Little Village reports that last year, Iowa cut greenhouse gas emissions, due in part to increases in wind and solar power production and to a staggering 14 percent reduction in power plant emissions, according to a report from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Though statewide, the emission reduction was just 2 percent and the report said it was caused by various factors, including milder-than-usual weather. The news that consumers are reducing their power consumption, and that the state has decreased the amount of coal it uses to generate electricity, from 78 percent in 2005 to 47 percent in 2016, will be well-received by environmentalists.
DNR Senior Environmental Specialist Marnie Stein told Little Village that this is the second year Iowa has reduced emissions, a trend expected to continue. As Margaret Mead famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Indeed.
RED + ORANGE + BLUE + YELLOW + <3
If you’re not a firefighter, these colors, in that order, probably don’t carry much significance. Well, fair reader, these are the colors of fire. Long believed a scourge of mankind, in decades past, we viewed forest fires as environmental abominations, tragedies wrought upon the landscape. In recent years, we’ve begun understanding the many benefits that fire brings to ecosystems adapted to such. In fact, such ecosystems, like the Florida dry prairie, actually need regular fire to thrive. That’s why today, many park services around the nation include prescribed burns in land management plans, with largely positive results.
In October, the Nuns Fire tore through more than 50,000 acres in the Sonoma County area, engulfing most of the Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. The park remains closed for the time being, but James Knight of North Bay Bohemian recently toured it with a ranger, who told him that when the park reopens next year, visitors may find a stunning display of fire-following spring wildflowers, and a gradual return to an even more lush, greener landscape as the land naturally regenerates. “It’s something that people can look forward to, and feel hopeful and optimistic about their parks,” the ranger said.
ALABAMA GOES PURPLE
Is it possible? Could it be that there is, at long last, an exception to voting the party line? Yes, indeedy, there must be, ’cause deep-red Alabama voters have voted for a gosh-darn Democrat (albeit by an exceedingly slim margin). Doug Jones beating Roy Moore signals that voters are willing to tolerate only so much avarice in a candidate, even one who positioned himself as a gun-waving lunatic who has no business riding horses.
Mobile’s Lagniappe noted that Jones’ win by more than 20,000 votes was largely due to write-in ballots. It was also due to the solid voting block of black people, particularly black women, who overwhelming voted for Jones in the Dec. 12 special election. Lagniappe reported that state GOP Chairman Terry Latham said Republicans were “deeply disappointed” at not electing the accused sexual predator, who was reportedly banned from the mall in his hometown, and that Republicans would be closely watching Jones until 2020, when he’s up for reelection. Bet you won’t find him preying on teenagers.
A WHITER SHADE OF EVIL
In a torrential deluge that positively reeks of self-righteous white guilt and self-loathing in equal parts, in LEO Weekly, Shane Peabody Powell let fly on his white brethren for bringing the Earth basically everything that sucks, appropriating culture and idolizing monsters the likes of Woody Allen and Roman Polanski. “We white dudes are robustly and absofuckinlutely terrible,” Powell wrote, adding that:
Our lives are absurdity writ large, like a naked barbarian airbrushed on the hood of a Monte Carlo with expired tags. Our noted atrocities are wrapped around the Earth to the point of strangulation. From the White House to your Uncle Terry’s pontoon boat, there isn’t a decent idea floating among us. It’s all sexual assault and the Confederate flag—gut the poor and slip more figures to the rich!
His solution to containing the spread of terrible white people involves marching the Charlie Roses of the world “behind the barn” to take one in the temple and one in the chest. (Figuratively, one hopes.) Well said, dude, if a bit … extreme, shall we say? Bet you’re a hit at holiday parties.