climate change, Arctic ice, glass idea
The author writes, “One of the most important, yet underappreciated, features of the Arctic sea ice is the ability of its blindingly white surfaces to reflect sunlight. For at least as long as our species has existed, the frozen seas at the top of our world have acted as a massive parasol that helps keep the planet cool and its climate stable. Yet now, much of that ice is rapidly vanishing ... [and] some have been driven to explore desperate measures. One proposal put forward by the California-based nonprofit Arctic Ice Project appears as daring as it is bizarre: scatter a thin layer of reflective glass powder over parts of the Arctic in an effort to protect it from the sun’s rays and help ice grow back.” Photo credit: Christopher Michel / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Federal Agencies Tapped Protesters’ Phones in Portland ; Berkeley to Ban Junk Food in Checkout Lane ; and More Picks 9/24

Federal Agencies Tapped Protesters’s Phones in Portland (Dana)

From the Nation: “This summer, Portland looked like a war zone. … Federal agents without clearly visible identification rounded up protesters and loaded them into unmarked cars, on American streets. When videos began to spread online, it was hard to tell what was going on, or how widely. The public backlash was ferocious, spurring Congress to demand that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) disclose information about the operation. But the DHS never came clean to the public about the full extent of its intelligence operations in Portland, which consisted of clandestine activities including interceptions of protesters’ phone calls conducted by a task force that included federal agencies besides the DHS, according to two former intelligence officers familiar with the matter.”

Deportation Nation (Dan)

From the New York Review of Books: “The United States is in an age of mass deportation. This may not be surprising, given how consistently President Trump has denigrated, demonized, and threatened immigrants. His administration has waged an assault on the entire immigration system, shutting down access to asylum, pressuring the immigration courts to churn out removal orders, and adopting rules that narrowed the avenues to legal immigration and crippled US Citizenship and Immigration Services, which administers it. According to the most recent official figures, from the beginning of Trump’s term through September 2019 his administration carried out more than 584,000 formal deportations.”

Berkeley First in US to Ban Junk Food in Checkout Lane (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Berkeley may be the first city in the nation to pass a policy that will eliminate junk food and unhealthy items at grocery store checkout lines. Grocery stores larger than 2,500 square feet will no longer be allowed to sell unhealthy food and beverages at the checkout line, and instead will be encouraged to offer more nutritious food and drink. Gone will be chips, candy bars, sodas and other sweetened beverages; only food items with no more than 5 grams of added sugars or 250 milligrams of sodium per serving would be allowed.”

Western Wildfires Damage, Contaminate Drinking Water Systems (Peg)

The author writes, “Taking refuge in hotels, emergency centers, or with family, many people do not yet know whether their homes are still standing. Where evacuation orders have been lifted, the damage is readily apparent. Not only have houses and businesses been scorched. Essential public infrastructure has been destroyed. That includes drinking water systems, which in some cases are showing signs of contamination from chemicals released during the fires. State and local agencies say they are still surveying water system damage and do not have precise information at this time.”

From Lemurs to Birds, Listen to Various Woodlands From Around the World (Dana)

The author writes, “When an annual music and arts festival held in the middle of an English national forest had to be canceled because of COVID-19, the organizers saw an opportunity to connect people, art, and nature all over the world. … They decided to create a free audio-library called ‘Sounds of the Forest,’ while inviting anyone who was interested in collaborating to publish some sound clips to help expand it. Featuring a map of the world, forest-goers can record the sounds of their local woodland and upload it via Soundcloud to appear as a dot on the map where anyone can click and listen to it.”

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