Hey everyone welcome back to the Monday GNR, home of the GNR Newsroom (myself, Killer300 and Bhu), who bring you good news stories to start your week off right. Coming at you after Super Bowl Sunday. Wow, what a game huh? That team sure did beat that other team with the ball tossing (Yeah no I don’t watch sports, and I am writing this at about noon on Sunday so I don’t even think the game has started yet). Also Valentines this week, so celebrate with a loved one, or if you’re Ace like me, just buy yourself candy and tuck in. You earned it kiddo.
Anyway, onto good news.
Are you itching to fight the climate crisis by breaking up with your fossil-gas appliances and internal-combustion-engine car, but feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the task? Pro-electrification nonprofit Rewiring America has just launched a free tool to help you electrify your home and commute.
The personal electrification planner is designed to help millions of U.S. homeowners ditch fossil fuels, a move needed to help the country hit its target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Sounds like a neat little app. I approve.
A new study has busted the decades-old myth that transit systems get less efficient when they receive more government subsidies — and proved that subsidies, in fact, do the opposite.
In a fascinating recent analysis, researchers found that metro areas that received more government subsidies per capita were more likely to run buses and trains with lots of passengers on board, rather than running inefficient, wasteful routes with just a few heavily subsidized riders per vehicle.
That simple-but-radical finding flies in the face of the common assumption that operating subsidies hamper efficiency — or, as Randal O'Toole once colorfully wrote for the Cato Institute, that the "great experiment of socializing public transit has failed" because it "failed to boost ridership or stabilize the industry." That alleged inefficiency, detractors argue, means we should stop pouring government dollars into mass modes, and re-privatize transit networks so they can finally pay for themselves — "at least until driverless cars make buses obsolete," O'Toole wrote.
Amazing how many different things we take as truth turn out not to be true, but in fact are the opposite of how things actually work.
- A US court ruled Donald Trump does not have presidential immunity
- This means he can be prosecuted on charges of plotting to overturn the 2020 election
- The three judge ruling says Trump’s stance "wouldcollapse our system of separated powers by placing the president beyond the reach of all three branches"
Oh Trump is going to jail, Oh Trump is going to jail, We will not pass go, he’ll rot in a hole, oh Trump is going to jail. SING ALONG YOU KNOW THE WORDS.
imple math tells us that we will not be able to defeat the MAGA Right without enlisting white people in a multiracial coalition. That work relies on and complements Black and POC-led organizing. But which white people do we organize, and on what basis? How do we deal with the white supremacy that runs deep in the veins of this country?
Too often Democratic Party and progressive activists slide by race, aim for the suburban center, and pit organizing white voters against a racial justice agenda. But substantial data and rich history point to the weakness of this approach for the long term. To bring that data and history to bear on the critical 2024 election cycle, the Working Families Party, the Sandler-Phillips Institute, and Showing Up for Racial Justice have convened the White Stripe Project. All three organizations center racial justice and emphasize the strategic significance of voters of color—but argue that white voters have a critical role to play as well.
A very inspiring story to be sure.
In a stunning defeat, a Republican-led push to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas failed on Tuesday.
The final vote was 214-216. Three Republicans joined all Democrats present in opposing the measure. A fourth Republican voted against for procedural reasons.
For a moment, the vote was tied at 215-215 before another Republican switched to vote against.
Speaker Mike Johnson announced the resolution had failed, to cheers from Democrats in the chamber.
Just bear in mind this is what these morons are doing instead of their actual jobs, trying to score settle because Trump got impeached twice, so they got to impeach someone to even things up, Pathetic.
Before we consider the future of our climate, let’s get some perspective. Here’s a not unimportant consideration should you contemplate having a baby: What are its chances of dying? Fifty years ago, in 1973, the global child mortality rate was three-and-a-half times higher than today (three times, even in the U.S.), and in 1923, it was almost nine times higher. The distant past was even worse. For all of human history up until the Industrial Revolution, at least three in 10 children died before reaching their fifth birthday. In the past half-century, extreme poverty has also been slashed, for the first time in history: While nine out of 10 people were extremely poor before the Industrial Revolution, today the proportions are inverted: Fewer than one in 10 falls below the absolute poverty level. In almost every respect, the world is a much better place to be born right now than at any previous time in history.
So far, so good. But of course, all of this still leaves open the possibility that our hard-won progress will soon be swept away by catastrophic global warming. Progress is not something that is mandated by the laws of nature, and there is no guarantee that it will continue indefinitely in the future. And yet, such a catastrophe is extremely unlikely. In fact, it is doubtful whether any of our recent victories over poverty and child mortality will be lost again, let alone slide back to the levels of 1973 or 1923. The opening line of David Wallace-Wells’ “The Uninhabitable Earth,” the most-read essay in the history of New York magazine, reads as follows: “It is, I promise, worse than you think” (in his subsequent book, he ups the ante, writing that it’s “worse, much worse” than you think). However, if you’re like most people—eight in 10 consider climate change a “catastrophic risk”—the reality about global warming is in fact much better than you think. If you have consumed an unhealthy dose of doom porn about the climate, you have likely ended up with a view of the future that is much more bleak and terrifying than what is scientifically plausible. In fact, I hope to convince you that this the greatest time in human history to be born. We ought to face the future with abundant optimism—thanks to science and human ingenuity.
