Tag Archives: Massachusetts

Friday Linkage 6/7/2019

Do we live in an alternate reality?  Watching Donald Trump and his family pretend to be royalty on a state visit to the United Kingdom was maybe one of the most disturbing things I have witnessed in recent memory.

It was not as bad as horrible laws passed to punish people based on archaic religious views that have no place in American government.  It was not as jarring as seeing pictures of asylum seekers being ripped from their children to satisfy the base desires of rabidly racist political base.  It was, however, disturbing on a different level.

Donald Trump believes, deep down in his little shriveled soul, that he is analogous to the Queen.  You can see it in his face when he poses with his children in formalwear that the entire corrupt brood feels as if they are American royalty.  Blue collar billionaire my ass.  Donald Trump is a dime store duke or ersatz earl.

On to the links…

The Radical Plan to Save the Planet by Working Less—I think this has less to do with overtly saving the planet and more to do with realigning our human existence.  What has our obsession with every increasing workloads in the name of economic growth done for us lately?  Who is happier?  Who is healthier?  Outside of a few billionaires reaping the benefits of our labors I would endeavor to say that almost no one is better off.

Donald Trump Is Sending Park Rangers to the Border to Help Enforce His Immigration Policies—What the f*ck?  Charles Blow in the New York Times pretty much nailed it when he wrote that every action by this administration is an effort to shore up the continued dominance of conservative white control.

Coal Plants Are a Dying Breed—Despite his best efforts or, maybe because of his best efforts given his track record of business failures, coal is dying.  Check out the chart:


Now, every wind turbine and solar panel we can install is another kWh we take away from coal.

How California Became Far More Energy-Efficient than the Rest of the Country—This is why Donald Trump and his administration want to hamstring California’s legal right to set its own efficiency targets.  It works.  Less electricity demand means less need for coal.

We Electrified Everything (and So Can You)—This is the personal climate action plan that everyone needs to adopt:

  1. Electrify everything possible in your life
  2. Use as little of those electrified things as possible
  3. Produce as much electricity from your roof as possible

It sounds simple because it is.

Massachusetts Looks to Beef Up Commitment to Offshore Wind—The east coast of the United States is not a good place for onshore wind.  However, offshore wind could put a lot of renewable energy within close geographic proximity to millions of people.

Chile’s Cheap Power – Sign Of A Solar Future?—These prices for solar power are scary low.  Scary for coal and scary for natural gas.  I love the last line in the article: “And that means the future is electric, renewable and, best of all, cheap.”

Diving Gas Costs Spark Potential Rare Switch Away From Coal in Japan—Coal cannot survive in a world where other energy sources are cleaner and less expensive.

Ford Recycles 1.2 Billion Plastic Bottles a Year for Auto Parts—It is a proverbial drop in the bucket, but I wonder if there is an idea here to help create a real market for recycled plastics.  If there is a market for Kardashians there has to be a market for recycled plastics.

NREL Scientists have a Plan to Fight Ocean Plastic: Upcycle it into Something Valuable—Create a market and people will be all over recycling plastic.

Woman Collects 2.4 Tons of Trash on Nova Scotia Beaches in 1 year—If one person can collect more than 2 tons of trash in a year, what can we accompolish as a community dedicated to environmental restoration?

Lyft Offers Free EV Charging to Portland Drivers—I do not know if Uber and Lyft are in this for the long haul given their money losing business models, but this cannot do anything but help increase the adoption of EVs.  Furthermore, if more people are exposed to EVs that is a good thing.

A Pioneer of Battery-Powered Trains Now Wants a Nationwide Fleet of Them—Electrifying transportation is not just about personal automobiles.

The Preachers Getting Rich from Poor Americans—These sons of bitches still exist and are fleecing poor people out of their money.  If you are a pastor and you fly on a private jet you have failed to read and understand the gospel of Jesus.

Why You Want Oysters and a Salt Marsh between You and a Hurricane—Here’s an idea: why don’t we deploy these natural solutions to as many places as possible rather than blindly rebuilding communities in the paths of ever more destructive hurricanes.  It’s not like we can keep building castles in swamps until they stop sinking.

