climate change, Paris Agreement, US withdraws
The author writes, “After a three-year delay, the US has become the first nation in the world to formally withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. President Trump announced the move in June 2017, but UN regulations meant that his decision only took effect [Wednesday], the day after the US election. ... The Paris deal was drafted in 2015 to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change.” Photo credit: Pxhere

Why Trump Can’t Afford to Lose ; Racism and the Fear of ‘Voodoo’ ; and More Picks 11/6

Why Trump Can’t Afford to Lose (Dana)

From the New Yorker: “No American President has ever been charged with a criminal offense. But, as Donald Trump fights to hold on to the White House, he and those around him surely know that if he loses — an outcome that nobody should count on — the presumption of immunity that attends the Presidency will vanish. Given that more than a dozen investigations and civil suits involving Trump are currently under way, he could be looking at an endgame even more perilous than the one confronted by Nixon.”

Election Judge Supervisor Dies After Testing Positive for COVID-19 (Mili)

The author writes, “An election judge supervisor that tested positive for COVID-19 has died in St. Charles County [MO]. The St. Charles County Department of Public Health and the St. Charles County Election Authority said the judge, an older adult woman, received a positive result for COVID-19 on Oct. 30 from a private lab. She was advised to quarantine for 14 days, but did not and instead worked at the County’s Precinct 41 at Blanchette Park Memorial Hall polling site on Election Day.”

Silicon Valley Companies Are Rethinking Free Speech at the Office (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Many in Silicon Valley are encouraged to speak their minds at the office. That may be changing. The free exchange of ideas has been a touchstone of many Bay Area tech companies, part of a counterculture vibe that has accompanied a belief in the liberating power of technology. … But rowdy beer busts where software engineers challenged managers with questions about company policies — typified by Google’s ‘TGIF’ meetings — have given way to tightly moderated virtual Q&A sessions in the pandemic. And in a tumultuous election year that has also seen some of the largest protests in U.S. history over policing and inequality, some are growing fatigued with political talk.”

Racism and the Fear of ‘Voodoo’ (Peg)

From JSTOR Daily: “There’s nothing like a horror story to concentrate and focus our deepest fears. As African American studies scholar Michelle Y. Gordon writes, that’s just what white newspapers in Louisiana did during Reconstruction, turning white supremacists’ worries about Black freedom into unsettling tales of ‘Voodoo.’ Gordon notes that New Orleans did have real practitioners of Voudou—a synthesis of African religions and Roman Catholicism closely linked to Haitian Vodou. Through the nineteenth century, Black women often led its worship and magical practices. But the supposed eyewitness and secondhand accounts of Voodoo ceremonies in white papers had little to do with that belief system.”

Coastal Greenland Reshaped as Ice Sheet Mass Loss Accelerates (Mili)

The author writes, “Ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet has accelerated significantly over the past two decades, transforming the shape of the ice sheet edge and therefore coastal Greenland, according to scientific research led by Twila Moon, deputy lead scientist of the National Snow and Ice Data Center. These changes to the ice sheet could have far-reaching impacts on ecosystems and communities, as the flow of water under the ice sheet as well as nutrient and sediment flow are altered.”

Scientists Discover Bizarre Hell Planet Where it Rains Rocks and Oceans Are Made of Lava (Dana)

The author writes, “If you thought living on Earth in 2020 was comparable to hell, planet K2-141b is here to prove you wrong. On the scorching hot planet, hundreds of light-years away, oceans are made of molten lava, winds reach supersonic speeds and rain is made of rocks. Scientists have referred to the bizarre, hellish exoplanet as one of the most ‘extreme’ ever discovered.”

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