carbon, tree planting, natural regeneration, research
The author writes, “At a former intensive dairy farm in Sussex, England, oak trees now tower up to 20 feet tall, sucking in carbon from the atmosphere, providing habitat for birds, mammals and insects, purifying air and water, and protecting land from flooding. Alder, hornbeam, ash, and birch trees are also thriving. Twenty years ago, these trees weren’t there. The transformation is the kind that many countries are aiming for with large-scale tree planting programs. ... But people might be surprised to learn the secret of this farm's success — none of the trees were planted.” Photo credit: Matt Ellery / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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.

Michael Flynn Suggested at a QAnon-Affiliated Event That a Coup Should Happen in the US (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “Michael T. Flynn, a former national security adviser, suggested that a military coup was needed in the United States during a Memorial Day weekend conference organized by adherents of the QAnon conspiracy theory, drawing criticism from political scientists, veterans, Democrats and a handful of prominent Republicans. Appearing at the ‘For God & Country Patriot Roundup’ conference in Dallas, Mr. Flynn listened to an audience member ask, ‘I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here’ — referring to the Myanmar military’s overthrow of a quasi-democratic government and brutal crackdown on dissent, which some QAnon supporters have cited approvingly. Mr. Flynn replied: ‘No reason. I mean, it should happen here. No reason.’”

This Ominous Warning From Moderna Could Shake Up the COVID Vaccine Market (Sean)

From the Motley Fool: “Last week, Moderna held its fourth annual Science Day. In this virtual event for investors, the company laid out its research and development plans. But the biotech’s top scientists also sounded an alarm reminiscent of Paul Revere’s famous call that the British were coming. In this case, though, Moderna’s warning was that new COVID-19 waves are coming. Moderna chief scientific officer Melissa Moore stated, ‘As the virus spreads, it is rapidly mutating.’ She added, ‘Some of these new viral strains appear to be even more transmissible than the original strain.’”

Democrats Are Running Out of Time (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “Anxiety is growing among a broad range of civil-rights, democracy-reform, and liberal groups over whether Democrats are responding with enough urgency to the accelerating Republican efforts to both suppress voting and potentially overturn future Democratic election victories. With the congressional calendar dominated by President Joe Biden’s multitrillion-dollar spending proposals, these activists are expressing concern that neither the administration nor Democratic congressional leaders are raising sufficient alarms about the threats to voting rights proliferating in red states, or developing a strategy to pass the national election standards that these groups consider the party’s best chance to counter those threats.”

Mexico Raids Building Project, Seizes Land Next to Teotihuacán Pyramids (Dan)

The author writes, “Mexico sent in 250 National Guard troops and 60 police officers Monday to seize land next to the pre-Hispanic ruins of Teotihuacán, where authorities have said bulldozers were destroying outlying parts of the important archaeological site. Mexican archaeological officials reported last week that they had been trying since March to halt the private construction project, but work continued on what local media say were plans to build some sort of amusement park.”

Blind Man Has Sight Partly Restored After Pioneering Treatment (Nick)

The author writes, “A blind man has had his sight partly restored after a form of gene therapy that uses pulses of light to control the activity of nerve cells — the first successful demonstration of so-called optogenetic therapy in humans. The 58-year-old man, from Brittany in northern France, was said to be ‘very excited’ after regaining the ability to recognise, count, locate and touch different objects with the treated eye while wearing a pair of light-stimulating goggles, having lost his sight after being diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa almost 40 years ago.”

If Countries Implement Paris Pledges With Cuts to Aerosols, Millions of Lives Can Be Saved (Mili)

From ScienceDaily: “Aerosol reductions that would take place as countries meet climate goals could contribute to global cooling and prevent more than one million annual premature deaths over a decade, according to a new study.”

You Probably Shouldn’t Eat Cicadas if You’re Allergic to Shellfish (Dana)

From the Verge: “Brood X is back and ready for action. After a 17 year nap, the cicadas of the Eastern US have emerged to scream, mate, and perhaps pick up a fungus that turns them into ‘horror movie sex bots.’ While some people have been dreading the return of the screeching multitudes, others have eagerly awaited the brood with tasty bug recipes in hand. But before you run to the nearest cicada cookout, be aware that you’ll probably want to avoid these crunchy morsels if you have a shellfish allergy.”

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