what the shell is going on in Florida?

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If you’ve ever considered walking on the moon, here are some important details to consider. We recently learned that it would take more than a year to walk around the moon (for reference, it'd take almost four to walk around the Earth). While this is quicker than originally believed, planning logistics would include factors like: water and oxygen supply, a spacesuit optimized for movement, and an ideal route around the moon’s harsh topography. For now, maybe make the most of National Walking Day by taking a walk around your neighborhood. ☺

ELECTRIC!

These U.S. cities are helping low-income drivers with electric car-sharing programs
Wed Mar 31

It’s no secret that transportation is one of the largest contributors to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. While the recommendation for most Americans is to drive less, the opposite is true for low-income families who, studies have shown, were twice as likely to find a job and four times as likely to remain employed when having access to a car. So how do you provide affordable transportation solutions while curbing carbon emissions?

Six cities have already come forward with their solutions: Car sharing programs that use electric vehicles. Most recently, Boston introduced its Good2Go service for residents of Roxbury, a low-income neighborhood where public transit is also often unreliable. The pricing model is income tiered to allow for discounted rental rates for low-income customers, many of whom have already shared how the service has allowed them to commute to work, ferry children to and from school, and even access more affordable grocery stores. The expansion of such programs, in Boston and elsewhere, is part of city climate action plans.
  • In August 2020, Denver pledged $300,000 of its COVID relief funds to their electric car-share service for underserved communities and essential workers, including small businesses that can’t afford to own cars.
  • In 2018, Los Angeles used a $1.7 million grant to partner with BlueLA and offer 100 electric vehicles and 200 chargers across six neighborhoods. The program also includes a discounted rate for low-income qualified members.
  • Meanwhile Minneapolis, St. Paul, and St. Louis have all been awarded fundsand are working to launch their own electric vehicle car sharing programs this year.
Florida is investing $20 million into restoration, monitoring, and planning . While the state promises to end the closure if oysters come back in sufficient numbers sooner, Florida residents who make a living off oyster harvesting are struggling with the fact that it’s now illegal to do so until 2025.
 

Some additional resources... 
→ For full coverage on the new Boston service, turn to Energy News.

 To learn about the other city programs implemented or in the works, turn to the Natural Resources Defense Council
 For more on transportation's effect on gas emissions, turn to this EPA study.
→ For more on how vehicle access improves life outcomes for low-income households, turn to the Urban Institute

RELIGION

France’s anti-radicalism laws draw criticism globally
Tue Mar 29

New legislation aiming to reinforce France’s “Republican values” is causing an uproar in the nation’s religious communities. France is home to the largest population of Muslims in Europe (roughly six million), who have been targeted with regulations since Islamist terrorist attacks rose in the 1990s. Critics claim that the latest bill has more to do with President Emmanuel Macron (who has been criticized over his poor pandemic response) securing his presidency in the upcoming election than actual anti-radicalism protections.


What exactly does the bill do? The bill includes several measures aimed at imposing restrictions on more than just the Muslim community. This includes:
  • Hijab bans. Any girl under 18-years of age, university students, and moms on school trips are banned from wearing the hijab (headscarf).
  • Regulated home-schooling. All at-home education will need to be authorized by the state, affecting 62,000 home-schooled children in France. Some say this part of the bill targets families that include religious education in their home school curriculum.
  • Stricter financial controls. Religious organizations that receive foreign funding will need to declare any income over 10,000 euros and publish annual reports that the government can access.
  • Policing places of worship. French authorities can shut down places of worship for up to two months for preaching any information that could be seen as hateful.
On top of these rules, France also banned the Islamic slaughter of meat last month, with some local authorities pressuring Muslim supermarkets to sell alcohol and pork or be shut down. The introduction of these various laws have led to protests worldwide, with many Muslims from other countries pushing for a boycott on all French products.
 

Some additional resources... 
→ To learn more about the latest updates on France’s new bill, turn to NBC News, the Pioneer, or Al Jazeera.

 For more explainers on what’s contained in the bill, turn to Al Jazeera or Foreign Policy.
→ To learn about the global protests against the bill, turn to Vox
→ To learn about France’s disapproval of Macron’s coronavirus response, turn to the New York Times

WATER WARS

Florida can no longer blame Georgia for its declining oyster industry
Thur Apr 1

Georgia’s government has been involved in more than voting laws lately. The state unanimously won a Supreme Court case after an eight year fight with Florida, who claimed Georgia has been using too much of the water that flows from Atlanta suburbs to the Gulf of Mexico.

Why is Florida concerned about this water usage? It all comes back to their world famous oyster industry, which has been struggling for years.
  • The decline began in 2010, when the products used to clean up the Deepwater Horizon (aka BP) oil spill were found to have a toxic effect on oysters.
  • Despite a severe drought throughout the years to follow, Florida agencies allowed more oystermen to harvest for more days.
  • By 2015, Florida’s lawsuit was in full swing, shifting blame to Georgian farmers and demanding a cap to their usage of the water.
  • And last year (before the ruling), Florida shut down wild oyster harvesting all together for five years in a final effort to save the industry from dying off completely.
Florida is investing $20 million into restoration, monitoring, and planning. While the state promises to end the closure if oysters come back in sufficient numbers sooner, Florida residents who make a living off oyster harvesting are struggling with the fact that it’s now illegal to do so until 2025.
 

Some additional resources...

 For more on the most recent ruling, turn to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution or Gainesville Times.

For more on the oyster harvesting ban, turn to the Orlando Sentinel or Tampa Bay Times
To dig into the study revealing the oil spill’s effects on Florida oysters, turn to ScienceDaily.
For more sources of blame on the oyster situation, turn to this 2013 piece from Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

SPONSORED STORY

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Floating Point Group is an MIT-spinout accelerating the growth of the cryptocurrency economy to redefine finance. They...
  • Offer unified, seamless access to the crypto markets for financial institutions
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Tall orders, but FPG is making it happen with a team of friendly, banter-happy, passionate nerds. The FPG team is full of humble people with a passion to build something magnificent together, all while expanding their customer base and snack budget! These snacks are what Chief Spirit Officer, Golden Retriever Hercules sees as the best part of the gig. Though those roles are currently open, keep your eyes peeled for new roles upcoming.
 
>> Check out open roles at FPG
P.S. Sponsored Stories are how we keep our newsletter free while simultaneously helping you discover products we consider "below the fold." Our goal is to dig up helpful products, tools, or services you haven't heard about. Prefer to pay for an ad-free experience? Email us back with your thoughts.

ASCII ART OF THE WEEK

   _..--~~--.._
   .~  . ~    .  ~.
   /_.--._.--._.--._\
   \       ()       /
   '.--._.--._.--.'
jgs `=.,____,.=`

Florida was getting a bit clammy over Georgia but it’s oyster clear now.

Art Credit: JGS
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