Monday, November 1st, 2021


Step Up to the Energy Bar

Did you pop out of bed raring to go this morning and somehow become more energized through your human interactions, a buzz that you'll maintain deep into the night? Well, there's a chance someone is either a little jealous or a little irritated by that. Who knows? That person could be in same room with you right now. The New Yorker's Nick Paumgarten on Energy, and How to Get It. "Entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, politicians: it can seem that energy, more than talent or luck, results in extraordinary outcomes. Why do some people have it and others not? What does one have to do to get more? Energy is both biochemical and psychophysical, vaguely delineated, widely misunderstood, elusive as grace." (If my experience on the internet is any indicator, that's really elusive.)


Cop to It

"I guess I shouldn't apologize, but I do apologize for the fact that the United States -- the last administration pulled out of the Paris accord. It put us sort of behind the eight ball a little bit." That's how Joe Biden kicked off remarks at the United Nations' climate summit. Since we're apologizing, I'd like to apologize on behalf of the rest of humanity. Sir David Attenborough told world leaders, "The world is looking to you." Sadly, it doesn't like what it sees. India set goals for 2070 (20 years after the COP goal) and China didn't attend at all. Here's the latest from CNN and BBC.

+ UN Sec General António Guterres: "It's time to say enough — enough of brutalizing biodiversity, enough of killing ourselves with carbon, enough of treating nature like a toilet." (That analogy would work better if every time you sat on the toilet, the seat lit your ass on fire.)

+ "Earth desperately needs people to stop burning coal, the biggest single source of greenhouse gases, to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change — including the intense flooding that has cost agricultural jobs in India. But people rely on coal. It is the world's biggest source of fuel for electric power."

+ "There were other things, of course: increased alcohol and drug use, anxiety, depression, anger, survivor's guilt, grief. A select few were completely fine, telling me how the fire gave them a chance to rebuild their lives in a better way. But mostly, I heard about PTSD." Andrea Stanley in WaPo Magazine: The Coming Age of Climate Trauma.

+ Haunting Images Depict Children at the Front Lines of the Climate Crisis.



The report from WaPo on Jan 6 is a tour de force of reporting, a confirmation of what we already knew, and a remarkably depressing story of America's slide towards darkness, helmed by a madman and abetted by cowards who put personal power ahead of the public good. It's such a well-reported and critical piece that I'm separating it into three sections, as WaPo does. All of the sections are Gift Articles for NextDraft readers. This was the before: "Trump was the driving force at every turn as he orchestrated what would become an attempted political coup in the months leading up to Jan. 6, calling his supporters to Washington, encouraging the mob to march on the Capitol and freezing in place key federal agencies whose job it was to investigate and stop threats to national security." RED FLAGS. "As Trump propelled his supporters to Washington, law enforcement agencies failed to heed mounting warnings about violence on Jan. 6."



"Trump watched the attack play out on television and resisted acting, neither to coordinate a federal response nor to instruct his supporters to disperse. He all but abdicated his responsibilities as commander in chief — a president reduced to mere bystander. The tweets Trump sent during the first two hours of rioting were muddled at best. He disavowed violence but encouraged his supporters to press on with their fight at the Capitol. And throughout, he repeated the lie that the election was stolen." BLOODSHED. "For 187 harrowing minutes, the president watched his supporters attack the Capitol — and resisted pleas to stop them."



"'We got to everyone,' said a Trump aide. 'We got McConnell, we got to McCarthy.' The message: If you vote for impeachment, 'you're screwed.' By the end of September 2021, GOP lawmakers around the country would introduce more than 400 bills restricting voting access — and would pass 33 laws in 19 states. And Republicans lining up to run for office were echoing Trump's false claims that he won the 2020 election. By the end of summer, nearly a third of the 390 GOP candidates who had expressed interest in running for statewide office publicly supported a partisan audit, downplayed the Jan. 6 attack or directly questioned Biden's victory, according to a tally by The Post. Among them: 10 candidates running for secretary of state, a position with sway over elections in many states." CONTAGION: "Threats and disinformation spread across the country in the wake of the Capitol siege, shaking the underpinnings of American democracy." WaPo's tagline is Democracy Dies in Darkness. But light alone is not enough. So much of what the Post reports we have seen with our own eyes. Thus, in the end, this can't just be a story about darkness and light. It has to be a story about consequences.


Choice Words

"There's a loophole that's been exploited here or used here,' Kavanaugh said. 'It could be free speech rights. It could be free-exercise-of-religion rights. It could be Second Amendment rights.'" Kavanaugh, Barrett air skepticism of Texas abortion law.


Another Morbid Milestone

"'This is a defining moment in our lifetime,' said Dr. Albert Ko, an infectious disease specialist at the Yale School of Public Health. 'What do we have to do to protect ourselves so we don't get to another 5 million?'" COVID-19′s global death toll tops 5 million in under 2 years. And those are reported deaths. Some of the hardest hit places don't have a good reporting infrastructure.

+ 2,000 FDNY members call out sick as mandated vaccine deadline approaches.

+ White House press secretary Psaki says she has COVID-19.


Is There A Billionaire in the House

In a recent interview, U.N. World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley challenged billionaires to donate "$6 billion to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don't reach them." Elon Musk said he'd foot the whole bill if the UN can show the math behind that number. "If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it. But it must be open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent." At this point, $6 billion is a rounding error for Musk and the economic divide the offer represents is at the core of the globe's problems. And I'm guessing $6 billion stops a current emergency as opposed to solving world hunger. But I'll still get in on this deal. If Musk gives the $6 billion, I'll buy a Tesla.


Karl the Bog

I love fog. And for years, I've been arguing that there's not nearly as much of it over San Francisco Bay as there used to be. Turns out it's a 33% drop over the last couple decades.


Bottom of the News

In case you missed it on Friday, I partnered with the fine folks at Pocket to create a list of the The Top Feel-Good Stories of 2021. It's got all the good vibes.

+ In his first NFL start, Mike White delivered one of the most improbable passing performances in NFL history.

+ This couple's beachside Pacifica Taco Bell wedding reception is what dreams are made of.

+ "It surged more than 230,000% in the past week to $2,861.80, according to CoinMarketCap pricing -- only to plunge 100% to less than half a cent as of Monday." Who would have doubted that Squid Game Memecoin would be a longterm hold?

+ And this year's winning Halloween costume.