic to operate.

A 100% Renewable Grid isn’t Just Feasible, it’s in the Works in Europe—I have said this many times on this blog, do you remember a time when skeptics said renewables could only be a small portion of our electricity generation? First, it was no more than 5%.  Then it was adjusted higher.  Each time renewables exceed a certain threshold the skeptics just keep adjusting higher.  100% is going to be the upper limit.

Fracking Creates A Glut Of Fossil Fuels & A Mountain Of Debt—If you want to destroy value just invest in the fracking industry.  Don’t listen to me, listen to a former shale gas executive lay it out:

The shale gas revolution has frankly been an unmitigated disaster for any buy-and-hold investor in the shale gas industry with very few limited exceptions. In fact, I’m not aware of another case of a disruptive technological change that has done so much harm to the industry that created the change. While hundreds of billions of dollars of benefits have accrued to hundreds of millions of people, the amount of shareholder value destruction registers in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The industry is self-destructive.

Cement Production makes More CO2 than all the Trucks in the World—Our love affair with cement and concrete is killing the planet.  This is why tall timber buildings are the future.

Shipping Sector Comes Under Increasing Pressure To Cut Its Carbon Footprint—This is why it is so critical to stop buying so much stuff.  That stuff we buy has to be shipped and shipping is a carbon bomb.

Cities are Beginning to Own Up to the Climate Impacts of What they Consume—What we consume has a direct relationship to our carbon emissions.  Consume less, emit less.  As the economic engines of the modern world cities have a lot of power to change consumption patterns.

One Man Is Trying to Fight Climate Change By Mobilizing an Unlikely Team: Iowa’s Farmers—Actual farmers, as opposed to giant corporations and absentee land owners, care about the soil because these men and women understand that the soil is what sustains generations upon the land.  We need to support policies that reinforce these beliefs at the expense of the agricultural industrial complex.

Big Farms Find Easy Ways around Trump Trade Aid Limits—Color me surprised that big corporate agricultural interests found a way to work around rules meant to benefit smaller producers.  Oh wait, that is basically how agricultural policy in the United States has worked for the past fifty years or so.

Everything You Need to Know about the Booming Business of Fighting Food Waste—We waste a lot of food.  Combating food waste is both an economic and environmental imperative.

Give Your Yard Back to Nature—Every square foot of turf grass that we replace with low maintenance native plants is a victory for bugs and the land.  Our never ending expanses of artificially green turf grass is an eco-catastrophe.

The Mycelium Revolution Is upon Us—There is a fungus among us.  Sorry, I could not help myself.

Friday Linkage 6/14/2019

What the actual shit?  This is the Secretary of State of the United States of America telling the public that the solution to climate change is to move to different places. Oh, and the travel time for goods shipped between continents might be slashed because of the lack of sea ice.  I am sure everyone is going to be comforted knowing that their 65” television from China is getting here a little faster as they roast in a climate hellscape.

On to the links…

Report: Global Emissions At 7-Year High—Well, fuck.

EPA’s 3 Dirty Tricks to Undermine Regulation (and Why They Probably Won’t Work)—  We live in an alternate reality now where dirty is clean, good is bad, and facts are fake.

U.S. Renewable Power Capacity Surpasses Coal For The First Time—Buried in all the grim news are some glimmers of hope.

Here’s Proof That Electric Cars Are Displacing Gasoline—Demand destruction is a bitch.  Once that demand is gone it is not coming back and fossil fuel companies are starting to come to that realization.  These are millions of gallons of gasoline demand just…poof…gone from the market:

fotw1081_grande.png

Australia Missing Out on Huge Cuts in Emissions through Energy Efficiency Failure—Basically, if we just were more efficient with the energy that we already produce we could make major headway toward reducing emissions.  Using less energy to begin with is the first step in a net zero emission future.

Climate Change Is the Symptom. Consumer Culture Is the Disease.—Our modern society is just a joke.  We have become nothing more than money lungs bent on consumption of crap.

US Offshore Wind Race Heats Up, Now Connecticut In The Mix—To get to a zero net emission future offshore wind has to be part of the renewable energy portfolio.

Follow The Money: Global Investors Flee Coal Power Like A Hot Potato—Get used to the term stranded assets.  It essentially means assets that have no value because there is no buyer in the marketplace.  You may have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in a coal mine only to find that its value is zero  because there is no other party willing to invest.  What the market giveth the market can taketh away.

Renewlogy Turns Low-Grade Plastic into Usable Fuels—We have a plastic waste problem on this planet.  I do not know if turning plastic waste into a liquid fuel is the right idea, but it is better than anything that we are doing right now.

