Malia and Sasha Obama, Tell Your Dad to Veto the DARK Act
By Turning Green
Today, four passionate young leaders from the Bay Area-based non-profit Turning Green wrote and recorded a letter to fellow millennials, Malia and Sasha Obama. The purpose of the letter is to ask them to urge their dad, President Obama, to veto S. 764 (aka. the DARK Act) and protect the "Right to Know" of all Americans. These young leaders believe it to be one of the most important decisions of any president, as it will significantly impact their health and wellbeing and that of future generations.
The letter reads:
Dear Sasha and Malia,
My name is Ashley Ugarte. I am a student. A daughter. A sister. I care about my health, my future, the health of our environment, of all Americans. We know you and your family, care too. Your dad has been a bold leader these past 8 years. He's passed impressive health care reform, worked for equal rights, ended the war in Iraq. But right now, today, he could leave a legacy of keeping consumers in the DARK.
There's a bill on his desk, waiting to be signed, that compromises our basic right to make a choice. A choice for health. Senate Bill 764, the "GMO Labeling Bill", compromises our right to know what's in our food by protecting the multi-billion dollar corporations that are controlling our food system. Nine out of 10 Americans support transparent GMO labeling. Over 60 other countries have heavy restrictions (or bans) on GMO's
It's time for the country who fights for other people's democracy to recognize the rights of their own people. We want GMO ingredients to be clearly labeled. QR Codes? What about the hundreds of thousands of consumers without smartphones?
As a graduate. A friend. A sister. An American. I want true transparency. Real labeling. The right to choose. Please urge your dad to VETO the "GMO Labeling Bill." It's up to our generation to protect the future and the health of my family, my friends, myself, all Americans. In labels we trust and we hope you and your family, do too.
Tell your dad to VETO S. 764.
We're in this together.
Ashley Ugarte, Graduate, Rice University
Missy Martin, Junior, Belmont University
Megan Fuerst, Senior, The Ohio State University
Bailey Delacruz, Junior, The Ohio State University
A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.
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By Harry Kretchmer
By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
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