Tag Archives: sprawl

Friday Linkage 6/20/2014

Kind of an odd week. I was busy, kids activities on three of five weekdays, but I cannot really point to anything else that sucked up my time. Yet, I am sitting here on Friday wondering where the time went. Interesting.

On to the links…

Obama To Dramatically Increase Pacific Ocean Marine Sanctuary—Hell yes. The U.S. may be maligned for many things, but our system of national parks and monuments is second to none. This one move will more than double the area protected oceans across the globe. At times liberals and progressives are frustrated with President Obama because he appears to be cool to their concerns. However, when the final accounting of history is done I believe that his presidency will be looked upon favorably by the left.

Power Plant Limits Prompt War Of Stats As States Prepare To Take On Clean Up—Like Obamacare before it, the new power plant regulations set down by the EPA at the president’s direction are going to get a lot of attention from publicity seeking Republican officials in red states. Count on it.

Obama’s New Emission Rules: Will They Survive Challenges?—The irony to any legal challenge will be that the Supreme Court set the stage for the regulations by saying that the EPA had the authority to regulate CO2 as a pollutant. In some ways the legal challenge has already been made and it failed.

Coal’s Share of Energy Market at Highest Level since 1970—Here is why the emissions rules are important. Without any action nations will continue to burn coal willy nilly until the planet is fried.

Despite Heat, Low Electricity Prices In Texas Show How Wind Is Good For Consumers—Wind generation peaked with the heat and offset the increased demand for electricity. Huh, seems like a pretty compelling case for expanding wind power.

Texas Utility Doubles Large-Scale Solar, Says It Will Be Coal-Free By 2016—Solar has to be hitting its stride when even Texas is getting in on the game. Granted, going coal free is not the same as going carbon neutral as a lot of the coal capacity is being taken up by natural gas. Baby steps.

Germany Breaks 3 Solar Power Records in 2 Weeks—Just reading about how much solar is deployed in Germany makes me wonder what the U.S. would be like if Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, and California deployed solar to the same degree.

5 Unexpected Countries that are Leading the Way on Renewable Energy—Sometimes we forget that there are a lot of other countries out there making a lot of progress on renewable energy that might not get the attention of the U.S. or Germany or Japan.

Cable TV Boxes Become 2nd Biggest Energy Users in Many Homes—As if we needed another reason to cancel our television subscriptions and call it a day. Just sitting there all day long these shelf trolls are sucking down electricity at a rate that rivals any other electronic device in our home save for the refrigerator.

From Untended Farmland, Reserve Tries to Recreate Wilderness from Long Ago—With so much of our landscape affected by humans it is time to restore some of that landscape to a more natural state. I always think of the idea of the “Buffalo Commons” when I read about efforts like this in Europe.

The Whole City of Florence can Fit in One Atlanta Cloverleaf—If you want to be amazed by the amount of sprawl in America just look at this comparison. Damn.

What’s Up With That: Building Bigger Roads Actually Makes Traffic Worse—So, our solution to traffic congestion for the last sixty years or so has been to build more and wider roads, Guess what? Those roads are just going to be as clogged as the roads that preceded them. WTF.

The Green Lawn: American Staple or Water Waster?—Let me save you the trouble of the argument…it’s a waste. Lawns suck up water, chemicals, fertilizer, gas to mow, and not to mention our time to create an artificial green carpet. Ugh.

Greenpeace Loses $5.2 Million On Rogue Employee Trading—A total WTF moment. Why is Greenpeace messing around in currency trading? I am glad my dollars were not donated to these folks.

Can One Of The World’s Most Ubiquitous Products Clean Up Its Act?—Palm oil is ubiquitous. The production of palm oil is also an environmental disaster. I think the question is less how we clean up palm oil and more how do we use less palm oil.

‘Pink Slime’ Is Making A Comeback. Do You Have A Beef With That?—You just knew that the makers of pink slime…err, lean, finely textured beef were just waiting for the furor to die down and prices to go up so that they could shovel some more of this slop into our food supply.

How Food Companies Trick You Into Thinking You’re Buying Something Healthy—The moral of the story is that if it is in a package it is probably doing something misleading. If you start off with that assumption you will be a lot healthier in the long run.

These Popular Plastic Bottles May Be Messing With Your Hormones—Great, so BPA was bad but the replacement may be just as bad. I should just stick to stainless steel and glass. Safer that way.

12 Sea Turtle Facts That Prove How Cool They Are—People just love sea turtles. Nothing gets a group of snorkelers excited quite like a sea turtle swimming amongst them. You can spend an hour easily watching these graceful swimmers laze about the water.

Friday Linkage 7/6/2012

The recent spate of hot weather is starting to get under people’s skin.  The past couple of days have tickled one hundred degrees with a decent amount of humidity.  What is the worst part is that the breeze feels hot.  You can be out on your bike and a rush of air does nothing but feel hot.

Not quite like standing near a line of cabs in Las Vegas as the engines groan under the combined assault of high temperatures and full blast air conditioning.

On to the links…

Shark Fin Off the Menu—I do not trust much of what comes out of China, but if the government is willing to at least take the symbolic step of removing shark fin soup from official dinner menus I will count it as progress.  Every day there seems to be an additional step forward to end the barbaric practice of shark finning.  I wait for the day when we view sharks with the same wonderment that we have for whales or dolphins.

The Artisanal Irony—What does the word artisanal even mean anymore?  Domino’s has a line of pizzas using the word.  Tostitos applies it to tortilla chips.  It’s quickly becoming the new “all natural.”  In essence, it is meaningless.

Small Scale Farmers Creating New Business Model—The “go big or go home” mentality in agriculture might be coming to an end as the burdensome debt loads to get big are creating an unsustainable model for agriculture.  This is particularly true for farmers who want to produce crops outside of the commodities like corn or soybeans.  Perhaps we should call them artisan farms.

Dead WalMart Turned into Gorgeous Library—The end result of turning an abandoned WalMart into a public library is pretty amazing, but I tend to agree with the author that this seems to accelerate or reinforce the low slung sprawl of many sun belt cities.  Heck, WalMart is now 50 years old so I guess we better get used to dealing with these effects by now:

Thanks to the good folks at SumOfUs.org for putting this together.

Fox News Wants it Both Ways—Apparently, the President is to blame for high gas prices.  He is also, magically, to blame for low gas prices.  Interesting…

The Days of Cheap Coal are Over—Not only do people not want any new coal plants, apparently the investment community is souring on coal plants.  Uh oh!  Where is Don Blankenship when you need a good laugh?  Oh wait, I found him:

I miss that clown.

Botched Coal Astroturfing—When it rains it pours for the coal folks nowadays.  Not only do they need to pay people to come to meetings to support their cause, the names on petitions favoring coal are fake as well.  Does anyone like coal anymore?  Oh yeah, the Chinese.

A Mussel Raft Tackles River Pollution—The natural world offers a lot of solutions to modern problems if we are willing to look beyond the supposed superiority of technological solutions.  I remember as a kid when zebra mussels first started to invade waterways in the Midwest.  One startling side effect was that in some waterways the water quality improved dramatically because the filter feeding zebra mussels were cleaning the water.

Date Night at the Zoo—This article just highlights how little we truly understand about the natural world.  Cheetahs have been kept by humans as far back as ancient Egypt, yet we are still ignorant of the animal’s mating habits.  Why do some people think we have dominion over the Earth?

Rogue Ales to Create Beer Using Yeast from Brewmaster’s Beard—There is no other way to classify this story than to say it is a bridge too far.