Tag Archives: Trump

Friday Linkage 3/12/2021

Do you want to know the primary difference between today’s Democrats and Republicans?  Look at how the two signature legislative achievements of the past two presidents compare:

Notice a difference?

Stay safe out there.

On to the links…

People Wasting Almost 1 Billion Tons of Food a Year, UN Report Reveals—This is an environmental, economic, and social disaster all rolled up into one pile of leftover food left to rot.  If you could do one thing in your household to combat a lot of ills it would be to waste no food.  It’s not always easy, but it will save you money in the long run.

Republicans’ New Favorite Study Trashes Biden’s Climate Plans – but Who’s Behind It?—I will tell you: oil and gas interests.  The Koch Industries footprints are probably all over the document as well.

Renewables = 20.6% of US Electricity in 2020—So, now the U.S. gets over 20% of its electricity from renewables.  Remember when the alarmists said it could never account for more than 5%?  Yeah, I do not hear anyone carping about that problem anymore.

Deb Haaland’s First Big Challenge at Interior: Homegrown Extremists—You just know that the clownish Bundy clan is itching for some more time on Fox News.  I just wish we were done with these fame whores.

Jeff Bezos will Spend $1 Billion a Year to Fight Climate Change—Is this what happens when you are one of the world’s richest people yet your philanthropic efforts get trounced by your ex-wife?

Oil and Gas Companies are Making Old Pipelines the Landowner’s Problem—Oil and gas companies will use every legal avenue to avoid paying for any remediation costs related to their abandoned infrastructure.  Just wait until a landowner finds out is really a bankrupt Exxon Pipeline Inc. that owns the pipeline rather than Exxon Mobil.

Energy Companies Have Left Colorado with Billions of Dollars in Oil and Gas Cleanup—How about a deal where there is not a single new well drilled until there is a cleanup plan administered by an entity other than an oil or gas company that is fully bonded?

Germany Plugin Electric Vehicle Share Hits 20.7% In Record February, Up 3x Year-On-Year—I am sure that having VW produce a mass market EV was a big deal for German market share.  Also, it is amazing what people will do when given the chance to buy a good EV at a reasonable price.

You’re Thinking About Home Heating Wrong—Somewhere someone should come up with a government rebate program that makes the installation of a heat pump HVAC system a no-brainer.  It would go a long way to breaking our reliance on fossil fuels.

A Story of Wood—Wood is one of the most amazing materials ever.  Full stop.

Why Does Everything Look the Same?—Maybe it is because we are just sheep.

Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Might be Filling an Ancient Ecological Niche—I will be honest, I never get tired of reading about the hippos left behind when Pablo Escobar was killed.  It is like reading about the animals near Chernobyl. 

Friday Linkage 3/5/2021

I do not know where the month of February went.  Maybe it was the more than weeklong period of sub-zero degrees Fahrenheit temperatures that we endured.  Maybe it was just the last throes of hitting the coronavirus wall.

It’s March.

I am watching the deep snow melt and waiting for the first day when I can get out on my bike without fear of hitting an ice patch.  I am hopeful that day is coming this weekend.

Stay safe out there.

On to the links…

How the Pandemic has Helped and Hurt Animals Around the World—I love the term “anthropause.”  We need to look back on the past year or so and wonder what it would be like to extend many of these impacts into the future.  Maybe the anthropause was a window into the future of human civilization.

America Didn’t Need Sports After All—I grew out of caring about professional sports a few years ago.  Maybe it was my father passing away that pushed me to give up caring.  Well, it looks like the pandemic showed the country that it just does not need sports like they thought.

Why Do Meatpacking Workers Face Such Gruesome Conditions?—First, America demands cheap meat.  Hell, we put bacon on everything because…shit, I do not know why people put bacon on donuts.  Also, meatpacking is a huge and consolidated industry that wields political power like you do not understand.

Deregulation Is Not The Central Culprit For Texas’ Electricity Crisis—There is not single culprit behind what happened in Texas because everyone involved failed.

Global Oil Companies Have Committed to ‘Net Zero’ Emissions. It’s a Sham—Yep.

How Exxon Is Being Forced To Accept The Reality Of Bad Fossil Fuel Investments—Exxon Mobil has always played a little fast and loose with its reserve accounting compared to its peers and now it is coming back to bite it in the ass.

