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From Coast to Coast, Middle-Class Communities are Shrinking

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Pew Research Center - America’s Shrinking Middle Class: A Close Look at Changes Within Metropolitan Areas

latimes.com - by Don Lee - May 11, 2016

America's shrinking middle class, a growing concern for the economy and a central issue in the presidential race, cuts across virtually all communities from coast to coast, according to a study released Wednesday.

The report by Pew Research Center found that the share of the middle class fell in 203 of the 229 U.S. metropolitan areas examined from 2000 to 2014, including major cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, which saw a relatively sharp drop in its middle class.

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First Commercial Zika Virus Test Gets FDA Approval

CLICK HERE - Quest Diagnostics - Zika Virus Infection - Important Testing Information and Helpful Resources

nbcnews.com - by Maggie Fox - April 28, 2016

The first commercial U.S. test to diagnose Zika virus won emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration Thursday.

It's a rare piece of good news as states and the federal government struggle to get out ahead of the Zika virus epidemic as it makes its way north to the U.S.

Quest Diagnostics says it should be able to handle any demand for the test, which uses the same method that government labs use to look for Zika virus in a patient's blood.

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A Renewable Energy Boom

CLICK HERE - REPORT - Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016

nytimes.com - by The Editorial Board - April 4, 2016

Some world leaders, especially in developing countries like India, have long said it’s hard to reduce the emissions that are warming the planet because they need to use relatively inexpensive — but highly carbon-intensive — fuels like coal to keep energy affordable. That argument is losing its salience as the cost of renewable energy sources like wind and solar continues to fall.

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Coalition of US States Pledge to Accelerate Renewable Energy Efforts

          

Wind turbines near Rancho Mirage, California. The wind farm contains more than 4,000 separate windmills and provides enough electricity to power the entire Coachella Valley. Photograph: Xinhua/Barcroft Media

Bipartisan accord signed by governors of 17 states sets out commitments to expand energy efficiency and use more solar and wind generation for electricity

CLICK HERE - Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future

CLICK HERE - Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future (3 page .PDF file)

theguardian.com - by Oliver Milman - February 16, 2016

A bipartisan group of governors from 17 states has pledged to accelerate their efforts to create a green economy in the US by boosting renewables, building better electricity grids and cutting emissions from transport.

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By 2050, There Will Be More Plastic than Fish in the World’s Oceans, Study Says

           

A September 2008 photo released by the Ocean Conservancy on March 10, 2009, shows a trash-covered beach in Manilla, Philippines. (Tamara Thoreson Pierce/Ocean Conservancy/AP)

CLICK HERE - REPORT - World Economic Forum - The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Independent study tallies 'true catch' of global fishing

washingtonpost.com - by Sarah Kaplan - January 20, 2016

There is a lot of plastic in the world’s oceans.

It coagulates into great floating “garbage patches” that cover large swaths of the Pacific. It washes up on urban beaches and remote islands, tossed about in the waves and transported across incredible distances before arriving, unwanted, back on land. It has wound up in the stomachs of more than half the world’s sea turtles and nearly all of its marine birds, studies say . . .

. . . But that quantity pales in comparison with the amount that the World Economic Forum expects will be floating into the oceans by the middle of the century.

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A Grim Holiday Season Awaits America’s Hungry

       

A pallet of canned food sits in a warehouse at the SF-Marin Food Bank on November 13, 2015 in San Francisco
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

america.aljazeera.com - by Ned Resnikoff - November 26, 2015

. . . When ... households run out of money and food stamp benefits, many turn to food pantries and soup kitchens. At this time of year, emergency food assistance charities — often referred to as “the last line of defense against hunger” by the people who manage them — see a sharp spike in the number of meals they distribute per month.

That spike would be a challenge under normal conditions. The past few years, however, have been anything but normal for food assistance charities. Besides the usual ebb and flow of seasonal demand, soup kitchens and food pantries are now struggling to address skyrocketing year-round demand for emergency aid.

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How the Third Industrial Revolution Will Create a Green Economy

A photograph of a city skyline at dusk with lamps in the foreground that resemble stylized trees.

Image: A photograph of a city skyline at dusk with lamps in the foreground that resemble stylized trees.

huffingtonpost.com - October 20th, 2015 - Jeremy Rifkin

The global economy is slowing, productivity is waning in every region of the world and unemployment remains stubbornly high in every country. At the same time, economic inequality between the rich and the poor is at the highest point in human history. In 2010 the combined wealth of the 388 richest people in the world equaled the combined wealth of the poorest half of the human race.

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Resilience in the SDGs: Developing an Indicator for Target 1.5 that is Fit for Purpose

                            

odi.org - Aditya Bahadur, Emma Lovell, Emily Wilkinson, Thomas Tanner - August 2015

CLICK HERE - Resilience in the SDGs - Developing an indicator for Target 1.5 that is fit for purpose (7 page .PDF file)

We outline a comprehensive approach for developing a cross-sectoral, multi-dimensional and dynamic understanding of resilience. This underpins the core message of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that development is multi-faceted and the achievement of many of the individual development goals is dependent on the accomplishment of other goals. It also acknowledges that shocks and stresses can reverse years of development gains and efforts to eradicate poverty by 2030. Crucially, this approach to understanding resilience draws on data that countries will collect for the SDGs anyway and entails only a small additional burden in this regard.

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To Flood-Proof Subways, N.Y. Looks At Everything From Plugs To Sheets

Engineers test the Flex-Gate, a big sheet of waterproof fabric designed to cover subway entrances and keep water out. Its creation was inspired in part by roll-up metal doors used to cover store entrances. Joel Rose/NPR

Image: Engineers test the Flex-Gate, a big sheet of waterproof fabric designed to cover subway entrances and keep water out. Its creation was inspired in part by roll-up metal doors used to cover store entrances. Joel Rose/NPR

npr.org - October 8th, 2015 - Joel Rose

New York City may have dodged a major storm recently when Hurricane Joaquin headed out to sea, but it was an unwelcome reminder of what happened three years ago when the city suffered catastrophic flooding during Superstorm Sandy. Now, the New York subway system is racing to get new flood-proofing technologies ready in time for the next big storm.

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Cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions Won't Slow Global Economic Growth — Report

          

Increased use of low-carbon energy sources instead of fossil energy sources is making it easier for countries to decouple economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report.  Photograph: Mick Tsikas/Reuters

New report from green think tank Heinrich Boll shows OECD countries grew their economies 16% in last decade – and cut greenhouse gas emissions 6.4%

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH REPORT - Turning point: Decoupling Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Economic Growth

theguardian.com - by Bruce Watson - September 26, 2015

As the world works out how to avoid catastrophic climate change, one of the biggest questions remaining is whether we can continue to grow economically without also increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

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