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Problem Solving Must-Reads: Using Local Gov’t to Reject Fossil Fuels

Plus: A drone service to illuminate dark commutes, and an experimental kitten therapy to combat memory loss

Problem Solving Must-Reads: Using Local Gov’t to Reject Fossil Fuels

Plus: A drone service to illuminate dark commutes, and an experimental kitten therapy to combat memory loss

Last week, the Portland, Oregon city council strengthened a proposal aimed at prohibiting the construction of new fossil fuel terminals in the city. The proposal, which builds upon an earlier ordinance, is meant to ensure that the city’s economy is never again powered by fossil fuels. More specifically, the proposal will prohibit existing fossil fuel terminals from expanding or from converting into coal transloading facilities.

Portland has seen its use of fossil fuels decline steadily over the last decade, and proponents of this new proposal contend that local ordinances are more necessary than ever, given the unclear environmental policies of the incoming Trump administration. According to Susan Anderson, director of the Bureau for Planning and Sustainability, “We need local action [now more than ever].”

On December 8th, roughly one year after it rejected a separate proposition to build a new propane terminal, the Portland City Council will officially vote on the proposal. In the meantime, the city will partner with the state of Oregon to meet its upgrade requirements without the use of fossil fuels.

Read the full story here (via Next City)

Here’s what else we’re reading:

On A Dark Street, You Can Summon These Drones To Light Your Way Home

British insurance company Direct Line is testing a prototype service called “Fleetlights,” which aims to provide street lighting to those who need it by offering drones that can be summoned using a mobile app. These drones, which are equipped with lightweight yet high-powered lights, will fly to the location of the request in order to illuminate an individual’s commute. Although there remain legal and logistical technicalities to the service, Direct Line hopes that Fleetlights will catalyze a shift in the insurance industry from reactive to preventative measures. (via FastCo.Exist)

Using Kittens to Combat Alzheimer's

In Arizona, a nursing home that caters to those with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory-related conditions is experimenting with a new treatment for its residents. The experimental program, called “Bottle Babies,” allows the facility’s residents to feed and care for neglected kittens. So far, the program has not only resulted in a change in the demeanor of the residents, but it has also brought about moments of cognitive clarity for those with even the most debilitating cases of Alzheimer’s disease. (via Upworthy)

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