Kavanaugh Pens SCOTUS Decision: Foreign Organizations in U.S. Do Not Have First Amendment Protections

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that foreign entities operating in the U.S. do not have First Amendment protections.
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A painted road sign indicating an electric car charging station in Lindholmen Science Park in Gothenburg, Sweden. | Karol Serewis/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Getting to net-zero carbon emissions will require rapid, radical innovation, a new report says. Global warming can often feel overwhelming, given its political, social, and economic complexities. From a purely engineering perspective, though, it is surprisingly simple. There is a clear goal and a bounded set of technological tools to achieve it — just the kind of problem engineers like to solve. The clear goal is net-zero global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a target around which much of the world is coalescing in the wake of the recent IPCC report. Reaching global net-zero is necessary to stabilize the atmosphere at any temperature. Otherwise it continues warming. “The difference between one and a half degrees, two degrees, and two and a half degrees [of warming] is functionally just the amount of time you have to achieve net zero,” says Julio Friedmann, an energy researcher at the Center for Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. Failing to reach net-zero means failing to stabilize the atmosphere. The term “net-zero emissions” means that for every ton of carbon released from the geosphere into the atmosphere (through mining, drilling, and burning of fossil fuels), one ton must be returned from the atmosphere to the geosphere, either through natural means like absorption in oceans, soil, and plants, or through industrial carbon capture and sequestration. Getting to net zero means reducing emissions as much as humanly possible and burying enough carbon to account for emissions that can’t be eliminated. OCI Net zero, and then negative. Net zero is the clear goal. The tools available for achieving it are clean energy technologies. Given the time it takes for new technologies to scale up to mass-market significance, the 2050 target will almost certainly be met (if at all) with clean energy technologies that currently exist. Some of them may still be in the early stages of development, but they’re already out there somewhere. It’s a large set of tools, but a bounded set. From an engineering perspective, the central question is whether the tools available are up to the task required of them. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has recently set out to answer that question, under the rubric of its Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) program, which this month issued its latest Clean Energy Innovation report. The (comprehensive and fascinating) report surveys the field of clean energy technology and determines where various technologies are on the development curve and where they must get to achieve net zero by 2050. It reveals a problem that is at once politically daunting and, from an engineering perspective, eminently solvable — even, or perhaps especially, in the Covid-19 era. The IEA is trying to give new technologies a chance The IEA has been criticized in the past for being too conservative in its modeling, for underestimating the rapid pace of development in cleantech and thus overestimating the cost of decarbonizing. (I covered the controversy in detail in this post.) The ETP program is in part an effort to respond to those criticisms. There are four basic stages that new technology goes through in the process of scaling up to mass-market significance. Quoting from the IEA report: Prototype: A concept is developed into a design, and then into a prototype for a new device (e.g. a furnace that produces steel with pure hydrogen instead of coal). Demonstration: The first examples of a new technology are introduced at the size of a full-scale commercial unit (e.g. a system that captures CO2 emissions from cement plants). Early adoption: At this stage, there is still a cost and performance gap with established technologies, which policy attention must address (e.g. electric and hydrogen-powered cars). Mature: As deployment progresses, the product moves into the mainstream as a common choice for new purchases (e.g. hydropower turbines). Because technology development is uncertain and difficult to predict, IEA has typically only used technologies from categories 3 and 4 in its models, which is one reason its scenarios have been seen as unduly conservative. IEA The Clean Energy Innovation report responds directly to that concern. It surveys some 400 clean energy technologies in four key areas (electrification, carbon management, hydrogen, and bioenergy), determining their stage of development. And it models what would happen if all the technologies in the early stages were rapidly accelerated to maturity. It calls this new scenario its Faster Innovation Case. The report goes into considerable detail about the impact of Covid-19 on global energy innovation. I won’t get into the details; the upshot is that the entire world is at an inflection point. As of now, the coronavirus has hit energy companies hard and slowed innovation spending. Even as the recession produces a short-term dip in emissions, it could delay longer-term decarbonization, which