Best Of The Web
“Many of us already know about dying polar bears, the garbage-truck-worth of plastic that humanity dumps into oceans every minute, and the tens of millions of climate refugees expected to flee their homes in the next decade. But serious efforts to address any of these problems run afoul of a view held sacred in the United States: environmental rules kill growth. In 2017, when President Trump stood in the White House rose garden announcing America’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, he argued that, under its mandates, “Our businesses will come to a halt in many cases, and the American family will suffer the consequences in the form of lost jobs and a very diminished quality of life.”
Supporters of environmental protections responded, in large part, by saying that Trump presented a false choice. We can grow the economy with new green jobs for solar panel installers and plant-based biodegradable plastics, they argued. But to an increasing number of activists and academics working at the intersection of ecology and economics, the dilemma that Trump articulated is indeed real. They have a different reply, of course, though just as firm: to stave off the most devastating environmental peril, we must give up the ideal of economic growth.
This concept, sometimes called “degrowth,” sounds to many in the economic and political mainstream absolutely absurd. (Given Americans’ boundless love of all things material, it may not be surprising that the idea has taken off faster in Europe.) Last year, James Pethokoukis, of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, wrote dismissively, “Advanced economies just ran a fascinating, real-world degrowth experiment. It was called the Global Financial Crisis. An economic shock followed by a decade of sub-par economic growth.” Some critics argue that economic expansion can be “decoupled” from material growth—the economy could shift away from extraction and production while ramping up ecologically beneficial projects like wetlands restoration and relatively carbon-neutral industries such as education and health care.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"Now I’m starting to wonder how I can go at all. And I’m also wondering why more Muslims don’t question the powers that control our most sacred site—and how the Saudis have already twisted it to their own political and financial ends."
"It's going to be a letdown. Not only is it likely that the final report will not reveal that the president has been a KGB agent since the late '80s, as at least one mainstream liberal columnist fantasized."
"The JFNA GA may say they want to talk, but there are some parts of Israel which have the feeling that this American Jewish organization is not really interested in hearing what they have to say."
“What responsibility do you think young, famous women have today to be activists?” I asked Bateman. “Are you tempted to leverage your fame for political reasons?”
"For nearly 40 years, the GOP has relied on cutting taxes as an easy way to win votes, even when their plans—like the most recent package—benefit only the rich. "
"On its face, voting by phone makes sense. Nearly ninety-five per cent of American adults own mobile phones, and rely on them for all sorts of secure transactions."
"Allegations of sexual harassment brought down Bill Gothard, a leading figure of the Christian right. But his fall also revealed the diminished influence of fundamentalism in the Trump era."
"Literature — the top-shelf, award-winning stuff — is positively ectoplasmic these days, crawling with hauntings, haints and wraiths of every stripe and disposition."
"Kids have a habit of imitating their parents’ criminal behavior. It’s no wonder, then, that by one measure, 10 percent of families account for two-thirds of criminals."
"SFAH doesn’t make an argument for local or slow food per se, but that’s what we see. The dishes are simple, with few ingredients, made traditionally and with pleasure."
We think of archeological finds as being clues to the ancient past. In a new book from Ulrike Sommer, archeology's effects on present-day national narratives are excavated.
"That the highest God speaks for six days and then has to rest from fatigue at the seventh is a patent absurdity: ‘It is not fitting for the first God to be tired or to work with his hands or to give orders,’ he writes."