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“America’s problems with solving our climate crisis predate President Trump and go deeper than petty snark. Yes, it’s a problem when the president of the United States sees a vicious cold snap and uses it as an opportunity to mock climate change. (Especially when the cold snap is itself linked to climate change.) But it’s also a problem when the government doesn’t keep good track of how much it’s spending to fight climate change. That could be said about the Trump administration — and several others before it.
“We collect a lot of useful information, but we don’t make it available in useful ways,” said Alfredo Gomez, director of the natural resources and environment team at the Government Accountability Office, a federal agency that investigates and evaluates the government for Congress. Back in 2015, his team found that even basic climate data like satellite observations and climate model predictions are fragmented across federal agencies in ways that make it difficult to share information with everyone who might need it. But last spring, the GAO published a report focused on financial accounting that detailed just how muddled the government’s data on climate change spending can be — and how that means Americans (citizens and politicians alike) are woefully ignorant of what the government is and isn’t doing to reduce the risks.
The 2018 GAO report found that, while the Office of Management and Budget has reported that the federal government spent more than $154 billion on climate-change-related activities since 1993, much of that number is likely not being used to directly address climate change or its risks. Many of the projects reported as “climate-change-related activities” are only secondarily about climate change.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Political leaders from all French parties, including former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, joined Jews and non-Jews in Paris’s Place de la Republique to condemn antisemitic acts."
"Eighty years ago tonight, thousands of Americans gathered in New York to rally behind the Nazi Party and its ideals. An Oscar-nominated short documentary retrieves footage of the event, but leaves out the context that gives it meaning."
"The PM has persuaded the religious-Zionist Jewish Home to partner with the Kahanists of Otzma Yehudit. It makes cynical political sense for his interests, but what of Israel’s?"
"IFC’s series Documentary Now! began as an affectionately parodic tribute to the classics of nonfiction cinema. Its first episode, “Sandy Passage,” was a note-perfect evocation of the Maysles brothers’ Grey Gardens..."
"Making our choices count is, however, far from straightforward, and this is the subject of Martin Hägglund’s book This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom."
"Teens in the United States are coming of age at a time when digital technology is truly ubiquitous, where smartphones are all of our “constant companions.”"
"...the Smollett story, if the “trajectory” leads to evidence of fakery, would actually reveal something else modern America is about: victimhood chic."
"Cool in the humanities isn’t that different from cool in other areas of cultural life, like planking, hotdog-legs photography, mason jar rehabilitation, and novels whose main character is a city."
"It’s true that high-octane, hardworking child-rearing has some pointless excesses, and it doesn’t spark joy for parents. But done right, it works for kids..."
"Cape Town in South Africa is a foodie destination. Some people in its renowned restaurant industry are trying to spread the food wealth citywide."
"...for many “space expansionists,” escaping Earth is about much more than dodging the bullet of extinction: it’s about realizing astronomical amounts of value by exploiting the universe’s vast resources to create something resembling utopia. "
"After facing persecution in the former Soviet Union and a new wave of antisemitism in the United States, Marya Zilberberg decides to put her Jewishness on display."