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.

This Luxurious Fabric Breaks Down in the Ocean Without Leaving a Trace (Maria)

The author writes, “More than 70 percent of textiles used in the US ends up dumped in a landfill or  burned instead of recycled. Threads from the washing machine or a landfill then eventually make their way to waterways. Enter sustainable fabrics. One company in particular … creates fiber from raw material from wood. The plant base makes the fabric compostable, and materials are from a sustainably managed forest.”

Ahmaud Arbery: Judge Seats Nearly All-White Jury in Georgia Murder Trial (Dan)

The author writes, “A Georgia judge has acknowledged there appeared to be ‘intentional discrimination’ after a nearly all-white jury was selected for the trial of three white men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, but has seated the jury nonetheless. A jury comprising 11 white members and one Black member was seated on Wednesday after defense attorneys struck almost all Black jurors from the pool. Opening arguments in the high-profile case are set to begin on Friday.”

Anti-Abortion Crisis Pregnancy Centers Outnumber Abortion Providers in Maryland 2 to 1 (Dan)

The author writes: “In Maryland, crisis pregnancy centers, or CPCs, outnumber abortion clinics two to one and are often located near abortion providers, colleges and universities, and areas with high poverty rates and a lack of easy access to abortion services, according to an analysis of location data by Capital News Service. CPCs are faith-based, often unlicensed, nonprofit medical clinics that advertise like they are abortion providers, but seek to deter women from considering abortion. For example, many Maryland CPCs prominently list abortion counseling as a service on their website, yet disclosures that they do not perform or refer for abortions are much harder to find.”

Jury Awards $17.3 Million to Immigrants Held in Washington State for Work Performed at Detention Center (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A jury [last week] awarded nearly $17.3 million to immigrants held since 2014 at a detention center in Tacoma who had been denied minimum wage while working for $1 a day, according to a lawyer representing detainees in a federal lawsuit. The jury award in that lawsuit comes two days after the same jury found Florida-based The GEO Group, which runs the for-profit facility, violated Washington’s minimum wage law, in a precedent-setting decision.”

Private Equity Funds, Sensing Profit in Tumult, Are Propping Up Oil (Laura)

From The New York Times: “As the oil and gas industry faces upheaval amid global price gyrations and catastrophic climate change, private equity firms — a class of investors with a hyper focus on maximizing profits — have stepped into the fray. Since 2010, the private equity industry has invested at least $1.1 trillion into the energy sector — double the combined market value of three of the world’s largest energy companies, Exxon, Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell — according to new research. The overwhelming majority of those investments was in fossil fuels, according to data from Pitchbook, a company that tracks investment, and a new analysis by the Private Equity Stakeholder Project, a nonprofit that pushes for more disclosure about private equity deals.”

Joe Manchin: Who Gave You Authority to Decide the Fate of the Planet? (Inez)

The author writes, “Late in the evening on Friday 15 October an alert appeared on my phone that seemed at last to portend the end of the world. Two weeks before the UN climate summit in Glasgow — a make-or-break moment for American leadership and international ambition — Senator Joe Manchin had decided to gut our country’s best, and perhaps last, attempt to save itself. With three decades left to decarbonize the global economy, and a window of Democratic control unlikely to recur for years, Manchin’s benefactors in the coal and gas industry had managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, killing the Clean Electricity Performance Program that would finally have brought their lucrative global arson spree under control.”

The Coming Age of Climate Trauma (Russ)

From The Washington Post Magazine: “Three years after a devastating wildfire, a California community faces another crisis: PTSD. Is what’s happening there a warning to the rest of us?”

Bat Swoops in for Upset Victory in New Zealand’s Prestigious Bird of the Year Contest (Dana)

The author writes, “The result of New Zealand’s Bird of the Year contest has some critics crying fowl. That’s because the winner announced on Monday wasn’t a bird at all but the long-tailed bat, or pekapeka-tou-roa. The upstart candidate swooped in on its first try to beat last year’s victor, a flightless parrot called the kakapo, by about 3,000 votes. With varying degrees of seriousness, bird lovers have responded online by demanding a recount.”