climate change, China, UN summit, carbon neutrality vow
The author writes, “Last week’s Climate Week NYC was unusual for a number of reasons — like many such events in 2020, it was virtual, for a start. But also, despite the string of eye-catching announcements that the event habitually brings, the biggest news for the climate happened away from the conference. In a shock move ... China, the world’s largest emitter and the dominant user of coal to generate electricity, committed at the UN General Assembly to ensure that its emissions will peak by 2030 and that it would become carbon-neutral by 2060.” Photo credit: Jason Blackeye / Unsplash

Much Is at Stake in State Supreme Court Elections ; Earth May Pass a Dangerous Warming Limit by 2024 ; and More Picks 9/29

New Document Reveals Scope and Structure of Operation Warp Speed and Underscores Vast Military Involvement (Reader Pat)

From STAT: “When President Trump unveiled Operation Warp Speed in May, he declared that it was ‘unlike anything our country has seen since the Manhattan Project.’ The initiative — to accelerate the development of Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics — lacks the scale, and the “degree of secrecy, of the effort to build the atomic bomb. But Operation Warp Speed is largely an abstraction in Washington, with little known about who works there other than its top leaders, or how it operates. Even pharmaceutical companies hoping to offer help or partnerships have labored to figure out who to contact. Now, an organizational chart of the $10 billion initiative, obtained by STAT, reveals the fullest picture yet of Operation Warp Speed: a highly structured organization in which military personnel vastly outnumber civilian scientists.”

Much Is at Stake in State Supreme Court Elections (Dana)

The author writes, “The presidential election may be first on voters’ minds this year, but under-the-radar judicial races will affect our democracy no matter what happens at the federal level. Across the country, one of every five seats on state high courts is on November’s ballot. In all, voters will elect 66 justices in 31 states, including battlegrounds Michigan, Ohio, and North Carolina.”

Auschwitz Site Head Offers to Share Nigerian Boy’s Jail Term (Dana)

The author writes, “Nigerian boy Omar Farouq has been sentenced to 10 years for blasphemy by a Sharia court. Now the head of the Auschwitz Memorial is offering to serve part of the sentence, slamming it as ‘disgraceful’ for humanity.”

Earth May Pass a Dangerous Warming Limit by 2024 — Study (Mili)

From Inverse: “The Paris Climate Agreement seeks to limit global warming to 1.5℃ this century. A new report by the World Meteorological Organization warns this limit may be exceeded by 2024 – and the risk is growing. This first overshoot beyond 1.5℃ would be temporary, likely aided by a major climate anomaly such as an El Niño weather pattern. However, it casts new doubt on whether Earth’s climate can be permanently stabilized at 1.5℃ warming.”

This Computer Predicts Your Thoughts, Creating Images Based on Your Brain Signals (Peg)

The author writes, “Researchers at the University of Helsinki have developed a technique in which a computer models visual perception by monitoring human brain signals. In a way, it is as if the computer tries to imagine what a human is thinking about. As a result of this imagining, the computer is able to produce entirely new information, such as fictional images that were never before seen.”


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