Tag Archives: fast food

Friday Linkage 3/1/2019

It might be March, but I think that the ground dwelling rodent we trust to predict near term weather patterns is a liar.  We are going to be shivering, mostly metaphorically, through single digits temps during the day that plunge to below zero degrees Fahrenheit overnight.

Add to this the cycle of freezing rain, ice, and snow that has blanketed eastern Iowa and you get a recipe for surly people.  Seriously, we are just done with winter in this part of the country.

On to the links…

The David Bernhardt Scandal Tracker—You would think it would easy to follow Ryan Zinke and not appear to be a corrupt swamp creature.  Whoops.  This is the Trump Administration so one corrupt politician will always be followed by another corrupt politician.  It’s the only people left who have the stomach to serve under the man.

Synthetic Fibers Found at Bottom of Mariana Trench—Our plastic pollution has reached the most remote places on Earth.

The Future is Rural: The Unexpected Consequence of Energy Descent—As energy becomes less dense and more diffuse—think distributed solar as opposed to giant coal plants—there will be a difficulty in maintaining our current urban paradigm.  The question is what level of urbanism can be supported.

You Can’t Take on Climate Change without Tackling Sprawl—Our built infrastructure encourages profligate energy use.

Twelve Empty Supertankers Reveal Truths About Today’s Oil Market—The global oil and refined petroleum products markets are extraordinarily complex.  However, a dozen empty supertankers roaming the oceans is a sign that something is broken.

Germany Ditches Fossil Fuels and Looks to Renewable Energy—2038 seems like a long way off, but I remember when Y2K seemed like the future.  What happens when the curve of retirements steepens as coal becomes even more uneconomic?  I can imagine a future where this deadline becomes 2035 or sooner.

New Study Suggests Buying These EVs Used Saves A Ton Of Money—The market is pushing these used electric vehicles to a fairly major level of depreciation over a short period of time meaning that a buyer can get a relatively lightly used EV for a fairly low price.  It’s what happened with my Nissan Leaf.

Heat your House with a Water Brake Windmill—I had never even heard of this technology.  Now I imagine that there is a case to be made for small scale water brake wind turbines providing thermal energy in colder climes.

‘Grandmother Effect’ Helps Explain Human Longevity—It takes a village, so to speak.

A Whale’s Afterlife—It amazes me how little we know about so many things.  When I was a kid there was a legend about the “elephants’ graveyard” somewhere in Africa.  The idea of that was so enticing to a young mind.

Four Troubling Ways Fast Food has Changed in 30 Years—Basically, there is a lot more fast food available and we eat a lot more fast food.  The consequences for our waistlines and planet are fairly predictable.


Friday Linkage 10/5/2018

A little light on the links this first week of October.  I think almost everyone has been glued to the circus that is the Trump administration.

On to the links…

Chuck Grassley Plans to Take Trump’s Federal Farm Bailout Cash, Calls it ‘Equal Treatment’—Nothing says fiscal responsibility like making sure you get your bailout cash from an unnecessary trade spat.  Where was Chuck Grassley when homeowners were taken advantage of by mortgage lenders in the mid-2000s?  Where was Chuck Grassley when people lost their homes to illegal foreclosures?  People in Iowa would elect the corpse of Chuck Grassley.

Trump’s Plan to Scrap Mercury Regulations Won’t Save Coal But It Will Cost Lives—This is America under Trump.  It is a hellscape of increased deadly emissions from ageing power plants propped up by government largesse to line the pockets of a few coal barons.

Trump Administration, EPA say Radiation is Good for You—It is getting downright Orwellian.

U.S. Power Producers’ Coal Consumption Falls to 35-year Low—Every new solar photovoltaic array and wind turbine that I see is another shovel of dirt on the grave of coal.  If we can weather the interminable Trump storm of the next couple of years we can truly put the United States on a clean power path.

Germany’s Coal Habit Proves Hard to Kick—Germany wanted to transition away from coal and to renewables.  The problem with this plan was that Germany also wanted to eliminate its reliance on nuclear energy as well.

Banks turn their Back on Coal amid Emissions Concerns—Modern commerce runs on credit.  If banks are unwilling to lend most schemes are incapable of operating at any scale.  This is bad for coal and good for the planet.

China to Add 259 GW of Coal Capacity, Satellite Imagery Shows—This is bad.

Our Fertilizer Is Killing Us. Here’s A Fix.—Synthetic fertilizer has allowed for billions of people to escape famine.  It is also one of the drivers of bad global impacts like dead zones.

More than 1 in 3 Americans Eat Fast Food on a Typical Day, and We Eat it All Day Long—Is our fast food consumption a cause of our modern problems or is it a symptom?  Do we eat fast food because our modern lives do not allow enough time or flexibility to eat actual food?  Or, do we eat fast food because it taps into some primordial desire for salt, sugar, and fat?  Either way, it is bad for us all.

14 Food Waste Facts That Might Change The Way You Cook, Shop, And Eat—I believe that in order to get our planet right, we need to first get our households right.  The first step to get our households right is to fix our kitchens.  Victory is in the kitchen.

Friday Linkage 4/12/2013

You want to know the only good part about getting stomach flu?  I am a lot closer to my spring weight loss goal than I was on Tuesday.  Granted, it was two miserable days at home that I paid for the privilege.  I am going to look on the bright side of things for a little bit.

If I had not gotten ill there were a lot of things that I wanted to write about that will have to wait until next week when my brain works a little better.  The lack of uninterrupted sleep and little food has left me sluggish.

On to the links…

Is a “Game of Thrones” Winter Coming?—If I could have my own personal direwolf I might not care.  Granted, this spring has sucked because the winter weather will just not let go.

24.6 MPG: March 2013 was a record month for fuel economy in U.S.—It’s progress.  Slow and steady, but progress.  Like the author I hope that one day we no longer fret over miles per gallon when talking about the auto fleet.  Until then, however, I will take solace in whatever forward progress I can find.

Australia can go 100% renewable energy by 2030—Pretty much self-explanatory from the title.  The crux of the issue here is more political will than technical capability.

Solar Efficiency Progress—Just take a moment to really take this chart in:


The progress that has been made is extraordinary.  Especially considering all of the roadblocks put in place by policy makers over the same period of time.

Toward Perpetuity: Global Solar Is Skyrocketing, Will Soon Be Net Positive Energy Source—Solar is the real deal.  Now, going forward, each solar panel will be a net positive addition to the energy solution.  Dig it.

Turning Tires Into Gas for Energy and New, Valuable Materials—If you have every driven past one of those discarded tire mountains you have probably had the same thought, “What could we do with all that rubber?”

Polluting Plastic Particles Invade the Great Lakes—It looks like the problems associated with the plastic pollution of the oceans are now reaching the world’s fresh water bodies.  It was inevitable, I guess, but sad nonetheless.

Getting Serious about a Texas Sized Drought—Every time I read about the drought gripping much of the western and southwestern United States I want to run and pick up my copy of Marc Reisner’s Cadillac Desert.  The folly of our development in dry lands is a long term historical trend that shows little signs of abating.  Just look at construction in Phoenix.

Oyster Farm Caught Up in Pipeline Politics—This just shows how messed up our politics really are right now.  No bill can be taken on its own merits without a raft of amendments from both sides meant to gum up the works added.  Just wait to see what happens with the pending legislation on gun control.

Culprit in Heart Disease Goes Beyond Meat’s Fat—Red meat is just bad stuff.  It’s like a cigarette on the dinner plate.  I am glad to see that people are finally off the jihad against fat.  I can now slather myself in butter.

Yes, Healthful Fast Food Is Possible. But Edible?—I am amazed when people eat healthy food that is appetizing and act like it is a revelation.  Sure, if you are used to eating processed garbage all the time a meal of blah vegetables from the WalMart produce section is not going to be very tasty.  However, well-crafted meals of good ingredients will be tasty.  Even if made in a fast food setting.