climate crisis, nitrogen cycle, Florida, Mexico, sargassum seaweed, beaches
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The 5,000-Mile-Long Seaweed Snake Circling in the Gulf of Mexico and Hitting Beaches (Maria)

The author writes, “It stretches over 5,000 miles. It weighs over 10 million tons. And it’s circling around the Gulf of Mexico and the mid-Atlantic, where the right combination of currents and wind could push it ashore. … After a decade of record-breaking blooms, 2023’s sargassum mass is again shaping up to cause headaches (literally and figuratively) for beachside towns and tourists.”

What Happens If North Carolina Bans Abortion? Or Ohio? Or Florida? (Sean)

From FiveThirtyEight: “New bans will have outsized impacts on who can get an abortion, how far they have to drive for it and how long they have to wait for an appointment. A new analysis by Caitlin Myers, an economics professor at Middlebury College who studies abortion, illustrates how abortion access could continue to dwindle this year if key states like Florida and North Carolina pass additional restrictions.”

What Do Race and Ethnicity Mean? The US Government Is Asking (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Nyhiem Way is weary of people conflating African American and Black. Shalini Parekh wants a way for South Asian people to identify themselves differently than East Asians with roots in places like China or Japan. And Byron Haskins wants the U.S. to toss racial and ethnic labels altogether. … Way, Parekh, and Haskins’ voices are among more than 4,600 comments pending before the Biden administration as it contemplates updating the nation’s racial and ethnic categories for the first time since 1997.”

Silicon Valley Bank CEO Should Return Stock-Sale Gains, Lawmaker Says (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “The list of companies and banks potentially affected by Friday’s collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is growing. But at least one person seems to have cashed in recently: chief executive Greg Becker, whose trust sold $3.6 million worth of shares on Feb. 27, according to SEC filings. ​​Becker is now coming under scrutiny, including from a personal acquaintance, Democratic California Rep. Ro Khanna, who said Sunday that Becker should give that money back. ‘There should be a clawback of any of that money,’ Khanna said in an interview with The Washington Post. ‘It should be going to the depositors.’”

It’s All the Same in the End (Al)

From Alt-Meat: “It’s a common refrain from both sides of the protein debate: ‘When you eat traditional/plant-based meat, you just feel better because you’re getting more nutrients/easier digestibility/whatever reason.’ But, at the end of the day, do plant-based or animal-based meats really have an impact on how we feel after the meal?”

Cacti Replacing Snow on Swiss Mountainsides Due to Global Heating (Laura)

The author writes, “The residents of the Swiss canton of Valais are used to seeing their mountainsides covered with snow in winter and edelweiss flowers in summer. But as global heating intensifies, they are increasingly finding an invasive species colonizing the slopes: cacti. Authorities say cactus species belonging to the genus Opuntia, or prickly pears, are proliferating in parts of Valais, encroaching on natural reserves and posing a biodiversity threat.”

The Man of Your Dreams (Russ)

From The Cut: “For $300, Replika sells an AI companion who will never die, argue, or cheat — until his algorithm is updated.”

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