Washington D.C. lawmakers approved a proposed bill that institutes a living wage for the region. This is after a loud and boisterous campaign from Walmart to keep poverty-level wages. Walmart is known for low wages, firing employees who report animal abuse, and a whole list of other criticisms. Yet, Walmart makes millions of dollars and has been known to use it’s size to influence policies in their favour so it’s good to see that D.C. stood up to this anti-people corporation.
“The question here is a living wage; it’s not whether Wal-Mart comes or stays,” said council member Vincent B. Orange (D-At Large), a lead backer of the legislation, who added that the city did not need to kowtow to threats. “We’re at a point where we don’t need retailers. Retailers need us.”
Whether or not Wal-Mart needs the District, it had spent the past three years wanting to enter the city in a way no other business had. Activists celebrated Wednesday’s vote, saying the company, which reported net income of $17 billion on sales of $470 billion in its most recent fiscal year, could afford to pay better wages. But the council action threatens to halt several developments anchored by Wal-Mart in neighborhoods long underserved.
Ocean acidification is a symptom of climate change and the rate of ocean acidification has increased alongside the general disrespect of the environment modern society has, fortunately there are smart people looking into this issue. In Washington State the effects of ocean acidification are already evident so they have created a panel of scientists and policy experts to tackle the complexity of ocean acidification.
This is the first such panel in the world and let’s hope that it inspires more regions to begin looking into the depths of the seas.
Ocean acidification also has implications for the broader marine environment. Many calci- fiers provide habitat, shelter, and/or food for various plants and animals. For example, rockfish and sharks rely on habitat created by deepwater corals off the Washington coast. Pteropods, the delicate free-swimming snails eaten by seabirds, whales, and fish (especially Alaska pink salmon), can experience shell dissolution and grow more slowly in acidified waters (Figure S-1). Some species of copepods, the small crustaceans eaten by juvenile herring and salmon, experience similar problems with growth. Impacts on species like pteropods and copepods are a significant concern because of their ability to affect entire marine food webs.