Things are never as bad as they seem, and despite what the doomsayers say there’s no such thing as “too late” when it comes to saving out world.
Tribalism exerts a potent grip on us primitive humans, compelling us to place loyalty and familiarity above reason and compassion in all sorts of ways. It can be harmless and even fun, like supporting a beloved sports team, but the so-called culture wars have shown how people can be pushed into tribal corners with much more ominous results.
Take hope then, from a new piece of research that suggests humans have the potential to overcome tribalist tendencies and significantly increase their so-called ‘moral circle’ – the people they value and care about. Arranged by a key player at the Global Compassion Coalition and released on Wednesday, the findings are “potentially game-changing” according to the lead researcher.
Research has shown that we are also habitually drawn towards people and groups who look or sound similar to us, our friends and family first of all. This natural tribalism is often cited as a reason why cultural differences lead to animosity and even violence.
Tribalism is a major hurdle the human race has to circumvent in order to continue advancing, but thankfully its not an insurmountable one.
The emergence and acceptance of cryptocurrency is one of the most embarrassing recent indictments of broad swaths of American financial and political thinking. Despite Sam Bankman-Fried admitting the Ponzi-like nature of crypto on Bloomberg’s Odd Lots podcast months before he was disgraced, important validators such as former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Jay Clayton currently serve or served as advisors to crypto firms, and the Brookings Institution held repeated conferences on the importance of what many called “financial innovation.” By contrast, the SEC and its current chair, Gary Gensler, took key actions to ensure that these speculative financial instruments did not spread to the rest of the financial system.
Since the fall of FTX last month, crypto proponents have attempted to shift blame from their own actions and pin responsibility for the collapse on Gensler, a move intended to undermine robust regulation. This sets the record straight and shows that Gensler’s actions helped contain the crypto meltdown and protect the real economy.
Truly an unsung hero. I had not even heard of this guy before now. But thank you Mr, Gensler, for making sure when the crypto bubble burst it didn't affect the rest of us.
Swell Energy, a California-based installer and financier of distributed energy storage, has acquired Renu Energy Solutions, a regional installer covering the Carolinas and Georgia, for an undisclosed sum.
Swell’s business relies on tying together hundreds or thousands of home batteries into an aggregate virtual power plant, or VPP, which can be used by utilities to bolster the grid; homeowners who agree to participate can earn compensation. The addition of Renu gives Swell more rooftops and batteries to work with, as well as an installer network that extends beyond California, currently the biggest solar-plus-storage market.
Virtual power plants huh? Sounds cool. I love living in the future.
limate activists had planned to spend this week blocking the entrance to the U.S. Department of Energy’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. During a three-day sit-in, demonstrators were prepared to risk arrest while demanding that the Biden administration stop Calcasieu Pass 2, a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal planned in Louisiana. Opponents say the nation’s rapid buildout of LNG infrastructure threatens the planet’s climate and the communities living near the heavily polluting facilities.
The sit-in, however, never happened.
On January 26, the Biden administration said it is temporarily pausing its decision on whether to approve permits for Calcasieu Pass 2, known as CP2, and other LNG projects until the Department of Energy can more thoroughly assess their impacts on climate change and the American public. The would-be protestors claimed the announcement as an early victory.
“The best [civil-disobedience] actions are the actions you don’t have to do,” Bill McKibben, a writer and climate activist, said on a press call held later that day. Still, he added, “That doesn’t mean there isn’t all kinds of appetite for doing this kind of thing when we need to going forward.”
A reminder that A) protests work, B) Biden listens to us, and C) Biden is kind of awesome.
The 2024 presidential election is looming. This week I heard from a reader struggling to wade through the marsh of disinformation and election denialism surrounding the 2020 election. She asked: “How do I know that the machine I feed my ballot into is legit? What checks and balances are in place to make sure someone isn’t hacking these devices?”
There has never been a “rigged” American presidential election. Still, in order to trust the system, voters should understand both how it works and how it has become more secure over the past couple of decades. A solid base of knowledge is the best hedge against doubts, misunderstandings, or bad-faith assertions.
Trump only says its rigged because he’s a sore loser. Never forget that.
- EU countries reduced their carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels by 8 percent in 2023 compared to 2022.
- More than half of the reduction in emissions came from the use of cleaner electricity.
- The EU built a record amount of solar panels and wind turbines in 2023.
Good news out of Europe.
- Global tobacco use has declined, from one in three adults in 2000 to one in five today.
- 150 countries have successfully reduced tobacco use.
- WHO calls for continued efforts to combat the tobacco industry's influence.
Tobacco use has long been a problem for global public health, but new data from the World Health Organization (WHO) show a positive trend. According to the latest report on tobacco trends, global tobacco use has significantly decreased since the beginning of the century. Today, about one in five adults uses tobacco, compared to one in three in 2000.
Thank goodness that’s going down. I personally hate smoking, I don’t like the smell, i find it aesthetically disgusting, nothing about it appeals to me and that's even before the health risks. So glad to see it being phased out.
Read for the first time in 2000 years
Two thousand years ago, an ancient library of papyrus scrolls was buried under a volcanic eruption, which also buried Pompeii. These scrolls, known as the Herculaneum Papyri, have been a puzzle for researchers since they were discovered in the 18th century. The problem has been that the scrolls are charred to the extent that they cannot be opened without being destroyed.
On March 15, 2023, Nat Friedman, Daniel Gross, and Brent Seales launched the Vesuvius challenge to solve this problem.
The challenge resulted in scrolls from the Institut de France being imaged at the particle accelerator Diamond Light Source near Oxford. These high-resolution CT scans of the scrolls, along with more than $1 million in prizes from generous donors, led to groundbreaking progress.
Now this is a near concept. Glad to see they were able to figure out how to read these scrolls.
The city of Bryan, Ohio, has dropped all charges against a local pastor who was allowing homeless people to sleep inside his church without the city's permission.
"Bryan is my home. I am eager to continue to serve God, my community, and the people I love," pastor Chris Avell said in a statement.
Avell had faced 18 zoning code violations for turning his church, Dad's Place, into a quasi-homeless shelter. Those violations were punishable by fines, up to six months in prison, or both.
First of all, the fact they were gonna press charges on the guy for helping homeless people at all is abominable. Glad the charges got dropped. Secondly, take a good look because this is what actual Christianity looks like: Kindness, selflessness, doing the right thing even when it flies against the laws of the land. This is actual Christianity. I know it can be hard to spot because a lot of bigots and assholes have co opted Christianity to play at having some moral superiority. But these assholes wouldn’t know true faith if if it busted them in the ass with a ruler. Sorry for the ramble, its just frustrating when so often ones faith gets used as a mouthpiece for evil, and then you see a story of what religion is supposed to be.
The Rising Tide case demonstrates the effectiveness of contesting charges in gaining institutional support for nonviolent climate protest. Yet, as long as anti-protest laws exist, activists like Adrian Birragubba, Colette Harmsen, and Andrew George — who faced bankruptcy, jail and maximum-security prison respectively for their protests — remain vulnerable. These cases highlight the limits of relying on judicial goodwill against governmental repression through legislation.
Despite these challenges, the climate movement has various strategies to resist the criminalization of nonviolent disruptive protest. In order to do so however, it is important to understand the ways in which law enforcement repress climate activism.
Considering Australia was on fire for an entire year (Like literally, the entire country) I think people there deserve to be pissed about the climate. And also boo on anti protesting laws.
That’s a lot of power, no matter how you look at it, and the NFL, which is nothing if not quite mindful of its image, has recently rebranded itself as a champion of sustainability. Over the past few years, it has initiated waste-reduction programs, and 23 percent of professional sports stadiums in the U.S. are powered by solar energy in some way. Yet even by that measure, the league is touting this year’s Super Bowl, featuring the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, as the greenest yet because it will be powered entirely by renewables. The company’s sustainability arm, NFL Green, works with each year’s host city to offset other emissions through community gardens and tree plantings.
“We work to leave a positive ‘green legacy’ in the communities that host our events and tailor our greening projects to the needs of each community,” NFL Green associate director Susan Groh told Forbes.
The Las Vegas Raiders, which moved into Allegiant Stadium in 2020, have a 25-year contract to buy electricity from NV Energy, which maintains a 621,000-panel solar farm in the desert northwest of Las Vegas. The amount of energy flowing from the panels, along with a smattering of wind, geothermal and hydropower sources, to the game is enough to allow 46,000 homes nationwide to watch the four-hour game, according to the utility.
The NFL doesn’t have much say in the energy mix of a given arena, and Allegiant Stadium, like almost everything else in Las Vegas, will draw from a grid that also relies upon natural gas. But the amount of energy the Super Bowl is expected to use this weekend is roughly equal to the capacity of the solar farm it draws from, says Jonathan Casper, who studies, among other things, the intersection of sports and sustainability at North Carolina State University. The stadium arranged in advance for the massive power usage with NV Energy, and it has batteries on site to store the power after sundown.
And we close on a very relevant story as the Super Bowl is only a few hours away of this writing. by the time you read this it will be well over. But do take heart that whoever won or loss yesterday, it was the greenest most sustainable Superbowl in our lifetime. And it probably made some asshole really mad because it meant the Superbowl is woke now or something.
On that note, everyone have a good morning, and a good rest of your week.