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Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns – Alex Berenson


Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns

Part 1: Introduction and Death Counts and Estimates

Alex Berenson

Genre: Biology

Price: $2.99

Publish Date: June 5, 2020

Publisher: Bowker

Seller: Blue Deep

Former New York Times reporter and prominent lockdown critic Alex Berenson provides a counterweight to media hysteria about coronavirus in this series of short booklets answering crucial questions about COVID. Drawing on primary sources from all over the world – including state and national-level government data, Centers for Disease Control reports, and papers in prominent scientific journals – Unreported Truths offers clear, concise, and measured answers to some of the most important questions around the coronavirus. Whether you have been skeptical of the media's panicked reporting all along or are just starting to wonder why the predictions of doom from March and April have not come to pass, Unreported Truths will provide you with the factual, accurate, and impeccably sourced information you need. Please note: Unreported Truths will be published in multiple sections. Part 1 includes an introduction, an examination of the way COVID deaths are counted, and a forecast for a potential worst-case scenario of coronavirus deaths in the United States.


Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns – Alex Berenson

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Is waging ‘war’ the only way to take on the coronavirus?

What do climate change, drugs, and Christmas have in common? The United States has supposedly been at “war” with all of them.

When facing any sort of crisis, big or small, Americans often frame the situation through the lens of a battle. So when coronavirus brought daily life in the United States to a halt last month, it seemed nearly inevitable that President Donald Trump would declare himself a “wartime president.”

“The world is at war with a hidden enemy,” he tweeted. “WE WILL WIN!”

Similar language has been invoked by leaders around the world. France’s President Emmanuel Macron deployed the phrase “we are at war” no less than six times in one speech last month. And in a rare special address to the United Kingdom last week, Queen Elizabeth II invoked the “Blitz spirit” of World War II, a time of shared sacrifice.

Wartime rhetoric serves as an aggressive moral appeal, drumming up emotion and calling people to action. But here’s the thing about the war on coronavirus: We’ve already lost it.

“I think war metaphors are best used as a mobilizing effort,” said Stephen Flusberg, an associate professor of psychology at Purchase College in New York. “And it’s too late in the United States. We’ve failed.”

If coronavirus were truly a “war,” the United States would be the best prepared in the world, with a so-called “defense” budget at $700 billion a year and climbing — more than what the next seven largest countries spend added together. What the country was unprepared for was a pandemic, something infectious disease experts had warned was eventually coming.

Warlike language has been part of our speech for so long, it usually goes unnoticed. When the Spanish Flu hit England in the summer of 1918, newspapers warned their readers to prepare “defenses” against the disease. Soon enough, they described the flu as a “new foe,” and people freaked out, panic-buying quinine. It sounds all too familiar to anyone who’s been following the news of coronavirus, which the New York Times first painted as a “mystery” illness in January, something to “combat” in February, and an “all-out war” in March.

Fighting words have their time and place, language experts say, but public discourse seems to get stuck fighting everything. Studies show that this framing can paralyze people with fear and limit our collective imagination about what can be done to fix complex problems. In times of pandemic, calling the virus an “invisible enemy” can evoke xenophobia and racism. The framing primes people to view problems like climate change as a battlefield — this side vs. that side — widening partisan divides while obscuring any common ground.

“When a metaphor is used again and again and again, it really makes people experience something in those terms,” said Veronika Koller, a linguist at Lancaster University in England. In other words, people start to feel like they’re living in wartime. This can help governments gain public support for short-term actions that would normally be unpopular, like closing borders or exercising emergency powers. But for a prolonged crisis, it results in fatigue, Koller said. From climate change to cancer to coronavirus, the struggle is not a matter of weeks, but months, years, and decades.

Researchers say that it’s clear we need a new way to discuss big problems, a broader repertoire of metaphors to choose from. “There’s a paucity of the imagination around insurmountable challenges,” said Brent Ryan Bellamy, an instructor at Trent University in Canada.

Last week, Trump tweeted, “The Invisible Enemy will soon be in full retreat!” Though he didn’t mention the virus, no one seemed confused by what he was referring to — a sign that the war narrative has firmly taken hold. But others are already describing the pandemic in creative terms, comparing the government’s response to a storyline in a Harry Potter book, or practicing social distancing to a string section playing quietly (it only works, after all, if everyone does it). A group of linguists are attempting to #ReframeCovid, tracking international efforts to put new words to the crisis.

Flipping the usual script can lead to fresh critiques, new alliances, and eventually, if the new metaphors take hold, different ways to cope.

Coming next week: A look at efforts to use a new vocabulary to take on social problems.


Is waging ‘war’ the only way to take on the coronavirus?

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Puerto Rico wasn’t ready for earthquakes — especially not after Hurricane Maria

It was half-past 4 in the morning when a 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked Puerto Rico on Tuesday, leaving the island at a standstill.

Half asleep in bed, I couldn’t work out what was happening until the whole house began to shift side to side. My parents quickly grabbed my dog and we scurried out of our house near Hatillo, along the island’s northern coast. We’d already established an evacuation plan following the 5.4-magnitude quake that had rattled our nerves just the previous morning, before we opened our presents on Three Kings Day, an important Christian holiday across Latin America.

And just like that, Puerto Rico plunged into darkness, again.

After the quake, 97 percent of the island lost power. I was in the dark, but at least my house was intact. I was one of the lucky ones. Buildings, schools, and historic churches crumbled along the U.S. territory’s southern coast in the cities of Ponce, Yauco, Guayanilla, Lajas, and Guanica. More than a thousand people sought shelter after their homes were reduced to rubble, and at least one person died after a wall in his home collapsed on him.

Wanda Vázquez, who became Puerto Rico’s governor in August following historic protests calling for the ouster of the former scandal-ridden governor, Ricardo Roselló, declared a state of emergency on Tuesday as authorities surveyed the damage to the power generation plants. Many of the island’s power plants are located along the southern coast near the epicenter of Tuesday’s earthquake. The Costa Sur power plant, which generates about 40 percent of the island’s electricity, sustained severe damage.

By Thursday, around a third of Puerto Ricans remained without power, according to CBS News. The current bout of shaking may not yet be over — the United States Geological Survey warns that more aftershocks could be coming. Terrified of sleeping indoors during another tremor, thousands of Puerto Ricans have been sleeping outside in yards and parking lots.

On Wednesday, Trump approved Vázquez’s request for an emergency declaration, which will provide funds for things like debris removal and financial assistance for people who lost their homes. The island’s governor is requesting a “major” emergency declaration that would go even further by funding emergency and permanent work. (The United States commander-in-chief has stayed silent about the disaster on Twitter, preoccupied with the escalating conflict in Iran and his impeachment.)

Even though recovery efforts are on their way, I fear the island where I grew up will never be ready for the next disaster, natural or not.

Damaged homes, deaths, no electricity or clean water — it’s all too familiar in Puerto Rico. The earthquake, the most powerful one to hit the island in more than a century, awoke many unwanted memories of Hurricane Maria, the tropical tyrant that upended life in Puerto Rico in September 2017, killing an estimated 2,975 people and knocking out power in some areas for almost a year.

In many ways, the island still hasn’t recovered. A 2019 report from the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the island’s overall infrastructure a D- grade and its energy infrastructure a straight-up F, calling out inadequate restoration following 2017’s one-two punch from hurricanes Maria and Irma. “Given its location and susceptibility to natural hazards, Puerto Rico’s infrastructure must be more resilient than a majority of mainland America’s,” the report reads. “The need for more resilient infrastructure, coupled with bankruptcy, has led to current infrastructure that fails to meet citizens’ demands.” Case in point: Many bridges and roads on the island that were weakened by the hurricanes collapsed after the recent earthquakes.

Initially, Vázquez and José Ortiz, the CEO of public power utility PREPA, claimed that the electricity would be restored for most of the island in the coming days. But Ortiz told CBS News on Thursday that the crucial Costa Sur plant “will be out for probably over a year.” Many Puerto Ricans are now calling for protests on the grounds that top officials tried to minimize the severity of the earthquake damage on energy infrastructure.

It’s not just the electricity that’s vulnerable: homes are, too. After Hurricane Maria, the Federal Emergency Management Agency pressured the island to enact stricter building codes, which took effect two months ago. Puerto Ricans were all too aware that aging buildings were vulnerable to hurricane winds and flooding, but powerful earthquakes are a rarity on the island, so they didn’t prioritize earthquake-proofing. Some houses that were recently elevated to avoid storm surge, for example, collapsed during the shakes.

Disaster research experts estimate that the earthquakes could cost the island up to $3.1 billion, including damage to private and public property as well as economic losses from tourism. The United States Geological Survey has a more conservative initial estimate, putting economic losses at upwards of $100 million. Either way, it’s a hard hit for an island already strapped for cash. Puerto Rico is currently about $70 billion in debt.

Footing the bill for recovering from the earthquakes won’t be easy, especially considering the track record of federal aid. After the 2017 hurricane season, Congress appropriated $42 billion to the recovery effort in Puerto Rico ($16 billion through FEMA, $20 billion through Housing and Urban Development, and the remainder through more than a dozen smaller agencies). But only about $14 billion of these funds had actually been spent as of last July. To top it off, the federal response could be on the slow side. While Harvey and Irma survivors in Texas and Florida received about $100 million in FEMA assistance within nine days of the storms’ landfall, for instance, Maria survivors received only $6 million over the same time frame.

“We have not received the reconstruction money that has been allocated for Puerto Rico,” Carmén Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, told NBC News on Tuesday. “I urge every member of Congress, whether Democrat or Republican — this is an issue of justice — to ask and demand that the president of the United States declare portions, if not the entirety, of Puerto Rico a state of emergency.”

Many Puerto Ricans, both those living on the island and in the diaspora, have flooded social media with pleas for support. But they shouldn’t have to rely on the generosity of individuals to save them in the event of a powerful earthquake, a climate-charged hurricane, or any other natural disaster. For the sake of the Puerto Ricans who have lived through catastrophe time and time again, this is an opportunity for both the local and federal governments to finally get it right.


Puerto Rico wasn’t ready for earthquakes — especially not after Hurricane Maria

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Is red meat bad for you? Climate change sure is.

Everyone knows that eating lots of red meat is bad for your health. Doctors and public health experts have been advising us to cut down on the hamburgers and steaks for years and years. And people listened: Red meat consumption in the United States has been on the decline for the better part of a decade. But the evidence behind that advice might not be as solid as we thought, according to a controversial analysis released on Monday.

An international coalition of researchers assessed pretty much every single quality study and randomized trial that looked at connections between red meat, cancer, and death. The researchers used a stricter method for evaluating the evidence than is usually used for nutrition, a notoriously tricky topic to study. In the end, they weren’t convinced that reducing red meat consumption is beneficial to the individual, because the methodology behind the studies they assessed was so flawed it was impossible to come to a sound conclusion.

The analysis has prompted quite a bit of disagreement in the nutritional community, with other nutritionists and doctors calling it “perplexing” and “nutritional nihilism.” But you know what scientists agree is bad for your health? Climate change. Rising temperatures will lead to a spike in heat-related deaths and illnesses, like heat stroke and hyperthermia, and exacerbate chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Changing weather patterns associated with warming affect pollutants like ground-level ozone, which can cause emphysema, a chronic lung disease that can be deadly.

In all the uproar over whether or not red meat is healthy for individuals, the big picture of what greenhouse gas emissions mean for all of us is getting overlooked. Agriculture is a big slice of America’s emissions pie, representing 9 percent of total emissions in 2017. Cows, unfortunately, are part of the problem, because they emit large amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Beef is 20 times more land- and greenhouse gas-intensive than beans, for example.

So if you do decide to fire up the grill and stack up on T-bones tonight to celebrate the new research, just know that you’re not getting a free pass. More beef means more methane. And a big ol’ spike in methane emissions from beef production is pretty much the last thing we need right now, seeing as we’re on track to warm the planet a crispy 3.5 degrees C above preindustrial levels by the end of the century.

But the good news is that cutting down on red meat can have big payoffs from an environmental standpoint. Between 2005 and 2014, a 19 percent decline in American beef consumption led to a 10 percent decrease in diet-related carbon emissions.

And as for the question of whether eating red meat is OK for your personal health, we’ll leave that one to the experts to duke out.

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Is red meat bad for you? Climate change sure is.

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‘Never give up’: Greta Thunberg takes climate strike to the White House

This story was originally published by HuffPost and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

WASHINGTON — Greta Thunberg, the famous 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist who kicked off a global movement of students leaving school to demand action on the climate crisis, joined other youth activists at a rally outside the White House on Friday.

A few hundred people, mostly teenagers and young children, gathered on the Ellipse south of the White House carrying signs that read “I want you to panic!” and “Why are we studying for a future we won’t have?” They chanted, “This is a crisis, act like it!” and “No more coal, no more oil, keep that carbon in the soil.” When someone mentioned President Donald Trump, the crowd booed and yelled “Shame!”

