May 26, 2020

Earth Pushes Back and Paris Climate Conference Responds

Like divers surfacing above a sea of noise and ambivalence, negotiators in Paris on Saturday reached an agreement that commits nations to develop new energy strategies that hold “the increase in the average global temperature to well below 2 degrees C” and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C.” The Paris accord is momentous for innumerable reasons, not the least of which is because it recognizes, at last, that three …

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This Is India — “Maybe Tomorrow”

GUWAHATI, India — Beggars prowl the sidewalks of every city I’ve visited — American, Scandinavian, Arabian, Australian, Asian. Still, there may be no more organized, encompassing, creative, and pathetic beggar culture in the world today than the one that operates in New Delhi, India’s capital. With 25 million residents, New Delhi is the world’s second largest city behind Tokyo, according to the United Nations. Seven years ago Delhi’s Social Welfare Department reported that nearly 59,000 …

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Do Republicans Hate Cities? Generally Yes

NEW YORK — In the evenings the sidewalks along First Avenue, between 10th and Houston Streets, are a jammed bustle of young people crowded into bars, lined up for tables at good restaurants, or walking fast with heads bowed and faces lit by incoming smart phone texts. First Avenue, like so many other neighborhoods in New York, is a tableau of urban revival, an example of what happens when smart investments and informed entrepreneurism foster …

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In Heart of Rand Paul Territory, Public Investment For Public Purposes

BOWLING GREEN, KY. – When Gary Ransdell, the president of Western Kentucky University, invites alumni to view this city’s redeveloping downtown from his hilltop campus, the response is almost always exclamations of surprise. Just below domed Cherry Hall, one of the 108-year-old university’s grandest buildings, are nearly 200,000 square feet of new student housing, built at a cost of $24 million. There’s also a 30,000 square foot, $10 million alumni center, and a 72,500 square-foot …

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In Detroit, Scales of Finance and Fairness Have Tipped Over

On July 18, 2013 Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s emergency manager, acted on the remarkably broad authorities afforded him by an eight-month-old state law and filed a petition to launch the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Orr’s intent, he said, was to reduce the beleaguered city’s operating costs, reduce the cost of servicing the city’s debt, and set Detroit on a fresh course to redevelopment and prosperity. During a news conference that evening, Detroit’s elected one-term …

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Steps To A Safer World

Bloomberg reported today that Royal Dutch Shell and Unilever NV joined 68 other companies in urging world governments to cap carbon emissions at levels that scientists say could stabilize the rising temperatures and keep the planet safer. Governments also are still working to develop a treaty for consideration in 2015 that would limit carbon emissions and keep the temperature rise since the late 19th century to 2 degrees Celsius or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Even Exxon …

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As We Build More, Use More, The Earth Is Pushing Back Hard

PRAGUE — City Square erupted at the start of the 2014 New Year with a deafening and blazing midnight fusilade of rockets and cannon blasts. The air filled with spent gunpowder and smoke so dense the brilliance of the firebursts was obscured. The Czech crowds, so slim and young and dressed in chic leather and spiked heels, cheered with the joy and lusty charm that comes with political security and social success. This 1,000-year-old river …

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At Yale, Peter Salovey’s Inauguration Heralds The Best of America

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The sound of trumpets and nearly 600 applauding guests greeted Peter Salovey and his wife, Marta Elisa Moret, as they arrived at the Yale University Commons on Saturday night for a sit-down celebratory dinner. The following afternoon Salovey, who is 55 years old and has spent his entire career at America’s third oldest university, was formally inaugurated as Yale’s 23rd president in a ceremony of music, oratory, and pageantry held at …

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Government Shutdown, Default Reveal Fanaticism’s Depth

NEW YORK — This is the city and the new American experience that too many white suburban and rural voters loathe. Good leadership and smart taxpayer investments modernized the subways, scrubbed clean the shoreline, rebuilt Harlem, and turned Brooklyn into a multi-racial millennial hot spot for good jobs and housing. Crime is down, way down. City revenues are up. Voters here support an African American president, public education, gun control, gay marriage, the science of …

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U.S. Government Shutdown Is A Tripwire — But For What?

Barack and Michelle Obama celebrate the president’s second inauguration on Pennsylvania Avenue on January 21, 2013. Photo/Keith Schneider For a time earlier in my career I founded and directed the Michigan Land Use Institute, an advocacy organization that is quite adept at winning important public interest campaigns. The Institute’s policy achievements were due in no small way to how consistently we adhered to our rules of engagement. Respect those who disagree with you. Don’t call …

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