Trump Proposes Covering Mexican Border Wall With Solar Panels

President Trump has proposed using solar panels in the construction of a wall along the 3,200 kilometer (1,988 miles) border separating Mexico and America — a key point in his election campaign. According to three individuals who have direct knowledge of the meeting with Republican leaders, Trump claimed he wanted to cover the wall segments with solar panels so they’d be “beautiful structures.”

Trump cited the wall’s economic benefits as well as its environmental ones. Thomas Gleason, managing partner of Gleason Partners LLC, the company that proposed the design, told Business Insider that each solar panel on the wall would produce 2.0MWp per hour of electricity, and, because of this, the wall would pay off the cost of its construction in 20 years through the energy it sells.

The cost of solar panels has decreased rapidly over the last nine years, from around $8 per watt in 2009 to roughly $1.50 per watt in 2016, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, and Gleason believes the cost will continue to diminish over time.

While the bottom of the wall would still be built out of stone, the solar panels situated on the Mexico-facing side would be double tiered, with the upper layer moving to capture maximum sunlight.

Though any wall between Mexico and the United States is likely to still be controversial, one equipped with solar panels would have benefits on both a small and large scale. It would provide those on both sides of the border, which is currently underserved by electricity companies, with greater access to power. On a larger scale, it would contribute to the amount of electricity the U.S. generates from clean energy sources, which would in turn contribute to fighting climate change.

Opinions on the proposal are split.

Wunder Capital CEO Bryan Birsic told Business Insider, “While we would prefer a different location and purpose for a large solar installation, we strongly support all additional generation of clean power in the U.S.”

Meanwhile, Nezar AlSayyad, a UC Berkeley professor of architecture and planning, told The Guardian that the wall was still “indefensible” and that “trying to embellish it with a technical function or a new utility … is a folly.” Political theorist Langdon Winner was even more outspoken in his criticism: “I’m wondering what the solar electricity would be used for? Electrocuting people who try to climb the wall?”

Although the wall itself is controversial, any move by the U.S. government to promote solar energy is positive as it would lessen the country’s own carbon footprint and help the world combat climate change.

1-In-4 Families Don’t Seek Medical Attention Because Of Finances

With the latest reports suggesting that the American Health Care Act — a budget resolution intended to repeal and replace much of the Affordable Care Act — would leave more than 23 million consumers without insurance and facing higher out-of-pocket costs, it’s no surprise that consumers are a bit uneasy when it comes to their healthcare. In fact, a new survey suggests that in the face of rising costs, some families are foregoing medical care to save a few — or a few thousand — bucks. 

A new report from Bankrate found that 25% of Americans say in the last year someone in their household decided not to seek medical attention when it was needed simply because of the cost.

According to the survey, which analyzed 1,002 telephone interviews of adults living in the U.S. in May, older millennials — ages 27 to 32 — were the most likely to skip out on medical care, with nearly 32% — or 1-in-3 — saying they didn’t see a doctor when they should have.

A Washington, D.C., resident tells Bankrate that she was surprised by how expensive things can be even when you have insurance.

“Things like urgent care,” she says. “I’ve been able to pay out-of-pocket, but I thought insurance would cover more of it.”

About 25% of consumers between the ages of 37 and 52 didn’t seek medical attention, while 23% of adults between 53 and 71 years of age failed to visit a doctor because of possible costs.

“It’s very concerning that people are foregoing medical attention because of the expense,” Robin Saks Frankel, credit card analyst at, said in a statement.

The concern uncovered by Bankrate echoes the findings in a recent survey.

According to that survey of 1,007 adults, concerns about healthcare have increased significantly in the last year. More than half (57%) of Americans said they lack confidence that they and their loved ones will be able to afford health insurance.

Part of the reason that some individuals have foregone medical care over cost worries is likely brought on by their lack of insurance, according to Bankrate, which found about 13% of respondents don’t have insurance.

But the concerns aren’t less for those who currently have health insurance, as keeping it is a big worry. More than 56% of consumers say they are worried they might not have affordable health insurance in the future.

One Maryland woman tells Bankrate that with proposed changes she’s worried she’ll have to pay more to keep her insurance.

“I don’t want to be paying more,” she said.