After marching a short distance toward the White House, numerous protesters lay down on the ground for an 11-minute “die-in” ― what one speaker called a “mass extinction.” The protest represented the 11 years that scientists say world governments have to rein in greenhouse gas emissions to stave off potentially cataclysmic climate change.

“We are striking today to save tomorrow!” Nadia Nazar, the 17-year-old co-founder of the Zero Hour movement.

Trump has a long history of denying the threat of climate change, often arguing that spells of cold weather somehow disprove the long-term warming trend. His administration has taken an ax to a slew of environmental regulations meant to curb greenhouse gas emissions — all part of its so-called “energy dominance” agenda. Thunberg told CBS in an interview last month that she wouldn’t “waste time” talking to Trump if given the opportunity.

Thunberg spent most of the rally surrounded by peers and a throng of reporters wielding cameras. She quietly joined a series of chants, and when finally given a chance to speak, simply expressed her gratitude for such a large turnout.

“This is very overwhelming,” she said. “Never give up. We will continue.”

Jeff Hunt, a 28-year-old resident of Washington, D.C., was among those participating in Friday’s rally. He carried a sign that read, “When I grow up I want to be Greta Thunberg,” and told HuffPost that like Thunberg, he thinks Trump is a lost cause.

Instead, Hunt hopes the event helps sends a message to the rest of the country and world that we are nearing a dangerous tipping point and it is time to make radical, economy-wide changes that will protect future generations.

“I have high hopes that the generation beneath me will be much more plugged in,” he said. “I feel like my generation has kind of dropped the ball, if you look at our voting habits and our dedication to actually change our lifestyle.”

Thunberg rose to fame last year when she went on strike from school following Sweden’s hottest summer on record. For weeks, she sat outside her country’s Parliament, holding a “School strike for climate” sign and demanding that local politicians enact policies in line with the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate action.

School strikes quickly popped up in other countries. And in March, an estimated 1.4 million young people in more than 100 countries mobilized for a global strike, part of what has come to be known as the Fridays for Future movement. Tuesday’s gathering outside the White House comes ahead of a weeklong global strike slated for the week of September 20.

Thunberg traveled to the United States by sailboat to reduce her carbon footprint. While in the United States, she’s expected to testify before Congress, speak outside the U.S. Supreme Court alongside youth suing the government over climate change, and attend the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York.

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‘Never give up’: Greta Thunberg takes climate strike to the White House

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The Green New Deal is an opportunity for America to get right with the world

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There’s an inescapable truth when it comes to climate change: Through its historical emissions and political role throughout history, the United States is responsible for this problem more than any other country on Earth.

The unveiling of a sweeping Green New Deal resolution by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey, along with several leading presidential candidates and dozens of other co-sponsors, is a legitimate effort to right those wrongs and repair our standing in the world on the biggest problem in human history.

The historical context for this moment should not be forgotten: After World War II, the U.S. normalized fossil fuel use on a massive scale, launching an explosive rise in carbon emissions that has continued largely unabated even after climate change was identified as a potentially existential problem decades ago. With 4 percent of the world’s population, the United States has produced 25 percent of all human-related greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution, twice that of China.

Beyond our direct emissions, U.S. politicians have a history of sabotaging global efforts to fight climate change, most notably American reluctance to keep its commitments to the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Accord. Even American climate champions have fallen short: Obama presided over the failure of cap-and-trade legislation, the botched global deal in Copenhagen, and the rise of the natural gas industry. And all along, American fossil fuel companies have funded a campaign of disinformation designed to promote the status quo — regardless of who held the presidency. Current U.S. policy is “critically insufficient” to address climate change.

In 2019, after decades of delay, the world finds itself at the brink of locking in irreversible changes to the biosphere, oceans, land, ice, and atmosphere of the planet. There is no more time left to wait.

“Even the solutions that we have considered big and bold are nowhere near the scale of the actual problem that climate change presents to us, to our country, and to the world,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview with NPR this morning. “If we want the United States to continue to be a global leader, then that means we need to lead on the solution of this issue.”

Today’s Green New Deal resolution acknowledges America’s unique climate legacy and its outsized responsibility in its second paragraph, concluding “the United States must take a leading role in reducing emissions through economic transformation.”

That call for historic, transformative change — at an emergency pace — could see the U.S. kickstart a new era of responsible climate policy, “a new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II,” according to the resolution.

Simply put, the Green New Deal is a chance for the U.S. to make amends.

