Link Roundup, 12/9/2019

From NPR: Big-money donors are building a massive nature preserve in Montana.

From The New York Times: We will know by Friday what the Supreme Court plans to do about Trump’s tax returns.

From The Washington Post: In the last decade, 90% of new tech jobs were created in just five big cities.

From CityLab: How successful cities are tackling the housing crisis, with examples from Minneapolis.

From CNBC: McDonalds’ black franchisees are leaving the chain.

18 Comments

  1. So American voters are not the only ones to vote against their self-interest.
    Johnson and his merry band of Brexiter’s won in a landslide.

    The odds seem pretty high that the U.K. won’t be United soon enough, as Scotland will likely have another referendum on independence. I get that many people have legitimate, serious issues with the EU, but wow…..

    Putin wins again.

    1. They have to issue a stay until they’ve made a decision, because otherwise their decision is moot. If Mazars turns over the tax returns while SCOTUS is reading briefs and staring out the window then the case becomes meaningless, it’s the same outcome as denying cert.

      SCOTUS has to at least grant Trump a chance to submit arguments. What’s interesting about this is that they’re setting up the main showdown over the question of whether to take the case at all. It suggests that they don’t intend to take the case, but they need to demonstrate that they gave Trump every opportunity to state his arguments.

      1. Do they have to disclose how many of any voted to pick up the case? I know the names don’t get published but I wasn’t sure if we will know if it was a 3:6 or 0:9 decision not to hear the case.

      2. Well Chris, looks like you were wrong. SCOTUS is going to hear the case. Which means that this is bought and paid for. Best deal ever made by the tyrant, buying the Supreme Court.

        Ruling is supposed to be in June, but we all know what the verdict is.

  2. Anyone else see the parallels between that first article and Chris’ theory that private interests are filling in the gaps as governments abrogate all their duties to the public?

    Of course, that private reserve, someday, will only allow the rich in to view this refuge for nature. Assuming it actually will be a refuge, and not some wasteland when Global Warming hits high gear in the next 10 or 20 years.

    1. Ideally, with enough time passed, they can close it off to anything but very limited recreational use, and make it a scientific preserve – something a democracy could never accomplish. That’s the possibility that has opponents lit up, and it’s the best possible outcome for the environment and humanity. And it could perhaps set a precedent that could spread as more and more of North America’s increasingly useless present-day farmland falls into disuse.

      1. EJ

        In 2005, a Swedish billionaire named Johan Eliasch purchased a huge swathe of the Amazon rainforest. To much fanfare, he announced that it would be set aside for preservation.

        In 2016, the Brazilian authorities prosecuted Eliasch for carrying out illicit logging on this land: not merely had he been secretly breaking the promise of preservation, but had been cutting trees in ways that maximised the yield, rather than minimised damage to the forest and its ecology.

        The Brazilian investigation was made more difficult by Eliasch’s private ownership of the land, because their forestry and ecology inspectors had been prevented from moving freely under false claims of preservation.

        I’m not certain of why oligarchy should be trusted for environmental purposes when we know just how bad oligarchs are in every other sphere of human endeavour.

      2. I am covered up in cynicism as well, wanting to believe this land is being protected (although people still do have to eat in addition to enjoying the wilderness). I admit to concern as I watch what is happening under this administration to our national parks and to our environment with the rollbacks of regulations that were built over years.

      3. EJ, that is a very good point. Imagine if Gates, Arnault, Bezos, Buffet and a few of their friends got together and bought up most of the Amazon, then flipped things around.

        Instead of loggers and farmers clear-cutting the forest shooting the environmentalists……
        Of course, that is what Forest Law was. We have reached that point again in society.

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