The GOOD 100: The Great Electric Vehicle Race

Portland vs. San Francisco Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco seem locked in an ongoing battle to become the...

Portland vs. San Francisco

Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco seem locked in an ongoing battle to become the left coast's left-most city. To stoke the competition, the blog Gas2.0 has launched a website to track each city's progress toward building an infrastructure for electric cars. We asked the mayors of both cities to explain what they're doing to win:

Mayor Gavin Newsom on why the Bay Area will win:

Bay Area consumers have been the early adopters of green vehicles. We have the highest concentration of hybrid-car owners in the nation, and in San Francisco, we have committed to reducing CO² emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.San Francisco has already reduced CO² emissions 5 percent below 1990 levels-a major accomplishment. But if we are serious about our goal for 2012, we must cut emissions from vehicles. The transportation sector accounts for roughly 50 percent of San Francisco's CO² emissions.In our efforts to address climate change, electric vehicles are the game-changer. Some believe that hybrid-electric vehicles are the answer-I believe fully electric battery-powered vehicles are the quantum leap we need to make. Imagine cars with no tailpipes and no direct carbon emissions, powered by an electrical energy system that gets cleaner every year through regulations that requires the switch to renewable energy sources.To accelerate our journey to an EV future, San Francisco has joined forces with the other Bay Area city and county governments to make our region a magnet market. We are organizing municipal fleet managers, permit and planning officials, and policy makers to guarantee that when electric vehicles start rolling off the assembly lines, we are ready.In San Francisco, the city has installed EV charging stations in front of City Hall, partnered with car-sharing organizations to encourage and facilitate their use of plug-in vehicles, and worked with car companies to test their plug-in vehicles. We are also aggressively pursuing federal dollars to build charging stations and convert our hybrid fleet to plug-ins.Since our electric-vehicle announcement in San Francisco less than a year ago, a lot has changed. Our neighbor to the north, Portland's mayor, Sam Adams, challenged us to an electric car race to see which city could build the world's first fully electric vehicle grid. President Obama has announced billions of dollars in federal grants to develop and mass-produce electric vehicles and batteries. Car companies have stopped trying to kill the electric car and have begun to embrace the technology. Every day, we hear of another EV that will hit the showrooms in the next two to three years, from the Chevy Volt to the Nissan LEAF. But if we are going to electrify and revive our auto industry, we are going to need continued federal support to build the infrastructure and make electric vehicles affordable. We need Cash for Clunkers 2.0.

Mayor Sam Adams on why Portland will win:

Long before green was cool, Portland was green. And, with all due respect to our progressive neighbors to the south, our clean-tech industries will lead the way in the coming years.Clean-and-green technology represents a unique opportunity to expand our economy and improve the quality of life in our city. And few industries reflect the unity of economic development and sustainability like the burgeoning electric-vehicle industry. That's why Portland is kicking gas and taking names. Names like Nissan LEAF, Mitsubishi i MiEV, and Chevy Volt have rapidly entered Portland's vocabulary, joining the ever popular Prius. And we are ready.Light rail. Streetcars. A world-class bicycle infrastructure. Car-sharing. Portland led the nation on these smart transportation innovations. And electric cars-the vehicles, batteries, and charging stations-are another step in reducing our carbon footprint and increasing our sustainable prosperity.Portland is committed to reducing its greenhouse-gas emissions by 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050 as set forth in our Climate Action Plan. The plan calls for the city to reduce petroleum use 50 percent by 2030. We know transportation options are the key to achieving our goals. Electric vehicles are a primary tool to reach our target. We will make our ambitions a reality, and we will get there by making Portland a hub for the electric-vehicle industry.The positive impact of the electric-vehicle industry is sure to reach beyond Portland and requires us to take a regional approach. Therefore, we are partnering with government entities, nonprofits, higher education, private businesses, and public utilities throughout our region to see the promotion and integration of electric vehicles in our transportation network.We're leading the region to a cleaner future by leveraging funds that promote the use of clean technologies and expand our transportation options. We are strategically and aggressively seeking federal incentives for the deployment of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in our city, region, and state.In short, we're leading the nation and doing it the Portland way-creatively, collaboratively, and efficiently; and we're happy to let other cities follow our lead. We're at the head of the class on this one. Mayor Newsom, I'd be happy to share my notes with you.

via Collection of the New-York Historical Society / Wikimedia Commons

Fredrick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818. At the age of 10 he was given to the Auld family.

As a child, he worked as a house slave and was able to learn to read and write, and he attempted to teach his fellow slaves the same skills.

At the age of 15, he was given to Thomas Auld, a cruel man who beat and starved his slaves and thwarted any opportunity for them to practice their faith or to learn to read or write.

Keep Reading Show less
via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

On April 20, 1889 at the Braunau am Inn, in Upper Austria Salzburger located at Vorstadt 15, Alois and Klara Hitler brought a son into the world. They named him Adolph.

Little did they know he would grow up to be one of the greatest forces of evil the world has ever known.

The Hitlers moved out of the Braunau am Inn when Adolph was three, but the three-story butter-colored building still stands. It has been the subject of controversy for seven decades.

via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

The building was a meeting place for Nazi loyalists in the 1930s and '40s. After World War II, the building has become an informal pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis and veterans to glorify the murderous dictator.

The building was a thorn in the side to local government and residents to say the least.

RELATED: He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

For years it was owned by Gerlinde Pommer, a descendant of the original owners. The Austrian government made numerous attempts to purchase it from her, but to no avail. The building has served many purposes, a school, a library, and a makeshift museum.

In 1989, a stone from the building was inscribed with:

"For Peace, Freedom

and Democracy.

Never Again Fascism.

Millions of Dead Remind [us]."

via Jo Oh / Wikimedia Commons

For three decades it was home to an organization that offered support and integration assistance for disabled people. But in 2011, the organization vacated the property because Pommer refused to bring it up to code.

RELATED: 'High Castle' producers destroyed every swastika used on the show and the video is oh-so satisfying

In 2017, the fight between the government and Pommer ended with it seizing the property. Authorities said it would get a "thorough architectural remodeling is necessary to permanently prevent the recognition and the symbolism of the building."

Now, the government intends to turn it into a police station which will surely deter any neo-Nazis from hanging around the building.

Austria has strict anti-Nazi laws that aim to prohibit any potential Nazi revival. The laws state that anyone who denies, belittles, condones or tries to justify the Nazi genocide or other Nazi crimes against humanity shall be punished with imprisonment for one year up to ten years.

In Austria the anti-Nazi laws are so strict one can go to prison for making the Nazi hand salute or saying "Heil Hitler."

"The future use of the house by the police should send an unmistakable signal that the role of this building as a memorial to the Nazis has been permanently revoked," Austria's IInterior Minister, Wolfgang Peschorn said in a statement.

The house is set to be redesigned following an international architectural competition.

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.

Keep Reading Show less
via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

RELATED: The 1975's singer bravely kissed a man at a Dubai concert to protest anti-LGBT oppression

In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

RELATED: Alan Turing will appear on the 50-pound note nearly 70 years after being persecuted for his sexuality

Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?


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.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet