Sticking up for our environment

Acting on climate change would boost the world’s economy by $19 trillion.
The International Renewable Energy Agency stated in a report yesterday that investing in renewable power and energy would boost the global gross domestic product by 0.8 percent by 2050. Maybe that doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is. Transforming the world’s energy sector would also create at least 6 million jobs. The report will be discussed at the G-20 Sustainability Working Group in Germany. Discussions start this week. [Independent]

Teen and preteen activists across Minnesota are convincing their city leaders to act on climate change.
For 11 months a group of young people has been prodding their St. Louis Park City Council to please pass a “climate inheritance” resolution, claiming that their generation and younger will be the people most affected by climbing CO2 emissions in our atmosphere. Recently the councilmembers approved a plan to reduce citywide emissions to zero by 2040. Bouncing off of that group’s success, a 10-year-old activist, along with several other young people, asked the Grand Marais City Council to do the same. The momentum has already spread to many other cities and towns across Minnesota. [MPR News]

Travel in the year 2017

Humans may be traveling at 700mph soon on the first legit Hyperloop test track in Nevada.
Elon Musk introduced the concept of Hyperloop back in 2013. Basically, it’s an invention that would allow humans to travel over large distances in pods, through vacuum tunnels, at speeds up to 700 mph. If we stationed the system between Melbourne and Sydney, the 4.5-hour travel time could be reduced to 55 minutes, and it could get us from Portland to Seattle in just 15 minutes. Musk and SpaceX held a competition, the Hyperloop One Global Challenge, that encouraged students and engineers to get started on the idea. There are 35 semi-finalists right now and the public trials will begin soon on a test track in Nevada. [Lonely Planet]

Striving for equality

Australians are using #FreedomOfSpeech to share their experiences with racism.
The country’s Turnbull Administration is currently moving forward with plans to abolish section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Writer Benjamin Law asked fellow Australians to share their personal experiences with racism on Twitter in order to call attention to the fact that racism very much still exists. Within an hour the hashtag went viral. The responses speak for themselves. [The Guardian]

The UN is getting called out for its gender disparity.
On the UN’s International Women’s Day, an AllAfrica article pointed out the fact that, despite the UN’s devotion to women’s equality and empowerment worldwide, the 193-member General Assembly has only elected three women as presidents, out of 71 presidencies. UN Secretaries-General continue to be male, as well as UN chiefs. The two highest-ranking political positions at the UN have also always been held by men. In the face of all this, the UN Secretariat and 35 of its agencies are calling for 50:50 gender parity by 2030. It’s had limited success so far. [AllAfrica]

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