The Right Way to Measure Carbon Emissions

New Drug Pricing Data Shows Stunning Hikes ; Can Scientists Evolve the Next Great Beer? ; and More Picks

Carbon emissions, measuring
The author writes, “As public opinion [on climate change] shifts, politicians are reacting by adopting new policies. One of the most popular is to set targets to reach ‘net zero’ carbon emissions within a defined geographical border. These targets have plenty going for them. They are easy to understand, galvanising, and will spur countries to shift their energy mix towards renewables. They also have two drawbacks.” Photo credit: Mark König / Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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New Drug Pricing Data Shows Stunning Hikes (Mili)  

The author writes, “A liquid version of generic Prozac (fluoxetine) went from $9 to $69 just in the first quarter of 2019 — a 667% increase. The reason given was new production costs. Likewise, a generic medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) called guanfacine went from about $29 to $87 in the first quarter of 2019, a more than 200% increase. Guanfacine’s maker, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, also listed production costs as a reason for the hike, as well as ‘market conditions.’”

ICE in New York Has a Spy Tool to Hunt Undocumented Immigrants via Their Cell Phones (Chris)

From Univision: “Federal immigration agents in New York City were permitted to use a powerful surveillance device called a ‘stingray’ that spies on cell phones to track down an undocumented immigrant, according to court documents. … This marks the second time journalists have caught ICE using this controversial spy gadget in a deportation case during the Trump administration, showing how far the agency will go to advance the president’s zero tolerance policy on illegal immigration. The stingray was initially perceived as a spy tool for hunting down terrorists, but in recent years it has been increasingly used — in secret — by federal law enforcement and local police.” 

Enlightenment When? (Chris)

The author writes, “Although [Steven] Pinker is widely known, or at least was at one point, as a clear-headed, objective intellectual of the highest caliber, his [book Enlightenment Now’s] chapter on ‘existential threats’ [is full of] quotes taken out of context, misrepresented ideas, false dichotomies, blatantly inaccurate claims, poor reasoning, dubious citations, condescending straw-man attacks and cockamamie ad hominems.”

Chinese Censorship of US Media: New Spin on an Old Tactic (Gerry)

The author writes, “With China now the world’s largest economy, US media companies are increasingly looking at the country’s 1.4 billion consumers with dollar signs in their eyes. But access to this media market comes with one big rule: Don’t upset the Chinese government. This is most evident in the realm of blockbuster movies, where films that could run afoul of Chinese state censors are amended, rewritten or scrapped. But other media or media-dependent industries have come under the sway of the Chinese government and its massive market power.”

Can Scientists Evolve the Next Great Beer? (Mili)

From Popular Mechanics: “Scientists at the European Union want to naturally speed up the evolution of yeast in order to find the next generation of flavors. They’re combining their techniques with CRISPR, trying to balance genetic research with natural growth.”

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