Tag Archives: Winter Olympics

Friday Linkage 1/31/2020

It is hard to believe that the end of January is here which means…the Iowa caucuses are on Monday.  I will be out to caucus Monday night and I cannot wait to see what the results are once all the counting is done.

As scary as the idea of another four years of Donald Trump is to me and just about every American with half an ounce of sense, there is something exciting about Democratic candidates for president actually talking about progressive ideas for once.  Too often Democratic candidates play this game of tilting right wing ideas a little leftward and calling it a day.  Clinton’s “welfare reform” and Obama’s healthcare reform come to mind.

Regardless of who wins the nomination it is incumbent upon every voter to line up in support or we are doomed to four more years of the worst president in history.

On to the links…

How Republicans Made Millions on the Tax Cuts they Pushed through Congress—In a world where the president’s lawyer argues that it is not illegal for a president to break the law if he thinks that it is in his interest to be reelected we also get Republicans profiting handsomely from tax cuts that blew another hole in federal budgets.

Revealed: Top Official did Special Favors on Guns for NRA at Interior Department—The Trump administration is literally the best thing that money can buy for groups like the NRA.  Whatever they want is just a check away.

Trump’s USDA Chief Thinks Farm Workers Are Overpaid—I wonder who would think that farm workers were overpaid?

Evangelicals Love Donald Trump for Many Reasons, But One of Them Is Especially Terrifying—I guess when you surround yourself with people who preach for the death of satanic pregnancies this was bound to happen.

The Right Keeps Attacking Greta Thunberg’s Identity, not Her Ideas—There are no ideas on the right anymore.  All that remains is vitriol and hate.

Make Big Polluters Pay for Mass Tree Planting, Officials Say—Every gallon of gasoline that is sold, every ton of coal that is mined, etc. should have a tax on it to support environmental restoration.

Kansas’s Ag-Gag Law has Been Ruled Unconstitutional—These laws were going to be Republican’s favorite thing to pass right after expanded gun legislation and whatever the right-to-life people want that week.  Too bad those pocket Constitutions bit them in the ass.

The British Wind Market Keeps Breaking Its Own Record—The offshore wind market in Britain is crazy.  The numbers for the size of these offshore wind farms are insane.  Each one is bigger than the last.

Zero-Carbon Hydrogen Injected into Gas Grid for First Time in Groundbreaking UK Trial—This is an interesting way to decarbonize natural gas.  Given that we may have situations where renewable energy is over producing, making hydrogen in that scenario makes sense.

One Less Thing to Worry about in Your Carbon Footprint: Whether Your Food is Local—I do not believe that the thrust of eating local was just about one’s carbon footprint.  Yes, it is part of the equation but there is so much more to the story than that.

Two-Thirds of Freight Shipped by Truck in the US in 2018 was Shipped Less than 100 Miles—My 2015 Nissan Leaf has the range to handle these kinds of routes.

Nightmares on Wax: the Environmental Impact of the Vinyl Revival—What is it with people and vinyl records?  When I was a kid I do not remember anyone mythologizing vinyl records as boxes of old records sat in garage sales.  Do we need to blame hipsters?

Chinese Winter Olympics To Be Held On Mountains With No Natural Snow—Who else thinks this will end poorly?

$38 Billion is Spent Yearly on Self-Storage—Is there anything in these self-storage units that is worth anything close to $38 billion?  Imagine what we could do as a society with an extra $38 billion per year.

Friday Linkage 1/11/2019

The “upside” of the partial federal government shutdown is that agencies run by Trumpian golems cannot work overtime to destroy our land, water, and air.  Trust me, if given the opportunity the EPA under Wheeler would like to redefine mercury as a dietary supplement and the BLM would like to put a fracking pad in every backyard.

On to the links…

How We can Combat Climate Change—The fact that opinion pieces like this are appearing in major American newspapers and other news outlets has me hopeful that this marks the point in time when we, collectively as a species, start to really tackle climate change.

2018 Was A “Fulcrum Year” For Renewable Energy In The US—We can hope that 2018 marked the point when renewable energy became the default choice for utilities and consumers.  Everything after is just math.

The EPA Hired GOP Oppo Firm Because It Was Sick of “Fake News”—You have to love modern Republicans under Trump.  Their world view is set and anything that does not conform to that world view is “fake news.”  Is 2020 going to be another bloodbath for the Republican party?

5% of US Coal Fleet Retired Last Year—Trump can bluster.  Trump can bellow.  Trump can hold all the rallies he wants wearing hard hearts, point to signs about how he “digs” coal, and soothe the audience with his slow jam about beautiful coal.  He cannot, however, stop the inevitable decline of the use of coal as a fuel for producing electricity.

More Coal Plants Shut Down in Trump’s First Two Years than in Obama’s Entire First Term—See, Trump is better than Obama.

Colorado could Save $2.5 Billion by Rapidly Shutting Down its Coal Power Plants—That is $2.5 billion dollars.  That is before accounting for things like externalities which currently do not figure into the economics of running a coal plant.

Texas’s Wind and Sunlight Complement Each Other Exceptionally Well. That’s Huge for its Grid.—The idea here is that Texas can get over the problem of intermittent renewable energy by deploying more renewable energy that happens to be complementary.

With Vineyard Wind, the U.S. Finally Goes Big on Offshore Wind Power—Offshore wind power can bring cheap, reliable green energy to the eastern seaboard of the United States.  At 6.5 cents per kWh this project is cost competitive with coal and natural gas today.  Furthermore, without the possibility of increases in fuel prices—just wait for the next natural gas price spike—these low prices are essentially locked in.

Why Solar Panels Should Go From Rooftops to Mountaintops—Maybe the answer is to deploy more solar wherever we can?

A Major Climate Treaty to Reduce Air Conditioning Emissions Just Went Into Force—Without the U.S.—These are the kinds of efforts that the U.S. needs to be supporting.  However, Trump hears the words treaty and assumes that the U.S. is “losing.”

Why Efforts to Make Buildings Greener Fail—I am beginning to think that any building that starts out with the promise of being “green” is just a temporary charade.

Dutch Eco Initiative Halves Energy Bills in First UK Homes—Even though so-called green building fail to meet their promise so often does not mean that there is not great potential to make our existing fleet of buildings so much more efficient.  Remember, every kWh saved is one less that we have to generate with renewables.  We can get to 100% renewable energy by deploying more sources and reducing our consumption.

Is Organic Food Over?—I feel like this headline is a decade late.  Organic has been coopted by big food and there is no looking back.  This gets to why knowing who the producer of your food is so important if you want to align your values with your consumption.

Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Ski Venue Set To Be Demolished—This move was planned before the Olympics, but the waste is just amazing.  The Olympics, as an event, should be killed.

Bar Soap is Making a Glorious Comeback—Millenials can’t kill bar soap because bar soap is the killer app of getting clean.  Leave your loofahs and shower gel at the door.

Friday Linkage 5/5/2017

We are entering a new dystopia.  It’s a few steps before the Handmaiden’s Tale, but it is not so far off as to be improbable.  Don’t believe me?  Recently, the Alabama senate allowed a church to establish its own police force.  You can talk to me all day long about sharia law, but I am much more worried about evangelicals pushing their putrid stew of erroneous religiosity.  And Donald Trump, our fearless flaccid cantaloupe of a leader, signed an executive order to remove restrictions on a church’s ability to be active politically.

Add into this mess the talk about making it easier for public figures to sue for libel and you have a runway to the apocalypse.

On to the links…

The Drivers Behind Flattening CO2 Emissions—It’s like we got a short reprieve from CO2 emissions increasing, but those drivers are not likely to continue driving any flattening in the long term.  The only long term answer is a move toward a fossil fuel free economy.

Colorado Just Explicitly Banned Rolling Coal After An Incredibly Stupid Debate—Why is this even something that people do?  I should have known we were in trouble as a country when I started seeing this happen.  Hey, look at me, I am an idiot blowing billowing black smoke out my tailpipes!

California is About to Revolutionize Climate Policy … Again—California, you’re our only hope.  How does this state keep electing Darrell Issa to Congress?  I will never understand that conundrum.

“Red State” Utilities Populate the Top 10 Lists for Solar—They might not say it, but even right wingers like the economic arguments for solar.

Turbines Propel Nebraska Past a Wind-Energy Milestone—Welcome to the party Nebraska.

The Energy of Tomorrow Looks Strikingly Artistic from Above—Just some cool images of renewable energy taken from the air.

Once and for All: Obama Didn’t Crush US Coal, and Trump Can’t Save It—Now that right wing reactionaries can no longer rely on the “other” that was Barack Obama they will have to answer why everything they do does not bring back coal jobs.  Oh right, natural gas killed goal.  Oh right, automation killed coal jobs.  Oh right, you guys were full of shit and spent eight years bloviating about a war on coal.

Saving Coal Country by Ending Coal’s Empire—In all the rhetoric about coal jobs leaving coal country there has been little discussion about the abusive practices of coal companies toward their workers.  There is a reason why coal country was a hotbed of militant worker organization.

Portland to Use Sewage Gas to Shift Away from Diesel—What kind of potential exists to do this in cities like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago? Portland has a population of approximately 620k people compared with approximately 8.5m for New York, 3.9m for Los Angeles, and 2.7m for Chicago.  That is a lot of poo gas.

The Wine Industry’s Battle with Climate Change—Vineyards are agriculture’s canary in the coal mine, so to speak, given the touchy nature of high end grape production.  Many varieties of grapes were bred to grow in particular micro climates that may not exist in the near future.

No Animals Required: Lab-Grown Meat Can Help Beat Antibiotic Resistance—We have to hope for solutions like this because our government will do nothing to combat the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria linked to the over medication of livestock.

2022 Winter Olympics To Be Held On Mountains Where It Doesn’t Snow—How do I know that the Olympics are run by a corrupt organization only concerned with lining their own pockets?  When they decide to host a winter Olympiad on a mountain where it does not snow.

Do You Really Need That? No, You Don’t.—Just stop buying stuff.  Simplest eco advice in history.  Also the most effective.

6 Most Common Sources of Plastic Pollution—Eliminating these sources of plastic pollution is low hanging fruit.