Next Right Reads

9/20/16

Images from: Radio on Russia Trolls and Vladimir Putin

The Federalist radio talks to Julia Ioffe about Russia.

When it comes to U.S. and Russian relations, Americans often misunderstand that Putin’s ploys are more about what’s happening within his own country than internationally. “This song is not about us. Or at least it’s only partially about us,” Ioffe said. “It’s mostly about what’s happening inside Russia, and I think Putin wanted to show, both to people at home and abroad, that you could not change his regime.”

Strata Policy explains why solar technology may not be as green as we think.

The problem with this approach is that it’s shortsighted. China makes most of the world’s solar panels, and its manufacturing processes are anything but green. Chinese manufacturing companies tend to rely heavily on coal-generated electricity to run their equipment, ironically resulting in a hefty carbon footprint while producing “carbon-neutral” solar panels.
Aside from dealing with their own direct carbon emissions from making the panels, Chinese solar panel factories are known to dump their solid and liquid toxins in local fields and waterways, poisoning them and rendering them useless. In 2011, the Zhejiang Jinko Solar Company was shut down after local violent protests prompted an investigation. Authorities found that the company had been failing pollutant disposal tests for almost 6 months. During that time, livestock and large numbers of fish were killed as the local waterway was polluted by the company’s unlawful chemical wastes disposal.
The Luoyang Zhonggui High-Technology Company is also guilty of dangerous waste disposal. Luoyang produces materials used in solar panel production, and village residents have observed truckloads of toxins being dumped next to school grounds and cornfields. As the pollutants broke down, a white dust (composed largely of hydrochloric acid) coated local crop fields and burned the eyes and lungs of local villagers whenever they breathed.

The Charles Koch Institute has a new poll that shows Floridians want criminal justice reform.

Across the country dozens of states have enacted meaningful criminal justice reforms to improve public safety, reduce costs, respect the dignity of individuals, and make victims whole,” said Vikrant P. Reddy, senior research fellow at the Charles Koch Institute.
For years, Florida, one of the largest and most influential states in the country, had remained the exception. But recent changes to mandatory minimum sentencing, improved civil asset forfeiture practices, and a renewed focus on mental health treatment demonstrate that things are changing in the Sunshine State. Florida’s leaders should continue this momentum, listen to their constituents, and keep working toward enacting criminal justice reforms.

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