Tag Archives: trees

Friday Linkage 5/20/2022

This is the Republican Party in 2022.  The actual text of the Constitution does not matter.  All that matters is finding a judge that agrees with your position and writing a ridiculous law that they will allow to go into effect.  When a member of the Supreme Court writes an opinion striking down 50 years of precedence using legal reasoning from a judge who convicted women of witchcraft this ends up being a task that is much easier than you would imagine.

It will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court handles the inevitable legal challenge to Texas’ latest twisted logic.

On to the links…

We Need Optimism – but Disneyfied Climate Predictions are Just Dangerous—The future is scary and we need to be realistic about that fact.

Western US May Be Experiencing Its Worst Dry Spell in 12 Centuries—Yes, the drought in the Western U.S. really is that bad.

Hydropower is 53% of the Renewable Energy Supply in the West. Drought is Slowing Down Production.—The knock on effects of the aforementioned drought are just starting to be felt.  Remember, advanced indigenous civilizations rapidly declined in the face of droughts in this very region.  Who wants to put money on Phoenix surviving for the long haul?

America’s Love Affair With the Lawn is Getting Messy—Tear out as much of your lawn as legally allowed.

Pro-Trump Counties Continue to Suffer Far Higher COVID Death Tolls—Talk about self-inflicted wounds.  These people will take medical advice from a Facebook post, but will not listen to an actual doctor telling them to get a vaccine.

What the Ukraine War Means for Western Lands—You can already hear the drumbeats of opening more lands to oil and gas drilling.  Too bad oil and gas producers have no intention of rushing to bring new lands into production any time soon.

‘Flash Droughts’ are Midwest’s Next Big Climate Threat—Why does the term “flash drought” make me think of a cheesy SyFy movie like Sharknado?

The World Has No Choice but to Care About India’s Heat Wave—Somehow this is all starting to feel like the beginning to Kim Stanley Robinson’s Ministry of the Future.

The Air Conditioning Paradox—As the planet warms and deadly heat waves become more of a problem it is not as simple as turning on the air conditioning.  The power requirements and refrigerant leaks from air conditioning systems will further drive increases in the very emissions that drive global warming.

Crypto Crash Probably Won’t Ease Crypto’s Massive Energy Suck—Exactly what problem is cryptocurrency trying to solve?  I am beginning to wonder if this is all just a massive Ponzi scheme for tech bros.

The Race to Produce Sustainable Steel—Steel production is one of the hidden carbon monsters in our industrial economy.  Reductions in the emission intensity of steel production will ripple through the economy.

How Does Forest Restoration Affect Water Cycles?—Trees and water are linked in ways we do not totally understand.  The number that kind of blew my mind was that there is ~900 million hectares of land available to be reforested without encroaching on agricultural or urban landscapes. That is over 2 billion acres of land.

Let’s Save Forests to Fight Climate Change—As if this is a controversial idea anymore.

Record Number of Dams Removed from Europe’s Rivers in 2021—Removing useless and dangerous dams to free rivers is just a win from so many perspectives.

When Wheat Never Dies—Moving just a small percentage of our crop acreage to a perennial wheat crop could have major benefits.  Imagine areas near waterways planted with kernza slowing down water and keeping soil in place with that long root system.

More than 3,000 Potentially Harmful Chemicals Found in Food Packaging—As if we needed another reason to avoid the highly processed packaged foods in the middle aisles of the grocery store.

Elon Musk Praises Chinese Workers for ‘burning the 3am oil’ – Here’s What that Really Looks Like—I get that people think Tesla is the future of automobiles, but every Tesla someone buys supports this no talent ass clown’s pocketbook.  Elon Musk is one of the primary reasons I will never own a Tesla.

Friday Linkage 5/13/2022

The reviews of the Ford F-150 Lightning electric vehicle are starting to roll in and the consensus is that this vehicle is a home run.

I am sure that there are Tesla Cybertruck “stans” out there who will declare the EV equivalent of jihad on anyone who dares to speak well of an EV other than one produced by Twitter’s soon to be owner.  However, the F-150 Lightning is a vehicle that is being produced right now, in a form factor that is familiar to millions, and supported by a huge base of both aftermarket accessories and service centers.

It is just too bad that if you are not already a reservation holder it will be several years before an F-150 Lightning is parked in your driveway.

On to the links…

The Smash-and-Grab Economy—Please take the time to read the series of articles that Mother Jones magazine recently published on private equity.  If you want to understand a lot of what is wrong with America today you need to understand private equity’s role in many of the problems.

Biden Administration Cancels Oil and Gas Lease Sales in Alaska, Gulf of Mexico—The fossil fuel industry is sitting on years of leases that are going undeveloped.  There is no need to further increase their backlog of potential drilling sites.

Lessons from New Mexico and Colorado’s Leading Methane Rules—Reducing the emissions from existing oil and gas wells should be a priority in any climate mitigation strategy.

The Massive, Unregulated Source of Plastic Pollution You’ve Probably Never Heard Of—Since plastic is made primarily from oil and gas this is the equivalent of an oil spill.

California Can Reliably Hit 85% Clean Energy By 2030 Without Risking Outages – En Route To A 100% Clean Grid—We have reached a point where individual states are able to get to nearly 100% clean energy without any new technologies being developed.

This is What We Need to Invent to Fight Climate Change—Renewables are already cheaper to install and operate than fossil fuel energy sources.  Every technological development just makes this a better business case for renewables.

More Bad News For Fossil Fuels: Silicon-Lithium EV Batteries Deliver Next-Level Performance—Next generation battery technologies promise to make our current worries about range and charging time a thing of the past.

Recycling Makes Lithium-Ion Batteries The IT Technology—Recycling the raw materials for new batteries from old batteries makes so much sense.  It remains to be seen if our poor record of recycling will also apply to batteries.

Mine E-Waste, Not the Earth, say Scientists—Beyond batteries, we are sitting on a figurative and literal gold mine of rare earth minerals and precious metals in the electronics we have stashed throughout our home.

Germany’s Plugin EV Share Up To 24.3%, Economic Pressures Mounting—The plug in vehicle market shares in Europe’s big automobile markets are approaching the one quarter mark.  The future is now.

Heat Pumps Do Work in the Cold — Americans Just Don’t Know it Yet—Talk to a dozen HVAC professionals in your area and you are likely to get a dozen different opinions on this topic.

Land-Building Marsh Plants are Champions of Carbon Capture—High impact ecosystems like marshlands can help us sequester loads of carbon with a much smaller footprint than other land use types.

A Story of 90,000 Trees: How Kenya’s Kipsigis Brought a Forest Back to Life—We can regenerate and restore the landscape if we do not treat it like private equity treats everything it touches.

If You Care About Humanity, Chill Out on the Steaks—The numbers are super compelling.  A 20% reduction in beef consumption could result in a 50% reduction in deforestation.

This Fermented Meat Alternative Could Help Halve Global Deforestation Rates—Just forego the steak already.

Millions of Tonnes of Dead Animals: The Growing Scandal of Fish Waste—It should be known that industrial fishing is just a giant machine producing so much waste in the pursuit of certain fish.

Amazon Fires Employees at Unionized Warehouse as Its Tactics Come Under Scrutiny—Amazon, like Starbucks, is a very bad actor when it comes to labor relations.  Remember that the next time you order something mindlessly from the everything store.

Friday Linkage 5/6/2022

Let’s not bury the lead story.  Republicans and the Supreme Court they massaged over the past forty years is poised to overturn Roe vs. Wade.  This is not surprising—despite what Susan Collins thinks the current justices said as nominees—but it is not likely to be the end of the rights that these people are coming for in the near future.  Get ready to defend your access to birth control.  These whack jobs are already messaging that any birth control is really just an abortifacient.  Get used to hearing that word a lot.

There is a lot more on the table as well.  Interracial marriage?  You bet and certain Republicans have already said the quiet part out loud when it comes to their beliefs on that issue.  Gay marriage?  I bet they are just salivating.  Gay sex?  If you have no right to privacy you have no right to hide your sexual preference from the government.  It gets all Gilead-like real quick.

The scary thing is that Samuel Alito actually quoted a jurist who convicted women of witchcraft.  Nothing says grasping at straws quite like that little bit of legal reasoning.

On to the links…

Is The Texas Grid Really Running Short Of Capacity In May?—What are things going to look like this summer?

CEO Pay Explodes Again: Why All Attempts To Stop It Have Failed—Tell me again why a single person at any company is worth this amount of money?

Climate Change: Record Tree Losses in 2021 in Northern Regions—Restoration of these ecosystems needs to be a primary concern.

Climate Change May Fuel “Devastating” Disease Outbreaks—COVID-19 is like a precursor to what is coming.

