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Essay: Gradually, and then all at once
Bonus Episode19th May 2023 • Important, Not Important • Important, Not Important
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This week:

Things feel pretty out of control. Get used to it.

Plus: The Canadian West is burning, Oregon bans PFAS, ChatGPT plugins for everyone, the All We Can Save project is hiring, and more

Here's What You Can Do:

  • ⚡️Wildfire smoke exposure is directly linked to myriad health impacts due to poor air quality. Know your daily risk by using this Purple Air outdoor air monitor.
  • ⚡️We need to heal ourselves to heal the planet. Find resources and community to help with your climate anxiety through the Climate Mental Health Network.
  • ⚡️Act locally. Use ReFED to find current food waste policies and programs you can learn from and implement in your town.
  • ⚡️Work in local government? Biobot Analytics provides wastewater testing tools so we can better estimate the number of COVID-19 (and other diseases) infections in the community

News Roundup

Health & Medicine

  • These are the cities with most bike deaths per capita (I share news like this to illustrate where we can make drastic improvements)
  • Not to be outdone, the South Carolina House passed a six-week abortion ban
  • UnitedHealthcare wants doctors to get prior authorization for colonoscopies. People are very pissed off.
  • Where American air pollution is improving, and getting worse


  • Our friends at the All We Can Save project are hiring a Programs & Community Manager — details here!
  • Could enormous robots dramatically speed up solar farm construction? Sure!
  • How can we restore oyster reefs without oyster shells?
  • Octopus Energy continues to be a model for…everyone else
  • The Canadian west continues to burn, and climate change is a big reason why

Food & Water

  • Oregon banned PFAS (forever chemicals) in food containers
  • How plant-based food makers can fight back against meat and dairy disinformation
  • If growing one almond requires 3.2 gallons of water out west, how do we reconcile that?
  • The women working for food sovereignty on island territories
  • Undercover audio of a Tyson employee reveals “free-range” chicken is bullshit (more on humanewashing)

Beep Boop

  • OpenAI rolled out ChatGPT plugins to everyone, should be fine
  • Ransomware hackers are zeroing in (again) on under-resourced cities and towns
  • The Supreme Court ruled Twitter and Google aren’t legally liable for terrorists using their platforms


  • This isn’t COVID-specific (I wrote that big update last week), but it could be monumental, if we do the work: the CDC released a new health-based indoor air ventilation target, and the the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers released its own enhanced ventilation standard.
  • Here’s Joseph G. Allen on why it could be a game-changer.

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