Tag Archives: plastic bags

Friday Linkage 8/7/2020

I would have said that you were crazy for heading to your local Starbucks for a latte when this whole coronavirus thing blew up in the spring.

Yet, here we are in August and I have seen lines at the drive through ten cars deep at 2:00 PM on a Wednesday afternoon.  WTF?  Apparently, “everyone” is read for the pumpkin spice to drop soon.  Ugh.

Stay safe out there.

On to the links…

How did Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Earn as Much as £120m Last Year?—I have a pretty good idea how dollar store Barbie and the poster child for failing upward made money…corruption on the coattails of daddy.

Rescue of Troubled Trucking Company With White House Ties Draws Scrutiny—If it works for the kids, it works for donors.  Send money to the Trump campaign or inaugural slush fund and you can have whatever you want from Washington D.C. as long as it does not cut into the ability of anyone named Trump to continue their grift.

New Analysis Shows How Electrifying the U.S. Economy Could Create 25 Million Green Jobs by 2035—We could have green power and a lot of jobs or we could have a racist cheese puff—as my twelve year old daughter refers to Donald Trump—bloviating about “beautiful coal.”  Your call.

Watching The Baseload Paradigm Fail—The current energy ecosystem—particularly electricity—is based on old paradigms that were laid down in the Nineteenth Century.  We can do better.

‘Solar For Coal’ Swaps: A Financial Innovation That Could Accelerate The Carbon Transition—Solar for coal sounds like some kind of financial instrument that will cause the whole renewable energy market to collapse like sub-prime housing circa 2008.  Maybe I am just skeptical of anything that comes from the high finance community.

Coal’s Continued Decline Defies Political Narratives—Apparently, the free market has been kicking coal’s ass for years and Republicans have just tried to blame anything else.  Your pick…Obama…solar…Biden…wind…yeah, it’s pretty much word salad.

In Massachusetts, More Houses of Worship are Turning to Solar Power—Sure, it’s a relatively liberal state but no one is going to accuse churches, synagogues, and mosques of being radical.  Well, if we actually look at history these places were centers of radical politics as defined by the mainstream.  Abolition?  Check.  Civil rights?  Check.

China Poised to Power Huge Growth in Global Offshore Wind Energy—Now offshore wind is going to be subject to the “China price.”

China’s New Coal Projects Account for 90% of Global Total in First Half of 2020—Too bad China is still hooked on coal.

10 Countries With 5–10% Plugin Vehicle Market—What is the tipping point where the market share of electric vehicles really begins to dim the prospects of fossil fuels?  We will probably see the trend emerge in Europe based on these market shares.

Use of Plastic Bags in England Drops by 59% in a Year—I will be curious what the numbers look like in 2020, but the moral of the story is that small changes—5p for a plastic bag—can lead to dramatic changes in behavior.

A Sales Tax Bump to Fight the Climate Crisis gets some Space on Denver’s November Ballot—This is a good idea.  Take it a step further and add a tax on every gallon of gas, BTU of natural gas, and ton of coal taken out of the ground or pumped into a fuel tank to help pay for climate change mitigation.  Add a surcharge on every airline flight while we are at it.

They Tried to Tame the Klamath River. They Filled it with Toxic Algae Instead.—Dams ruin river ecosystems.  Some dams provide a lot of hydroelectric power or flood control, but a lot of dams are just poorly designed and poorly sited.  These dams need to go.

The Texotics—It reads like the beginning to some post-apocalyptic novel for young adults where vast stretches of Texas become depopulated and now African animals roam free.  Tiger King eat your heart out.

Friday Linkage 12/21/2018

Ryan Zinke is not the worst Interior Secretary in history.  That distinction belongs to Albert B. Fall who actually went to prison.  Ryan Zinke is just number two.

At least we now get to say that Ryan Zinke was the Secretary of the Interior in 2019.  Trying to look on the bright side of things.

On to the links…

Ryan Zinke’s Legal Troubles Are Far From Over—The modus operandi of the Trump administration is to get in, get corrupt, and hopefully get out before the posse comes to drag you out of your office.  However, with Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives in January there is sure to be some uncomfortable hearings with former cabinet officials.  Oh, and resigning does not get you out of investigations into breaking the law.

New Poll Shows Basically Everyone Likes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal—I hope that the Democratic leadership in Congress sees these poll numbers and takes the message to heart.  People like these ideas.  A politician can run on these ideas and win.

The Suburbs are the Spiritual Home of Overconsumption. But they also Hold the Key to a Better Future—I want this thesis to be true on so many levels.  I want to imagine a future where acres of boring suburban lawns are turned into kitchen gardens and food forests.  I want to imagine a time when all of our roofs are covered in solar panels and we glide gently by on bicycles.

Congress just Legalized Hemp. That’s Huge for the CBD Industry.—Think about that headline for a moment.  Congress just legalized hemp.  If you do not think that full legalization will happen soon you are not paying attention.

It’s Time to Stretch Out the U.S. Offshore Wind Pipeline—This is the next boom area in renewables.  As the pipeline for onshore wind matures into its slow growth cycle and solar does its thing, offshore wind will allow communities in places like the heavily populated eastern seaboard to get green power.

New Offshore Windfarms Push UK Renewables to Record—A third—yes, a third—of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources in the period from July through September.  Do you remember a time when critics of renewables said that these sources could never amount to anything more than a few percent?

Solar Power Achieved a New England Milestone on Chilly Thanksgiving—This is a geeky energy graph:


The dusty rose colored space under the dashed line represents how solar power cut the peak off of the projected demand from the grid.  That is good stuff.

Next-gen EV Charger Adds 62 miles of Range in Three Minutes—This is the missing link for a lot of people unwilling to adopt an electric vehicle.  Now imagine plugging you EV in, going to get a latte, and coming out to another couple hundred miles in range.

Can Cross-Laminated Timber Save the World?—Probably not save the world, but it would be a lot better if we built more things out of wood as opposed to steel and concrete.

Australia Cuts 80% of Plastic Bag Use in 3 Short Months—This just shows that if you cut things off at the source big changes follow.

Our Lock-and-Leave Culture: The Rise of Self-Storage and Clinging to Stuff We Hardly Use—I hate mini storage with a passion.  It is one thing if you are storing stuff because of a move to a far away location or as a temporary solution, but if you are renting one of these off-site closets to store whatever then the problem is you.

The Spare Button Represents all the Ways We Fail to be Good Consumers—The saddest thing to me is that we think of ourselves as consumers first and foremost.  Not humans, but consumers.

Friday Linkage 7/3/2015

Damn, it’s July. Where did June go? That’s right, I spent the month trying to put as many miles on my bikes as possible and spending the rest of my time enjoying a few moments of clam between rain storms.

On to the links…

Americans Are Drinking Less Coffee Thanks to K-Cups—So, we are drinking less coffee but paying more for the privilege of brewing it a single cup at a time. How is this a good trade off?

The Surprising Environmental Reason Weed Should Be Legal—Marijuana should be legal nationwide because the war on drugs is a sham perpetuated by the prison industrial complex. It also appears that there is an environmental benefit to legalization.

Solar Power Per Capita & Wind Power Per Capita Leaders—Lichtenstein is the leader in per capita solar? Really?

Largest Solar Plant On Planet Earth — Solar Star — Comes Online—With all the hype about distributed solar—of which I am a big proponent—sometimes the scale of these utility projects gets lost. Solar Star in California has a rated capacity of 579 megawatts of funky yellow sun fueled electrical power.

How Renewables are Thriving in the US Thanks to State Policies—Government policy can advance the cause of renewables despite what right wingers might say:


Total Plans 500-800 MW Solar Power Capacity In Bolivia—Bolivia has not ever come up in the links before that I can remember. The French energy titan Total is putting some serious money into renewables in that country.

3 Out Of 4 New Solar Homes In NSW To Include Battery Storage—The more I read and the more I think about the topic the more that I come to the conclusion that Australia seems like the perfect laboratory for the distribution of massive amounts of residential solar.

The West Is Literally On Fire, And The Impacts Could Be Widespread—As the climate changes as a result of global warming we are going to have to deal with the massive impacts of wildfires in drought stricken regions.

Californians Getting Drought Message: Water Usage Plunges—The state still has not addressed some of the agricultural usage insanity—like growing alfalfa to feed to cows or to export—but the residents of the state seem to be getting the idea that el Nino will not rescue them from drought this time.

Mark Bittman Wants You to Know the Drought Isn’t Your Fault—The drought is not our fault, but our food choices may be making things worse. Given the water situation in California there is no logical reason why cows should be residents of that state. None.

Corn Syrup’s DC Attack on Sugar Could Hit Minnesota Beet Industry—Talk about some lobby-on-lobby crime. These two subsidized industries need to get of the government welfare.

Hawaii Just Became The First State To Ban Plastic Bags At Grocery Checkouts—A big thank you to the aloha state for banning the distribution of single use plastic bags. These things are the scourge of the earth.

Friday Linkage 8/19/2011

It was a nice and boring week.  Good for the soul, but not good for the blog.  Nothing really happened that was noteworthy and I did not go out of my way to do anything special.  It was therapeutic to enjoy beautiful late summer days in Iowa.  On to the links…

Wind Supplies 20% of Iowa’s Electricity—According to the American Wind Energy Association, Iowa now gets 20% of its electricity from the wind.  This compares to about 3% nationally.  Currently, Iowa is the second largest market in terms of total installed wind power.  As a function of population, Iowa has the most wind power per capita in the U.S.  Go Iowa!

EPA Bans Sale of Imprelis—Imprelis, a DuPont herbicide, has been banned from sale by the EPA because of its suspected role in killing trees.  The herbicide was initially viewed as being more environmentally friendly than other herbicides, but this claim is not being proven by results in the field.  Perhaps the more environmentally friendly option is not to use herbicides at all.

Schools Move to Save Energy as Budgets Tighten—None of the measures taken by the school districts in this article are extreme, but each represents how much low hanging fruit exists in terms of energy efficiency gains.  We are so lame if we cannot see the benefit in taking this kind of action.

Beer Chart of the Day—Mother Jones is always full of surprises.  This infographic—man I love infographics—shows just how mega-corporate beer in the United States remains even with the explosive growth of craft beers.  Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller control 80% of the beer consumed in the U.S.  Yep, 4 out of 5 beers is controlled by two conglomerates.

How Soda Drinks Impact Your Body—More infogrpahics!  This one deals with the impacts of soda on a person’s health.  The consumption of soda is one of the most glaring public health issues that no one is really willing to tackle.

Plastic Bags are Good For You—Nothing like lobbying to insert propaganda into the textbooks of school-age children.  Just chalk this up to a long list of anti-environmental moves by pro-business groups that are hell bent on preserving profit margins over anything else.