HOW TO BUILD GLOBAL CITIES WITHOUT SO MANY CARS

Expanding public transportation, walking, and biking in cities could save more than $100 trillion in public and private spending between now and 2050.

A new report shows that this shift also would result in reductions in carbon dioxide emissions reaching 1,700 megatons a year in 2050.

If governments require the strongest vehicle pollution controls and ultralow-sulfur fuels, 1.4 million early deaths associated with exposure to vehicle tailpipe emissions could be avoided each year, according to a related analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation included in the report.

Doubling motor vehicle fuel economy could reduce CO2 emissions by an additional 700 megatons in 2050.

“The study shows that getting away from car-centric development, especially in rapidly developing economies, will cut urban CO2 dramatically and also reduce costs,” says report coauthor Lew Fulton, co-director of NextSTEPS Program at the University of California, Davis Institute of Transportation Studies.

“It is also critical to reduce the energy use and carbon emissions of all vehicles.”

Continue Reading.

Back to the military vs. burger-flipper argument:

The military should be paid MORE. That’s the real problem here. Anyone who works 40+ hours a week should be able to support themselves and their family, NO MATTER where they work or what they do. However, I agree the military is underpaid. They should be paid more for what they do. The two jobs are not connected though and shouldn’t even be compared to one another. Raising the minimum wage would raise everybody’s wages…that includes military. The problem is that minimum wage did not rise with inflation. So while our prices on everything went up, our wages did not. So the poor just keep getting poorer and poorer, even though they’re working just as hard.

Raising minimum wage would FIX a lot of problems in our economy. People would be able to spend more which would help businesses which would create jobs, jobs that actually can serve to provide for your family! The biggest problem with our economy is that our wages did NOT go up with inflation! This is basic economics! Raising the minimum wage isn’t about people at McDonalds making more money, it’s about all of us making more money!

It may be a never ending battle. But when I worked at the daycare we were paid minimum wage. I was taking care of other people’s children (an important job!) but not even making enough to take care of my own, if I had any at the time. I think that’s wrong. I worked full time, but didn’t make enough to even afford a cheap apartment. That’s just wrong in my eyes.

anonymous said:

can we please talk about people who come in Italy in search of the "real Italy"as the little medieval village above a hill isolated in the countryside where women wear black clothes everyday and they all live "la dolce vita" lifestyle. Because cities like Rome, Milan and Florence aren't "really" italian, they are too industrialized and european. Industrialized and efficient Italy is not real Italy.

Yes, of course we can. This is something that bothers me very much, because it’s influenced by the portrayal of media and, in turn, it is followed by a general attitude of stupor and (negative) surprise whenever we try to show that we have something more than that. Italy is a very varied country in many aspects and this is one of those. There’s the little Medieval village and the huge industrialized metropolis. Neither of them is out of place. They coexist

Italy is the first European producer of shoes, in 2013 we were the first producers in the world of wine (despite all the fakes), but we also have the most efficient scientific researchers - meaning that they get the best results with the, sadly, least resources, without considering all the successful Italian researchers abroad.

This report from 2011 displays some of the biggest achievements in terms of export and surplus. The Italian goods that produce the biggest surplus are, except for the usual food&wine ($6,4 billion of surplus), automations, gums and plastic ($31,6 billion), clothing and fashion ($18,1), and other products such as paper, glass and chemicals ($4,3). 

Here’s some “first places” from Italy’s export in 2011, you can see everything from sunglasses to helicopters, to specialized furniture for frozen goods:

image

So yeah, Italy is also industrialized (though the crisis is striking really hard on many companies, small and big). We’re not stuck in the 1950s. You could meet someone who lives in a small Medieval town and find out that they work in a specialized factory. 

Economic power is one of the primary reasons the Philippines is 5th most gender equal in the world while the USA is 23rd (x)

Here in the Philippines girls are expected to manage household finances and young girls are taught that they have to get an education to get a job and take care of the family financially

Not to say that guys don’t get the same responsibilities but whenever my parents go overseas my sister handles all the money

Plus my dad, even if he is the higher wage earner (not for any fucked up pay gaps but simply because his job is more business oriented), my mom still handles how the money is spent in the house

It’s been like this since pre-colonial times, the men were often warriors and women were traders

When women control the money, they control advertising, control how the media sees women, control how men respect women in a work place. It all adds up. 

