Climate tipping points, explained. And more.

(#289)

David Bauer

1. Explainer: Nine tipping points that could be triggered by climate change

One aspect than makes following climate coverage so exhausting: We get inundated by the sheer number of new records and bad news that it becomes hard to see the big picture (then again, all those records and bad news are the big ugly picture). Here’s an insightful big picture, though: a detailed explanation of nine tipping points, where a changing climate could push parts of the Earth system into abrupt or irreversible change. It’s a looooooong piece, took me about an hour to read. But it’s worth it. You can also just save it and use it to read up on a specific tipping point when you encounter it in the news. Read it now.


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2. Is Patriarchy Too Big to Fail?

Laurie Penny’s pencil is as sharp as it can be, as she connects the trials against Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein. Bonus aha moment: «The root of the word privilege is private law—you get to rewrite the rules to suit yourself, or flagrantly ignore them.» Read it now.

3. You'll never see the iconic photo of the 'Afghan Girl' the same way again

It’s one of the most iconic photographs. An Afghan girl, fixating the viewer with her green eyes, filled with anxiety. You’ve seen it. Turns out the backstory is very different from the one originally told. The article is almost a year old, but somehow only came to my attention now. It deserves a lot of attention. Read it now.

4. Why poor people make poor decisions

A very interesting piece on the cognitive effects of living in poverty, and what that means for efforts to reduce poverty. Research has shown that poverty impairs mental capacity, comparable to losing a night’s sleep. The conclusion: «Poverty and poor decisions aren’t a lack of anything except money.» Read it now. (usually behind a paywall, but I unlocked it for you)

5. How about approval voting?

If you have followed the beginning of the US primaries – and hell, it’s been hard to avoid – you probably couldn’t help thinking whether this is really the best way to select a candidate. With so many candidates still in the race, votes quickly become tactical rather than reflecting people’s true affinities. People start reasoning, say, «I prefer Warren, but her chances are slim, so I go with Buttigieg to make sure Bloomberg doesn’t win.» And so, the results don’t necessarily reflect how much support each candidate has. Approval voting would fix this: You don’t pick one candidate, but as many as you like. Someone might not be most people’s top choice, but have the broadest support and thus be the ideal consensus candidate. Read more about it.


What else?


Weekly Filet Book Club

📕 Invisible Women, by Caroline Criado Perez

As a man interested in communication, I need to read this book – at least before the feminist revolution discovers how much we've f***ed up the data!

This week's book recommendation is from Oleg, a fellow subscriber. What book do you think more people should read?Add your recommendation here. Browse all books that have been recommended so far


That’s it for this week. Hope you found something that made you smarter or inspired you. Have a nice weekend, I’ll be back next Friday.

👋🤓 – David