climate change, renewable energy, Florida, Pongamia trees, biofuel hope
Photo credit: Dinesh Valke / 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

Listen To This Story
Voiced by Amazon Polly

Pongamia Trees Grow Where Citrus Once Flourished, Offering Renewable Energy Hope (Maria)

The author writes, “An ancient tree from India is now thriving in groves where citrus trees once flourished in Florida, and could help provide the nation with renewable energy. As large parts of the Sunshine State’s once-famous citrus industry have all but dried up over the past two decades because of two fatal diseases, greening and citrus canker, some farmers are turning to the pongamia tree, a climate-resilient tree with the potential to produce plant-based proteins and a sustainable biofuel.”

How To Pick a New Democratic Presidential Candidate Fast (Dana)

From Intelligencer: “One paradox of the Democratic Party’s crisis is that most people agree it has to do something, but there’s little consensus on what that something would be. If you assume first that President Biden should drop out of the race (I’m a definite yes) and second that he will (maybe? Probably?), the options all have novel risks. Here, with the trepidation and uncertainty befitting a fast-moving and unprecedented situation, is what I think should happen. A small group of party leaders — say, Biden, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Hakeem Jeffries, and Jen O’Malley Dillon — should decide on a new candidate over the next week. The group would present its choice and instruct delegates to ratify the nomination at the convention.”

Here’s How Harris Could Take Over Biden’s Campaign Cash if He Drops Out and She Runs for President (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Vice President Kamala Harris has been one of President Joe Biden’s staunchest defenders following his shaky performance in last week’s debate, but she’s also emerged as a potential option to lead the party herself if Biden opted not to continue his campaign. One big question is what would happen to the current campaign’s $91 million cash on hand, according to its most recent filings. (Combined with allied Democratic organizations, the reelection effort has access to $240 million cash on hand, the campaign said this week.)”

America’s Most Popular Governors Are Also the Most Powerless (Al)

From Politico: “Five state executives must contend with legislatures controlled by supermajorities from the opposite party.”

Israel’s War on Gaza Is the Deadliest Conflict on Record for Journalists (Laura)

The author writes, “When Israel launched its military offensive in Gaza, following the October 7 Hamas attack, the lives of journalists in the Gaza Strip were upended. No one anticipated the scale of loss and pain that was to follow. Over four months, Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism, or ARIJ, partnered with 13 other news organizations to investigate the killing, injury, detention, and threats against Palestinian journalists and the destruction of media offices in Gaza. We also investigated attacks on journalists in the West Bank.”

Black Farmers’ Association Calls for Tractor Supply CEO’s Resignation After Company Cuts DEI Efforts (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “The National Black Farmers Association called on Tractor Supply’s president and CEO [last] Tuesday to step down after the rural retailer announced that it would drop most of its corporate diversity and climate advocacy efforts. The resignation demand emerged as Tractor Supply, which sells products ranging from farming equipment to pet supplies, faces a deepening backlash over its decision, which itself came after conservative activists spoke out against the company’s work to be more socially inclusive and to curb climate change.”

The Rotation of Earth’s Inner Core Is Slowing Down (Sean)

From “The rotation of Earth’s inner core began to slow down more than a decade ago, altering the length of our days by fractions of a second. Researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) created renderings of the inner core’s movement using seismic data recorded from various earthquakes and nuclear tests, both of which send vibrations through the planet. By measuring the speed and interaction of the seismic waves within the Earth’s layers, researchers can estimate the position and movement of the inner core.”


Comments are closed.