Antarctica Was Once Warm Enough for Rainforest Near South Pole

Opponents of Fracking Win a Battle in Pennsylvania ; Feeding Low-Income Children During the Pandemic ; and More Picks

Antarctica, rainforest, CO2
The author writes, “Think of Antarctica, and it is probably sweeping expanses of ice and the odd penguin that come to mind. But at the time of the dinosaurs, the continent was covered in swampy rainforest. Now experts say they have found the most southerly evidence yet of this environment in plant material extracted from beneath the seafloor in west Antarctica. ... ‘We didn't know that this Cretaceous greenhouse climate was that extreme,’ said Dr. Johann Klages of the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany, a co-author of the research. ‘It shows us what carbon dioxide is able to do.’” Photo credit: Davida De La Harpe / Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
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Opponents of Fracking Score a ‘Delicious’ Victory in Pennsylvania (Chris)

From Rolling Stone: “Using a novel strategy — seeking legal rights for nature itself — the rural western Pennsylvania community of Grant Township has been battling for seven years to stop the permit for the injection well, which would have brought a 24/7 parade of trucks carrying brine, a toxic byproduct of oil-and-gas drilling that would be shot down the well and into a rock layer deep beneath the farms and woods in the area. Earlier this month, in a stunning reversal, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, which in 2017 sued Grant Township for interfering with the agency’s authority to administer state oil-and-gas policy, revoked the permit for the injection well.”

Hospitals Tell Doctors They’ll Be Fired If They Talk to Press (Celia)

The authors write, “In Chicago, a nurse was fired after emailing colleagues that she wanted to wear a more protective mask while on duty. In New York, the NYU Langone Health system has warned employees they could be terminated if they talk to the media without authorization.”

‘Millions of People Lose Water Service Because They Can’t Afford Their Water Bills’ (Gerry)

From Counterspin: “Only a couple of dozen communities are actually … restoring [water service shut off prior to the pandemic]. And communities that have promised to restore service, like Detroit, Michigan, and Buffalo, New York, they’re really struggling to actually turn the taps back on. It was so easy for them to shut off water. But now that the onus is on them to actually restore the service, it’s taking a very long time. And people are in crisis mode, and Detroit is a hot spot of the coronavirus disease outbreak. There are a lot of people there [that] are really suffering right now.”

Feeding Low-Income Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Mili)

From the New England Journal of Medicine: “The short-term health effects of missed meals include fatigue and reduced immune response, which increase the risk of contracting communicable diseases. Even brief periods of food insecurity can cause long-term developmental, psychological, physical, and emotional harms.”

Researchers to Study Link Between Crime and Overservice of Alcohol (Dana)

The author writes, “University of Minnesota researchers will study data collected from bars, restaurants and sports venues to evaluate initiatives to reduce alcohol-related crime. The data used in the study tracks the physical location of the last alcoholic drink consumed when a crime is committed with alcohol as a factor. Using the results, police and law enforcement can better address alcohol-related crime.”

How COVID-19 Led Merriam-Webster to Make Its Fastest Update Ever (Chris)

The author writes, “For a word to go from nonexistent to defined and entered in 34 days isn’t just an unprecedented reflection of a hectic, dire moment in history. It also shows how dictionaries, including America’s oldest and most lexicographically conservative one, are battling for speed, authority, and readers online.”

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