So it’s an even bigger deal than you realize when the sexist assholes who call themselves Republicans deny women economic power. 

They are very actively trying to keep you powerless, and you shouldn’t forget that. 

Cold water fisheries moving north

The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than most other patches of sea on Earth, and the process is revealing some of the likely changes to fishery patterns as species such as cod and herring follow the colder water northwards. New species are moving in, such as black sea bass and blue crabs to replace them as the environment changes around them. 

Both the eastern USA and Canada have important fishing industries focussed on these species, Maine lobster being particularly famed. Scientists are taking these events as a warning of what might happen as warming takes a stronger hold elsewhere. The seas are also rising fast since the water is less dense and expands as it warms. The pace of warming has been speeding up fast over the last three decades, now being about 10 times faster than back in 1983. 

Scientists are unsure as to why this area is warming faster than the rest of the world’s oceans, though changes to the Gulf Stream may be a cause. The changes are likely to be far reaching, as the fragile system of currents that mixes waters and spreads nutrients changes patterns over the coming decades.

Ecological effects observed so far include larger lobster catches (though they may move north too if the warming trend continues as expected), and starving puffin colonies as the herring they eat move away. New fisheries are developing and being licensed to replace the old, but the threat to a billion dollar industry is growing, with no clear certainty of the turn events will take, since many ecological changes act in a non linear pattern. Something that was stable, sometimes for aeons, suddenly changes to a new state when it reaches a tipping point, and the old one might never return. 

A similar process struck the cod fishing industry off the Grand Banks. When the fishery collapsed and was protected, hopes were high that cod numbers might rise again, but they have stayed at low levels, since other organisms have effectively replaced them in their old ecosystem. Many such events are expected to cascade through the world’s ecosystems over the coming decades.

Loz

Image credit: Laszlo Ilyes 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/03/maine-lobster-and-cape-cod-under-threat-from-rapidly-warming-seas

POLITICAL APPRECIATION POST TO GERMAN POLITICS

Well not exactly their politics but the way that its encouraged in Germany to talk about politics local & global.

My German teacher taught me that the government encourages the citizens to be open and talk as much as possible about politics and the current 411 of whats going on.

He said the reason for this is that WWII isn’t repeated!

I personally find that amazing!

Why can’t we be more open in America, everyone I meet always is “triggered” whenever someone talks about politics. Like seriously, lets take a hint from Germany.

My teacher said you could probably get better information on the US candidates in Germany than in the USA itself!

Seriously this amazes me :D

People who dismiss the unemployed and dependent as ‘parasites’ fail to understand economics and parasitism. A successful parasite is one that is not recognized by its host, one that can make its host work for it without appearing as a burden. Such is the ruling class in a capitalist society.
—  Jason Read

"As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems." .. (Pope Francis)

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For the past several years photographer Marisa Scheinfeld has been photographing the end of the Borscht Belt in the Catskills, a region in upstate New York once known as a vacation destination away from the chaos of New York City.

In the early decades of its heyday, the Catskills were a potent and affordable draw for Jews seeking to escape the suffocating heat, grating work conditions and antisemitism they endured in the city. Nicknamed, the Borscht Belt and the Jewish Alps, over time it outlived it’s usefulness as Jews assimilated.

“It all seems to be ending. You think kids want to come with their parents and take foxtrot lessons? Trips to Europe, that’s what the kids want. Twenty-two countries in three days. It feels like it’s all slipping away,” says fictional Catskills resort owner Max Kellerman in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing. The movie, set during the summer of 1963, captured the region at the start of its gradual decline. Air conditioning and the rise of suburbia made summers at home easier to stomach. The thriving airline industry opened up exciting new vacation destinations. American Jews no longer needed a place all their own. And as the big hotel chains grew, they took business away from small hotels, bungalow colonies and local economies.

See more of Scheinfeld’s work at: http://www.newsweek.com/photographing-end-borscht-belt-catskills-269649

Watch on theabsurditiesoflife.tumblr.com

Olivia Gatwood (in white) is from Albuquerque. I beat her in a slam one time. She beat me in every other slam we were both in. She’s great and lovely and stretches wherever she is before performing and sometimes I try to imagine myself a little like her before I perform cause that’s just how great she is.

