Think 2020’s Disasters Are Wild? Experts See Worse to Come

Fire Destroys Greek Camp Leaving 13,000 Without Shelter ; A Robot Wrote This Entire Article ; and More Picks

climate change, disasters, heat, future Earth
The author writes, “Freak natural disasters — most with what scientists say likely have a climate change connection — seem to be everywhere in the crazy year 2020. But experts say we’ll probably look back and say those were the good old days, when disasters weren’t so wild. ‘It’s going to get a lot worse,’ Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb said Wednesday. ‘I say that with emphasis because it does challenge the imagination. And that’s the scary thing to know as a climate scientist in 2020.’” Photo credit: Pxhere
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Fire Destroys Greek Camp Leaving 13,000 Without Shelter (Dana)

The author writes, “Fires have destroyed Greece’s largest migrant camp, an overcrowded facility on the island of Lesbos, leaving nearly 13,000 people without shelter. Some 20 firefighters battled the blaze at the Moria camp — designed for fewer than 3,000 people — as migrants, many suffering from smoke exposure, fled. … Police blocked roads from the camp to prevent migrants entering nearby towns. Many attempted to carry their belongings to the port town of Mytilene but access was cordoned off. Reports suggest many slept in fields after the fire.”

Michigan’s Muslims Are Thinking Globally, but Running and Voting Locally (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Four years ago, then-candidate Trump won this battleground state by fewer than 11,000 votes. Michigan overall recorded a 19-point increase in Muslim voter turnout between the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections. … Analysts believe that Muslim Michiganders — who surveys indicate are focused on such issues as civil rights, education and healthcare — could help play a decisive role in this year’s election if they turn out in equal, or even greater, numbers.”

Call Police for a Woman Who Is Changing Clothes in an Alley? A New Program in Denver Sends Mental Health Professionals Instead. (Dana)

From the Denver Post: “A concerned passerby dialed 911 to report a sobbing woman sitting alone on a curb in downtown Denver. Instead of a police officer, dispatchers sent Carleigh Sailon, a seasoned mental health professional with a penchant for wearing Phish T-shirts, to see what was going on. The woman, who was unhoused, was overwhelmed and scared. She’d ended up in an unfamiliar part of town. It was blazing hot and she didn’t know where to go. Sailon gave the woman a snack and some water and asked how she could help.”

Superspreading Idiocy (Peg)

The author writes, “If only someone could have seen this coming. A new study has found that last month’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which packed roughly 500,000 defiantly maskless, clueless, MAGA morons from across the country into a small town in South Dakota for ten days of partying … likely caused over 260,000 new COVID cases, or almost 20% of the country’s total new cases and almost half of those who attended.” 

A Massive Crater Suddenly Opened Up in Siberia, Could Be the Result of an Explosion Triggered by Climate Change (Mili)

The author writes, “A massive 164-feet deep crater that has suddenly opened up on Siberia’s Arctic tundra could result from a climate change-induced explosion, scientists studying these formations have said. … A group of scientists, who have since visited the site, said that the hole most likely formed because of a huge explosion caused by the build of methane underneath the ground, a process otherwise known as cryovolcanism.”

A Robot Wrote This Entire Article. Are You Scared Yet, Human? (Gerry)

From the Guardian: “We asked GPT-3, OpenAI’s powerful new language generator, to write an essay for us from scratch. The assignment? To convince us robots come in peace.”

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