DAILY DOSE: China poised for aggressive carbon neutrality drive; Technology is a double-edged sword in Singapore.


Official documents released in China indicate that they are poised to make an aggressive drive towards meeting its climate change goals which were declared in 2019. Per Nature, “Researchers say the documents, released ahead of the COP26 climate talks that concluded on 15 November, send a strong message to industry, government agencies and universities in China to ramp up their efforts to help the country meet its climate goals. Already this year, more than ten prominent universities and institutions have set up carbon-neutrality-research institutes; the Chinese Academy of Sciences launched a centre last month.” As with COP26, pledges and plans are great but it’s the follow through that matters in the end. So this is still wait-and-see material. It’s promising though.


In terms of aesthetics, Jupiter is one of the most picturesque of those in our solar system. Colors form bands and swirls making it look like a beautiful marble. The swirls are also sources of lots of speculation. Now, a team of researchers has shed some light on the dynamics that make them possible. Per Science, “We present observations of atmospheric vortices using the Juno spacecraft’s Microwave Radiometer. We found vortex roots that extend deeper than the altitude at which water is expected to condense, and we identified density inversion layers. Our results constrain the three-dimensional structure of Jupiter’s vortices and their extension below the clouds.” Wouldn’t it be great to actually see what it’s like inside the gas giant?

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There may be vaccines. There may be therapies. One day there may even be a full-on cure. None of that matters at this point as Covid-19 continues to tear at the fabric of society. Per the Associated Press, “Schools closed across the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe on Monday and France’s president warned of a “very explosive” situation in the territory, after protests against COVID-19 rules and vaccinations descended into days of rioting and looting. France’s central government sent in police special forces to try to restore order to the former colony, as emergency workers said they were unable to reach neighborhoods barricaded by angry crowds.” It’s amazing how universal the conflict between mitigation and non-mitigation groups are.


A long form article about the double-edged sword of technology in Singapore highlights the way the country has become a surveillance-state-nightmare, particularly for political activists. Per Rest of World, “Singapore has built a global brand out of its schoolmasterly for-your-own-good discipline, with disproportionately severe punishments — including the death penalty for drug smuggling — acting as a deterrent against disruptions to good social order. For those who stay inside the lines, it offers comfort, prosperity, and a textureless sort of freedom; the average citizen is expected to trust the government to deliver safety, in exchange for a certain loss of control over their individual liberties. Technology is becoming an increasingly visible part of that bargain.” Unfortunately, momentum seems to be on the side of surveillance states around the world.

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.

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