Climate Sceptic Think Tank Received Funding from Fossil Fuel Interests—If someone is arguing against the basic tenants of climate change they are either stupid or being paid by the fossil fuel industry.  Or both.

Solar Energy’s Latest Record Breaker: 5 Takeaways—The U.S. installed a total of 23.6 gigawatts of solar in 2021, which was a record.  The total represents 19% over 2020 and 77% over 2019.

California just shy of 100% powered by renewables for first time—Yes, it was during the day and, yes, it was for a short period of time.  Regardless, the state of California was generating more electricity via renewables than it was using.

In California, 12.5% Of New Light-Duty Vehicle Registrations Were Plug-In Electric Vehicles In 2021—California is leading the way.

Norway’s April EV Market Share At 84%, Fleet Share At 23%–The fleet share number is crazy.  That means 23% of the light duty vehicles on the road in Norway are EVs.  Imagine more than every fifth car you saw on the road being an EV.

France Plugin EV Share 21.1% In April, New Bestseller—While we love talking about Nordic countries EV adoption, France’s large car market at over 21% plug-in vehicle market share is very impressive.

World’s Fastest Electric Car Charger Installed In Norway—We get it Norway, you like EVs.

Texas Plans to Punish Companies That Move Away From Fossil Fuels—Remember this every time one of these right wing nut jobs cries “free markets” or some other nonsense.

Utah Wants to Build an Oil Railway through a Wilderness Area—Nothing like destroying wilderness to cling to fossil fuels.

We Have Way Too Much Corn—Distilling it into ethanol and feeding it to animals to produce meat is only making other problems worse.

California Feeds Us, But It’s in Severe Drought Again. Time for a New Idea.—Step one: Stop growing so much god damned corn.

‘Towns just turned to dust’: How Factory Hog Farms Help Hollow Out Rural Communities—These giant animal feeding operations are not good for the community in which they are located, the health of the people, or the environment.  Why exactly do we let this continue?

‘It’s just more and more lanes’: The Texan Revolt Against Giant New Highways—Texas politicians would build ten lane highways everywhere they could if the people would let them.

Urban Sprawl Defines Unsustainable Cities, but It Can be Undone—I doubt that I will see a major change to urban sprawl patterns in my lifetime.

The US Only Recycled About 5% of Plastic Waste Last Year—At least there is a lot of room for improvement.

Resale is Not Changing Our Relationship with Stuff — Here’s Why—Even when we are buying more used stuff, we are also buying too much new stuff.

You Can’t Buy Your Way to Happiness: How to Avoid the ‘Retail Therapy’ Trap—Just stop the insanity.

Friday Linkage 4/29/2022

It is hard to believe that it is almost May.  Of course, here in eastern Iowa the problem with spring is that it has felt a lot more like the end of winter than anything else.  Record low temps a couple of nights, frost in the morning, and just a gloomy day after a gloomy day.  Everyone is starting to get a little squirrely.

On to the links…

The Future of American Conservation Lies in Restoration, not Just Protection—Yes.

Biden Reverses Trump Move to Open Up More Oil Drilling in Arctic—Just leave this chunk of land alone.

Under a New Policy, Federal Agencies Will Have to Weigh the Climate Costs of their Actions—Seems like common sense, so people like Lauren Boebert will hate it.

Parched Southern California Takes Unprecedented Step of Restricting Outdoor Watering—The drought scenarios just keep getting worst for the American west.  California is in the lead right now, but if the situation on the Colorado River does not improve the southwest is in for a long haul.

Turns Out Biofuels Aren’t All They Were Cracked Up to Be—Biofuels have turned out to be a net loser on a lot of different levels.  It is time to move on.

Drive Easy—So, if we just chilled the f out everyone would save a lot of fuel and, probably, a lot of stress.

Renewable Generation Surpassed Nuclear In The U.S. Electric Power Sector In 2021—The chart speaks for itself:

The bounce in coal concerns me a little bit, but I think we can start bending the curves downward for both natural gas and coal in the coming years.  Just keep building out those renewables.

Xcel Energy Agrees to Shut Down Comanche 3 Early, Ending Use of Coal in Colorado by 2031—The Comanche coal plant in Pueblo, CO was supposed to be a showcase for next generation coal fired power.  However, it has been nothing short of a disaster.  Now it looks like it is less than a decade from ceasing operation.