Well, the U.S. is still No. 1 at something: the Black Market

The U.S. has the largest black market in the world, amounting to $625.5 billion, according to information compiled by HavocScope, a research firm focused on measuring the size of illegal markets around the world. China comes in second, with a black market size of $261 billion, followed by Mexico with a value of $126 billion. 

 And the highest traded black market item is …

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For over fifteen months, on seven different trips, photojournalist Alex Fradkin has traveled to Fogo Island and the Inn on the Island.  Each time, he stepped onto a new landscape,  a different season and a complex sense of place that permeates this 400 million year old rocky outcrop in the North Atlantic.  It is an island of wildly varying moods, sudden dramatic changes in weather and light - a powerful place that leaves one humbled, profoundly moved and deeply wanting to return every time.  The character of the inn reveals itself in new ways with every season and shift of the light.  A dream for any photographer to get to fully explore this perfect harmony of structure and place.

See more of Fradkin’s pictures at Newsweek

Canadian university costs to rise 13 per cent over 4 years: report

Students will need deeper pockets to study at Canadian universities over the next four years with annual fees projected to rise 13 per cent on average to $7,755, having almost tripled over the past 20 years, according to a new report released Wednesday.

Students in Ontario can expect to shell out $9,483 on average in tuition and other compulsory fees in 2017-18. Fees in the province have nearly quadrupled over the last two decades, said the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

The high cost of getting a degree is an “enormous financial stress” for students and their families, said Erika Shaker, director of the left-leaning think-tank’s education project.

"All the evidence both in Canada and the U.S. does indicate that financial stressers on students are even more pronounced than stressing about academic performance," she said.

But if high-school graduates don’t like the idea of subsisting on a diet of Kraft Dinner and ramen noodles, they may want to head to Newfoundland and Labrador, which is getting top marks for its low fees that are projected to reach $2,888 in 2017-18. They’ve increased by 35 per cent over two decades.

Provincial funding for universities is inadequate, the report said. Universities are seeing it decline as a share of their operating revenue, while tuition fees are going up.

Several provinces are trying to “mitigate the optics” of ever-higher tuition fees with such policies as capping increases to the cost of living, it said.

Ontario offers to refund up to $1,780 in tuition fees to students. But it doesn’t directly reduce tuition and doesn’t apply to all undergrads, such as part-time students, the report noted.

Funding gap puts more costs on students

The funding gap is driving universities to download more costs on students by charging additional compulsory fees on top of tuition that are subject to few, if any, restrictions, the report said. Those fees — such as athletic fees and student association fees — amounted to $817 on average last year, with Alberta having the highest and Newfoundland the lowest.

"Universities are having to get a little bit more creative about how they’re increasing their revenues and taking them out of students," said Shaker.

"What we are seeing are some institutions actually implement new fees entirely: fees to graduate, for example, or facilities fees."

It makes it very difficult for students to predict how much they’ll have to pay in the coming year, said Jessica McCormick, national chairwoman of the Canadian Federation of Students.

"It also means that it’s difficult for students to save up to cover the cost of tuition fees," she said.

"Students are working throughout the summer and during the year, in either part-time or sometimes full-time jobs, and they are still required to take out loans to be able to cover all of those costs."

Shaker said government efforts to clamp down on tuition hikes don’t seem to be working.

'Vastly different' tuition by province

The average fee is blowing through the caps because there are a number of programs that don’t have to observe them.

Students are also expected to pay “vastly different” tuition based on where they live and where they want to study, which undermines the universality of post-secondary education, she said.

Some provinces — such as Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island Saskatchewan and Ontario — have two-tier fee structure, providing more financial breaks to in-province students than those from outside the province, she said.

However, Newfoundland’s approach to making university education affordable seems to be working, said Shaker. It has one of the lowest tuition fees in the country, having rolled it back by 25 per cent a decade ago and capped them. The province is even slated to eliminate the provincial portion of student loans and replace them with needs-based grants by 2015.

It realized long ago that investing in post-secondary education would help combat poverty, which benefits the province, she said. Others need to realize that there are “enormous returns” to having affordable post-secondary education.

"The public investment in post-secondary education is sadly declining … the individual contribution is increasing," Shaker said.

"That’s a significant concern for families who are already dealing with stagnant incomes, who are already dealing with high levels of household debt."

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