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How Los Angeles Is Helping Lead the Fight Against Climate Change

Los Angeles doesn’t have a great environmental reputation. It’s the car capital of the United States. It’s famous for its curtains of smog, and for stealing a bunch of water once.

But the city is in the midst of a metamorphosis. With fewer, yet stronger storms on the horizon, it’s begun an ambitious plan to cut its reliance on imported water in half by 2025. And it’s emerging as a leader in the frantic international quest to curb emissions—in 2016 alone, it slashed emissions by 11 percent, the equivalent of taking more than 700,000 cars off the road.

This week, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti joined other leaders, along with activists and business leaders, at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. The mission? Stop climate change before it destroys the planet, and our species along with it. Garcetti sat down with WIRED for two interviews, which we have combined and condensed, to talk about how to turn LA into a greentech testbed, why cities have to compete in order to save the world, and what the city can learn from its infamous water wars.

Matt Simon: In what way are cities uniquely positioned to be leaders on climate change?

Eric Garcetti: There’s never been more people living in cities, and many of them control directly the most important national assets, like ports and airports and utilities. We have a culture of trying new things, whereas in Washington and other national capitals it’s like, Oh make sure it’s perfect before it comes to us and then we’ll scale it up. Cities are those laboratories of democracy that states used to be. In a city like LA, we’re trying to get to this idea of a city as a platform.

MS: So what is LA doing about emissions? It’s known as a place of cars, of course, is that part of it? Is it renewable energy?

EG: In Los Angeles, we can’t afford not to do all of the above, from energy generation to our building codes to transportation including personal transportation, our mass transit, and our goods movement from the port and our logistical network. We’re the number one solar city in America—we’ve made a pledge to go to 100 percent renewable power, we’re reducing our water imports, which consumes a lot of energy. We’re cleaning up the port of LA, which is now the greenest port in the world, and made a pledge to go to zero emissions by 2035.

In 2016, the last year we measured, we were down 11 percent, which is the equivalent of 737,000 cars off the road. And by the way, that same year unemployment went down 14 percent. So this whole myth that you can’t do that and expand the economy, we’re laying to rest, I hope.

MS: People throw their arms up about that—you can’t do renewable energy, it’ll kill jobs.

EG: We generated 30,000 new green jobs since I’ve been mayor, so in five years. To put that in perspective, there’s 50,000 coal jobs left in America. So this town that’s just 1 percent, roughly, of the US population has created the equivalent of 60 percent of the remaining coal jobs left in America. Appalachia should be doing that, areas that have been hard hit by a recession and not recovered. These are generally good middle class jobs too, not just minimum wage.

MS: There’s this interesting dynamic between cities working on this problem that is at once competitive, but also collaborative.

EG: When Shenzhen says, I’ve got 100 percent already of our bus fleet electrified and all of our taxis, that’s good competition for LA to try to catch. And it’s collaborative in the sense that when people back in LA say there’s no way we can electrify our buses by 2030, I can point to the fact that Shenzhen in China just did it and it took them two and a half, three years. It begins to change people’s attitudes.

MS: How much are you enlisting the populace in this? Is it about changing behavior on a wide scale?

EG: It’s everything from 25,000 car chargers by 2025, to the work that we’re doing to make sure people reduce their water consumption, because we have to use a lot of electricity to bring that water to them. Recycling is now 75 percent. The goal for all megacities is to get to 70 percent, we’re already at 75 percent. And that’s human behavior of sorting, recycling and demanding. So the most important work is actually in-house, in your own place of work, in your own habits. And then secondarily in what you demand from your elected representatives.

MS: You mentioned water, and I think this is a really key component, especially for LA.

EG: We need to build cities that can survive what is happening, and what will continue to happen even if we can reverse this. Which is there will still be decades of hotter days, extreme weather, and social and health disruptions.

William Mulholland, the great engineer who built out our water system, as told in Chinatown and other movies—I say this is kind of our second Mulholland moment to reengineer a system that instead of stealing other people’s water, we’ll recycle, reuse, reduce our water consumption. The fact that my residents stepped up and reduced, in a year, 20 percent of their water use shows we can absolutely do this without feeling it.

MS: Say a city is looking to get into this sort of thing, to clean themselves up, what one piece of advice would you give them?

EG: I’d say go big and be personal. Stretch farther than you think you can reach. And boil it down in human terms. Don’t talk about tons of carbon or millions of vehicles. Talk about people’s health and sickness and firefighters who are dying on the line with historic fires caused by drought. This isn’t about environmentalists who are hobbyists in a little peripheral policy area. This is about everybody’s health and their lives. People are dying and those who aren’t dying are all suffering under the weight of what’s happening.

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Planet Earth

Loud Boom Shook Ground as Daytime Meteor Fireball Explodes over Cape Town, South Africa

A bright meteor exploded over Cape Town, South Africa around 18:05 UTC on January 16, 2019 (20:05 local time). Bright light produced by the object was followed by very loud sound and ground shaking.

The American Meteor Society has so far received 6 reports about this event. If you witnessed it, please fill out this form.

People from all over the Cape, from Hermanus to Franschhoek, Cape Town and all the way to the Swartland, have been talking about the ‘massive flash of flight’ that appeared suddenly in the twilight sky, The Citizen reports.

According to witnesses, this bright object was followed by a loud bang that shook the ground and rattled houses and windows.

