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LT #10 - Top Links - Feb 2023
1 year into the Ukraine war, Russia sanctions diminishing effects, de-railed trains, Bided admin legacy and anti-monopoly efforts, growing strikes, Florida censorship, methane, clean energy, and more
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Real News Network: Florida ramps up book bans, censorship
Florida ranked second among states in the US with the most book bans in the 2021-2022 school year, with 21 school districts banning 566 books…
Teachers in Manatee County, Florida, were forced to cover up classroom library books and remove all school library books until the contents of said libraries could be reviewed and deemed appropriate by a librarian or “certified media specialist.” Teachers who are found to be in violation of the guidelines laid out in said bill could face criminal felony charges.
The Nation: The possible murder of Pablo Neruda - guess who did it.
“Methane cuts are among the cheapest options to limit near-term global warming” says Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency. Fortunately, 75 percent of energy-related methane emissions can be eliminated with readily available technologies… at a cost of about $100 billion.
While recording 777 million train-kilometers in 2019 (train-kilometers are the measure of a train traveling the distance of one kilometer), 1,338 derailments took place in the US. The EU, by contrast, only saw seventy-three derailments that year despite, by one count, recording 4.5 billion train-kilometers. For Japan, the same year saw more than 2 billion train-kilometers, according to Knoema, and only nine derailments. (In fact, the number of derailments in Japan over the past twenty-one years alone is roughly one-eighth of the amount the United States sees on average in a single year).
1 Year into the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
VOX EU: Flight from Russia - Using airplane tickes prices after Russia’s initial invasion and again after the partial mobilization, the authors arrive at an estimate of how much Russian men value their lives: ~10 million rubles or ~$370,000 dollars…
“comparable to the value of 5.3 million roubles cited in a 2019 Sberbank study using insurance data and the range of 5-7.4 million roubles that the government has chosen as compensation for the families of those who have died in the war.”
Joseph Politano in Apricitas discusses how Russia has managed to circumvent most trade sanctions and is rapidly making friends with China and Turkey.
Adam Tooze in Chartbook points out how the Ukraine war rhetoric and financial commitments are completely out-of-step responses to prior military conflicts.
Delightful Deep Dives
Hannah Ritchie at Sustainability by Numbers: China is adding more solar and wind capacity to its electric grid than gets used in most countries in a year, including: South Africa, Australia, Great Britain, or Spain. It’s total renewable electricity by the end of 2023 will be greater than all of India’s electricity production:
Sleepy Joe has had one of the most action packed 2 years of presidents in US history. Noah Smith gets into the exceptional economic situation, what’s worked so far, and what needs addressing (investment):
Adam Tooze at Chartbook explains the global cocoa industry and the challenges facing small farmers, especially in Africa, in the face of global agricultural competition, environmental devastation, consolidation of intermediaries, and failed domestic policy. Worth keeping in mind the next time you enjoy the bliss of the best food in the world.
Think developed countries are polluting our oceans?
Excellent Opinion Editorials
Why immigration is not just the solution to many of our problems, but also a necessity for the health of the US (or any nation with an aging population… which is almost every developed country in the world):
And Shadi Hamid discusses why we shouldn’t bemoan partisanship and recall the horrifying days when there was consensus in Washington and across the US:
Great Data Visualizations
The Battle Against Monopolies
BIG’s Matt Stoeler discusses what is probably the undiscussed, but historically monumental change is in federal government policy that’s been occurring on capitol hill: the reigning in of monopoly power.
In this piece, he talks about the evolving political dynamics and what it all means.
Watch his interview:
Videos of the Month
Thanks for reading! See you next month! - Yoshi