Here’s Why This New Fracking Ban in the Northeast is a Big Deal—Maybe this is the beginning of a fight to reclaim our land and water from oil and gas companies.

Dying Oil Companies’ Parting Gift: Millions in Cleanup Costs—As more oil and gas companies go belly up during the energy transition of the coming decades get ready for a lot more bills like this to come due.  If there is one thing a revived CCC could work on it would be capping abandoned wells across the country.

What’s Really Driving Coal Power’s Demise?—Maybe, people just do not want to deal with the impacts of mining and burning coal?

Breakdowns, Shutdowns and Cost Overruns Plague Xcel’s Comanche 3 Coal-Fired Power Plant, Investigation Finds—This is one of the United States’ newest and most “advanced” coal power plants.  It is costing rate payers nearly 45% more than originally estimated.  It was also closed for most of 2020 and part of 2021.

Inside Biden’s Uphill Battle to Restore the EPA after Trump—It’s a slog, but it is worth the effort now that the racist cheese puff is spending his days down in Florida golfing with whatever toadies make it to Mar a Lago.

Electric Cars Need Way Less Raw Materials Than ICE Vehicles—EVs are just better.  My hope is that we can hold off on buying another vehicle long enough so that several forthcoming models are widely available.  Sorry, I just cannot buy a Tesla given some of the quality control issues and design flaws around non-California weather conditions.

A Looming Disaster: New Data Reveal Where Flood Damage Is An Existential Threat—Climate change is here and with it comes flooding.

Friday Linkage 2/26/2021

Here is what you get with Republicans in total control of your government.

Restrictions to early voting. Never mind that Iowa had record turnout, no fraud, and Republicans still retained control of state government.  It’s like they have a handbook that says the response to everything is to make it harder to vote.

Restrictions on the eligibility for Medicaid and food stamps.  Republicans love to pick on people who depend on Medicaid and food stamps because, by definition, these are poor people who do not have values that align with their donors.

The Republicans in Iowa also seem to be unaware that the Constitution’s free speech protections apply to the government making restrictions on speech, not what a private company deems acceptable.  Never mind, they are just trying to curry favor with the Trumplican wing of their party.

Remember, these are the things Republicans are worried about when there is a pandemic still ongoing, problems with water quality in Iowa, concerns over the growth in animal feedlot operations, and a hundred other issues.  This is what Republican leadership looks like at the state level in 2021.  At least Pat Grassley is keeping jeans off the floor of the Iowa House of Representatives.

On to the links…

What Does An Ecological Civilization Look Like?—This is the kind of thought provoking question that we need to be asking ourselves.

How The Kilowatt-Hour Itself Is Complicit In Our Wasteful Energy System—The single best line in the article: “What might social and temporal rhythms be like if energy systems did not mimic the ‘always on’ template of the present. What if there was greater seasonal variation in patterns of work and leisure, and what if daily lives were organized around variations in energy supply?”

This $9 Billion Plan Could Bring Biden’s Conservation Corps to Life—It’s an old idea, but it is a great idea.  Put people to work helping to heal our lands.

Put Unemployed Miners and Drillers Back to Work in Restoration—A reborn CCC should take this up as idea #1.

Texas Freeze Led to Release of Tons of Air Pollutants as Refineries Shut—The big freeze is the gift that keeps on giving.  The voters of Texas have a choice over the next few election cycles while the memory of this tragedy is fresh.  What has total Republican control of Texas’ statewide government gotten you since 1994?

US Coal Capacity Factor Dropped From 67.1% In 2010 To 47.5% In 2019—These are “wonky” numbers that are hard to explain.  Essentially, it means that what coal fired power plants remain are being used less and less.  That is good news.

Coal Projected To Exit US Electricity By 2033. Trump Might Have Killed It.—Everything the man touches turns to shit.  It turns out coal was no different.

Alberta Reverses Direction on Coal Development and Reinstates 1976 Policy, For Now—Coal mining is very unpopular and it is not likely to face an easier road ahead anytime soon.

India May Have Already Passed Peak Coal—We can hope.

Biden’s Other Nuclear Option—Is nuclear the bridge fuel to a carbon-free future?  I do not know.

