🌞 Nuclear Option – June 23 2022


Happy Thursday. 

My children get out of school for the summer today. This newsletter will be written with three children in the background for the next 10 weeks. I apologize in advance. 

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In Case You Missed It.

🌎 A powerful earthquake measuring 5.9 in magnitude has killed at least 1,000 people in Afghanistan. 

💸 Inflation in the U.K. has hit 9.1%. In Canada, the rate is 7.7%.

🇬🇧 Polio is back in the UK. 

🚨 The BRICS conference is happening this week with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa discussing a new global currency and military alliances. 

🪪 The U.S. will open up 300,000 work visas to Mexican and South American workers. 

Coronavirus Update 😷: 

  • A new study from The New England Journal of Medicine shows that natural immunity from Covid provides greater protection against Covid than multiple vaccine doses. 
  • Pfizer is being sued for patent infringement based on its Covid antiviral treatment. 
  • Covid cases in the UK increased by 43% in the week after the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. 














*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00 am ET. 


The Lead: War on Television

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The United States has not declared war but you wouldn’t know it to watch the news. A new content analysis of American media shows that American TV news has devoted more time to the conflict in Ukraine in the last month than any other month of any other war, with the exception of the 1999 Kosovo campaign. 

The study found that the three major networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, devoted 562 minutes of coverage to this conflict in just one month. That is more than the Iraq war ever received at its peak coverage of 455 minutes and nearly double the time devoted to the invasion of Panama in 1989 (240 minutes).

This is noteworthy because American news devotes less time to foreign events than ever. War in Yemen, Somalia and Ethiopia are currently raging at the same time as the war in Ukraine and all are far bloodier but these conflicts get very little coverage if any. 

So why this disproportionate attention? Researcher Andrew Tyndall says that a lot of it has to do with the media-savvy of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The conflict in Ukraine, he says, “has overturned all normal patterns of journalistic response…It is a demonstration of Zelensky’s perceived newsworthiness that both ABC World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News decided to assign their anchors to an extended interview with him, despite the fact that he would not be speaking English, meaning that the audio would consist of the stilted tones of a simultaneous translator.” 

The Nuclear Hypocrisy 

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As gas prices spiral out of control, Western countries are reverting to coal for energy. But there is a third option that we should discuss: Nuclear.

Nuclear has a bad rap because of nuclear incidents but when you look at the death-per-unit of electricity, nuclear is at the bottom by leaps and bounds! 

As we return to coal, your energy will literally be killing humans at a rate of 100,000 deaths per terawatt hour. This is not just because coal mining is dangerous, it is also because coal is linked to asthma, cancer, heart disease. This is not progress. 

The science

Nuclear power comes from the splitting of atoms into smaller nuclei which releases energy in the form of heat and radiation. Nuclear power plants need uranium that is enriched to do this. Nuclear is considered a low-carbon source of energy because it does not produce CO2. It has a bad rap because of incidents like Fukushima but the technology has actually advanced to be much safer in recent years. 

It is not a perfect energy source but it is not akin to returning to coal! Do politicians know this?? Bernie Sanders promised to shut down all nuclear plants during the Presidential campaign. Elizabeth Warren called for nuclear power to be phased out by 2035. 

The Biden administration supports building more nuclear power plants with a notice of intent to spend $6 billion on this project and last week the Department of Energy awarded $60 billion for 74 nuclear plants. 

Bill Gates invests in a company called TerraPower that builds small reactors because that guy usually knows where the winds will blow and how to capitalize on that. And guess who else is highly invested in nuclear? Russia

Why aren’t we being presented with nuclear as an option to mitigate the gas crisis? Maybe because uranium also comes from Russia. Sigh. I give up. 

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I'm having 2008 flashbacks

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Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) are making a comeback as interest rates skyrocket. Okay but these are the buggers that caused a lot of trouble during the 2008 housing crisis. Have we not learned our lesson?? 

Adjustable-rate mortgages offer a lower interest rate than 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. But only for a three-to-five-year period, at which time they adjust to whatever the baseline interest of the day may be. This is risky. If you’d secured one five years ago, you’d be paying nearly 6% on your mortgage now because interest rates are so high. For someone like that, it would significantly jump their monthly mortgage payment! 

But, ARM applications are up 10% from last week, which brought mortgage applications back up from a slump, up 8%. I hope these ARM applicants know what they’re doing… 

News By The Numbers

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4 years old. That is the age of Trumpet the bloodhound, this year’s winner of Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. 

$500,000. That is how much Bill Cosby was ordered to pay Judy Huth after she sued him in civil court for sexual abuse. 

50%. That is how much the European Union wants to cut pesticide use by 2030. The proposal also calls to restore at least 20% of European land to nature in the same time frame. 

$207,000. That is how much New York City schools spent on drag queen presentations in public schools, according to the New York Post

Twitter Notes

giphy.gif credit: techcrunch

Twitter may be launching a new long-form platform called Twitter Notes. Meaning threading your Tweets would be so 2020! 

Twitter Notes would allow for more long-form bloggish posts, complete with pictures, links and embedded Tweets, according to TechCrunch

Given the popularity of Twitter threads, there is clearly an appetite for this. Most things simply cannot be said in 280 characters. 

What's Trending?

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Brad Pitt is trending because of these images published of his GQ cover shoot.

Swalwell is trending because of this Tweet from California Representative Eric Swalwell. 

Juul is trending on news that the FDA is set to ban the company’s e-cigarettes. 

Julie Andrews is trending because she was on the TODAY Show discussing a “Sound of Music” reunion while promoting the new Minion movie. 

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