environment, biodiversity, marine life, ferocious coral predator, crown-of-thorns
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These Otherworldly Creatures Destroy Coral. And They’re Hard to Kill. (Maria)

The author writes, “First, a diver stabs a needle at the end of a long pole into the center of the alien-like creature. Then, a vinegar solution is injected in several spots before the animal is gently pulled away from the coral where it was feeding. Within two days, the solution will take effect and the predator will be reduced to a pile of goo. These injections are currently the only way to cull coral-eating sea stars called crown-of-thorns, or COTS. Native to the Great Barrier Reef and reefs across the Indo-Pacific, crown-of-thorns are ferocious coral predators.”

House Speaker Starts Releasing Jan. 6 Footage (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “House Speaker Mike Johnson said Friday he plans to publicly release thousands of hours of footage from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, making good on a promise he made to far-right members of his party when he was campaigning for the job. ‘This decision will provide millions of Americans, criminal defendants, public interest organizations, and the media an ability to see for themselves what happened that day, rather than having to rely upon the interpretation of a small group of government officials,’ Johnson said in a statement, per the AP. The newly elected speaker said the first tranche of security footage, around 90 hours, would be released on a public committee website on Friday, with the rest of the 44,000 hours expected to be posted over the next several months.”

Emissions Should Be Plummeting. Instead, They’re Breaking Dangerous New Records (DonkeyHotey)

From Wired: “Next week, world leaders will head to Dubai for the Conference of the Parties—the United Nations’ annual climate meeting—to finalize the first ‘global stocktake,’ assessing progress toward the Paris Agreement’s goals. The UN Environment Programme is not mincing words about how far from those goals nations are. Monday, ahead of COP28, it released a damning report. It finds that instead of falling, global greenhouse gas emissions went up 1.2 percent between 2021 and 2022 and now sit at a record high. To keep warming to the Paris Agreement’s upper limit of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, emissions would have to crash by 28 percent in only seven years. They’d have to fall by 42 percent if we stand any chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, the agreement’s more aspirational goal.”

Why the Godfather of A.I. Fears What He’s Built (Sean)

From The New Yorker: “Geoffrey Hinton has spent a lifetime teaching computers to learn. Now he worries that artificial brains are better than ours.”

The Zero-Waste City: What Kiel in Germany Can Teach the World (Laura)

From The Guardian: “The hair that drops in clumps on the floors of some salons in Kiel, a port city in northern Germany, is swept up to be turned into fabrics that filter oil from water. Parents who want to buy their children cloth nappies instead of disposable ones can apply for grants of up to €200 from the local authorities. At the city’s biggest festival last year, the organizers got rid of single-use cutlery and replaced it with a deposit system. Germany is famed as a world leader in recycling – and Kiel, as I found out during a visit this summer, has some of the most weird and workable plans in the country to deal with its trash.”

At CooperCon, D.B. Cooper Is a Mystery, a Passion, and a Community (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Have we checked the spare parachute packing card slot? What about the rip cords? Wait, the parachute, was it a 24-foot canopy or a 26-foot canopy? Is there DNA on the tie clip? And, my goodness, how did the money end up at Tena Bar? The questions linger, they spiral, becoming ever more arcane. If you’re not versed, if you don’t know about the copycats and the diatoms and the titanium particles, it all sounds like Greek. But for those who’ve been hooked, captivated, enthralled, the legend of D.B. Cooper does not fade. It is a subculture — like Swifties, 12s, the BeyHive — focused around a larger ideal, where people find community.”


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