Paris’ Cafes Will Stay After the Pandemic

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Cities around the world finally shunned cars from streets and returned the precious urban space to people in order to provide safe socially distanced places for people. These urban improvement efforts started during the COVID-19 pandemic have shown to people that we’ve given too much of our urban landscape to massive metal slabs. Cities which have given people street space get cleaner air, more room, and a more vibrant culture.

Paris has found their additional cafe space keeping the reclaimed space for cafes and social space. Plus, the program is so popular they are providing more space to people.

Under the new regulations, businesses will be allowed to take over up to three parking spots in front of their premises for “summer terraces,” which will open from the beginning of April to the end of October. As the pandemic lifts, florists, book and record stores will also be invited to apply for summer terraces, moving much of their trade outdoors. In addition, businesses can also apply for an “annual terrace” that is open all year round, provided it occupies no more than one parking spot

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Watch These Documentaries to Better Understand SE Asia

The environmental movement is a global struggle against big corporations and corrupted governments, which means each struggle has commonalities while also being unique to its region. Over at Global Voices they compiled a list of documentaries that cover various environmental movements in south east Asia. Some of the content in the films will make you feel sad; however, it’s important to know what’s going on and that people around the world are sticking up for what’s right.

In “This Is Our Land”, Filipino filmmaker Noni Abao chronicles how local indigenous communities in Nueva Vizcaya, northern Philippines, are fighting against years of environmental degradation by calling for the closure of OceanaGold, one of the largest producers of gold and copper in the world. This documentary won the grand prize in the 2020 Gawad Cultural Center of the Philippines Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video and was the second-place winner in the 2020 Yale Environment 360 Video Contest. Since Abao finished filming, dozens of the activists who organized the road blockade have been arrested following clashes with police and company representatives.

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American Charities May Legally Have to Divest from Fossil Fuels

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Student groups have long called for their educational institutions to divest from the destructive fossil fuel industry (and ideally reinvest in renewables). This passionate demand from students has seen success at various schools around the world, and their fight in the USA may have gotten easier thanks to a change in law by the Biden administration. Large schools in the states tend to have a charitable arm to give out scholarships and collect donations from wealthy benefactors (who donate to dodge taxes, but that’s a separate issue). Charities in the states are obligated to serve the public interest, and investing in the destruction of the planet is not in the public interest according to the Biden administration. Let’s hope the divestment movement continues to grow!

Like other public charitable institutions, Harvard is legally bound to serve the public interest in exchange for privileges such as tax exemption. Harvard is also required to manage its endowment prudently, in order to further its mission of educating young people and creating a more just world.

Fossil fuel investments are incompatible with those obligations. Fossil fuels are not only the primary contributor to climate change; their extraction and refinement also emit toxic pollutants—often in Indigenous and low-income communities, where environmental racism is most acutely felt. For decades, fossil fuel companies have obscured the scientific reality of climate change and thwarted climate policy; in recent years they have also attacked climate scienceand funded research—including at Harvard—that tacitly furthers their agenda. Sea level rise caused by climate change even threatens Harvard’s campus.

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Keystone XL is Dead, For Reals This Time

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Protesting works!

The absolutely foolish plan to make a massive pipeline to transport a heavily subsidized non-renewable energy source is dead. It is really dead. We’ve heard before that the project is over, only for it to come back to life. Obama and Trudeau both worked hard to ensure that future generations would have to suffer the ecological damage done by the project, yet in the end it was volunteer activists who won.

The pipeline was meant to open nearly a decade ago, and thanks to the efforts of so many groups it never will. The opposition to the project started small and now it’s a movement that is hoping to block other illogical gifts to the oil industry.

Keep protesting, never give up!

It’s easy to forget now how unlikely the Keystone fight really was. Indigenous activists and Midwest ranchers along the pipeline route kicked off the opposition. When it went national, 10 years ago this summer, with mass arrests outside the White House, pundits scoffed. More than 90 percent of Capitol Hill “insiders” polled by The National Journal said the company would get its permit.

But the more than 1,200 people who were arrested in that protest helped galvanize a nationwide — even worldwide — movement that placed President Barack Obama under unrelenting pressure. Within a few months he’d paused the approval process, and in 2015 he killed the pipeline, deciding that it didn’t meet his climate test.

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You Make Choices to Have a Good Life

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How you think about the world around will influence what you do in the world, which in turn impacts how you react to what’s happening around you. It’s a cycle, and you can influence it. Positive thinking won’t work, instead you can use tried and tested ways to better your life through making educated decisions. Practice mindfulness, self-reflection and consider how you react to stimulus to help you make decisions in your life.

Facing what you don’t want to deal with is not easy at first. There is courage within us; we have to find and make friends with it. I found courage through prayer, asking for help, and digging deep inside my heart to find my courage. The heart knows what is right and can be our inner guidance system. The heart doesn’t care about the future or the past — it only cares about what is best for you and doing the right thing.

When we face a challenging situation, it’s often necessary to make hard choices, and sometimes to get what we want, we have to let go of something significant. For example, if you choose to leave a marriage with children, you know changing the structure of the family unit will be difficult, but the reasons to do so are more critical than keeping it intact. That is not an easy decision.

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