ALDI Ranks First Out of 20 Retailers for Reducing Single-Use Plastic—This is kind of like winning an ugliest dog contest.  Yes, you are a winner.  However, it is for being an ugly dog.

Processed Foods are a Much Bigger Health Problem than we Thought—Maybe that hokey diet advice about not eating ingredients you cannot pronounce was not that hokey after all.  Maybe there is no reason for PopTarts to exist.

Are McMansions Making People Any Happier?—A bigger house will not make you happier.  A grill with twelve burners and a Bluetooth meat thermometer will not make you happier.  As a matter of fact most stuff will not make you any happier beyond the initial sugar rush of the initial purchase.  Get off the hedonistic treadmill.

Climate Change I Have Known—Climate change is real and its impacts on our lives are noticeable.

Your Coffee-Buying Habit Could Hamper Your Retirement—It is important to think about personal finance in terms that people can understand.  Retirement for most people is something so far away that we fail to understand just how powerful actions taken today can be in setting us up for future success.

Friday Linkage 5/10/2019

Steve King, the vile racist from northwest Iowa who inexplicably gets elected every two years to the House of Representatives despite achieving nothing for his time in Congress, is the fucking worst.  As Davenport, a city in Iowa that sits along the Mississippi River as part of the Quad Cities, was dealing with flooding downtown following epic early season rain and a failure of a temporary barrier Steve King had the audacity to speak:

… That means it will rain more and more places. It might rain harder in some places, it might snow in some of those places. But it’s surely gotta shrink the deserts and expand the green growth, there’s surely got to be some good in that. So I just look at the other, good side.

Seriously?  This is the modern Republican Party in the age of Trump.  Don’t worry about global ecological disaster because it might get better in a few places.

On to the links…

How Taxpayers Covered a $1,000 Liquor Bill for Trump Staffers (and More) at Trump’s Club—Nothing like a little self-serving corruption to line the pockets.  My favorite part?  Lining out the taxes on the bill.  Only the little people pay taxes.

The Tax Bill for Many Big Polluters Last Year: $0—The Trump Administration is an orgy of bad behavior and giveaways to industry.  Everyone is fat, drunk, and happy right now because they get to keep on drilling and dumping like there is no tomorrow.  The hangover in 2021 is going to be brutal for these people.

Environmentalists Fight Mining Plan By Ivanka Trump’s Billionaire Landlord—The key thing in Trump world is to make sure that you ladle benefits upon Trump and his children.  If you can manage to butter the family circle up the world is your oyster.  Or open pit mine.

The Trump Organization’s Problem with Possible Money Laundering—Just in case you needed a little reminder as to the myriad ways that the Trump Organization is profiting from the public trust.

Mike Pompeo Admitted the Arctic Is Melting. He Just Didn’t Mention Why.—This is the new Republican message on climate change.  Yes, I recognize that the planet is going haywire.  I am not a scientist, so I cannot speculate as to why.  Would you like to drill for oil on public lands?

Can New York Make Buildings Super-Efficient, Fast?—Imagine this kind of effort on a regional or nationwide scale?  This is the type of near term “victory” that we can achieve vis a vis energy usage to reduce our carbon emissions without radically altering our way of life.

We’ll Soon Know the Exact Air Pollution from Every Power Plant in the World. That’s Huge.—Or is it yuge?

1 in 5 Americans Now Live in Places Committed to 100% Clean Power—Twenty percent is a lot, but more is better.  I am sure there was a time when it looked like we would ever get rid of leaded gas and catalytic converters seemed like techno-mumbo jumbo.

Why the Bicycle’s Future Looks Bright—The bicycle’s future has always been bright because there is no simpler device that can return such ample benefit.

Dark Money Group Spent $1.25 Million on TV Ads Supporting Bill Imposing New Fee on Solar Panels—I do not watch much television, so I did not see these ads, but apparently these ads were on all the time.  Nothing says transparency like a dark money campaign to get people to pay more.

Iowans Use a Lot of Energy. Here’s How Much.—Damn, we use a lot of energy per capita in this state.

The Problem With Lab-Grown Meat—This is the same problem with organic when “big food” got into the game.  It replicated the ills of the industrial agriculture system with a veneer of planetary benefit.

The Complicated Gender Politics of Going Zero Waste—This kind of reminds me of the joke about newspapers announcing the end of the world.  The Washington Post’s headline was going to be “World Ends: Women and Children Impacted Most.”

Do Married Millennials Cheat on Each Other?—Every time I see an article about Millennials having a marked improvement in a certain behavior I believe that the headline is missing the point.  Millennials, in many wars, are reverting to norms of behavior that predate the worst generation in American history: baby boomers.  Baby boomers are the worst.  Fight me.
Oh, No, Not Knotweed!—I have yet to run across this nasty invasive yet, but based on this article I never hope to see a single sprout.

Friday Linkage 3/8/2019

Every week I think that world cannot get crazier and every week I am shocked to find that it may have actually gotten worse.

We now live in an America where layers upon layers of the President’s advisers, confidants, lawyers, and administration members are actually convicted of felonies and sentenced to jail time but Republican loyalists continue to defend the administration tooth and nail.

We now live in an America where a national news network is working hand in glove with a corrupt political party to sway Americans’ opinions on issues to favor billionaires despite these policies harming the vast majority of people in this country.

We now live in an America…just fill in the blank with the latest depravity.  When does this madness stop?

On to the links…

What Democrats and Republicans Drink on Mardi Gras—If your choice of beer in 2019 is Michelob Ultra than you are everything that is wrong with this world.

Republicans Warn That Liberals Are Coming for Your Burgers—It makes for a nice sound bite to rile up your Uncle Carl watching Fox News all day, but it is not true.  Today’s Republican Party is a joke.  It is a purely reactionary body of low level hucksters selling a vision of society that appeals to a narrow band of the American public.

To Revive Rural America, We Must Fix Our Broken Food System—When politicians talk about rural America or the farm economy they are really talking about policies that favor gigantic agribusiness at the expense of both farmers and food consumers.  Once you understand that paradigm everything in the farm bill begins to make sense.

Jay Inslee just Launched a Presidential Campaign that will be All About Climate Change—It is likely that Jay Inslee will fall short of the nomination.  Heck, with this many people running right now it is likely that a lot of people will fall short.  However, this is an important addition to the political conversation and I am glad that Jay Inslee has the courage to make it his issue.

Post-Hurricane Harvey, NASA Tried to Fly a Pollution-Spotting Plane over Houston. The EPA said No—In Trump’s America pollution is good for you because it is brought to you by oil and gas companies.  Of course they have the best interests of the public in mind.  Right?

Coal Burning Plants Aren’t Just Polluting the Air—They’re Poisoning Water—Exactly what is good about coal?

Banks around the World Opt to Offload Coal—Get used to hearing about the weighted average cost of capital for coal projects.  The higher the WACC goes the less likely it is for coal projects to get funded because they cannot deliver the necessary return on investment relative to their risk profile.  Banks getting out of the coal game drives the WACC higher.

Wyoming Legislature Extends Lifeline to Coal Power—This is what the free market looks like under modern day conservative leadership.  If something is uneconomical and bad for the environment it must get supported because the paymasters running oil, gas, and coal companies need to be kept in business at the expense of anything else.

Colorado Democrats’ High-Stakes Oil and Gas Bill Is Finally Here—Oil and gas companies have run roughshod over the people of Colorado for decade.  Fracking rigs come right up to residential neighborhoods.  Houses even end up exploding.  A changing state is the canary in the coal mine for oil and gas dominance of the American West.

An Illinois Bill Leans into the Most Contentious Part of the Green New Deal—Environmental justice is also social justice.  As the environment is degraded the people who will suffer the most are the ones who had the least responsibility for the degradation.

Finland Approves 2029 Coal Ban For Energy Use—You go Finland.

This Is What Peak Car Looks Like—The financial argument is one thing.  What happens when cities decide that dedicating so much valuable space to personal automobiles is a waste?  The future is now.

Electrify Everything: Why our Thinking has to be as Flexible and Resilient as our Buildings—The key to resilience is flexibility.  What works in one place may not be the best use of resource is another place.  Solutions are tailorable to particular locations.

This Is How the Age of Plastics Began—Plastic is the trash that we have the hardest time dealing with and this is how the problem began.  If we need to decarbonize our society we must also work on ridding our products of plastic.

Recycling Is Broken—How we deal with our trash—which is really what recycling is at the end of the day—is coming for a reckoning now that we can no longer easily outsource the job to China and other developing economies.

Californians are Losing Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Recycling Deposits—As human beings we are not the most rational creatures when it comes to money despite what economists would like to tell us.  Sure, this money is spread out in small amounts across large numbers of people so the perceived loss is low.  However, this is still a lot of money left on the table.

Is This the Death Rattle of Mail-Order Meal Kits?—God I hope so.  These kits are like the worst habits of your local grocery store delivered to your doorstep.  So much plastic.

The Science Behind Why Hipsters Always End Up Looking the Same—Interesting.