Tag Archives: Actually

How Trump Signed Something That Could Actually Mitigate Climate Change
July 8, 2018 6:38 am|Comments (0)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise speaks to journalists around 5:30 am on Feb. 9 after the House narrowly passed a massive spending bill to reopen the government. The bill included a tax credit that could greatly help efforts to halt climate change. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

In an otherwise dour outlook on the world’s chances of recovering from climate change, the International Energy Agency director named one bright prospect that arrived this year bearing President Trump’s signature.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said the world is unlikely to achieve its Paris Agreement obligations without “major, huge technological breakthroughs,” but the 2018 federal budget could spur a breakthrough in carbon capture and sequestration.

“There is one political move recently that I should say, I welcome this strongly,” Birol said, fingering changes to the Section 45Q tax credit for carbon sequestration.

Carbon capture and sequestration was long the object of bipartisan neglect because Democrats didn’t want to extend the life of fossil fuels and Republicans didn’t want t0 admit to anthropogenic climate change. That began to change as the effects of climate change grew more palpable, and the chances dimmed of mitigating it without capturing carbon emissions.

So a bipartisan group of senators led by by Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), John Barrasso (R-WY), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) worked to strengthen a carbon capture tax credit that already existed in U.S. law. The old credit offered a $ 10 per ton credit for CO2 used for enhanced oil recovery and $ 20 for other permanent forms of sequestration.

The oil and gas industry backed efforts to boost the credit because drillers can pump CO2 into wells to force out oil and gas, then seal the wells, leaving the CO2 underground and benefiting from the tax credit.

The Senators’ effort was incorporated in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which passed in the early morning of Feb. 9 after a nine-hour government shutdown and was signed by Trump later that day. The new law scales the tax credit as high as $ 35 for enhanced oil recovery and $ 50 for other forms of sequestration.

CCS is crucial to climate efforts, Birol said, because fossil fuels are not going away. Even though renewables have become cheaper and are being deployed at increasing rates, the percentage of energy that comes from fossil fuels is about the same as it was 30 years ago, he said–81 percent.

“There is one technology that can bring this fact together with the climate cause, and that is CCS,” Birol said. Investment into carbon capture has so far languished, representing only 0.1 percent of clean-energy investments.

“This is the reason I think this new tax credit in the U.S. may be the driver for it.”

Tech

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How to Give Feedback That's Actually Helpful and Effective
April 28, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

Too many companies still give feedback in a very old-school way.

When I was working at Google from 2010-2012, every six months we had to do an exhaustive, 360-feedback process. I absolutely dreaded the three full days it took to write reviews on all the people I interacted with. And we had to do that twice a year, every year.

I don’t know if they still do things that way. But I do know that’s not the best way to give feedback. The best feedback isn’t given six months later–it’s given in real-time.

Most companies (and their employees) would be much better off creating a more natural feedback process and eliminating any long, drawn-out procedures they currently have in place.

When incorporating timely feedback, here’s what to keep in mind:

Focus on giving real-time feedback.

No one remembers a specific meeting from four months ago. They don’t remember a conversation from six weeks ago. By the time those individual moments come up in a performance review, they’ve long been forgotten.

But people do remember the conversation they had yesterday. They remember the meeting they held last Monday. That’s why it’s so important to give feedback in real-time. People can actually take your feedback, consider it in light of their actions, and learn from the experience.

If you sit down with someone at their one-year review, and they’re completely surprised at the dialogue you’re having, that’s an issue. The whole point of a yearly check-in is that there should be no surprise. It should be a conversation where both parties feel like they’re on the same page.

If that’s not happening, there’s something wrong with the way you’re communicating.

Involve both people in the process.

For feedback to be useful, both people have to be engaged. You need input from the person getting the feedback, as well as the person giving it.

Sometimes people will have no idea they did something that bothered you, and it may take them some time to process what you’re saying. But other times, they might affirm what you’re saying as soon as you give your feedback.

“I know. I totally messed that up. I realized I was talking too fast as soon as the meeting ended.”

They recognize it, they’re already thinking it through, and they’re taking ownership. That’s a good opportunity to let the person who’s getting the feedback come up with the solution and implement it on their own.

The more someone can respond to what you’re saying, the more helpful it is to them. It also may be the case that the person receiving feedback may need to process it and come back to you later on. And either of those outcomes is fine.

Always add context.

You should never tell someone, “Good job in that meeting!”

It’s a nice thing to say, sure. But it gives them no specific information on what they did well.

Instead, you should give them something they can use. “I thought you led that meeting really well. The addendum was very clear. You kept everyone on track, and you followed up at the end. I can tell everyone knows what they need to do next. Keep doing that.”

The same principle applies to negative feedback. You can’t just say you didn’t like something. You have to tell them exactly what you believe went wrong.  

Without any context, people have no idea how to fix what they did–or how to keep doing a good job.

Make sure it’s timely.

There’s a difference between immediate feedback and timely feedback. Yes, you want feedback to happen in real-time. You don’t want to bring it up two months from now.

But sometimes you need space to ensure what you’re saying is as helpful as possible.

I used to be much more in the moment when I gave feedback. I’d pull someone aside right after a meeting to tell them what I thought about their performance. But over time, I’ve found it’s often better for everyone if I wait and fully process my thoughts. Sometimes, I’ll even delay my feedback until the next week.

I don’t wait so long that they have no idea what I’m talking about. Just long enough that I have time to think over what I’m going to tell them–and figure out the most effective way to say it.

Build trust.

The whole point of giving feedback is that it helps you develop relationships. Think of the best relationships you’ve had at any job. They were probably relationships where you were close enough to tell each other the truth.

When I was an investment banking analyst, I became really close with one of my associates. And I could rely on her to tell me when I did something wrong and how I could improve. I didn’t feel like she was chastising me. I felt like she had my back. She was watching out for me by letting me know when I wasn’t doing something as well as I could.

If someone takes the time to give you helpful feedback, that means they care about your growth.

If you want your team to grow, it’s essential for your company to develop a good process for giving feedback. If it’s done well, it builds trust, strengthens bonds, and helps people become their best.

Tech

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This Video Of A Guy Executing Fish With A Pistol Is Actually Good Because Lionfish Suck
November 14, 2016 7:55 pm|Comments (0)

I think every non-sociopath’s first instinct when seeing the title card of the video above—which lives up to its billing, as this is indeed a four-minute clip of a man equipped with a waterproof Glock who uses it to “fish” for lionfish—is one of dread. Oh no, you worry, accurately. Am I really about to watch someone brain scores of defenseless little fish with a goddamn handgun???

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