The resolution, which is non-binding, is designed to be a talking point in the upcoming presidential campaign and as a means gather support for a broad legislative push in the near term. Its 10-year plan would provide “100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources” and a “just transition for all communities and workers.” This is likely at the limits of technical feasibility, even with the hedge of “net-zero” emissions, which would allow for a slower complete phase-out of fossil fuels.

Most of the resolution isn’t so much a concrete plan to cut emissions so much as a manifesto for a restructuring of American society to thrive in the climate change era — and to serve as a model to the rest of the world. The Green New Deal would address “systemic injustices” head-on in “frontline and vulnerable communities” through a living wage job guarantee, public education, universal health care, universal housing, and “repairing historic oppression,” all the while promoting a resurgence in community-led democratic principles.

Paying for it, judging from separate statements by its supporters, would likely require massive tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans and trillions of dollars of deficit spending. Polling for earlier versions of the plan showed overwhelming support from the public, even among Republicans.

In the context of our ongoing planetary emergency and America’s long struggle to productively confront climate change, it’s impossible not to see this as an investment in the future of our country, an investment in the stability of the planet and the survival of human civilization.

“I think that this is a very special moment,” Ocasio-Cortez told NPR. “We have a responsibility to show what another America looks like.”


The Green New Deal is an opportunity for America to get right with the world

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What’s greener than burial or cremation? Human composting.

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After death, your options tend to be limited. You could go the cremation route, releasing carbon dioxide and mercury in the process. Or you could be buried in casket within a plastic-lined concrete vault, your body coated in carcinogenic embalming fluid. But must you destroy the planet, even after you’ve expended your time on earth?

Washington state might soon expand your options to include the (in my humble opinion, unfortunately named) process of “human composting.” A bill, expected to be introduced by state Senator Jamie Pedersen next month, would make the state the first to legalize “recomposition” — letting a body decompose in nutrient-dense soil. It would also legalize alkaline hydrolysis, aka water cremation, where a body dissolves in a vessel with water and lye until it’s just bone and liquid.

“People from all over the state who wrote to me are very excited about the prospect of becoming a tree or having a different alternative for themselves,” Pedersen told NBC News.

I don’t mean to get macabre here, but the reality is that everyone eventually dies. And the environmental cost of death really adds up. In the United States, 30 million board feet of wood, 1.6 million tons of concrete, 800,000 gallons of embalming fluid, and 90,000 tons of steel are used every year for conventional burials. Cremation releases 250,000 tons of CO2 each year, the equivalent of burning nearly 30 million gallons of gasoline.

Death didn’t use to be such an environmental drag. Burials were once a simple affair: a shrouded body lowered into the ground. The body would decay and leave behind minerals and nutrients in the soil. Maybe, if lucky, those remains could one day feed a flower or a tree.

Katrina Spade, the founder of Recompose, is popularizing a modern incarnation of this natural process. The company promises that over the span of a month, bodies will decompose into about a cubic yard of compost per person, saving at least a metric ton of CO2 in the process.

As Spade told the Seattle Times, “Our bodies are full of potential” — even, apparently, when dead.

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What’s greener than burial or cremation? Human composting.

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The Grail Bird – Tim Gallagher


The Grail Bird
The Rediscovery of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker
Tim Gallagher

Genre: Nature

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: April 25, 2017

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC

“ The Grail Bird is an enjoyable read . . . A powerful call for conservation, and an exciting bird adventure” ( The Boston Globe ).   What is it about the ivory-billed woodpecker? Why does this ghost of the southern swamps arouse such an obsessive level of passion in its devotees, who range from respected researchers to the flakiest Loch Ness monster fanatics and Elvis chasers?   Since the early twentieth century, scientists have been trying their best to prove that the ivory-bill is extinct. But every time they think they’ve finally closed the door, the bird makes an unexpected appearance.   To unravel the mystery, author Tim Gallagher heads south, deep into the eerie swamps and bayous of the vast Mississippi Delta, searching for people who claim to have seen this rarest of birds and following up—sometimes more than thirty years after the fact—on their sightings. What follows is his own Eureka moment with his buddy Bobby Harrison, a true son of the South from Alabama. A huge woodpecker flies in front of their canoe, and they both cry out, “Ivory-bill!” This sighting—the first time since 1944 that two qualified observers positively identify an ivory-billed woodpecker in the United States—quickly leads to the largest search ever launched to find a rare bird, as researchers fan out across the bayou, hoping to document the existence of this most iconic of birds.   “ The Grail Bird is less an ecological study than a portrait of human obsession.” — The New York Times

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The Grail Bird – Tim Gallagher

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What is the Impact of Voting on the Environment?

