from the world's big
Why Ohio Matters
Here’s what we can expect for Super Tuesday. Mitt Romney will win his home state of Massachusetts, the neighboring state of Vermont, and Virginia, where Ron Paul is the only other candidate on the ballot. Rick Santorum will win Oklahoma. And Newt Gingrich will win his home state of Virginia. When all the ballots are counted, Romney will probably come away with the most delegates by a comfortable margin.
What we don’t know is what will happen in Ohio and Tennessee. Santorum was ahead in both states for some time. But recent polls show that Romney has made the race close in both states. Santorum still appears to be the slight favorite in Tennessee, while Romney may now be the favorite in Ohio. Even winning both states wouldn’t give Romney and insurmountable lead in the delegate count. But if Romney can win both in midwestern Ohio and in the Bible Belt state of Tennessee, it’s difficult to see how Santorum can win the nomination.
Ohio matters the most. Republicans are likely to win Tennessee in the fall no matter who they nominate. But Ohio is a swing state. It could go either way and could easily decide a close election. Moreover, the same issue that will likely determine the general election, the economy, will largely determine who wins the Ohio primary.
As I wrote last week, Romney has difficulty appealing to the blue-collar voters that make up a large part of Ohio’s electorate. He managed to win in Michigan, even though exit polls show he lost among voters who made less than $100,000 a year. In a careful analysis of a recent YouGov poll, John Sides and Lynn Vavreck found that 88% percent of respondents said Romney cares about the wealthy, but just 35% said he cares about people like themselves—a 53 point difference. Fewer people thought Santorum was more likely to care about the wealthy than about themselves, with 81% saying he cares about the wealthy, compared to 49% who said he cares about people like them. For Obama the difference between the numbers was even smaller, with 58% saying he cares about the wealthy, versus 50% who said that he cares about people like themselves—just an 8 point cap. If Romney loses blue-collar voters in Ohio to Santorum, he’s going to have a hard time convincing them he’s their candidate in the general election.
That’s why all eyes are on Ohio. A Republican could certainly lose Ohio and still win the presidency. But it would be a lot harder to win the general election without Ohio. If Romney wins the Ohio primary, Republican leaders may begin to pull their support from Santorum, which would make it hard for him to continue. But if Santorum can pull off a victory, it will raise serious questions about Romney’s ability to beat Obama. Big Thinkers Kris Broughton and Peter Lawler are probably right to argue that Romney will win anyway. Romney would certainly remain the favorite to win the nomination. Nevertheless the race would continue to go on. And if Romney lost Ohio by a large enough margin, some Republicans would think seriously about backing a late-entry candidate to challenge him.
Ohio Statehouse image from Alexander Smith
Ever since we've had the technology, we've looked to the stars in search of alien life. It's assumed that we're looking because we want to find other life in the universe, but what if we're looking to make sure there isn't any?
Here's an equation, and a rather distressing one at that: N = R* × fP × ne × f1 × fi × fc × L. It's the Drake equation, and it describes the number of alien civilizations in our galaxy with whom we might be able to communicate. Its terms correspond to values such as the fraction of stars with planets, the fraction of planets on which life could emerge, the fraction of planets that can support intelligent life, and so on. Using conservative estimates, the minimum result of this equation is 20. There ought to be 20 intelligent alien civilizations in the Milky Way that we can contact and who can contact us. But there aren't any.
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.