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 picks@whowhatwhy.org.

Climate Change: Green Energy ‘Stagnates’ as Fossil Fuels Dominate (Maria)

The author writes, “A new study says that the world is using more fossil fuels than ever as the transition to green energy stalls. The Renewables 2022 Global Status Report says the share of wind and solar in the global energy mix has risen minimally in the last decade. While renewables boomed in the electricity sector last year, they didn’t meet the overall rise in demand. In transport, which accounts for a third of energy, renewables provided less than 4 percent. The current situation in Ukraine has exacerbated this trend, according to the authors.”

Gun Companies Are More Vulnerable to Lawsuits Than You Think (Howard)

From The New Republic: “Firearm manufacturers enjoy many legal protections from civil litigation, but gun-control advocates have found weaknesses that can be exploited.”

AZ Proposal Would Make It a Crime to Let Minors Attend ‘Drag’ Shows (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Republican state senators are crafting legislation to make it a crime for parents to let a minor attend ‘drag’ shows, saying that promotes ‘sexual perversion.’ This follows reports of a drag show last month at Tucson Magnet High School. A spokeswoman for Tucson Unified School District said the event, while on school property, was a club activity coordinated by students and not staff. But the senators, in proposing legislation, pointed out the effort was spearheaded by two school counselors who led the LGBTQ+ student club.”

Republican Senator Who Led the Push to End Mask Mandates on Planes and Public Transport Tests Positive for COVID-19 for the 3rd Time in a Year (Russ)

The author writes, “Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi tested positive for COVID-19 for the third time in a year on Monday. … Wicker, who is fully vaccinated, previously announced a positive test in February 2022 and in August 2021. Before a judge appointed by former President Donald Trump struck down mask mandates for planes and other public transportation in April, Wicker led the push in the Senate to end it via legislation.”

Rape Victim Ordered to Pay Her Abuser Child Support (Sean)

The authors write, “It’s one of the most egregious cases victims’ advocates tell the WBRZ Investigative Unit they have ever seen, after a judge awarded full custody to a woman’s abuser and forced her to pay child support. This story dates back decades and involves a woman who was raped at the age of 16 by a man almost twice her age.”

Happy the Elephant Is Not a Person, New York’s Highest Court Rules (Mili)

From National Geographic: “Happy, a 51-year-old Asian elephant at the Bronx Zoo, is not a ‘person,’ New York’s highest court has decided, bringing to a close a case that forced the courts and the public to reflect on what rights human society owes highly intelligent animals. The court’s 5-2 ruling on June 14 means Happy is not entitled to the fundamental right of bodily liberty, or freedom from imprisonment.”

Lost Cities of the Amazon Discovered From the Air (Dana)

From Smithsonian Magazine: “The Amazon is one of the planet’s last great wildernesses, but legends have circulated for centuries that lost cities existed deep within the forests. A search for El Dorado, a supposed city of gold, lured many Spanish explorers far off the map and some of them never returned. As recently as the 20th century, British explorer Percy Fawcett searched for what he believed was the Lost City of Z. He vanished into the jungle and added his own unfinished chapter to a tale that began 600 years ago. Now the plot has taken a new twist, as scientists have discovered that ancient cities really did exist in the Amazon. And while urban ruins remain extremely difficult to find in thick, remote forests, a key technology has helped change the game.”