Toward a new Bauhaus: How a century-old design movement could help save the planet

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The Bauhaus, a wildly influential design movement in 20th-century Europe, has new relevance in the 21st century: as a model for fighting climate change. The European Union has an ambitious new goal of becoming an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Announced by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen during her State of the European Union speech in mid-September, the goal would be part of a European Green Deal to transform the economy, decoupling economic growth from resource use and turning the immense challenges presented by climate change into opportunities. Read Full Story

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The world’s richest people are most responsible for climate change

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The wealthiest top 10% globally use roughly 20 times more energy than the bottom 10%. There are huge differences in the energy footprints of the rich and poor around the world—so, not surprisingly, the rich are far more responsible for climate change. A new study, based on European Union and World Bank data from 86 countries, found that the top 10% globally use roughly 20 times more energy than the bottom 10%. Read Full Story

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Could renewable energy be the secret to Europe’s economic recovery post-COVID-19 ?

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Bulgaria, Czechia, Poland, and Romania are among the European Union’s most coal-intensive economies. A new report shows how investing in clean energy in these countries could drive Europe’s green recovery. As European countries such as Belgium and Sweden shutter coal power plants and invest in renewable energy sources, Eastern Europe has clung to coal—in part because the switch to renewables has been an expensive investment. But with wind and solar getting cheaper , and with a need for robust economic recovery plans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report shows how four Eastern European countries could affordably invest in clean energy, and with that investment, help bring about a green recovery for all of Europe. Read Full Story

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Big Tech says it cares about climate—but do its lobbyists?

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The tech sector continues to make bold pledges about emissions reductions. But when it spends money in Washington, it’s not asking the government to do the same. In 2021, we will have a real shot at enacting policy solutions to the biggest existential challenge of our time: climate change. The nascent Biden administration has designated climate as a top-tier policy priority . A strong bipartisan majority of the American public backs climate policy action now, according to the polls . A powerful community-based movement for environmental justice has brought climate concerns into alignment with the wider struggle for justice and equity. Climate’s moment is here, but where is the clout and influence of the avowedly pro-climate tech sector? Read Full Story

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10 new rules of design

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The design industry has been caught up in Eurocentric ideas for too long. We talked to leading experts from MIT, Twitter, and more, who want to help break the spell. The Black Lives Matter movement has caused a rightful reckoning in nearly every industry in 2020, and design is no exception. For the better part of a century, the conventional definition of “good design” has been largely Eurocentric, and companies have been staffed accordingly: 73% of designers are white, just 3% are Black. Read Full Story

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These are the 10 best sustainable buildings of 2020

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These bold designs push the envelope in terms of aesthetics and emissions reduction. Buildings generate nearly 40% of the world’s CO2 emissions—and since two-thirds of the buildings that exist today will still be around by the middle of the century, architects need to rethink their design now to have a chance of meeting goals for a net-zero economy. The industry is shifting, and sustainability has become a standard part of architecture. But some projects go further than others. Each year, the American Institute of Architecture Committee on the Environment selects the 10 best designs. Here’s the list for 2020 . Read Full Story

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This free service shows who has your data—and helps you delete it

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Mine found that its average user is in the databases of 350 businesses, with some people having data held by thousands more. Companies storing people’s personal data increasingly give consumers the ability to delete their accounts and other information. In fact, it’s often required by new privacy laws like the California Consumer Privacy Act and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation . Read Full Story

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The EU is launching the world’s greenest coronavirus recovery plan

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The proposal would invest 750 billion euros in energy-efficient renovations, clean transportation, and renewable energy. While the Trump administration tries to help struggling oil companies and continues to roll back environmental policies , the European Union is planning a green recovery, with a new proposal to pour hundreds of billions of euros into new renewable energy, clean transportation, building renovation, and other programs designed to help Europe shrink its carbon footprint. Read Full Story

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Biden-Sanders task force proposals could actually move the needle on climate action

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The Biden-Sanders task force recently released its policy recommendations for Joe Biden. Its ambitious climate goals would get the U.S. to 100% clean energy sooner than Biden’s current plan, and create hundreds of thousands of good paying, possibly union jobs. Under a Biden administration, the U.S. may set out to reach 100% clean energy by 2035, and net-zero carbon emissions in new buildings by 2030. Read Full Story

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‘We’re the ones making Google the money’: 2 Alphabet union workers on why they organized

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The new union at Google aims to strengthen the growing labor movement at the company and serve as a vehicle for workers to voice their concerns. On Monday, more than 400 Google employees and contractors announced that they had formed the Alphabet Workers Union , a significant milestone in the tech worker movement at the company and in Silicon Valley. Read Full Story

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