Go Back to Sleep
September 11, 2019
“When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.” – Ursula K. LeGuin
“Don’t wake me, I plan on sleeping in”
Make Money (And Save The Planet Now) Ask Me How
The Global Commission on Adaptation is an international working group, with 34 officials from government and the private sector, formed in 2018 to help ensure that social and economic systems are hardened to withstand the consequences of climate change, and to publicize the financial and economic incentives in doing so. The group is led by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva.
On Monday the commission released its report which concluded that to prepare for the effects of global warming, the world must make a $1.8 trillion investment by 2030 concentrated in five categories — weather warning systems, infrastructure, dry-land farming, mangrove protection and water management. Most notably, the commission calculated the yield on that investment would be $7.1 trillion in benefits.
Critical to the 15-month window between now and next year’s UN talks is what the report calls a “year of action.” It plans to set up pilot adaptation projects to demonstrate how “de-risking” infrastructure plans will both help avert losses and contribute to revenue generation.
Global warming has already reshaped the lives of millions, as seen by the ravages of historic wildfires and unprecedented hurricanes. The new report is meant to bring urgency to incorporating climate risk into virtually everything governments and companies do.
Additional read: What If We Stopped Pretending?: The climate apocalypse is coming. To prepare for it, we need to admit that we can’t prevent it. (The New Yorker, $)
Goodnight, Sleep Tight, Don’t Let The Heart Attack Bite
- A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology concluded getting less than six hours of sleep a night, or more than nine hours, might increase the risk of a heart attack.
- The study began with 461,347 men and women ages 40 to 69, all healthy. Over seven years of follow-up, there were 5,218 heart attacks. In comparing people with the same low genetic risk for cardiovascular disease, researchers found those with poor sleep duration — less than six hours or more than nine — had a 32 percent higher risk of heart attack.
- Researchers also compared people with high genetic risk for heart attack. Although their risks were considerable higher than those with low risk, people who tended to get favorable sleep reduced their risk by 18 percent compared to those with unfavorable sleep patterns. (NYT)
- If you just read this at 6:45am ET and want to go back to sleep, then we don’t blame you. We had the same sinking feeling when reading this during the day and feeling the strong desire to take a nap. Last night the mom of a Daily Pnut team member shared the following Chinese proverb: “We spend the first 50 years of our lives trading our good health for more money. And then we spend the last 50 years of our lives trading money for better health.”
Israel’s Hail Mary Play For Hail Mary’s Home
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a rallying cry to his hardline rightwing base by announcing his pledge to annex large swaths of the occupied West Bank if reelected next week.
- The move would permanently seize up to one-third of the territories taken from Palestinian families in the 1967 conflict and signal the end to any hopes Palestinians have of creating their own state.
- In 2017 President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and this year he recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a plateau Israel captured from Syria in the same 1967 conflict and annexed in 1981. The latter move broke from the international consensus following the second world war that forbids territorial conquest during war.
- As for Trump’s long-touted Middle East Peace Plan, the senior Palestinian negotiator said if Netanyahu goes ahead with his plan “he would have succeeded in burying even any chance of peace between Palestinians and Israelis.” (Guardian)
Green With Nepotism: Please Allah, Make me Oil Export Free, But Not Just Yet
- In an effort to boost Saudi Arabia’s oil prices King Salman replaced the country’s powerful energy minister with one of his own sons, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the older half brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It’s the first time a member of the Saudi royal family is in charge of the energy ministry.
- International crude oil prices have hovered around $60 a barrel. The Kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter, needs prices to be at least $80 a barrel in order to balance the national budget and prop up the crown prince’s vision to wean the country off what he calls “its dangerous addition to oil.” (NPR)
And Here My Troubles Resumed: All Not Quiet on the Afghanistan Front
- Many American officials thought President Trump’s invitation to Taliban leaders — to come to Camp David days before the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — had been an exceptionally bad idea.
- And Trump’s abrupt move to cancel the Camp David talks also came as a relief to Afghans who felt their government’s leaders had been sidelined in the year-long negotiations between the US envoy and Taliban officials for American troop withdrawal.
- On Monday Trump confirmed peace talks with the Taliban are dead. (NPR)
- Pompeo: ‘President Trump Ultimately Made The Decision’ To Hold U.S.-Taliban Talks (NPR)
- Collapse of Afghanistan peace talks spotlights internal Trump administration divisions (WaPo, $)
- US to commemorate 9/11 victims amid controversy over Trump inviting Taliban to Camp David (USA Today)
- What Happens to Those Heartbreaking Tributes at the 9/11 Memorial The expressions of mourning left behind at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum are cleared nightly and preserved. (NYT, $)
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Another Messy Breakup
- President Trump’s third national security advisor in less than three years is out, either by resignation or firing. Trump tweeted Tuesday morning: “I informed John Bolton last night that his services were no longer needed at the White House….I asked [him] for his resignation….”
- Bolton disputed the president’s version in a tweet of his own, saying: “I offered to resign last night and President Trump said ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow’.” There was no disputing the reason Bolton is gone — fundamental disagreements with Trump over how to handle major foreign policy challenges. Bolton views the leaders of North Korea, Iran and the Taliban as profoundly untrustworthy. (NYT)
Additional USA News
- Man accused of stealing 1,020 pastries worth $90,000 from New York bakery: Gourmet crepes retail for $90 apiece, confections allegedly smuggled from New York warehouse (Guardian)
- As Houston readies to host the next 2020 debates, focus turns to gun control Texas’s recent mass shootings coupled with a raft of loosening gun control laws have some looking for strict policy proposals (Guardian)
- The real cost of cheap US chicken? Chlorination is just the start: Concerns about the safety of post-Brexit imports mask a bigger issue – the hyper-intensive American farming model (Guardian)
- The Age of American Despair: Are deaths from drugs and alcohol and suicide a political, economic or spiritual crisis? (NYT, $)
Above the Law: Big Tech’s Fines are Pocket Lint
- When major corporations do bad things — which happens a lot — the punishment is almost always a fine. Is this the best way to hold them accountable?
- The FTC hit Facebook with what seemed like a huge fine —$5 billion — but it’s a drop in the bucket considering how much the company earns.
- The FTC and New York State fined Google’s YouTube $170 million, an almost laughable amount considering the company’s overall worth.
- Then there’s the Equifax settlement of $425 million, which promised victims who’d had their private information stolen $125 each. Turns out so many people made claims that what was left, after attorney fees and other costs came out first, was about 21 cents per person.
- After the 2008 financial crisis only one big bank executive went to jail. Financial institutions paid $300 billion in fines, but collectively they’d made much more than that. (Vox)
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” – Dr. Seuss
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