Xcel Celebrates Milestone as Utility is Now Halfway to 100% Carbon Free Electricity—Look at the graph:

From 2019 to 2020 carbon free electricity grew from 41% of the total power mix to 47% of the total power mix.  In one year!

Xcel Plans to Double its Renewable Energy Generation by 2030. It’ll Cost Consumers $8 Billion to Do It.—Just $8 billion?  Sign me up.

Why Fleet Electrification Could Be a Game Changer for Electric Vehicles—Fleets of medium and heavy duty trucks are the lynch pin of an electrified future.  These fleets account for an outsize share of carbon emissions—relative to their absolute numbers when compared to passenger vehicles—and are used in such a way that electrification makes total sense.  Tesla may get a lot of love for its cars, but the first automaker to crack this nut is the real winner.

One-Third of Farmland in the U.S. Corn Belt Has Lost Its Topsoil—This is what happens when you farm corn and soybeans year after year with no consideration for erosion or water quality.

How to Stop Runaway Deforestation? Look at Indonesia.—Before we can begin reforestation we need to stop high rates of deforestation.

A Trip Down the Ohio River Reveals the Oil and Gas Industry’s Next Big Move—Plastic is just big oil in solid form.

Five Surprising Benefits of Shopping Less Often—If there is one thing I do not miss about pre-pandemic life it has to be shopping.  It just went away and life is better because of it.

Friday Linkage 2/19/2021

he situation in Texas is crazy.  Like everything, Texas does things bigger and the responses to the current crisis have been nothing short of bigly.

The first thing to be blamed was wind power.  However, it turns out that wind power was only to blame for a small portion of the problem.  It looks like the actual problem was decades of underinvestment and lack of planning in addition to cold weather that caused the entire energy industry in Texas to basically shut down. 

You are going to hear a lot about building more natural gas and, god forbid, coal fired power plants.  Remind them that it was natural gas that failed Texas.   Also remind them that this was the way the system was designed to work.

Greg Abbot is out there doing his best to blame everyone except for Texas Republicans.  Never mind that no Democrats have held statewide office in Texas since 1994.  Naturally, he has had to walk back most of his statements.  Somehow, I am sure AOC is to blame for this crisis in Texas.

Rick Perry is going all Rick Perry on people.  Which is to say that he is making no sense.

At some point even Ted Cruz realized he was a total jackass.  Granted, he can just fly to Cancun to avoid the entire situation.  Nothing says survival quite like getting on a plane in the middle of a pandemic and natural disaster to avoid having to face actual constituents who are pissed.

On to the links…

Appalachian Fracking Boom Was a Jobs Bust, Finds New Report—It looks like the people of the region got screwed again by the fossil fuel industry.  Who would have thought?

The Keystone XL pipeline is dead. Now what?—The cleanup is just as important as the cancellation.

Alaskans Pursue Permanent Protections for Bristol Bay—Like the Keystone XL pipeline, the Pebble Mine is just an idea that we need to kill permanently.

Why Won’t Joe Biden Let Ethanol Die Already?—Ethanol is another idea that we need to let die.  The evidence is in and it is not helping.

Hawaiian Electric Hits Nearly 35% Renewable Energy, Exceeding RPS—Everything is not about Texas’ failed energy policies.  Hawaii is killing it when it comes to renewables.  Granted, having some of the highest electricity costs in the nation will drive a place to make decisions like this.

What Would Planting 100 Million Trees Per Week Do In 5, 50, & 500 Years?—I have an idea.  Let’s start planting those 100 million trees a week and find out for real.  What’s the worst that could happen?

Demateralizing the Economy isn’t Happening (Hint: All that Material is Actually Hiding in Plain Sight)—The story of modern humans is the story of our stuff.  Too bad our stuff is ruining the planet.

Microplastics are Everywhere. Here’s What that Means for Our Health.—It is not good that is for sure, but just how bad remains to be seen.

You Don’t Need Fast Fashion In Your Life—Cheap clothes are a pox upon our times.  No one wants them for long and there is no life on the secondhand market.

The Country Rejecting Throwaway Culture—We need the right and the capability to repair things.

Friday Linkage 2/12/2021

This is the Republican Party in 2021.  Pat Grassley, who rides the coat tails of his father like Don Jr., is speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives.  During the coronavirus pandemic he has said it would be impossible to police members for not wearing masks so he just threw up his hands and said, “Whatever.”  Remember, this is the same no talent ass clown who was able to enforce a ban on jeans in the chamber during the same pandemic. 

