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New law in California seeks to ban gas-powered car production by 2040

An ambitious act to drastically reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions is set to be in place due to the efforts of Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), as he proposed the AB 1745 CLEAN CARS 2040 ACT last week. The new law will help combat human reliance in fossil fuels and other nonrenewable resources for automotive vehicles.

The Clean Cars 2040 Act 1745 essentially says that any new car you purchase in the Golden State after 2040 must be a zero-emissions vehicle, otherwise you will not be able to have it legally registered. Although this may look like it will lead to consumers being forced to purchase a more expensive car they will have to finance, government officials believe this is the next progressive step California must take.

“If we want to seriously combat climate change, protect our clean air and water, and ensure a just transition to clean energy, we need to invest in clean, zero emission transportation,” NextGen America President Tom Steyer commented. “Dirty vehicles are the largest source of carbon emissions in California –polluting the air and water for millions across the state– so we must take action to accelerate the transition to 100 percent clean vehicles.”

Fossil fuel emissions have been a convenient source of energy for humans, but the nonrenewable means of fuel poses dangers to our climate, as many scientists have identified as climate change.

“Over-reliance on fossil fuels in transportation damages the air, our health, the environment, our society and our economy,” Phil Ting mentioned. “The transition to zero emission vehicles is underway, promising myriad health, environmental and economic benefits. Clean Cars 2040 is a powerful policy initiative that’ll set us on the correct course for achieving clean air and climate targets that prioritize public health.”

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Marijuana producers in Canada fined up to $1 million for using banned pesticides

An investigation by The Globe and Mail found compelling evidence of federally regulated marijuana companies in Canada using banned pesticides for weed production. According to Health Canada, illegal use of unapproved chemicals can be dangerous to people who consume marijuana, so federal legislation must crack down on growers, dispensaries, and companies.

In order to enforce compliance to the regulations, Health Canada regularly conducts inspections of licensed producers of cannabis, ensuring cooperative action to keep users safe. Producers caught using unauthorized could get fined up to $1 million per violation.

“I think it’s a positive step forward,” said Scott Wood, a former military policeman and user of medical marijuana for ailing injuries while serving. “You would think the companies are all going to think twice before they use anything they’re not supposed to.”

Perhaps cannabis producers in California should take heed to Canada’s federal legislation, as similar sanctions could potentially be put in place if the U.S. government deems it necessary.

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Facebook provides tool to check if you interacted with Russian propaganda

The social media landscape was in a frenzy during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, with alleged misinformation and fake news distributed in large quantities to many different users. Facebook, arguably the most popular social media website in our human history, was a huge platform for this propaganda to spread, making its way into people’s news feeds and advertisements.

Facebook became aware of this disinformation, most notably data from the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian distribution channel infamous for spreading fake news in its reporting.

To help users alleviate any worries on whether or not they were subject to fake news, Facebook created an online tool in the Help Center to let people login and check if they ever liked or followed any pages or accounts from the IRA.

According to CBS News, Facebook shut down 5.8 million fake accounts in the United States alone. Hopefully this is the onset of the social media giant cracking down on illegitimate news and information being shared on its network.

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How agriculture in the U.S. will be affected if Trump pulls out of NAFTA

President Donald Trump has made it clear that he believes the NAFTA needs restructuring to better accommodate the U.S. before he plans to remain a part of the trade agreement.

Teaganne Finn of Bloomberg Law reported that many Republican senators, including Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.), are concerned with the effects pulling out of NAFTA may have for agriculture in the U.S, as it is a prominent driver of economic prosperity in the crop and livestock industry.

The next round involving NAFTA negotiations is slated to take place Jan. 23-28 in Montreal.

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Bitcoin mining energy consumption holds risks for sustainable communities

According to Digiconomist, as reported on The Times, mining bitcoins may not be very eco-friendly in terms of how much energy it consumes.

The entire article is blocked behind a registration wall, but the preview gives us enough information and comparisons to get an idea of how much energy goes into mining bitcoins.

Check out this article for a ton more information.

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How blockchain technology will disrupt the crowdfunding industry

Crowdfund online can potentially see a major update in how transactions are handled once blockchain technology becomes more prominent. New projects, artists, and startups would not be able to get off the ground without the help of generous patrons, and blockchain can help streamline the process of getting funds directly to talent.

Learn more about how crowdfunding will be disrupted by blockchain in the video below, among other industries that will change forever.

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Bitcoin software company NiceHash reportedly lost $70 million in cryptocurrency

According to the Wall Street Journal and NiceHash, the growing bitcoin mining company lost about 4700 bitcoin, or $70 million in value.

NiceHash has gone full customer service mode to appease their frustrated miners, as they have a huge pickle of a situation. These users who lost their bitcoin will demand their value back one way or another, so it’s only a matter of time for us to see how this alleged hacking will be alleviated.

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New scientific research shows indications of more efficient ways to recycle plastics

Today, human’s mainly rely on mechanical recycling to rid the world of plastic solid waste. Although this method has served us well, it has its limitations, but scientific research will continually advance to mitigate these limitations.

Megan L. Robertson, an associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Houston and Jeannette M. Garcia, a polymer chemist at the IBM Almaden Research Center, have been front-runners involving this research, and now we need to take action and follow through with their proposed recycling practices.

If anything, do it for Goal 13 of the 17 SDGs! Action creates opportunity.