Less than 10 percent of food currently wasted in US reaches the 1 in 7 Americans without enough to eat

Cross-posted from ThinkProgress.org During this season of charitable spirit, holiday meal preparation, and reckless consumer behavior, the amount of food we throw in the trashcan deserves a moment of our attention. Fifty-two million tons of food are wasted by consumers and consumer-facing businesses annually — over 80 percent of all U.S. food waste. Currently, less than 10 percent of that food is …

Death penalty dwindling

Cross-posted from The Guardian 21 Dec 2016 But as whimpers go, 2016 was very impressive. Judging by all the indicators, capital punishment in America is gasping for its last breath. The end of year report from the Death Penalty Information Center, a non-partisan authority on the subject, reads like the final will and testimony of the practice: This year, 20 …

Philadelphia moving forward with a plan to create 10,000 green jobs over 10 years

Philadelphia is moving forward with an ambitious plan to create 10,000 “green jobs” over 10 years. It involves investing $1 billion in public and private money into energy efficiency projects in all city-owned buildings, schools, as well as 25,000 low-to-moderate-income homes and 2,500 small businesses. Energy efficiency plans are often billed as a “win-win-win:” clients save money on energy bills by …

Getting harder and harder to make it, in the US

 By David Leonhardt Dec 8, 2016, cross-posted from the NYT The phrase “American dream” was invented during the Great Depression. It comes from a popular 1931 book by the historian James Truslow Adams, who defined it as “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone.” In the decades that followed, the dream became a …

Green State America:  a coalition to keep America’s climate promises and hold to other values?

By FRANK ACKERMAN, from the forthcoming January/February 2017 issue of Dollars and Sense In January, Donald Trump will endorse climate denial, renouncing the Clean Power Plan and climate targets in general. This will damage the fragile global momentum toward emission reduction, established in last year’s Paris agreement. If the United States refuses to cooperate, why should much poorer, reluctant participants such as …

Picking up the tab: average citizens and small businesses pay the price for offshore tax shelters

Phineas Baxandall, PhD from MIT and former professor at Harvard produced this great report up through 2014 Picking Up the Tab:  Average Citizens and Small Businesses Pay the Price for Offshore Tax Shelters RELEASED BY: U.S. PIRG, RELEASE DATE: TUESDAY, APRIL 15, 2014, READ NEWS RELEASE, DOWNLOAD REPORT (PDF) Every year, corporations and wealthy individuals use complicated gimmicks to shift U.S. earnings …

Rooftop solar users and installers are givers, not takers, when it comes to the value they provide to society and the electric system

Tuesday, October 18, 2016, Anna Hofmann Baltimore, MD – Solar panels provide pollution free energy that delivers far reaching benefits to the environment, the electric grid and all ratepayers, said a new report released today by Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center. The report outlines how solar panels on homes, schools and businesses often provide more benefits than they receive through …

Three state initiatives that could bolster democracy

Whatever the overall outcome of this year’s elections, we should applaud those who have put pro-democracy measures on the ballot in the states and communities where they live. (Photo: Erik (HASH) Hersman/flickr/cc) On November 8th citizens in 35 states vote on 163 ballot initiatives. They cover a wide range of subjects (e.g. marijuana, minimum wage, taxes, gun control). To my …

Heat has demonstrable effects on performance and productivity

Excerpted from Nick Kristoff, NYTimes A new working paper by Jisung Park, a Ph.D. student in economics at Harvard, compared the performances of New York City students on 4.6 million exams with the day’s temperature. He found that students taking a New York State Regents exam on a 90-degree day have a 12 percent greater chance of failing than when …