Texas Solar Buildout Is A Case Of ‘Batteries Not Included’—28 gigawatts of solar is a monster numbers.  It is too bad that Texas is not figuring out a way to load balance as well.

Data Reveals Tremendous Growth In Volumetric Energy Density Of EV Batteries—The batteries are going to keep getting better at a fairly steep rate, so the EVS are going to be going farther at a much cheaper cost.

Lithium Costs a Lot of Money—so Why Aren’t We Recycling Lithium Batteries?—As the industry grows this will turn into a gold mine for someone who figures out the economies of scale and process.

China Electric Car Market Reaches 26% Plugin Market Share In March—China is one of the largest car markets in the world.  Greater than 25% market share for plug in vehicles is amazing.

Where Forests Disappeared Last Year—You just need to ask where is the beef and palm oil.

European Union Plans “Largest Ever Ban” on Toxic Chemicals—How can we make this a global movement?

The Planet Needs its Peat Moss. Use These Gardening Alternatives Instead.—The preservation and restoration of existing peatlands is a low cost, high impact carbon emissions mitigation strategy.  We can figure out other ways to amend the soil in our gardens.

Why Old-Growth Forests Matter So Much in the Fight Against Climate Change—Preserve what we have and restore what we have lost.

Plastic-Eating Enzyme Could Eliminate Billions of Tons of Landfill Waste—I would love this to be true, but I have visions of an apocalyptic scenario where plastic everywhere starts getting eaten by this enzyme.

How to Go Zero-Waste at the Grocery Store—Start small.

The Difference You Make When You Eat Less Meat—One of the single biggest changes you can make every day is choosing to eat less meat.

Why Being Anti-Science Is Now Part Of Many Rural Americans’ Identity—I would just blame Facebook and Fox News.

Friday Linkage 4/22/2022

My thoughts and prayers go out to Alex Jones as his bonkers InfoWars empire of conspiracy theories and supplements is being forced into bankruptcy because he is a venomous clown.  Now, about that new Tucker Carlson special… 

On to the links…

Biden Is Opening Up Public Lands to More Oil and Gas Leasing—Nothing is more predictable than politicians actions following a rise in gasoline prices.  The minute someone is complaining on the local news it is all, “Drill, baby drill.” 

Unregulated Pipeline Break in Webb County Highlights’ Texas Oil and Gas Accountability Problem—No matter what the cost we allow these bad actors to continue drilling and polluting our environment because we want cheap energy.

U.S. May Have Hit Peak Natural Gas Power Generation, Report Says—Being dependent on a volatile commodity like natural gas is not a good thing.  Especially when the alternatives use a fuel source that is free.

EPA Has Finally Opened Civil Rights Investigations Over Pollution in “Cancer Alley”—This is the intersection of social and environmental justice.  It is also long overdue.

Bad Math Is Steering Us Toward Climate Catastrophe—The assumptions of the model are very important and it appears that we may be underselling the downside risk of near term climate change. 

Xcel Energy, Parties Discuss Possible Earlier Retirement for Pueblo Coal Plant—The Comanche coal plant in Pueblo, Colorado is a problem child.  Once thought to be an exemplar of next generation coal fired power plants it has been nothing but a loser since it began operation.  Now, it might finally be seeing the end of the line a lot sooner than was thought just a few years ago.

Clean Energy is Buried at the Bottom of Abandoned Oil Wells—Geothermal energy always seems like a good idea but it never seems to make it to prime time.

Why Food Waste Is the “Dumbest Problem Ever” — and the Fascinating Ways We Might Actually Solve It—This is not just an economic issue but an environmental issue as well.

Why Are Nature-Based Solutions on Climate Being Overlooked?—I believe that we overlook effective nature based solutions because there is nothing “techno cool” about the projects.

Carbontech Innovation is Going ‘Bonkers’—Whenever the investment community goes bonkers for something I would suggest walking away very carefully.

Sea-Farmed Supercrop: How Seaweed Could Transform the Way We Live—Be wary of anyone touting something as “super” anything.

Straight from the Slaughterhouse to Aviation, Colorado is Pumping Beef Fat into a Fancy Jet near You—But will it smell like the McDonald’s French fries of my youth?

The Nation’s Corn Belt Has Lost a Third of Its Topsoil—Regenerative agriculture is the solution.  Also, we should probably stop growing so much corn to burn as ethanol.

What are the Most Effective Ways to Get Cars Out of Cities?—Geez, making people pay more to drive into a city center and making parking less available are effective measures.  Is anyone really surprised?

Vail Resorts Plans Big Investment in Affordable Housing. Town of Vail Promises a Fight.—If politicians’ actions over gas prices are predictable, then the actions of moneyed residents in mountain communities to affordable housing is almost reflexive.  These people will bitch and moan about the lack of employees, but fight any attempt to actually build housing anyone other than a hedge fund manager can afford.

FEMA’s New Flood Insurance System is Sinking Waterfront Homeowners. That Might be the Point.—Please explain to me why it is controversial that the government subsidized flood insurance program is making people pay more money if they live in flood plains?  What would private flood insurance cost in these same markets?

Friday Linkage 4/15/2022

Think about this for a moment.  According to this article at least 55 of the largest and most profitable companies in the United States did not pay federal corporate income tax.

Another way to look at it is that these companies are avoiding paying ~$180 billion a year.  The top 55 companies mentioned before not only did not pay tax but received tax credits.  That is right, we paid these companies to be in business.  Wow.

On to the links…

The Environmental Cost of the War in Ukraine—The people who will pay for this are the ones least responsible for what is happening in Ukraine.

An Ocean of Noise: How Sonic Pollution is Hurting Marine Life—We are trashing to oceans with so much more than plastic.

Biden Administration Launches $1 Billion Conservation Program—Given that the request for defense spending in FY23 was more than $770 billion maybe we could put a few more dollars toward conservation.  Like, maybe we could actually tax corporations.  Just an idea.

Republican Lawmakers to Oil CEOs: Stop Apologizing and Keep the Fossil Fuels Coming—Republicans are ready to go full Putin and just say the bad parts out loud.  Why not just go all in on evil if you do not face any repercussions for doing so?

How Much Energy Powers a Good Life? Less than You’re Using, says a New Report—This is the crux of moving forward in terms of carbon emissions.  We do not need nearly the energy we use to live a good life.

Want to Slow Climate Change? Look to Cities—How can cities actually make progress when state lawmakers are removing local control from so many decisions?

Jump In Methane Emissions That Fingers Big Oil — But Wait, Not So Fast.—Reducing methane emissions from whatever the source is the low hanging fruit of emissions reduction.  Granted, if oil and gas companies can figure out way to make some money along the way it will get done a lot faster.

A Record Number of Yellowstone Wolves have been Killed. Conservationists are Worried—What is it with the right wingers in America who just love to kill stuff?

Hardy New Forests Could Keep the Austrian Alps from Crumbling into Landslides—The best day to plant a tree was ten years ago.  The second best is today.

Cleanup of Abandoned Uranium Mines Creates a Demand for Workers—There is a lot of opportunity in cleaning up our toxic legacy in the West.

Oddly, As Steelmaking Decarbonizes, Coal Country Gets New Life—The environmental impact of our industrial processes, so any reduction in emissions is a big deal.

Amid Hopes and Fears, a Plastics Boom in Appalachia Is On Hold—Remember, plastic is just another fossil fuel.

The Death of the Gas Station—Given the forthcoming retail apocalypse that was deferred by COVID-19 you have to wonder if we are going to reimagine our entire commercial property landscape.

More Colorado Community Solar Gardens Moving Forward after PUC Rejects Xcel Effort to Postpone— The people want solar, but your utility company does not want you to have solar.

A Heat Pump Water Heater Is The Energy Saving Equivalent Of 7 Solar Panels & Costs ⅙ The Price— Good luck getting one though.  I am on two waiting lists with no firm date as to when I might get one installed.

What Happens When a Group of Fox News Viewers Watch CNN for a Month?—So, basically, the world would be a better place without Fox News.

Why ‘Eco-Conscious’ Fashion Brands can Continue to Increase Emissions—Just stop buying so much stuff.

Friday Linkage 4/1/2022

I wish that this were an April Fool’s Day joke, but Madison Cawthorn actually claimed to be invited to orgies and personally seen people consume cocaine right in front of him.  Now, Republican leadership is going to stomp their feet and shake their fists but actually do nothing.

This is the Republican Party in the age of Trump.  There are no values.  There are no ideas.  There is only the performance art of being a politician.

On to the links…

83% Of New Power Capacity In 2021 Came From Renewables — US Power Capacity Report—I wish it were 100%, but as long as natural gas additions are replacing coal I will take the victory lap.

5 New Reports Show Wind And Solar Power Can Cripple Putin, Secure Climate Goals—Let’s get cracking.

Can the World Overshoot its Climate Targets — and Then Fix It Later?—Let’s not find out.

‘A Barbaric Federal Program’: US Killed 1.75m Animals Last Year – or 200 per Hour—I have written about this program before and it needs to stop.  There is no valid reason why the U.S. government should be supporting absolute slaughter of wild animals all for the benefit of a few welfare ranchers.

Midwestern Lawmakers are Trying to Replace Russian Oil with Ethanol—Any time that gas prices go up a little bit the politicians from the farm belt come to Washington D.C. pushing an expansion of ethanol production.  It has not helped in the past and it will not help in the future.

A New Report Reveals How the Dakota Access Pipeline is Breaking the Law—A pipeline operator breaking the law?  I am hardly able to believe that such a thing could be true.

United Power Should be able to Leave Tri-State for Less than a Tenth of a Proposed $1.6B Exit Fee, Federal Report Says—Getting out of long term agreements with coal power providers is a thorny process made all the more difficult by courts that seem locked in to keeping the pollution flowing.

Longer-Lasting Lithium-Ion—Now that there is real money being spent on developing and improving batteries for electric vehicles the improvements should start to flow.  Think about the steady march of improvements to automobiles over the last thirty years.  I ask anyone to think about a new car bought in the early 1990s compared to one purchased today.

1,000-Year-Old Oaks Used to Create ‘Super Forest’—I just love the idea of a so-called super forest.

Electrify America to Build Charging Stations We’ve been Dreaming Of—The future is coming and it is going to be pretty cool.

It’s Not Where You Charge An EV, It’s What You Do While Charging—I rarely charge my Nissan Leaf away from home.  Some of that is COVID-19 related, but it is also just a fact that I rarely use the vehicle’s limited range in the course of any particular day’s driving demands.

Beat the Petrol Price Hike! Could Hypermiling be the Answer to Soaring Fuel Costs?—Hypermiling is just another way to say efficiency.  It is the low hanging fruit of reducing emissions.  If people just drove less like every mile was the last lap of an F! race we would save a lot of fuel.

Ghost Flights from UK Running at 500 a Month, Data Reveals—At a time when we are looking for ways to reduce emissions this would seem like a no brainer.  Given how bad flying is from an emissions standpoint stopping these flights should be a major focus.

Airbus Just Flew its Biggest Plane Yet Using Sustainable Aviation Fuel—Sustainable aviation fuel is a little bit like putting lipstick on a pig, but if people are going to fly this would be an improvement.

New Balance Bulks Up Manufacturing Presence in U.S. Amid Global Supply Chain Backlogs—COVID-19 and the resulting supply chain disaster should have every company looking at how and where they manufacture things.

HP Moves Toward 100% Plastic Free with Choose Packaging—Remember, plastic is just oil in solid form.  Any reduction in plastic is a reduction in oil demand.

Friday Linkage 3/25/2022

Welcome to Iowa, where climate change has made us about as disaster prone as any state on the coast.

On to the links…

Why some climate change adaptations just make things worse—Some people just want to build a wall.

Why Estimates of the ‘Cost’ of Climate Action are Overly Pessimistic—What is the cost of not acting?

Finally! Publicly Traded US Companies Will Have To Report GHG Emissions—Well, this could be interesting.

The European Energy Crunch and the U.S. Clean Energy Economy—The current energy “crisis” may force us to look at actually deploying solutions at scale that reduce our dependance on fossil fuels.  How many times do we need to live through these whipsaw moments before we learn?

The Real Reason Gas Prices are so High—If oil companies have finally learned not to oversupply in times of high prices it might be time for some demand destruction.

We Can Get To 30% Electric Heavy-Duty Trucks By 2030 — Here’s How—If diesel fuel selling for more than $5 a gallon won’t do it I do not know what will.

Coal’s a ‘Stupid Investment’ and We’re ‘Sleepwalking to Climate Catastrophe,’ says UN chief Guterres—Pretty much.

Wind, Solar Could Replace Coal Power in Texas—I wonder if Texas’ right wing politicians would get in the way?

Big-Box Stores Could Help Slash Emissions and Save Millions by Putting Solar Panels on Roofs. Why Aren’t More of Them Doing It?—On the roofs and over the parking lots.  There is so much acreage available.

Sonoma County Airport Launches Solar Power Systems—How many acres of open space is there above parking lots surrounding airports?

Electricity Prices Are Up, But An EV Is Still Much Cheaper Than A Conventional Car—It speaks to the intrinsic efficiency of an EV over an ICE vehicle.

New Enzyme Discovery is Another Leap Towards Beating Plastic Waste—Maybe we should just not manufacture and toss away so much plastic in the first place?

Endangered Green Turtles are Bouncing Back in the Seychelles—Take care of the habitat and the animals can recover.

Tennessee State Official Threatens To Seize Town Over Ford Motor Company Investment—You gotta’ love southern Republicans.  They wanted nothing to do with this town when it was poor and black.  But now that it might be middle class and black it is an issue.

As “Forever Chemical” Concerns Mount, Colorado Lawmakers Move to Ban Product Sales—More states need to take action like this.

Microplastics Found in Human Blood for First Time—We are literally becoming plastic people.

Friday Linkage 3/18/2022 

Who would have thought that a man who failed running multiple casinos, an airline, a faux university, a steak company, a bottled water company, several golf courses…okay, you get the ides…would also be a failure when it came to creating a new social media company?

Anyone with half a brain and no vested interest in the continuity of the MAGA-verse.

On to the links…

There are Millions of Acres of ‘Failing’ Rangelands, Data Shows—The US is managing its public lands for the benefit of a few thousand welfare ranchers at the expense of healthy ecosystems that could benefit all Americans.

A Breakdown of How Much Capital is Actually Going to Fight Climate Change—Let’s be honest, it’s peanuts compared to how much public money is lavished on private fossil fuel projects.

Manchin Pours Cold Water On America’s Electric Car Dream—Joe Manchin is the best politician that fossil fuel money can buy.

What Is Holding Back U.S. Oil Production?—Simple economics and investor expectations. 

Massive Bursts of Methane Plumes Occur All Over the U.S. with Little Explanation as to Why—Basically, we do not know why there are huge plumes of a potent greenhouse gas just floating into the atmosphere.  We are so doomed.

With Coal On The Way Out, Policymakers Have Their Eye On Natural Gas—Well, if massive price increases can’t do the job I guess we can hope policymakers can finish the task.

So Much For Coal’s Rebound – Plant Closures Come Roaring Back. It’s Time To Unlock A Just Transition.—I love this line, “It simply costs more to dig up rocks, crush them into powder, and burn them for power than it costs to generate clean energy.”

Yes, More EVs = Fewer Emissions—As countries see more EVs replace ICE vehicles there is mounting evidence that it is an emissions winner.  Anybody with half a brain and a four function calculator could probably have told you this a decade ago, but evidence is nice.

What If Joe Biden Paid You to Get Out of Your Car?—America, the country where the only way to get people to do anything is to pay them.

Brussels Is Offering Nearly $1,000 to People to Give Up Their Cars—Well, if the Belgians are doing it.

California Wants to Use Electric Cars to Back Up the Power Grid—Every EV is just a big battery waiting to be networked into the grid.  Heck, how much of a car’s day is just spent parked somewhere?

28% Of New Cars Sold In Netherlands Now Plugin Cars, Lynk & Co #1—The market is not huge, but all across Europe we are seeing countries pass the 20% plug-in vehicle market share mark with no signs of slowing down.  I imagine high gas prices and the specter of supporting regimes like Putin’s Russia are pushing even more people down this path.

Microsoft and Jeff Bezos are Backing this Start-Up that Aims to Retrofit Millions of Old Buildings with ‘Green’ Energy—It is as if retrofitting buildings—which has been considered low hanging fruit in the fight to lower emissions for decade—just needed a Silicone Valley veneer and some fat VC cash.

Spiking Nickel Prices Could Accelerate Use Of Iron Batteries—Batteries utilizing iron in their chemistry have a lot of advantages and as we look to use our EVs for more than just driving—see above—these advantages become even more important.

Australian Firm Claims “Giant Leap” Toward Clean, Cheap Hydrogen Power—Hydrogen is really just a battery.  Combine the production of hydrogen with surplus renewable energy and you might have a winning combination.

The Plastics Industry Says It Has a Clever Solution to the Plastics Crisis—Do not trust the plastic industry…ever.  Their goal is to sell as much plastic as possible and put the cost of the disposal problem on society at large.

Target Looks to Massive Solar Panels in a California Parking Lot as a Green Model to Power its Stores—This is the ticket.  Why every parking lot in the US is not covered in solar car ports I will never understand.

These are Minnesota’s Top Greenhouse Gas Polluters—How do we get a list like this for every state and start working our way down the list?

Can Oysters Save New York City from the Next Big Storm?—Probably not, but what is the downside to creating a network of oyster reefs?

Arizona Faces a Reckoning Over Water—The American southwest has been staring down the barrel of this gun for decades.

What a Century of Rising Seas Can Tell Us About the Next 30 Years—It is not going to be good.

Denver Has Sent Mental Health Teams Instead Of Cops Over 2000 Times. No Police Back-Up Needed. Ever.—This is the best story I have read in a while.  There is no need to send police to every call for help.

Friday Linkage 3/11/2022 

If there was one politician who is going to try and make COVID-19 his battlecry heading into 2024 it is going to be Florida’s own Ron DeSantis.  Never mind the deaths we may never know about because of his mismanagement, deliberate or otherwise, of the pandemic response.  Never mind the corruption that is the rotten heart of Florida’s right wing politics.  Never mind the grade school bully behavior that masquerades as tough guy posturing.

Nope, Ron DeSantis has decided—against the advice of actual pediatricians—to have the state recommend healthy children under the age of 11 not get the vaccine for COVD-19.  He is advocating that children not be given the single most efficacious preventative measure we have in our toolbox against COVID-19.  All in an effort to score political points as the Trumpier version of Trump.

On to the links…

De-Globalization & Its Discontents—We were told the world was flat and that it was the end of history.  Well, humans were never that good at just getting along.

Where Russian Oil Goes In Europe—Eastern Europe again looks like the battlefield on which we will fight this modern conflict.

High Oil Prices Will Reduce Oil Demand—We can hope people are this rational.

America Can’t Solve Its Gas Price Problem (or its Russia Problem) with Drilling—If we used less oil and gas it would solve the problem.

Climate Crisis: Amazon Rainforest Tipping Point is Looming, Data Shows—There goes the neighborhood.

The Boreal Forests Have a Warning for Us—Will we listen?

Lake Powell Is in Big Trouble—The natural world has been trying to warn us of trouble for decades and we have not been listening.

The Climate Math Of Home Heating Electrification—It is hard to beat modern electricity for efficiency.  Plus, every therm of natural gas that you do not burn is like a little dagger of demand destruction.

US Beef Industry Emerges from Biden’s Climate Pledges ‘Relatively Unscathed’—Beef is becoming the third rail of American politics.  Welfare ranchers own the narrative.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Buy Them — Mike Cannon-Brookes Tries To Buy & Shut Down Worst Coal Plant In Australia—I am sure that “free market” right wingers in Australia will try and pass a law that makes this kind of move illegal.  Remember, the goal is to privatize the gain and socialize the losses.  Too bad in a climate change world we are all losers.

An EPA Fix for Pollution-Spewing Wood Stoves is Backfiring—Even in this semi-modern age woodsmoke is a pernicious problem.

White House Plan to Massively Cut Heavy-Duty Truck Emissions Leaves Lots to Do—Heavy duty trucks are big polluters.  Any positive change, even incremental, can have an outsize impact on the climate.

Sweden Plugin EV Share 52% In February, Kia Niro Leads—I am just waiting for the first country to get to 100% plug-ins.

ULEZ ‘To Cover all of Greater London by End of Next Year’—Why isn’t every city center this way?

We’re Commuting Less, But WFH Isn’t Necessarily Better for the Environment—It is all about the puts and takes.

EPA Prepares to Approve Bee-Killing Pesticides for 15 More Years—Why?

Oops, Cleaning the Great Pacific Garbage Patch was Probably a Bad Idea—I love how really pedestrian efforts like water wheels capturing garbage in rivers and bays is probably a better solution than trying to “sweep” the oceans.

Most Animal Cruelty is Legal on the Farm. A Judge is Questioning That.—Is there a cruelty free way to raise animals for eventual slaughter?  Given the end result, isn’t this process by definition cruel?

The Bloody Secret Behind Lab-Grown Meat—Maybe meat, regardless of it came from pasture or lab, is the real villain.

How Grocery Co-ops Across New England Thrived Despite the Pandemic—Support your local co-op.  These grocery stores are like little beacons in an increasingly consolidated grocery industry.