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By Austin Stahl | as506610@ohiou.edu | @AustinStahl24

Today I’ll contrast some bad news with the uplifting stories of two cities, both leading the way in sustainability initiatives for others around the world to follow. But I must start with the problem of subsidies for dirty energy.

1. “Fossil-fuel subsidies are the real job killers”
http://grist.org/fossil-fuels/fossil-fuel-subsidies-are-the-real-job-killers/

Is anyone still in doubt about whether we should keep handing cash to fossil fuel companies? Their lobbyists outnumber Congress by more than 250. Check out the rest of the story to see some of the harm done by the dirty energy industry: job-cutting despite huge profits, climate-change denying, you name it. It gets ugly fast.

2. “The Road to Rio+20: Houston is a city leading by example”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/houston-green-sustainable-city-buildings?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Right in the heart of conservative Texas is about the last place I would expect to see a city leading in sustainability initiatives. Count me in among those that were very pleasantly surprised when coming across this article.

3. “Lush Walls Rise to Fight a Blanket of Pollution”
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/10/world/americas/vertical-gardens-in-mexico-a-symbol-of-progress.html?_r=1&ref=earth

Now I could be wrong, but I bet a lot of people are even more surprised that Mexico City is among the world leaders in green initiatives. Once known for being a dirty place with excessive pollution, eco-sculptures now dot the sky.

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