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.

Two years after its opening in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art acquired a painting by Sarah Miriam Peale — its first work by a female artist. More than a century later, one might assume that the museum would have a fairly equal mix of male and female artists, right? But as of today, only 4% of the 95,000 pieces in the museum's permanent collection were created by women.

The museum is determined to narrow that gap, and they're taking a drastic step to do so.

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via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

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via Alan Levine / Flickr

The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

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Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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The Planet

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

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