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Health Care & Environment

12.17 40 Million Americans Depend on the Colorado River. It’s Drying Up.

12.17 Now we know: Air Pollution Makes You Stupid

12.17 What was agreed at COP24 in Poland and why did it take so long?

12.17 At last, divestment is hitting the fossil fuel industry where it hurts

12.17 I led the National Park Service. Ryan Zinke leaves lasting damage

12.17 Former fossil fuels lobbyist to head interior department as Zinke exits

12.15 World leaders are trying to make a climate deal in Poland — despite Trump

12.15 John Kerry: Forget Trump. We All Must Act on Climate Change. [Might he be a candidate for President in 2020?]

12.15 Black lung disease is still killing miners. The coal industry doesn't want to hear it [Trump loves Coal]

12.14 You, Too, Are In Denial of Climate Change

12.14 After 30 Years Studying Climate, Scientist Declares: "I've Never Been as Worried as I Am Today"

12.13 'Whoever You Are, Wherever You Are, We Need You': 15-Year-Old Greta Thunberg Calls for Global Climate Strike

12.12 In Early Holiday 'Gift to Polluters,' Trump Guts Protections for 60 Percent of Nation's Streams, Wetlands, and Waterways

12.12 An Indication of What's Coming': Melting at North and South Poles Worse Than Previously Thought [4:47 video]

News Media Matters

12.17 Make climate crisis top editorial priority, XR campaign urges BBC

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

12.18 'Not the Kind of Moral Leadership We Need': Critics Pounce After Schumer Refuses to Back Medicare for All

12.18 Chris Matthews Predicts Trump Could Resign ‘In The Coming Weeks’ [1:55 video]

12.17 Pennsylvania meltdown triggers Republican alarms

12.17 Floridians Voted to Restore Ex-Felons’ Voting Rights. But the Legislature Has a History of Ignoring Voters.

12.17 Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out

12.17 SNL cold open imagines a world where Trump isn’t president, angering the real-life Trump [8:55 video]

12.15 What the Hell Is Wrong With Paul Ryan? [”The Saudi check is in the mail.”]

12.15 Scott Walker signs bills to limit powers of incoming Wisconsin Democrats [Immoral people cheat, etc.]

12.15 Paying Congress’s interns a living wage is a good idea. Paying professional staff one is even better.

12.15 Trump science adviser casts doubt on links between pollution and health problems [Consider the ignorant/bribed source.]

12.15 How Republicans are turning US states into labs of anti-democracy

Justice Matters

12.18  'Confuse, distract' / Russian propagandists targeted African Americans to influence 2016 US election

12.14 The Trump inauguration is now being criminally investigated

High Crimes?
Economics, Crony Capitalism

12.18 This Radical Plan to Fund the ‘Green New Deal’ Just Might Work

12.15 Top House Democrats join Elizabeth Warren’s push to fundamentally change American capitalism

12.14 A World That Is the Property of the 1%: Wall Street, Banks, and Angry Citizens

International & Futurism

12.18 Hungary’s prime minister stole the country’s democracy. Now Hungarians are rising up.

12.18 Migrant family who fled tear gas at U.S. border seeks asylum

12.18 181 Nations Just Voted to Help Refugees. Only the Far-Right United States and Hungary Voted "No"

12.17 The Guardian view on COP24: while climate talks continue, there is hope

12.15 How to do good better [Republicans may not understand this story]

12.15 Denmark gives new fathers paid leave. Why do so few take it? [Audio clip]

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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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