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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.

The Copper Crunch That’s Jeopardizing Climate Goals (Maria)

The author writes, “The race to deeply slash global carbon emissions will be hobbled without a surge in copper supply, but the ramp-up necessary faces big hurdles, a new report finds. Copper is a crucial input for clean energy technologies including electric cars, batteries, renewable power, and the transmission and grid infrastructure needed alongside it. ‘Unless massive new supply comes online in a timely way, the goal of Net-Zero Emissions by 2050 will be short-circuited and remain out of reach,’ S&P Global concludes. The report estimates increases needed for clean energy growth and continued demand for traditional uses, such as buildings.”

How Trump Allies May Be Pushed to Testify in Georgia (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “As a Georgia investigation into potential criminal interference in the 2020 election heats up, prosecutors are trying to force allies and advisers of former President Donald Trump to come to Atlanta to testify before a special grand jury. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis opened the criminal investigation early last year, and the special grand jury was seated in May at her request. In a letter asking the county Superior Court chief judge to empanel a special grand jury, she mentioned the need to be able to issue subpoenas for witnesses who were otherwise unwilling to speak with her team. For witnesses who live outside Georgia, the process of getting a subpoena is more involved.” 

VIDEO: Putin’s War: “The Single Biggest Geopolitical Mistake Since 1989” (Sean)

From Big Think: “When Ukraine declared itself an independent state during the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, most Ukrainians celebrated the historic move. To Vladimir Putin, however, the formal separation of Ukraine from Russia represented the ‘greatest geopolitical catastrophe’ of the 20th century. Today, the two nations are locked in war. The inability to end the fighting in the foreseeable future will largely be driven by their shared history, about which Ukraine and Russia have starkly different views.”

Ukraine War: Germany Fears Russia Gas Cut May Become Permanent (Mili)

The author writes, “Russian natural gas supplies to Germany via the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 1 have been halted for []more than] 10 days for annual maintenance work. But German Economy Minister Robert Habeck warned that EU countries had to be prepared in case gas shipments did not resume. He has accused the Kremlin of using gas ‘as a weapon’ in response to EU sanctions over the war in Ukraine.”

We Weren’t Meant to See This Many Beautiful Faces (Sean)

From The Face: “Ever get the feeling that, when you open your social apps, all the faces staring back at you are, well, gorgeous? Maybe that’s because it’s holiday season, festival season, and Love Island season all at once. But even outside of that, our feeds look like a sort of eternal Hot Girl Summer. It’s now easier than ever to edit our digital avatars. Apps like FaceTune, Snapchat and TikTok offer subtle face tweaks (you know the ones: slim nose with a shiny button tip, subtle blush, pouty lips), meaning you can rework your look with a single swipe. This, of course, is nothing new. Ever since early magazine imagery and the advent of Photoshop, people have worried about what retouching images would do to us as a society. But now, if social media algorithms are aggressively pushing glossy, symmetrical faces to the front of our feeds, is there a danger of digitally overloading our brains with beauty?”

Hundreds of Wild Mustangs Are Being Rounded Up to Make More Land for Animal Agriculture (Mili)

From Species Unite: “The capture of hundreds of mustangs roaming across western Colorado is underway despite calls from Governor Jared Polis to halt the roundups until a ‘more cost effective and humane’ solution to manage the wild horse population is found. On Thursday, June 16, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) began seizing wild horses in the Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area — the start of a roundup that could see up to 1,250 animals removed from their natural habitat.”

Supercomputer Traces Earth’s Most Famous Mars Meteorite Back to Its Home Crater (Dana)

The author writes, “The ‘Black Beauty’ Mars meteorite is a wonder. It was found on Earth in the Saharan Desert in 2011 and given the official name Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034. It earned its nickname from its dark appearance. Much like a superhero, the meteorite has an origin story, which has now been revealed thanks to a supercomputer and an international team of researchers. We knew Black Beauty’s home planet. Now we know its home crater where it got yeeted off Mars by an asteroid impact somewhere around 5 million to 10 million years ago. Lucky for scientists, it landed on Earth.”