environment, US, nature, insects, invasive species, spotted lanternfly population
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The US War on Spotted Lanternflies May Be Having an Effect (Maria)

The author writes, “It has been the target of an ‘if you see it, stomp it’ campaign in the eastern US for several years. But now the spotted lanternfly — an elegant but invasive insect with distinctive red wings — might be on the decline in some areas. Harmless to humans, spotted lanternflies can damage trees and fruit crops, and feed on the sap of over 70 different species of host plants. They are now common across the Northeast. In New York, red splats, from eager lanternfly stompers, are a frequent sight on sidewalks. The population is seemingly down in some of the areas where they’ve been established the longest, like southeastern Pennsylvania. … ‘We think this is the result of exhausting the food supply,’ said Kelli Hoover, professor of entomology at Pennsylvania State University.”

Before Flames Devastated Lahaina, State ‘Reminded’ Maui Sirens Could Be Sounded for Fire Evacuations (Reader Steve)

From Hawaii News Now: “Before flames tore through Lahaina, leaving a trail of death and destruction in their path, Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency had a discussion with counterparts on Maui about the use of sirens to let residents know they should flee. HNN Investigates confirmed an assistant telecom officer working at the state emergency management office ‘reminded’ his counterpart at the Maui Emergency Management Agency that sirens could be used to alert residents of wildfires. The state says this happened prior to the catastrophic blaze that swept through Lahaina town.”

Pentagon Watchdog Finds Lax Oversight and Screening of Military Recruits With Extremist Ties (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “US military recruiters consistently fail to ask enlistees about potential extremist or gang ties, regularly bungle applications, and routinely turn a blind eye to red flags that could root out troubling recruits, according to a Pentagon report released [this month]. The lax oversight has likely allowed avowed extremists and gang members to enlist in the military without scrutiny.”

How a Small Gender Clinic Landed in a Political Storm (Russ)

From The New York Times: “Washington University’s youth gender clinic in St. Louis, like others around the world, was overwhelmed by new patients and struggled to provide them with mental health care.”

SoCalGas Charged Customers Millions to Fight Climate Solutions (Reader Steve)

From The Sacramento Bee: “At first glance, a September 2019 meeting before the California Public Utilities Commission in Los Angeles looked like democracy in action. Speakers lined up before the state’s powerful utility regulator to debate the merits of natural gas. One by one, climate activists supported powering buildings with zero-emission appliances running on clean electricity. … More than a dozen business owners followed suit, arguing instead for the preservation of gas. Their activism, however, was far from grassroots. A concealed contract showed that the nation’s largest gas utility had paid a leading Los Angeles business association to recruit speakers against electrification, and drive them to the meeting using ratepayer money.”

Federal Judge Pauses Uinta Basin Railway Project That Would Ship Millions of Gallons of Oil Through Colorado (Laura)

The authors write, “A federal board erred when it gave approval to a railway project in eastern Utah that could ship billions of gallons of crude oil along the Colorado River, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled on Friday. The Uinta Basin Railway project would have connected oil drilling in Utah with major rail networks with 88 miles of new tracks. The project drew widespread criticism from environmental groups, local officials in Colorado and U.S Senator Michael Bennet, which raised alarms about safety and environmental risks from increased oil traffic.”

Incredibly Preserved 3,000-Year-Old Bees Discovered Mummified and Fossilized in Their Cocoons (Dana)

The author writes, “A strange series of events 3,000 years ago led hundreds of bees to be preserved in sealed cocoons, and now researchers have a theory as to why. The bees were first discovered in 2019, when a research team was exploring the coastline of southwest Portugal as part of an analysis of how the area’s ecosystem has changed over time. During the analysis, they came across hundreds of bees, which for millennia had sat in their own cocoons, preserved in layers of sediment.”


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