Summary of “The seven megatrends that could beat global warming: ‘There is reason for hope'”

It is becoming increasingly clear that it does not need to be all bad news: a series of fast-moving global megatrends, spurred by trillion-dollar investments, indicates that humanity might be able to avert the worst impacts of global warming.
“If we were seeing linear progress, I would say good, but we’re not going to make it in time,” says Figueres, now the convener of the Mission 2020 initiative, which warns that the world has only three years to get carbon emissions on a downward curve and on the way to beating global warming.
The most advanced of the megatrends is the renewable energy revolution.
Slashing oil use – a third of all global energy – is a huge challenge but a surging market for battery-powered cars is starting to bite, driven in significant part by fast-growing concerns about urban air pollution.
Batteries are key to electric cars and, by storing energy for when the sun goes down or the wind stops blowing, they are also vital when it comes to enabling renewable energy to reach its full potential.
Just as important as the greening of energy is reducing demand by boosting energy efficiency.
“We could power down European energy use by about 40% in something like 10-15 years, just by making the most efficient appliances available the new minimum.”
“Climate policy is massively underfunding forests – they receive only about 2% of global climate finance.” Furthermore, the $2.3bn committed to forests by rich nations and multilateral institutions since 2010 is tiny compared with the funding for the sectors that drive deforestation.

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Summary of “For the love of Earth, stop traveling”

That’s because nothing that we do pumps carbon dioxide into the atmosphere faster than air travel.
Cancel a couple long flights, and you can halve your carbon footprint.
My seats alone on the round-trip flights from Los Angeles to Casablanca helped emit about 8,400 pounds of carbon dioxide, prorated, into the atmosphere.
In sum, our seats alone on the planes to and from Morocco helped unload about 16,800 pounds of carbon dioxide.
To put our flights’ 16,800 pounds of carbon dioxide further into perspective, the average American generates about 1,300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year through beef consumption.
“The lion’s share of greenhouse gas emissions” from the COP23 conference, the organizers note, “Is from long-distance air travel.” After the conference, a COP23 sustainability task force will tally up the overall carbon footprint and seek to offset as much as possible by buying certified emission reduction credits, many of which will go to green development projects in small island states in recognition of Fiji holding the presidency of this conference.
There are 7 billion people on our planet, but the billion with the largest carbon footprint includes the most frequent fliers.
If all 7 billion had a carbon footprint as large as ours, global carbon dioxide emissions would increase from the current 38 billion tons per year to 150 billion tons – a trillion tons every seven years, according to “Bending the Curve,” a 2015 University of California report.

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Summary of “MVP, offensive, defensive players of year, best rookies through Week 9”

Voters love players who haven’t previously been in serious award consideration and players who succeed just before the voting window closes, so I’ll be keeping that in mind as I file my selections.
Which players have been vital to their teams the way Ezekiel Elliott has been to the Cowboys? NFL Nation reporters look beyond the quarterback position to pick out each team’s MVP so far.
Bouye’s teammate in Jacksonville, Calais Campbell, is a strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.
Injuries along Hunt’s offensive line haven’t helped matters, as the starting five the Chiefs ran out to start the season had at least one player missing between Week 3 and Week 8.
Reid revealed an offense that has dazzled with its complex simplicity, the Patriots showed that they had major defensive concerns, and 16-0 quickly turned into 0-1.Comeback Player of the Year.
Given how difficult it is for defensive backs to win this award, the trophy mostly belongs to front-seven players and pass-rushers specifically.
No defensive players have stood out enough to enter the discussion, so we don’t have to worry about them in the MVP hunt.
Antonio Brown could figure on the fringes of the Offensive Player of the Year race, thanks to the fact that he leads the league by more than 130 receiving yards despite spending Week 9 on bye.

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Summary of “The Case Of Wilbur Ross’ Phantom $2 Billion”

Fresh off a tour through Thailand, Laos and China, United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Jr. picked up the phone on a Sunday afternoon in October to discuss something deeply personal: how much money he has.
A year earlier, Forbes had listed his net worth at $2.9 billion on The Forbes 400, a number Ross claimed was far too low: He maintained he was closer to $3.7 billion.
So began the mystery of Wilbur Ross’ missing $2 billion.
Three years later, Storper alleged in a lawsuit that the firm sent him inaccurate financial information after his departure and that Wilbur Ross stole his interests outright.
A few years earlier, a vice chairman of WL Ross sued Wilbur Ross for more than $20 million, alleging that Ross tried to cut him out of interest and fees he had been promised.
Last year, Ross’ assistant claimed $3.7 billion; we stuck with $2.9 billion.
If Ross had owned $2 billion of additional assets before the election, wouldn’t they have produced income that he was required to disclose, even if he no longer owned the assets? And why would someone apparently transfer $2 billion to his family, thereby triggering more than $800 million in gift taxes, especially with a president in the White House who was prepared to eliminate the estate tax and therefore much of the cost of transferring fortunes to later generations?
The only problem with that statement: The person who told Forbes that the transfer had taken place, that it had happened after the election and that it had meant more than $2 billion of family assets weren’t on the disclosure was none other than the sitting secretary of commerce, Wilbur Ross..

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Summary of “The Most Riveting Host in Late Night”

In his first years on TBS, Mr. O’Brien still seemed haunted by losing “The Tonight Show,” but his series now has the pleasing eccentricity of someone who doesn’t care about ratings or expectations.
Mr. O’Brien’s brand of silliness has always been delightfully, often gruesomely askew.
They won’t age well, and Mr. O’Brien, generally speaking, aims for jokes that depend less on the news cycle than his competitors do.
This even extends to how Mr. O’Brien handles politics.
While he does an ordinary joke or two about President Trump every night, he also produced one of the most truly daring episodes of political comedy this year, with a September show shot entirely in Israel and the Palestinian territories, one of his many episode-long forays into other cities.
Mr. O’Brien floated in the Dead Sea, engaged in some terrible haggling with street vendors and delivered a minute-long history of the area that covered thousands of years.
Much of the special was simply Mr. O’Brien unscripted, making a connection with game strangers and turning that into an amusing scene.
Comedy doesn’t need to serve a political end to be important.

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Summary of “Golden State Warriors not worried about slow start to season”

Particularly this year as the Warriors have gotten off to a rather sloppy 5-3 start heading into Thursday’s game in San Antonio.
You say that word in the modern NBA and people go straight to the San Antonio Spurs resting players en masse during the regular season or last year’s leaguewide debacle around resting star players for high-profile nationally televised games.
As a player on the Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls and the Tim Duncan-era Spurs, he says this Warriors team reminds him of the 1997-98 Bulls team that won “Only” 62 games in the regular season after winning 72 and 69 games and NBA championships the previous two seasons.
“That’s why LeBron [James] going to the Finals seven years in a row, to me, is one of the most amazing accomplishments ever for a player in this league.”
After the Warriors won in 2015, Kerr missed the first 43 games of the season due to complications from back surgery.
The team rallied around young assistant coach Luke Walton to win its first 24 games of the year and set a course to break the Bulls’ 72-win regular-season NBA record.
Such is the conundrum of a team in the middle of a dynasty, which is why so many fizzle after two or three years or have a gap year between runs.
“We have to get there. And I can’t force that. As a coach, it’s my job to recognize that and adapt to that and try to guide us and navigate us. I can tell you this year is gonna be a lot harder than that first year.”

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Summary of “Most scientists now reject the idea that the first Americans came by land”

A group of prominent anthropologists have done an overview of the scientific literature and declare in Science magazine that the “Clovis first” hypothesis of the peopling of the Americas is dead. For decades, students were taught that the first people in the Americas were a group called the Clovis who walked over the Bering land bridge about 13,500 years ago.
Evidence has been piling up since the 1980s of human campsites in North and South America that date back much earlier than 13,500 years.
In the 2000s, overwhelming evidence suggested that a pre-Clovis group had come to the Americans before there was an ice-free passage connecting Beringia to the Americas.
As Smithsonian anthropologist Torben C. Rick and his colleagues put it, “In a dramatic intellectual turnabout, most archaeologists and other scholars now believe that the earliest Americans followed Pacific Rim shorelines from northeast Asia to Beringia and the Americas.”
Now scholars are supporting the “Kelp highway hypothesis,” which holds that people reached the Americas when glaciers withdrew from the coasts of the Pacific Northwest 17,000 years ago, creating “a possible dispersal corridor rich in aquatic and terrestrial resources.” Humans were able to boat and hike into the Americas along the coast due to the food-rich ecosystem provided by coastal kelp forests, which attracted fish, crustaceans, and more.
No one disputes that the Clovis peoples came through Beringia and the ice free corridor.
Despite all the evidence for human habitation, ranging from tools and butchered animal bones to the remains of campfires, scientists are still uncertain who the pre-Clovis peoples were.
To the best of our knowledge, the kelp highway brought humans to the Americas.

