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 Green Talent Gap Is Widening (Maria)

The author writes, “Demand for ‘green talent’ is expanding across all industries — not just in what we think of as environmental sectors — but there aren’t enough workers with the skills to fill those positions, according to new research from LinkedIn. Companies and government leaders will need to step up efforts to equip workers with the skills needed to help employers be more environmentally friendly and achieve their ambitious climate goals.”

A Chinese News Outlet Accidentally Leaked Its Own Censorship Instructions on Russia-Ukraine Coverage: Report (Sean)

The author writes, “An accidental social media post revealed how one Chinese outlet is toeing the line while the world grapples with the mounting Russia-Ukraine conflict. Horizon News, a subset of Beijing News, which is owned by the Chinese Communist Party, posted ‘instructions’ on how to cover the escalating tensions to its Weibo page on Tuesday, according to The Washington Post. China has strengthened its alliance with Russia in recent years and the two countries have also become increasingly active economic partners. Trade between China and Russia has grown from $10.7 billion in 2004 to $140 billion by 2021, according to the Carnegie Moscow Center think tank.”

A Doctor in the Deep South Reflects on What the Texas Anti-Trans Law Could Mean for His Patients (Dana)

From Esquire: “There is clearly going to be one story that blots out the sun for a while, and it will dominate conversation in the shebeen as well. However, there’s still repression going on in this country, chiefly in Texas, where Governor Greg Abbott, surely one of the least excusable humans in our politics, directed his state agencies to define gender-affirming care as child abuse. He also seeks to turn doctors — and private citizens — into agents of the state by requiring them to inform on any young person seeking to transition. This prompted Friend of the Blog Dr. Kenneth Starnes, an ER physician down in winter’s bone country where Missouri and Arkansas meet, to send along a story from his own experience that illustrates the kind of human tragedies that Abbott’s directive makes inevitable.”

A Surprise Poll About GOP Book Bans Should Light a Fire Under Democrats (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “As Democrats debate the GOP’s all-culture-war-all-the-time campaign strategy, here’s a maxim worth remembering: If you’re wasting political bandwidth denying lies about yourselves, you’re losing. A new CBS News poll offers data that should prod Democrats into rethinking these culture-war battles. It finds that surprisingly large majorities oppose banning books on history or race — and importantly, this is partly because teaching about our racial past makes students more understanding of others’ historical experiences.”

Inside California’s Cannabis Crisis (Dan)

From Rolling Stone: “It’s a raw December day in the heart of California weed country, and thousands of cannabis growers, purveyors and smokers are gathered at the 18th annual Emerald Cup Harvest Ball in Santa Rosa, California. The blissful funk of a psychedelic soul band wafts from an outdoor stage as a chilly drizzle falls, and chipper corporate promoters hand out branded rain slickers to shoppers. They’re waiting to get into a makeshift dispensary for the popular cannabis brand Cookies, housed in a magnificent geodesic dome packed with display cases full of bud, concentrates, vape cartridges and seeds for sale. In the indoor Puffco Pavilion nearby, buyers are examining jars full of frosty nugs and haggling over cannabis seeds and plant cuttings, some of which are selling for up to $1,000. There’s weed everywhere you look. California’s enormous marijuana market, which reached an estimated $4.4 billion in sales in 2020, has seemingly reached peak cannabis capitalism. The mood is decidedly different in a neighboring building where mom-and-pop cultivators were just accosted by uniformed agents from the Department of Cannabis Control.”

Everest’s Highest Glacier Lost 2,000 Years of Ice in Just 25 Years, Says New Study (Mili)

The author writes, “The climate crisis enveloping Earth impacts the lowest depths of the sea and the most remote parts of the planet. And new research shows that it’s also causing change at the highest points of the world. Scientists studying South Col — Mount Everest’s highest glacier — have reported that rapid ice loss is occurring as global temperatures rise, with ice further exposed and vulnerable due to the thinning snowpack cover. That will make scaling Mount Everest more challenging due to the exposed bedrock. More worrying is the potential impact on the people who rely on these glaciers to supply water for drinking and agriculture. Increased risk of avalanches is another concern.”

Spare the Bear: Hank the Tank Avoids Death, Relocation Thanks to DNA Evidence (Laura)

From The Sacramento Bee: “Turns out Hank the Tank got a bad rap. The rotund black bear from Lake Tahoe that captured international attention won’t be killed or moved to a sanctuary after all. At least for now. On Thursday, state wildlife officials issued a pardon and vindication of sorts for the 500-pound black bear that they had originally said was solely responsible for burglarizing nearly three dozen homes in the Tahoe Keys neighborhood of South Lake Tahoe over the past few months. Officials with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said Thursday that DNA samples collected from the properties showed that at least two other large black bears had broken into some of the homes.”