A Republican governor just defied his own party to stand up for clean energy.

Breaking with his party, Republican Governor John Kasich in Ohio took a small, but significant step toward fighting climate change.

John Kasich. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

In 2008, the Ohio legislature passed a bill requiring that 12.5% of energy supplied to customers in the state come from renewable sources. In 2014, midway through his first term, Kasich signed a bill freezing those standards.


The governor — whose term ends in 2020 — has now reversed course, breaking with his party and vetoing House Bill 554, which would have made the standards voluntary for utility companies, allowing them to resume in 2017 as originally laid out in 2008.

Kasich described the veto as necessary to maintain Ohio's competitive business climate, but the decision was immediately hailed by environmental groups.

"Today Governor Kasich put economic growth over politics, and stood up for a cleaner, healthier energy future for Ohio," Dick Munson, director of Midwest Clean Energy for the Environmental Defense Fund, said in a statement. "With the state’s renewable and efficiency standards back in place, Ohio can reclaim its spot as a clean energy leader, clearing the way for well-paying jobs, millions in investment, and healthier air for all."

With a climate-skeptical presidential administration incoming, efforts to roll back environmental damage over the next four years will likely fall to states — and many are already taking up the challenge.

California Governor Jerry Brown. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

In response to Trump's election and avowed climate change skepticism, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo touted the state's fracking ban and strict renewable energy standards. And California governor Jerry Brown struck a defiant posture, vowing to counter any federal attempt to stymie climate change research.

"If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch our own damn satellites," Brown told an audience of geophysicists in San Francisco.  

While both Brown and Cuomo are Democrats, Kasich's example proves that climate change doesn't have to be — and shouldn't be — partisan football.

A wind farm in California. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Tightening clean energy standards and investing in new technology isn't just good for the health of the planet. Crucially, as Kasich noted in his veto message, it can be good for business and help homeowners reduce energy costs.

We all live on — and have a responsibility to protect — the same Earth. That's something reasonable Republicans and reasonable Democrats can agree on.

With any luck, perhaps this means they're starting to.

Every year, about 90 million carats of rough diamonds are mined to supply the world's multi-billion dollar diamond jewelry industry, leaving both human and environmental damage behind.

The ethical issues at the heart of diamond mining, from violence to human rights abuses to forced labor, are no secret. The destruction of land and water in the mining process is also well known. Though an official chain of practices for creating "conflict-free" diamonds known as the Kimberley Process is supposed to reduce some of these issues, ongoing problems remain.

Science has a solution. Instead of digging up gemstones that have taken a billion or more years to form in the earth, scientists can now make diamonds in a lab in just six to ten weeks—without the bloodshed and devastation involved in mining traditional diamonds.

Are they the same, though? If anyone were going to be a purist about gems, you'd think the world's largest jewelry brand would. But Pandora, the Danish jeweler that boasts that title, is all in on lab-grown bling.

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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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