PROGRESSIVISM: “The Hellhole That is California” / Markos “kos” Moulitsas ☮

San FranciscoIn conservative land, California is a bankrupt third-world basket case. And in truth, Arnold Schwarzenegger left the state in pretty bad shape. But in the two years since we got Democrats back in charge?

California leads the nation in job creation

California contributed more than 15 percent of the nation’s new jobs between October 2011 and October 2012 – adding more jobs in 12 months than Texas and the rest of the other top-10 fastest-growing states combined – while home building is bouncing back and demand for houses is increasing.

The end-of-2012 results were even more impressive.

Of the 171,000 new jobs the entire U.S. added in October, 27 percent were in California. And since the beginning of the year, California has added nearly 300,000 jobs, outperforming Texas by a decent margin and outpacing New York by more than 2 to 1.

San Francisco is overrun with cranes, as the new digital economy (Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter) continue to be HQ’d in the Bay Area. Heck, add Samsung to the pile.

Continue reading . . .

VEGETARIANISM: “What If Everyone in the World Became a Vegetarian?” / Mother Jones / L.V. Anderson ☮

Treating yourself to vegan burgers with sweet potato and chickpeas isn't just a delicious indulgence; it could help save the planet. VeselovaElena/Thinkstock

Treating yourself to vegan burgers with sweet potato and chickpeas isn’t just a delicious indulgence; it could help save the planet. VeselovaElena/Thinkstock

This story originally appeared on Slate and is republished here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

The meat industry is one of the top contributors to climate change, directly and indirectly producing about 14.5 percent of the world’s anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and global meat consumption is on the rise. People generally like eating meat—when poor people start making more money, they almost invariably start buying more meat. As the population grows and eats more animal products, the consequences for climate change, pollution, and land use could be catastrophic.

Attempts to reduce meat consumption usually focus on baby steps—Meatless Monday and “vegan before 6,” passable fake chicken, and in vitro burgers. If the world is going to eat less meat, it’s going to have to be coaxed and cajoled into doing it, according to conventional wisdom.

But what if the convincing were the easy part? Suppose everyone in the world voluntarily stopped eating meat, en masse. I know it’s not actually going to happen. But the best-case scenario from a climate perspective would be if all 7 billion of us woke up one day and realized that PETA was right all along. If this collective change of spirit came to pass, like Peter Singer‘s dearest fantasy come true, what would the ramifications be?

Continue reading . . .