Weekly audio roundup, Jan 22, 2022: Global battery race, how to poll, stolen antiquities and more – Grid News

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Weekly audio roundup, Jan 22, 2022: Global battery race, how to poll, stolen antiquities and more

China is owning the global battery race. That could be a problem for the U.S.

by Lili Pike

Electric cars rely on lithium-ion batteries. China produces 76 percent while the U.S. makes only 8 percent.

One of the primary reasons why the U.S. battery industry has fallen behind is that Americans aren’t buying enough electric vehicles. EVs remain more expensive than conventional cars, and Washington hasn’t offered customers subsidies at the same level as China. As a result, U.S. automakers haven’t seen as much demand for batteries.

The case for a better way to poll

by Matthew Yglesias

Issue polling makes America seem very liberal. Combining party trust polling would help explain why Republicans win elections.

Grid wanted to explore the difference between the two types of polling and what they tell us about the electorate. We asked several detailed issue questions. Then we asked about party preferences. If you look across the issue space in a rigorous way, the closely divided nature of American voting patterns simply reflects public divisions about the issues.

Sound familiar? Trump, Biden and the world stage

by Joshua Keating

Depending where you look, Biden’s foreign policy looks a lot like his predecessor’s.

In terms of rhetoric and approach, Biden’s Year One has seen a dramatic shift — a far greater emphasis on international alliances and issues including climate change and human rights. In other areas, however, Biden’s first year in the global arena has been less a 180 than a recalibration, moving slowly away from some Trump policies, and in others not only following in Trump’s footsteps but building on the work done by his predecessor. In some cases, the realities of global tensions or domestic politics have narrowed Biden’s options; in others, he appears to have found aspects of Trump’s approach worth preserving.

It is always disaster season

by Dave Levitan

Climate change is rewriting the rules for wildfires and other natural hazards.


And it isn’t just fires: The changing climate is rewriting the entire concept of disaster seasons, from wildfire to tornadoes to hurricanes, and forcing the nation to reassess its relationship with risk.

Policymakers and the public are understandably struggling to keep up. Resources from money to personnel that tend to be allocated on a seasonal basis may need to be made available year-round. People in vulnerable locations need to stay vigilant and plan for the worst on an expanded scale.

Crimes against history: Inside the multibillion-dollar world of stolen antiquities

by Nikhil Kumar

From colonial armies to ISIS fighters, antiquities theft has a long history. Now there’s a push to get them back to the countries they came from.

Looted art has sat on the shelves of Western museums, and in the homes of wealthy collectors, for centuries. Today, the trade in antiquities is one of the biggest criminal enterprises on Earth; but there’s also a global reckoning underway as museums and collectors consider the provenance of their treasures. And increasingly — whether for moral reasons or because of public or legal pressure — they are returning these ancient works to their rightful owners.

Ukraine crisis: 8 things to watch for

by Joshua Keating

From troop movements to the Olympics to the Ukrainian winter, Grid’s global security reporter offers a checklist of news and developments to watch for in the days and weeks ahead.

And so, a game of diplomatic chicken is in play: Would Russia rather go to war, and suffer the resulting international backlash, than let Ukraine go its own way? Would the NATO allies and Ukraine rather suffer that war than make an admittedly painful compromise? Something has to give. Sometimes ironclad negotiating positions can become a little less ironclad as talks progress, so keep an eye out in the days to come for signs of either side’s position weakening.