Of these consumers, Generation Xers are most concerned with 64% of people ages 37 to 52 worries, followed by baby boomers (58%), millennials (56%), and the silent generation (35%).

Consumers had the same worries in Consumer Reports’ survey, which found 41% of respondents are not confident that they will have access to the doctors, tests, treatments, and medications they need. That’s an increase from 35% in January when we first asked the question—a statistically significant jump.

As for individual preference on the future of healthcare, 43% of respondents say they prefer the current Affordable Care Act system to the proposed American Health Care Act.

No matter which healthcare policy is used, the Consumer Reports’ survey found a majority of Americans believe the government should do something. Nearly 78% of respondents said they believed the government should help make sure people have access to affordable, quality healthcare.

Drug Overdoses Are Now the Leading Cause of Death for Americans Under 50

Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. The NYT calculates that last year included 62,500 overdose deaths, which is a major leap over the 52,404 from 2015. We won’t know the exact numbers until December since overdose deaths are much more time-consuming to certify than other types of deaths.

The primary drug behind this spike is opiates. Opioid addiction is one of the most difficult to kick, and the most dangerous to have. Tie that to the recent influx of illicitly manufactured fentanyl and similar drugs, and we’re in the middle of a legitimate health crisis. The largest spikes appear to be in East Coast states like Maryland, Florida, Pennsylvania and Maine, but other states like Ohio have seen as much as a 25 percent increase in overdose deaths since just last year. it’s gotten so bad in Ohio that they’ve been forced to store bodies in refrigerated trucks because there just isn’t room at the morgue.

What’s tricky is that many of these deaths can’t even be prescribed to heroin. Many recent overdoses have stemmed from instances of the aforementioned fentanyl, an extremely powerful opiate drug. Certain variations of fentanyl—such as carfentanil—can be up to 5,000 times more potent than heroin. This fentanyl and its analogs are even beginning to show up in less dangerous drugs, such as cocaine.

Initial reports from this year appear to show that deaths will rise yet again in 2017. It appears that difference in heroin use between the U.S.’ Western and Eastern states has kept the west relatively safe for now, but manufacturers seem likely to eventually start moving that way with their dangerous product.

London Mayor Wants to Cancel Trump’s Visit

After another round of early-morning rage tweeting, Trump has managed to create yet another political enemy where there was once an ally. Following the horrible terrorist attack in London Saturday night killed seven people and injured 48 more, Trump seized the opportunity to do what he does… tweet when he shouldn’t.

Trump first called again for a travel ban in the U.S. Despite the fact that his ban is almost certain to continually fail in the courts due to its very clear anti-Muslim targeting—constantly made more apparent by Trump’s tweets and comments—Trump believes that such a ban would provide additional security.

Moving on from general policy requests, Trump decided to go ahead and attack the mayor of London directly. Sadiq Khan released a statement soon after the attack telling Londoners to not be alarmed by the increased police presence and that everything was under control. Trump, naturally, misunderstood the comment and assumed Khan was saying that the attack itself wasn’t a very big deal.

Rather than eventually realize that he made a mistake, Trump doubled down on his comments, despite virtually nobody else believing Khan had misspoke.

And finally, after all this, Khan has requested that Trump’s state visit be canceled. He called on the British government to not “roll out the red carpet” for a man who so fundamentally seems opposed to British values. Speaking to Channel 4 News, Khan said:

I don’t think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the U.S.A. in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for. When you have a special relationship it is no different from when you have got a close mate. You stand with them in times of adversity but you call them out when they are wrong. There are many things about which Donald Trump is wrong.

Kahn tried to phrase his comments as if Trump is just a friend who needs to be corrected, but we’re far enough into this presidency to wonder if there are any foreign heads of state who actually believe Trump to be a friend.

A Bunch of Trump Properties Could Be Underwater Due to Rising Sea Levels

President Donald Trump’s fancy for coastal real estate is going to get him in a lot of trouble in the coming decades. Around the world, he’s been putting his name on building and golf clubs on beaches that will be increasingly threatened by rising tides and bigger storms caused by climate change.

The maps below are projections from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for what the U.S. will look like with six feet of sea level rise — the upper end of what the federal government thinks we could see by 2100.

And that’s just how they would like at an average high tide. Even today a storm surge could easily raise water levels another six feet in these places. Any sea level rise makes storm surges worse than they would otherwise be, and on top of that climate change is brewing stronger and more frequent hurricanes.\

Climate change and all its dangerous effects could be coming faster thanks to Trump’s pledge to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on global warming.

Mar-a-Lago, Florida

Trump calls Mar-a-Lago his Southern White House, and he’s spent nearly as many weekends there as he has in Washington since the inauguration. But six feet of sea level rise would swamp half the property, including all five of the outdoor tennis courts.

Trump Grande and Trump Towers, Sunny Isles, Florida

These two properties count six soaring towers between them. And while certainly most of the stories will stay dry in a future of sea level rise, the whole region is going to become a lot less desirable once all the low-lying areas are inundated. Costs to save just the patch of land the buildings sit on from erosion will be enormous, let alone if the guests and residents actually want to sit on a beach.

Trump Hollywood, Florida

Southern Florida is the poster child for sea level rise in the United States, and for good reason. So much of the land is within a few feet of sea level and is very densely populated. It doesn’t help that beachfront property happens to be expensive property — rich people wield the influence required to convince politicians that continued coastal development is a good idea, even when the future looks like this.

Trump National Doral, Florida

Trump National Doral’s four championship golf courses are in big trouble when Miami floods. The most surprising part is that the resort is located miles inland from the coast — which just goes to show how bad things are going to look for Florida as sea levels climb. One recent study pegs flood damages at $2.5 billion annually by 2050 for Miami alone.

Trump National Golf Club Jupiter, Florida

The green areas of the map are technically below sea level at six feet of sea level rise, though they are buffered from the tides by higher pieces of land between them. Whether or not that land will actually protect golfers from getting their feet wet remains to be seen, and certainly the whole area will be getting a lot more boggy and soggy.

Trump International Hotel & Tower, Hawaii

It’s not looking good for Waikiki Beach, where Trump has a couple of hotel and condominium properties. Parts of Honolulu and Waikiki could flood not only from encroaching tides but from groundwater that swells up from below because of the rising ocean.

Trump Plaza, New Jersey

It’s not just beautiful ocean-side resorts that will suffer from sea level rise. Lots of the world’s major centers are right on the ocean, including Trump’s hometown of New York City. Just across the Hudson River in Jersey City, Trump owns a 55-story condominium building that is absolutely threatened by rising seas and bigger storms.

These examples are taken just from the Trump Organization’s properties in the Unites States. The company also has coastal properties around the world, including in Panama, Uruguay, and the United Arab Emirates.

Despite Trump’s public denials of global warming, the real estate developer appears to recognize some problems ahead. His organization recently applied to install a seawall at its golf course in Doonbeg, Ireland, citing the need to protect it from “global warming and its effects.”

The Solar Industry Is Creating Jobs 17 Times Faster Than The Rest of The US Economy

A new report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reveals that solar jobs in the US (and other nations) are expanding quickly.

As of November 2016, the American solar industry employed 260,077 workers. This is an increase of 24.5 percent from 2015, with a growth rate that is 17 times faster than the United States economy as a whole.

The lion’s share of these jobs (241,900) were in solar photovoltaics, with an additional 13,000 in solar heating and cooling, and the remaining 5,200 in concentrated solar power (CSP).

More than half of all solar jobs in the US were in installation. Another 15 percent were in manufacturing, with 13 percent in project development, 12 percent in sales and distribution, and a final 6 percent in other areas, including research and development.

The sunlight that is harvested by solar systems is, obviously, free. This makes labour costs and materials the main areas of spending in the solar industry. As costs for materials continue to drop, solar jobs remain a well-compensated area for blue-collar workers.

The solar labour force is also becoming more diverse, with the number of women workers at 28 percent in 2016, up from 19 percent in 2013, with up to 33.8 percent in the sales and distribution area.

This means more women have jobs in solar than in the conventional energy industry, although women in solar still lag behind their representative 47 percent of the US economy.

Solar jobs aren’t the only thriving area in the US economy right now. Wind industry employment produced around 102,500 jobs in 2016, which IRENA projects will grow to 147,000 jobs by 2020.

Jobs in ethanol declined despite increased production due to rising labor productivity; most ethanol-related jobs (about 161,700) were in agriculture, with about 35,000 jobs in actual ethanol production.

