Instead of running for President, billionaire Michael Bloomberg commits to shutting down coal plants and moving U.S. to clean energy ASAP.

Michael Bloomberg has been all over the news lately due to his potential presidential candidacy, however that’s far from his primary focus. Instead, he’s decided to put his attentions toward improving clean energy over the next 11 years.

He intends to accomplish this through a project he refers to as ‘the ‘Beyond Carbon’ initiative - a grassroots effort to move as fast as possible away from oil and gas and towards total clean energy. The initiative admirably aims to close all coal-fired power plants by 2030.

"While there would be no higher honor than serving as president, my highest obligation as a citizen is to help the country the best way I can, right now. That's what I'll do, including the launch of a new effort called Beyond Carbon," the entrepreneur, philanthropist, and three term mayor tweeted.


The statement he published (which can be viewed on bloomberg.com) addresses the suggestions he run for president, the realism he sees in the struggle to get the Democratic nomination, and most importantly the understated, bipartisan importance of upping the anti in America’s fight to curtail climate change.

And he’s already taken several steps to combat that long before the 2020 presidential candidacy was a twinkle in anyone’s eye.

Since 2011, the billionaire turned climate Advocate has worked with Sierra Club to close many of the coal-fired plants and replace them with cleaner energy. His results speak for themselves.

“By organizing and mobilizing communities affected by the harmful pollution of coal-fired power plants, we have helped close more than half the nation’s plants — 285 out of 530 — and replaced them with cleaner and cheaper energy. That was the single biggest reason the U.S. has been able to reduce its carbon footprint by 11 percent — and cut deaths from coal power plants from 13,000 to 3,000,” wrote Bloomberg.

The progress Bloomberg’s seen so far plays an undeniable role in his decision to distance himself from talking and focus on action.

“Should I devote the next two years to talking about my ideas and record, knowing that I might never win the Democratic nomination? Or should I spend the next two years doubling down on the work that I am already leading and funding, and that I know can produce real and beneficial results for the country, right now?”

Scientists, and the Environmental Protection Agency say that we likely have only 50 to 75 years before the effects of climate change get much more intolerable. Bloomberg is one of many who believes we have to make big moves to change that projection NOW.

“Mother Nature does not wait on our political calendar, and neither can we,” he warned.

Is Bloomberg still considering a 2020, presidential run? Possibly. But what he's expressed thus far makes it clear that everything comes second to climate and environmental concerns.

We need more people in positions of power like him to prioritize saving our planet. Without bipartisan efforts, it will be difficult to make major movement happen. Hopefully many more, regardless of how they lean, will realize this issue far outweighs any political power play and follow suit.

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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