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In Defense of High Gas Prices

Our friends at Streetsblog found a new report by the EPA that contained the chart below. It shows the dirtiness of the vehicles produced each year...

Our friends at Streetsblog found a new report by the EPA that contained the chart below. It shows the dirtiness of the vehicles produced each year in grams of carbon dioxide emitted per mile. As you can see, there was a huge drop in how much our cars polluted around 1980, but the situation has been pretty level by comparison over the last two decades.


Elana Schor says this casts doubt on the theory that high gas prices make for cleaner cars. She writes:It's a storyline that the media and the auto industry have embraced: Higher gas prices are the magic ingredient that U.S. carmakers need in order to sell more fuel-efficient vehicles to consumers.The narrative is tempting, especially for those who believe federal gas taxes need to rise in order to fairly price the environmental impact of driving. But if it were true, the record rise in U.S. fuel prices that began in 2007 and lasted through 2008 might be expected to spur a notable increase in production of cleaner cars.I'd respectfully disagree. A lot depends on why the price of gas is high. If you were thinking about getting a new car in 2008 and decided that high gas prices weren't a big deal because you figured they might go down, you would have been right! Gas prices did go down. If we had a $4 per gallon floor on the price of gas, however, consumers would plan for a long future of expensive gas and, it's reasonable to think, buy more efficient cars. This chart doesn't invalidate the idea that "federal gas taxes need to rise in order to fairly price the environmental impact of driving." It just shows that people don't decide what cars to buy based on temporary fluctuations in gas price.We should also take a step back from the trees and check out the forest: For advocates of a high gas tax, the end goal isn't cleaner cars per se, but a cleaner atmosphere. And the high gas prices of 2008 had a dramatic effect on the total miles we drove.

High gas prices mean less driving and less driving means a cleaner atmosphere. High gas might not be "the magic ingredient," but magic doesn't exist. They still have a positive effect. Especially if we can keep them consistently high.
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via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

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Pixabay

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

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Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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