This badass GOP mayor switched his Texas city to renewable energy because of ‘the facts.’

Georgetown, a Texas a city about 30 miles out of Austin, with a population of around 67,000, is a red city with a mayor who proudly attended Donald Trump's inauguration. In a state dominated by big oil, it’s the last place you’d expect to find a city that’s ran on 100% renewable energy … but it is.

The only other city to run on 100% renewables is in liberal Vermont.

When asked why a red city in a red state is one of the first cities in the U.S. to be powered 100% by renewable energy, his answer is simple: “In Georgetown, we make our decisions based on the facts.”


In an interview with the CBC, he had harsh words for president Trump, who’s been a huge supporter of coal.

“I couldn't disagree with him more on environmental or energy policy,” he said. “He says it's clean coal. There is no such animal as clean coal. If he would invite me to the White House, I could show him the art of the deal when it comes to energy.”

Halifax International Security Forum/Flickr

When Georgetown’s power contract was up in 2012, the city looked at its options and renewable energy was complete no-brainer over oil and gas which prices fluctuate by the day.

“Wind and solar would give us fixed-rate pricing for 25 years. With natural gas, it's only seven years,” Ross said. “So we know, all the way through 2041, what we are going to pay for our electricity, which gives us cost certainty, which minimizes and mitigates volatility in the short-term market.”

“In Texas, it's $2.50 per gallon of gasoline,” he continued. “If I made you an offer that for 25 years I can guarantee you $2.50, would you take it? I would lock in, for sure.”

Georgetown gets its solar power from the 154 megawatt Buckthorn solar plant in West Texas and draws wind power from a farm near Amarillo and two in west Texas.

Ross and his city’s decision to put policy and science before party is refreshing in an era marked by political divisions. “In Georgetown,” he said, “we put silly national partisan politics to the side and we just do what's good for the voters and citizens that put us into office.”

Heroes
Rice University

A plaque marking the death of a glacier comes with a haunting message to future generations.

The former Okjökull glacier in western Iceland is the first to lose its status as a glacier due to climate change. Known now as simply "Ok," the once sprawling ice sheet has melted to about seven percent of what it was a century ago and was declared no longer a glacier in 2014.

Scientists predict that in the next 200 years, if the climate crisis is not mitigated, the rest of Iceland's 400 glaciers will meet the same fate.

Next month, the land that Ok once covered will be marked with a memorial plaque. Researchers from Rice University in Houston, Texas, Icelandic author Andri Snær Magnason, and geologist Oddur Sigurðsson—who first declared the glacier's lost status—will unveil the plaque in a public ceremony on August 18.

The plaque's text begins, "A letter to the future," then reads:

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Planet
Photo by Raul Varzar on Unsplash

A quarter of domestic cats have had their claws removed. Even though it might make the owners lives a little easier, the procedure can be incredibly painful for the animals and has been described as "barbaric."

Most of Europe and Canada have banned cat declawing (onychectomy), as well as several U.S. cities, but New York just became the first state to do so. Now, any vet who declaws a cat in the there will face a fine of $1,000, unless the procedure is medically necessary.

"Declawing is a cruel and painful procedure that can create physical and behavioral problems for helpless animals, and today it stops," New York GovernorAndrew Cuomo saidin a statement, per USA Today.

Some people get their cat declawed to stop their furniture and flesh from being destroyed. However, declawing a cat isn't the best way to stop a cat from scratching. In fact, it's probably the worst. "If a person has an issue with a cat scratching, well, first of all, I'd advise them don't get a cat because that is the very nature of a cat. But, secondly, there are ways to change cats' behavior. Get scratching posts. There are vinyl sheathes that could be placed on the nails," Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal said. Rosenthal sponsored the bill and is a cat owner, herself. "[T]here's many ways to address that behavior." None of the ways you address the problem should include taking it's claws off.

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Cities
Alie Ward

Your dinner plate shouldn't shame you for eating off of it. But that's exactly what a set being sold at Macy's did.

The retailer has since removed the dinnerware from their concept shop, Story, after facing social media backlash for the "toxic message" they were sending.

The plates, made by Pourtions, have circles on them to indicate what a proper portion should look like, along with "helpful — and hilarious — visual cues" to keep people from "overindulging."

There are serval different styles, with one version labeling the largest portion as "mom jeans," the medium portion as "favorite jeans," and the smallest portion as "skinny jeans."

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Well Being

In today's installment of the perils of being a woman, a 21-year-old woman shared her experience being "slut-shamed" by her nurse practitioner during a visit to urgent care for an STD check.

The woman recently had sex with someone she had only just met, and it was her first time hooking up with someone she had not "developed deep connections with."

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Well Being