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.

Extreme Weather Warning Systems for All ‘in Five Years’ (Maria)

The author writes, “Early warning systems to protect the entire world from extreme weather and climate disasters should be rolled out within five years, according to the UN. Right now, around one-third of the global population has no cover, while in Africa 60% of the population is unprotected. The World Meteorological Organization will put together a plan on how this can be achieved by November. Around $1.5B will be needed to finance the development.”

Americans May Be Greatly Underestimating the Impact of 10 Years of Putin’s Propaganda (Russ)

The author writes, “Few Americans have parsed Russian propaganda on its various platforms like Maxim Pozdorovkin. The Russian-born, Harvard-educated filmmaker and thinker is behind several works on the subject, most notably Our New President from 2018, an award-winning documentary deconstruction of the Russian media’s portrayal of Donald Trump’s election that was, as he puts it, ‘a movie based entirely on actual footage without a single true statement in it.’ … Far from just an attempt to negate discontent over its Ukraine invasion, Russia’s current state-media approach is, in Pozdorovkin’s view, a continuation of a decade-long campaign to warp Russian citizens’ view of the West. He argues the country’s population has been long primed for this moment — seriously lowering the odds for any tech company or foreign outlet hoping to poke through the veil.”

Hypersonic Missiles: Why Is Russia Using Them in Ukraine? (Mili)

The author writes, “In the never-ending quest to find weapons that will give a country the power it needs to knock out its adversaries, a new type of weapon has emerged: ultra-fast ‘hypersonic’ missiles that can hit targets anywhere on Earth within an hour. Using cutting edge technologies that have only just been perfected, these new weapons are billed as ‘unstoppable.’ Now Russia has said it launched its Kinzhal (Dagger) hypersonic missile at, among other targets, a weapons depot in western Ukraine — making it the first country to ever test this type of missile in combat.”

Russia Central Banker Wanted Out Over Ukraine, but Putin Said No (Sean)

The author writes, “Russia’s highly regarded central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina sought to resign after Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine, only to be told by the president to stay, according to four people with knowledge of the discussions. Nominated for a new five-year term last week, Nabiullina’s current views couldn’t be learned. She is left to manage the fallout from a war that’s quickly undone much of what she’s accomplished in the nine years since she took office. The people said departure now would be seen as a betrayal by the president, with whom she has worked closely for nearly two decades.”

The Interactive Theater of Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Confirmation Hearing (Dana)

From The Hollywood Reporter: “The opening two days of the first Black woman Supreme Court nominee’s Senate confirmation hearing saw a circus of condescension and distortion from the right, cycles of praise and projection from the left, and a familiar exemplar of calm and endurance at the center of it all.”

The Democratic Party’s Biggest Problem Is Its Conservative Wing (DonkeyHotey)

From The American Prospect: “Several months ago, Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) announced that she won’t be running for re-election. Recently, she explained why in a worshipful interview with Rachel Bade at Politico, excerpted in its Playbook newsletter (‘Presented by PhRMA’): She’s mad about Democrats criticizing her for not supporting President Biden’s agenda. ‘I am surprised at how short the memory is. It’s as short as being celebrated for having flipped a seat and then excoriated for taking votes that help you keep that seat,’ she said. This is a crock. Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda is dead because a handful of the party’s most conservative members, including Murphy, killed it. Now the party has nothing of legislative substance to run on, and members in swing districts are looking down the barrel of a possible midterm electoral bloodbath. The culprits are starting to head for the exits, scapegoating everyone but themselves for the consequences of their horrible decisions.”

Can Oysters Save New York City From the Next Big Storm? (Laura)

The author writes, “On a recent Saturday afternoon, diners at the Brooklyn restaurant Grand Army slurped oysters drizzled in mignonette and lemon juice against a soundtrack of hip-hop classics and funk. Unbeknown to many of them, they were also supporting a new effort to use oyster shells as building blocks for new, living coastal reefs — a transformative use that’s not only restorative, but may also help protect the city from climate change. Grand Army is one of dozens of restaurants in the city donating its oyster shells to support restoration projects like Living Breakwaters, a $107m effort to shore up the disappearing coastline of New York City’s Staten Island. The project will consist of nearly a half-mile of partially submerged breakwaters, strategically covered in recycled oyster reefs. As those reefs grow, the project’s designers hope they will help control flooding and coastal erosion while providing new habitat for abundant aquatic life.”