Tag Archives: Hurricane Katrina

Friday Linkage 6/12/2015

Miles consume my thoughts. I have set some ambitious personal targets for miles ridden on my bike this season and I have already started viewing each ride as a percentage of that goal. It’s kind of sick and awesome at the same time.

On to the links…

No More Beer, Chocolate or Coffee: How Climate Change Could Ruin Your Weekend—Ruin my weekend? This will ruin my everyday ritual. People need to understand the broad implications of climate change.

Renewables Reach Highest Share Of U.S. Energy Consumption Since 1930s—From 2001 through 2014 renewable energy—driven by wind, solar, and biofuels—grew by 5% per year compounded annually. Every step is a step forward to a fossil fuel free future.

As Arguing Against Climate Change Action Gets Harder, the Naysayers get Louder—Here is when you know something is in its death throes. When the most ardent supporters of a contrarian opinion are forced to get louder in order for their views to be heard then the tide has turned decisively against their beliefs. No one will lament the death of the climate changer deniers.

10 years post Katrina – Where have you gone, Mr. Go?—Hurricane Katrina was a natural and national disaster. The impacts were made worse by poor leadership and inept bureaucracy. In the aftermath some good has come out of the storm. The destruction of the Mississippi River delta is now viewed as a catastrophe that made the storm’s impact worse. Efforts are underway to correct some of the misdeeds of our past.

The U.S.’s Biggest Coal Company Can’t Pay To Clean Up Its Own Mines—Who do you think will get stuck with the bill? The American taxpayer. Free market my ass.

Coal: Black Moods—Do you want to know why coal is dead? As the article states the market cap for the four largest American coal companies was $22B in 2010. Today it stands at $1.2B. Chew on that decline for a moment. SolarCity alone has a market cap of over $5B.

Why Haven’t Cities Covered Their Buildings in Solar?—I wonder this every time I see large municipal buildings in sunny locales. I also have this same thought when flying over acres of distribution centers around airports that have roofs just primed for massive solar projects. Between parking lots, warehouses, and city buildings there is more than enough square footage to keep installers working steady for years.

Fueled by Growth in the Residential Segment, U.S. Installs 1.3 GW of PV in Q1 2015—Take a look at this graph for a moment:

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Now, remember that these are discrete quarter numbers, not cumulative, so each quarter adds to the prior quarters to create total installed capacity. Once installed these panels are generating clean power for the next twenty five years or so.

State-By-State Plan To Bring US To 100% Renewables By 2050—100% renewable energy seems unattainable because someone in one state does not understand how solutions from another state are not relevant, but that another technology fills the gap. It also does not help that states are hamstrung by rules written by power companies and powerful lobbying interests to keep old generating schemes in place. There is, however, a path forward.

Minnesota 1st To Require EV-Specific Electricity Rates Statewide—EV adoption will only occur faster if programs like this can be rolled out to more customers across the U.S. As second and third generation EVs become available in the market it will be the ancillary impacts of owning an EV—charging, maintenance, etc.—that will go a long way to determining success or failure.

The Future of Construction Techniques—How we build things, both in terms of the methods and materials used, have a major impact on the embedded energy of a building and the total energy costs over the lifetime of the building. The future of building is coming:

Infographic-future-of-construction-2

The Amazing Truth about Costco’s Organic Food—Costco is the nation’s largest retailer of organic food. Not Whole Foods. Not WalMart. People may complain that it is dirty capitalism sullying the organic name, but we are talking about billions of dollars of sales going to a sector that was niche not much more than a decade ago.

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Friday Linkage 11/9/2012

I am back from Orlando,  Barack Obama won reelection, Mitt Romney is unemployed, Joe Walsh is still a dick but at least he’s also looking at the unemployment line, and weed is legal in two more states.  What a week.

On to the links…

The Great Transition—Lester Brown has written a thought provoking series of commentaries about the potential for a “great transition” away from fossil fuels.  Check out part one and part two.

How the EPA Does and Does not Test Fuel Economy—The recent case of Hyundai, including the Kia brand which it owns, of having to reimburse customers for misleading or false mileage claims brought to light a lot of odd practices with regard to the testing of a car’s mileage.

How NYU Stayed Partly Warm and Lighted—I am hoping that the current disaster in the northeast United States a result of post tropical cyclone Sandy and the subsequent northeaster start a conversation about utility resilience.  I thought the same thing might happen after Hurricane Katrina with regard to coastal infrastructure, but I see where that went.

Geothermal Advocates Hope Sandy Gives them a Second Look—Apparently, the advocates of geothermal heating and cooling think the recent disaster is going to be a boon for business.  Again, I think we will choose the cheap and easy solution rather than really thinking about the resiliency of our systems.

Bicycles are Transportation’s Cockroaches—I have always hated scenes in post-apocalyptic scenarios where everyone is suddenly a horse lord.  Why?  Because no one really knows how to ride a horse and there are really not enough horses, but there are a lot of bicycles.  Cheap, reliable, and powered by the rider it is the ultimate option for when the stuff hits the fan.  Imagine what fleets of longtail and cargo bikes could do in the wake of a disaster?

Climate Change May Lead to Wild Arabica Bean Extinction—Climate change and its attendant consequences are usually not at the forefront of people’s minds, but threaten their morning coffee and you will get people’s attention.  Just let them taste a few cups of Robusta coffee and you will have climate change warriors on your hands.

Solving Hawaii’s Fresh Vegetable Problem—You would think that Hawaii would be a wonderland for fresh vegetables.  Visit one of the excellent farmer’s markets and you would agree, but the reality is that there is an access problem for a lot of the people on the islands.  What this speaks to is that the problem with our food system is often not growing enough but being able to distribute that bounty equitably.

Make Your Own Leaf Mold—Leaf mold is one of those things that every person should be making in their garden to improve soil health.  It should be a government mandate.