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Daily Archives: February 7, 2024

These States Are Basically Begging You to Get a Heat Pump

Wired [read free]: “You need a heat pump, ASAP. Now nine states are teaming up to accelerate the adoption of this climate superhero. Nine states have signed a memorandum of understanding that says that heat pumps should make up at least 65 percent of residential heating, air conditioning, and water-heating shipments by 2030. (“Shipments” here means systems manufactured, a proxy for how many are actually sold.) By 2040, these states—California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island—are aiming for 90 percent of those shipments to be heat pumps. “It’s a really strong signal from states that they’re committed to accelerating this transition to zero-emissions residential buildings,” says Emily Levin, senior policy adviser at the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), an association of air-quality agencies, which facilitated the agreement. The states will collaborate, for instance, in pursuing federal funding, developing standards for the rollout of heat pumps, and laying out an overarching plan “with priority actions to support widespread electrification of residential buildings.” Instead of burning planet-warming natural gas, a heat pump warms a building by transferring heat from the outdoor air into the interior space. Run it in the opposite direction, and it can cool the inside of a building—a heat pump is both a heater and AC unit. Because the system is electric, it can run off a grid increasingly powered by renewables like wind and solar. Even if you have to run a heat pump with electricity from fossil-fuel power plants, it’s much more efficient than a furnace, because it’s moving heat instead of creating it..”

Biden invested big in more tax audits. A new IRS analysis claims it’s working.

Vox: “In 2021, Americans owed about $625 billion in taxes that they never paid. This number, called the “tax gap,” represented some 13.7 percent of all taxes due, and, had it been collected, it would have reduced the deficit by nearly one-quarter. Getting more of that number collected is naturally an obsession of many tax… Continue Reading

Using Google Search to Find Software Can Be Risky

Krebs on Security: “Google continues to struggle with cybercriminals running malicious ads on its search platform to trick people into downloading booby-trapped copies of popular free software applications. The malicious ads, which appear above organic search results and often precede links to legitimate sources of the same software, can make searching for software on Google… Continue Reading

Cellphone Use Is Biggest Cause of Distracted Driving

“Cellphone use by individuals operating a motor vehicle continues to be the largest contributor to distracted driving in the U.S., according to the latest Issues Brief from the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I). “As drivers returned to the roads following the pandemic, distracted driving surged, causing higher rates of accidents, injuries, and deaths. This high-risk behavior… Continue Reading

The People’s Choice Award – Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2023

Here are the top five images voted for by the public in this year’s People’s Choice Award. “More than 50,000 images were entered into Wildlife Photographer of the Year last year, but our panel of judges can only award 100 finalists. A further 25 memorable images from this year’s entries have been shortlisted by the… Continue Reading

Legal Treatises and the Evolution of Civil Rights Case Law

Bahnson, Jane and Shreve, Wickliffe, Legal Treatises and the Evolution of Civil Rights Case Law (November 7, 2023). Duke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Series No. 2023-68, Available at SSRN: or – “During the 2022 term, the Supreme Court cited treatises to change legal precedent in two important civil rights cases. We… Continue Reading

New paper explains why females are prone to autoimmune diseases

Ars Technica: “Eighty percent of patients with autoimmune diseases are female. These diseases are one of the top 10 leading causes of death for women under 65, and cases are increasing annually worldwide. There is evidence suggesting that it’s females’ double complement of X chromosomes that puts them at such heightened risk for autoimmune diseases.… Continue Reading

Secondhand EVs Are Starting to Look Like a Bargain

Bloomberg – The energy transition will falter unless consumers feel more comfortable about buying a used battery-powered vehicle. “You need at least £79,000 ($99,000) to buy a new electric Porsche Taycan in the UK; higher-specification versions of these sporty sedans cost tens of thousands more. However, three-year old Taycans are now available for less than… Continue Reading