would only make the eventual task more difficult. But countries across the world are considering trillions of dollars in recovery and stimulus spending to salvage their economies. That presents an enormous opportunity to kickstart the cycles of building and innovation that will be necessary to hit the 2050 target. If they are smart about it, countries — especially wealthier countries like the US — can deliberately accelerate the development of early-stage clean energy technologies and get them on track to do the enormous work that will be asked of them by mid-century. Many technologies that will be needed for deep decarbonization are nowhere near ready The IEA begins by determining how ready current clean energy technologies are to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS), which would reach global net-zero emissions by 2070 and stabilize global temperature rise at 1.8°C (along with meeting several other sustainable development goals). In the energy sector, IEA identifies four key approaches to decarbonization that are lagging technologically: Electrification of end uses, particularly heating and transportation; carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS); low-carbon hydrogen and hydrogen fuels; bioenergy. Within those four approaches, IEA assesses over 400 separate technologies. What is remarkable, and disheartening, is how few of them are on track to meet the SDS goals. The report does a deep dive on the component technologies in each of the four areas. Here’s how it lays out electrification: IEA As you can see on the left, many zero-carbon power generation technologies are either mature (blue) or in early adoption (green) and scaling up. But electricity infrastructure (center column) is lagging and electrification of heavy industry (middle of the right column) is practically nowhere near. Nonetheless, electrification is probably the best of the four approaches. Here’s CCUS: IEA That’s a lot of yellow and orange — almost nothing in early adoption or mature, ready for market. To see similar breakdowns of the other areas, check out the interactive dashboard IEA built to show all 400 technologies. Altogether, “around 35% of the cumulative CO2 emissions reductions needed to shift to a sustainable path come from technologies currently at the prototype or demonstration phase,” the report says. “A further 40% of the reductions rely on technologies not yet commercially deployed on a mass-market scale.” IEA As IEA notes, “this calls for urgent efforts to accelerate innovation.” All those early-stage technologies need to be pushed forward to bring down costs and achieve mass-market adoption. “Without strong and targeted R&D efforts in critical technologies,” IEA says, “net-zero emissions are not achievable.” Pushing technology into overdrive If clean energy technology isn’t even ready to hit the SDS’s net-zero-by-2070 target, how can it possibly hit net zero by 2050? That is the purpose of IEA’s Faster Innovation Case (FIC): It models what would happen if all those early-stage clean energy technologies were rapidly accelerated through the stages of innovation, twice as fast as they are in the SDS. IEA is clear that the FIC is not a recommendation. It’s a somewhat idealized exercise that would almost certainly be impossible in practice. Broad adoption of new energy technologies can take up to 80 years or more. Even some of the fastest cycles of adoption in recent history — say, LED light bulbs — took between 10 and 30 years. IEA In the FIC, all early-stage clean energy technologies would match that pace. “CO2 savings from technologies currently at the prototype or demonstration stage would be more than 75% higher in 2050 than in the Sustainable Development Scenario,” IEA reports, “and 45% of all emissions savings in 2050 would come from technologies that have not yet reached the market.” One reason those early-stage technologies could play such an outsized role is that they could help solve the problem of carbon lock-in. A certain amount of future greenhouse gas emissions are “locked in” by current investment commitments in dirty power plants and factories. Lots more emissions are about to be locked in by the next round of investment. Investment cycles for some energy technologies, especially big industrial equipment, are in the 20- to 25-year range. “If the right technologies in the steel, cement and chemical sectors can reach the market in time for the next 25-year refurbishment cycle – due to start around 2030 – they can prevent nearly 60 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions (GtCO2),” IEA reports. IEA To avoid large-scale carbon lock-in, rapid innovation is crucial. How governments can accelerate innovation Clean technology is not currently on track to do what the world will ask of it in coming decades. To get there, all the world’s major governments will need to commit to a concerted effort to accelerate its development. Here, quoting from the report, are the five recommendations IEA makes to governments to speed things up: Prioritise, track and adjust. Selecting a portfolio of technologies to support requires processes that are rigorous and flexible and that factor in local needs and advantages. Raise public R&D and market-led private innovation. Different technologies have differing needs for further support, from more public R&D funding to market incentives. Address all the links in the value chain. In each application, a