Issue #209: This is Definitely Important Probably, Guy Fieri Rescues the Restaurant Industry, When Water Meets Capitalism
Happy friday everyone. I'm brian colbert kennedy. And this is important not important. This is the audio version of our communities. Webby and shorty nominated newsletter. If you're new here welcome your newsletter pairs the most vital science news of the week with this specific data driven action steps that you can take to fight for a better future for everyone you can get your newsletter in your inbox and important not important dot com or from now on. Just listen to it right here. Here's what happens week in climate change and clean energy news. The eighty twenty rule works both ways. We've all been stuck behind a school bus or a cement truck or one of five hundred fifty thousand diesel trucks purposely stripped of its emissions equipment. Black smoke wafting over our windshield or worse our face if you're a motorcycle like me. The health implications are as bad as you imagine sitting there. Watching the plume barely dissipate in the air. Above you pm to less than two point. Five micrometres in diameter or one thirtieth of the width of a human hair is incredibly toxic. In elation has been linked to diseases like asthma and heart conditions and up to one hundred thousand deaths a year. and that's before covid and of course black and brown americans over index on exposure living next to industrial plants and highways and yet heard the washington post quote. The trump administration on monday rejected setting tougher standards on soot. The nation's most widespread deadly air pollutant saying the existing regulations remain sufficient. Even though some public health experts and environmental justice organizations had pleaded for stricter limits the environmental protection agency retained the current thresholds for fine particle pollution for another five years. Despite mounting evidence linking air pollution to lethal outcomes in respiratory illness including cope in nineteen the disease caused by the coronavirus documents obtained by the washington. Post show that the epa has disregarded concerns raised by some administration officials that several of its air policy rollbacks would disproportionately affect minority and low income communities. Douglas buffington west. Virginia's senior deputy attorney general and man with coolest name ever called. Monday's announcement a major win for coal. You might remember that. The epa administrator andrew wheeler is a former co lobbyist. You might not remember what the eighty twenty rule is however essentially in many many arenas we can show that eighty percent of consequences come from twenty percent of the causes. How did all of the hens dye well a couple of got cold but the other forty three were torn to shreds when we left the fox inside the hen house one decision tens of thousands of early deaths. Here's how you can take action. We gone in forty days. But his new cost-benefit rules which conveniently don't include dead people will make it super annoying to undo his bullshit including letting the us air monitoring system self-destruct science denial in favor of white supremacist. Economics is the common denominator for every major trump decision on the other hand. Mom's clean air force fights for justice in every breath nationally and locally with a million moms and dads on board join a chapter started chapter or donate at mom's clean air force dot org the incredibly timely importance of probably if thinking practically and justly about are uncertain future attendant of our community than the practice of making decisions based on probabilities not certainties is amongst the most valuable tools in our communities tool belt. We can learn a lot on how to think from a survey of seven hundred epidemiologists by the new york. Times quote epidemiologist worry about many unknowns including how long immunity lasts how the virus may mutate the challenges vaccine distribution and the possible reluctance to accept the vaccine among some groups on the eve of the covid winter. The ideologies are living with stringent precautions and new work arounds in place far stricter than those of many ordinary americans yet. Those precautions have evolved. Since last spring a scientists have learned more about how the corona virus spreads and what prevents it of twenty-three activities of daily life that the survey asked about there were only three that the majority of respondents had done in the last month gathering outdoors with friends bringing in mail without precautions and running errands like going to the grocery store or pharmacy. Here's three lessons. We've learned recently number one. Indoor transmission is a nightmare from a rigorous new study. One person case be infected to other people case. Anc from a distance away of six point five meters or twenty one feet and fifteen feet case being case a overlapped for just five minutes at quite a distance away number two natural immunity getting infected and recovering is probably less effective long term immunity. Wise than getting a vaccine. Get the vaccine number three once. You are vaccinated. You're probably only protected from getting. The disease not transmitting the virus. So keep your mask on as with all things when dealing with a novel virus pandemic working with increasingly solid but still incomplete information new revelations me new questions. Millions of people worldwide. Don't believe in vaccines and so even if we can convince them to get the first shot what about the second. And what does that mean for. Personal and herd immunity. Here's how you can take action. It's still hard to take leveraged when everyone's telling you to stay inside in a world full of invisible supercenters and exponential growth the most powerful action. You can take to stay home and not expose yourself or anyone else and yet. Millions upon millions of americans are going hungry because of covid at the same time restaurants are closing left and right congress is a nightmare so guy fieri went out and raised an incredible twenty two million dollars for unemployed restaurant workers. It's not a competition. But it is an all hands on deck moment so jose andreas and world central kitchen or going even further. They've built a two sided marketplace with struggling restaurants on one side and hungry people in need of fresh meals on the other. No one is probably hungary. Let's keep up the support if you own a work at a restaurant or if you want to distribute meals or donate money to pay for hot meals. You can join up at w. c. k. Dot org in artificial intelligence news the second order effects of everything. It's not exactly a secret that silicon valley companies are very white and very male. It's also not a secret that these same companies are at the forefront of artificial intelligence research implementation what is becoming increasingly understood. Is the devastatingly biased. If incredibly predictable second order effects of having mostly white males design and implement systems of intelligence to date mostly extreme pattern recognition across facial recognition medical imagery and more these new systems ended up looking much like and working much the systems of white supremacy that have existed for hundreds of years wildly useful and successful for one specific demographic like the four top. Saying it's the same old song one would think then that having hired one of the world's most prominent ai researchers an immigrant black scientists woman who also founded their ethical. Ai team that google would protect and support her work at all costs instead for the new york times. Quote tim mckee. Bruce said in a tweet on wednesday evening that she was fired because of an e mail she had sent a date earlier to a group that included company employees in the email reviewed by the new york times. She expressed exasperation over google's response to efforts by her and other employees to increase minority hiring and draw attention to bias artificial intelligence your life start getting worse when you start advocating for underrepresented people you start making the other leaders upset. Google has repeatedly committed to eliminating bias in it systems. The trouble doctor said is that most of the people making the ultimate decisions are men. They're not only failing to prioritize hiring more people from minority communities there quashing their voices. She said they are who we thought they were. Here's i can take action. Join fifty million people and switch your search engine to duck duck go. They don't sell your info and they don't track you in food and water news. drink it up. There's so much we can do to turn back. The clock on the complex and comprehensive climate crisis future may seem inevitable but we can still use the transformation of our grids buildings and economies to take the edge off but a growing population a hotter climate. More arid lands overdependence on industrial agriculture means. We are straight up crushing our water supply. How much remains who gets what it's hard to predict. Sometimes i feel like hari. Seldon point anyways inevitably. We've turned capitalism from bloomberg quote. Water joined gold oil and other commodities traded on wall street hiding worries that the life sustaining natural resource may become scarce across more of the world farmers hedge funds and municipalities alike are now able to hedge against or bet on future water. Availability in california the biggest. Us agriculture market and world's fifth largest economy. The contracts of first of their kind in the us were announced in september as heat and wildfires ravage the us west coast and his california was emerging from an eight year drought. They are meant to serve both hedge for big water consumers like almond farmers and electric utilities against water price fluctuations as well as a scarcity cage for investors worldwide. Right on time very dry start to winter. Means california was allocated ten percent of requested water supplies to agencies that supply twenty five million plus californians and almost a million acres of farmland. Here's how you can take action. Donations are currently being triple match to our friends. At food and water watch more than six hundred zero cavities and fifteen states from resuming water. Shut off during the pandemic hit him up. Okay that's it for this week to go deeper on any of the news or to find your action steps go important not important dot com slash newsletter. So much for being a part of our community and thanks for giving shit have a great weekend everyone.