We have gotten some other choice legislation out of our Republican Party this year.  How about a proposal to poll the political affiliation of public university employees.  Granted, I cannot imagine what the penalty would be for lying so I am going to guess you are going to see lots of interesting responses if this came to pass.

Iowa Republicans are also seeking to protect us from the evils of the 1619 Project.   As if you cannot teach about the evils of American history without the use of the 1619 Project materials.

We are also getting the bog standard anti-abortion bills, but this time it is cloaked in a constitutional amendment. 

As a sweetener to the evil, the Republicans are working on a so-called “bathroom bill.”  They may not be able to put Trump in the White House, but these cartoon villains are sure going to find anyone in the schoolyard that they can pick on.  Bullies are gonna’ be bullies.

These are the things the Republican Party in Iowa is concerned about in the middle of a pandemic.

On to the links…

Trump Hotel in Chicago Guilty of Environmental Law Violations—Let’s start piling on the Trump Organization.  It’s a criminal conspiracy wrapped in a property development package.  All flimsy gold foil and ersatz substance.  My favorite part of this is that Trump thought he could spend his years in the White House blasting every American city with impunity.  Well, these cities have long memories.

Fossil Fuel Air Pollution Causes Almost 1 in 5 Deaths Globally Each Year—Not much else to say.

Whistleblower Accuses Exxon of ‘Fraudulent’ Behavior for Overvaluing Fracking Assets For Years—Exxon is not having a good time lately.  Of course, being a scofflaw on so many fronts will eventually come back to bite you in the ass.

This Popular and Proven Climate Policy Should be at the Top of Congress’s To-Do List—If it makes sense I can guarantee you that Congressional Republicans will be against the policy.  Remember, they just want to see things burn like their most fervent supporters who threaten them from the right in lightly voted primary elections.

100% of New US Power Capacity Came from Solar & Wind in November—Nice graph:

Coal and COVID-19: How the Pandemic is Accelerating the End of Fossil Power Generation—We can hope this trend continues.

Mountaintop Removal Threatens Traditional Blackfoot Territory—How is this even a proposal given the slide of coal?  How?

American Cities Are Seriously Underreporting Their Carbon Footprints—Better measurement begets better solutions.

Denmark to Build ‘First Energy Island’ in North Sea—Denmark is moving into the future.  What you got Norway?

Climate Change Ravaged Colorado and the West with Heat and Drought in 2020. This Year may be Worse.—The reality of climate change is here.  Today.

Planting Trees Sounds Like A Simple Climate Fix. It’s Anything But.—It is not simple, but it is not hard.  We have more than a century of experience managing federally owned forests.  Private forestry goes back even farther.  It requires planning, but it is not like the tools do not exist.

The American Road Song Is Changing with the Climate—Climate and corona.

Farmers Are Having to Hack Their Own Tractors Just to Make Repairs—If you cannot repair something, you do not own that thing.

This Horrible 1986 Film by George Lucas is Why We Have Pixar’s ‘Toy Story’—Horrible?  Do not sully the name of Howard the Duck.  I loved that movie as a kid.

Friday Linkage 2/5/2021

Dolly Parton is a national treasure.  She donated money to the effort to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, yet she is not going to “jump the line” to get the jab.

Oh, she also refused Trump’s offer of a Medal of Freedom not once but twice.  Granted, Trump was handing those things out like Trump-branded bottled water on a hot day in the Hamptons toward the end of his presidency.  For Christ’s sake Rush Limbaugh—a truly horrible person a lot of levels—was given a Medal of Freedom for…well…supporting Trump?

The accounting of the past four years is going to be brutal once we spend the time to tally the social, cultural, and economic damage wrought by the grifters put in place by MAGA devotees who just wanted to see the world burn.

Stay safe out there.

On to the links…

How President Biden’s Executive Orders Impact The Oil Industry—The executive order can giveth or the executive order can taketh away.  Granted, there are a lot of leases that oil and gas players can still operate under but the writing is on the wall.  The next four years are not going to be a good time for expansion.

DOI Revokes 70 Improperly Issued Drilling Permits—The reckoning is beginning.  As actually competent civil servants review the Trump era there is going to be a lot of “backsies” on policies and what not.

