Jan Lee

Jan Lee is a former news editor and award-winning editorial writer whose non-fiction and fiction have been published in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and Australia. Her articles and posts can be found on TriplePundit, JustMeans, and her blog, The Multicultural Jew, as well as other publications. She currently splits her residence between the city of Vancouver, British Columbia and the rural farmlands of Idaho.

Biomimicry’s Best Answers for 2018

Biomimicry is today’s go-to answer for tough engineering problems. We tip our hat to Mother Nature for new ways to treat surgical wounds, the versatility of the honey comb and a new friend who may help us reduce the number of plastic bags in landfills and ocean gyres.

Trump Administration Says Employers Can Decide Who Gets Workers’ Tips

The Trump administration says a rule it wants to implement would allow the tips that servers and other tipped employees earn to be pooled among fairly among employees. Critics however, call the proposal tip stealing, largely because it doesn’t actually prevent employers from simply pocketing the tips.

Coal Divestment isn’t Enough, Says CarbonTracker

Staying below the 2-degree C. threshold won’t be possible as long as coal has a role in energy production, says the nonprofit CarbonTracker. Its latest report examines the European Union, which has been in the past a leader of energy reform. Simply regulating coal energy production to encourage divestment in the EU won’t force the shift as long opportunistic investors can buy up distressed coal operations and don’t have an imperative to join the switch to clean energy.

Addressing the Cost of Home Heating for Working Families

Nearly a fifth of American wage earners face a real struggle paying their home heating bills. Fortunately, there are programs in place in every state to help. But are they enough? Researchers say low-income heating energy assistance is vital, but it’s only part of the answer: more needs to be done to ensure the country’s working families have access to energy efficient homes and services, too.

Climate Inaction is Fiscally Irresponsible, Says GAO

“The Government Accountability Office — if you will, the chief bean counter — is basically telling us that this is costing us a lot of money,” Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington told the New York Times. “We need to understand that as stewards of the taxpayer that climate is a fiscal issue.”

Beyond Meat Joins the Burger Bar at TGI Fridays

Beyond Meat’s vegan burgers are now in thousands of grocery stores across the nation, a testament to their success on the grocery isle. In January, they make their debut in a major restaurant chain. What does the brand’s expansion say about the future of the iconic American hamburger? One major meat producer has already decided. This week it increased its investment in the growing success of plant-based technology.

ExxonMobil Fights State Access to Climate Change Research

ExxonMobil is fighting to keep the Massachusetts attorney general’s office from accessing millions of records relating to its 1980s research that allegedly led the company to realize its operations would lead to worsening climate change.

Houston Flood Prevention Plan: High-Priced Golf Courses

A community in the Houston area has a new flood prevention plan in the works. It involves lovingly remaking the city’s defunct golf course into a recreation area with 5 big pits to hold floodwaters during hurricanes and torrential downpours. It’s the latest rethink as to how to keep Houston cities green and safe in the face of worsening climate change.

Trump Disbands Federal Climate Resilience Panel

The last federal body charged with addressing community resilience to climate change received the ax from the Trump administration. In the last two years the panel had succeeded in attracting a private sponsor of scientists and doctors and was on its way to amassing data on ways to implement better resilience in local communities.

Powerful Food Lobby Loses Big Members Over Shifting Consumer Concerns

The Grocery Manufacturers Association, a powerful food lobby, is feeling the pinch of consumer advocacy as some of its biggest members, including Campbell Soup Co., Nestle and Mars head for the door, taking billions of dollars of advertising strength with them.

The Weinstein Company May Get a New CEO, and She’s Got Remake Plans

Sexual abuse allegations and lawsuits against media mogul Harvey Weinstein have plunged the Weinstein Company into an image crisis. The “white knight” acquisition proposal that may have the best chance of salvaging both the company’s assets and its image, say experts is an unlikely bidder: a 62-year-old Latina with a savvy eye for investments that will hasten social change to the country’s biggest economic drivers.

U.S. Tariffs on Canada’s Softwood Lumber Tax Markets at Home

Canada’s softwood lumber may not be its biggest export industry, but it has been an essential import for the U.S. for decades. But things may be changing between the two countries. U.S. tariffs and political differences about how to price a country’s lumber are driving a wedge at the NAFTA negotiation table. And Canadian companies may not be the ones that will suffer the most from those tariffs, says the National Association of Homebuilders.

Copenhagen Architectural Wonder Puts Waste-to-Energy on a Pedestal

The city of Copenhagen, renowned for its sustainability efforts, has a new waste-to-energy project in the making. When it’s done it won’t just have green energy to power its homes, it’ll have its first ski “hill” and other community benefits.

Green Climate Fund Applicants Still Waiting for Crucial Mitigation Funding

The Green Climate Fund, which was supposed to ensure that developing nations would receive the necessary help and funding to adapt to climate change, is facing steep criticism these days. The problem, critics say, is not just that there isn’t enough money to complete the staggering number of climate mitigation projects needed, but that there isn’t enough transparency as to how the money is being allocated.