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Health Care & Environment

03.23 'Dead zone' in Gulf of Mexico will take decades to recover from farm pollution

03.23 EU in 'state of denial' over destructive impact of farming on wildlife

03.23 The ban on assisted death ignores the reality of illnesses like dementia

03.23 Lignite mining: Greece’s dirty secret - in pictures

03.21 THE BATTLE FOR PARADISE [renewable energy is obviously essential for rebuilding]

03.21 London air pollution activists 'prepared to go to prison' to force action

03.21 London air pollution activists 'prepared to go to prison' to force action

03.21 Subsidy-free renewable energy projects set to soar in UK, analysts say

03.21 'Catastrophe' as France's bird population collapses due to pesticides

03.21 A judge asks basic questions about climate change. We answer them

03.20 Can climate litigation save the world?

03.20 Climate change soon to cause mass movement, World Bank warns

03.20 Plight of Phoenix: how long can the world’s 'least sustainable' city survive?

03.20 Who owns water? The US landowners putting barbed wire across rivers

03.19 Could it be your gut keeping you awake at night?

03.19 Water shortages could affect 5bn people by 2050, UN report warns

News Media Matters

03.22 Bernie Sanders: Russia and Stormy Daniels distract us from real problem of inequality

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

03.23 Our manifesto to fix America's gun laws

03.22 Mick Mulvaney manipulated data to justify “tip-stealing” rule: report

03.22 Crooked Together: Two Equally Corrupt Parties Bent In Different Directions [the Sanders-Warren progressives are the standout exceptions]

03.22 'We Need Medicare for All,' Says Warren, But Until That's Achieved Her New Bill Aims to Curb Pain of For-Profit System [4:10 video]

03.21 Cambridge Analytica execs boast of role in getting Trump elected [videos]

Justice Matters

03.22 In court, Big Oil rejected climate denial

High Crimes?

03.23 Amnesty International slams Western arms sales to Saudi Arabia and allies in Yemen war

Economics, Crony Capitalism

03.20 Russian Roulette review: as Joe Biden said, 'If this is true, it's treason'

03.20 Bernie Sanders’ Economic Inequality Town Hall Draws 1.7 Million Live Viewers [1:38:49 video, studiously ignored online at WaPo, NYT, or Google News...]

03.19 No CEO should earn 1,000 times more than a regular employee

International & Futurism

03.23 Trump Picks 'Unhinged Advocate for World War III' John Bolton as New National Security Adviser

03.23 At last, good news on Brexit: Britain is heading for Norway

03.22 Interview: Paul Ehrlich: 'Collapse of civilisation is a near certainty within decades'


03.22 The evil genius of Cambridge Analytica was to exploit those we trust most [the sociopathic modus operandi of The Trump Organization and Cambridge Analytica are suspiciously identical]

03.21 Donald Trump Jr. Pushed ‘Blatantly Illegal’ Project In India, Former Official Says — ‘Trump, Inc.’ Podcast [the closer to criminality the higher the profits]


03.21 Hands': 55 Senators Vote To Continue US-Backed Carnage in Yemen

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