The Latest Trump EPA Rule to Get Tossed? The ‘Secret Science’ Ban.—Just another brick removed from the Trump “legacy.”

After Months of Border Wall Construction, a Look at the Damage Done—These are the monuments to the Trump era.  Never forget.

How to Spot the Tricks Big Oil Uses to Subvert Action on Climate Change—It is useful to understand that oil and gas companies are not your friend and these companies do not want to change their business models.

Coal’s Big Breakdown—Coal is dead, but it is going to take some time for the dinosaur to roll over.  We live in a country where Sears and Kmart still “operate” stores.  How is that possible?

At New York City’s Biggest Power Plant, a Switch to Clean Energy will Help a Neighborhood Breathe Easier—For many communities environmental justice equals social justice.

U.S. Wind Generation Sets New Daily & Hourly Records At End Of 2020—And more power is coming online in 2021.  For one day, wind alone generated 17% of the electricity in the U.S.

Solar Power got Cheap. So Why Aren’t We Using it More?—Inertia is a bitch, but once it switches it will be like running downhill.  Solar power is just about to that point.  Every panel on a roof is another nail in the coffin of fossil fuels.

Is It Time for an Emergency Rollout of Carbon-Eating Machines?—The technologists love this solution.  Just deploy thousands of machines to suck up carbon and we can go on living as if nothing has changed.  Wrong.  Everything has changed.

These Are the ‘Positive’ Tipping Points That Could Slow Global Warming—Just as there are negative tipping points there can be positive tipping points.

Norway’s Best Ever January At 81% Plugin Electric Vehicle Share—This is the future.

Amazon is Testing Rivian Electric Delivery Vans in Los Angeles—The first step is a big one, but if Rivian can nail this there are so many more delivery vehicles that could go electric.  There is a reason GM showed off an electric delivery vehicle and Ford electrified its Transit van.  Fleet managers run their operations based on cold, hard math and EVs will win that battle every day.

Documenting Destruction from Above—We need to understand what has been destroyed so that we can understand what needs to be restored.

The Memo You’re Not Supposed to See: 11 Ways to Hide Money Offshore—The ultra-rich really are different than you and me.  They have armies of people ready to figure out ways to hide their money.

Weld County Residents Propose Leaving Colorado Again, This Time to Join Wyoming—If you want a better illustration of the slowly constricting base that is the Republican Party in 2021 look no further than Weld County.  Every time an election does not go their way at the state level, which is a lot because no one actually lives in Weld County, a few boisterous people get together and try to secede from Colorado.  Good luck with that.

Charges Dropped Against Activist Who Exposed Iowa Hog Deaths—Who wants to bet that the operator of the hog facility helped get these charges dropped to stop the publicity of what was really going on behind closed doors?  No one wants another McLibel suit dropped in their lap.

‘Big Day for UK Seas’ as Bottom Trawling Ban in Four Protected Areas Proposed—Bottom trawling should be banned.  Period.

Impossible Foods Lowers Grocery Store Prices Amid Pandemic-Fueled Retail Expansion—Notice the similarities to solar power?  First, it was the early adopters who did it because of ethical concerns.  Second, it was the fast followers who were inclined but waited until it made sense economically.  Lastly, it was everyone else.

Second-Hand Clothing Mountain Piles up as Brexit Halts Exports to EU—Brexit is just the gift that keeps on giving for the U.K.

Friday Linkage 1/29/2020

It is amazing how much different you can feel about the future in a little over a week.

In that short period of time I have stopped worry that the President of the United States is going to declare war via Twitter.

Granted, Donald Trump—now a private citizen—is banned from Twitter entirely, so that just makes the world a better place.  Can you imagine how impotent he feels sitting in a sad Mar a Lago without the ability to exercise his thumbs? 

Stay safe out there.

On to the links…

Earth Used to be Cooler than We Thought, which Changes our Math on Global Warming—Another climate denier line of attack bites the dust.  Not that rational people needed to actually answer the debate.

How Much is an Elephant Worth? Meet the Ecologists Doing the Sums—Why does everything have to given a monetary value?  Why can’t an elephant be intrinsically priceless?

