What you need to know about China’s power crunch


Image copyright: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Here’s what you need to know

Warby Parker’s debut was a real spectacle. All eyes were on the brand’s good-looking direct listing, though don’t lose sight of the fact that the company still hasn’t seen any profit.

Evergrande reportedly missed another payment. According to Reuters, the struggling Chinese company failed to repay $47.5 million in bond interest.

United Airlines and YouTube are doubling down on vaccines. The airline is firing about 600 unvaccinated employees, while the video platform is banning all anti-vaccine misinformation.

Europe gets more women onto boards than the US. A Bloomberg survey showed that women filled nearly 37% of boardroom seats in Stoxx Europe 600 companies, which… is still a pretty underwhelming number.

Britney took a step closer to freedom. A judge in California suspended the singer’s father, Jamie Spears, from her conservatorship, while fans continue their global protests for a millionaire.

What to watch for

Politicians in Washington have been busier than usual this week tackling major questions about the US economy. Much of it comes to a head today, although the rollercoaster could continue for another few weeks if the issues aren’t resolved:

Global energy price spikes will get worse before they get better

The energy crunch that started in Europe is going global—and as the economy shifts away from fossil fuels, experts warn, the worst could be yet to come.

⚡️ Europe’s wind farms haven’t seen a good breeze in months, and droughts in China and South America have dried up power generation from hydro dams.

⚡️ Because renewable energy sources are intermittent, you need a powerful transmission grid and a lot of large-scale batteries to transport and store electricity. But for regulatory and technological reasons, such developments are still in their infancy.

⚡️ As a result, fossil fuels will continue to supply a major portion of the global energy mix for decades to come. As investment in oil and gas production falls due to pressure from investors and governments, price spikes are inevitable.

How to take the politics out of vaccine mandates in the workplace

The idea of vaccine mandates in the workplace is less divisive than its critics would suggest. But companies may be wondering what they’re in for, watching news reports of skirmishes and hot tempers over vaccine verification systems at restaurants and grocery stores.

Here are a few things companies can do to minimize tensions:

  1. Share Covid-19 vaccine facts from diverse and credible sources.
  2. Stay focused on employee safety, and show concern for people’s health beyond their vaccination status.
  3. Offer or maintain incentives for getting vaccinated.
  4. Back workers’ rights to free speech.

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What we’re reading

🧧 China is combating crypto with a push for the digital yuan. The e-currency is easy to use while making sure Beijing stays in control.

⚖️ We made a cheat sheet to all of the antitrust cases against Big Tech in 2021. Here’s where and why regulators are gunning for Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook.

🗣 Therapy sessions will be free for French citizens starting in 2022. It’s part of a broader initiative to address mental health concerns.

🍽 Casual restaurants have lost the lunch crowd. A shift to working from home means weekends are a lot more important to chains like McDonald’s and Panera Bread.

📶 Sub-Saharan Africa lags behind in mobile broadband coverage. Which is a problem, because mobile phones are the primary tool Africans use to access the internet.

😿 A Chinese city cited its Covid-zero policy to justify euthanizing three Covid-positive cats. There isn’t a clear standard for how to treat pets whose owners need to be quarantined.

Surprising discoveries

Twenty-three more species were declared extinct. Humans are to blame for the disappearance of the ivory-billed woodpecker and the rest of the list.

A Danish artist delivered empty canvases and kept the museum’s loan… He said the work, entitled “Take the Money and Run,” makes a bigger statement.

…But a crypto miner returned a massive fee mistake. The typo initially resulted in the Ethereum miner raking in the equivalent of $24 million.

Betting, alcohol, and drugs make up the new B.A.D. ETF. Has the backlash against doing good finally arrived?

Everything is probably fine! Multiple massive meteors—so big even NASA calls them “fireballs”—were sighted over North Carolina.

We’re 20% sure everything is 100% AOK. So kick back and catch up on our latest.

via Quartz

Categories: Energy