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Summary of “Why the ‘end of the startup era’ could be great for entrepreneurs”

Entrepreneurs may have to settle for acquiring mere generational wealth, rather than becoming “Pledge to cure all diseases” wealthy, but the death of startups has been greatly exaggerated.
How consolidation could be great for startups The kind of industry consolidation we see with the “Frightful Five” isn’t new to tech, it’s the norm in most industries and can actually spur innovation.
A hundred years after the “Winners” were established in pharma, startups are still producing money-making miracle drugs and minting multi-millionaire startup founders with startling regularity.
If a startup develops a novel cancer drug, or even a molecule that looks promising, Sanofi, Novartis or one of their peers will buy it.
If a startup isn’t building for the long haul, they should orient themselves to a world where more humble valuations are the norm.
Look to places other than San FranciscoConsumer drones are an $8 billion tech industry that is thoroughly dominated by DJI, a Chinese startup.
Vape shops won’t spur the next great startup, but their rapid growth shows that tech has not drawn its last breath, and that huge opportunities for startups can come from anywhere.
What was once a company that served a niche segment of the tech industry is now a major player – Nvidia’s market cap is twice as large as Tesla’s! It may be the end of the startup world as we’ve known it, but students of business history should feel fine.

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Summary of “Taibbi: The Great College Loan Swindle”

Beaten down after more than a decade of struggle with student debt, after years of taking false doors and slipping into various puddles of bureaucratic quicksand, he was giving up the fight.
“I’m sure people who take polo lessons or sailing lessons earn a lot more on average too,” says Alan Collinge of Student Loan Justice, which advocates for debt forgiveness and other reforms.
The average amount of debt for a student leaving school is skyrocketing even faster than the rate of tuition increase.
In 2016 the average amount of debt for an exiting college graduate was a staggering $37,172.
This month marks the 10th anniversary of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, one of the few avenues for wiping out student debt.
The idea, launched by George W. Bush, was pretty simple: Students could pledge to work 10 years for the government or a nonprofit and have their debt forgiven.
While universities sit on their stockpiles of cash and the loan industry generates record profits, the pain of living in debilitating debt for many lasts into retirement.
In rehabilitation, Martish’s $8,000 loan, with fees and interest, ballooned into a $27,000 debt, which she has been carrying ever since.

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Summary of “The great debate about Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor”

IN EVERY BILLS game, Tyrod Taylor performs a feat of athleticism that makes you question your prior understanding of how human limbs are supposed to move – how legs and arms and hands normally work in tandem, restricting one’s ability to, say, hopscotch and type at the same time.
His record, as balanced as a book opened to its midpoint, inspires passionate disagreement among fans, many of whom refuse to believe that Taylor actually might be the rarest of commodities: a franchise quarterback.
If Taylor thrives, he could change perceptions of what success at his position looks like – a heavy load for a quarterback accustomed to fighting just to be seen.
The combination of those explosive plays and Taylor’s low turnover rate – since becoming a starter, he has thrown an interception on 1.4 percent of his passes, fourth best in the NFL – is rare, he adds, which is why the lack of appreciation for Taylor in Buffalo befuddles him.
FOR AS LONG as Taylor can remember, he wanted to play quarterback.
Taylor, the winningest quarterback in Virginia Tech history, was taken aback.
McCOY, ONE OF Taylor’s closest friends on the Bills, likes to compare Taylor with Willie Beamen, the third-string quarterback in “Any Given Sunday” who comes off the bench when two veteran quarterbacks are injured.
With his new deal, Taylor has a cap hit of just $9.7 million, which means the Bills are spending less on the position than all but 11 teams across the league, most of which employ quarterbacks on rookie contracts.

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