L.A. takes a step toward launching a city-owned bank

BY JULIA WICK STAFF WRITER OCT. 5, 2021  After a long hiatus, the movement to establish a public bank in Los Angeles is once again inching forward. The City Council voted Tuesday to begin a process to study the viability of forming a city-owned bank and to create a business plan for doing so. Proponents say a public bank would allow the …

The fossil fuel industry wants you to believe it’s good for people of color

BY SAMMY ROTH, LA Times, NOV. 23, 2020 The letter to Mexico’s energy minister offered a glowing review of a fossil fuel project in Baja California. Writing in July, three U.S. governors and the chair of the Ute Indian Tribe praised the Energía Costa Azul project — which was seeking approval from the Mexican government — as “one of the most promising [liquefied …

Development of a grid-forming inverter to help maintain stable electricity flow

This grid technology could make or break Biden’s solar plans Experts say President Biden’s ambitious solar goals will hinge on development of a grid-forming inverter to help maintain stable electricity flow. (E&E News) By Peter Behr | 09/16/2021 06:17 AM EST President Biden’s blueprint for 40 percent solar power may depend partly on development of inverter technology for the electric grid that …

Seaweed Farming: Could This Carbon-Negative Crop Help Restore Our Oceans?

Scientists and farmers are tapping into the potential of macroalgae to help clean up some of the world’s most polluted marine environments. ByKatherine Gallagher, Fact checked by Elizabeth MacLennan on August 18, 2021 China has been cultivating seaweed for about 1,700 years. Coastal populations harvested a wide variety of the algae first as a source of food and animal feed, …

Understanding the New Massachusetts Climate Law

April 8, 2021 After a year-long legislative push, a sweeping update to Massachusetts climate policy is now law. In short, the new law sets higher statewide goals to cut emissions, while creating opportunities for the state to better prioritize environmental justice, nudge utilities towards renewable energy, and make it easier for consumers to be more energy efficient, among other things.  …

As traffic deaths climb, NTSB chair calls for ‘fundamental rethink’ of transportation planning

Sept. 14, 2021By Jason Plautz, Smart Cities Dive It is possible to achieve zero traffic fatalities if we “fundamentally rethink” the nation’s approach to transportation planning, even as traffic deaths continue to climb, said U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chair Jennifer Homendy at the Governors Highway Safety Association’s (GHSA) annual conference in Denver on Monday.  An estimated 8,730 people died in motor vehicle crashes in …

The Frustration with Productivity Culture: Why we’re so tired of optimizing our work lives, by Cal Newport

In 1999, the management theorist Peter Drucker noted that the productivity of the manual worker had grown fiftyfold during the last century. “On this achievement rest all of the economic and social gains of the 20th century,” Drucker concluded. In other words, the increase in productivity is why today most Americans own a smartphone, while a century ago they didn’t have indoor plumbing. By Cal …

On commuting, what our jobs or employers require, and what we give or take back

Excerpt from The Myth of the Productive Commute, by Anne Helen Petersen, Sept 19, 2021 …Anyone who’s actually commuted will tell you: these are fantasies. Or, at the very least, they were available to a vanishingly small portion of the office-working population. None of these bikes have kid seats on the back. None of these dudes are carrying large backpacks …

Banning of trucks on (and major pollution from) a highway

The high levels of asthma in the neighborhoods around the I-880 freeway, which carries the highest volume of trucks in the San Francisco Bay Area, stem from the trucks emission of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. Truck traffic along the I-880 worsened significantly when trucks were banned on the nearby I-580, which runs through the predominantly white Oakland Hills. Special Route …