technology is only as close to market as the weakest link in its value chain, and uneven progress hinders innovation. Build enabling infrastructure. Governments can mobilise private finance to address innovation gaps by sharing the risks of network enhancements and demonstrators. Work globally for regional success. The technology challenges are urgent and global, making a strong case for co-operation which could draw on existing multilateral forums. These are all pretty self-explanatory and I won’t get into the report’s extremely deep weeds — I’ll just make a couple of general points about innovation policy. First, spending more money is crucial, but it’s not enough. Good innovation policy requires a plan, forward-thinking analysis of the technology landscape and regional and local needs, and some regular assessment and self-correction. There’s no substitute for good governance. Second, innovation does not mean handing money to technologists and waiting to see what they produce. A big part of accelerating innovation is building — building the technologies themselves, to take advantage of learning-by-doing, and building the infrastructure new technologies need to grow. To scale up clean energy technologies in time, building has to start now and continue at a headlong pace for decades. Friedmann summarizes IEA’s conclusions this way: “every week is infrastructure week, for the next 30 years.” Just consider what’s involved in the Faster Innovation Case. “Robust market deployment of current prototypes would need to start right after the completion of only one single commercial-scale demonstration,” the report says, “which,” it adds with droll understatement, “is not common practice.” That will mean taking lots of big shots on risky bets, some of which will inevitably fail. Doing so requires political systems and electorates willing to be patient and forgiving. (You will recall that former president Barack Obama’s clean energy loan program, which was if anything too conservative, was forever poisoned in the public mind by Republican demagoguing of Solyndra, a company that failed after receiving government loans.) In the FIC, “demand for hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels would grow by almost 25% in 2050 over the Sustainable Development Scenario,” the report says, “requiring, for example, almost two new hydrogen-based steel plants (today at prototype stage) to be installed each month from now to 2050.” Is that pace of building and innovation even possible in hydrogen, about which many people are extremely skeptical? “If it’s required, it’s doable,” says Friedmann, “and the hydrogen piece is required. There’s no pathway that gets us to where we need to go without gobs of zero-carbon hydrogen.” As for CCUS and bioenergy, in the FIC, “CO2 capture would increase by 50% to around 7.5 GtCO2 per year in 2050,” it says, “while almost 90 new bioenergy plants equipped with CO2 capture and storage would be needed each year, nearly three times as much as the capacity projected in the Sustainable Development Scenario.” IEA (For the latest on the near-term prospects for carbon capture, see the work of Jennifer Wilcox and her team at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute on CCS as applied to natural gas, the US industrial sector, and direct air capture.) Similarly, the rapid development of battery technology will enable much faster electrification of heavy transportation (and thus the building of new fleets): IEA Building at this pace (two steel plants a month, 90 bioenergy plants a year, and similar numbers for other clean technologies) is virtually unknown outside of wartime, and it has certainly never been done globally. “There is little or no precedent for the required pace of innovation in the Faster Innovation Case,” IEA says, “and it does not leave any room for any delays or unexpected operational problems during demonstration or at any other stage.” If there are delays — if, for instance, in the US, a Republican Senate refuses to pass any legislation that might politically benefit new Democratic president Joe Biden — the eventual task will grow more difficult and expensive. “A delay in demonstration projects and a slowdown in deployment of early adoption technologies following the Covid-19 crisis would require greater government efforts down the line,” IEA says. “For example, capital costs of key technologies like hydrogen electrolysers could increase by up to 10% by 2030, making it harder to scale up production.” To accelerate out of the virus slump, every government needs to get going on clean energy innovation immediately, and at speed. There’s more than enough consensus on innovation to move forward Three quick final things to say about the report. First, I was happy to see IEA emphasize a point I’ve been making for years, which is that smaller scale, distributed energy technologies, including digital and information technologies, innovate faster than large, capital-intensive techs like carbon capture facilities or steel plants. Shutterstock Small and modular. “When you get to these really large-scale infrastructure projects like CCS,” says Sonia Aggarwal, an energy analyst with the research firm Energy Innovation, “each stair step of innovation is a billion dollars, at least, and you have to build a number of them before you realize what is going well and what isn’t.” In contrast, IEA points out, smaller and more modular technologies lend themselves