Reform the Bureau of Land Management: Biden Must Succeed Where Obama Failed—Changing the way the “Bureau of Livestock and Mining” operates could be one of the greatest climate victories of the Biden administration.

Let’s Examine the Ties Between the Timber Industry and Extremists—So much right-wing populism is just astroturfing funded by big money interests.  The sooner we realize that these people do not represent the will of the people the better off we will all be when making policy.

Electric Vehicles Close to ‘Tipping Point’ of Mass Adoption—The future we long for is almost here.

Electric Cars Can Make A Difference Fighting Climate Change—It seems self-explanatory, but your Uncle Carl will still need convincing.  It is about so much more than climate change though.  EVs do not emit localized particulate emissions like gasoline and, god forbid, diesel vehicles.  This may be a more important air pollution story than the reduction of carbon emissions.

Rise Of SUVs Complicates Efforts To Rein In Auto Emissions—It’s not all sunshine and rainbows.  Our national and apparently international obsession with the SUV form factor is a major problem.  The VW ID.4 cannot get here soon enough so that everyone can stop shopping for an ICE crossover and get an EV.

Texas Wind Power Dominates Coal In Crossover Year—Think about this statistic: Texas has over 26,000 wind power related jobs.  The entire coal mining industry in the United States has less than 45,000 jobs.  Why do we spend so much time talking about coal mining jobs?

In EU Electricity First, Renewables Overtook Fossil Fuels in 2020—There was a time when naysayers told us that renewables could never be anything more than a niche part of the electricity mix.

Rating Agency S&P Warns 13 Oil and Gas Companies they Risk Downgrades as Renewables Pick up Steam—Do you remember a few years ago when coal companies got downgraded in a similar manner?  It was the beginning of the end for those companies as ongoing concerns.  Essentially, the clock starts ticking on the ability of these companies to do business.

Denver Aims to Limit Natural Gas in New Homes and Buildings—Electrify everything.

Divers Haul More than 40 Cars Out of Nashville’s Waterways—It makes me wonder how many cars are in the Mississippi River near where I live.  Or in the waterways around Chicago?

The True Cost of Convenience—Here is a cheat sheet.  If an app operates like Uber it is screwing someone over.

A 27-Year-Old Denver Brewery is Closing its Massive RiNo Taproom—The contraction in craft beer has begun as regional and super regional players realize that the market will not bear their expansive dreams.  The future of craft beer, I believe, is smaller ultra-local players who cultivate followings through taprooms.  Once the coronavirus pandemic has passed.

Another Low Ice Year Predicted on Lake Superior, Challenging Shorelines and Aquatic Life—Not good.  Not good at all.

The Climate Crisis Is Worse Than You Can Imagine. Here’s What Happens If You Try.—This is depressing.  I get the downbeat attitude, but we need to think about ways forward.  Despondency allows the polluters to win.

Friday Linkage 1/22/2020

January 20th was a good day.

QAnon conspiracy theories?  Busted, again.

Protests at state capitols nationwide?  A joke.

Keystone XL Pipeline?  Dead. 

Paris Climate Accords?  The United States is back in the game. 

Staying in the WHO?  Fauci says it is true.

The Trump legacy?  We’re working on it.

Here is a nice rundown of what President Joe Biden—say that a few times just to feel good—did through executive actions on the first day in office. 

We all welcome back a little bit of sanity after four years of sheer craziness that became routine after a while, which is the scariest thing of all.

Stay safe out there.

On to the links…

The Path to States Going 100% Renewable—There is a reasonable path forward.  The technology exists.  The political will exists in many states.  With just a little help from Washington D.C. we could be there sooner than we imagine.

A Federal Court Just Struck Down Trump’s Attempt to Make Power Plants even Dirtier—Now, we go back to the ideals of the Clean Power Plan and make it the law of the land.

Coal-Fired Power Plant in Southern Illinois a Major Obstacle to Biden’s Push for Carbon-Free electricity by 2035—How do we get this power plant shut down?  The fact that a single power plant emits as much carbon dioxide as 2 million cars is just a wild and frightening statistic.

Florida Power & Light Puts an End to Coal-Fired Power Generation—If coal cannot win in Florida, it probably cannot win anywhere.

Regulator Finalizes Rule Forcing Banks to Serve Oil, Gun Companies—Remember, Republicans hate rules and regulations unless those rules and regulations force you to do something they support.  Like, say, guns.  Hopefully, this rule dies like so many other things with the Trump taint.

Slow Vaccine Rollouts Damage Energy Demand—File this under the law of unintended consequences.  Perhaps, lower energy consumption is a new normal that the energy industry is going to have to come to grips with in the near future.

Denmark to Trial Green Hydrogen Production using Offshore Wind Turbines—This might be a way to make hydrogen a part of the future energy mix.

Minnesota’s Forests and Land Offer Big Opportunities to Cut Greenhouse Gases—Nature based climate solutions offer an immediate way to sequester carbon and buy us some time to figure out the rest of the equation.  Plus, like I always tell people when it comes to reforestation, what’s the worst outcome?  We end up with more trees?

More and More Homeowners are Renovating Existing Homes to Make them “Net Zero”—You do not need to build a new house to make it “net zero.”  You can do it in the home you own today.

A ‘Forever Chemical’ Surprise Awaits Biden’s EPA—Ban these chemicals right now until we can figure out how to deal with the environmental and health impacts.

Trump Revokes Rule Barring Lobbying by Former Officials as he Leaves Office—Like everything Trump does there is the headline and then there is the reality.  Lobbying ban?  Not so much.  Successful businessman?  Not so much.

Friday Linkage 1/15/2020

Our long national nightmare is almost over.  By Wednesday afternoon the orange menace will have retired to Florida or wherever there is someone willing to stroke his fragile ego after having ended the worst presidential administration in the history of the United States.  And you thought it could not get much worse than eight years of George W. Bush.

My dearest wish is that the incoming Biden administration reminds the American people what it is like to have competent people in charge of government who are looking out for the welfare of all people.  What a concept!

Stay safe out there.

On to the links…

US Greenhouse Gas Emissions Fell 10% in 2020 as COVID Curbed Travel—If one good thing comes out of 2020 it has to be that we can see a path forward to a lower carbon lifestyle.  Maybe no one needs to fly to Nashville for a three day weekend bachelorette blowout.  Maybe flying cross country for an hour long business meeting is a waste of time, resources, and money.

PlayStation 5 Launch gets More Coverage ‘than 10 Humanitarian Crises Combined’—This is just pathetic.  Our priorities as a civilization are just screwed up.  A Kardashian probably gets more coverage for an off hand tweet about underwear than the entire humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

Sponsors of the Pre-Attack Rally Have Taken Down Their Websites. Don’t Forget Who They Were.—We know who these people are.  We must not forget who these people are.

Trump Officials Removed from White House after Faking Approval for Papers which Downplay Climate Crisis—With just over a week to go until the end it did not seem possible that the Trump administration could pull any more shit.  Yet, they were like, “Hold my beer…”

India Sees $55 Billion Investment in Clean Coal Over Next Decade—Just when you think the world is making some progress India comes along to throw a giant wrench into the works.

New Wind Projects Power Local Budgets in Wyoming—Wyoming is hooked on oil gas, and coal revenue.  The state depends on it to fund a lifestyle that would not be possible otherwise.

NuScale Small Modular Nuclear Reactor Moves Another Step Forward—Does it seem like nuclear power makes the smallest steps forward?  While wind turbines are getting massive and solar is getting super cheap, nuclear power is signing agreements to review and design.

German EV Market Reaches Escape Velocity — Record 27% Share In December—Now that Volkswagen is pushing out lots of ID.3s and soon-to-be ID.4s there are going to be a lot more EVs on German roads.

Citizen Science is Booming During the Pandemic—Amateurs can make a difference.

Electric Fireplaces — Safe, Cozy, Clean Flames—One of the things we are considering doing this year is replacing a natural gas fireplace with an electric model.  The future is electric.

Once You Know what Happens to Food You Leave Outdoors, You’ll Stop Doing It—Keep that banana peel for your compost bin.

Want Advice on How to “Unfuck the Planet”? There’s a New Source for That.—Maybe the new motto should be, “Unfuck the planet.”  Simple and to the point.

Friday Linkage 12/18/2020

It’s all over except for some more shouting on penny ante cable news networks like Newsmax or OAN.  Trump will continue to issue tweet storms in barely legible English while consuming unhealthy amounts of fast food in the residence of the White House.  Pardons may be issued for the dregs that remain loyal to the outgoing president.