Students in the Philippines must Plant 10 Trees to Graduate—Reminds me of the part in Ecotopia where someone wanting to build a house needed to spend time planting and harvesting trees in order to obtain the building materials.  Would the world be a better place where we understood the origin of the things we consume?

Urban Forests are Dying. Baltimore Shows us How to Bring them Back.—We are urban creatures now.  We need to preserve and regenerate our urban forests.  It is not an impossible task.

Friday Linkage 1/24/2014

What kind of world do we live in where a notorious ass hat like Glenn Beck actually postulates that his rhetoric may have had a role in creating the divisive environment we operate in today?  Really?  Next thing you know Pat Robertson will apologize for being a nasty old man.  Probably not.

On to the links…

U.N. Says Lag in Confronting Climate Woes Will Be Costly—Isn’t this the sort of logic that our parents tried to beat into our heads as children?  If you just do a little bit early on and continue with that effort things will be easier later.  What do we do?  Procrastinate.

India Almost Doubled Its Solar Power in 2013 With Big Plans For More—Renewables are a big hit in the developing world because there is no longstanding infrastructure to compete with.  It’s the same reason why wireless technology took off in the developing world so fast compared with the developed world.

Kenya to Get 50% of Electricity from Solar by 2016—Damn, I am impressed by this.

U.S. Offshore Wind Farm, Made in Europe—I think this is less a story about the backers of Cape Wind going with a European company and more about the lack of a coherent U.S. policy hindering domestic companies from making necessary investments to be competitive.  I do not know if offshore wind has a long term future, but it cannot hurt to try and nurture the industry.  Hell, the government is still trying to get “clean coal” off the ground.

China Exports Pollution to U.S., Study Finds—Now for the bad news.  It looks like the pollution that makes China a hellhole is coming over the Pacific to make the air in the U.S. worse.  Ass clowns.

Chicken From China? Why You Should Be Worried—I worry about anything that comes from a country with no safeguards when it comes to food safety.  You can show me the laws that are notionally enforcing food safety, but when no one actually follows those rules and no one enforces the laws until it becomes a scandal you can guarantee that I want to know if my chicken comes from China.  This is why food labelling is critically important.

Humans Become Unwilling Test Subjects in West Virginia Chemical Spill—The spill in West Virginia has once again highlighted the gaping holes in our regulatory regime.  We are the test subjects for American business.  The sooner we realize that fact the better off that everyone will be.

Seventy Years Is Enough: It’s Time to Put the Draize Test Out of Its Misery—Have we not moved beyond a state of affairs where it is considered acceptable to mistreat animals for no scientific reason?

Drugs, Death, Neglect: Behind the Scenes at Animal Planet—I don’t really understand these “wildlife” shows.  I was never a fan of Steve Irwin and the current crop of hillbilly wildlife encounters seems a little wrong.  Apparently, it’s all a big sham and Animal Planet should really change their name to Animal Torture.

Americans are Fitter, yet Fatter.  Why?—It appears that Americans work out a lot and are concerned about their overall health, yet we continue to see obesity rates rise.  It could be definitional, in that people getting “sufficient exercise” according to guidelines are not actually getting enough, or it could be that no matter how much we exercise our diet will hold us back.

The Standard American Diet in 3 Simple Charts—Do you want to know why we are fat?  Our diet sucks.

Portland Apartment Development Busts Bike Parking Record—This is great and all, but until I see a multi-level parking structure dedicated to bicycles like I saw outside of the main train station in Amsterdam I am going to remain somewhat unimpressed.

Driver Unaware of Cyclist Stuck in Windshield—Maybe more bicycling is not a good thing.  How does a person not realize that he struck a cyclist and that said cyclist is currently stuck in his windshield?

Meet the Beer Brewing Monks of Massachusetts—Trappist monks have been legendary brewers of beer for centuries, but that tradition is something that mainly stays in Europe.  Now, a group of monks in Massachusetts is bringing the tradition stateside.

Pongo The Baby Orangutan Had A Great First Year Of Life—Now for a little lightness.  Pongo, an orangutan at the Zoo Atlanta, is one year old.  He is a cute little dude.  I absolutely love the picture of his yawn: