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.

Seven Ways to Spot ‘Greenwashing’ by Businesses (Maria)

The author writes, “Greenwashing — branding something as eco-friendly, green or sustainable when this is not the case — misleads consumers into thinking they are helping the planet by choosing those products. And businesses are being held to account on this in the way they advertise. But what do customers need to look out for to spot greenwashing?”

What Moves Swing Voters (Russ)

The author writes, “Political pundits often talk about swing voters as if they were upscale suburbanites, like ‘soccer moms’ or ‘office-park dads.’ And some are. But many are blue-collar. They are the successors to the so-called Reagan Democrats, who let Republicans win the White House in the 1980s and Democrats retake it in the 1990s. This century, blue-collar swing voters helped elect Barack Obama twice, Donald Trump once and Joe Biden in 2020. They have also played a deciding role in congressional and state elections, including in Virginia last week. … Figuring out what moves these swing voters is a crucial question in American politics. It has become an urgent question for the Democratic Party, which is struggling to win working-class votes in many places, including some Asian and Latino communities.”

Right-Wing Operatives Deploy Massive Network of Fake Local News Sites to Weaponize CRT (DonkeyHotey)

From Popular Information: “Last Tuesday night, Glenn Youngkin (R) was elected the next governor of Virginia. At 9:15 PM, Garrit Lansing, president of WinRed, the main online fundraising vehicle for Republican candidates, sent this tweet [referring to an article from West Nova News]. … West Nova News appears to be a standard local news website. It is not. Rather it is part of a massive network of websites linked to ‘conservative businessman Brian Timpone.’ There are more than 1300 sites currently in the network, including at least 28 that operate in Virginia.” 

Patients Went Into the Hospital for Care. After Testing Positive There for Covid, Some Never Came Out. (Mili)

From Kaiser Health News: “They went into hospitals with heart attacks, kidney failure or in a psychiatric crisis. They left with covid-19 — if they left at all. More than 10,000 patients were diagnosed with covid in a U.S. hospital last year after they were admitted for something else, according to federal and state records analyzed exclusively for KHN. The number is certainly an undercount, since it includes mostly patients 65 and older, plus California and Florida patients of all ages. Yet in the scheme of things that can go wrong in a hospital, it is catastrophic: About 21% of the patients who contracted covid in the hospital from April to September last year died, the data shows. In contrast, nearly 8% of other Medicare patients died in the hospital at the time.”

To Fight Off a California Dust Bowl, the State Will Pay Farmers to Reimagine Idle Land (Reader Steve)

From the San Francisco Chronicle: “Tractors barreled past on a recent morning, kicking up clouds of dust as they yanked out tree roots still hidden under the soil. Herman walked through the once-thriving orchard, nodding to heaps of dead tree trunks stacked densely in the center of the field. ‘It’s just sad to look at, it’s sad to see,’ Herman said. ‘But it’s what has to be done. There’s not enough water to pump to keep them alive.’ Herman’s family has farmed in this area for four generations, but California’s exceptional drought and new restrictions on groundwater pumping are forcing them to do what was unthinkable until just a few years ago: uproot tens of thousands of fruit and nut trees and leave the land barren.”

Beware: Gaia May Destroy Humans Before We Destroy the Earth (Laura)

The author writes, “I don’t know if it is too late for humanity to avert a climate catastrophe, but I am sure there is no chance if we continue to treat global heating and the destruction of nature as separate problems. That is the wrongheaded approach of the United Nations. … This division is as much of a mistake as the error made by universities when they teach chemistry in a different class from biology and physics. It is impossible to understand these subjects in isolation because they are interconnected. The same is true of living organisms that greatly influence the global environment. The composition of the Earth’s atmosphere and the temperature of the surface is actively maintained and regulated by the biosphere, by life, by what the ancient Greeks used to call Gaia.”

Sea Lions Are Reclaiming Their Territory in New Zealand, Humans Be Damned (Dana)

The author writes, “In New Zealand, a growing sea lion population is getting comfortable in unexpected places, including along hiking trails and in at least one public swimming pool. The comeback of this endangered species has meant more dangerous interactions between sea lions and humans, conservationists say. An international team of researchers recently came together to overhaul distribution models for New Zealand sea lions, which are used to predict where the animals will go in an area, thus helping conservationists who are trying to protect them.”

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to the Daily WhoWhatWhy

Relevant, in-depth journalism delivered to you.
Name(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.