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Why Talking About Our Problems Helps So Much (and How to Do It) - The New York Times
"What all of these forms have in common is that they are conversations specifically designed to examine and express the emotions you are having, rather than building to a specific solution. Figuring out things you can do to improve your situation is certainly good, but just verbalizing how you’re feeling can, itself, be part of the solution as well."

"The study argues that holding back thoughts and emotions is stressful. You have the negative feelings either way, but you have to work to repress them. That can tax the brain and body, making you more susceptible to getting sick or just feeling awful."
psychology  howto 
yesterday
Despair Management | The Yale Review
"One of the pivotal features of that effort, in Trenton as in many larger cities—Detroit, Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland—was to discourage mass transit between so-called majority minority cities and overwhelmingly white suburbs; another was to build interstate highways and commuter rail lines in ways that benefited affluent white communities and enforced racial segregation."

"The truth, as many urban planners acknowledge, is that remaking American cities and suburbs so that they genuinely serve the needs of most residents—and will survive the climate shocks of the next century—means unmaking much of what is recognizable about postwar America. We need to build more high-rise affordable housing clustered around mass transit portals; to offer more protections for existing residents in gentrifying cities; to invest in more high-speed trains, more access for bicycles; to place restrictions on cars and disincentives for building and buying large single-family homes. These are principles many citizens applaud in theory but oppose in practice, hence the opposition to changing building codes in cities like San Francisco, where the scarcity of housing has driven the average monthly rent of an apartment to almost four thousand dollars.

And of course another narrative is at work here: as recently as the 1960s, racial segregation was the explicit, legal, government-sanctioned goal of American housing policy in many parts of the country, and the legacy of racial exclusion has remained with us ever since. It is no accident that my students at the College of New Jersey, many of whom are third-or fourth-generation descendants of Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Polish, and Ukrainian immigrants, come from families that long ago moved out of crowded tenements and working-class city neighborhoods into spacious suburbs with “good schools,” such as Freehold, Flemington, and Metuchen; they were encouraged and enabled by government lending policies and private business practices that excluded people of color."
transportation  car  transit  bike  us  city  planning  psychology  race  history 
yesterday
Coronavirus plunges Canada's economy into the abyss - Macleans.ca
"Before most Canadians had even heard of Wuhan or the emergence of a new coronavirus, Canada’s economy was flashing warning signs. Households were buckling under their debt loads, exports were weakening and businesses were retrenching—in the fourth quarter of 2019, the last before the novel coronavirus began to spread, Canada’s economy eked out growth of just 0.3 per cent. “Canada’s economy was running at stall speed even before this,” says Rosenberg, who adds the recent collapse in oil prices alone would have tipped Canada into a mini-recession.

That is going to put Canada’s eventual recovery even more at risk, and it raises a spectre that’s loomed over Canada’s economy for years—an end to the wealth-creation machine known as the Canadian housing market. “For a long time we’ve talked about what could pop a housing bubble,” says Donald. “You could pull back on the amount of people who want to buy a home, you could pull back on the amount of people who are able to buy a home, or you could see job losses.

“What we’re seeing now is that almost every element that could pop a housing bubble is now in place in Canada.”"

"But even if the economy reopens for business in relatively short order, there will still be a significant lag, says Stephen Brown, senior Canada economist at Capital Economics. He points to those parts of China where isolation orders have been lifted and people allowed to return to work. His firm’s daily activity gauge for China, which tracks things like freight traffic, property sales and electricity consumption, is running at 80 per cent of capacity. “People are still worried about going outside,” he says. “Everyone is well aware there could be another outbreak and you might have to repeat the whole process again.” If Canada’s economy rebounds sharply in the latter half of the year, Brown estimates GDP will still be 2.5 per cent below its pre-recession trend at the end of 2021."
virus  canada  economics  debt  housing 
2 days ago
Will COVID-19 Remake the World? by Dani Rodrik - Project Syndicate
"The crisis seems to have thrown the dominant characteristics of each country’s politics into sharper relief. Countries have in effect become exaggerated versions of themselves. This suggests that the crisis may turn out to be less of a watershed in global politics and economics than many have argued. Rather than putting the world on a significantly different trajectory, it is likely to intensify and entrench already-existing trends.Momentous events such as the current crisis engender their own “confirmation bias”: we are likely to see in the COVID-19 debacle an affirmation of our own worldview. And we may perceive incipient signs of a future economic and political order we have long wished for."
virus  politics  economics 
3 days ago
After the Pandemic, Use EVs to Absorb Spare Utility Capacity - Rocky Mountain Institute
"Utilities and their regulators should be thinking now about changing strategies, from ones focused on capacity expansion, to ones focused on electrifying everything and stimulating the growth of these emerging sectors. Investments in charging infrastructure can also serve as stimulus programs for states trying to recover economically. This is particularly true for electrifying transportation, which can be done much more quickly and easily than retrofitting the built environment and all of its appliances. As we begin to think about how to restore economic health after the pandemic, making investments in residential, workplace, and public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is a no-brainer centerpiece for any utility recovery and investment plan."
renewable  energy  electricity  EV  virus 
3 days ago
Four Ways the Coronavirus Is Changing the Planet - The Atlantic
"The drop, observed in China and Europe, coincided with stringent social-distancing measures on the ground. Air pollution can seriously damage human health, and the World Health Organization estimates that conditions stemming from exposure to ambient pollution—including stroke, heart disease, and respiratory illnesses—kill about 4.2 million people a year."
virus  earth  pollution  noise  health  ocean 
4 days ago
Is Iceland’s coronavirus testing showing that 50% of cases have no symptoms?
"“DeCODE has now screened 10,401 individuals in Iceland. Of those, 92 were positive. So about 0.9% of those who we screened in the general population turned out to be positive. And that is probably the upper limit of the distribution of the virus in society in general,” Kári explained."
iceland  virus 
4 days ago
Debt nation: Canada borrowed itself into a tough spot, now it must borrow its way out of coronavirus crisis | National Post
"One of the longest-running financial weaknesses in Canada has been our high levels of debt.

The non-financial sector’s total credit as a percentage of Canada’s gross domestic product was more than 300 per cent (or over US$5.2 trillion) in the third quarter of 2019, the most recent period for which the Bank for International Settlements, a bank for central banks, has data. That’s one of the highest levels in the world. Among advanced economies, the average was about 270 per cent.

Unless payments are deferred, all this debt must be “serviced,” or paid back, even if incomes and revenues are being wiped out. Otherwise, people and businesses will become insolvent, which was already becoming a concern back when things were normal.

Month-over-month total insolvencies were up 8.7 per cent in January and 10.4 per cent year-over-year, according to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy."
canada  debt  business  virus  economics 
5 days ago
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