The good, the bad, and the ugly responses to Obama's new environmental initiative

Obama just crossed another thing off his Rhymes-With-Bucket List.

On Aug. 3, 2015, just one month before his historic trip to Alaska, President Obama announced his Clean Power Plan that aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32% in 15 years. This eco-friendly initiative aims to position the United States as a world leader in environmental economics by regulating pollution-heavy industries like coal and incentivizing sustainable energy sources.

Cause for celebration, right? Well, reactions in the Wild West of the Twittersphere have run the gamut. From the good ... to the bad ... to the downright ugly. Here's a recap:


THE GOOD

The Clean Power Plan promises to create tens of thousands of new jobs. But it's not just lip service — studies have shown that clean energy gives rise to more robust economies. Hooray for economics!

It's shaping up to be especially beneficial for low-income and minority communities. Go team!

Politicians, scientists, and other experts working together toward a common goal? What a novel concept!

I'm just including this one for POTUS lookin' suave.

And there it is, all summed up in one easy image!

THE BAD (AND THE UGLY)

Look, as someone with a bit of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, I get the whole "You can't tell me what to do!" attitude. But I'm willing to let it slide when it comes to, you know, the future of the entire planet.

Um, whaat? This is called a false equivalence, and like all logical fallacies, it's, well, not logical.

This is one of the more civil criticisms of President Obama that I've seen on Twitter. Take that as you will.

Yes. Yes, we have heard that before, and it turned out to be the truth (barring a few rare exceptions).

Hi, can we please start putting our collective health and future ahead of individual gain? K thanks.

A few loud detractors can't change the fact that we're headed toward a brighter, cleaner future.

It's only fair to acknowledge that the Clean Power Plan is not 100% perfect. But few things ever are (especially in politics). If we waited any longer to take action — if the country continued to get bogged down in bureaucratic details — it might be too late for us to make a difference. And judging by the overwhelmingly positive responses to the plan, it's clear that most of us were eager for something like this to happen.

But many of us are eager for more.


If we want a sustainable future, we all have to do our part. You can start by telling President Obama to stop Shell from drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean. Because green initiatives can do a lot, but they can't fix an oversight like this.

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League of Conservation Voters

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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