From Bolsonaro to Bitcoin, Everybody Loves Earth Day Now

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Today’s agenda

Planet remembers to take care of itself again

When Earth Day began in the United States 51 years ago, it had an immediate impact, spawning the EPA, clean water and air laws, and more. Then we all agreed that we shouldn’t care about the earth for a while. But the planet began to burn, to flood and otherwise remind us of its existence, and now it matters again.

President Joe Biden had an Earth Day summit today. It was noticeable how many world market leaders either reaffirmed their ambitions to reduce CO2 emissions or adhered to already quite aggressive goals. Even Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, whose government has denied climate change and treats the Amazon rainforest like a lumber yard, bowed his knee to the ground. He set himself a reasonably ambitious emissions target and promised to at least stop illegal deforestation. Bolsonaro could see this as his last chance to get on the good side of the planet after a tenure of deadly incompetence Mac Margolis. But his pledges are still helpful.

Biden’s increase in US emissions targets was an example, and other polluting nations, to varying degrees, agreed with him. But Liam Denning writes that the real audience for this summit is domestic. During the Trump administration’s long climate-wilderness years, local governments and corporations carried the torch for the earth. Now Biden hires her again for what he promises that it will be a more violent fight. It’s enough to put pressure on unruly Republicans to finally admit that they, too, value the earth.

Even fans of Bitcoin, whose mining uses more electricity than Norway, are trying to make it seem kind of environmentally friendly. Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment Management released an Earth Day report stating that bitcoin mining will increase demand for solar energy and reduce costs. You’re welcome, solar energy, says Bitcoin. Liam Denning however, indicates that the cost of solar is already scratching the earth.


Renewable energy costs seem to be going in the right direction

Source: BloombergNEF

It is Bitcoin’s terrible carbon footprint that needs eco-friendly support to go greener. Governments and investors take care of this stuff after a while.

Further reading on Earth Day: Boris Johnson’s ambitious climate goals need Rishi Sunak to become reality. – – Therese Raphael

There is no business like the used car business

Anyway, back to pollution. The hot new business that everyone likes these days is used cars. For one thing, used cars have become very expensive. And you can disrupt this widely hated industry by simply selling cars online the way you make books, groceries, and Nicolas Cage pillows. Carvana has been booming during the pandemic. A UK version of the idea called Cazoo will go public through SPAC. Several other upstarts crowd the property. But Chris Bryant I wonder if these companies really deserve their multi-billion dollar reviews as they are still not making any money. But maybe it’s still better than dealing with these guys:

More automatic reading: Hertz’s bonds, which were pronounced dead, have come back as they plan to take advantage of a travel recovery. – – Brian Chappatta

What did we learn from Amazon Union Vote?

More of

Working for Amazon can be quite difficult for some people, from drivers peeling off in bottles to retirees spending grueling days in huge warehouses. So it was kind of a shock when Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama recently overwhelmingly opposed union formation. It shouldn’t have been, suggests Mike Bloomberg, Founder of Bloomberg LP. Amazon pays employees in Alabama double the minimum wage and performs well. The union could not explain how it would get these workers better business. The work organizers are trying to revitalize the unions for good reason. But this cautionary story suggests that they need to refine their message about the value they offer.

Bonus Editorial: Derek Chauvin’s verdict is an opportunity to reflect on how the police force can be reformed.

Tell-tale charts

An internationally available digital yuan would actually be good for the citizens of America and China, he writes Noah SmithSo Beijing will probably never allow it.

Hardly in the game

The yuan’s share of foreign exchange reserves is tiny compared to the size of the economy

Source: International Monetary Fund

AT&T, marginalizing its DirecTV chaos, is helping investors finally appreciate the growth of HBO Max and Wireless, he writes Tara Laughing Chapel.

Streaming Wars

Netflix and Disney remain favorites, but HBO Max and the newly introduced Paramount and Discovery parameters are fighting for a piece of the pie

Source: company registrations

further reading

The Republican President’s hopes are re-using Donald Trump’s 2016 playbook, which doesn’t work when the economy is strong. – – Michael R. Strain

Credit Suisse’s problems are too deep to be resolved quickly. – – Elisa Martinuzzi

New York’s new lenient approach to prostitution is less about changing morals than about real estate. – – Noah Feldman

Proxies show that many companies pay high salaries to the relatives of executives. It’s a warning sign. – – Michelle leather

We’re putting so many satellites into orbit that astronomy is making it difficult. – – Adam Minter

Returning a California beachfront property to a black family could provide a blueprint for future redress. – – Frank Wilkinson

It is our own fault if we let work dominate our lives. We can choose not to be workaholics. – – Sarah Green Carmichael


Biden is aiming for a much higher capital gains tax.

“Long-range” Covid can kill months later, a study shows.

NASA’s rover made oxygen from Martian air.


The Florida couple attempt to sneak a wedding into someone else’s mansion. (h / t Ellen Kominers)

According to consumer reports, Teslas can drive itself, not in a good way.

American honey is still radioactive after atomic bomb tests.

A stranded seaman eventually ends a four year ordeal on an abandoned ship.

Remarks: Please send wedding invitations and complaints to Mark Gongloff at

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