Has America gone mad? I am starting to wonder if this is the moment when this country turns toward ruin because its leadership is so disconnected from anything resembling coherence. The current tax “reform” legislation winding its way through Congress is a thee day old salad bar of bad ideas cribbed from the plethora of failed Republican economic experiments going back to the 1980s. The only hope that I have if this passes in anything near its current form is that it finally puts the dagger in the heart of any right winger being able to stand on anything that looks like economic principle.
Of course, I said the same thing when Donald Trump got elected about evangelicals and those clowns are falling in line to support Roy Moore because…’Merica!
On to the links…
Sam Brownback Trolls America: The Guy Who Wrecked Kansas is the GOP’s Role Model—Kansas is an abject failure of a state right now because Sam Brownback decided to remake the state in the image of Paul Ryan’s utopia of low tax, low quality life that he dreamed up while short pouring beers from kegs at fraternity parties. No seriously bro, Ayn Rand was right about everything!
This Map Shows Exactly How Many Republicans in Your District Don’t Believe in Global Warming—These are the same people selling the lie that trickle down economics works.
How Could the Agung Volcano in Bali Affect Global Temperatures?—James Inhofe just got all excited because he might get to talk about snow in the winter again as some kind of perverted proof that climate change is not real. No talent ass clown. Notice the trend in temperatures from the chart? Short term perturbations do not change the long term trend of warming.
Interior Department Mired in Investigations—In a few years the accounting will hold this current presidential administration as the most inept and corrupt in the history of the United States. No amount of Twitter insults or Fox & Friends call ins will change the reality.
U.S. Energy Sources and Uses: Everything You Need to Know in One Lovely Chart—This is one of those charts to keep around and reference frequently:
Just look at the rejected energy total. That essentially equals wasted energy. Efficiency is the holy grail kids.
Solar Panel Prices Plunge by a Shocking 26 Percent in One Year—I thought that the downward trend in solar panel prices would level out, but at this rate we will just be able to put panels on whatever surface is available. Oh, and wind is getting cheaper too.
U.S. Coal Industry Shows No Sign of Comeback—No matter what Donald Trump, Rick Perry, Scott Pruitt, or any other coal obsessed right wing stooge says coal is not coming back. It’s fake news to say anything other than coal is in a long downward trend that will be almost impossible to come out of unless the fundamentals of economics change.
Oil and Gas Industry is Causing Texas Earthquakes, a “Landmark” Study Suggests—All that natural gas being pulled from the ground in places like Texas might also have been the cause of the ground literally breaking apart. Awesome.
A Map of $1.1 Billion in Natural Gas Pipeline Leaks—Just remember, these are the same people who want to build the Keystone XL pipeline and others.
Solar Grid Parity For Australia By 2020 As Renewables Surge—That is just a little over two years away. This means that in all of Australia solar will cost the same as coal or natural gas regardless of condition. Now, imagine a scenario where natural gas prices spike. Are Australians going to go back to coal or put up some more solar panels?
Australia Can Meet CO2 Emissions Target By 2030 With Renewables At Zero Net Cost—Net zero cost is the key term here. When you replace fossil fuels with renewables you are trading a higher upfront cost for a lower long term cost because you no longer need to buy fuel, which tends to increase in cost as time goes on. The long term tail costs are often excluded from a lot of comparison models because doing so favors fossil fuels.
Elon Musk bet that Tesla could Build the World’s Biggest Battery in 100 days. He Won.—Say what you will about Elon Musk and his affiliated companies, but the guy does bold in business in an era when bland is the rule of the day.
Iowa Airports Going Green, Saving on Energy Costs—Nearly $650K for a solar photovoltaic system is great. That puts 240kWh system to make power to be consumed on site. I think the real story if that just over $200K is being spent to reduce energy consumption by up to 80%. Granted that project happened over six years ago it shows you the relative power of putting money into energy efficiency.
Look-alike Apartment Buildings in Northeast Minneapolis Showcase New Ideas in Energy Efficiency—Do we really need a demonstration like this to prove the benefits of building a well-designed energy efficient building?
These ‘Chilling’ Soviet Maps of San Francisco, Bay Area Likely Intended for the Communist Takeover—The world seems like a scary place right now, but this is a reminder of just how scary things were during the Cold War.