climate change, nature, ecosystems, biodiversity, infectious disease outbreaks, study
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Biodiversity Loss Is Biggest Driver of Infectious Disease Outbreaks: Study (Maria)

The author writes, “Biodiversity loss is the biggest environmental driver of infectious disease outbreaks, making them more dangerous and widespread, a study has found. New infectious diseases are on the rise and they often originate in wildlife. In a meta-analysis published in the journal Nature, researchers found that of all the ‘global change drivers’ that are destroying ecosystems, loss of species was the greatest in increasing the risk of outbreaks. Biodiversity loss was followed by climate change and introduction of non-native species. ‘The take-home messages are that biodiversity loss, climate change and introduced species increase disease, whereas urbanization decreases it,’ said lead researcher Prof Jason Rohr from the University of Notre Dame.”

Netanyahu Hoped Hamas Would Reject the Cease-Fire Offer. When It Didn’t, He Turned to Sabotage (Dana)

From Haaretz: “It is not the 33 hostages who might be released — the sick, the injured, the old; women, including female soldiers — who are uppermost in his thoughts, but rather the 64 Knesset members of his coalition and above all, himself: the head of the government of failure and the October 7 massacre, the criminal defendant, the leader who has lost his people’s trust, the politician whose promises of ‘total victory’ in Gaza if we can only eliminate the four remaining Hamas battalions are dismissed by an overwhelming majority of Israelis, including rightists.”

Police Shoot and Kill Black US Airman in Florida Home (Sean)

The author writes, “Deputies responding to a disturbance call at a Florida apartment complex burst into the wrong unit and fatally shot a Black US air force airman who was home alone when they saw he was armed with a gun, an attorney for the man’s family said on Wednesday. Senior Airman Roger Fortson, 23, who was based at the special operations wing at Hurlburt Field, was in his off-base apartment in Fort Walton Beach when the shooting happened.”

In Year of Our Lord 2024, Teachers Are Still Losing Jobs for Being Gay (Reader Steve)

From The Seattle Times: “A kindergarten teacher at St. Luke School in Shoreline is not having her teaching contract renewed for next year because she’s gay and getting married. ‘Father Brad does not approve of my upcoming marriage and feels it is best for the St. Luke community if I no longer teach at St. Luke,’ the teacher, Karen Pala, said in an email to kindergarten parents. ‘Father Brad’ refers to Brad Hagelin, the parish priest. ‘This news has been extremely difficult for me,’ Pala went on. ‘I am a faithful practicing Catholic and I was ready to spend the next 30 years of my career at St. Luke.’”

The Impacts of Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals’ Aren’t the Same for Women, Men (Laura)

The authors write, “‘Forever chemicals,’ or PFAS, can be found in many common household products and certain kinds of firefighting foams. Their use in manufacturing has led their proliferation in the air, water and soil, and they are estimated to be in the blood of about 97 percent of Americans. The federal government recently set the first nationwide limits on a few types of these substances in drinking water. Some of the different ways the pervasive chemicals affect men and women are clearly tied to reproductive organs.” 

The World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm (Sean)

From Time: “China is now the world’s largest renewable energy investor. The government promises to spend $360 billion on clean energy projects by 2020, creating 13 million new jobs in the process. And as the Huainan project demonstrates, the Asian superpower is pushing the boundaries of green tech, whether wind, solar or hydropower. New panels are being developed specifically for arid deserts and others to withstand sultry rainforests.”


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