However, our long national nightmare has an expiration date of January 20th.  Even the cowardly Republicans in Congress are beginning to see the reality that Trump is no longer going to be their dear leader.  Oh, he will continue to be a thorn in their rear ends for the foreseeable future but that is something for them to deal with.  If you create the monster, you have to take responsibility for the monster.

I do not know what my publishing schedule will look like for the next few weeks with a break from work and nothing really going on.  I might just take a two week break, wake up in 2021, and hope for better days ahead.

Stay safe out there.

On to the links…

Near-Zero Industrial Emissions By 2050 Would Boost U.S. GDP 3.3%, Create 5 Million Jobs—This is the kind of information we need to be hammering home every day.  The transition to the future is not just good for the planet, it is good for every day Americans.

In Waning Days, DOE Eases Appliance Test Rules—The mantra of the Trump administration is to destroy as much as possible and salt the ground behind them on the way out.

Trump’s Hatred Of Water-Restricting Showerheads Prompts New Ruling—Trump’s visceral hatred of water efficient appliances makes me wonder about the work contractors have done to his properties over the years.  Granted, he probably hires the lowest cost contractor before planning on stiffing them anyway.   You get what you pay for Donnie.

Biden Picks Stale White Bread to Lead the USDA—Biden is better than Trump, but the pick of Vilsack to be the Secretary of Agriculture is just a continuation of a hundred years of commodity focused food production and bowing to big ag.

Colorado Ranchers Adapt for a Changing Climate—The future is here for agriculture and some practitioners are trying to get ready.

Home Solar Power Blew Up In 2020—I will be curious to see if the trends for the totality of 2020 hold up as the whole COVID-19 gripped the country hard in the latter half of the year, but the trend is encouraging.

EV Battery Packs ~50% Cheaper Than In 2016—We are getting to the point where you will be able to buy an EV with 250 miles of range or more, rapid charging, and no compromises in form factor for nearly the same price as an ICE equivalent without government incentives.

Fossil Fuel Fund Set Aside to Help Utahns being Returned to Industry—Fossil fuel tycoons own ranches for tax purposes in Wyoming, so funneling funds for rural communities to their companies is helping rural communities right?  That is the kind of logic you get with late stage capitalism.

Exxon Thinks You’re Stupid—Yes they do.

The End of Coal? Why Investors aren’t Buying the Myth of the Industry’s ‘Renaissance’—Hopefully without Trump around we can finally bury coal once and for all.

OPEC Cuts Forecast for 2021 Growth in Oil Demand—What happened with coal now needs to happen to oil.

These Ladies Love Natural Gas! Too Bad They Aren’t Real.—The fossil fuel industry has turned to faux-influencers to create an image of wholesome natural gas in your home.  Stop the insanity.

United Airlines Turns to CO2 Removal Technology to Offset Emissions—It might work.  It might not.  However, businesses are being forced by regulation and social pressure to address their impact on the climate.

Minnesota Power Reaches 50% Renewable Energy—More and more utilities across the country are getting to this tipping point.

Rivian’s Amazon Delivery Vans Really Exist, And These Photos Show One Testing in Public—I am excited for Rivian.  If the Amazon delivery vehicle program can help get them through the valley of death, all the better for everyone who is interested in American made EVs.  I would love to replace my F150 in a few years with an EV pickup made a few hours from my house.

This Is How Much Plastic From Amazon Deliveries Ends Up In The Ocean—Think about this every time you see those Amazon boxes being dropped off on doorsteps in your neighborhood.

Myth vs. Reality On Texas As Elon Musk & Tesla “Move” There—This is like Boeing “relocating” to Chicago when most of its employees were still based in the Seattle area.  It’s the corporate shell game.

Restore UK Woodland by Letting Trees Plant Themselves—Leave nature alone and let it do its thing.

A Palm Oil Alternative could Help Save Rainforests—Anything that helps orangutans is a good thing because orangutans are just cool.

How the Stunning Scarlet Macaw Came Back From the Brink—It’s not all bad news out there.

Mass Extinctions Happen Every 27 Million Years—This makes me think about the response most scientists have to statements about the world ending.  The reality is that we are talking about the human world ending, not the end of the planet in general.  Remember that.