Tag Archives: trucks

Friday Linkage 2/3/2017

Well, this week happened.  It was a week in which I found myself agreeing with Dick freaking Cheney.  The man better known as W’s Darth Vader actually came out against Trump’s horrible ban on refugees as “against everything we stand for and believe in.

Never mind the failure to actually limit immigration or entry into the United States from countries that have exported terror to the United States—yes, I am wondering why Saudi Arabia was left off the list and it could not have anything to do with Trump’s sons business dealings.  You remember that Eric and Don Jr. are running the empire now, right?

On to the links…

This Map Might Make You Think Twice About Trump’s Immigration Ban—I wonder why Donald Trump and Steve Bannon did not include Saudi Arabia—home to almost all of the 9/11 terrorists—on their list of countries?  Oh right, conflicts of interest:


Republican Bill to Privatize Public Lands is Yanked after Outcry—Your voices matter.  When a snake oil salesman like Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) is forced to back down amid public outcry, you know something is working in this messed up world.  Keep up the heat and make sure that every member of Congress knows that we are watching.

‘It’s A Big One’: Iowa Pipeline Leaks—The number of gallons of diesel fuel leaked is being debated.  Of course the oil company says it is fewer than reported, but who really believes them?  Remember this every time someone says that oil pipelines are so safe.

US Coal Industry Will Continue Historic Decline Through 2017—In spite of Donald Trump’s rhetoric coal will continue to fall out of favor in the U.S.  It is called a death spiral for a reason.

The Great Energy Disruption—When you go back and look at these projections, as the author points out, many of the assumptions driving the models are wrong…to the better.  Renewable energy generation has gotten cheaper, faster.  Energy storage has gotten cheaper, faster.  The beat goes on.

Who Installs More Solar Power? Republicans and Democrats are Pretty Much Tied.—Must not be any of the Republicans elected to Congress.  Those guys hate solar.

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt May Be The Start Of The Everyday Electric Revolution—This is why the Chevy Bolt may be the true winner of the electric vehicle war to come…it’s kind of boring, in an everyday get my stuff done kind of way.

The Next EV Revolution: Think Trucks and Buses—If you are looking to get some serious savings in terms of oil consumed in the transportation sector look to heavy duty commercial vehicles.  This quote from the article encapsulates the opportunity perfectly: While medium and heavy trucks account for only 4% of America’s 250+ million vehicles, they represent 26% of American fuel use and 29% of vehicle CO2 emissions.

Chart of the Month: Driven by Tesla, Battery Prices Cut in Half since 2014—Think about that for a moment—battery costs have been cut in half in approximately three years.  This is before the Gigafactory and mainstream EVs really hit the market bringing some true economies of scale to bear:

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Going Local: The Solution-Multiplier—In the age of Trump local matter more than ever.

Diageo Opening Guinness Brewery in US—With all the great craft beer in America, do we really need Guinness to open up a destination brewery?  I have had their rye pale ale and it does not belong on the shelf with a hundred other great American beers.

Nation’s Bacon Reserves hit 50-year Low as Prices Rise—In case your week was not crappy enough there may not be enough sweet, savory, delicious bacon to salve our wounded souls in the era of Trump.  WTF?


Stuff I Like: Green Toys

My eight month old son has discovered toys.  Now that he can sit up unsupported for long stretches he just wants to play.  What kid does not?  It does matter…rattles, balls, his sister’s toys…everything is fair game.

After the holidays, my local warehouse store had a set of Green Toys trucks on sale.  In addition, I picked up a Green Toys bath boat somewhere on my last trip to Des Moines:

Why do I like Green Toys?  Let me list the ways:

  • Made from 100% recycled plastic – Now I know where some of the milk jugs I have been dutifully recycling for the past decade have been going.  Naturally the good folks at Green Toys have an infographic to tell you how much energy making their toys from recycled milk jugs equates to:

  • Made in the USA – It sounds quaint.  It sounds vaguely like the Tea Party.  Making things in this country makes sense on more than economic grounds.  Mostly I am thinking about safety.  If there is a problem, the source can be tracked down.  Can a toy company say that about a sub-sub-sub-contractor in China?  Probably not.
  • Safety – It goes along with the previous point, but I think it bears mentioning on its own.  Green Toys are free from BPA and other nasty chemicals like phthalates.  Who knows what lurks in the shrink wrapped boxes of your local supercenter?
  • Creative play – This is not something unique to Green Toys, but it is something that I feel is important.  These toys do not light up or beep or talk or make someone follow a prescribed path.  It’s a toy that lets a kid be a kid and goof off.  Sure, the tiger moms of the world will question the validity or sanity of letting your child play but it is my belief that having an imagination is a greater thing than being able to mechanically produce concerto music at age 5.
  • Reduced recyclable packaging – Let me tell you there are few things more depressing than opening a child’s toy and being left with a mound of shredded plastic and foam and whatever else is used to ensure safe delivery.  Green Toys come packaged in cardboard and that is it.  No blister packs or foam holders.

Needless to say, my son loves moving his trucks back and forth across the carpet. And, it makes me feel a little better to know that he is playing with a recycling truck.  You cannot start them too young.