climate change, CO2, historic high, NOAA
The author writes, “The amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere reached 419 parts per million in May, its highest level in more than four million years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced on Monday. After dipping last year because of pandemic-fueled lockdowns, emissions of greenhouse gases have begun to soar again as economies open and people resume work and travel. The newly released data about May carbon dioxide levels show that the global community so far has failed to slow the accumulation of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, NOAA said in its announcement. ... NOAA scientist Pieter Tans suggested, though, that society has the tools it needs to stop emitting carbon dioxide. ‘Solar energy and wind are already cheaper than fossil fuels and they work at the scales that are required,’ he said. ‘If we take real action soon, we might still be able to avoid catastrophic climate change.’” Photo credit: Pxhere

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Video Appears to Show GOP Oregon Lawmaker Telling Protesters How to Enter Closed State Capitol (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “An Oregon state lawmaker who has been charged after he allegedly allowed protesters into the closed state Capitol building during a debate over Covid-19 restrictions is seen in new video appearing to give insights into how to access the Capitol, which led to a scuffle between protesters and police. Rep. Mike Nearman, a Republican, appears in a 78-minute video in which he is speaking to an unidentified audience about steps to take to set up ‘Operation Hall Pass,’ according to a clip reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting that is posted on YouTube and says it was streamed on December 16, 2020.”

Another Boston Police Scandal Is Quietly Unfolding (Reader Steve)

From the Boston Globe: “The schemes seem ludicrously brazen. Over a period of five years, Boston police officers routinely claimed to be working, prosecutors said, when building alarms showed facilities had been long empty. Records show officers regularly claimed to have worked eight-and-a-half-hour weekend shifts for jobs that lasted less than half that. In one instance, a longtime clerk repeatedly forged the signatures of at least three different supervisors, helping her collect some $30,000 in fraudulent overtime earnings, prosecutors said.”

A Vaccine Side Effect Leaves Women Wondering: Why Isn’t the Pill Safer? (Nick)

The author writes, “Last month, as the Food and Drug Administration paused use of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine to evaluate the risk of blood clots in women under 50, many scientists noted that clots associated with birth control pills were much more common. The comparison was intended to reassure women of the vaccine’s safety. Instead, it has stoked anger in some quarters — not about the pause, but about the fact that most contraceptives available to women are hundreds of times riskier, and yet safer alternatives are not in sight.”

New Research Optimizes Body’s Own Immune System to Fight Cancer (Mili)

The author writes, “A new study shows how engineered immune cells used in new cancer therapies can overcome physical barriers to allow a patient’s own immune system to fight tumors. The research could improve cancer therapies in the future for millions of people worldwide.”

Seeing the Wrong Kind of Green in New York City’s Little Island (Russ)

The author writes, “Little Island, New York City’s newest park, is a carefully curated floating jewel box. Located in the Meatpacking District, it is built on the site of the formerly derelict Pier 55 atop more than 100 concrete pilings shaped like tulip petals. This 2.4-acre public park, which opened [in May], contains hundreds of different grasses, flowers and shrubs. There are chimes, hills, observation sites and two amphitheaters. The large eating area is called the Play Ground, though there is not a child’s swing or climbing structure to be found. In an effort to prevent overcrowding, reservations must be made online to enter the park after 12 p.m. Dogs, bikes and scooters are banned. Little Island is, in other words, a controlled environment. Its whimsy is not organic, nor is it coincidental this charming space is in the midst of a wealthy Manhattan neighborhood. Meanwhile, other, grittier areas of New York await their own windfalls.”

Dublin’s Bulk Home Sales Spur Backlash Against Big-Money Buyers (Dan)

The author writes, “Brick-clad homes tucked in a series of small cul-de-sacs outside Dublin went on sale boasting tidy gardens, stylish bathrooms and even a charging point for electric cars — all for a fair price. But good luck buying one. Round Hill Capital LLC agreed to purchase nearly 80% of the 170 houses in the Mullen Park development in Maynooth, a picturesque university town about a 45-minute train ride from downtown Dublin. Instead of owning a three- or four-bedroom townhouse with a door knocker and a fireplace, most of the future residents will be tenants paying monthly rent to the New York-based private equity firm. The mass purchase of affordable houses — on the market for about 400,000 euros ($490,000) — set off a public firestorm and highlights the growing tension over the squeeze in urban housing and the role of large investors.”

Deep-Fried Water Is a Real Thing Because the World Is a Crazy Place (Sean)

From Mic: “One can make a case for deep-frying just about anything, from Oreos, to ice cream and even avocados. But at the Stupid Shit No One Needs and Terrible Ideas Hackathon, which, yes, is an actual event that took place in the United States, a group of guys learned they could convert something we all depend on into a crunchy and savory fried delicacy: water.”

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