Still way too busy to keep on top of everything, but I did manage to collect a little bit of good news for the week. Enjoy:
• The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld California’s landmark global warming law on Wednesday. The law requires fuel producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s the first of its kind in the country and it has the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers shitting bricks.
• Indiana’s “right-to-work” law was ruled unconstitutional.
• Efforts to bring back the short-haired bumblebee, which officially became extinct in the UK in 2000, are showing promise.
• Pope Francis handed Bill Donohue, Rick Santorum and our own Stacey Campfield a steaming cup of STFU.
• Boston homeless man Glen James, who found and returned a backpack stuffed with $42,000 in cash, will receive nearly $100,000 in donations which were collected after his story broke nationwide.
• In a televised address, Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei signalled a shift in the country’s position regarding nuclear weapons:
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: “We don’t want nuclear weapons, not because of pressure from the U.S. or others but because of our belief that no one should have nuclear weapons. When we say no one should have nuclear weapons that means not for them and not for us either.”
• A new program in Delaware steers high-achieving low-income high school students toward top colleges:
Under the new effort, paid for by the College Board, high-achieving low-income students will also receive a packet of information on selective colleges, as well as waivers for the application fee. The information includes details on admission and financial aid policies, as well as on the variation in graduation rates at different colleges.
• The SEC has voted to move a proposal forward requiring public companies to disclose their CEOs-to-worker pay ratio.
• Saudi Arabia’s first feature-length film is generating critical raves, and it was written and directed by a woman.
• Score a win for Moms Demand Action. After two months of pressure from the pro-gun control group, Starbucks will no longer allow guns in or outside its stores.
• Scientists discover the first living animal to have functioning gears. Meet Issus coleoptratus, a plant-hopping insect.
• Looks like Ohio’s 2010 renewable energy mandate has actually lowered energy costs overall, not increased them, as Republicans continually fearmonger about:
So how much are the state’s electricity customers being forced to fork out for this flurry of climate-friendly construction activity?
Nada. Not even nada — less than nada. An analysis [PDF] by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio concludes that all those green energy projects have actually reduced the price of wholesale power in the state, albeit just a little bit.
It’s true that such projects cost money to build. But, unlike fossil fuel–powered plants, their fuels — solar radiation and wind — are free. The lower long-term energy costs of all those clean power facilities has “suppressed” the market rate for dirtier forms of electricity in Ohio, the study found.
Woops! Death of another right-wing myth!
It just makes sense that if you’re not shelling out big bucks for oil or coal or even uranium but instead taking advantage of the free stuff, energy will be cheaper.
Good News, Tennessee Edition:
• Congratulations, Nashville resident Kasar Abdulla, honored by the White House as a “Champion of Change.” The native of Kurdistan has been honored as one of the founders of the Welcoming Tennessee Initiative, helping immigrants integrate into their new communities.
• Related: The White House has honored Tennessee Health Department epidemiologist Marion Kainer for saving lives by identifying the fungal meningitis outbreak connected to contaminated steroid injections last year.
This week’s cool video: Watch California Congresswoman Jackie Speier shame Congressional Republicans for cutting food stamps while enjoying lavish meals themselves: