GOOD

And Here's America's New Energy Plan

Today, two democrats, Henry Waxman from California and Ed Markey from Massachusetts, introduced a 600-page "discussion draft" of a bill to limit...


Today, two democrats, Henry Waxman from California and Ed Markey from Massachusetts, introduced a 600-page "discussion draft" of a bill to limit America's production of greenhouse gasses and get the country on renewable energy. It's pretty comprehensive, addressing issues ranging from the energy efficiency of appliances to the adoption of low-carbon fuels to a carbon cap-and-trade program for industry.There are some glaring gaps. The bill doesn't detail how pollution permits for carbon-intensive industries will be destributed-or how any state revenue generated in the process will be used. Waxman and Markey deliberately left those issues for the negotiation process. But it's a start.The foot-dragging from the vested interests is already underway though. From the New York Times:"The bill would require every region of the country to produce a quarter of its electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar and geothermal by 2025. A number of lawmakers around the country, particularly in the Southeast, call that goal unrealistic because the natural resources and technology to meet it do not yet exist."It's crazy to argue that "realistic" goals are only those goals we can comfortably meet given current technology. Imagine Apple deciding in 2002 that a smaller iPod wasn't possible because a smaller iPod wasn't possible then.Improvements in solar energy efficiency happen all the time. In setting goals that look as far forward as 2025 we should not only assume that technology advances-we should assume that the rate at which it advances will accelerate.Maybe a good goal-setting strategy would be to decide what percentage of renewable energy we need to be on by 2025 to do our part in combating catastrophic climate problems, and then fund research and trust the ingenuity of American enterprise to make it happen.You can get the full text of the bill and/or a helpful, manageable summary, here.
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Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

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Communities

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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Politics
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Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

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Politics
Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

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