4/30/21 Power Five

1. Renewable Energy is Now Cheap – “We haven’t yet fully grasped this potential because it’s happened so fast. In 2015, zero per cent of solar’s technical potential was economically viable—the small number of solar panels that existed at that time had to be heavily subsidized. But prices for solar energy have collapsed so fast over the past three years that sixty per cent of that potential is already economically viable. And, because costs continue to slide with every quarter, solar energy will be cheaper than fossil fuels almost everywhere on the planet by the decade’s end.”

2. The Ultimate Deliberate Practice Guide – “Deliberate practice means practicing with a clear awareness of the specific components of a skill we’re aiming to improve and exactly how to improve them. Unlike regular practice, in which we work on a skill by repeating it again and again until it becomes almost mindless, deliberate practice is a laser-focused activity. It requires us to pay unwavering attention to what we’re doing at any given moment and whether it’s an improvement or not.

3. 15 Million Guesses About a Neighborhood’s Politics – “If you could accurately estimate the income level of a neighborhood, that would be another helpful clue. Both the richest and poorest places voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Biden. But it’s not so easy to determine income — even at the extremes — from a single street view image. Among the precincts within the highest-income census tracts in our sample — places where the average household earns more than $150,000 a year — 81 percent voted for Mr. Biden (readers guessed Biden about 61 percent of the time).”

4. Why Utah’s Conservatism is Better – “Utah conservatism is a reminder to the American right of its more expansive, optimistic past. It also offers a warning of where Republicans’ current pessimistic course may lead. Almost half of Mormons under the age of 40 voted for Joe Biden.”

5. China’s Commodity Binge – “China was the first place the coronavirus struck, but it was also the first country in the world to start recovering from the pandemic. As the rest of the world went into lockdown and commodity prices plunged in March and April 2020, China went on a buying spree. Chinese manufacturers, traders, and even the government approached the global commodity markets much as a shopaholic might approach a fire sale.