My top pick this weekend is Harvard economist Robert Stavins explaining why carbon cap-and-trade systems remain the most promising vehicle for international climate progress. Despite the bad rap that cap and trade has gotten from the Tea Party and professional disinformationists, Stavins is right. Which is why I was encouraged to read this week that California and Europe plan to link their systems.
Closer to home and more fun, I absolutely loved Deborah Bach’s piece on the secret shipwrecks beneath Lake Union, which I discovered in the Seattle Times but which hails originally from Three Sheets Northwest.
Finally, a bit unconventionally, I’ll recommend something I haven’t yet gotten to yet myself: Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz writing in Vanity Fair, “Of the1%, For the 1%, and By the 1%.” It’s an exploration of the pernicious influence that severe income inequality can have on civil democracy.
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Here’s a good example of social math (turning numbers or statistics into language that can be easily understood): Just 400 Americans have more wealth than HALF of all Americans combined. Plus, it’s been fact checked by PolitiFact.
A shocking infographic showing how average caloric intake for American’s bloated from nearly 2,200 calories per day in 1970 to nearly 2,700 calories per day in 2008. You can see for yourself how specific food categories great in the interactive chart, but here’s a shocker: fruit and veggies aren’t the culprit.
In dark times such as these, it helps to remember that history rarely unfolds in predictable patterns. Small decisions made by ordinary people often turn out to be, well, decisive. This story about the emancipation of American slaves illustrates this point beautifully.
This is the best overview of Koch brothers’ enormous political influence I’ve seen so far—including millions spent lobbying to protect oil industry subsidies, thwart climate policy, and block pollution regulations.
I’m on a reality-check kick about climate change (in direct opposition to some of my messaging advice against doom and gloom). At any rate, I’m starting to believe that the more thinking we do about adaptation, the more real, local, and imminent global warming is going to seem. Here’s a good article about how cities should start getting ready.
The US teen birth rate has fallen to a record low. More teenagers are waiting to have sex, and contraceptive use is up for those who are. Salon does a good job explaining why the numbers are often misinterpreted to mean that abstinence programs alone are to thank for progress.
Via the LA Times, a messy desk may say more about you than you think.