Last Saturday, the Earth Ran Out of Resources (Again)

Trump’s Brand of Biblical Capitalism Makes Him Stronger Than You Think ; 750M Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Are Being Released in Florida ; and More Picks

Earth, natural resources, human demand, shortfall
The author writes, “The planet ran out of resources last Saturday, August 22. At least, that’s one way to regard Earth Overshoot Day, the date that represents the point at which human demand for natural resources outstrips what the planet is able to provide. ... It is determined by the think tank Global Footprint Network, which has formulated an ecological footprint calculator to measure natural resource use. Based on those calculations, the organization says humanity currently uses 1.6 times what the Earth is able to regenerate in a single year.” Photo credit: Gretar Ívarsson / Wikimedia
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Trump’s Brand of Biblical Capitalism Makes Him Stronger Than You Think (Russ)

The author writes, “Democrats’ mistake is to assume that, under the Republican umbrella, there’s still an uneasy marriage between businesspeople and people of faith. Tuesday’s RNC proved Trumpism has blended the two in the face of an imagined threat—and that both may be beyond Democrats’ reach.”

Police Shootings Continue Unabated Despite COVID-19 Shutdowns (Dana)

From Time: “While 2020 has seen a dramatic slowdown in the day-to-day activities and lives of many Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic, fatal police shootings are still occurring at a rate consistent with previous years — and with significant racial disparities, according to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). As of June 30, 511 people have been shot and killed by police in the U.S., the report says, compared to 484 during the same time period in 2019. There has been an average of 19.4 deadly police shootings every week this year, a figure no different from fatalities recorded across the past 5 years.”

Americans Are Falling Through the Safety Net. The Government Is Helping Predatory Lenders Instead (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “People are facing a period of nearly unprecedented uncertainty, and a series of recent decisions from financial regulators is making it easier for those in need to be drawn into a spiral of debt that they can’t pay off. Regulators have loosened restrictions around small-dollar, high-interest loans, giving vulnerable people more access to loans that will cost them money they don’t have and allowing outfits such as payday lenders to send money to borrowers without checking whether they’ll ever be able to pay that money back.”

Greenland Ice Sheet Melts Beyond Repair (Mili)

The author writes, “Scientists analyzed the satellite data of more than 200 glaciers across the Arctic territory spanning nearly 40 years through 2018, finding that the ice sheet shrank so quickly that snowfall could not keep up with the rate of melting from parts of the glacier exposed to warming ocean water. The study also found that the ice sheet is retreating in bursts, resulting in a swift and unpredictable rise in sea levels. Greenland contributes 280 billion metric tons of melting ice into the ocean each year, making it the largest physical source of rising ocean levels.”

750 Million Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Are Being Released in Florida (Reader Steve)

From Health: “Genetically engineered mosquitoes — 750 million of them — will be released in the Florida Keys in 2021 and 2022. The pilot program, which was approved for ‘experimental use’ by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in May, will test to see if genetically engineered mosquitoes are a good pest control alternative to spraying insecticides. The specific target is the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can carry serious, potentially lethal diseases like the Zika virus, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. … But not everyone in the Florida Keys is thrilled about adding more mosquitoes into the area. Several residents and environmental advocacy groups have protested the plan.” 

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