GOOD Reads of 2014

Here are 7 reads you might’ve missed.

In 2015, we will take you to the four corners of the globe to tell stories about improbable individuals shouldering mammoth struggles and about big ideas crystallizing in very small places. In the process, we hope to add rigor to the conversation about what it means to be a “global citizen” in this day and age. Before we march forward, we’d like to take the occasion to re-share some of the most compelling of our reads from 2014 that you might have missed the first time around. All of us at GOOD, wish you a happy and healthy New Year.

Puppy Love

How a crypto-currency spawned an improbable community of giving

Reporter Tracey Lien spends time with a Nascar driver, a would-be prankster, and a lot of Comic Sans font, to show what Dogecoin can teach us about generosity.

A Thread of Hope

Can a family business save Somalia’s economy?

Somalia has struggled to find its economic footing since the collapse of its national bank 25 years ago—and “solutions” from western governments have only made things worse. So how does a mom-and-pop money transfer service serve such a stabilizing force for the Somali economy? Contributing Writer Mark Hay peels back layers of political grandstanding and post-9/11 paranoia to find that a little trust goes a long way.

“You’re Supposed to Be Creating An Army for God”

One woman’s courageous struggle to be more than a “womb man”

Contributing Writer Sarah Stankorb tells the story of Vyckie Garrison’s harrowing escape from a Christian movement that sees women as vessels for relentless procreation, painting a picture of a controlling religious culture hidden in plain sight.

One Former Prostitute in Cape Town, Two NGOs Battling Over How to Help Her

How should society deal with prostitution?

For Asanda, a former sex worker in the “rape capital of the world,” prostitution was one of few alternatives for steady work, despite the risks involved. GOOD Cities editor Rosie Spinks shines a light on the tug-of-war between the organizations trying to help her.

Is Studying Buffy the Vampire Slayer More Important Than Studying Shakespeare?

In the years since it went off the air, Joss Whedon’s tele-feminist romp through vampire lore has inspired a cottage academic specialty. Contributing Writer Mark Hay jumps into the fray to see if academics behind “Buffyology” are grafting theory onto pop culture—or whether a girl who kicks so much undead ass has something to teach us all.

A Chance in Hell

Yaks, America, and The Apocalypse

To find out about the latest grass-fed protein making a stir among conscientious carnivores, reporter Zachary Slobig hits the road with Colorado rancher Bob Hasse—eight yaks in tow—to explore America’s unyielding and unsustainable dependence on beef.

How Powerful Is Your Passport?

In this digital era, there’s at least one printed medium that’s thriving: the passport. In this Infographic by Ricky Linn, you can see that passports are much more than an access passes to new locations, they are geopolitical barometers, reflecting relations between countries and a particluar country’s stature in various parts of the world.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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