Paul Ryan is gone. Okay, he is not actually gone today instead opting to “retire” in January when his term is over. Nonetheless, who saw this coming?
He gave the standard “spend more time with my family” and “I’ve spent enough time in Washington and want to get back home” answers as to why he was choosing to leave Congress. Does anyone doubt for a minute that he was tired of working with the chief cantaloupe?
On to the links…
The US is Winning the Climate Fight in Electricity — and Losing it Just About Everywhere Else—This chart says it all:
Transportation is killing us, in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, and one of the biggest culprits is commercial air travel. Flying is bad for the environment. End of story. And you free two day shipping on Amazon is also part of the problem because the cargo operators are flying jets all over the place to deliver our crap. So, buy less stuff and fly less.
Solar Leads Record Renewables Investment—Solar now accounts for more than half of all the investment put into renewable energy. China alone invested over $127 billion in renewable energy with more than two-thirds of that investment going to deploy 53 GW of solar.
Clean Energy Investment Down 10% To $61.1 Billion In First Quarter—Sometimes these are quarter over quarter anomalies driven by major investment timing, but if the trend continues into subsequent quarters it will be time to question what is driving the trend.
Google Hits its Incredible 100% Renewable Energy Goal—Google does not actually own the wind turbines and solar panels that make its renewable electricity, but it has bought enough renewable energy on the open market to account for its entire usage.
Illinois Blazes New Trail in Anticipation of Private Microgrids Using Utility Wires—Microgrids may be the future of energy generation and transmission. The problem is that the utility companies own a lot of infrastructure and do not want anyone to have access to that infrastructure unless they control all of the terms.
Secession Or Not, Big Win For Rooftop Solar In South Carolina—South Carolina is in general a state known for doing some batshit crazy stuff. Like electing Mark Sanford to public office…more than once…and after he had that whole Appalachian Trail thing happen. WTF? Anyway, if solar can score a win in South Carolina you know that things are good for solar.
Biggest Problem for U.S. Offshore Wind? Ports Are Too Small—This will hamper offshore wind development for decades as any port expansion project is a nightmare in terms of approval and execution.
This Coal Power Plant is Being Reopened for Blockchain Mining—Nothing can save coal except for another questionable idea: cryptocurrencies.
Washington State Bans Salmon Farms—Last August a breach in an aquaculture facility allowed Atlantic salmon to escape into the waters off of Puget Sound. These non-native salmon could wreak havoc with the native species. In response, the state of Washington has decided that hipsters love of grilled salmon is not enough of a priority to risk the health of an ecosystem.
Reckoning with History: The Parks have Been Fixed Before—The National Park system is one of America’s crown jewels, but the parks are in need of help. This situation is, sadly, not unique in our history. Make sure that your elected officials are committed to providing the support that our National Parks deserve and require.
REI Rolls Out First-of-its-Kind Sustainability Requirement that will Affect Every Brand in its Stores—If Congress won’t take action on sustainability than it falls to large companies to take action. REI is, as usual, killing it.
What will Zinke do with the Extra $2.5 billion in his Budget?—Ryan Zinke wanted to gut the Department of the Interior. Congress said, “Nope.” What happens next? Assuming the next most corrupt member of the chief cantaloupe’s cabinet, after Scott Pruitt, is even leading the agency in a few months.
IG: Zinke’s Reassignment Of Native Americans And Climate Scientists Possibly Illegal—The defense on this issue is the most Trumpian of all time, “We might have done something illegal, but we kept such bad records that no one can prove we did anything illegal. Our incompetence is our shield.” This is why Ryan Zinke needs to be the next Trumpkin out the door after Scott Pruitt gets his fossil fuel covered gremlin ass out of Washington D.C.
Why Scott Gottlieb is the One Trump Official Everybody Seems to Like—It just goes to show that even in a storm of gross incompetence and outright malfeasance that actual good governance can happen. It’s not likely, but it is possible.
Guess What? The Rich Really are Different from Everyone Else — and It Ain’t Pretty—In the United States we have spent the last thirty or so years idolizing the rich as if they were somehow intrinsically better than everyone else with less money. As our current president shows, money does not guarantee any sort of better human experience. In fact, if the data is to be believed, it is likely that the rich, on average, are worse as human beings. Suck it Ayn Rand.
A Sperm Whale that Washed up on a Beach in Spain had 64 pounds of Plastic and Waste in its Stomach—Yeah, that headline is pretty much as bad as it sounds.