Trajectory and eyewitness heatmap - South Africa fireball, January 16, 2019. Credit: AMS

Trajectory and eyewitness heatmap – South Africa fireball, January 16, 2019. Credit: AMS

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) confirmed that it had received hundreds of reports, The South African reports.

While no official statement has yet been issued by the organization, Riana Steenekamp, media spokesperson for Overstrand Municipality, says that she has been in contact with SANSA, and that they have indeed verified the event.

Initial analysis suggests parts of the object landed in the Helderberg vicinity.

The Watchers

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Planet Earth

Fireball Meteor Captured by Home Security Camera in Michigan

Last week, reports from states all over the Midwest started pouring in about a brilliantly bright meteor that streaked across the sky in the middle of the night.

Dan Kloosterman’s home security camera in Byron Center was facing in just the right direction to catch the glorious sight at 3:10 a.m. Friday. In Plainfield Township, Christine Ford’s security camera got the image from another angle.

The video verifies several reports filed with the Amercian Meteor Society of a fireball meteor that night.

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According to the society, a meteor is considered a “fireball” if it is exceptionally bright, or as bright as the planet Venus, in the night sky. The video submitted to 24 Hour News 8 is exceptionally bright.

As with most fireball meteors when the sky is at least partially clear, reports have come in from several states.

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If you happen to see a fireball meteor through our mostly cloudy West Michigan skies, be sure to report it here and send any photos or video you get to ReportIt@woodtv.com

Ellen Bacca
WOOD TV

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10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in History

Women influenced the course of world history no less than men did. They intrigued, seized power, and changed the map of the world.

In this article, there are the most famous women who influenced the world through their activities. But before reading about ancient women, you can get some info that will break any Ukrainian woman stereotype.

1. Cleopatra

10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in Histopry
Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in the movie Queen Cleopatra of Egypt(1963), directeed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Cleopatra seduced the famous dictator Julius Caesar and gained the throne of the Egyptian queen. Also, she seduced Mark Antony and helped her son become the heir to the throne, and most importantly, contributed to the development of the history of Egypt.

2. Livia Drusilla

10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in Histopry
Livia Drusilla: The first Roman Empress

Her influence leaves no doubt. Livia was originally the wife of Tiberius Claudius Nero, a Roman diplomat. From him, she bore two sons. Over time, Libya brought one of her sons to power. According to rumors, clearing the way for her children, Livia contributed to the death of all relatives of her second husband, Octavian.

3.Hypatia

10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in Histopry
Hypatia of Alexandria was a true sight to behold. And she was killed because of it.

As you know, ladies-scientists were something unusual for a long time because women were not allowed to study. However, it all began in ancient Greece. Few people today know the name of Hypatia, a woman-mathematician. It is interesting that we still use her inventions in everyday life.

4.Vannozza dei Cattanei

10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in Histopry
Vannozza dei Cattanei was charismatic and clever enough to run not one, but two inns, or ‘osterias’ as they are called in Rome. It is likely there that her charms caught the attention of Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, whom she scandalously entered into an affair with, despite his vows of celibacy. He later became Pope Julius II.

This woman became famous for her romantic relationship with Pope Alexander VI Borgia. The result of their love was four children, and Vanozza became one of the most influential women of her time. By the way, Pope officially recognized his children.

5. Zenobia

10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in Histopry
Queen Zenobia’s Last Look Upon Palmyra, by Herbert Gustave Schmalz (1888 CE). Original on exhibit, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

She was the second wife of King Palmyra Odenat II. However, soon Odenat dies at the hands of an assassin (there is a version that his loved wife killed him). Anyway, Zenobia became the ruler of Palmyra with her son. The famous philosopher Longinus educated him. Her troops quickly conquered Egypt, Syria and the eastern part of Asia Minor.

6. Mania

When Mania’s husband Zenid died, the aggressor was awake inside her. She hired Greeks and seized several cities in the district, personally taking part in battles, giving orders, and sharing loot – in general, everything that the commander-strategist did in antiquity. Nobody managed to defeat her, but one man seduced her daughter, got into trust, and then killed Mania.

7. Lucretia

10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in Histopry
Detail of Lucretia by Rembrandt van Rijn

Lucretia was a wife of the commander Tarquinius Collatin, lived in the 6th century BC. She was beautiful and generous. Once, the son of the Roman king Tarquinius Proud seduced Lucretia, threatening to kill her. She didn’t hide anything from her husband, but the burden of shame was great, so she committed suicide. This case was a turning point in the history of Rome.

8. Elena Augusta

10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in Histopry
The Vision Of St Helena, Paolo Veronese

Helena Augusta spread Christianity throughout the Roman Empire which became important in history. Under her leadership, the Life-Giving Cross and other important relics were found in Jerusalem. Thanks to this woman, a large number of Christian churches were built, some of which survived to the present day.

9. Agnodice

10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in Histopry
Agnodice | 4th Century BCE Athens, and was the first female physician to gain an official practice.

This Greek woman was the first gynecologist in the history of medicine. Agnodice, being dressed as a man, secretly attended medical classes. In the end, the fraud was revealed, and Agnodice received the right to practice medicine officially, thanks to which she opened this path to all subsequent women-doctors.

10.Joanna Papissa

10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in Histopry
Legend has it that a pope who ruled between 855 and 877 AD, Pope John, was actually a woman.

This is the woman who allegedly sat on the Pope’s throne. There is neither the evidence that she is a mythical person nor the facts of her existence. Until the 15th century, there were no denials of her existence, but later, the identity of Papissa began to be questioned.

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