I’m away much of this week with my nose in some archives for my book project. So a few random things.
• A friend emails: “I just performed a test of Facebook censorship. I posted the iconic photo of Jackie Robinson stealing home, with the caption, ‘Stop the Steal.’ Gone in under 30 seconds. Twice.” (It did finally stick on the third try, though.)
I’ll bet if enough people post this, Facebook will either have to relent, or they will go back to banning this too.
• There’s a serious energy story coming out of Japan right now:
This is relevant just now because it may happen in the U.S. in the coming years. Part of Japan’s problem is that, like Germany, it is foolishly phasing out is nuclear power, and is suddenly short of natural gas. We’re doing Step 1 in the U.S. right now and, while gas is abundant, it might not be if the Biden administration curtails fracking and strangles needed new gas pipelines.
UPDATE: A reader in Japan sends along the following:
What you didn’t mention, but is being mentioned here in Japan is the utter failure of “renewables.” I’d say that is more of an issue than the nuke one because unless I missed news of them restarting, almost all of Japan’s nukes have been shut down for most or all of the time since the Tohoku quake and tsunami. It seems the current extremely tight electricity situation has not been helped by the fact that heavy snow has blanketed many of the solar farms that have sprung up around the coutntryside and the wind is apparently either too strong or too weak (depending on where) but either way windpower isn’t pulling its weight either. So it’s up to coal and LNG to provide all the power. Japan is in fact building more coal power stations which is probably unique in the developed world but they are mostly still under construction right now .
• Speaking of climate change (except I wasn’t, but never mind) here’s a story out of Australia that doesn’t fit the narrative:
New research says hundreds of islands in the Pacific are growing in land size, even as climate change-related sea level rises threaten the region.
Scientists at the University of Auckland found atolls in the Pacific nations of Marshall Islands and Kiribati, as well as the Maldives archipelago in the Indian Ocean, have grown up to 8 per cent in size over the past six decades despite sea level rise.
Here’s one of the pics from the study—think of it a reverse-climate porn: