As I mentioned, this week has been busy so I just have a few items. But hey, the best news of all is that it’s a three-day weekend! Yay!
• This week in Your Awesome Hippie Pope: Pope Francis says Christians should fight climate change, saying,
“Safeguard creation. Because if we destroy creation, creation will destroy us! Never forget this! … [...] Creation is for us to use well, not exploit …”
• Be sure to check out the first-ever Camelopardalid meteor shower tonight.
• Tanzanian children naturally immune to malaria may be the key to an anti-malaria vaccine.
• Austin Energy has signed a 20-year agreement with Recurrent Energy to purchase 150 megawatts of solar energy at under 5 cents per kilowatt-hour. That price is less than the,
[...] estimates for natural gas at 7 cents, coal at 10 cents and nuclear at 13 cents. It has also been suggested that a developer could overbuild the solar project beyond the contracted capacity and sell into the spot market if the developer gained approval from ERCOT.
Yes, DO tell me how coal and natural gas are cheaper than solar, I’m ALL ears.
• Related: Georgia’s first wind purchase has received approval from the state’s Public Service Commission. The state will buy wind from Oklahoma.
• In a historic deal, a $215 million fund has been created to protect 150 million acres of Brazilian Amazon rainforest.
• Pennsylvania’s governor won’t fight a court ruling overturning the state’s ban on gay marriage.
• Hey, guess what: NASA has a book on how to talk to extraterrestrials, and it’s free! I’ve gotta check this one out.
Good News, Tennessee Edition:
• A Vanderbilt poll of registered voters found only 23% support a state constitutional amendment granting the state legislature additional powers to restrict abortion in the state. 71% disapprove of the amendment.
• Gov. Haslam vetoed an “anti-flash mob” bill that would have reduced criminal penalties to corporate polluters by amending the vandalism statute. Sounds like this is another one of those boiler-plate ALEC bills that didn’t quite translate to Tennessee law.
This week’s cool video: I’m always busting Williamson County’s chops, but this video from the City of Franklin was pretty cute, IMHO: