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.

How Much Energy Powers a Good Life? Less Than You’re Using, New Report  Says (Maria)

The author writes, “How much energy does it take to have a good and healthy life? A new Stanford University study has found that the answer is far less than the average American is using. Comparing energy use and quality of life across 140 countries, researchers found that the magic number is 75 gigajoules a year, or less. For context, one gigajoule of energy is equal to about 8 gallons of gasoline. Americans use 284 gigajoules a year per capita, nearly four times that much energy, according to the new research. ‘That suggests to me that we could nudge energy use downwards in a bunch of hyper-consuming countries and not just make a more equitable world, but perhaps make ourselves healthier and happier,’ said lead author and professor of earth system science Rob Jackson.”

China Makes Semi-Secret Delivery of Missiles to Serbia (Sean)

The author writes, “Russian ally Serbia took the delivery of a sophisticated Chinese anti-aircraft system in a veiled operation this weekend, amid Western concerns that an arms buildup in the Balkans at the time of the war in Ukraine could threaten the fragile peace in the region. Media and military experts said Sunday that six Chinese Air Force Y-20 transport planes landed at Belgrade’s civilian airport early Saturday, reportedly carrying HQ-22 surface-to-air missile systems for the Serbian military.”

GOP Pollster Says Republicans Are Mocking ‘Child’ Trump (Reader Jim)

From The Hill: “Prominent GOP pollster Frank Luntz said in a recent interview that Republicans in private are mocking former President Trump and they are ‘tired of going back and rehashing the 2020 election.’ Luntz said he was not surprised by comments made by New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) that gained attention from the Gridiron Club’s annual dinner. ‘He’s f—— crazy,’ Sununu said of Trump earlier this month at the annual event, known for its roasts of politicians and other figures.”

What Americans Can Expect if Abortion Pills Become Their Only Safe Option (Reader Steve)

From FiveThirtyEight: “Medication can be an effective tool for people trying to evade abortion restrictions, and it’s much safer than other illegal abortion methods. But as abortion access is further restricted, increased reliance on pills could also make more people struggle through an intensely painful — even traumatic — experience, with little access to medical support, lots of stigma and more legal risk than ever before.” 

South Dakota Republicans Turn on Killer Attorney General With Vote to Impeach (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has been impeached over his 2020 car crash that left a pedestrian dead. The South Dakota House of Representatives acted to impeach Ravnsborg, a first-term Republican, on a 36-31-3 vote Tuesday. Impeachment required a majority of votes in the 70-member body, and 36 was the bare minimum. The historic move makes Ravnsborg the first South Dakota official to be impeached in state history, and will force a trial in the state Senate. Ravnsborg is now suspended from office, but it’s unclear if he will still be paid his $118,603.03 annual salary.”

Teachers in America Were Already Facing Collapse. COVID Only Made It Worse. (Sean)

From BuzzFeed News: “Teaching has always been a demanding job. It’s a cliché that many teachers burn out within five years of starting; the commonly cited statistic is University of Pennsylvania researcher Richard Ingersoll’s finding that between 40% and 50% of them do so. Teaching ‘has had recruitment and retention problems, and that’s perennial,’ Ingersoll told me. But this moment may be unprecedented. Though complete national data on the pandemic-induced teacher shortage isn’t yet available, Ingersoll said, the anecdotal and statistical trends he’s seen so far make him think ‘this could well be worse’ than any shortage he’s examined in his career studying the teaching force.”

Market With a Mission: Non-Profit Grocery Stores Help Heal ‘Food Deserts’ (Laura)

The author writes, “When Mickey Henry wants bread or ice cream, aspirin or even a cut of meat, he rolls up to Jubilee Market, nine blocks away from his house. For the 70-year-old retired truck driver, who survives on social security and disability benefits, the store has been a godsend. This low-income, predominantly Black and Latino neighborhood in north Waco, Texas, has long been known as a ‘food desert,’ with only meager offerings of fresh fruits and vegetables available at convenience stores and Dollar Generals. That changed five years ago, when the non-profit Mission Waco took over a convenience store that had fallen into disrepair, creating Jubilee Market. Today, it stocks convenience store staples such as chips and snacks, dry goods and household supplies but it also carries a wide variety of fresh produce, as well as specialty foods favored by its diverse range of customers — everything from oxtail to nopales — and locally made goods like honey and soaps.”

Driverless Car Appears to Flee the Scene After Being Pulled Over by Cops (Dana)

The author writes, “A video showing a driverless car being stopped by the police and then attempting to drive away went viral over the weekend. San Francisco police stopped one of Cruise’s autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs, likely because the car’s headlights were not on despite it being night. In the video, first posted to Instagram on April 2, an officer can be heard saying, ‘There’s nobody in it.’ But a few seconds later, after the officer walks back to his police car, the autonomous vehicle — perhaps deciding that the traffic stop was over — tries to drive away before pulling over to a stop a few hundred feet away.”