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Photo credit: PISCO- Studies of Coastal Oceans; photo by Dave Lohse / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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This California Coastland May Soon Be a First-of-Its-Kind Marine Sanctuary (Maria)

The authors write, “More than 5,000 square miles of central California coast could soon become the newest national marine sanctuary in the US. It could also make history as one of the first federal sanctuaries to be initiated by a Native American tribe, part of a growing movement to give tribes a say over the lands and waters that were once theirs. The campaign is being led by the Chumash people and has spanned more than a decade. Becoming the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary would mean the waters are largely protected from development, like oil rigs and wind turbines.”

The Cost of Ron DeSantis’s Ideological Purity (Gerry)

From The Atlantic: “You don’t often see someone turn down $346 million in free money. But that’s effectively what Florida’s Ron DeSantis is doing. The Republican governor and presidential candidate has blocked his state from getting energy-efficiency incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act, the signature Biden-administration policy that passed in 2022, Politico noted last week. DeSantis vetoed a request by the GOP-dominated state legislature to establish a $5 million rebate program — a program that is essential to accessing $341 million more. DeSantis hasn’t explained his veto decision.”

Aging Politicians Are Only Going to Get More Common (Sean)

From FiveThirtyEight: “There are plenty of reasons why older politicians continue to hold the levers of power — and the structure of our political system makes it hard to force them to let go, even as Americans’ concerns about the country’s aging political leadership mount. That’s why Americans may continue to support older politicians when they’re in the voting booth, even as they say they prefer a younger leadership cohort.”

California Becomes First US State to Pass Bill Banning Caste Discrimination (Al)

The author writes, “California’s state legislature has become the first in the US to pass a bill banning discrimination on the basis of caste — a centuries-old rigid system of hierarchy in the Hindu religion. On Tuesday, the California state senate passed SB 403 by a margin of 31-5, giving added protection to people from the south Asian subcontinent who were not included in the country’s pre-existing anti-discrimination law. The bill now needs to be signed by governor Gavin Newsom before it becomes law.”

Just Five ChatGPT Queries Can Use 16 oz of Water, Say Researchers (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “Researchers from the University of California reckon the growth in popularity of AI might not be without a significant environmental impact. The Associated Press (AP) reported on a preliminary study from the University, which indicates as few as five ChatGPT queries can result in gulping up 500 milliliters of water (roughly a 16-ounce bottle) at Microsoft’s Iowa data center. The study also includes indirect water use from other sources associated with the data center, like the power plant that feeds its energy.” 

Could ‘One Health’ Be the Optimal Approach for Human, Animal, and Environmental Health? (Laura)

From Inside Climate Now: “Starting this year, the University of Arizona (UA) will receive $3.6 million in state funding annually until 2025 to grow its One Health model — which considers the correlation of human health to environment and animal health — and promote its development in the workforce. The effort is part of Arizona’s New Economy Initiative that will expand hiring opportunities and support new class development at the university.”

Our Greatest Fast-Food Joint Is Costco (Russ)

The author writes, “The Costco food court’s quarter-pound hot dog is, was, and hopefully always will be $1.50. This was true in the 1980s, when the company started experimenting with food service alongside groceries. It was true in the 1990s, when I was in elementary school, and my family made weekend trips to our local outlet, loading shipping pallets of fun-sized Lay’s and industrial-sized drums of Kirkland orange juice into the Ford Windstar. And it’s still true now, in 2023, even as the rest of the American food processing industry leverages inflation to bleed us dry.”


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