It’s not a polar vortex in February, but for some reason I would take the cold temperatures over what we have had the past two weeks. How does an inch or so of ice that gets topped off with nearly a foot of snow and capped with a little wintry mix? Add in the drifting from 40 mile per hour winds and temperatures that swing thirty degrees in a twenty four hour period. That is what February has been like so far in eastern Iowa.
Now you know why I am dreaming of spring.
On to the links…
Uniquely American’: Senate Passes Landmark Bill to Enlarge National Parks—Good things can happen. This is an unalloyed win for advocates of public lands. Granted, it still requires a signature from individual number 1 but I have to imagine that even he is inclined to go with the flow on this.
What’s Missing from the Green New Deal—I think that the most important thing is that we are having a conversation about the Green New Deal. Could you imagine this happening just two years ago following Trump’s “victory” and the ascension of a completely Republican controlled Washington D.C.? Nope.
Priorities: Where Do You Start with the Green New Deal?—If it were me, I would start with a nationwide reforestation effort focused on degraded lands. It could be lands impacted by mining in Appalachia, beetle kill in Colorado, and wildfire in California.
Is Renewables’ Production Tax Credit Bullet Proof?—I have to imagine that in this political climate the production tax credit for renewables is going to get renewed past 2020. Some red state Republicans support the PTC and Democrats are in favor, so the odds are favorable.
Trump Administration will try to Exempt Specialty Bulbs from Energy Efficiency Standards—Of course the Trump administration will try to roll back new energy efficiency standards. Try is the operative word. BTW, can we just kill the Edison bulb trend?
USDA says Filler once Known as ‘Pink Slime’ can be Labeled Ground Beef—Of course the USDA would allow pink slime to be labelled as ground beef. It is like we live in a dystopia where the president feeds visitors to the White House fast food…oh shit, we do live in Idiocracy now. Damn.
China is polluting California’s air—Pollution is both local and global. The air may be horrible in China and India, but those same pollutants will impact other countries. Even countries an ocean away. Just because we have outsourced our pollution does not mean that we have avoided our pollution.
Coal Developers Take Note: Climate Change Killed This Coal Mine—Climate change is real and people are really starting to take notice. If a judge uses this as a reason to stop coal development we may have finally turned a corner.
War on Plastics May Stunt Oil Demand Growth Projections—Take a look at the chart:
Thirty six percent of the demand for plastic is for packaging. Buy less stuff to save money and reduce the demand for disposable plastic.
Another Way To Power Electric Cars: “Refillable Technology”—Flow batteries and related technologies, which this particular article deals with, seem like a great way to get around the problem of quickly charging EVs. I wonder if there is a way to get the best of both worlds. Make an EV that you charge at home most days, but have the option of refilling with charged electrolyte when on a trip far from home.
How EV HVAC Use Impacts Range Much More Than Extreme Temps—If there is a negative article about EVs you can bet the press is going to pounce. Here is the thing, even with reduced range an EV will handle your daily commute. Why is this even a story anymore? And another thing, where were the articles about traditional ICE cars not being able to start in the polar vortex?
California to Transition to 100 Percent Electric Buses by 2040—Why can’t we make this a goal for 2030? If transitioning 12,000 busses is the equivalent of 4 million cars we should be all over this effort.
Bottle Recycling in Oregon Hits 90 Percent Record High—I live in a state with a bottle deposit law and it works. I imagine that if we adopted a nationwide ten cents per bottle deposit law that recycling rates for cans and bottles would increase accordingly.
How Big-Box Stores Bilk Local Governments—Here is why our governments—local, state, and federal—do not have the money to implement programs people care about: businesses have manipulated the tax code with loopholes to avoid paying any tax.
Solar Jobs Climb in Iowa—Most of the news around solar in the U.S. has been a downer lately as the Trump tariffs have bitten the industry. However, Iowa solar jobs were up which is a good thing.