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The (Bottled Water) Battle of Concord


In Concord, Massachusetts, an 82-year-old woman named Jean Hill, after hearing about the Pacific Garbage Patch, advocated for a flat-out ban on the sale of bottled water and guess what: The town's voters passed it.

What happens next is unclear though:


Mrs. Hill’s presentation compelled some 300 voters to support the ban. But days later, town officials said the ban appeared unenforceable. They have asked the state attorney general’s office for guidance.

“It’s our responsibility to carry out the wishes of town meeting, but we’re struggling a little with how to do that,” said Christopher Whelan, the town manager. “It’s still up in the air what will happen on Jan. 1.”

Mr. Lauria said the bottled water association would consider suing if the attorney general’s office signs off on the ban. “It’s a completely legal commodity, and to ban it runs afoul of interstate commerce considerations,” he said.

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I'm not qualified to weigh in on the dangers of undermining interstate commerce law, but it's clear we would just have that much less immortal plastic litter in the world if the people of Concord have the final say on this.

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Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

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There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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