The weather has finally turned here in eastern Iowa and it feels like spring. What is really important is that several days in a row of solid sunshine means my solar panels are producing mad wicked power.
On to the links…
The Global Crisis of Plastic Pollution—This is the environmental crisis that I believe we can unite disparate groups behind to create an eco-consensus. Who can argue, in any legitimate and coherent way, that we should not strive to have oceans free from plastic pollution?
Plastic Pollution Now Being Found In Arctic Ice Sheet—Nothing is pristine anymore because we are the worst species on the planet. We just trash everything without regard for the consequences or the future of anyone but our immediate selves.
The GOP House’s Farm Bill Would Gut a Key Conservation Program—Get ready for some of the right wing’s worst ideas to come out in the form of the gestating farm bill. SNAP benefits? Probably cut a lot. Conservation? That is communist, pinko, hippie shit according to the GOP. Subsidies for big agriculture? ‘Merica!
EPA Proposal would let States Relax Coal Plant Pollution Rules—This is the kind of crap you get with Scott Pruitt in charge of the EPA. It also shows the importance of removing coal fired power from our grid. Without the need to burn coal there would be no coal ash and thus no need to dispose of coal ash.
Wind, Solar Provide 98 Percent of New US Generating Capacity in January and February—Basically, no one added any new fossil fuel generation to the mix.
US Wind Energy Now Supplies More Than 30% In Four States—Four red states—Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota—get a lot of electricity from wind power. These are fairly “red” states in the political parlance. I also think it is interesting that 14 states are generation 10% or more of their electricity from the wind. Weren’t renewables supposed to be incapable of providing a substantial amount of energy?
The Gloves Are Off: $105 Million Greenbacks For US Solar Energy Industry—Trump, Scott Pruitt, and Rick Perry may hate renewable energy but even the retro-grouch luddites in control of Congress see the value in renewable energy for producing clean power, jobs, and a general boost to the economy.
Linn County Receives Gold Designation from SolSmart for Solar Energy—The part that made me laugh is that this program is run by the Department of Energy headed by Rick Perry. Do you even think he knows that there is a program that recognizes municipalities for creating environments helpful to deploying solar energy? My guess is not.
Cost, Schmost! Energy Dept. Touts Coal-Killing Atlantic Offshore Wind—Yes, Rick Perry’s Department of Energy has published a report promoting offshore wind as a cost effective renewable energy solution. Are we living in bizarre world right now?
The UK Just Went 55 Hours Without Using Coal for the First Time—The United Kingdom is probably the one country most associated with coal due to the Industrial Revolution and what not. For that country to have gone more than two days without burning coal to make electricity is a major step.
Crunch Time For Renewable Energy In Southern California—A municipality is asking for industry to present solutions to a problem that is going to be vexing a lot of other municipalities in the coming decades. Can renewable energy be deployed in such a way to take the place of ageing and expensive fossil fuel assets? Can renewable energy plus storage provide baseload like power for cities?
The Latest State to get Serious about Climate Change is … New Jersey?—If we retire all of our nuclear plants than renewable energy will just be deployed to replace energy that was not producing carbon emissions already. This type of plan, in of all places New Jersey, might serve as a template as we bridge to a future energy paradigm.
Electric Buses Are Hurting the Oil Industry—I say forget incentives to deploy EVs for personal automobiles. Drop every one of those dollars into incentives for cities to deploy electric buses, garbage trucks, and other high mileage heavy duty vehicles.
Bitcoin mining is using as much power as 5,699,560 American households.—Can we just stop the cryptocurrency madness? The model is ripe with potential for scammers as witnessed by every initial coin offering that seems to pop up daily. The underlying value of the cryptocurrency is even more nebulous than our regular paper currency. And the energy used to “mine” cryptocurrencies is outrageous.
Mass Timber is in for Massive Change—Wood is good. Mass timber might be better. Given the climate change implications of concrete—huge source of greenhouse gasses if you did not already know—mass timber construction could be the better choice for building increasingly dense communities.
Study: The Greenest States in the U.S.—How does your state rank?