City Dwellers Are Greener Than Countryfolk (But Don't Pat Yourself on the Back Just Yet)

Before we get to the goodish news, a caveat: Let's not for any reason allow this kind of thing to make us feel like we can run the A/C all summer...

Before we get to the goodish news, a caveat: Let's not for any reason allow this kind of thing to make us feel like we can run the A/C all summer and crank the heat with the windows open. Now onto the results. A new study by the International Institute for Environment and Development in London shows that "greenhouse gas emissions for New Yorkers are less than a third of those of the national average for the USA. Those of Barcelona residents are half the average for Spain." In fact, all 11 cities surveyed fared better than their rural counterparts.Not too shabby, but let's think about this. If we're talking per person emissions, this makes perfect sense, especially if you've ever been inside a New York City apartment. Also, city dwellers drive less, and tend to be home less, also curbing energy use.Says the IIED's David Dodman: "Many cities have surprisingly low per capita emissions but what is clear is that most emissions come from the world's wealthier nations. The real climate-change culprits are not the cities themselves but the high consumption lifestyles of people living across these wealthy countries."He also added that most people living in cities still produce more than their per capita emissions allowance, with the exception of Sao Paulo and Rio.It's not the first study of its kind (Brookings did one last year-the link seems to be dead though), and I wonder what the takeaway is from this kind of report. Because like we said, we needn't be patting ourselves on the back quite yet.
via Douglas Muth / Flickr

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.

Keep Reading Show less

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.

Keep Reading Show less
via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

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.

Keep Reading Show less
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."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet