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Health Care & Environment

12.14 Global warming made Hurricane Harvey deadly rains three times more likely, research reveals

12.14 The long read: A different dimension of loss’: inside the great insect die-off

12.14 After years of toxic oil spills, indigenous Peruvians use tech to fight back

12.13 Arctic permafrost thawing faster than ever, US climate study finds

12.13 Drugs Don't Kill People, Neoliberalism Kills People

12.13 English rivers polluted by powerful insecticides, first tests reveal [Are similar tests of U.S. waters conducted by the EPA anymore? We think not...]

12.12 Ophelia Dahl’s National Health Service

12.12 Overfishing and climate change push seabirds to extinction

12.12 Macron awards US scientists grants to move to France in defiance of Trump

12.11 The Feminist Case For Single Payer [we lack for such sanity in U.S. media & politics]

12.11 Australia's greenhouse gas emissions from transport are highest on record

12.11 No more green rhetoric. A sustainable future is vital and possible [we lack for such sanity in U.S. media & politics]

12.11 North Atlantic right whales could become extinct, US officials say

12.11 Mass starvation is humanity’s fate if we keep flogging the land to death

12.11 Why did climate scientists emit 30,000 tonnes of C02 this weekend? [use teleconferencing instead!]

News Media Matters

12.13 Warning Against Abdication of Duty, Senators Demand FCC Abandon Net Neutrality Vote [what if only fake news can be accessed quickly...]

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

12.14 Three reasons Republicans should support the Dream Act

12.14 Five years after Sandy Hook, U.S. gun-control advocates switch strategy

12.14 USA Today's Whopper of an Editorial Beautifully Bashes "Uniquely Awful" Trump

12.14 'If This Bill Passes, People Will Die': Tax Scam Opponents Rally as GOP Aims for Final Vote Next Week [another 'pure' Republican bill purposely done in secret to avoid embarassing analysis]

12.13 The US is penny wise and pound foolish on the climate

12.13 UN Official Shocked By Toxic Conditions in US Black Belt: 'Worst Poverty' in First World

12.13 African-Americans, Women Hand Republican Roy Moore Defeat in Alabama

12.13 Why I’m Calling My Reps to Ask For True Tax Reform That Benefits Those Who Need It

12.12 Mr. Mnuchin’s Magical Math on Taxes

12.12 Robert Mueller is closing in on Trump. Congress must protect his investigation

12.12 'No shame': how the Trump administration granted big oil's wishlist ["Legal bribing of government" ignores health & life on Earth]

Justice Matters

12.13 US Concern Over 'Pervasive' High-Level Corruption Surging Under Trump: Poll [anyone surprised?]

12.12 The right-wing takeover of the US court system will transform America

High Crimes?
Economics, Crony Capitalism

12.14 World's richest 0.1% have boosted their wealth by as much as poorest half

12.14 Inequality is not inevitable – but the US 'experiment' is a recipe for divergence

12.13 How big oil is tightening its grip on Donald Trump's White House

12.13 The “Death Tax” Cargo Cult [we lack for morals and sanity in U.S. media & politics]

12.12 Who Broke the Economy? [might the recent template legislation from Koch bros.’ ALEC be implicated?]

International & Futurism

12.14 Israeli undercover soldiers seen arresting Palestinian protesters [Palestinians need more and better weapons for a fair fight]

12.13 Muslim leaders declare 'East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine'

12.13 400,000 Children in DR Congo Are At Risk of Dying from Acute Malnutrition

12.12 Global Conflicts to Watch in 2018

12.12 France to impose total ban on mobile phones in schools

12.12 China building network of refugee camps along border with North Korea

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  Open Letter to the Obama Transition Team: Consider This Stimulus Idea
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VIEWPOINT:

Open Letter to the Obama Transition Team: Consider This Stimulus Idea

TO: Barack Obama and his Transition Team

by Marc Cherbonnier
Win-win-win: Let's make urban rowhouses energy-efficient by training work crews to make them 'green.'
For economic stimulus, it occurs to me that we can do several things at once if we're wise. Consider that rowhouses in most of our cities are more than 50 years old. They have roofs with little or no insulation and inefficient windows and furnaces. Cities also have higher than average unemployment. What if stimulus funded the effort to turn all those houses green?

Teams using a combination of underemployed experienced building trade workers plus unemployed local labor could use 'Green recipes' and ready materials to insulate these homes quickly. At the same time or as separate cost-extra efforts: 1) teams skilled to quickly install energy efficient furnaces could replace old inefficient furnaces; 2) work crews could replace old leaky windows and doors with energy-efficient ones; 3) other work crews could replace old inefficient air conditioning with new efficient models; and 4) solar panels could be installed, too, to supply electric for water heating. All these steps would reduce CO2 pollution, benefitting the world, and reduce energy bills for the longer term, benefitting needy people. In addition, the workers would gain valuable construction skills while earning a living.

Economic stimulus benefits from this new Green Labor Force would be that local jobs are created, and the salaries earned would be spent in the local economy. Materials sold to be used in the home improvements would stimulate the general economy. An added bonus is that this work would also stabilize and possibly eventually increase the market value of the homes. Lastly, by making homes more energy-efficient, the need to build new electric power plants can be delayed or avoided altogether.

What do homeowners pay? That's for government to decide; for those who are on limited incomes, one would hope they would have to pay much less than if they tried doing this work using contractors—if they could afford to have the work done on their own at all. A progressive plan should be developed to help the needy more than the non-needy.

This type of effort could be broadened to include all types of homes everywhere. The larger and more varied the effort, the more employment would be stimulated for local construction and home repair businesses.


Marc Cherbonnier writes from Baltimore.


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This story was published on December 9, 2008.

 

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