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
"Like many Western analyses of the Middle East, they reduce Iraq’s complex internal conflicts to catchall explainers of ‘sectarianism’ and ‘tribalism’ – presuming that some groups of people are intrinsically primed for antagonism."
" he's a loser in the precise sense that his singular accomplishment in American public life has been to lose a Senate race to the stupendously unpopular Republican Ted Cruz."
"While applauding the social impetus, Israelis are divided in opinions on an American-based initiative and question its grammatical integrity."
A look at the networks that churn out nonstop, formulaic Christmas movies; the actors who star in all of them; and the fans who can't stop watching.
"The Department of Homeland Security wants to use credit scores to determine immigration cases. That sets a dangerous precedent."
"Traffic. Congestion. Pollution. Hours-long commutes. What if you could leave it all behind and trade it in for an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient personal copter—all without a pilot’s license?"
"“But Qutb saw something else. The dancers in front of him were tragic lost souls. They believed they were free, but in reality they were trapped by their own selfish and greedy desires.”"
Cliches can be used as a political tool. "Prefabricated language helps everybody from prime ministers to CEOs disguise what they really want to say."
"Santa is nothing but stress for families who don’t believe in him. Trying to keep other kids from finding out the truth can cause a holiday-season-long headache."
"Umami is hard to describe in words. In the New Yorker, Hannah Goldfield defines it as “that deep, dark, meaty intensity that distinguishes seared beef, soy sauce, ripe tomato, Parmesan cheese, anchovies, and mushrooms..."
"The designer babies have thus been called the “future-we-should-not-want” for each new reproductive technology or intervention. But the babies never came and are nowhere close. I am not surprised."
"Thousands of secular Israelis became newly observant and joined Haredi communities in the 1970s and ’80s. Now, their children and grandchildren are searching for a place of their own."