Yuri Gripas / Reuters

What We’re Following

The Green New Deal has its roots in the ideology of a surprising figure, Robinson Meyer argues: Alexander Hamilton. The former treasury secretary was “the daddy of it all,” the father of industrial policy, which calls for the federal government to guide economic growth through manufacturing and massive infrastructure projects. The plan has yet to gain much bipartisan appeal, but framing it within economic visions of Hamilton could be an emerging playbook for Democrats to transition the Green New Deal into something more politically feasible than a leftist dream.

Bernie Sanders, the independent Vermont senator, entered the 2020 race. He came from nowhere in 2016 to run a strong campaign against Hillary Clinton, and now he’s looking to parlay that success into a victory in a crowded 2020 Democratic field. What’s different for him this time around? His big policy prescriptions advocating for Medicare for All and free college are not as remarkable in 2020, and he can no longer position himself as a foil to Hillary Clinton. Still, he has a deeply loyal following that is expected to donate in droves to his campaign and show up at the ballot box, making him an early 2020 frontrunner.

Are we really on the cusp of an insect apocalypse? Just this month, two researchers concluded that given our current climate trajectory, insects as a whole could vanish within the century. But these claims seem to be more hyperbole than fact: Insects are staggeringly diverse in breadth, with about 1 million discovered species, making it virtually impossible for the type of mass apocalypse some have prognosticated. Still, some insects, because they are so specialized, are highly vulnerable to environmental fluctuations, and their potential endangerment (or extinction) in coming years could still reverberate throughout food webs and affect a host of other species.

— Saahil Desai


Evening Reads

The Uncomfortable and Profound Authenticity of Roma

(Netflix)

Roma, the Netflix drama that centers around the story of a maid working for a family in 1970s Mexico, garnered 10 Oscar nominations heading into the Academy Awards this weekend. Keshia Naurana Badalge writes about what it’s like watching  the film as someone who was raised by maids, and then later worked as one:

“When my father left the family, our maid at that time, Lena, cried with me and my grandmother in the kitchen. ‘Poor thing,’ Lena murmured as we pressed into her. She held both of our trembling frames, trying to be strong, yet her face was as wet as ours. And when my younger brother was diagnosed with diabetes, Jane, our maid then, broke down in sobs late at night—something I only know because I shared a room with her.”

Read the rest

How to Stop Hating Your Least Favorite Food

(Mikroman6/ Getty)

Everyone has that one type of food that they just can’t stand. But that doesn’t mean our tastes and distastes can’t be changed.

“The tie between early life and food preference goes beyond issues of exposure, says Ellyn Satter, a dietitian and therapist who studies and treats picky eating in both children and adults. In childhood, people acquire many of their emotional difficulties with eating, so understanding that emotional tie is key to both overcoming aversions and raising children with positive relationships to food … ‘Children are coerced to eat certain amounts of certain types of food, which turns them off to those foods.’”

Read the rest


Urban Developments

Capturing Black Bottom, a Detroit Neighborhood Lost to Urban Renewal

(Detroit Public Library Digital Collections)

Our partner site CityLab explores the cities of the future and investigates the biggest ideas and issues facing urban dwellers around the world. Claire Tran shares today’s top stories:

In Detroit’s oldest African-American neighborhood, most families had roots dating back to the Civil War. But by the 1950s, they were slowly displaced by so-called “urban renewal.” Resurfaced photographs show a typical day in the now-vanished Black Bottom.

In fast-aging pockets of rural America, older residents are going back to work—but it’s not always for the money. From clearing snow to fighting fires, vital town maintenance needs the help of retirees.

A record 7 million Americans are three months late on their car payments. Cars are necessary in many regions to access good jobs, but defaulted auto loans can put drivers in a debt trap.

Keep up with the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories of the day. Subscribe to the CityLab Daily newsletter.


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