Swiss voters to decide on $2500/mo ‘unconditional basic income’ initiative this Sunday

June 2, 2016 by  
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Switzerland ’s proposed ‘ unconditional basic income ’ (UBI) could become an official policy as early as next week. On Sunday, voters will decide whether every Swiss man, woman, and child should receive a monthly no-questions-asked payment designed to help alleviate the stress of paying for basic needs. Campaigners for UBI have fought hard for several years to bring the question to the public, but analysts say it’s unlikely to pass. A recent poll showed 72 percent of voters are inclined to reject the proposal, following advice from the Swiss government and most of the country’s political parties. In an effort to rally support for the initiative, its campaigners hit people where they can feel it: their bank accounts. The campaign raised funds to hold a lottery of sorts, in which one citizen will be paid 2,500 Swiss Francs per month for a year—the amount proposed under the UBI policy. With a monthly check like that, supporters of the initiative argue that it would become much easier for Swiss citizens to have children, pursue higher education or job training, and it would diminish or potentially eliminate the need for some social programs geared toward low income residents. Related: Switzerland might pay all citizens a 2,500 Franc basic income every month The ballot measure for Sunday’s vote, if approved, would translate into a monthly payment of $2,500 for each adult citizen, as well as around $625 per month for each child. Foreign residents who have lived in Switzerland for more than five years would also be eligible for the payments, under the initiative. Finland and Holland are preparing to experiment with similar programs, and some cities in Canada and Spain are considering it as well. Imagine what your family could do, if you didn’t have to worry as much about paying for basic needs. Via Phys.org Images via Pixabay  and Peter Gronemann/Flickr

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Swiss voters to decide on $2500/mo ‘unconditional basic income’ initiative this Sunday

LA port terminal to be first in the world powered by 100% renewable energy

June 2, 2016 by  
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The Port of Los Angeles is going green with plans to transition a 40-acre cargo terminal to solar power and other renewable sources. Construction will begin this June on the Pasha Green Omni Terminal Demonstration Project that port officials said will be the world’s first marine terminal to generate all of its energy needs from renewables . The terminal will also be able to operate completely off the grid if necessary. The Port of Los Angeles is partnering with Pasha Stevedoring and Terminals L.P. on the $26.6 million project that is expected to take two years to complete. The California Air Resource Board awarded a $14.5 million grant for the project with Pasha contributing $11.4 million in cash and in-kind participation. “This is a Wright Brothers moment,” said Jeffrey Burgin, senior vice president of Pasha. “We’re going to be the proving ground to change the paradigm of how large industrial facilities can run on clean energy. We’re confident we can show this is absolutely attainable.” Related: Los Angeles will soon boast the largest electric vehicle fleet in the US A solar microgrid will include include a 1.03 megawatt photovoltaic rooftop array, a 2.6 megawatt-hour battery storage system, charging equipment and an energy management control system. The project will also include a vessel exhaust treatment system and nine zero emissions electric vehicles — four electrified yard tractors, two high-tonnage forklifts, two drayage trucks and an electric top handler. The environmentally friendly improvements are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3,200 tons per year; eliminate 56,000 pounds per year of diesel particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and other harmful emissions; and create the clean air equivalent of taking 14,100 cars off the road per day. + Port of Los Angeles Via Long Beach Press Telegram Lead image via Wikipedia ; graphic via Port of Los Angeles

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LA port terminal to be first in the world powered by 100% renewable energy

33 other U.S. cities have cheated water tests that detect lead

June 2, 2016 by  
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The Guardian performed its own investigation into U.S. water testing practices and revealed startling results. Out of 43 cities east of the Mississippi, 33 from 17 states used shoddy methods to avoid detecting lead in their water. 21 cities used the same practices as Flint , which ultimately led to criminal charges. It’s not only small cities utilizing shady means, but big ones like Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago. The Guardian tried to obtain “water testing documents” from 81 cities and 43 offered information. The tricks used by officials include practices such as removing aerators, pre-flushing pipes, and running water slowly. All these practices potentially reduce the amount of lead that shows up in water samples. Sometimes officials didn’t test water in what they determined were “high-risk homes.” Related: BREAKING: What Flint officials knew about the poisoned water, and when In Michigan and New Hampshire, departments allowed employees to re-sample and toss out “results with high lead levels.” In Chicago and Philadelphia, officials requested that employees “test water safety in their own homes.” Some cities, citing security risk concerns, said they didn’t know where lead pipes were or didn’t conduct testing in the mandatory amount of homes with lead pipes. As a result of Flint’s water crisis , made possible because of similarly deceptive water-testing procedures, thousands of children may experience developmental issues. Studies have shown that even small amounts of lead are “associated” with behavioral and developmental issues. Mere exposure to lead is “linked” to an inclination “to commit violent crimes.” Scientist Marc Edwards , who was instrumental in shining a light on the Flint water crisis, told the Guardian, “They make lead in water low when collecting samples for EPA compliance, even as it poisons kids who drink the water. Clearly, the cheating and lax enforcement are needlessly harming children all over the United States. If they cannot be trusted to protect little kids from lead in drinking water, what on Earth can they be trusted with? Who amongst us is safe?” Via The Guardian Images via Pixabay and Pexels

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33 other U.S. cities have cheated water tests that detect lead

Renowned prefab Makoko Floating School arrives in the Venetian lagoon

June 2, 2016 by  
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The three-story structure was conceived in collaboration with the Makoko waterfront community . Slightly adapted to the new site in Venice, the floating building showcases the potentials of easy prefabrication and rapid assembly. It is mobile and can be easily reassembled by communities living in regions affected by flooding . Related: Slovenia built a habitable structure with latticed wooden bookshelves The team assembled the structure for the Venice Biennale in only 10 days, using one ton of metal, 13.5 tons of wood, and 256 plastic barrels that keep the building afloat. Visitors of the Biennale will have the opportunity to experience the building practices of developing coastal communities by exploring the structure, which is also hosting an exhibition titled Waterfront Atlas. The project, part of the studio’s African Water Cities research project, was also shortlisted for the 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. They are currently developing new designs that tackle the concept of improvised infrastructures and buildings. + Kunlé Adeyemi | NLÉ Via Dezeen Photos of Makoko Floating School in Venice by Luke Hayes

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Renowned prefab Makoko Floating School arrives in the Venetian lagoon

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