The Supreme Court ruled against Obama's energy plan, and it's a huge deal.

Last night's New Hampshire primaries went pretty smoothly, all things considered.

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump both took home sweeping victories for their respective parties. And in their victory speeches, both Trump and Sanders noted that despite the positive steps forward, they still have long fights ahead of them. "They are throwing everything at me except the kitchen sink, and I have the feeling that the kitchen sink is coming pretty soon as well," noted Sanders.


Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images.

Another victory went to voter turnout, which has been pretty astounding so far in New Hampshire and Iowa.

But behind all the victorious fanfare was a subtle yet important defeat — one that could have implications long after 2016.

Late Tuesday night, the Supreme Court announced that it would block President Obama's efforts to curb global warming by reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants.

The Clean Power Plan, which was announced in August, aimed to set new national standards for reducing carbon emissions from coal plants, which, according to the EPA, account for 77% of carbon dioxide emissions produced in the electricity sector.

A coal plant in Pennsylvania. Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images.

Last night's 5-4 ruling on the plan was a stay request, which essentially means the EPA will not be allowed to enforce the plan for now. Although it's not the final word on things (an appeal to uphold the CPP will be heard in June), it's a surprising blow to the president's efforts to combat climate change.

Among the primary opponents of the Clean Power Plan are coal states such as Wyoming, whose legislators and citizens alike argue that they would lose thousands of jobs if the measure is passed.

Unfortunately, this vote is much more important symbolically than you may realize.

Why? While the Supreme Court's four liberal members opposed the stay request, it simply wasn't enough. That's alarming when you consider that:

1. Supreme Court justices are periodically appointed by presidents.

2. Presidents generally appoint justices with whom they share ideological views.

Since four justices are in their 70s or 80s, the next president will probably make at least one appointment. The implications for climate change could be huge.

Photo by Steve Petteway/Wikimedia Commons.

Right now, the Supreme Court is made up mostly of conservative justices, with Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg occupying the court's only strong liberal positions.

And since conservative justices are more likely to vote against climate measures — or deny climate change altogether — a conservative president appointing another conservative justice could be bad news for future emission reduction plans or other climate-change-curbing regulations.


Climate change is one of the most immediate and present threats to the livelihood of all people.

And a great way to fight it is with sweeping, immediate legislation. If the Supreme Court is still able to surprise us like they did last night — and block a tip-of-the-iceberg measure to address such a huge problem — I smell trouble. And carbon.

Heroes

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

Culture
via Cadbury

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.

Keep Reading Show less
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.

WE Teachers
True
Walgreens
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.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture