climate crisis, global warming, EPA, power plant pollution rules
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Coal and New Gas Power Plants Will Have To Meet Climate Pollution Limits (Maria)

The author writes, “The Environmental Protection Agency finalized rules on Thursday to limit the pollution from power plants that drives climate change. Power plants are the second-biggest source of planet-heating greenhouse gasses behind transportation, according to the EPA. Under the regulations, existing coal and new natural gas-fired power plants that run more than 40% of the time would have to eliminate 90% of their carbon dioxide emissions, the main driver of global warming. … Existing coal power plants would have to meet that standard by 2032 if they plan to operate after 2039.”

Election Disinformation Takes a Big Leap With AI Being Used to Deceive Worldwide (Sean)

The author writes, “It marks a quantum leap from a few years ago, when creating phony photos, videos or audio clips required teams of people with time, technical skill and money. Now, using free and low-cost generative artificial intelligence services from companies like Google and OpenAI, anyone can create high-quality ‘deepfakes’ with just a simple text prompt. A wave of AI deepfakes tied to elections in Europe and Asia has coursed through social media for months, serving as a warning for more than 50 countries heading to the polls this year.”

The WA GOP Put It in Writing That They’re Not Into Democracy (Reader Steve)

From The Seattle Times: “After the candidates left, the convention’s delegates got down to crafting a party platform. Like at most GOP gatherings in the Donald Trump era, this one called for restrictions on voting. In Washington state, the delegates called for the end of all mail-in voting. Instead, we would have a one-day-only, in-person election, with photo ID and paper ballots, with no use of tabulating machines or digital scanners to count the ballots. … But then the convention veered into more unexpected anti-democratic territory. A resolution called for ending the ability to vote for U.S. senators. Instead, senators would get appointed by state legislatures, as it generally worked 110 years ago prior to the passage of the 17th Amendment in 1913. ‘We are devolving into a democracy, because congressmen and senators are elected by the same pool,’ was how one GOP delegate put it to the convention. ‘We do not want to be a democracy.’”

There’s a Bigger Driver of Veteran Radicalization Than Donald Trump (Laura)

From The Intercept: “What members of both parties have ignored is the central finding of the RAND report, which identifies veterans with negative military experiences as the demographic at higher risk for radicalization. This suggests that extremism stems from military service rather than a common belief that extremism is infiltrating into the ranks in any significant way.”

Books Banned Across US Hit Record High in 2023-2024 School Year (Sean)

The author writes, “The governor [of Florida] signed a new law on Tuesday, deciding that Florida residents who don’t have children in local public schools will have significantly fewer chances to challenge books in local K-12 libraries. The new legislation will enforce a limit of one objection to a book per month for people who don’t have children in a given school district; those who do have children in a district will continue to be allowed unlimited challenges to library books. PEN America’s data shows there were more than 4,000 instances of booking banning across the nation during the first half of the 2023-2024 school year. This is notably more books banned than in the entire 2022-2023 school year.”

Cicadas Are So Noisy in a South Carolina County That Residents Are Calling the Police (Dana)

From The Associated Press: “Emerging cicadas are so loud in one South Carolina county that residents are calling the sheriff’s office asking why they can hear sirens or a loud roar. The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office sent out a message on Facebook on Tuesday letting people know that the whining sound is just the male cicadas singing to attract mates after more than a decade of being dormant.”


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