Let the New Year Begin!
January 2, 2023 - The Nett Report
Every other week The Nett Report provides readers with thoughtful perspectives useful to navigating life in a changing world. Past issues can be found here (recent) and here (past two years).
Happy New Year!
“And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been.” - Rainer Maria Rilke, Austrian poet and novelist
Poll Results. Last week we asked readers this question: Should Democrats unite with moderate Republicans to select a speaker from outside the House?
33% - Yes
33% - No
33% - I don't care
Thanks for the responses! Here’s this issue’s poll.
Australia, Chile, and China are top lithium producers
Visual Capitalist on December 26, 2022, posted a visualization of 25 years of lithium production. Lithium is the critical element in the batteries necessary for clean energy progress. As you can see, Australia, Chile, and China are the three largest producers. The U.S. was the third largest producer of lithium in 1990 when global volumes were much less. The U.S. now produces only about one percent. Projects in Southern California’s Imperial Valley and elsewhere show promise of producing lithium in significant quantities if new technologies for extracting lithium from geothermal brines prove commercially viable. Image credit: Visual Capitalist
World record for solar cell efficiency set by German institute
According to a December 21, 2022, story in Electrek, “researchers at the solar-cell technology institute Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin have developed a tandem solar cell that converts 32.5% of incident solar radiation into electrical energy – a world record.”
Insurance industry changing because of global warming
A December 21, 2022, story posted by the National Academy of Sciences reviews how warming global temperatures are challenging many facets of the economy, including the insurance industry. The story explains that “damaging extreme events such as wildfires, hurricanes, and floods are happening with greater frequency and intensity, which leaves insurance companies facing larger financial risks and paying out more in claims — and it also leaves policyholders paying higher prices to insure their homes and businesses.” The report asks this key question: “how do we pay for the damages that do occur and distribute the risk?”
Future of Work / The Economy
“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.” - Paulo Coelho, Brazilian lyricist and novelist
A network of countries wants to abandon GDP
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has become the standard measure of our economies nationally and globally. Now, Finland, Scotland, Wales, and New Zealand have joined together in a group called the Wellbeing Economy Governments partnership. According to a December 28, 2022, story on CNBC, the new partnership, mostly led by women, says we must abandon the idea “that the percentage change in gross domestic product is a good indicator of progress, and instead reframe economic policy to deliver quality of life for all people in harmony with the environment.”
Airline system breakdowns explained
Writer and pilot James Fallows provides insights about the latest airline meltdown in the December 30, 2022, edition of his Breaking the News newsletter. Both hub-and-spoke and point-to-point systems are explained, along with deregulation and the power of profitability.
A new year, getting a new job, how to nail the interview
A December 22, 2022, article in NBC’s Make It newsletter says 90% of success in life depends on job interviews and young people are terrible at it. According to Steve Adcock. a personal finance self-made millionaire who retired at the age of 35, these are the five rules for getting it right:
There is no such thing as being overdressed, and bring a pen and notebook with you to look organized.
Be honest about where you can improve.
Emphasize unique problem-solving skills.
Always ask at least two questions.
Bring engaging stories that make the interview process more interesting.
Mark Cuban on starting a business
So you aren’t going to nail the interview because you are starting your own business in 2023. In another NBC News Make It story on December 25, 2022, billionaire entrepreneur and Shark Tank panelist Mark Cuban says there is one simple key to starting a business when you are young: “doing things that you can do yourself — things you can do with your own time.” In other words, start with what you know and build around “something you can make or a service you can offer to friends, family, and neighbors."
How staring at screens affects attention span and concentration
So you can nail the interview or start your own business. Is your inability to maintain a focus on your work holding you back because you are always “mindlessly scrolling on your phone?” A story in The Guardian on January 1, 2023, explores the role that our digital world and spending hours in front of a screen have on our ability to concentrate on our work. The results might surprise you.
The Political Divide
“You can’t say that” - the politics of words and a quiz
Words are powerful, and the political correctness of words has been a rapidly evolving point of discussion. Now the New York Times has posted an opinion over the confusion about what a well-meaning person can say without offending someone. The opinion includes the results of a quiz about certain words and phrases. You can take the quiz, too.
More on words: Zelensky’s speech to Congress called “remarkable”
“The words of the speech were ‘left brain,’ with careful writerly eloquence. The in-person performance was ‘right brain,’ with emotional power beyond the words. The combination was remarkable.” This was the lead for another James Fallows Breaking the News story on December 23, 2022, describing Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s speech to the U.S. Congress on December 21, 2022. The article offers the writer’s insights into Zelensky’s words and presentation.
Covid could be reactivating previously battled viruses
A Fortune Well story on December 26, 2022, suggests that “a mild or even an asymptomatic case of Covid can cause reservoirs of viruses you’ve previously battled to reactivate, potentially leading to symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition that resembles long Covid.” The information comes from a recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology.
Why you haven’t caught Covid yet
The New Zealand Herald republished one of its best read stories in 2022 on December 29, 2022: “A doctor explains why you haven’t caught Covid yet.” Here are the highlights:
Genetics - your innate immune response may just be better suited to avoiding Covid.
You're vaccinated and have been exposed, so your vaccine may have been working more strongly at the time.
Previous infections of any kind might help you to escape Covid.
The Nett Light-Side
See how cats see the world compared to humans
2023 will still have stories about cats, so let's kick off the year with an article about how cats see the world compared to humans. This December 25, 2022, story in Yahoo News shares photos of the human views of the world with those of cats.
Create your own artificial intelligence (AI) images
A December 16, 2022, article in the Washington Post lets you see how to create an image using artificial intelligence. By entering a suggested starting image (like a shark), doing an activity (like playing a guitar), at a location (like in space), and in an artistic style (like stained glass), an image is created. Try it yourself!
Can an E-trike replace your car?
A story in Electrek on December 26, 2022, features a three-seat electric tricycle that could be used to take the kids to school and go to the grocery store. Could this trike be a feasible replacement for a car?
About Carl Nettleton
Carl Nettleton is an award-winning writer, speaker, thought partner, facilitator, and subject-matter expert regarding water, climate, sustainability, the ocean, and binational U.S.-Mexico border affairs. Nettleton Strategies, the consultancy he founded in 2007, is a trusted source of analysis and advice on issues at the forefront of public policy, business, and the environment. He helps people to think strategically about their options for change. He is also the founder of OpenOceans Global, a nonprofit addressing ocean plastic in a new way.
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