Carfree and ultra low emission zones, pros and cons

London’s ultra-low emission zone: good or bad idea? Campaigners say it will cut pollution, but opponents claim it will hit poor people hardest The Guardian, Sat 5 Jan 2019 The case for: ‘Children’s lungs can’t wait’  London’s Blackwall Tunnel approach is not currently part of the congestion charge zone, but will be part of the ULEZ. Photograph: Marcin Rogozinski/Alamy “I’m …

What to do with your wealth

By Chuck Collins in CommonDreams.org …It’s true that a $30 trillion intergenerational transfer is in the works, as the baby boomer generation exits the stage, passing on their accumulated treasure to their children. But in a time of gargantuan inequality, most of this wealth transfer will take place in the upper canopy of the wealth forest—what we could safely call “dynastic wealth” transmissions …

This Summer’s Heat Waves Could Be the Strongest Climate Signal Yet: ‘In many places, people are preparing for the past or present climate. But this summer is the future

By Bob Berwyn, Inside Climate News, 28 July 2018 Extreme heat killed more than 80 people in Japan in July, just a few weeks after flooding from downpours was blamed for more than 200 deaths there. Martin Bureau/Getty Images Earth’s global warming fever spiked to deadly new highs across the Northern Hemisphere this summer, and we’re feeling the results—extreme heat …

Stock Buybacks Starving the Economy: A new report finds that big companies could have given their workers thousands of dollars’ worth of raises with the money they spent on their own shares.

“How much might workers have benefited if companies had devoted their financial resources to them rather than to shareholders? Lowe’s, CVS, and Home Depot could have provided each of their workers a raise of $18,000 a year, the report found. Starbucks could have given each of its employees $7,000 a year, and McDonald’s could have given $4,000 to each of …

Smart city quality of life indicators fall short of city-happiness research

Report: Smart city technology could dramatically improve quality-of-life indicators, Smart City Dive, by Chris Teale@chris_teale, June 12, 2018 A new McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report has found smart city technology can improve various indicators of residents’ quality of life by a noticeable amount. The research by MGI, the business and economics research arm of McKinsey&Company, found smart cities can save between 30 and 300 lives per year …

More walking, more walkability in denser neighborhoods makes for healthier, happier people, study finds

Residents of higher-density areas are more active, more socially engaged – and less obese – than people who live in the sprawl of suburbia.  Reuters news service, 5 Oct 2017  Contrary to popular belief, busy city centres beat suburban living when it comes to human wellbeing, as socialising and walking make for happier, healthier people, according to a new report. Downtown …

What if School Lunch Programs Promoted Public Health, Good Jobs, and the Environment? From LA to Cook County, local governments are using their purchasing power to transform the food system.

By Anna Lappé and Jose Oliva in The Nation, 25 May 2018 Students eat lunch at the cafeteria at Marston Middle School in San Diego, California, March 7, 2011. (Reuters / Mike Blake) Eleven billion dollars. That’s the total tally of the national school-food program in the United States and just a small fraction of what public institutions in this country spend every year in …

Guns and fatality reduction: Americans make up less than 5% the world’s population yet have 31% of the mass shootings and own roughly 42% of all the world’s privately held firearms

Excerpt from Vox.com, May 2018 After controlling for variables such as socioeconomic factors and other crime, places with more guns have more gun deaths. A 2013 study, led by a Boston University School of Public Health researcher, found that, after controlling for multiple variables, each percentage point increase in gun ownership correlated with a roughly 0.9 percent rise in the firearm …

Climate change and wildlife impacts

 In 2015, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds published a study indicating that worldwide seabird populations had dropped by 70% over a sixty-year period. The WWF published a study saying overall, vertebrate species had declined 60% in forty years.  In 2017, a study in German wildlife sanctuaries documented a 75% drop in flying insect populations over 35 years. In …

The town that’s found a potent cure for illness – community

By George Monbiot in The Guardian Wed 21 Feb 2018  Frome in Somerset has seen a dramatic fall in emergency hospital admissions since it began a collective project to combat isolation. There are lessons for the rest of the country  ‘Frome has a buzz of sociability, a sense of common purpose and a creative, exciting atmosphere that make it feel quite different from …