Welcome to Issue 38.4 of Digestable, your daily mouthful of real things happening in the world, minus alarmist pandemic news.
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Today’s news, fermented:
There is a lot of buzz about cabinet picks these days, now that we know that there will in fact be a transfer of power.
Between discussion about why Neera Tanden is a bad choice to articles like Absolutely Not Rahm Emanuel, the Democratic party’s true color is showing, I think (purple). No offense to purple, but it does seem that, since Joe Biden pulled ahead in North Carolina a hundred million years ago, or whenever that was, the party’s central flank has just dug its heels in deeper.
The Dems have all done due diligence by saying we ‘need to rejoin the Paris agreement,’ and now are joined by the UN Secretary General. António Guterres, who has declined to acknowledge the outsized impact that the fossil fuel industry has on UN-based climate policy negotiations, recently said it is ‘climate suicide’ for the planet if the US does not rejoin Paris and commit to ‘net zero’ by 2050.
Yes, acting on climate is vital, and things are urgent—but thinking that any action is better than no action will end in, say, climate suicide. While New Zealand has declared a climate emergency, the US is over here just doodling along, potentially welcoming a cabinet full of fossil fuel and other polluter money.
I just listened to Verified: Dust Up, a podcast about how Johnson and Johnson spent decades covering up the cancer-causing risks of its talc products. That corporation threw money at litigation—but possibly more importantly, invested in PR to reinforce consumer trust in the industry. Leaked documents compare what J&J did to that of Big Tobacco.
Big Oil is the same—we know that Exxon and other fossil fuel corporations knowingly caused the climate crisis. Now, ‘net zero’ is big polluters’ latest PR scheme, and it’s working so well that the UNSG is advocating for it.
One source of hope is the recent push by two former Secretaries of Education for climate education in public schools. This is such a big deal—just a few years ago, when I was teaching NYC public school students about the climate crisis for $15 an hour, something like a climate education mandate was just a fantasy. We know that young people vote for climate action; making this information more readily and evenly accessible across the country will continue to change the demands that Americans make of our government.
Brought to you by the superb Latifah Azlan.
Prior to several months ago, I had no idea who Larsa Pippen is. She was apparently Kim Kardashian's former bestie but the two had a falling out this year because Larsa claims the Kardashian sisters were mad that Larsa and Khloe Kardashian's ex, Tristan Thompson, had dated before he met Khloe. I saw these headlines back in early November but didn't really read any of the stories because, well, I just don't care I guess.
But over the last few weeks, Larsa's really managed to find a way to stay in the spotlight from spilling the tea about her friendship with the Kardashians. And now, she's back in the news again for something completely unrelated: being spotted out on a date with married basketball star, Malik Beasley.
As you can see from that tweet, Malik's wife Montana Yao found out about his indiscretion at the same time as everyone else did: through these photos that were plastered all over gossip sites a few days ago. Malik and Montana have a baby together and he apparently ditched his wife on his birthday in late November, telling her that he couldn't make it back to Minnesota and had to stay in LA instead. Malik wasn't slick though and Internet sleuths quickly found the comments he had left on Larsa's Instagram page about wanting to date her and "treat her like a queen." Oh also, Malik's original side chick was also caught off-guard by whatever his thing with Larsa is and leaked the emails he's been sending her.
I know age is nothing but a number, but Malik is 24 and Larsa is 46 with a 20-year-old son who is also a basketball player (currently playing for Vanderbilt University) and is no doubt looking to join the NBA once he graduates. This is the kind of mess that you should really think twice about before embarking on. Scotty Pippen Jr., Larsa's son, has already released a statement distancing himself from his mother's shenanigans but I don't blame him if he's livid and mortified about this. Malik and Larsa are both trash humans! And I hope Montana Yao gets a nice, fat, hefty settlement if she chooses to cut him loose.