climate change, fossil fuel, emissions, Exxon, Chevron, shareholder vote
The author writes, “Fossil fuel companies are having a big reckoning with climate change this week. Shareholders for Exxon and Chevron voted for measures that could force them to take more responsibility for their emissions, while a Dutch court is forcing Shell to slash its pollution. Taken altogether, the actions reflect a growing push for the energy sector to phase out fossil fuels. Major oil companies had already taken steps to at least appear to address climate change, but activists are pushing for more action on a faster timeline.” Photo credit: Matt Brown / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

How the Liberal Media Dismissed the Lab-Leak Theory ; TX Politicians Blew 3 Chances to Fix the Power Grid ; and More Picks 5/27

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

How the Liberal Media Dismissed the Lab-Leak Theory and Smeared Its Supporters (Bethany)

The author writes, “When Nicholson Baker wrote a cover story for New York laying out the evidence that COVID-19 may have originated in a lab in Wuhan, China, the hypothesis was still highly controversial. In the months that have followed, and especially over the last week, it’s gained more and more credibility. A week ago, 18 prominent scientists signed a letter published in Science calling for an open investigation into the virus’s origins. This weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. intelligence believes three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough in November 2019 to require hospitalization, lending even more credence to the possibility of a lab leak. The hypothesis is far from proven. But this account of the virus’s origins is highly plausible, and at least as well-grounded as the original story of an infection that naturally leapt from a bat to a person.”

They Tried to Overturn the 2020 Election. Now They Want to Run the Next One. (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “Republicans who sought to undercut or overturn President Joe Biden’s election win are launching campaigns to become their states’ top election officials next year, alarming local officeholders and opponents who are warning about pro-Trump, ‘ends justify the means’; candidates taking big roles in running the vote. The candidates include Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia, a leader of the congressional Republicans who voted against certifying the 2020 Electoral College results; Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem, one of the top proponents of the conspiracy-tinged vote audit in Arizona’s largest county; Nevada’s Jim Marchant, who sued to have his 5-point congressional loss last year overturned; and Michigan’s Kristina Karamo, who made dozens of appearances in conservative media to claim fraud in the election.”

‘Collective Amnesia’: Texas Politicians Knowingly Blew 3 Chances to Fix the Failing Power Grid (Reader Steve)

From the Houston Chronicle: “Ten years ago, Texas power plants froze during a fast-moving winter storm, causing rolling electricity blackouts across the state. Outraged Texas regulators and lawmakers, vowing to crack down, debated requiring energy companies to protect their equipment against extreme weather to ensure reliability. But they didn’t. … In the wake of each power failure, or near-failure, over the past decade, Texas lawmakers have repeatedly stood at a fork in the road. In one direction lay government-mandated solutions that experts said would strengthen the state’s power system by making it less fragile under stress. The other direction continued Texas’ hands-off regulatory approach, leaving it to the for-profit energy companies to decide how to protect the power grid.”

Amy Cooper Sues Former Employer Over Termination Following Central Park Freak-Out at Black Bird Watcher (Dana)

From the New York Daily News: “A white woman who became infamous for calling 911 on a Black birdwatcher in Central Park last year has sued her former employer, saying the company unfairly labeled her a racist and gave her the axe. Cooper, 41, earned the nickname ‘Central Park Karen’ for calling the cops during the confrontation with the birdwatcher, Christian Cooper, who merely asked she put her dog on a leash.”

The Blandness of TikTok’s Biggest Stars (Sean)

From Vox: “When TikTok first launched, it felt like the world’s first algorithmically driven talent show. Whether they were beatboxing or shuffling or roller skating to J. Lo, the people on my For You page — most of them still yet to graduate high school or college — all seemed impossibly gifted. (Naturally, that made the rest of us feel like shit, and early on, some of the most popular TikTok trends were about confronting one’s own unspecialness.) It’s curious, then, that TikTok’s biggest breakout stars are not the musical theatre belters, nor the hip-hop choreographers, or the rhythmic gymnasts. Much like at an actual high school talent show, the biggest stars are the popular kids.”

Scientists Say Mammals Can Breathe Through Their Butts in Emergencies (Dana)

The author writes, “You’ve probably heard that too much sitting can kill you, but there’s another reason that getting off your ass could one day help save your life. Scientists in Japan have demonstrated that mammals can absorb oxygen through the anus in the case of a medical emergency. ‘The rectum has a mesh of fine blood vessels just beneath the surface of its lining, which means that drugs administered through the anus are readily absorbed into the bloodstream,’ explained researcher Ryo Okabe from Tokyo Medical and Dental University, in a statement. ‘This made us wonder whether oxygen could also be delivered into the bloodstream in the same way.’”

Comments are closed.