climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, electric cars, Joe Biden
The author writes, “If the White House’s resident motorhead gets his way — and that remains a big if — we may one day look back on Joe Biden’s presidency as the beginning of the end for gasoline-powered cars and trucks in the US. Biden is proposing sweeping reforms to the nation’s energy system to tackle climate change. But they aren’t just aimed at greening the electric grid or driving the nation away from coal and natural gas. Transportation accounts for more than a quarter of US greenhouse gas emissions. ... So, Biden is pitching a host of ways to steer the country toward electric vehicles, or EVs.” Photo credit: Ivan Radic / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Mortality Rates From COVID-19 Are Lower in Unionized Nursing Homes (Dana)

From Health Affairs: “Among 355 nursing homes in New York State for which data on COVID-19 mortality rates were available, the presence of a health care worker union was associated with a 30 percent lower mortality rate from COVID-19 among nursing home residents. The findings were robust to adjustment for a range of covariates and specification checks for bias from missing data. We also found that nursing homes with labor unions had greater access to PPE and lower COVID-19 infection rates — two important mechanisms that may link unions to lower COVID-19 mortality rates.”

Justice Department Does Little to Stop Immigration Judges Who Regularly Make Inappropriate Remarks, Leering ‘Jokes’ (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “One judge made a joke about genitalia during a court proceeding and was later promoted. Another has been banned for more than seven years from the government building where he worked after management found he harassed female staff, but is still deciding cases. A third, a supervisor based mostly in San Francisco, commented with colleagues about the attractiveness of female job candidates, an internal investigation concluded. He was demoted and transferred to a courtroom in Sacramento. The three men, all immigration judges still employed by the Justice Department, work for a court system designed to give immigrants a fair chance to stay in the U.S.”

FDA Puts All Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers From Mexico on Import Alert (Sue)

The author writes, “Saying too many tests of too many hand sanitizers made in Mexico show too much ‘toxic’ ingredient content, the FDA put all alcohol-based hand sanitizers made in Mexico on an import alert. ‘This marks the first time the FDA has issued a countrywide import alert for any category of drug product,’ the agency said Tuesday.”

46th Street Subway Station Is Now a Homage to President Joe Biden (Dan)

From Gothamist: “A NYC street artist spent Inauguration Day putting up DIY signs around town in homage to America’s 46th president, Joe Biden. Adrian Wilson, who has installed similar temporary tributes in the past — most recently to Ruth Bader Ginsburg following her death — was behind the altered subway mosaic at 46th Street. It now reads: ‘46th Joe’ (with ‘45th out’ underneath).”

Why Some of Darwin’s Finches Evolved to Drink Blood (Dana)

The author writes, “The Galápagos Islands are home to 13 different Darwin’s finch species that evolved from one common ancestor. Each of these finches adapted to their environment and adjusted their diet accordingly. Some finches prefer a modest diet of seeds, flower nectar, pollen and insects. Other finches prefer to drink the blood of large sea birds.”