climate crisis, greenhouse gas emissions, technology, net zero goals
The author writes, “John Kerry, the US climate envoy, said 50% of the carbon reductions needed to get to net zero will come from technologies that have not yet been invented, and said people ‘don’t have to give up a quality of life’ to cut emissions.” Photo credit: Center for American Progress Action Fund / Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The Larger Lesson of Liz Cheney’s Ouster ; Inside an International Tech-Support Scam ; and More Picks 5/17

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

The Larger Lesson of Liz Cheney’s Ouster (Nick)

The author writes, “Nobody should mistake Liz Cheney’s expulsion from the leadership of the Republican Conference in the House of Representatives for a sign that she is headed out of her party, to some unknown, possibly moderate political destination. Cheney grew up in a firmly conservative and politically partisan household, and never noticeably rebelled. She has been in the family business — government — since she was in her twenties, and she will run next year to keep the Wyoming seat that her father, Dick Cheney, held for years. The cause of her divorce from her House colleagues is not some incipient shift in her core identity; it is Donald Trump.” 

Inside an International Tech-Support Scam (Sean)

From AARP: “A light rain fell and a cold gray mist hung over the street as Jim Browning arrived home from work. A middle-aged Irishman with a strong brogue, Jim is a software engineer at a midsize consulting firm, and on this workday, like most, there were few surprises. He shared a pleasant dinner with his wife, and when the dishes were cleared, he retreated to his office, shut the door, opened his computer and went undercover. Jim Browning is not his real name. The alias is necessary to protect him and his family from criminals and law enforcement, as what he does in the privacy of his office may be morally upright but technically illegal. It’s a classic gray area in the netherworld of computer hacking, as we will explain. What is important to know is that back in 2014, it was the same annoying robocalls that you and I get most days that set Jim on his journey to become a vigilante.”

Man Arrested in Wife’s Murder Now Accused of Voting for Trump in Her Name (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A Colorado man arrested this month for allegedly murdering his missing wife has also been accused of voting for former President Donald Trump in her name. Barry Morphew, 53, was charged with felony forgery and offenses relating to mail ballots, a misdemeanor, according to court records filed Thursday. He was previously arrested on May 5 on charges of first-degree murder after deliberation, tampering with physical evidence and an attempt to influence a public servant, according to court documents, in connection with the disappearance of his wife, Suzanne Morphew, over a year ago.”

Defying Chinese Surveillance, Young Uyghurs Abroad Speak Up Online (Dan)

The author writes, “Unwinding for the evening in her Washington, D.C. flat, Uyghur activist Jewher Ilham often has two thoughts as she turns on her laptop: What should I watch tonight? And will I be interrupted by Chinese hackers again? From her webcam switching on by itself to her laptop’s cursor moving around as she watches Netflix, it is a bugbear Ilham has learnt to live with since she started criticising the Chinese government for detaining her father, a Uyghur academic, nearly a decade ago.”

At 95, Dick Van Dyke Is Still the Consummate Showman. And He’s Desperate to Get Back Onstage. (Russ)

The author writes, “It’s springtime in Los Angeles — the second spring of the Covid-19 pandemic — and Dick Van Dyke, bearded, vaccinated and finished with his morning workout, admits he’s antsy. His last singing gig took place on a Saturday night 15 months ago at the Catalina Jazz Club. He packed the house.” 

Russia Is Going to Try to Clone an Army of 3,000-Year-Old Scythian Warriors (DonkeyHotey)

From Popular Mechanics: “When you hold a job like Defense Minister of Russia, you presumably have to be bold and think outside the box to protect your country from enemy advances. And with his latest strategic idea — cloning an entire army of ancient warriors — Sergei Shoigu is certainly taking a big swing. In an online session of the Russian Geographical Society last month, Shoigu, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, suggested using the DNA of 3,000-year-old Scythian warriors to potentially bring them back to life. Yes, really.”


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