climate crisis, Brazil, Amazon rainforest, deforestation
Photo credit: Andre Deak / Flickr
Listen To This Story
Voiced by Amazon Polly

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.

Crucial Illegal Road Threatens Amazon Rainforest (Maria)

The author writes, “An illegal dirt road ripping through protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon is now just a few miles shy of connecting two of the worst areas of deforestation in the region, according to satellite images and accounts from people familiar with the area. If the road is completed, it will turn a large area of remaining forest into an island under pressure from human activity on all sides. Environmentalists have been warning about just this kind of development in the rainforest for decades.” 

A Preview of the Dangerous Future of Abortion Bans — Texas Senate Bill 8 (Mili)

From The New England Journal of Medicine: “We interviewed 25 clinicians from across Texas about how SB8 has affected their practice in general obstetrics and gynecology, maternal and fetal medicine (MFM), or genetic counseling. We concurrently interviewed 20 Texans who had medically complex pregnancies and sought care either in Texas or out of state after September 1, 2021. Although aimed at clinicians who provide abortion care, SB8 has had a chilling effect on a broad range of health care professionals, adversely affecting patient care and endangering people’s lives.”

Police Are Being Removed From Schools for Sexual Assault (Dana)

From Dame: “In late 2021, an anonymous source reached out to Dame with data collected from local news reports. Within that data alone, which Dame fact-checked, at least 440 school children have been sexually abused by school police at their school in the last 20 years. After consulting experts in the field and assessing the accuracy of this small sample size, Dame concludes that incidents of police sexual misconduct in schools are likely underreported. This data reveals the abuses of power police are capable of in an educational setting, despite arguments that police make kids in schools safer by Republican elected officials like Senator Ted Cruz.” 

DeSantis Touted Their Arrest. But Ex-Felons Say They Weren’t Told They Couldn’t Vote. (Reader Steve)

The authors write, “When Romona Oliver registered to vote in early 2020 at the Hillsborough Tax Collector’s office, she was asked if she had a felony conviction. She said yes. The women helping her with the form submitted it, Oliver said. She said she was never asked specifically if her right to vote had been restored. … In the last few months of her time in prison, Oliver said she’d read about Amendment 4, a constitutional amendment approved by about 65% of Floridians in 2018, which restored the voting rights of most felons who had completed all terms of their sentence. No one told her she didn’t qualify under Amendment 4; the law doesn’t apply to those with sex offenses or murder charges.”

UK Inflation to Hit 18.6 Percent According to Citi Report (DonkeyHotey)

From the Financial Times: “UK inflation is on course to hit 18.6 percent in January — the highest peak in almost half a century — due to soaring wholesale gas prices, according to a new forecast from Citi based on the latest market prices. … Such a rate of inflation would squeeze household incomes hard and further push the UK economy into recession.”

How Heat Waves Are Creating a Pollen Crisis (Mili)

The author writes, “Many of the crops we rely on need to be pollinated to produce food, but extreme heat can destroy pollen. In a world facing rising temperatures due to climate change, scientists are searching for a solution.”

The Twitter Account You Never Knew You Needed (Sean)

From Paste: “Natty Strange logged onto Twitter earlier this year and shared a photo of a, let’s say, unique pizza she found. It resembles a Sicilian slice with its square crust and red sauce, but instead of traditional mozzarella cheese, it has barely melted slices of pasteurized, yellow American on top. Beneath the cheese are invisible green bell peppers and salami. The photo of this ‘Altoona-style’ pizza birthed in Altoona, Pennsylvania, was shared on Strange’s Twitter account, Fucked Up Looking Pizzas, and it evoked an impassioned response from some users — as well as 23,000 likes.”