to mass production, standardization, and continuous learning, which have benefited solar PV and lithium-ion batteries. Because smaller techs are frequently networked (especially in electricity), they produce large knowledge spillover effects into other technologies. And digital technologies are not only quick to iterate, they can accelerate the pace at which other, non-digital technologies reach market. Internet and communication technology (ICT) can help substitute computing power, which is getting cheaper, for labor and material, which are not — substitute “intelligence for stuff,” as I like to put it. Here’s the thing, though. It seems to me that if a) you desperately need rapid innovation in clean energy technologies, b) some clean energy technologies innovate faster than others, and c) you are short on time, it makes sense to lean into the tech that moves faster. Smaller, modular, distributed tech might not get you all the way there — there may never be a small, modular steel plant — but, especially in electricity (the core of the future energy system) it can do a great deal. A more rapid rate of innovation is a reason to prefer smaller, networked technologies, and to think about how a future energy system can be built around them. Though IEA does not draw that conclusion explicitly, I think it ought to. Second, IEA is still drawing on the climate models that inform the IPCC and other international climate organizations, and there are some climate analysts who think that those models underestimate the growth of clean energy and thus overestimate the future rise in emissions. “We might be reaching somewhat pessimistic conclusions due in part to limitations of modeling,” says Aggarwal. “We may be making the problem harder on ourselves than it needs to be.” This dispute matters, because if zero-carbon energy can get closer to true zero emissions, then negative emissions will have less work to do — and R&D should shift from CCUS to electrification and hydrogen accordingly. (Again, it’s not an either-or choice, but there is a question of priorities.) It makes sense to get CCUS ready for the market regardless, if nothing else as a hedge against downside risk, but if the decarbonization task is going to be less difficult — still incredibly difficult, but less difficult — than we currently project, we can take a somewhat more hopeful and less defensive view. Put all that aside, though. My third and most important point is simply that, no matter what you might think about the ideal path or energy mix for getting to net zero, there is no credible climate analyst who disagrees with the need for rapid innovation. Innovation in early-stage technologies is not, as it has sometimes been seen by climate advocates, a substitute for or a distraction from the deployment of existing, mature clean energy technologies. It is obvious that both innovation and deployment are urgently needed. Indeed, as IEA points out, large-scale deployment is rightly seen as a part of innovation policy. Deployment is one of the key forces driving innovation in later stage technologies, through economies of scale and learning by doing. Whatever their disagreements about the quality of climate models, the merits of various technologies, or the ultimate prospects for success, climate policy analysts agree on the short-term need for radically increased R&D spending, a system for moving technologies quickly over the “valley of death” between lab and market, and a rapid build-out of enabling infrastructure like high-voltage transmission lines, electric vehicle chargers, and CO2 pipelines. Most countries aren’t doing anything like this. “Low-carbon energy R&D spending in IEA member countries has been broadly stable since 2012, after doubling between 2000 and 2012,” says IEA. “It remains below the levels in the 1980s, however.” That is insane. FAS In 2016 dollars, the US Department of Energy spent more on renewable energy R&D in 1978 than in 2018. The task may appear particularly challenging from the perspective of dysfunctional US politics; there are at least a few successes to cite. Anna Goldstein, an energy researcher at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, points to ARPA-E, the advanced energy research agency created under Obama. “There was an idea for innovation policy, it got put into practice, and now we’re seeing results from it,” she says, “and people on both sides of the aisle are saying, ‘this is great, let’s scale it up even farther’. That’s promising.” For good examples of long-term thinking and planning, she cites the US Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization and the Quadrennial Energy Review. “We can pretend we all just blacked out for four years,” she says, “and then build on the successes of the Obama administration.” We know what needs to be done and, more or less, how to do it. The recipe for responding to climate change is simple: Learn and build, learn and build, learn and build, not as part of any one-time, grandiose mega-plan, not toward any particular finish line in 2030, 2050, or even 3000, but as a way of organizing our collective life on the planet, the central and intense focus of all our wealth and ingenuity. “There’s nothing in the physics, chemistry, or finance that’s prohibitive,” says Friedmann, “the question is whether we can we learn to tie our shoes.” Support Vox’s explanatory journalism Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.
