in the red by going green

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Meet a female flight director of NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars: Diana Trujillo. Diana is one of few Hispanic women working in the aerospace industry. She grew up in Colombia and moved to Miami when she was seventeen — not knowing how to speak English and with just $300 in her pocket. While we celebrate Diana’s journey from housekeeper to her dream job at NASA, here are some stories we think deserve some space on your newsfeeds.

VOTING POLICY

Laws restricting voter rights are sweeping the nation
Tue Mar 2

The aftermath of a contentious election is in full swing, with a number of new election bills emerging across the country. The Supreme Court recently heard two cases from Arizona addressing the validity of votes based on where and how the ballot was collected.

But Arizona Democrats argue that these new policies hurt minorities. For example, the first case allows the discarding of ballots submitted in the wrong precinct. Bill supporters say this prevents bad players who vote in multiple precincts, however, Democrats claim the state often switches polling places in minority neighborhoods, almost intentionally making it easier for minorities to accidentally vote in the wrong precinct.


Arizona also leads the nation in restrictive proposals. Across 43 states, more than 250 bills have emerged to restrict voting just this year (and it's only been two months) that disproportionately impact young, low-income, less educated, and non-White voters by:
  • Limiting mail voting, which increases the obstacles towards getting a ballot or getting it counted
  • Imposing stricter voter ID requirements, limiting valid ID types or even requiring a photocopy to be attached to a ballot
  • Slashing voter registration opportunities, including nixing election day registration
  • And enabling more aggressive voter registration roll purges, requiring those who move around a lot to be more diligent with their registration status
How are states in such control of voter rights? In 2013, the Supreme Court gutted a provision that required state and local governments to get clearance before changing voting procedures. This overturned a key requirement from the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that protected minority voters from discrimation. Wondering if your state has a bill restricting voter rights? See the full list here and call your legislators to share your thoughts on whether they should or shouldn’t be passed.
 

Some additional resources... 
→ For more on the Arizona cases and what they intend to accomplish, turn to NPR, CNBC, or NBC

→ To learn more about voter turnout and laws across the country, turn to Washington Post or Brennan Center.
→ Discover why and how these restrictions hurt minority voter turnout from the American Bar Association’s Human Rights Magazine.

UNDER THE SEA

A common barnacle could help find missing persons lost at sea
Fri Feb 26

Barnacles, Spongebob! Unlike the negative connotation of the term in Bikini Bottom, new research shows that actual barnacles may hold clues that can help with lost-at-sea searches.

In fact, the research can help estimate when and where a local boat may have sunk. How? The scientists from the Centre for Marine Science and Innovation developed an equation that counts the number of Lepas anserifera attached to an object to then estimate the time that object has spent drifting at sea.


Lepas what? Lepas anserifera is a barnacle species that commonly lives attached to things like logs or the hull of a ship (the bottom part). It often grows on floating or washed up ship wreckage or its cargo, making it valuable data for the study. Finding Lepas on, say, the boat of a fisherman lost at sea, could help estimate how long the debris was drifting on the ocean’s surface or what the drift patterns even looked like.
 

While further studies are underway on a bigger sample size and in more waters, read about the progress made so far in Newser and UNSW Sydney.

GREEN ENERGY

Pay cuts for workers moving to green energy jobs 
Mon Mar 1

Green jobs are on the rise — but salaries are not. A construction worker with a job in fossil fuels makes $60,000 to $70,000 annually, but switching to a comparable job installing solar panels or wind turbines would mean making around $50,000.

For many, accepting this steep pay cut isn’t optional. Last year, almost 120,000 fossil fuel jobs were eliminated. And while the Biden administration has dedicated $400 billion to job creation, climate research, tax credits, and more, some are demanding investment in resources to bridge the pay gap for the workers making our green energy goals possible.


Another barrier is training for a new job altogether, with one company already stepping up to at least help fossil fuel workers get the proper training for similar roles in renewable energy. Workwise, which placed 4,500 workers in green jobs in 2020, says that some jobs, such as project managers or safety supervisors, are easily transferable. However, pipefitters or drillers can’t make the switch as easily, making both virtual and hands-on training essential.

Meanwhile Texas is dealing with ways to protect the grid in the aftermath of their recent outages. A big factor is utility companies, who still see climate-protecting green initiatives as a “future” risk and worry about the price hikes that could come from ensuring reliable power for customers. While we wait for these providers to catch up, we’re turning to NuTiliti to set up our utilities and split the bills. Rather than waiting on your roommate to pay you back for the water bill or realizing someone didn’t set up the right utilities... NuTiliti manages it all.
 

Some additional resources...

For more on the training and impact Workwise is providing, refer to Bloomberg.

For more on the utility struggles in Texas, turn to Utility Drive.

ASCII ART OF THE WEEK



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     \___/ \___/
     _.-'  /   \  `-._
     .' _.--|     |--._ '.
     ' _...-|     |-..._ '
     |     |
     '.___.'
      | |
      _| |_
      /\( )/\
      /  ` '  \
     | |     | |
     '-'     '-'
     | |     | |
     | |     | |
     | |-----| |
     .`/  |     | |/`.
    |     |     |    |
         '._.'| .-. Lol |'._.'
     \ | /
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LGB  `. | | | .'
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     `.___.'       `.___.'




Finding a missing person using Lepas? What a load of barnacles...
Art Credit: lgbeard

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