This will probably be the last post of 2019 as I am readying for a trip to the mountains where the phones and computers get put away. People ask me why I love heading to a place that is colder and snowier than home for the holidays and I can only smile. There is nothing more like freedom from the modern than spending fifteen minutes riding a fixed grip chairlift with just your own thoughts to occupy the time.
Some people meditate. Some people go to spa retreats. I seek out secluded and slow lifts.
See you in 2020.
On to the links…
These 91 Companies Paid no Federal Taxes in 2018—Make no mistake, this is a feature of the system as designed by Republicans. If you want to know why we cannot afford anything at the federal level look no further than corporate tax policy.
U.S. Forest Service Allows Mining Company to Write Its Own Environmental Report, Docs Show—This is just the everyday sort of corruption you get in the Trump administration that never gets any press mentions outside of a very niche set of publications. It’s like Teapot Dome every day with these people.
Trump’s Food Stamp Cuts Will Be Devastating to Trump Country—How is that MAGA hat working out for you now?
Scientists Feared Unstoppable Emissions from Melting Permafrost. They May have Already Started.—From the “Well, that’s not good news” department comes this little gem. We may have already started the unstoppable negative feedback loop of climate change.
We Need a Massive Climate War Effort—Now—The thing I do not understand about arguments against combatting climate change is that the skeptics act like the money spent on mitigation is going down a drain. This is money that will be spent in the United State employing Americans to deploy technologies that will make us less reliant on volatile fossil fuel markets. It sounds like a national security and economic development package all in one.
Energy Waste: Can We Half Emissions At The Flick Of A Switch?—Probably not half, but my guess is that we could cut our emissions in a quarter just by being more efficient. Heck, given the number of ways I can see to reduce electricity consumption in my small neighborhood it cannot be that hard.
US has Only One Offshore Wind Energy Farm, but a $70 billion Market is on the Way—I do not really know what $70B in investment buys when it comes to offshore wind. However, a 12MW turbine capable of producing the power necessary for ~16,000 homes is freaking cool.
Almost Two-Thirds of Australia’s Coal-Fired Generation will be Out by 2040—Why can’t we make this a 2030 goal? Or 100% shut down by 2040?
Coal Will Remain World’s Largest Source of Electricity Through 2024—Not great news, but in less than five years it will not be the biggest source of electricity. Cold comfort in a world ravaged by climate change, though.
Dutch Electric Vehicle Sales Explosion-Market will Not Return to Normal—Or, this is the new normal for vehicle sales in the Netherlands:
I am just surprised to learn that this may be a function of buyers who get company cars. I thought that was a thing that went out of style with Mad Men.
Daimler is Bringing Electric School Buses to Virginia—Here is an idea: a federal program ot bridge the cost difference between a traditional diesel bus and an electric bus for every school district in America.
IBM’s Cobalt-Free EV Battery Uses Materials Extracted from Seawater—Cobalt is in the news for all the wrong reasons right now. The thing about these headlines is that it shows the market coming to bear, with all of its resources, on the sticky problem of batteries for EVs. When it’s a few compliance cars for California, the market does not really care. When it is for millions of cars across the globe, the market really cares.
University of Arizona to Transition to 100% Renewable Electricity By 2022—Was that really so hard? Given the nature of the in state rivalry, I have to ask, “Can you do it Arizona State?”
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom To Be 80% Powered By Solar Carport—I often wonder why every surface parking lot is not covered by some form of a solar carport. Imagine every airport parking lot covered with solar panels. You can still park there for the low, low price of a percentage of your soul per day but the same area could also be producing clean energy.
This ‘Ponzi Scheme’ Surrounding Development Leaves Most Cities and Towns Functionally Insolvent—Let’s be honest for a moment. It should surprise no one that big retail and real estate developers are engaged in what is essentialy a Ponzi scheme to get their ticky tacky boxes built.
The Future of Building is Communities that are All-Electric and Ultra-Efficient—Truly deep decarbonization will require us to examine every facet of our energy use, but especially our homes and buildings.
‘It’s pretty staggering’: Returned Online Purchases Often Sent to Landfill, Journalist’s Research Reveals—This is why it is critically important to reduce shopping generally and to reduce shopping form massive online retailers specifically.
Lawn-Mowing Reduction can Help Wildlife, says Study—Can 2020 be the year where we finally stop praying to the gods of manicured lawns?
There’s Nothing Wrong with Repetitive Cooking—This is a sentiment that needs to get pounded into peoples’ skulls. The single most important thing to my household’s reduction in eating out was the fact that I have a handful of recipes that I can “whip up” from memory on most weeknights.
Plant-Based Meat Takes Center Stage at Kroger—Sometimes it can feel like we live in the future: