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07.20 Taking 'Wrecking Ball' to Endangered Species Act, Trump Administration Opens Door for Corporate Attack on Vulnerable Wildlife [a clone of Pruitt's pro-corporate deregulation model at the EPA]

07.19 Can we remove a trillion tons of carbon from the atmosphere?

07.19 'Historic' Step in Fight for Universal Healthcare: Over 60 House Democrats to Launch Medicare for All Caucus [potential for $1.6 Trillion in total savings every year, as compared to per capita costs in France]

07.17 IEA warns of 'worrying trend' as global investment in renewables falls [Trump and Republicans immoral prostitution for fossil energy governments and Billionaires is succeeding at a high cost to life on Earth—this must be stopped]

07.16 Electric Double-Decker Buses Are Coming to L.A.

News Media Matters

07.17 'The Pressure Is Working': Watchdogs Welcome FCC's 'Serious Concerns' With Sinclair-Tribune Merger

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.20 Watch a Waitress Take Down a Creep Who Groped Her

07.19 California Democrats' Dianne Feinstein snub sends a strong signal to liberal candidates nationwide [studiously avoids mention of neoliberal corruption from corporate 'donation' bribes]

07.19 'Our Democracy Is Under Attack': Broad Coalition Hosts 175+ #ConfrontCorruption Vigils Nationwide

07.19 The ‘War on Poverty’ Isn’t Over, and Kids Are Losing [reduce wasteful spending instead!]

07.18 US General Ben Hodges: 'Russia only respects strength'

07.18 Privatizing Poverty

07.18 Calls for Trump Impeachment Grow as 'Bizarre' Helsinki Performance Draws Epic Backlash

07.18 'The Dam Is Breaking,' Declare Net Neutrality Defenders After First House Republican Backs CRA

07.18 Ocasio-Cortez on campaigning with Sanders: Progressive policies 'can win across the country'

07.18 Calls for Trump Impeachment Grow as 'Bizarre' Helsinki Performance Draws Epic Backlash

Justice Matters

07.14 US indicts 12 Russians for hacking DNC emails during the 2016 election

High Crimes?

07.20 11 Years of Blockade: How Despair Has Made Gaza Unlivable

Economics, Crony Capitalism

07.13 Notorious War Profiteer Erik Prince Refuses To Give Up Dream of Mercenary Takeover of Afghan War [privatizing war for profit—what could go wrong...]

07.12 Rigged: New Report Details How Combined $5.1 Trillion in Tax Cuts by Bush, Obama, and Trump Went Mostly to Nation's Richest [why the Public hates “establishment” (a.k.a. plutocratic) political parties and courts]

07.12 It’s not wage rises that are a problem for the economy – it’s the lack of them

International & Futurism

07.20 If Trump Is a Russian Spy, This Is How They're Using Him

07.20 What Is Democratic Socialism?

07.20 Over 400,000 people living in 'modern slavery' in US, report finds

07.19 Israel adopts controversial Jewish 'nation state' law [instead of making the one-state solution better they made it worse]

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez prompts outrage in US for accurately referring to Israel's 'occupation' of Palestinian territory

07.17 Trump's Putin summit: a slippery slope to a violent, darker world

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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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