“”In China and Iran, both experiencing major outbreaks, early action has been undermined by efforts to halt and control free flow of information,” which has limited the public’s understanding and willingness to “share vital information with officials,” Matthew Kavanagh, an assistant professor of global health at Georgetown University, told Insider last week.”
“Since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001, the US government has spent $2 trillion on the conflict, in which 3,500 American and NATO coalition troops have been killed and tens of thousands of Afghans have died.
The new agreement would put an end to that conflict, and includes a requirement that the Taliban find lasting peace with the Afghan government in exchange for the full withdrawal of troops — a requirement not present in all past versions of the deal.”
“The idea is simple: Someone else can withdraw what you deposit. More specifically, an emitter of a certain quantity of carbon dioxide can pay to compensate for it, leading to no net increase of heat-trapping gases. That compensation can come from planting trees that take in carbon dioxide as they grow, installing renewable energy that replaces fossil fuels, or destroying potent heat-trapping gases like nitrous oxide before they reach the atmosphere.
With an offset, you have an accounting mechanism that bridges greenhouse gas emitters with climate protectors. And offsets are now fueling a multibillion-dollar global market.
But to make a useful carbon offset, you have to consider four key factors.”
“What we are realistically looking at now is not containment of a virus that is already on multiple continents, but efforts to mitigate the harm that it does by slowing its spread.”
“Even with effective mitigation a lot of people get sick, but the caseload is spread out and society can continue to function.”
“Mitigation is essentially what the world is doing now. We are slowing the spread of the disease, both from place to place and within the hardest-hit countries.”
“Employees in the service industry especially, like food workers or personal care assistants, are much less likely than their peers in more lucrative fields to have paid time off if they get sick. But they also make less money in general, meaning a lost day of work hurts their families’ budgets more. That gives them a strong motivation to go into work — even if they’re not feeling well.
And because these workers come in close contact with the rest of humanity, they are a potent vector for spreading contagions, particularly those as infectious as coronaviruses. It’s a recipe for making a bad outbreak even worse, all because America hasn’t decided to guarantee paid sick leave for all workers.”
“America is alone among advanced economies in not having a national guarantee of paid sick leave for workers.”
“Paid sick leave is usually treated as a principle of basic economic justice: People shouldn’t become financially insecure because they get sick and have to miss work. But when we have an outbreak like coronavirus, the failure to provide that security is actively making our society more vulnerable to a big outbreak.”
“over the last several decades, conservatives have waged war on social and political trust, calling into question the fairness and independence of almost every major US institution from journalism to academia to science. They have created parallel institutions of their own, meant to support their factional interests. And they have relentlessly cast “libs” as an enemy within — an alien, hostile, and ultimately illegitimate force.
As a result, a large faction of the country has descended into paranoia and conspiracy theories, fighting intensely against the basic rules, norms, and post-war assumptions of American life. And because that faction has successfully rendered all political fights — even fights over basic facts — as vicious, zero-sum partisan struggles, another large faction of the country has simply tuned out, coming to regard politics and public life generally as corrupt and fruitless. Americans’ trust in their institutions and in one another is at record lows.”
“it works against the left’s purposes. The left needs for voters to believe that effective, responsive governance is possible — that we can, in fact, have nice things. The left needs social and political trust. Without them, collective action for collective benefit, the left’s stock in trade, becomes impossible.
This is the left’s challenge in the US: how to break out of the doom loop and get on a trajectory of better governance and rising trust.”