PFAS, Global Warming and Us...
And why you should just buy cast iron skillets.
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HANNAH YOEST’S Holiday gift guide.
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Although the original PFAS chemical used to make Teflon has been taken off the market, PFAS chemicals are widely used in a variety of ways: coated paper and cardboard packaging for fast-food takeouts; stain-resistant chemicals for furniture and carpets; water-repellent outdoor hiking clothing (like Gore-Tex); as a base in many personal care products and cosmetics; and firefighting foam.
These PFAS chemicals go by several acronyms now; for ease’s sake, we’ll just refer to them all as PFAS. They are known as “forever chemicals,” meaning that once they get into the natural environment it is hard to get rid of them. This is especially true for water systems. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune published a great story in September laying out the history of how a particular chemical compound used in Teflon-branded nonstick products has moved from a little-known EPA issue to a potentially national issue.
Tap-water samples tested by the Environmental Working Group in 2020 from 44 sites in 31 states and Washington, D.C. found that only three had PFAS readings below EPA standards. Some of the highest PFAS levels detected were in samples from major metropolitan areas, including Miami, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and the northern New Jersey suburbs of New York City.
With Gen Z really not that into Biden, and median voters tuning out politics, Biden definitely needs a new message: Blame the GOP for Covid dragging on. Snapchat's Peter Hamby joins guest host Tim Miller on today's episode.
The gang’s all in for the Bulwark Festivus Extravaganza – there will be tacky holiday Christmas sweaters, airing of grievances, egg nog and so much more. And why I am sometimes right.
The “point” of Termination Shock is to examine the problem of complexity. A “termination shock” is a reaction that follows an abrupt change in certain activities or patterns within a given system—in this case the earth’s climate. What happens if someone, perhaps not a government but a private actor, undertakes a geoengineering project to counter climate change? And what happens if that project is halted? “If the government intervenes—if they suddenly shut it down, might there be a disastrous snapback?” one character asks, explaining the concept of termination shock. Would there be a backlash in the global climate system?
Our environmental, economic, political, and social systems, Stephenson makes clear, are already well along in their adjustment to a warmer future. Russia and the United States are in the midst of shifting their strategies to cope with the geopolitical opportunities and dangers associated with a melting Arctic. On a smaller scale, coastal cities and countries with long shorelines are hardening their defenses against what appears to be a more hostile, or at least very different, climate future. Bets, sometimes large, expensive ones, are being placed about what the future will look like.
Happy Friday! The normalizing of horrible Christmas movies must be stopped.
Jim Swift Gift Guide: Seasoning! Here’s a smoky, hot, sweet, and tangy seasoning that will confuse your tastebuds from Saint Louis. (It’s a local chip brand.) My favorite seasoning remains Tony Chachere’s, but this is a close second, tied with Old Bay.
Mitch McConnell seems sympathetic to the 1/6 Committee. Perhaps?
If everything is woke… Nothing is, Robert Tracinski writes.
To hold Biden accountable, prosecute Bannon and Meadows for contempt of Congress… My friend Cameron Smith makes a case you might be surprised to read.
All is not well in Minnesota. This Hugh Hewitt-led interview was a debacle. Speaking of Hugh, here is his interview with Josh Mandel, who pleads for Josh to accept that Joe Biden won. (Josh doesn’t bite.)
Suspected serial murderer caught in my old neighborhood. I was gonna go with a Tommy Lee Jones gif but they already have a suspect in custody.
That’s it for me. We’ll see you Monday.
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