With the close of the midterm elections, many are glad to end the discussion on voting. With the constant barrage of political ads on TV and even via text message, the next proposition or candidate is the last thing on many voters? minds.

Even though election fever has subsided, one of the often-forgotten pieces of elections is the environmental impact of voting. Our society gets so caught up in policy and candidates that we fail to think about the impact that the physical process of voting has on the world around us.

How Does Voting Affect the Environment?

Almost all states use some form of paper ballot. There are only five states that run their elections without paper ballots ? Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Delaware. There are also nine other states that use a combination of both paper ballots and electronic machines ? Pennsylvania, Texas, Kansas, Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, and Mississippi.

Although the most secure, paper ballots generate plenty of waste. From the envelopes used for mail-in ballots to the physical ballots themselves, an election is a very paper-intensive project. After an election, ballots are stored for about 22 months, at which point local authorities can dispose of them, usually by shredding.

While it may not seem like a lot of waste, in the 2014 midterm election, there were over 83 million ballots counted. Current projections for the 2018 midterms put that figure in the 114 million range. And the examples above only include midterms. Turnout in presidential elections is generally much higher and local city elections happen all the time. Therefore, every year we are forced to scrap and attempt to recycle millions of pounds of paper, adding to the 71.8 million tons of paper waste that the US generates each year.

Are Electronic Voting Machines Any Better?

Some argue that electronic voting machines can have a positive environmental impact. While this is true regarding paper waste, there are a few important caveats with electronic voting machines:

-??????? Electronic voting machines need power. Unless they run on solar power, they would still be using resources.

-??????? With the pace that technology advances, these devices will become quickly outdated or need to be replaced, thus generating e-waste. In the United States, we already scrap about 400 million units of consumer electronics every year.

-??????? The simple act of driving to the nearest polling place likely does more environmental damage that the ballot you cast. Unless voters are able to walk or bike to the polls, they are still burning fuel and generating carbon dioxide to reach the ballot box.

What is the Best Option for the Environment?

Other than cutting down on paper waste, which can only be seen as a positive, electronic voting machines do not represent a large step forward for the environment. Coupled with the fact that electronic voting machines are not seen as secure, electronic voting machines do not seem like the right answer.

The most environmentally friendly form of voting would be to vote via the internet. Voters would not have to rely on paper ballots, drive to the nearest polling station, or use any devices other than the ones they already own. Moreover, even though 29 states have laws that allow you take time off work to vote, internet voting would reduce the transaction cost of participation and have a positive impact on turnout.

That said, the security technology is simply not there yet for a country as large as the United States and likely will not be for some time. With such high stakes, it is not a risk the country can afford to take. Estonia does have an e-voting system that has been in place since 2005, but it is a country of only about 1 million eligible voters with a national ID card system. Even then, a 2014 team at the University of Michigan found that interfering with Estonia?s election is possible, even though it may not have happened yet.

Therefore, it appears that until the technology is created, we are stuck with the traditional paper ballot methods that have been around since ancient Roman times. Hopefully with the rapid pace by which technology advances, one day soon we will have a voting system that maximizes both efficiency and care for the environment.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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What is the Impact of Voting on the Environment?

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Michael Avenatti’s climate vision is 2020

Welcome to 2018, the parallel universe in which a man best-known for suing the president of the United States on behalf of a porn star is now considering running for president. But hey, President Trump was a reality TV star, so Michael Avenatti’s run doesn’t sound that far-fetched.

And if Avenatti did succeed Trump — which, for the record, would be extremely weird — at least he seems to give a rat’s ass about the environment.

In a document pinned to the bulldog lawyer’s Twitter profile on August 27 and reported on this week by E&E News, Avenatti outlines his stance on 20 issues, including climate change. In fact, climate features first on the list (fine, it’s alphabetical, but it’s still cool that at least one potential Democratic 2020 contender thinks climate change is worth putting front and center).

Committing to the goals outlined in the Paris agreement, addressing our reliance on oil, slashing emissions? Maybe other rumored 2020 presidential contenders will take a page out of Avenatti’s book and say “basta” to the prolonged political silence on climate change.

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Michael Avenatti’s climate vision is 2020

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