cooling Earth, science report, extreme weather
The author writes, “The US must seriously consider the idea of tinkering with the atmosphere to cool a warming Earth and accelerate research into how and whether humanity should hack the planet, the National Academy of Sciences said last week. ... An emergency plan needs to be explored, the report says, because climate change-driven extreme weather has worsened since the last time the academy looked at the highly-charged issue in 2015. The report looks at three possible ways to cool the air: Putting heat-reflecting particles in the stratosphere, changing the brightness of ocean clouds, and thinning high clouds.” Photo credit: © Annette Riedl/dpa via ZUMA Press

At Biden’s First News Conference, It Wasn’t the President Who Was Out of Touch (Russ)

From Press Watch: “The White House press corps’ abysmal failure to ask important questions about pressing issues during President Biden’s first news conference on Thursday was the clearest demonstration yet of the contrast between what the political media cares about and what is real. There were no questions about any element of the Covid crisis — not the vaccine, the prognosis, the economy, nothing! — although it’s by far the most important issue on any normal person’s mind right now. There were no questions about the substance of Biden’s ambitious plans related to infrastructure and climate change, immigration and voting rights. Instead, the questions reflected the insider, horse-racy obsessions of the political press corps. There were repeated questions about the filibuster, and about the 2024 election(!).” 

The US Is About to Have a Vaccine Surplus (Dana)

The author writes, “The US has administered more than 118 million doses of covid-19 vaccines so far, and millions more are being injected every day. So far, demand from people who are desperate to get vaccinated has outstripped supply of the drugs, and when vaccine appointments are released, they’re quickly scooped up. But jurisdictions across the country may soon face the opposite problem. As production ramps up, the US will soon have many more doses — and not enough people who want them.” 

Fast Food Giant Claims Credit for Killing $15 Minimum Wage (Reader Mary)

From the Daily Poster: “The parent company of some of America’s largest fast food chains is claiming credit for convincing Congress to exclude a $15 minimum wage from the recent COVID relief bill, according to internal company documents. … Inspire Brands — which owns Jimmy Johns, Arby’s, Sonic, and Buffalo Wild Wings, plus recently acquired Dunkin’ Donuts for $11.3 billion in November — on Thursday sent employees and franchisees a review of its government lobbying activity that highlighted its success in keeping the $15 minimum wage out of Democrats’ American Rescue Plan, the COVID-19 relief bill President Joe Biden signed earlier this month.” 

How Netanyahu Went From Arab Bogeymen to Arab Besties (Dan)

From Ynetnews: “Six years after he engaged in electoral scaremongering with dire warnings of Arab voters flooding the polling stations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to boost his right-wing party’s showing by schmoozing Israeli Arabs who traditionally veer away from Likud. It appears he was successful in his efforts. Likud won more votes in the Arab sector on Tuesday than it had in previous elections, including in the Bedouin village of Jisr az-Zarqa that neighbors Netanyahu’s hometown of Caesarea. The prime minister gleefully reported during his campaign that youths from the village had given him the nickname Abu Yair, bestowing upon him an Arab honorific by referring to him as the father of his eldest son.”

Tropical Species Are Moving Northward in US as Winters Warm (Mili)

The author writes, “Climate change is reducing the number of sub-freezing days over much of the American South, providing an opportunity for cold-sensitive tropical species — mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, trees, shrubs and grasses — to move northward, potentially displacing temperate species. Mosquitoes could bring infectious diseases farther north. The southern pine beetle is already moving north and devastating pine forests. While some may welcome manatees and sea turtles, few look forward to the spread of Burmese pythons.”

The Forgotten Medieval Fruit With a Vulgar Name (Dana)

The author writes, “Medieval Europeans were fanatical about a strange fruit that could only be eaten rotten. Then it was forgotten altogether. Why did they love it so much? And why did it disappear?”

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