Biden’s Win Is Great News for Us
and the Environment
President-elect Biden (I just love writing that!) has vowed to make the environment a top priority, including the Paris Climate Accord (yay!). America is positioned for a 180-degree turn on climate change, with the new administration seeking to shift the US off fossil fuels, expand protections for public lands, and support renewable energy. You can almost hear Mother Earth heaving a sigh of relief.
We can be sure the Republicans will fight this every inch of the way. So our task in the next four years is twofold: 1) push back on our GOP lawmakers, writing and calling to oppose any moves they make to block environmental protections, and 2) hold the new administration to the election promises that earned the support of climate-conscious voters like us.
But for now, let’s just take a moment to be thankful that in a year of horrific news, we finally have something to celebrate.
Things are finally looking up! (photo: Amr Alfiky/The New York Times)
One Vote, Two Votes,
Red Votes, Blue Votes
Welcome, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris! I'm so happy and relieved now, it's easy to forget what a torturous week we have all passed.
Four and a half days of vote counting left us pondering the hold that Trumpism has on the country—whatever ultimately happens to Trump himself. He'll be gone from the White House, but he'll continue to haunt our politics, a disembodied voice honking at us in all caps on Twitter. I can only hope that fewer and fewer people will be paying any attention.
“To those who voted for President Trump, I understand your disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of elections myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance.” (Read the transcript of Biden's speech HERE)
The New Yorker: Trump Is Out of a Job Because So Many Did the Work by Bill McKibben
Think of how much work went into winning this victory, and how many people stepped up to do it. The women who marched the day after the Inauguration, the people who rushed to the airports the day of the Muslim ban, and the lawyers and advocates helping people held in border cages. Thanks to the climate-striking students, the Black Lives Matter activists, the Republicans of the Lincoln Project, the people who sent pizza to the polls. Thanks to you.
NPR: The Next 2020 Election Fight? Convincing Trump's Supporters That He Lost by Miles Parks
Three of the four most popular posts on Facebook in the past 24 hours were posts by the president in which he falsely claimed victory or cast doubts on the election's fairness.
Georgia On Our Mind:
Inside Elections: A Brief History of Georgia Runoffs, and Why This Time May Be Different by Jacob Rubashkin
Georgia’s election runoff system has been largely unkind to Democrats.
Laundry and Dishes...
“After the ecstasy, the laundry,” say the Buddhists. Whatever happens on election night — agony, ecstasy, a mix of the two, or more heart-pounding suspense — life will go on, and clothes and dishes will need to be washed. This week I tried out two new eco-friendly products to help with that. In my experience, such “solutions” often turn out to be useless or the usual harsh chemicals coated with marketing greenwash. But these are pretty good.
TruEarth Eco-strips are wafer-thin strips of laundry detergent sold in a slim paper packet, eliminating plastic packaging and vastly reducing shipping costs. They’re hypoallergenic, biodegradable, and free of various nefarious ingredients. Best of all, they work! You can find them on Amazon in the UK and US.
Salt & Light Dishwasher Tabs, made with all natural ingredients like lemon juice and baking soda, are so chunky we had to break them up with a hammer to jam them into our elderly dishwasher’s soap dispenser. They’re homemade, only available through Etsy, and the shipping costs, even within the US, are steep. But even a half tab works like a charm.
— Karen McCann
How it's done. Joe Biden speaks at a drive-in rally Tuesday in Atlanta. Meanwhile, packed Trump rallies have led to 30,000 new coronavirus infections, according to Stanford University researchers. (photo: Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP)
What's So Funny?
I re-wrote this intro three times, veering between hand-wringy and relentlessly upbeat. Well, what? We've worked all we can, we'll know when we know, and in the meantime, there is a new Randy Rainbow song out.
Words and Music:
The Conversation: Tom Lehrer and US satire from Charlie Chaplin to Randy Rainbow by Will Kaufman
"I often feel like a resident of Pompeii who has been asked for some humorous comments on lava.”
Open Culture: Tom Lehrer Releases His All of Catchy and Savage Musical Satire Into the Public Domain by Colin Marshall
Songs—music and lyrics—are available on Lehrer’s website. (The spouse has already downloaded the sheet music for "The Vatican Rag")
Behind the Scenes:
Brennan Center for Justice: 5 Things You May Not Know About Local Election Officials by Elizabeth Howard
This year, many election officers are working seven days a week; one official kept working from his hospital bed after being diagnosed with Covid-19.
Counting On It:
New York Times: Election Maps—Don’t Let Them Fool You by Betsy Mason
Chances are that Election Night will be the beginning, not the end, of the fight. I know that, but it's hard not to get freaked out by polls and predictions and maps as they shift over time. That will get even worse on the night of the 3rd. To help us process it all, Mother Jones hosted this discussion of how to survive Election Night. (Podcast, 40 min)
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