climate change, global warming, sustainability, legislation, activism, victories, hopes
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Climate Change Victories in 2023 and Hopes for 2024 (Maria)

The author writes, “2023 had its share of climate and sustainability disappointments, but we also had some encouraging milestones in the ongoing battle against climate change. From record-setting adoption of solar energy to climate-friendly legislation in the United States, their pivotal wins emerged across various fronts, showing there is real work being done to create a sustainable future.”

After Sandy Hook, They Voted No. Now These Senators Want New Gun Laws. (Russ)

From The Washington Post: “As mass shootings have become more frequent in the decade since Sandy Hook, four current senators and three former senators have taken the remarkable step of recanting some or all of their 2013 positions. In emotional interviews with The Washington Post in recent weeks, some expressed deep regret for not pushing at the time for measures to restrict made-for-combat weapons or taking other steps to slow the violence that would only grow more common in the years to come.”

Dude, Where’s My Candidate?: Lincoln, the Ballot, and the Election of 1860 (Al)

From Emerging Civil War: “On Tuesday, December 19, 2023, Colorado’s Supreme Court affirmed its willingness to make political waves with a ruling declaring that Donald J. Trump … is disqualified from holding federal office because he engaged in ‘insurrection’ against the United States in the lead up to the events of January 6, 2021. As a result, as of this writing, Trump will not be eligible to appear on the ballot for Colorado’s Republican Primary in March. … This is not the first time a presidential candidate has been excluded from the ballot: Abraham Lincoln, after all, did not appear on the ballot in 10 Southern states during the election of 1860. But the comparison is deeply flawed — and a reminder of the pitfalls of drawing easy links between the past and the present.”

How $750 a Month Changed the Lives of a Group of Homeless People in California (Dana)

The author writes, “Can putting money directly in the hands of people experiencing homelessness make a difference? A new California study on basic income suggests it can. Ben Henwood, a professor at the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, partnered with the nonprofit Miracle Messages to give 103 people in the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles County $750 per month for a year. The six-month report is preliminary, but Henwood said the findings provide insight into ways to help address the problem.”

Seattle Children’s Sues Texas AG Over Request for Gender Care Records (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A new lawsuit by Seattle Children’s pits the hospital against the Texas Attorney General’s Office, amid a national fight over privacy for children seeking gender-affirming care. In the lawsuit, filed [in December] in Travis County District Court in Texas, Seattle Children’s is aiming to protect patient information of Texans who left their home state, where it’s illegal for minors to access gender-affirming care, to seek treatment here, where it is legal.”

Paris Is Saying ‘Non’ to a US-Style Hellscape of Supersized Cars — And So Should the Rest of Europe (Reader Jim)

From The Guardian: “The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has now proposed tripling parking rates for SUVs in central Paris to €18 an hour, and €12 an hour for the rest of the city. The measure, which would include hybrids and electric vehicles over a certain weight limit — though with an exemption for Paris resident parking — would affect roughly 10% of the cars in the city. … Hidalgo’s administration has pitched the increased parking fee as a form of social justice (taxing the owners of expensive cars) as well as a way to encourage use of public transport. It’s a good start, but we need bolder regulation to redirect the automobile industry towards smaller instead of bigger.”

Deep in the Wilderness, the World’s Largest Beaver Dam Endures (Laura)

From Yale Environment 360: “The largest beaver dam on Earth was discovered via satellite imagery in 2007, and since then only one person has trekked into the Canadian wild to see it. It’s a half-mile long and has created a 17-acre lake in the northern forest — a testament to the beaver’s resilience.”

Firm Develops Jet Fuel Made Entirely From Human Poo (Mili)

The author writes, “A new aviation company has developed a type of jet fuel made entirely from human sewage. Chemists at a lab in Gloucestershire have turned the waste into kerosene. James Hygate, Firefly Green Fuels CEO, said: ‘We wanted to find a really low-value feedstock that was highly abundant. And of course poo is abundant.’ Independent tests by international aviation regulators found it was nearly identical to standard fossil jet fuel.”


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