climate crisis, natural disasters, weather shocks, disaster-proof housing, shelter design
Photo credit: Chris / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to

Listen To This Story
Voiced by Amazon Polly

As Climate Shocks Multiply, Designers Seek Holy Grail: Disaster-Proof Homes (Maria)

The author writes, “Jon duSaint, a retired software engineer, recently bought property near Bishop, Calif., in a rugged valley east of the Sierra Nevada. The area is at risk for wildfires, severe daytime heat and high winds — and also heavy winter snowfall. But Mr. duSaint isn’t worried. He’s planning to live in a dome. The 29-foot structure will be coated with aluminum shingles that reflect heat, and are also fire-resistant. … ‘The dome shell itself is basically impervious,’ Mr. duSaint said.” 

Close to 100,000 Voter Registrations Were Challenged in Georgia — Almost All by Just Six Right-Wing Activists (Russ)

From ProPublica: “The recent transformation of the state’s election laws explicitly enabled citizens to file unlimited challenges to other voters’ registrations. Experts warn that election officials’ handling of some of those challenges may clash with federal law.”

Abortions Rise in Washington and Oregon as Idaho Travel Ban Challenged (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Over the past year, Washington and Oregon have witnessed a flood of patients seeking abortion care while neighboring Idaho has criminalized some abortion-related travel. Termed ‘abortion trafficking,’ the first-of-its-kind law makes it a felony to take a minor out of state to get an abortion without parental permission.”

Texas Judge Who Doesn’t Want to Perform Gay Marriage Ceremonies Hopes Web Designer’s Supreme Court Case Helps Her Fight (Dana)

From The Texas Tribune: “Since Waco judge Dianne Hensley received a public warning from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct for refusing to perform same-sex marriages in 2019, she’s waged a public battle against the state agency. She’s long claimed the governmental body violated state law by punishing her for actions taken in accordance with her religious faith. Now, she has submitted a brief arguing that the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of a business owner who refused services to same-sex couples will help her case.”

Antifa Activist’s Family Sues Over Death That Trump Celebrated as ‘Retribution’ (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “The family of a man whose death former President Donald Trump celebrated as ‘retribution’ is suing, claiming that law enforcement’s only intention was to kill him. The estate of Michael Reinoehl, a far-left activist and self-proclaimed ‘Antifa’ member who was killed by a federal task force during an arrest attempt, is suing the state of Washington, Rolling Stone reported. Reinoehl was a fugitive at the time of his death after being charged with second-degree murder for shooting and killing Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson, a member of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer, during clashes between far-left and far-right groups in downtown Portland back in 2020.”

Politicians, Scientists Spar Over Alleged NIH Cover-Up Using COVID-19 Origin Paper (Sean)

From Science: “Two scientists who are co-authors of a 3-year-old article on the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic faced down Republican lawmakers [last week] in what might be the most in-depth discussion ever of a scientific paper in the halls of the U.S. Congress. At a House of Representatives subcommittee hearing, Republicans asserted that top officials at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) prompted the researchers to write the paper to try to ‘kill’ the theory that SARS-CoV-2 leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.”

‘All I See Are Ghosts’: Fear and Fury as the Last Spotted Owl in Canada Fights for Survival (Laura)

The author writes, “On a rainy spring morning, huddled under the shelter of an ancient cedar, Jared Hobbs hoots, whoops and squawks. In years past, he could lure curious owls by drawing on his extensive repertoire. … Hobbs doesn’t wait for a response. Only one spotted owl remains in the Canadian wild, less than two kilometers from where he stands. Her precise location in the misty forest is a closely guarded secret and her lonely presence has become a symbol of the country’s inability to save a species on the verge of destruction.”

400-Year-Old Church Emerges From the Waters in Mexico (Al)

The author writes, “Due to an intense heat wave and drought that has spread in various parts of Mexico, a more than 400-year-old Catholic church has completely emerged from the waters in the state of Chiapas. The church of the disappeared town of San Juan Quechula, dedicated to the apostle James the Greater and built by Dominican friars who evangelized the region headed by friar Bartolomé de las Casas in the 16th century, was flooded in 1966 with the construction of the Nezahualcóyotl hydroelectric dam, also known as the Malpaso Dam. In recent years, the upper part of the church had remained visible and tourists could approach it using boats.”


Comments are closed.