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Actor Bryan Cranston as Walter White in Breaking Bad. | AMC On this episode of Land of the Giants, we explore how Netflix boosted traditional TV shows — and undermined traditional TV at the same time. Breaking Bad was one of the biggest hits Netflix never made. After old episodes of the drama about high school science teacher and meth dealer Walter White began airing on Netflix, the show got more popular on AMC, its original network. Usually, audiences for TV shows dwindle over time. With Breaking Bad, the opposite happened: Its season four finale had less than 2 million viewers; but when the series finale aired two years later, its audience had grown to 10 million people. This is an example of what we call the Netflix Effect — that’s Netflix’s ability to find new and bigger audiences for shows that had languished on traditional networks. That’s why Netflix was traditional TV’s frenemy for a relatively brief time period. It could grow the popularity of shows that were still running on traditional TV — while simultaneously teaching TV viewers to stream shows on Netflix. AMC insists that Netflix was just one of the reasons Breaking Bad got so big — it says that audiences also found the show via video-on-demand and Breaking Bad “marathons” that the network would run. Most other people, including Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, credit Netflix for the boost. Netflix’s platform made it easy for viewers to binge multiple episodes in one sitting. They could watch episodes whenever they wanted, rather than waiting for them to air on TV. And, crucially: When they watched Breaking Bad on Netflix, they didn’t see a single commercial. Netflix provided a superior way to watch the show, and audiences followed. Breaking Bad’s Netflix-powered ascent was good for AMC, and for Netflix, and for Netflix viewers. But this kind of win-win-win was a temporary phase for Netflix and the TV networks. Eventually, the TV guys realized that even though Netflix could boost them in the short-term, they were weakening their own business in the long-term by training viewers to watch their stuff on Netflix instead of TV. So they started to claw back their programming for their own, Netflix-style services that they began launching. But Netflix executives, who anticipated that move, had been busy creating their own shows. Even in 2020, it’s not always a direct competition. Netflix is spending billions a year on its own shows to pull more viewers away from traditional TV, but the streaming service can sometimes still work with traditional TV. Last year, Gilligan finally released a Breaking Bad sequel — El Camino, a movie focused on Walter White’s sidekick Jesse Pinkman. And this time, the TV/Netflix order was reversed: The movie debuted on Netflix last fall and then showed up on AMC a few months later. On this episode of Land of the Giants: The Netflix Effect, we look at Netflix’s relationship with the traditional media companies it eventually disrupted. It’s complicated! Which makes it perfect for our podcast. Subscribe to Land of the Giants on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Support Vox’s explanatory journalism Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.
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This week in TikTok: Every influencer wants a reality show
Plus, Chinese street style fancams! Hello from The Goods’ twice-weekly newsletter! On Tuesdays, internet culture reporter Rebecca Jennings uses this space to update you all on what’s been going on in the world of TikTok. Is there something you want to see more of? Less of? Different of? Email, and subscribe to The Goods’ newsletter here. Famous TikTok teens are always squabbling with each other — that’s part of the point! — but last week our nation’s top creators of negligible scandals were so angry with each other that the event was given its own nickname: the TikTokalypse. I won’t go into extreme detail because it’s all very byzantine and also I feel weird about speculating on high schooler’s personal lives; plus, plenty of other outlets have already published helpful rundowns. Basically, it revolves around two former couples — Chase “Lil Huddy” Hudson and Charli D’Amelio, and the Sway House’s Josh Richards and Nessa Barrett. Apparently, Lil Huddy kissed Nessa at one point, and then when a bunch of people started unfollowing him, he posted a Notes App accusing several other TikTokers of cheating on their respective girlfriends. There’s more, but you get it. If you’re thinking, “This sounds like Laguna Beach,” ding ding ding! You clearly have the mind of a TikTok talent manager, because every single one of them is currently shopping a reality show about their respective collab house. Pitching has been ongoing since pre-quarantine, but it’s actually a lot more difficult to get a TikTok reality show greenlit than you might think. According to Taylor Lorenz’s latest, management companies are trying to sell shows about the business deals that go on behind the camera (boring!), but producers are far more interested in the relationships between its stars (the reason people watch reality shows!). When the stars are still minors, though, it becomes a bit of an issue. Teenagers aren’t typically cast for reality shows because it can feel “sensational,” according to one production head, and the lack of an existing model for how a show about a content house might work is itself a hurdle when pitching to networks. The linear narrative TV drama is also pretty different from how followers currently track their favorite creators’ personal arcs, which is usually a collage of Instagram Lives, drama accounts, and YouTube apology videos. Said one talent manager, “In many ways, fans are already watching the TV show, just not on TV.” So do we need a TikTok reality show? On one hand, no, because the people who care about them are already following their every move. On the other, as The Cut points out, social media allows kids to be the executive producers of their own lives. With stars this savvy about what plays and what doesn’t, what might a seasoned reality TV producer be able to craft out of fame-hungry teens with millions of fans? My actual thought, though, is that a reality show about TikTokers will either be very dark and totally mesmerizing or so surface-level that nobody will even bother watching. I’m not sure the world needs either one. TikTok in the news “What are you going to write about when TikTok gets banned?” is the question I was asked most this weekend, and the answer is that I do not think the US will actually ban TikTok. The Verge has a great explainer on why it would be very, very difficult for the Trump administration to do so. (The answer to the original question is probably meandering blog posts about sexy fruits.) Amazon sent out, then retracted, an email demanding that its employees delete TikTok due to “security risks.” These supposed risks, which virtually all TikTok bans are ostensibly about, have stemmed from TikTok’s parent company ByteDance’s relationship with the Chinese government. Over the past year, TikTok has distanced itself from ByteDance and China in general, opening headquarters in the US and London and insisting that it does not and will not share any user data with the Chinese government. To prove it, TikTok removed itself from Hong Kong app stores after a Beijing law went into effect stating that the Chinese government would no longer require a warrant to request user data from internet companies. A temporary glitch last week dropped every TikTok user’s follower and view counts down to zero, and everyone reacted very calmly. Just kidding, people freaked out and thought the end was nigh. Jason Derulo makes $75,000 per TikTok. Do with that information what you will. Meme watch Last week I tweeted an example of a video genre that’s been all over my For You page, which is this: paparazzi-style videos, sometimes in slow motion, of impossibly attractive and stylish people in China. There is no “deeper meaning” to them; they only exist to make viewers feel ugly and jealous and I love every second of it. every time I think I look cute I think about chinese streetstyle fancams and realize that actually im a goblin— Rebecca Jennings (@rebexxxxa) July 9, 2020 While they’ve been around for years — you can easily find examples on YouTube and Instagram — on TikTok they’re more visible than ever, and many users are posting about their love of scrolling through Douyin, the TikTok app in China, to find more of them. The million-dollar question, though, is whether these videos are staged or just some guy with a camera filming random beautiful people, which would feel sort of creepy. When I asked on Twitter, multiple people told me that they’re typically plandids, or mock-candid films shot with friends. If so, this needs to become a thing in the US too. Normalize dressing amazingly and making your friend film you like a celebrity!!! One Last Thing Imagine if TikTok existed in 2003 and you and your friends made a dorky music video for “Heaven” by DJ Sammy. That’s what this video is. @lindseystirling #aheadofitstime ♬ original sound - lindseystirling Support Vox’s explanatory journalism Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.
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