Tag Archives: lawns

Friday Linkage 6/5/2020

Are we living in the moment when the United States descends into a version of a dictatorship?  The signs seem to be pointing to yes, but there are several things that make me stop and wonder.

The most prominent of those thoughts is that Donald Trump is the worst person you would want to pin your hopes on.  He is literally the definition of a coward and a bully, which is a bad combination for any potential strong man.

Furthermore, his base of support is quite narrow.  In order to win the election in 2016 he needed to fool the American people long enough to thread the most narrow of needle eyes to make it possible.  None of this will be true in 2020.

My great hope is that this period of time will pass like the tumultuous late-1960s and we will emerge as a better nation.  Plus, we won’t end up with Nixon as president again.

Stay safe out there.

On to the links…

Who Killed Berta Cáceres? Behind the Brutal Murder of an Environment Crusader—It is dangerous to stand up for the health of the planet.  Moneyed interest will literally murder you if you get in the way of the making an extra percentage point on an investment.

The Trump Presidency Is the Worst Ever for Public Lands—Knowing Donald Trump he would likely consider this a feather in his cap.  At least he was number one in something.

Trump EPA Curbs State Power to Reject Fossil Fuel Projects—Trump loves state’s rights when it favors his little pet projects, but state’s rights are a bad thing when it gets in the way of his presidency being the worst for the nation in history.

Air Pollution in China Back to Pre-Covid Levels and Europe May Follow—There went the only good thing to come out of coronavirus.

The Coal Bailout Everybody Is Talking About—There is absolutely nothing more indicative of the corruption and rot at the heart of America’s utility companies than forcing consumers to pay more money for coal fired electricity.

EU’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Continue to Fall as Coal Ditched—Every coal plant that gets shut down is a victory for the planet.  After every coal plant is shut down we move on to shutting down every natural gas plant.  It’s war and we will win.

UK Electricity Coal Free for First Month Ever—It starts with a month and then it becomes a quarter.  Pretty soon you will be talking about coal free years in the United Kingdom.

UK Coalmines Operator Hargreaves Services to End Mining Next Month—After a certain point there will be an accelerating death spiral for coal as supporting companies and mines can no longer make the business an economically viable going concern.  Each additional business that exits the space makes it less economically viable in general accelerating the closures.

Chemists Identify Toxic Chemicals in Fracking Wastewater—Over two hundred different chemical compounds are in fracking wastewater and it is being disposed of in a myriad of ways.   You know, like reinjecting it into the ground.  What could go wrong?

Clear Skies Are a Cover-Up for India’s Fossil Fuel Expansion—The fossil fuel industry will not a let a good crisis go to waste.  We must keep the pressure on to stop the use of these planet killing fuels.

EVs are a Rare Bright Spot in a Pandemic-Struck European Car Market—People may not be buying cars in general, but people are buying EVs specifically.

Empire State Building Slashes Carbon Emissions By 40% With Energy Saving Upgrades—Efficiency is not as sexy as things like floating wind turbines or electric vehicles, but it is the quickest and most cost-effective way to reduce emissions in the near term.  The most environmentally friendly kilowatt is the one you never need to generate.

Planting Invasive Species Could Make Our Carbon Problem Worse—Plant the right tree in the right spot is the mantra of foresters everywhere.  Just indiscriminately planting trees or other plants, for the matters, will not help anyone in the long term.

Americans Still Aren’t Cooking Much from Scratch—Even coronavirus cannot change the long term behavioral trend toward less cooking.  That is a damn shame.

Your Organic Meat Might Not Actually Be Organic—“Big meat” will lie to you about the nature of the food you are going to eat.  “Big meat” will work behind the scenes to fix prices while telling you how they are good for the consumer.  “Big meat” will literally kill their employees and tell you that this is the price to pay for abundant food.  Wrong.

The 160-Year-Old Reason You’re Obsessed with Your Lawn—Ugh, lawns.  If we could just give up lawns and golf America would be a much better place.

The Misunderstood Funeral Tech That’s Illegal in 30 States—The burial industrial complex in the United States is a racket.  It is expensive and bad for the environment.  My wish is to be composted at the end.

Friday Linkage 10/19/2018

It is eighteen days until election day.  I will start every post for next eighteen days with the same message.

If you care about the outdoors, whether it is just to appreciate nature or to recreate, you need to read this guide to the midterm election put together by the Outdoor Industry Association.  Let me skip to the punch line: most, if not all, Republicans are bad for the land.

I understand that it is hyperbole, to some extent, in claiming that this is the most important election in history.  However, I do believe that this may be the most important election in my lifetime.  At least until 2020.

On to the links…

8 Things You Need to Know About the IPCC 1.5˚C Report—The IPCC’s report is not getting the attention it deserves because the United States is run by an orange monster who fills our heads with childish insults and ridiculous lies that a fourth grader using Google can debunk.

Can Consumer Choices Ward Off the Worst Effects of Climate Change? An Expert Explains.—We are told that our choices do not matter, but that is bunk.  Some choices matter more than others.  It is okay to get down in the dumps a little bit about climate change.  However, it is not all right to do nothing.

What Tiny Bhutan can Teach the World about Being Carbon Negative—I want to see a movement where people start saying, “Be like Bhutan.”

The Best Way to Reduce Your Personal Carbon Emissions: Don’t be Rich—Well, that is some advice.

How Much Energy is Used to Heat, Cool, and Light our Homes in Different U.S. Climate Regions?—Where we live goes a long way in determining our energy usage patterns.  However, I would argue that this analysis is incomplete without looking at transportation emissions by climate region. Someone in New York City may use more energy to heat and cool their residence than someone in Orlando but that Floridian sure as hell uses a lot more energy for transportation.

Even Trump is Beginning to Realize that He can’t Save Coal—Coal is dead.  Trump, in some ways, hastened its demise because political opponents have no need to even attempt to cater to a craven interest group that will utilize all the political chicanery of nationalism to achieve its financial goals.

White House Shuns Energy Secretary’s Coal & Nuclear Bailout—The plan was shit, but that did not stop Rick Perry from trying to accomplish the goals of his buddies in the coal industry with the nuclear boys along for the ride.  When even Donald Trump’s administration realizes that something is a bad idea you know it was really bottom feeding.

Hawai’i Looks To Add 260 Megawatts Of Solar & 1+ Gigawatt-Hour Of Storage—If there is one U.S. state that can go completely renewable in the short term it is probably Hawaii.  The state’s residents pay a lot for electricity and it is disconnected from any larger electrical grids as each island is basically its own mini-grid.

Sony Brings its 100 Percent Renewable Energy Goal Forward a Decade—The federal government and many states may be absent from going after ambitious goals, but large private companies that are bigger energy users than some small countries are making a commitment to renewable energy.

40% Of China’s Coal Plants Are Losing Money, Reports Carbon Tracker—Is China the great economic bubble of our time?  I am beginning to wonder if the entire economy is being run like a giant Ponzi scheme that everyone is afraid to question because the impact of collapse would be so damaging to the world economy.

Global Warming to Leave us Crying in our Costlier Beer—Global warming has come for chocolate and coffee.  Now it is coming for our beer.

Beyond Meat’s Veggie Burger Produces 90% Fewer Greenhouse Gas Emissions than Cow-Based Burgers—You can question the health benefits of an ersatz beef patty.  You can even question whether the effort to mimic animal protein is worth the effort when high protein, meat free dishes can be ultra-appetizing without resorting to culinary trickery.  You cannot deny that on a emissions versus emissions basis there is no question replacing a beef patty with a veggie patty is a winner.

New Study Suggests it’s Time to Replace Modern, Grassy Lawns—If there is one change I wish every homeowner, regardless of climate, would do it is taking out as much of their home’s lawn as possible.  Yes, it is hard work to initially remove lawn and replace it with something more planet friendly but think about the benefits.  No more mowing.  ‘Nuff said.

Friday Linkage 5/25/2018

Free your Sundays.  As well as your Monday and Thursday nights.  Free yourself from the craven piss babies who are NFL owners and NFL “leadership” who have caved to the base elements of their fan base and Donald Trump.  Nothing says conscience of America quite like a thrice divorced, porn star spanking, man baby who likes to wrap himself in the viscera of patriotism despite his well-documented history of being physically incapable of serving in the military during the Vietnam War.

The entire issue around the anthem protests has been a dog whistle for extreme white wing.  Well compensated, majority African American males making a statement about well document injustice at the hands of police is just too much.

Well, this kowtowing to the Fox News and Alex Jones contingent of our society is too much.  I am done with the NFL.  Forever.

On to the links…

The Efficiency Myth—Along with trickle down economics I would love to forever banish the conservative edict that the private sector is always more efficient than the public sector.  It is not true.

EPA Bans CNN, AP from Covering Summit on Chemicals, ‘Forcibly’ Removes Reporter—This is what transparency and “draining the swamp” looks like under Donald Trump.  It is a government run with the singular goal of enriching the plutocrats and screwing over anyone else.

Park Service Releases Complete Climate Change Report—Climate change is real.  Human beings are the primary driver.  It is going to mess up a lot of stuff.  Despite what Ryan Zinke and Scott Pruitt want you to believe this is the reality.

Recreation is Redefining the Value of Western Public Lands—The value of the lands of the United States are not just measured in the amount of oil, gas, and minerals that can be extracted.  This runs counter to the narrative of clowns like Ryan Zinke, but the facts—oh those pesky facts—show a reality that people do enjoy these lands for the recreational value is available.

This Could Be A Clever Fix For The Biggest Climate Problem—Refrigeration and the energy use it requires is a big problem in any climate change mitigation scenario.  To combat climate change we need to reduce the energy needed to cool ourselves and our food.

Northeastern States Band Together, Develop a Unified EV Charge Network—Take a densely populated area, add an EV charging network that uses the same technology across the geographic area, and…BAM!…you have the recipe for increasing the adoption rate of EVs in the Northeastern United States.

A 100% Renewable Grid Isn’t Just Feasible, It’s Already Happening—At first they said that the grid could not handle 5% renewables and then it became 10%.  Every year that number has to get revised upward because the grid can handle it.

The Netherlands Announces Ban On Coal, Plans To Close 2 Power Plants By 2024—Every day there is at least some good news.

Lawns Are an Ecological Disaster—If there was one thing that I wish we would do en masse in the United States it would be to rip out the acres and acres of lawn that cover our landscape.  This is a landscape that provides little to no visual interest.  It provides little to no habitat for wildlife.  It is a suck for time, energy, and chemicals.  Most people do not actually like mowing the lawn.  Remind me again why we have lawns?

Harley-Davidson took its tax cut, closed a factory, and rewarded shareholders—This is what a $1.4 TRILLION tax cut gets you.  Harley Davidson may be in a lot of trouble as its core customers begin to age out of pretending to be bad ass biker guys.  That has not stopped the company from increasing its dividend and buying back stock.  It’s all about maximizing shareholder value and screwing over anyone who gets in the way of profiteering.

How Much Will West Coast Snowfall Decrease In The Next 80 Years?—If you love snow you are screwed:

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