Entire Ecosystems Could Go Extinct Within This Decade ; The Dangerous History of Immunoprivilege ; and More Picks 4/14

Hostility to Corbyn Curbed Labour Efforts to Tackle Anti-Semitism (Chris)

The author writes, [A] new internal report … said it had found no evidence of antisemitism complaints being treated differently to other forms of complaint, or of current or former staff being ‘motivated by antisemitic intent.’”

Entire Ecosystems Could Abruptly Go Extinct Within This Decade (Chris)

From Gizmodo: “Biodiversity loss is like a game of Jenga — if the world crosses certain temperature thresholds and enough species in an ecosystem die out, the whole structure can collapse. The authors [of a new study] found that due to the climate crisis, ecosystems could abruptly cross those thresholds in a matter of years.”

Don’t Look to Mature Trees to Soak Up Carbon Dioxide Emissions (Mili)

The author writes, “Carbon-tracking analysis showed that … extra carbon absorbed by the trees [in an experiment] was quickly cycled through the soil and returned to the atmosphere, with around half the carbon being returned by the trees themselves, and half by fungi and bacteria in the soil. ‘The trees convert the absorbed carbon into sugars, but they can’t use those sugars to grow more, because they don’t have access to additional nutrients from the soil. Instead, they send the sugars below-ground where they “feed” soil microbes,’ said Dr. Belinda Medlyn, distinguished professor at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment.”

102 Years Ago, Charlotte Leaders Downplayed Devastation of Spanish Flu (Mili)

From the Charlotte Observer: “An examination of archived Mecklenburg County death certificates … and a parsing of century-old news accounts reveal that Charlotte leaders — enabled by an acquiescent press and accepting public — systematically under-reported the 1918 death toll by half.”

The Dangerous History of Immunoprivilege (Gerry)

The author writes, “Yellow fever did not make the South into a slave society, but it widened the divide between rich and poor. High mortality, it turns out, was economically profitable for New Orleans’s most powerful citizens because yellow fever kept wage workers insecure, and so unable to bargain effectively. It’s no surprise, then, that city politicians proved unwilling to spend tax money on sanitation and quarantine efforts, and instead argued that the best solution to yellow fever was, paradoxically, more yellow fever. The burden was on the working classes to get acclimated, not on the rich and powerful to invest in safety net infrastructure.”

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