Twenty-three percent more biodiesel production in 2016 meant a corresponding 23 percent in jobs, about 61,100 total, with almost 80,000 total in direct and indirect employment in solid biomass.

Finally, there were about 7,000 biogas jobs in the US in 2016.

Jobs in fossil fuels are going away as the sources of the fuels become scarcer and less expensive options become available.

As R&D overcomes more of the stumbling blocks to bringing power from renewable sources into the grid and prices continue to drop, we can expect to see more jobs in renewables.

They are safer, healthier, and more sustainable than jobs in the fossil fuel industry, so this is great for our labor force as well as the planet.

Climate Change Lawsuits Are On The Rise

Governments around the world are increasingly being challenged in court to do more to combat the threat of climate change, with litigation ranging from a group’s attempt to stop an airport runway in Austria to a Pakistani farmer suing his government over its failure to adapt to rising temperatures, a new study has found.

The lion’s share of the litigation is in the U.S., but the number of countries with such cases has tripled since 2014.

U.N. Environment and Columbia Law School, which undertook the research, found a “proliferation” of cases instigated by citizens and environmental groups demanding action on areas such as sea-level rise, coal-fired power plants, and oil drilling.

“It’s patently clear we need more concrete action on climate change, including addressing the root causes and helping communities adapt to the consequences,” said Erik Solheim, head of U.N. Environment. “The science can stand up in a court of law, and governments need to make sure their responses to the problem do too.”

The U.S. has been the staging ground for 654 climate-related cases, almost three times that of the rest of the world combined. Some of these cases have proved pivotal, such as a 2007 case where various states and cities demanded the EPA regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.

The Supreme Court ruled against George W. Bush’s administration, leading to the EPA determining that greenhouse gases are a public health threat and opening the way for Barack Obama’s executive action on climate change.

Other cases are continuing, such as the 21 children who are represented in a lawsuit against the federal government, claiming that its failure to sufficiently cut emissions violates their constitutional right to life, liberty, and property. The Sierra Club, an environmental group, said the case would “upend climate law as we know it” should it be successful.

Australia, with 80 cases, and the U.K., with 49 cases, are the next largest national sources of climate litigation, although the report notes that legal action is starting to emanate from all corners of the world. The issue of “climate refugees,” where people have had to flee their country due to flood or drought, is gaining traction, following a case where a man from Kiribati sought refuge in New Zealand.

In the Netherlands, an environmental group called the Urgenda Foundation joined with several hundred Dutch citizens to sue the government over its decision to lower its greenhouse gas reduction target. The court concluded the case had merit based on the Dutch constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the “no harm” principle of international law.

In a separate case, several groups managed to overturn the approval of a third runway at Vienna’s main airport, while in yet another case, a court in Pakistan ruled in favor of Ashgar Leghari, a farmer, over his government’s “delay and lethargy” in implementing its climate change adaption policies.

Not all cases have been as successful. A Peruvian man sued a German energy company over the climate impacts suffered in his homeland, with the case ultimately dismissed.

“We haven’t seen any major wins filed in actions against fossil fuel companies, but there have been successes in lawsuits against governments,” said Michael Burger, executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia. “A lot of this legal action is in the U.S. because America is a litigious society, but also because there is such a partisan divide over the fundamental reality of climate change, which doesn’t really exist elsewhere in the world.”

Burger said legal action will prove significant in pushing the countries closer to their agreed target of avoiding global warming of 2 degrees C or more compared to the era shortly before the advent of heavy industry. The world is currently on course to breach this limit, causing ever more dangerous climate change, even with the emissions reduction pledges agreed in the Paris climate deal.

“The role of litigation will be different in each country but we will continue to see an increase in climate lawsuits that make explicit reference to the Paris Agreement,” he said. “In the U.S., I don’t think that any court will hold the government to account over Paris, as it’s not binding, but other courts in other countries may give it different weight.

“Legal action will be used to stave off the worst aspects of climate change. Litigation has been absolutely essential in instigating action in the U.S. and elsewhere, and it will continue to be so.”

How the Nature of Popularity Was Changed by Social Media

There aren’t many aspects of the human experience that haven’t been affected by the mass proliferation of social media over the past decade. From our way we interact with our friends to the way we find our booty calls, age-old rituals are squeezed through a digital prism and come out on the other side looking markedly different than before.

Our lives are so changed by its all-consuming omnipresence that writing about all the ways that social media has reconfigured the world has become a steady stream of income for internet commentators such as myself.

In a recent installment of New York Magazine’s “popular” column – a regular series investigating “the pain and joys of fitting in” – the author assessed the ways that social media has changed the nature of popularity and came to the conclusion that it has made it predictable, boring and more of a job than an enviable social privilege.

This makes sense: with so much money to be made from social media, and many of the methods to grow your following mapped out in widely-available books and online guides, nurturing your social media presence has a professional incentive that often fosters a professional approach. But what doesn’t get mentioned as much is how social media has changed the fundamental nature of popularity by presenting it through a nerd’s-eye-view.

Popularity Is Now Quantifiable

Popularity, as NY Mag points out, used to have an intangible, unquantifiable quality to it. On social media, however, it’s the opposite: easily measured in followers, likes, retweets and all those other metrics that marketers use to calculate engagement. They can be tallied up, assessed and ranked.

It’s cold and logical, like mathematics, because it’s pretty much a digital simulation of human interaction by tech geeks. Social media is how socially-awkward Silicon Valley programmers imagine that socializing looks like in the real world. The accumulation of popularity on social media works much like a video game: with the correct input – a pithy tweet, a sexy Instagram photo, a cat video – you’re rewarded with the positive reinforcement of engagement, and the more engagement you get the more “popular” you are.

It’s all as binary as a computer’s code and doesn’t take into account the many intangible X-factors that define IRL, flesh-and-blood popularity: charisma, social intelligence, learned behaviors, peer approval, genetics and countless other variables. Not that this is much of a surprise: after all, I doubt that Mark Zuckerberg got many nominations for prom king, and if The Social Network is anything to go by, he seems to have less friends than I have Snapchat followers (I don’t have Snapchat).

Popularity on social media is as mechanical as seduction in “Pick Up Artistry” circles, because it’s the result of bookish minds analyzing human behaviors and attempting to break them down into hyper-rational formulae.

This is part of the reason why popularity on social media doesn’t usually translate to popularity into the real world. Sure, some people may be popular on social media precisely because they’re popular IRL or have a huge media presence elsewhere, like, say, Selena Gomez or Kylie Jenner, but digital popularity is so unlike its physical counterpart that it rarely carries over.

Not only that, but our social media profiles are usually false personas; projections of the people that we would like to be rather than reflections of who we really are. You might be able create a really sassy avatar of yourself on Twitter, but that’s because you have the mental space and time to invest a half hour into a single snappy tweet. In the real work you have to be quick-witted and confident; you need a mastery of timing and tone to pull of the same feat.

To stick with the current example, Twitter is medium dominated by journalists. In my professional life I’ve had the opportunity to meet numerous writers that have tens of thousands of followers and have locked down that wry tone that works so well in tweets, and I’ve always been astounded how many of them mumble through sentences and struggle to maintain eye contact when they’re forced to interact with an actual human being.

At its worst, social media is a tool for people to compensate for all the personal or physical qualities that they lack, and Instagram is another good example of this. The internet is full of guides on how to make yourself look more attractive than you actually are, because hot people quite obviously get more follows on a platform that focuses purely on aesthetics. As most of us are aware, though, this doesn’t always carry over to real life. What’s that old saying? “Nobody looks like Victoria’s Secret models, not even Victoria’s Secret models”?

Social Media Popularity Is Really About Sales

In this sense, popularity on social media is, in fact, the polar opposite of popularity in reality: while real-world adoration is something to be craved because it opens doors to parties, sex, career advancement, social capital and all sorts of pleasures, on social media it becomes a cage, trapping us online because the things that make us likable in the digital realm sometimes don’t exist beyond it.

But that’s the thing: popularity on social media and popularity in the real world shouldn’t be discussed on the same terms, because social media ultimately wasn’t made to foster popularity or even sociability, but salability.

Every social media platform is, in essence, a marketing tool. Initially it offers fun incentives to reel in users, and slowly it begins to monetize that audience by acting as an advertising space that links brands to masses of potential consumers.

Just look at Twitter’s short, succinct format: tweets are the perfect vessel for ad copy. Instagram allows us to visually distort our image and adopt the qualities of a billboard. This is intentional: it blurs the divide between advertising and content so that the former is more readily accepted by consumers. We might download ad-blockers or go to the toilet during TV commercial breaks, but on social media we willingly and enthusiastically open ourselves to advertising by following Instagram influencers and, ultimately, by marketing ourselves.

To paraphrase former British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher: “marketing is the method; the object is to change the heart and soul.”  By making the personal and the commercial indistinguishable from one another, social media has succeeded in doing exactly that.

The Rock Is Seriously Considering Running for President

As America sinks deeper into a political pit of despair, the world is looking towards the next election in the hopes of a brighter future.

For some that hope may come in the form of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who, in a recent GQ profile, has suggested that he is seriously considering a run for president.

When the interviewer directly asked whether he was considering joining the race, Johnson said: “I think that it’s a real possibility.”

Last June, The Washington Post published an op-ed suggesting he could be a viable candidate. Johnson responded on Instagram at the time, saying the Post piece was “interesting” and “fun to read,” and that “the most important thing right now is strong honest leadership from our current and future leaders of this country.”

Johnson explains to GQ that’s he’s given it a lot more thought since then: “A year ago, it started coming up more and more.  There was a real sense of earnestness, which made me go home and think, ‘Let me really rethink my answer and make sure I am giving an answer that is truthful and also respectful.’ I didn’t want to be flippant. ‘We’ll have three days off for a weekend! No taxes!’”

In the profile, Johnson, who identifies as neither a Republican or a Democrat, also criticizes President Trump, slamming the proposed “Muslim ban” and saying, “I’d like to see a better leadership. I’d like to see a greater leadership.”

For what it’s worth, Ron Meyer, the NBCUniversal vice chairman could see a Rock presidency, “If [becoming the president] is something he focused on, he probably would accomplish it. I think there’s nothing that he couldn’t do.”

Most US Homes Are Now Cellphone-Only

Are landline phones going the way of floppy disks and VCRs? A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says yes.

In the last six months of 2016, less than half of U.S. households had landlines, according to a new CDC report.

The researchers found that 50.8 percent of U.S. households used only cellphones, marking the first time that fewer than half of household had landlines, according to the report, published today (May 4). The percentage of households with only cellphones is up 2.5 points from the measurement taken the previous year.

The rates of people living in cellphone-only households were highest among adults ages 25 to 34. In this age group, more than 71 percent did not have a landline, the researchers found. For older adults, the rates of people living in cellphone-only households was lower. Less than one-quarter of adults ages 65 and up, for example, lived in cellphone-only households.

Adults who rented their homes also had high rates of living in cellphone-only households. Just over 71 percent of adults who rented had only a cellphone, compared with nearly 41 percent of adults who owned their homes, the researchers found. For adults living with roommates, the rates of those living in cellphone-only households was even higher: nearly 84 percent.

Income also appeared to play a role in whether a household had a landline, according to the report. Adults living in poverty or near poverty were more likely to have only a cellphone than adults had higher incomes, the researchers found.

In the report, the researchers also looked at certain measures of health. Adults in cellphone-only households were more likely to report at least one day of heavy drinking in the past year than adults in homes with landlines, the researchers found. Nearly 30 percent of cellphone-only adults reported one such day in the past year, compared with nearly 19 percent of landline-household adults.

Compared with adults in households that had landlines, people living in cellphone-only households were less likely to have health insurance and less likely to have gotten their flu shots in the previous year, the study said. However, adults in cellphone-only households were more likely than adults in households with landlines to have their health described as “excellent” or “very good,” the report found.

Cellphone-only and landline households weren’t the only categories that researchers looked at in the report. The researchers also found that 3.2 percent of U.S. households had no telephone service at all in the last six months of 2016. This translates to about 7.4 million adults and 2.3 million children, according to the report.

But there was also one more category that the researchers included: households that had landlines, but rarely used them. In other words, these households took all or almost all of their phone calls on cellphones. In the second half of 2016, this category accounted for 38 percent of households with landlines, or 15 percent of all households, the researchers found.